Oprah and Tolle fuel New Age revival
An East/West Blend of A New Earth Spirituality
By Berit Kjos - March 2008
"This book’s main purpose is ... to bring about a shift in consciousness.... Not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows."[1,p.6-7] Eckhart Tolle
“Oprah is helping propel the spiritual enlightenment book [New Earth] to dizzying heights, thanks to an unprecedented online promotion that includes a 10-week interactive Webcast discussion.... Oprah: 'I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity.'"
"Jesus said... 'No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6
The New Age revolution seemed to fade away, didn't it? But instead it was spreading its hidden roots across America. Now its mysticism and sexual "freedom" are back in full bloom! And countless ex-hippies -- who cut their hair and joined mainstream America -- are reviving Eastern meditation, yogic "breathing" and other pathways to "collective consciousness."
This "awakening" is a natural part of the postmodern rejection of truth. Neither facts, logical thinking, nor Biblical faith are relevant to the new spirituality. So it's not surprising that Eckhart Tolle, celebrated author of A New Earth, dismisses them all as "form" or "ego": distracting "attachments" that block awareness of human Divinity and oneness with "God."2. No sin nor hell: "No hell below us. Above us only sky…"
Tolle's teaching is anything but new. One of his sources of inspiration was the 13th century “father of German mysticism,” Meister Eckhart, who wrote, "He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment." It's interesting that Tolle did "let go" of any attachment to his original first name, Ulrich. He changed it to Eckhart.
To validate his message, Eckhart Tolle reinterprets history. Notice how he blends Eastern and Western mysticism -- praising Zen as well as the Kabbalah:
"The greatest achievement of humanity is... the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness. In the distant past, this recognition already came to a few individuals. A man called Gautama Siddhartha, who lived 2,600 years ago in India, was perhaps the first who saw it with absolute clarity. Later, the title Buddha was conferred upon him. Buddha means 'the awakened one.'”[1,p.14]
"...religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. ... They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves 'right' and others 'wrong'..."[1,p.15]
"...movements developed within all major religions that represented not only a rediscovery, but in some cases an intensification of the light of the original teaching. This is how Gnosticism and mysticism came into existence in early and medieval Christianity, Sufism in the Islamic religion, Hasidism and Kabbala in Judaism, Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism, Zen... in Buddhism....
"Only a small minority of people had access to them. Their numbers were never large enough to have any significant impact on the deep collective unconsciousness of the majority."[1,p.16-17]
Since the spiritual climate has changed, "enlightened" prophets expect the current awakening to reach a critical mass that will usher all of humanity (except uncompromising resisters) into the New Earth -- a physical manifestation of the New Heaven (which has nothing in common with the Biblical heaven). Detached from "form," all will know their identity as "I AM," or universal "Consciousness."
Of course, if you're more comfortable with God's Word than with occult experiences, you won't share in this awakening. You can't stand with one foot in each camp.
Into the darkness
But Carla Siegel tried. "I was a Christian," she told me. "But when we moved to New Mexico, I started questioning my beliefs and exploring some of the New Age bookstores. Soon I was seduced by the teachings of Emmet Fox and others. Satan's favorite trick is to twist what God says. I know that now." She continued,
"I joined a meditation group. Some of the new age is being driven by the Alice Bailey type of occultism, but most of the people in my group were fans of "Abraham," the demonic spirit guide behind The Secret -- which is all about getting what you want.
"But I was more attracted to Eckhart Tolle's Buddhist angle. Though I had explored both sides, I wanted more of a personal experience with God. Like other New Agers, I would twist the Bible into something that fit my new thinking. So I believed that the Bible's statement about losing your life to save it meant you must dissolve the ego to gain peace.
"I stayed with it for a couple of years and faced constant emotional torment. The pain supposedly meant I was growing. (Ha!) I was told that my ego was the problem -- and that the meditation (for stilling your mind or detaching from your thoughts) would alleviate the depression. But it kept getting worse. The feelings of dejection and despair were overwhelming."
Carla's story is sadly familiar. The "beautiful side of evil" deceives "even the elect" -- if only for a season. Confusion, depression, anger and nightmares often follow the initial euphoria, since Satan has no mercy for his victims! Read Pat's story, then Valerie's testimony and learn more about his cruel ways. Only by God's loving grace did they escape the darkness of today's false "light."
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness," warned the prophet Isaiah (5:20). But as "awakenings" spread, fewer will listen.
Tolle's top-selling books may draw more people into the occult than any previous guru the world has known. Yet, it's all part of an ongoing spiritual war! Our eternal sovereign God reigns over all, but His created opponent does all he can to tempt, trick and test humanity during his allotted time.
John Lennon's most famous song outlines the heart of this New Earth deception. Notice how its lines match Tolle's occult teachings.
1. The New Earth: "Imagine there's no heaven; it's easy if you try...."
"...heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness.... Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner.... 'A new heaven' is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and 'a new earth' is its reflection in the physical realm."[1,p.23]
"The arising of a new heaven and by implication a new earth are not future events."[1,p.308]
That's not true! In contrast, God's Word points us to "the hope which is laid up for you in heaven..." Colossians 1:4
"If evil has any reality... this is also its definition: complete identification with form.... This results in a total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with every other as well as with the Source. This forgetfulness is original sin, suffering, delusion."[1,p.22]
"Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind.... Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that's all."[1,p.76]
Actually, evil is real, and God does judge sin: "The wicked shall be turned into hell..." (Psalm 9:16) But God has provided a way to heaven through the cross. If we repent and trust in Jesus' atoning death for us, we become part of His family.
3. Living in the NOW: "Imagine all the people, Living for today..."
"...only the present moment can make us free. That realization is the awakening.... A new heaven and a new earth are arising within you at this moment...." [1,p.308]
"There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new." Meister Eckhart
"The Now is also central to the teaching of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Sufis have a saying: 'The Sufi is the son of time present.' And Rumi, the great poet and teacher of Sufism, declares: 'Past and future veil God from our sight; burn up both of them with fire.' Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century spiritual teacher, summed it all up beautifully: 'Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time.'"
There is no obstacle to our God, who sets our hope on the future, not the present: "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face." 1 Corinthians 13:12
4. A United World: "Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do."
"The only actions that do not cause opposing reactions are those that are aimed at the good of all.... They are not for 'my' country but for all of humanity, not for 'my' religions but the emergence of consciousness in all human beings..."[1,p.290]
But our God tells His people, "...nation will rise against nation.... Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.... And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.... And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:7-14
5. No creed, no doctrine: "And no religion too."
"...religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. ... They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with."[1,p.15]
But Jesus, who enables us to follow Him, said, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him...." John 14:216. Peace. All is One: "Imagine all the people, Living life in peace..."
" At that deeper level, all things are one. It is the Source, the unmanifested one Life. It is the timeless intelligence that manifests as a universe unfolding in time."[1,p.276]
"You realize your true identity as consciousness.... That's the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am."[1,p.56-57]
But our God offers His peace to all who trust and follow Him -- not to the world with its false teachings. He says, "I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate...” 2 Corinthians 6:16-17
God's ultimate victory
Eckhart Tolle is not our enemy in this spiritual war. Like countless other "false teachers," he's merely a useful servant to a far more menacing foe. Since Satan continues to masquerade as "an angel of light," this reminder is worth repeating:
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:10-12
Those who truly love God's Truth (the first part of God's armor) will not open their minds to demonic intrusion or oppression. And by God's grace, Carla* has learned that lesson well. After two years of "experiencing a universal "God" -- accompanied by intensifying depressions, misery and confusion -- the true God has set her free:
"The feelings of dejection and despair were overwhelming, but God kept calling me back to Himself in the midst of it. Finally, a few weeks ago, I threw out $400 worth of books. That was a toughie. But I was tired of needless suffering. ... The saving power of my Lord Jesus Christ is incredible -- far beyond understanding!"
Most of the people trapped by the enticing lights of the occult will never find the exit. So don't follow those lights! Test all things through the filter of Truth! Put on God's armor! Then delight in the victory our Lord has won for us through the cross!
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" asks the apostle Paul. "Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution...? The answer is NO! Nothing can sever us from God! For "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:35-37
3. This song by John Lennon expressed his disillusionment with Maharishi's immoral behavior: "Sexy Sadie what have you done? You made a fool of everyone.” www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article3320882.ece
* Not her real name.