Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A great critique of Eckhardt Tolle (and by extension, Nisargadatta and maybe Krishnamurti?) by Pinchbeck:

I see this tendency to ignore the social and political struggle in the works of wildly popular writers such as Eckhart Tolle, who has repackaged Vedanta for the masses. In Tolle’s recent book, A New Earth, he writes: "We are coming to the end not only of mythologies but also of ideologies and belief systems." According to Tolle, the creation of the "new earth" needs no change in social practices as long as you make "the present moment… the focal point of your life." Tolle exhorts his audience to "enjoy what you are doing already, instead of waiting for some change so that you can start enjoying what you do." Whether you are an artist, teacher, Fox News executive or currency speculator doesn’t matter: "The new earth arises as more and more people discover that their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this world and so use whatever they do as a vehicle for consciousness." For Tolle, the effort to change our society’s inequitable and unsustainable practices has no particular value compared to the paradise of presence.

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