Volume 2, Issue 4
Exposing New Age Religion A critique of Eckhart Tolles, A New Earth, by Martin Zender
There was some discussion on Facebook not long ago about the book, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. The comments centered around whether it was appropriate for a believeror anyone elseto wade through a book full of pagan philosophy to find one or two kernels of truth the author somehow stumbled upon and managed to intelligently articulate. The Word of God clearly answers this question, and I would like to explore this with you today. Along the way, I will expose many fac-ets of New Age religion, all of which oppose Pauline truth. This article will also help safeguard you against the spiri-tualization of Gods Word (which is merely another crafty way to disbelieve it), and Satans lie of Unity now! Unity at all costs! (The battle cry of many Christian churches.)
THE TEACHINGS OF ECKHART TOLLE
Eckhart Tolle is a self-proclaimed spiritual teacher, aligning himself with the New Age Movement. New Age is a religion of Monism. Monism proposes that everything
in the universe is reducible to one substance or reality, and therefore the fundamental character of the universe is unity. What this means is that, God is not there while you are here. Rather, you are God. In other words, Monism denies the existence of a Being separate from you Who grants life and takes it away. Rather, you are life, and therefore can never lose your essence. It follows that the keynote teaching of Monism must necessarily be the Immortality of the Soul. This teaching, we know, was first uttered by Satan; it was the inaugural lie proffered to Adam and Eve in Eden by one who would turn them (and us) from God: You shall not surely die.
The following is from pages 127-28 of A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, under the heading: INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF OF IMMORTALITY:
The moment you say or think, my life and believe in what you are saying ... you have entered the realm of delu-sion. If there is such a thing as my life, it follows that I and life are two separate things, and so I can also lose my life, my imaginary treasured possession. Death becomes a seeming reality and a threat.
We could even say that the notion my life is the original delusion of separateness, the source of ego. If I and life are two, if I am separate from life, then I am separate from all things, all beings, all people. But how could I be separate from life? What I could there be apart from life, apart from Being? It is utterly impossible. So there is no such thing as my life, and I dont have a life. I am life. I and life are one. It cannot be otherwise. So how could I lose my life? How can I lose something that I dont have in the first place? How can I lose something that I Am? It is impossible.
We know from Scripture that God breathed life into an inert form, Adam, and Adam became a living soul. Life came from without (from God) and is therefore a trea-sured possession; Tolle calls this possession, imaginary, as does every other New Age teacher. For life to be a pos-session, one would have to receive it. To receive a thing, that thing must be given; a given thing implies a Giver, a notion repulsive to New Agers like Tolle. If life can be giv-en, it can also be taken awayalso known as death. This proposition (that is, the reality of death) is too humbling for most humans to entertain, which explains Satans first lie: You shall not surely die. The Deceiver knew how desperately humans crave immortality. Humans prefer to believe they are life, and will despise any teaching deny-ing it.
On the topic of death, you can see how closely Chris-tian teaching aligns with New Age teaching. Both groups believe Satans first lie.
Above all, humans fear death. Christ came to deliver us from death, a force affecting all of us. Deliverance from death (that is, resurrection), is the expectation of every be-liever. One can either embrace this Scriptural viewpoint and take ones place as a creature of the Creator (looking outside him or herself to a Rescuer), or believe Satans lie that death is illusory, and thereby looking within for ones sustenance. Tolles job (he is but the latest in a long line
of satanic messengers bent on popularizing our Adversarys premier deception) is to awaken men and women to their inner Deity. You do not need Christ or the resurrection, says the Deceiver, along with Tolle, his messenger. Death is a non-existent enemy, a seeming threat, making resurrection a superfluous want. Why look to Christ? Nothing can be taken that was never given. Stop looking without for life; you are Life.
Standard Christian teaching on death also leads to this horrible lie.
Tolle not only believes that each human being is eter-nally self-sustaining, but that each human comprises the I Am. In other words, each of us is God. Needing a God is the old way of thinking, according to Tolle. No one needs a God, who is a God.
From page 71 of The New Earth:
The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be de-ceived every time. The very Being that you are is Truth. Jesus tried to convey that when he said, I am the way and the truth and the life. These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly. If misinterpreted, however, they be-come a great obstacle. Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life-form, in fact. He speaks of the life that you are.
According to Tolle, we who look outside ourselves for truth (to Jesus, for instance) are deceived. Tolle audaciously quotes Christ, warning against misinterpreting His words, then proceeds to misinterpret them himself. What Jesus meant to say, insists Tolle, is that everyone is the way, the truth, and the life. Everyone is I Am. None of us were cre-ated; we existed eternally. We always were, and always shall be. This is the essence of I Am. Only the lost need a Savior, and none of us were ever lost. Our only need is the enlight-enment, awakening, and awareness of how found we have always been. Jesus Christ showed us the way of aware-ness. He, along with notable Buddhists and Hindus, dem-onstrated the perfect consciousness of inner Godhood that inheres in all of us. Or, I should say, in all of Us.
THE DEATH OF THINKING
In order to sell Satans original lie to a new audience of willing consumers, Tolle must remove his readers from Scripture. This, he does.
From pages 17-19 of A New Earth:
The more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual di-mension within yourself. Many religious people are stuck at that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they
are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an uncon-scious attempt to protect their identity. They dont realize the limitations of thought.
The new spirituality, the transformation of con-sciousness, is arising to a large extent outside of the struc-tures of the existing institutionalized religions. There were always pockets of spirituality even in mind-dominated religions ... A growing number of followers of traditional religions realize that how spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness ... Those unable to look be-yond form become even more deeply entrenched in their beliefs, that is to say, in their mind.
And this, from page 70:
You wont find absolute truth if you look for it where it cannot be found: in doctrines, ideologies, sets of rules, or stories.
So much for Scripture, then. So much for belief and faith. What is there to believe if doctrines (that is, teach-ings) do not exist?
God exhorts us, through His chosen messengers, to be-lieve things. (Doctrine is simply a synonym for teach-ing; how ironic that Tolle himself eschews teaching in a book full of teaching; apparently, Tolles teaching is the last we will ever need.) God carefully tells us what we must be-lieve. For this, He uses words. Pauls gospel, for instance, is
known as the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). We cannot know these Words, written by God, apart from the mind. For this, God gave us brains. Paul encourages the believer, therefore, to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2)not the removal of it.
Tolle, being a stereotypi-cal New Ager, hates doctrine (words) and ideology (beliefs)
for the same reason most Pentecostals and emotional Chris-tians (sorry for the redundancy) hate these same things: they divide people. Tolle writes on pages 70-71:
If you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego. Used in such a way, reli-gion becomes ideology and creates an illusory sense of su-periority as well as division and conflict between people.
In other words, no one is right or wrong. If you insist on being right (when you are right), it proves only that you are wrong, that is, unenlightened. Enlightened ones accept
everything; all is one; one is all. There is no absolute truth; truth depends on individual perception. Thus, no one can be wrong; people merely perceive differently. The ego cre-ates separation, and separation creates suffering (pg. 112). Oh, no. Not suffering. According to Tolle, the source of suffering is not God (I create evil, Isaiah 45:7), but rather egos insisting upon knowing things. (The enlightened mind knows nothing; it merely exists.) Absolute truth separates people; blissful ignorance makes everyone happy. Tolerance and acceptance of all, therefore, is seen by New Agers as the h