I have absolutely no interest in pop psychology, nor the latest “gurus” being touted by the media. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen even a segment of Oprah’s show, for instance.
What I am interested in, and desire to share, is anything that can bring the truth and the teachings of Catholicism into better focus for people. The media can label Eckhart Tolle any way they please, but there is no question in my mind that he is a mystic. One of my pet peeves (well, deep frustrations, actually) is that, because the secular media and also many “spiritual practitioners” themselves have no knowledge of our Catholic contemplative/mystical tradition, they have no foundation, no basis, no frame of reference in which so-called “new” knowledge and practices can be properly placed. Ultimately, everything and everyone gets slotted into “New Age”. It would be laughable if it weren’t so very sad.
Quite frankly, and I am not ashamed to admit it, I had never heard of Eckhart Tolle before I accidently came across some sound clips, which prompted me to check for YouTubes. I had no idea he was even popular let alone famous, and I had no idea he was being touted by the celebrities as the “new” spiritual guru, because I don’t watch television and rarely frequent anything other than Catholic bookstores. I simply recognized him as a mystic; I recognized the Catholic contemplative/mystical teachings within his message, and realized he was someone I could “use”. I have no qualms about using a teacher from any religious tradition or even no religious tradition if I can do so to elucidate our Catholic faith. If celebrities are embracing Tolle, so be it; perhaps it is an indication that their spirits are crying out for a deeper relationship with the Divine. Perhaps, through Tolle, they may experience a conversion of heart, experience metanoia; perhaps even find their way to Christ our Lord. I cannot even say that I would embrace Tolle’s message in its entirety, because I do not know it in its entirety. What I have used on my blog I have used for a specific purpose.
I did a bit of googling late last night, afraid that perhaps I had gone offtrack, been deceived, and was perhaps leading others to be deceived. Many places I looked, Tolle popped up with the label “New Age”. But not everywhere. For instance, we can find Eckhart Tolle’s, “The Power of Now”, listed on the Basilian Fathers’ website as Recommended Reading. They write:
“This book is quite similar in concept to “Practicing the Presence of God” ; however, it does approach our ability to live in the “now” using a more intellectual and scientific method. It could best be summed up like this: Start with Brother Lawrence for the spiritual understanding, then turn to Tolle for the “how”.”
The Redemptorists also list Eckhart Tolle’s, “A New Earth”, on their website under Recommended Reading.
I opened my previous post with quotations from The Cloud of Unknowing and from Abandonment to Divine Providence. I did not use these Catholic writings in order to validate Eckhart Tolle. I used Eckhart Tolle, because he is here and now and available on YouTube, to help explain our own Catholic contemplative/mystical teachings.