Eckhart Tolle had some fun with Oprah, but he didn’t do it during their Monday night “class” about “awakening.” Tolle made the joke at a live talk he gave the other weekend, while Oprah was thousands of miles away doing whatever the billionaire chairwoman of Harpo, Inc. does to grow her media group.
For the past month, Oprah has interviewed Eckhart for 90 minutes every Monday night at 9 PM, Eastern time. These “broadcasts” are on her website, Oprah.com, not her TV show. The theme: Tolle’s two-year-old book, A New Earth. The book has 10 chapters; tonight, Oprah and Eckhart de-brief chapter 5. Before we get to Eckhart’s punchline, we have a mixed response to the Oprah series.
The promo reeks with Oprah’s characteristic full-of-herself hyperbole: Join us live on Monday nights to be a part of what I think will be one of the most powerful shared experiences in the world.
During “class,” we cringe when we hear Oprah talking over Eckhart, or going “Mm-Hmmn” every few seconds as if to hurry him up, or when she blurts — “I got that,” “I just had an epiphany!”
You can practically see the noise in the TV-talking-head’s mind, in turn, speed up the gears in Tolle’s. It’s disconcerting because the whole thrust of Tolle’s life teachings has been aimed at undermining and dissipating the mental noise that the machinery of thought manufactures. Tolle calls thoughts, “pseudo-intelligence,” and compares the thinking state to a dream-state.
In spite of the setting, he manages to hold his presence — and make some powerful points that Oprah’s TV sponsors would probably find subversively anti-consumerist: The essence of a being is never their form. That’s a shell. The life that animates the form is always invisible. You are consciousness appearing as a person for a little while. As consciousness, you are timeless. (paraphrased from Week 3)
Now here’s the joke Tolle made the other weekend at a workshop he gave on the West Coast. The set-up, he was describing how people imagine him: You might think, ‘Oh, Eckhart is doing so well, he’s reaching so many people he must ge so fulfilled.’
Instead, Tolle related how life really boils down to the sum of many very small things, not big bangs:
Big bangs don’t happen in life. I could’ve been in my hotel this morning, thinking . . . ‘Oh, I have this big talk coming up, will people like it?’ Very stressful. Instead, I enjoyed the view out my hotel window. The smallness of the room . . . I come here, I walk out on stage, one step after another.
Even Oprah’s life is like that. She goes home — her home is much larger than mine (auditorium fills with laughs) — and takes one step after another.
It’s the same thing when she goes to the airport. She gets out of the car, walks to her seat — I don’t know what kind of jet she uses, but I don’t think she stands in line for a regular flight . . . (more laughter).
Tolle did express high praise for Oprah: “I believe she’s deeply drawn into an awakening process.”
Credit where credit is due. Still, we at Soul’s Code have no intention of giving up our tease-Oprah crusade
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