Tuesday, June 27th 2017
Mar
2008
30

Saturday Night Live, from Marin County, CA . . . It’s ECKHART TOLLE!

The German-born mystic, Eckhart Tolle, should host Saturday Night Live. He is already a rock-star of enlightenment

tolle-on-stageBY PAUL KAIHLA — You’d think that U2 was playing San Rafael, CA on the second Saturday of March 2008. There were traffic jams for miles. There were state, local police and private security managing crowds and cars. There were scalpers in front of the sold-out Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium selling TicketMaster e-tickets for more than $100.

Amazing that a turnout typically reserved for rock-gods was actually for a pudgy, middle-aged man who sat solo on stage — and without any musical accompaniment, special effects or AV — held a rapt audience in a semi-trance state for almost three hours relying on nothing more than the power of his personal presence. Eckhart Tolle’s popularity . . .

is a barometer of our spiritual starvation as much as it’s a measure of his status as the Grandmaster Flash of self-help teachers. (Read about Tolle’s reported overnight enlightenment in our series about peak experiences that made history.)

Tolle unwinds the collective mental noise inside the heads of an audience with disarming psychological jokes and a mellifluous German accent softened by his years as a grad student at Cambridge and his current home in Vancouver, Canada.

Tolle described the essence of a person as simply a “sphere of awareness” into which content appears and disappears — voices perceived by our ears, visuals perceived by our eyes, thought-forms generated by the machine called the mind.

To him, personality is an arbitrary and thought-constructed abstraction — “the little person” that crowds out that sphere of awareness that is our true nature, “imposes itself on the universe, and pushes it back with ‘self-talk’ and labels.”

Tolle joked that he stopped believing in his own “little person’s” stories about itself years before he achieved international fame as the author of his 1997 bestselling Power of Now. But if he has still remained attached to self-talk, his story would’ve gone like this:

My life is a failure. I am almost 50, I have no job, I have no pension, I have no property. I gave a small number of people some spiritual counseling — hardly enough to pay . . . I never know if I’ll have enough money for my rent. This has been a wasted life.

The punchline: “That was actually my mother’s story of my life.” (Eckhart and the auditorium erupt with laughter).

“She suffered greatly.” (More laughter)

He then described how the words for his hit book arose spontaneously, as opposed to a pre-medicated act of trying to make money by writing — even though that was the result.

Punchline coda: “Luckily, the book came out while my mother was still alive. She then made a new story.” (Even more laughter)

“Luckily, I’d let go of stories. I don’t want a bad story, or a good story.”

The most poignant passage was Tolle’s mimicry of a thought pattern we’ve all shared: “What’s going to happen to me?”

The answer:

We all know what’s going to happen to “me.” The “me” is going to pop like a soap bubble. They’re popping in the world every second . . . pop, pop, pop . . . These “me’s” that were once so important unto themselves. Amazing.”

Amazing, indeed.

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2 Comments on “Saturday Night Live, from Marin County, CA . . . It’s ECKHART TOLLE!”

  1. [...] two spots where Oprah gets it right are a snippet on Ram Dass, and a five-page interview with Eckhart Tolle, two post-modern mystics who can genuinely talk about peak experiences (aka, what Oprah brands Aha [...]

  2. The truth of Eckhart Tolle's teaching can't be measured by his apparent "Rock Star" status, but rather by the experience of those who practice his teaching and find truth emerging from within themselves. We are told that Jesus gathered crowds around him too, only to be crucified. There IS a great spiritual hunger. My hope is that more and more people will try the practice, shift the ego out of dominance and let awareness emerge.

    Apparently, Tolle confounds even his publishers when he withdraws to do the inner work to stay balanced against the "pull" of "Fans". Just like Jesus kept trying to get away from the crowds "to pray in a lonely place by himself".

    If Tolle were ever to do SNL it would only be (I would suspect) to get the teaching out. I can't imagine him being one whit concerned about the ratings.

    I wonder how the traffic leaving the Marin County appearance flowed. That would be the test, not of his teaching but of how many "Got it".

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