Idol Chatter

Eckhart Tolle may be Oprah’s new spiritual guru of choice–inspired by his long time bestselling self-help favorite The Power of Now, but this weekend in the article “The Wisdom of the Ages, For Now Anyway,” New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley wonders how much audiences–and Oprah herself–really know about this man whose spiritual-you-can-change-your-life with positive thinking message is worshipped like a religion in its own right.
Who is Eckhart Tolle, really?

McKinley reports: “For all his fame, many details of Mr. Tolle’s personal history are murky. A biography provided by his American paperback publisher, Plume, offered few hints beyond his educational background, including a stint at Cambridge and his current hometown, Vancouver, British Columbia, where he lives with his business partner and girlfriend, Kim Eng. A spokesman for the university confirmed Mr. Tolle began work on a doctorate degree there in 1977, but did not finish. Mr. Tolle’s own representatives had fewer specifics. “We don’t have a lot of knowledge about Eckhart Tolle as a person,” said a woman who answered the phone last week at the Vancouver office of Eckhart Teachings, and who asked not to be identified. “And I’m the only one here.”
That’s very little to go on for a man who sells millions of books (and makes millions from the peole who deliver themselves into his hands for salvation).
McKinley also spends a good deal of time recounting what is known about Mr. Tolle from his book appearances (and Oprah appearances) and discussing his spiritual philosophy, in addition to soliciting comments from his followers about what it is exactly that captivates them. Worth reading in full…
Also very much worth reading for Tolle aficionados (and his detractors too):
Fellow Idol Chatter blogger Todd Havens is “taking” Oprah’s weekly online Monday classes in all things Eckhart Tolle and blogging what he’s learned. Tune in to Todd’s first post here, and check back weekly for more.

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