So as I wrote in my last post, while Student 99 heartily recommends the book, Greg Boyd claims he is "deeply concerned"
For, while Tolle is a master at identifying the universal human problem, the solution he offers to address this problem is, from a Christian perspective, as misguided as any proposed solution could be. I’ll give three examples.
First, Tolle espouses a rather typical eastern metaphysics in which the true “you” is not the “you” that is distinct from other people, but the (alleged) “you” that is one with the universe. To grasp this, imagine waves on an ocean. Your individual ego is one such wave, but the true “you” in the eastern religious worldview is the ocean itself – as it is for me and every other “wave.” The wave -”you” is limited and temporary, but the ocean-”you” is unlimited and eternal. According to Tolle and the eastern worldview in general, every problem we have, individually and as a collective whole, is the result our tendency to identify with, cling to and fight for the limited, transitory wave instead of with the unlimited, eternal ocean.
There it is again...the you who isn't you. I vs. "i"....the wave or the ocean.
What is ultimately real is our essence, which is the infinite ocean, the“Source” and (yes) “God” (see e.g. 26). If we can remain consciously aware of our essential oneness with all things on a moment-by-moment basis, we will find that the perpetual striving and anxiety that attaches to our individual ego disappears. We will thus be free, fulfilled, peaceful, etc… The three words that are “the secret of all success and happiness,” according to Tolle, are “One With Life” (115). Instead of living with an ego-centered awareness of how we (as individuals) are distinct from all other things, we must cultivate an ego-free awareness of how we are one with all things on a moment-by-moment basis. And when this happens, there is no longer an awareness of a “we” that is distinct from others at all.
And that's the rub for me. I want to be aware, as in an I...an individual Cindi...part of a corporate "we." If there is not an adversarial "us"/"them" mentality, is it really that bad to see individuals....separate and unique, like cells in the body...rather than this hard to grasp concept of (as so eloquently stated by the Beatles) I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together? I want to exist as something other than a freaking wave and I don't want to live the lyrics of an old Beatles tune. I am part of the whole, yet ever distinct.
God created a world filled with ultimately real individuals with the hope that they’d share in and reflect the joy and ecstasy of his eternal, perfect, and ultimately real love. The goal of life, therefore, is not to dissolve all individuality into oneness but to eternally affirm individuality in loving relationship with all other individuals and with God. The goal is not to realize you are God, but to be eternally related to God with a love that participates in the perfect love that God eternally is.
Or as Mother Angelica says (more on her to follow in upcoming posts)
He is not asking you to be a perfect people. He is asking you to be you, choosing to be Him in the Present Moment.
More to follow.......