Well, maybe I was a little surprised on New Year's Eve to see two adepts of and on PBS-Boston instructing me in hushed reverential tones on the 'wisdom of Eckhart Tolle,' the 62 year old German man who today sounds like recycled Ram Dass, Alan Ginsberg, Aldous Huxley's theosophical Perennial Philosophy; in short true syncretism... except I'm afraid more annoying. He's got a way about him, part elf, part, well, eery in his persona of go-slow-flow...(Follow posts on the other sad ones here....). This program, to usher in the new
Yes, Virginia, someone at PBS dislikes Jesus Christ with a passion, and so must work hard to present us throughout the year, in the words of St. Paul, with "a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached...a different spirit from the Spirit you received... a different gospel from the one you accepted" (2 Cor. 11:4).
Anyway, the message of Tolle can be distilled to what it was in Ram Dass and Alan Watts and the others when I was young. The "Is-ness" of things, minus any old fashioned asceticism such as the Buddha made a condition of detachment if one was serious about relieving suffering. But asceticism is way too close to Christianity to be appealing for the real Masters who have been writing out Tolle's and Oprah's checks a long time now.
"Be Here Now" is the message, i.e., do not live in the past or the future, especially in your thoughts. The Now is all that counts, all there is.
That's it. Tolle's message. The whole thing. Everything else proceeds from and returns to this drain where down goes all negativities which hold one back. Even Tolle, however, must keep appointments. Even he looks at the wristwatch he wears, and the speedometer and road signs when he is not sitting almost lotus but driving his jaguars. So he can get dull fast---depending on how desperate one is. This salesman knows his market.
Of course, Jesus was the One who told us to take no thought for tomorrow. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is holy or true when such is repeated in other religions. It's just that the Church doesn't stop there. Like the Master, she urges us---all of us---on to the forgiveness of our sins through Confession and the Sacraments which alone can wash away our very real guilt.
And there's the rub. "Was Jesus the son of God?" Tolle asks rhetorically. "Yes. But so are you. You just haven't realized it yet."
There's no apostate like a Catholic apostate. Tolle panders to the Baby Boomer guilt market out there today. And after fifty or more years of calling good evil, and evil good, there is no shortage of hurting souls who desperately need to confess their very real sins (guilt is often a major anxiety booster)---but they have said they 'don't believe in sin' for so long now they have come to believe the lie. And so PBS and Oprah are helping.
"Many will come in my name and say I am he," the historical Jesus---who is also the Christ of Faith---said. "Do not follow them," the Lord warned as if our very souls depended on it. But who would have believed it would be on a tele-vision, midwifing the values of a Brave New World in pastel colors? What 'vision' is that being teleported? "A tree," Jesus said, "is known by its fruit"---as blood today flecks the abortionist's 'surgical' mask.
Oprah, who is now, like Tolle, launching her own television network (Yes, he has one), is a disciple of Eckhart Tolle, with a whole lot of other 'stars' too. So we may see a lot more of this message which considers us all Christ, even if we do not happen to have the jaguars and mansions.
It's a critical career move today not to speak the one forbidden Name, 'Jesus,' on television ---unless it is to transvalue and re-present, or to brutalize Him. To say the forbidden Name, and to seek and freely obtain forgiveness of real sin and guilt and to begin a life of penance, is a sure career killer in Hollywood and New York.
How very much has changed in just thirty (at first I wrote fifty) years.
---> See also: Truth and 'Catholic Guilt'...
--->"Be Still and Know that I AM..."
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