Scathing Book Reviews of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purposeby Eckhart Tolle is yet another in a long line of “Success Literature”, – a book genre which has got to be an American original (don’t tell me if I’m wrong). The seeming promise of success literature to its readers is “Read the book, and your life will change”, where in fact, the writer’s message is, “read this and do as the book says and then your life can change”.

All too often, the only thing that actually changes is the money, from the reader to the bookstore. I’ve read my fair share of “success” book, and the ones that tend to be the most beneficial are the ones that tell you to know what you want, figure out how to get what you want, build a plan, and then CARRY IT OUT! It’s the last part that tends to trip us all up.

Oprah Winfrey thinks this book is worth buying, but I ask you, can you really trust a guy named “Eckhart” to offer good advice? These Scathing Book Reviews of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle make it their purpose to convince you to not buy the book:

While I applaud Oprah for this novel approach to bettering the human race, I take issue with both this author and his book.

…and:

I think I’ve found my true calling in life. Create a joke of a new age cult and get a self absorbed talk show host to peddle it and then the sheep will line up to purchase it. I couldnt get through chapter one. Please, a moment of silence for everyone throwing their money away, feel the oneness with your fellow sheep.

…and:
“Refuse to grow-up”would be a better title for his book.

…and:

I find no clearer indictment of the American mind than the success of this book.

…and:

I don’t know who’s more dangerous, Oprah or the half-wits she endorses on her show or the half wits in the audience of her show.

…and:

This kind of stuff is appropriate for sappy greeting cards or manipulative advertising but, in my opinion, little else.

…and from the “unfortunately right” department:

This has to be some of the most boring mumbo jumbo I’ve ever read. The writer clearly likes to hear himself talk, or read, or whatever. I can’t believe he actually got this book published. There must be alot of lost people out there.

…and this, from someone who was probably thinking of “The Secret”:

Let me save you some time and money. Here’s what the book says… Blah,Blah,Blah, “think postive” Blah,Blah,Blah “I can create success and money and health with positive thoughts” Blah,Blah,Blah. That about sums it up!

…and for Die-Hard Democrats, the ultimate insult:

About as insightful as a George Bush speech.

2 Responses

  1. In the world of spiritual writing, never have I witnessed such an obvious case of plagiarism go completely undetected by the masses such as in the case of Eckhart Tolle’s entire career. Not legal plagiarism I guess, just regurgitation I’ll call it, in that it is basically Ram Dass 101.
    He’s Ram Dass without India, without the guru, just a story. The story that he entered the state of presence at age 29, you know like Jesus starting his ministry at 30, the Buddha getting enlightened in his early 30’s, ok we get it. So from 1997 to 2008, Eckhart, now in his 50’s writes The Power of Now, Stillness Speaks, and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This 30 years after Ram Dass wrote Be Here Now, Journey of Awakening, and later, Still Here. The terminology Eckhart uses, the choices of words like “witness perspective” are all verbatim Ram Dass.
    Unlike Ram Dass however, who always admitted to having an ego, just explains it gets subtler with decades of spiritual discipline; Eckhart simply entered the state of presence at age 29, and makes it sound like enlightenment happened there, instead of begun, as it did with many, collectively. I suppose that’s what people need to hear, namely the Oprah book club, when they have begun to awaken (you know, that it needn’t take long).
    Contrary to what Eckhart says about Buddhists, “The majority of Buddhists believe that enlightenment is for the Buddha, not for them, at least not in this lifetime.” The majority of Buddhists simply recognize that you cannot claim a philosophy, or even a perspective as your own if it doesn’t conceptually differ in any measurable way from what the Siddhartha said 2600 years ago. Props to Dsongar Jamyang Khyentse for writing “What Makes You Not a Buddhist”, but here are some things that don’t make you not a Buddhist. Quoting Jesus doesn’t make you not a Buddhist. It doesn’t make Jesus not a Buddhist for that matter either seeing as he said it 600 years later. The Old Testament recognizes that there was a time before the world of concepts that everyone was in a state of presence. Everyone named Adam and Eve who dwelt in the Garden of Eden. But when conceptual reality appeared, the Buddha explained it first. I am 30, live in America, and all of these traditions have helped me understand it intellectually as well. But honestly, what Buddhist couldn’t have written Eckhart Tolle’s books? What follower of fan of Ram Dass couldn’t shoot it off the top of their head? So to everyone who enjoyed them so much, now go try to be present, and let me welcome you, 30 years later, to the dance.
    At a Ram Dass retreat, the question and answer format always assured one of the authenticity of the message as Ram Dass would delve into a wide array of topics while staying on point. Listening to “The Power of Now” on CD, one can’t help but think, who isn’t the Buddha when you answer your own questions you wrote and have the publisher read them. I understand there isn’t an original concept under the sun, but come on. Or as Ram Dass says, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your in-laws.”
    JUSTIN KOTZ

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