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In 2014, I wrote a blog. “Eckhart Tolle is on the rich man’s list. Is this the price of enlightenment?” I have added a further comment.
In 2014, I wrote a critique on the wealth of Eckhart Tolle, the well-known spiritual teacher and author of THE POWER OF NOW, one of the mostly widely read spiritual books in the last two decades.
The critique encouraged a recommendation to Mr Tolle to offer all or some of his teachings on dana (donation) for the single parent, student, low income, unemployed and elderly to have the opportunity to attend his retreats. People in the low-income category can only use Youtube for his teachings, which have been important for many people. He only offers residential teachings for the wealthy and online teachings for those with significant disposable income.
The blog received a wide range of comments from strong appreciations to fierce criticisms. I believe this blog may have had more responses than any other of my blogs. Readers comments are at the foot of the 2014 blog. Some have strong views and emotions around money issues. This is the link to the blog followed below is my response in the Comments section.
For the first time, I added today 02 May 2021, a short response.
Thank you for all your comments over seven years of my 2014 blog on the wealth of Eckhart Tolle. I have received a full range of appreciations and criticisms of my concerns about spirituality and accumulation of immense wealth. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Jesus said: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19.23). I still agree with Jesus, who stated this on more than one occasion.
Eckhart’s wealth at that time was estimated at $15,000,000. Today, the net worth of Eckhart Tolle is around $80,000,000 according to the WealthyPersons.com website.
The global pandemic has currently blocked the opportunity for all, regardless of income, to attend public events of spiritual teachers, and others. The wealthy and the poor can unite on YouTube to listen to his teachings.
It might be that Eckhart finds himself in the unenviable position of being a marketable product. Eckhart comes across as a kindly man. He may lack the power and authority to insist the Eckhart Tolle Foundation offers regular affordable residential/Zoom teachings for those who wish to see him in person or ask direct questions, via Zoom.
My concern has not changed. What is the problem of offering residential/Zoom teachings to those struggling to make ends meet?
Does Mr. Tolle and his Foundation think people, who attend on a donation basis or pay a minimal charge, do not have the same level of commitment as those with significant disposable income? Are low-income people left to view Youtube talks?
I googled Eckhart Tolle and money. There are plenty of critical responses to his expensive courses ranging from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Expensive courses tend to reinforce a common view that spiritual teachers are in it for the money. Eckhart is a prominent name in spirituality. His teachings attract people to spiritual practices. but his accumulation of immense wealth also puts people off spirituality.
What Eckhart said about money
In an interview in 2010, Eckhart said: “An enlightened person or business is not concerned primarily with making money, because when you are concerned with making money you want the future more than the present.”
A spiritual person does not have to be lost in futuristic thinking around money to get on the Rich Man’s List. He or she simply shows little awareness of accumulating staggering wealth through their spiritual business. This may show a lack of empathy for those with modest or little income who would benefit from his guidance.
Is it appropriate to use money as the criterion for access to a spiritual teacher in the real world or in a Zoom session?
There is more to life than just living in the Now.
May all spiritual teachings in the physical world be available to all regardless of income
May all being understand the co-dependency of past, present and future
May all beings understand the timeless – unbound to the now