I find the level of emotion in what I have read so far to be revealing.
First, Tolle is not 100% correct, but be watchful to not toss the baby with the dirty bath water.
Second, just because someone is not 100% correct does not mean they are 100% wrong either.
I can testify to you of a personal understanding of my own self and how I work that has partially resulted from Tolle's writing and work. I find it personally interesting to read many of you attacking what you don't understand.
I can see how that is because when you encountered it, you did not have a proper frame of reference from which to get to what his words are pointing at.
This is typical. When human beings encounter something they do not understand the typical response is not questioning themselves, but attacking both the message and messenger (i.e. the attacks of the Jews on Jesus Christ, leading to His death and resurrection).
Our insanity is to believe the body of thought(s) already in our heart as though they are fundamentally true and unchallengable. Moreover, each of you seems to have begun your examination of Tolle's work from the viewpoint of "Everything I already believe is true."
Reality is: Most of what you believe is either made up by you directly -- OR -- made up by others preceding you and adopted by you as your own.
What I already expect is this: Some of you will attack me and my message here to you. You will not stop and challenge the basis (source) of your thinking, but you will (in self-righteousness) view both me and this message through the filter and prism of the thinking you already possess as though it were nearly flawless and completely trustworthy.
However, if you are wise, you will see a simple truth: Just because you think it, doesn't make what you think true (coming from and based on reality).
Further, if you are even more wise, you will understand that if even one of your thoughts can either be made up by you (disjointed from reality) or made up by another and adopted as true by you, then in this state you have no immediate way to know which of your thoughts is based in reality and which is made up.
If you are even wiser, you'll stop dead in your tracks and feel the fear (respect) of not knowing what or who to trust. You'll understand that if you cannot know the basis of your own thinking, then you cannot trust that of others because they are like you: filled with thoughts they themselves and certainly you cannot trust as being real Vs made up.
Finally, in this state of mistrust of your own body-of-thought, you'll wonder, "What then can I trust?" It is here that you'll be ready for the fundamental truth that Tolle experienced: I am not what I think, I just am; I exist regardless of what I think and the collection of thoughts in my head and heart.
When you reach this place, then you'll allow the reality of your being to begin to teach you what it means to exist and then learn how to anchor your thoughts (which in themselves are not bad or evil) in reality instead of your imagination (Gen 6:5, 2Cor 10:5). In this place you'll realiize how reality and human thought are not the same and you'll explore what it means to exist, being the watcher of your thoughts and not consumed in them (i.e. defining who you are by them, when actually you are something more than them).
Further along the road, you'll learn how thoughts produce emotions. No emotion arises of itself, but is produced by some image in the mind. When you realize this fact of our common human-machine at work, you'll ask, "If thoughts produce emotions and the emotions hurt and if I choose my thoughts, what is driving me to hurt myself with painful thoughts and emotions?"
If you get to this question: GOOD! You're well on your way! Further down the road, you'll learn how the driver behind this machine is common human flesh. It is the desires, appetites and lusts of the flesh which entice us in to the cycle of thought-->emotion: the flesh feeds on the emotions.
You'll also learn that words and actions are born from one place ONLY: Thoughts(Imaginations) + Emotions. You cannot speak or do without first thinking and feeling. I cannot. You cannot. We all -- cannot.
Try writing on a sheet of paper without thinking thoughts. Try typing a response to this post without thinking thoughts and emotions.
Try going to a movie or watching television without emotions arising from what you see (images taken in with your eyes).
You will find that we are a machine: a machine driven by desires of the flesh or by connections with reality (God Himself). These yield thoughts, which further yield emotions, which are the basis for our words and actions. Those words and actions cycle around back to more flesh or God driven thoughts, emotions ... and on and on and on.
I invite you to challenge your thinking and the source of it.
It is interesting that just three days ago I was given this book! I haven't really read any of it yet however, to give a fair assesment, although from a quick glance, it seemed to use language that was designed to make certain ideas, such as dealing with emotions rational, sound a bit more spiritual or special than what they really are. It is a kind of 'new agey' language which I usually tend to find a bit self-aggrandising, but I don't think that necessarily means there won't be valid points made. (I think even the church world has particular words and sayings however, that give it it's own 'language'. It doesn't mean it is wrong, it's just that you have to kind of understand the language, to really understand what they are getting at).
I appreciated the above post. Far from being rambling and incoherent it made a lot of sense to me. :) It seemed very rational.
My usual approach to such things is read it, if it makes sense, give it a go...if it sounds like gibberish or unsuitable or unrealistic, than leave it. Some people do find such things empowering, others don't.
It is sad to hear about the young girl being led to more or less take her own life through what Tolle has said. But it's like blaming rock music for young kids killing others, or taking their own lives. Obviously there was some underlying mental or spiritual thing she was going through...the ideas in this book tipped something for her...but it could very easily have been anything. There are plenty of people who take their own lives, or make poor decisions, through losing their jobs, than who do through reading self-help books. Does that mean that those jobs are evil, and that people working in those fields should all go and quit their jobs?
My sincerest sympathy goes out to this girls family and friends for their loss.