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Eckhart Tolle

QUESTION: Eckhart Tolle - What is his view on the afterlife?


At 29, Eckhart Tolle suffered severe depression, bringing him to the point of suicide. In a desperate final hour, he claims hearing a voice within saying, “Resist nothing.” When Oprah Winfrey recently asked, “Do you have any thought on the body and what happens after we die?” Tolle simply responded, “I don’t give it any thought.”

Unlike Eckhart Tolle, many others give serious thought regarding an afterlife. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever” (1 Corinthians 15:50). It was a deliberate thought on God’s part when He sent Jesus Christ, promising eternal life to those who accept His Son. “Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies . . . For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die” (1 Corinthians 15:52–53). It is Tolle’s belief that, “You cannot find true happiness by looking toward the future.”1 In contrast, through our relationship with God, we experience true joy and a glorious future in Heaven.

Eckhart Tolle – What is his view on heaven?
In terms of Heaven, what is Eckhart Tolle’s view? The Bible calls us “citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives...[Who] will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere” (Philippians 3:20-21). In Chapter 10 of Tolle’s New Earth, he would like us to believe that, “The new heaven, the awakened consciousness [a realization of Presence], is not a future state to be achieved...Heaven is right here in the midst of you.” Instead of a blessed hope and an eternal life, where God lives with His people, removing “all of their sorrows, crying, or pain,” (Revelation 21:3-4), Tolle’s Power of Now views our thoughts of the future as stressful. “People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is not past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”2

Eckhart Holle – What is his view on salvation?
In terms of salvation, what is Eckhart Tolle’s view? Chapter 10 of The New Earth identifies salvation as a state of being which is attained through one’s own power. Tolle’s beliefs regarding salvation reveal:
  • “The only existence the future actually has is as a thought form in your mind, so when you look to the future for salvation, you are unconsciously looking to your own mind for salvation.”
  • “True salvation is freedom from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need.”3
  • “There is no salvation in time. You cannot be free in the future. Presence is the key to freedom, so you can only be FREE -- right now!"4
Tolle’s belief system dismisses the existence of sin, hence there is no need for salvation -- no need to trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). As followers of Jesus Christ we experience freedom that lasts forever, beyond the present moment. “God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins” (Colossians 1:14).

1 Oprah Winfrey, “Oprah Talks to Eckhart Tolle, O, The Oprah Magazine, May 2008, p. 344.
2 Ibid.
3 Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now, New World Library, Novato, CA, 2000. [excerpts from various sites of his book]
4 Ibid.

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What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, I want to follow Jesus

I am a follower of Jesus

I still have questions

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