Hopefully, we’ll wrap up Tolle’s use of Scripture this time.
On page 267, Tolle speaks of tapping into the power of the present moment and quotes Jesus to show his case. The passages quoted are found in John 14:10 and John 5:30. “It is not I but the Father within me who does the works.” and “I can of my own self do nothing.”
This is not talking at all about the present moment. The first passage tells what Jesus was talking about. He was NOT talking about a power we can all tap into. He was talking about his unique ability based on his unique relationship to the Father. As the Wisdom of God, he could not act as an independent agent as it were. What would it mean for Jesus to say “The Father is out there, but I don’t need him” and “I do everything by myself without the Father”?
No. This is not a passage about dependence on some unseen power in the universe. This is speaking about who Jesus is. I really have a problem when someone like Tolle takes a Scripture like this and makes it mean something that it never would mean to the original hearers, especially since it contradicts everything else that they said.
The next quote is of Jesus saying “Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Tolle quotes this in talking about being one with the totality of the universe.
Unfortunately, that is nowhere taught in the New Testament. We have a special place in the universe, no doubt, but we are not one with it. We are a part of it. In fact, the medieval Christians thought we were the most important part and one human being was of more value than the whole universe. The context was not to worry and to trust in God.
In the last chapter, we have John 5:30 being quoted again about not speaking out of the ego. Now I find this odd as Jesus did speak about himself quite often. He did speak of his being identity in relationship with the Father and he made so many claims that if anyone else made those same claims, we would think that they were a madman or the most vicious blasphemer of all.
Next, Tolle speaks of the creative power of the mind and the conscious manifestation of form and says this is what Jesus referred to in Mark 11:24 saying “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.”
There is a greater context a Jew would understand of being in faithful relationship to God. In that case, you would get what you asked for because you were walking in his will. This would also result in your not asking for many outlandish requests. The idea that we can get whatever we ask for though is quite nonsensical. Especially since when this is said in John 14-16, suffering is also promised.
Rev. 21:1 and Luke 17:21 are discussed, but those have been discussed in the earlier blogs and I refer readers to those.
The last then is Matthew 5:5 saying the meek will inherit the Earth. Tolle equates this with the egoless.
To which, one can imagine the Jew listening saying “Huh?”
No. It means the meek. Those who don’t have the power and the strength are those that will inherit the Earth. Who is that? That’s us. That’s the church. We will be the ones that live in the re-creation. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that we will live forever on Paradise Earth. They got one thing right. They just shortened it. We will live forever in Paradise Cosmos.
Now why is this being done with Tolle?
Friends. It’s because ideas matter. Some are true and some are false and if you want to live in accordance with reality, it’s best to have true ideas. Now Tolle could still have some ideas, but his interpretation of Scripture often is just wrong. That concerns me greatly in a postmodern age where people start thinking any text can mean whatever you want it to mean.
Tomorrow, we will start looking at Tolle’s worldview itself.