(February 16, 1948- )
Born in Lunen, Germany
Birth name is Ullrich Leonard Tolle
Spiritual teacher, adviser, and author
Wrote 'The Power of Now' (1997) and 'A New Earth' (2005)
Also wrote 'Practicing the Power of Now,' 'Stillness Speaks,' 'Milton's Secret,' 'Oneness with All Life,' and 'Guardians of Being'
Marketed a series of popular DVDs based on his teachings, including 'The Flowering of Human Consciousness' (2001), 'Practicing Presence' (2003), 'Finding Your Life's Purpose' (2008), and 'The Doorway Into Now' (2009)
Teaches the mantra 'I Am That I Am'
Sells lesson-related products though Eckhart Teachings, formed in 2009; also owns Eckhart Tolle TV, which streams monthly group meditations and teaching-related content (2009)
Resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, since 1995
Why he might be annoying
He's a malignant narcissist by his own admission.
He accepted a postgraduate research scholarship with Cambridge University, but he dropped out soon after accepting (1977).
His racket reaps commercial rewards by bilking vulnerable people with low self-esteem out of their earnings and then denies wanting to make a profit from it.
His website claims that he is not 'for or against any religion' but he has built his career on showing contempt for Judeo-Christian teachings and beliefs.
He claims to have had an out-of-body experience in which he was reincarnated as a 'spiritual teacher.'
He claims to rely on a spiritual construct he named 'The Source,' which helps to 'dissolve' the ego.
He has claimed that said 'Source' conveyed to him that the Biblical God is a mere 'projection of the human mind,' that the individual can embrace themselves as 'God' instead, and even that the notion of 'death' is a falsehood.
He's been known to encapsulate his beliefs in semi-apocalyptic terms, with language cutting it close to sounding like an ultimatum (e.g. 'Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction').
John Stackhouse critiqued his following by saying that he 'gives a certain segment of the population exactly what they want: a sort of supreme religion that purports to draw from all sorts of lesser, that is, established religions' (sort of an interfaith 'buffet' if you will).
Oprah developed a near-obsession with his books, even initiating global 'webinar' sessions for ten weeks - touting his 'New Earth' views to gullible 'students' (by the end of May 2008, it had attracted some 11 million from 139 countries).
Why he might not be annoying
He is fluent in both German and Spanish.
He liked playing in bombed out buildings growing up as a kid in post-WWII Germany.
He dealt with long periods of depression before experiencing his 'transformation' at the age of 29.
He was listed by Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world (2011).
He was dubbed 'the most popular spiritual author in the United States' by the New York Times (2008).
'Power' and 'New Earth' had sold a collective eight million copies in North America alone, by 2009.
He was a speaker at the Vancouver Peace Summit, along with such esteemed attendees as The Dalai Lama.
'New Earth' hit the New York Times Best Sellers List a staggering 46 times, between 2005 and 2008.
He compiled an album of music for one of his meditation projects (featuring musicians as diverse as The Beatles, The Stones, Debussy, and Steve Roach).
His favorite movies are 'Groundhog Day,' 'American Beauty,' 'The Horse Whisperer,' 'Gran Torino,' 'Titanic,' 'Avatar,' 'Being There,' and 'Forrest Gump.'
He counts Mahavira, Buddha, Parmenides Jesus, Zoroaster, Lao Tzu,Epictetus, Rumi,Jung, and Emerson as his various influences.
Share this link with a friend:
Year In Review:
In 2016, Out of 27 Votes: 59.26% Annoying
Featured in the following Annoying Collections: