The Church of Oprah?


Someone sent me a link to this YouTube video on “The Church of Oprah Exposed.” Oprah Winfrey has launched a series of webcasts in partnership with New Age author Eckhart Tolle, and claims viewership of 2 million people. I invite you–Christians, in particular–to view the YouTube video. I think it’s pretty persuasive, especially for those who begin with a Biblical mindset, but I’m not going to comment further on that here. Instead I’ve gone to Oprah’s website to see what she has to say for herself. (I’ll come back to the video in a bit also.)

Actually, the most telling reading on Oprah’s site was from Tolle. There is, for example, an excerpt from his book A New Earth. It gets off to a classic New Age beginning:

Is humanity ready for a transformation of consciousness, an inner flowering so radical and profound that compared to it the flowering of plants, no matter how beautiful, is only a pale reflection? Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones, so to speak, transparent to the light of consciousness? Can they defy the gravitational pull of materialism and materiality and rise above identification with form that keeps the ego in place and condemns them to imprisonment within their own personality?

The possibility of such a transformation has been the central message of the great wisdom teachings of humankind. The messengers—Buddha, Jesus, and others, not all of them known—were humanity’s early flowers. They were precursors, rare and precious beings.

Regarding Tolle’s teachings,

This online class is not for or against any religion. It is intended to help all human beings, all over the world, bring about a shift in consciousness. Eckhart says, “How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness…. When I occasionally quote the words of Jesus or the Buddha…or from other teachings, I do so not in order to compare, but to draw your attention to the fact that in essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many forms.

I do not accuse Tolle of willful deception. For all I know, he may be fully convinced this is true. Nevertheless this is entirely wrong. These sorts of things are commonly believed among adherents of new spirituality, but they are quite simply and thoroughly false.

In one aspect, the New Age is not wrong: in its calling persons to spirituality. I have written in support of that, as has Christian psychologist and author Henry Cloud. I fully endorse the search for something deeper, stronger, better than day-to-day material existence.

But this new spirituality is wrong–most obviously wrong, that is–in its claim that it supports, completes, and unites all the sages’ wisdom. This cannot be done, and I object in strongest terms to the distortion of Christianity–and of Jesus Christ himself–that this entails.

Jesus Christ did not say that spiritual fulfillment is about developing a new state of consciousness. He most decidedly did not say (as new spirituality proponents typically do) that it’s about recognizing one’s own divinity. He did not say, as Oprah did in the video linked above, that “There couldn’t possibly be one way;” that there are millions of paths to God. He did not say, as Oprah said in the video, “God, in the essence of all consciousness, isn’t something to believe, God is; and God is a feeling experience, not a believing experience… if God for you is still about a belief, then it’s not truly God.”

In fact, when Jesus rebuked his followers it was for their lack of belief. He said he was the one way to the Father. He said that spiritual fulfillment comes from recognizing we are not God, that we need God, and that we can only come to God through recognizing and believing who he is, how we fall short, and how he graciously draws us to himself anyway through Christ. Tolle cannot reconcile that with his supposedly all-inclusive teachings.

Supposedly all-inclusive, I emphasize. In another video Tolle says that “the moment you say that only my belief or our belief is true, and you deny other people’s beliefs, then you’ve adopted an ideology, and then religion becomes a closed door.” Mr. Tolle, I ask you this: do you believe that? Do you then deny what I wrote in the previous two paragraphs? You say you are not for or against any religion; but Christianity does claim to have an exclusive claim through Jesus Christ: are you not opposed to that exclusive claim?

Christianity’s scandal in today’s mindset, which I have fairly emblazoned in fire across this page, is its exclusivism, its claim that it is true and contradictory beliefs are false. For this I do not apologize. It is nothing more nor less than saying that what we believe is true, we believe is true. Tolle, for his part, is saying that if his way is true, then Christ’s claims are false. He excludes my religious beliefs. In fact all belief systems are exclusivistic. (Hindu teachers in Asia are appalled at Western versions of Eastern religions that claim to accept all truths as equal. They at least know better.)

Yet, oh, this new spirituality sounds so inviting! It sounds so marvelous that we could enter into a new form of consciousness and find the freedom we so desperately want! Indeed there is freedom to be sought and to be found, in Christ. There is light, and enlightenment, and spiritual guidance, and refreshment, and all the things the New Agers tell us they can provide. There is also one thing they cannot offer: truth. For their way is patently self-contradictory, and further, it requires us to believe that we are God ourselves, that we have it within ourselves to solve all our own eternal problems (really, now!) and that Christ’s life, his death on the cross, and his resurrection were just one among many of the universe’s nice ideas.

I have great sympathy with the new spirituality’s rejection of modernist materialism. Thus far, so good. The rest, however, is rubbish.

Related: Knowing the True God

16 Responses

  1. Oprah’s been getting more and more comfortable with the new-age hoodoo, and all the while claiming to be a Christian. Some of what she says makes me wonder how many of her fans are buying into her postmodern caricature of spirituality.

  2. Casey says:

    Wow…I had no idea about this. I guess Oprah could by Obama’s false prophet, if he turns out to be the antichrist! lol.

  3. Scott says:


    My friend, who has been in failed relationship after failed relationship is always buying “New Age spirituality self-help” books.
    He lives according to the books ideals and standards for about a week…. and then is back moping around about how much of a failure he is, how he’ll never find the love of his life, and how he’ll never be truly happy.

    Recently he was talking about some hokum he got from a new book that is “showing him” how to shed his ego and “unshackle” himself from his personality…. or something like that.

    Reading your post makes me think that this is what he stumbled on.
    This book will be “It” for a solid month or two, then that flock will become disillusioned again and try to find the next big thing promising them to finally fulfill their lives. Whatever that is supposed to mean.

  4. SteveK says: has an article on this.

  5. Eric Peterman says:

    I thumbed through Tolle’s book A New Earth in Costco today and a couple things just made me feel sick to my stomach.

    The first was that Tolle writes of his readers, “You are the Truth!” and goes on to praise the words of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” but in a sense that has Jesus leading the way for all of us in that we all ought to be saying this “I am the truth” about ourselves. Tolle turns the obvious exclusive claim of Christ right on its head. One may even think Jesus is wrong about his claim, but still understand that Jesus’ claim about himself is exclusive. Tolle’s approach to authorial intent is mindless blather. I gave up trying to even read some of the paragraphs because the flow of logic was so utterly absent.

    The second was the number of people walking up to the book to read it and buy it, as if it was to be taken seriously and to heart.

  6. Matt says:

    I think it’s sad that you came to the hasty conclusion of calling it rubbish.

    Did you use the same critical process when you read the bible?

  7. Tom Gilson says:

    Hasty? No, I’ve read many, many books and articles by New Age authors. I’ve outlined in this article (and others) why I think it’s on the wrong track.

    I have indeed applied critical thinking toward the Bible–in fact, three-plus years of interacting with skeptics on this blog has surely forced me to do that over and over again.

  8. Debi says:

    People who do so well for themselves in “this world’s” terms have a very difficult time dealing with it. Winfrey has looked to Tolle (for now) because he is telling her what she wants to hear or believe…or feel (whatever term they want to use). It is difficult to for them to imagine that this in itself is ideology as you said, Tom. And easily could produce a “religion.” The truth is no one knows. We believe we know, we feel we know, we think we know, we have faith but we don’t know.

  9. ThreeAO says:

    “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4

    This has been happening since the first century and will continue to. We should not be afraid but do our job, to “preach the Word”.

    “18Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[d] 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

    24See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what he promised us—even eternal life.

    26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
    1 John 2

  10. Suzy Sturm says:

    I read Eckhart’s first book 10 years ago, saw him probably a dozen times and had a simple faith that, as Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven is within.”  Experiences are only pointers and I at first had some incredible glimpses and otherworldly insights which inspired my continuing faith in this teacher.  I would suddenly see that there was no “me” – just this pure awareness and the whole world appeariing in this awareness. There was no separation from those around me – I vividly remember  setting in a hotel lobby, experiencing the pride of the janitor in his freshly polished floors, the joy of two young girls headed for the spa, and the sadness of the concierege who was talking softly into the phone about a death in her family.  I was all them, and they were me.  My thinking would completely suspend itself leaving me with the most profound sense of unity and joy.    But experiences are not “it” because experiences come and go. And what YOU are, never changes.  I discovered that I was the screen on which all of these appearances occured.  I am the aliveness of life.   I now see what Jesus meant by “no one comes to the Father but through me.”  He WAS referring to each of us…why, in his compassion, would he claim such exclusivity?  The Father comes as joy, peace and love of others…I know of no other definition of God.   I also took opportunities to be with others who had come to the same understanding as Eckhart.  Some through the pointers of teachers, some through suffering, some with spontaneous awakenings. They all say the same thing as Eckhart, with their own delightful differences in personality.   Now life is very ordinary, very simple, often with wonderment at the simpliest things.  I go to sleep and wake up laughing spontaneously, with joy that wells up from deep within.  No one on the street would guess that so much peace abides here.  You, each of you, ARE the light of the world.  Because the world cannot appear without your “light” – your awareness. Do you think Jesus would have wanted it any other way?

  11. Tom Gilson says:

    Suzy, the timing of your comment is interesting, since I just posted this, and your comment could have fit there as easily as here.

    My short answer to “Do you think Jesus would have wanted it any other way” is another question: “How would we know what Jesus would or would not have wanted?” That other post points toward the only answer that makes sense, which is to find out what we can about Jesus from the best sources we have available….

  12. Bright says:

    The whole of 2 Timothy Chapter 3 is very relevant to what we are discussing now and I believe it answers any questions on the mind of any Christian who has any doubts as to where he or she should stand.

    Vrs 5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    Vrs 7: Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    The end is near!

  13. Suzy says:

    I just looked over your “Church of Oprah – Exposed.” I think a little understanding is needed here. There is no master plan by Oprah and Eckhart to take over the religions of the world. It is not a religion of any kind. There will never be a church or anything you can classify as “organized.” It would defeat the whole purpose. Eckhart is one of many that have recognized their own true nature and are trying as best they can to show the same to you. Eckhart happens to be more public…most are living very simple lives, and most, like Eckhart had no plans to teach but others recognized in them something that they also wanted and asked them to share their experience. These simple individuals aren’t asking for your first born, to renounce your religion or to do anything different in this world than what you are currently doing. They have only one goal. To facilitate the end of suffering for others, as it has ended for them. Just a little looking, a little investigation into the true nature of things is all that is required. Once they have given you the pointers that’s it. The rest is up to you, to investigate yourself, and to Grace to give you the final understanding.

    Those who have awakened to this understanding do say the change will come in consciousness, not something physical. For a very simple reason. Consciousness or Awareness is the only thing that exists. Something I will try my best to explain to you in a moment.

    Everyone is trying to reconnect, become one with or no longer separate from God or the Source, not realizing that separation from God is impossible, for God is all there is. It always baffled me growing up that my Christian family would insist that God was Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient and yet there could still be a devil that would oppose Him and billions of sinful souls that could be separate from Him (some of them forever in the bowels of hell). Yikes! If God is ALL knowing, ALL powerful and ALL present, then God is…ALL. No separation is possible.

    Ultimately it is very simple. It would have to be. And grasping intellectually what I am about to share will not be “it,” since this knowing comes from beyond intellectual understanding. Which leads me to your quote: “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” What this quote is saying is that you cannot get this with the mind, with the brain or the intellect. No amount of learning, studying, hearing or repeating “the word”(from any religion or book or spirituality) will get you there. Neither will any amount of practicing, analyzing, arguing, preaching or meditating on. Because the “knowing” of the truth will come from beyond the mind spontaneously when you least expect it. It will be recognized, remembered – as in you knew it before. Thus the quote: “You shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” The truth, once “remembered” is the knowing that will set you free. When it is seen, laughter happens. The seeking is over. And what is seen is the amazing simplicity of it all.

    You ARE what it is you are seeking. If that is true then what you are has to be known to you in your direct and immediate experience. You’ve simply been looking the other way. You miss it because you attention is in the world of form and the objects of your five senses. What you are cannot be know by your sensory apparatus. Or found in the world of form.

    What you are is your everyday, ordinary AWARENESS (Awakeness, beingness, consciousness).

    What you are as AWARENESS is eternal, timeless, changeless and formless. Don’t just read this, try to see it for yourself. It is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. It is ALL. Everything else that comes through your senses is constantly moving “mind stuff”. Think about it – without your Awareness, none of your sensory experiences would occur. Awareness precedes and precludes everything else. Literally everything other than your Awareness is the “content” of your is non-eternal, duality (good/bad; pleasure/pain) past and future, always changing, aging, dying, renewing and constantly moving – including emotions and thoughts, all of which are “objects” even though they are more subtle than your body. Your so called “mind” is simply thoughts-in-motion which if you didn’t grab on and hold them and identify with them they would move out as clouds do in a sky. Your body and mind is NOT who you are…they are objects in your AWARENESS, no different than a chair is an object in your awareness. Are you aware because you have a body, or do you have a body because you are aware? What is it in your direct experience?

    If I ask you right now, “do you exist?” you would consider the question silly. You “know” immediately that you exist. You can say without any hesitation – “I am.” It is the ONLY thing in all this world that you know for certain – I am! I exist. You know this beyond the mind, without labels, without thought. You know it immediately and presently, the only “time” it can be known. Please stop and consider this from your own experience. If I ask you, “are you aware?” your answer would be an immediate “yes.” What you haven’t stopped to consider is that AWARENESS is your essential nature. It is who you are. There is nothing beyond “I am.” All the rest – the seeming universe filled with objects – is a projection of the mind. A visual, hearing, feeling or tactile experience. At any given moment all you know of the world is a hand ful of sensations and a series of thoughts.

    There will be a lot of squawking at this point. After all “I am” is the prerogative of God. Yes, that’s true. Take it for what it is worth. You cannot deny your own experience!

    Awareness is Omnipotent…all knowing. Omnipotence is not about “knowledge of things” – it is knowing beyond form. It is the intelligence that courses the blood through your veins, the breath in your body and moves the planets through space. See for yourself. You “know” that you are awake and aware. Did it require any study, any thinking to know this? Any other kind of knowledge requires the brain, requires thought. It is not “I think therefore I am.” Quite the reverse. I am. I exist. Thinking arises in what I am. You don’t arise in the world, the world arises in you – in your awareness. The manifested world as you know it exists only because you are. (Your Awareness IS). I am, therefore the world is. All this in your direct, immediate, right-now experience, the only place it could ever occur.

    Awareness is Omnipresent. Don’t take my word…look at it yourself. In your direct experience your awareness is always NOW. Your awareness never leaves you, never comes and goes, is never past or future. When you stir in sleep there is something aware of the stirring. Awareness is what looks through your apparent eyes and never ages. But attention is so busy being fascinated by objects in the apparent world that it fails to “notice” what it is!

    Awareness is Omnipotent. All power. No room for any other power. Without your awareness nothing would exist. Do you see this? How could Satan – a power opposing ALL exist as something separate and in opposition to All? The very concept of Satan, the idea of Satan could not exist without your Awareness. As a concept it is as fleeting as any other thought or object which is not-eternal, not-awareness. You know this, right now. You can’t help but see it. Omnipotent doesn’t mean power over something else. There is nothing else! “OMNI” means ALL – there is nothing else. There is only All – One power. One Awareness, manifesting in many apparent forms. Manifesting as YOU.

    Even people who have had Near Death Experiences say that they lose all form and are nothing but Awareness. It doesn’t take death to realize that. Realize that now and be free!

  14. Suzy, again says:

    And while you have me going – something very loving to consider from another source:

    Nothing Can be Apart from God

    You see the flesh or recognize the spirit. There is no compromise between the two. If one is real the other must be false, for what is real denies its opposite. There is no choice that matters but this one. What you decide in this determines all you see and think is real and hold as true. On this one choice does all your world depend, for here have you established what you are, as flesh or spirit in your own belief. If you choose flesh, you never will escape the body and sin as your own reality, for you have chosen that you want it so. But choose the spirit, and all Heaven bends to touch your eyes and bless your holy sight, that you may see the world of flesh no more except to heal and comfort and to bless.

    Nothing can be apart from God. This follows from the simple truth that ideas leave not their source, though their effects but seem to be apart. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out, and seems to be external to the mind, is not outside at all, but an effect of what is in, and has not left its source. If this be true, how can you be apart from God? How could you walk the world alone and separate from your Source? You cannot walk the world apart from God, because you could not be without Him. He is what your life is. Where you are He is. There is one life. That life you share with Him. Nothing can be apart from Him and live.

    Yet where He is, there must be holiness as well as life. No attribute of His remains unshared by everything that lives. What lives is holy as Himself, because what shares His life is part of Holiness, and could no more be sinful than the sun could choose to be of ice; the sea elect to be apart from water, or the grass to grow with roots suspended in the air.

    There is a light in you which cannot die; whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you. All things that live bring gifts to you, and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet. The scent of flowers is their gift to you. The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat, and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head.

    The light in you is what a weary world longs to behold. All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you. The light you carry is their own. And thus they see in you their holiness, saluting you as savior and as God. Accept their reverence, for it is due to Holiness Itself, Which walks with you, transforming in Its gentle Light all things unto Its likeness and Its purity.

    This is the way salvation works. As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world. It heralds not the end of sin in punishment and death. In lightness and in laughter is sin gone, because its quaint absurdity is seen. It is a foolish thought, a silly dream, not frightening, ridiculous perhaps, but who would waste an instant in approach to God Himself for such a senseless whim? Yet you have wasted many, many years on just this foolish thought. The past is gone, with all its fantasies. They keep you bound no longer. The approach to God is always near.
    You who believed that God’s Last Judgment would condemn the world to hell along with you, accept this holy truth: God’s Judgment is the gift of correction He bestowed on all your errors, freeing you from them, and all effects they ever seemed to have. To fear God’s saving grace is but to fear complete release from suffering, return to peace, security and happiness, and union with your own Identity.

    God’s Final Judgment is as merciful as every step in His appointed plan to bless His Son, and call him to return to the eternal peace He shares with him. Be not afraid of love. For it alone can heal all sorrow, wipe away all tears, and gently waken from his dream of pain the Son whom God acknowledges as His. Be not afraid of this. Salvation asks you give it welcome. And the world awaits your glad acceptance, which will set it free.

    Little child, this is God’s Final Judgment: “You are still My holy Son, forever innocent, forever loving and forever loved, as limitless as your Creator, and completely changeless and forever pure. Therefore awaken from your dream and return to Me. I am your Father and you are My Son.”

  15. Tom Gilson says:

    Suzy, there is so much in what you wrote that is entirely mixed up and wrong, and quite demonstrably so. I’ll start with this.

    It is not a religion of any kind.

    There are many kinds (definitions) of religion, and yes, this is a religion of one kind. Your statement is either disingenuous or uninformed. One definition of “religion” is a system of belief that presents teachings regarding the nature of ultimate reality and the ultimate good, and how a person can best be aligned with the good. Tolle does this. Oprah does this.

    You say there will never be anything I would classify as organized. Nonsense! Wake up, Suzy. There are books. There is teaching in those books. There is (this is a synonymous word, Suzy) doctrine! There are classes. There is a communication system. This is organized.

    These simple individuals aren’t asking [you] … to renounce your religion

    Yes, they are. They are calling on Christians to deny the basic truths of our faith. There is no compatibility between Christian beliefs and Tollean beliefs regarding who God is, who and what humans are, what the ultimate good is, or how we align ourselves with the ultimate good. To accept what Tolle teaches is to deny Christianity. (See above. I’ve written plenty on this, and I know you have read it.)

    What really, really astonishes me is how you can even suggest what you’re saying here. I am flabbergasted, agog, amazed!

    For a very simple reason. Consciousness or Awareness is the only thing that exists.

    See Genesis 1:1 for a quick refutation.

    not realizing that separation from God is impossible, for God is all there is.

    See Isaiah for a quick refutation. If you do not accept this as authoritative, as refutation of your point that separation from God is impossible, at least accept it as evidence that Oprah and Tolle are not teaching anything compatible with Biblical beliefs.

    If God is ALL knowing, ALL powerful and ALL present, then God is…ALL. No separation is possible.

    Then God is evil? No.

    “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” What this quote is saying is that you cannot get this with the mind, with the brain or the intellect.

    No it isn’t. That’s not what it’s saying in the context. In context (2 Timothy 3:1-17) it’s an indictment on those who will not study, learn from, heed, and obey the Holy Scriptures. You can’t just change the meaning of a quote that way, without any attention to what the person who wrote it was talking about!!

    Thus the quote: “You shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

    The full context (John 8:31-38) again, please! Jesus is saying to follow his teaching, and to follow him. Note that the sentence does not begin where you began it. It begins with the crucial word “if:”

    So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    You ARE what it is you are seeking.

    And you say this is not a denial of Christianity?! What on earth are you talking about?! This is the antithesis of Christianity! Christianity is about seeking God, and if you answer and tell me that I need to learn that I’m God, then you’re even farther from understanding Christianity than you think you are!

    What you are as AWARENESS is eternal, timeless, changeless and formless.

    I change. I am not timeless. I have a form. God is eternal, timeless, and changeless. I am not God. Neither are you.

    All the rest – the seeming universe filled with objects – is a projection of the mind.


    You see the flesh or recognize the spirit. There is no compromise between the two. If one is real the other must be false, for what is real denies its opposite.

    The Gnostic error in a nutshell, denied (in its incipient form) in several places in the New Testament, and much more directly by the early Church Fathers. Believe it if you want, but don’t say it’s compatible with Christianity. The Bible teaches that God is Spirit, and that he created matter including human flesh, as a real thing, separate and distinct from himself, and that at its original creation it was good; and that though it is marred now by sin it will be restored to perfect goodness in the final state. Matter was created by God. Humans, we who have these physical bodies by God’s intention, are also in God’s image, meaning that we have a spiritual nature as well as a physical one. The two coexist, they do not contradict.

    Yet where He is, there must be holiness as well as life. No attribute of His remains unshared by everything that lives. What lives is holy as Himself, because what shares His life is part of Holiness, and could no more be sinful than the sun could choose to be of ice; the sea elect to be apart from water, or the grass to grow with roots suspended in the air.

    Tell that to the families of the Mumbai or 9/11 victims. They’ll be so pleased to hear that nothing can be bad, nothing can be anything but sweetness and light.

    This is one of the most pernicious things about your theorizing, Suzy: it calls evil good.

    Theorize all you will, Suzy, but don’t, don’t, don’t say this twisted version of a religion is no religion, or that it’s compatible with Christianity. Wake up and see reality for what it is!

  16. Suzy, again says:

    There are many individuals who have awakened to this truth -that we are spirit and not body. Even within Christianity recently a very devout Christian named Bernadette Roberts says the same thing, and like other teachers who share it, describes it from her own unique personality and Christian background.

    These so called “teachers” (really they are “share-ers”) are just individuals sharing their experience. They don’t get together, don’t know each other for the most part. They never talk about other religions, and stick only to what they directly experienced and how it effects them on a daily basis. THAT’s IT!! Those are your grand conspirators.

    Every talk I’ve ever attended they will frequently say, “I’ve given you all I can, you don’t need to come back. Put down my book and open your own book.” Their books only describe their personal experience and answer questions about that experience. Their experience all points to the same understanding but they describe it very different ways, through their different personalities. That alone tells me that it is a real experience.

    They are simply individuals sharing through talks and inspired writings and dialogues from meetings. Period. It just doesn’t work to say it is religion. There are no churches, prayers, rituals, prescriptions for behavior, laws or common text.

    They are one person, here and there. No missionaries, no preachers, no political activism. They don’t claim to be the only way to God, far from it. To them everyone is right where they are supposed to be, every person, from all religions. All have the same “invitation” to see God as within themselves and not outside themselves. I was a Christian most of my life and I see this truth thoughout the scriptures. But the translations of various preachers all assume that the body is real – which dramatically changes the translation! All were inspired early on by spiritual awakenings but man, instead of seeing the “word” as a pointer to something beyond words, cementized the word itself into laws, proscriptions, violations, etc.

    As far as good versus evil, Mother Teresa said it well. She said “I see the face of Christ in every man, past all his distressing disguises.” The body, this temporary coat you wear in your earthly travels, is NOT who you are. At death you will take off the coat, which served you well, and exit the stage. You will return to what you are forever – eternal goodness and purity. And if all people could see and recognize that in themselves that is all they would project onto the world and there would be no (apparent) evil. They do not know themselves, that is all. Jesus certainly preached that – “Father they know not what they do.” If you think you are evil and unworthy that is what you will project onto the world.

    All that I have tried to say is that we can find this goodness in ourselves because it is what we are. You start by investigating your own simple awareness. What can possibly be threatening about that? The kingdom of Heaven is within. The spirit can be seen by noticing the attributes that I have pointed out about your simple awareness. Once you identify with the spirit rather than the body, then you receive the gifts – peace beyond understanding, joy that wakes you up in the morning. It’s so simple. If this is threatening, I’m so sorry. It wasn’t meant to be.

    And with that I will finish. You and I both know, Tom that it is probably fruitless to discuss these things. I wish you well on your Christian journey. All can be found within your path for those who choose to be there.