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#3098 - Friday, March 7, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights    

In this issue an excerpt from Oprah Winfrey's A New Earth Online Class, featuring Eckhart Tolle. It is a 45 page transcript and may be accessed here: http://images.oprah.com/images/obc_classic/book/2008/anewearth/ane_chapter1_transcript.pdf.  

I've selected a portion that illustrates the focus and flow among Oprah, Eckhart, and a caller named Kelly. It emphasizes Kelly's and Oprah's spirituality more than Tolle's confessions. Still, what Tolle says in this exchange is enough. This is the first of ten shows with Eckhart.  

You may also download video and audio formats here: http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/archive/archive_download.jsp    


photos: Eckhart Tolle and Oprha Winfrey  

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): It's that one. All right, so Kelly from Alton, Illinois joins us via

Skype. Kelly? Hi.

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Hi Oprah. Hi Eckhart.

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): Hello.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Hi, what’s your question?

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Thank you for having me.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Well, good. Where are you? Home?

KELLY (ILLINOIS): I’m at home.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Okay, good. This is the coolest thing. Isn’t this cool?

KELLY (ILLINOIS): It is crazy.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Oh it’s crazy. That's what I think. It’s crazy that we're like out here

wherever this is talking to each other. Okay, what's your question?

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Well, my question is regarding religion and spirituality.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Big one.

KELLY (ILLINOIS): I had a Catholic upbringing, I married a Catholic, and we’re raising our

children this way. In reading books such as Tolle's, I’ve really, it’s really opened my eyes up

to a new way of thinking; a new form of spirituality that doesn't always align with the

teachings of Christianity. So my question is to you, Oprah, how have you reconciled these

spiritual teachings with your Christian beliefs?

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Oh, the question's to me. I was resting knowing it was going to

about – I’ve reconciled it because I was able to open my mind about the absolute

indescribable hugeness of that which we call “God.” I took God out of the box because I

grew up in the Baptist church and there were, you know, rules and, you know, belief systems

indoctrined.

Copyright 2008 HARPO PRODUCTIONS INC

Page 12 of 45

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): And I happened to be sitting in church in my late 20's and I was

going to this church where you had to get there at 8:00 in the morning or you couldn't get a

seat. And a very charismatic minister, and everybody was just, you know, into the sermon.

And this great minister was preaching about how great God was and how omniscient and

omnipresent, and God is everything.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): And then he said, and the lord thy god is a jealous god. And I was,

you know, caught up in the rapture of that moment until he said “jealous.” And something

struck me. And I was like, I think about 27 or 28. I was thinking God is all, God is

omnipresent, God is – and God’s also jealous? God is jealous of me?

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): And something about that didn't feel right in my spirit because I

believe that god is love and that god is in all things. And so that's when the search for

something more than doctrine started to stir within me. And I love this quote that Eckhart

has, this is one of my favorite quotes in chapter one where he says, “Man made god in his

own image, the eternal, the infinite, and unnamable was reduced to a mental idol that you

had to believe in and worship as my god or our god.”

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Now I think that's very eloquently put by Eckhart Tolle in chapter

one. But that is exactly what I was feeling when I was, you know, sitting in church that

Sunday listening to the preacher. And you know, it's been a journey to get to the place

where I understand, as I said on the pre-show here, that what I believe is that Jesus came to

show us Christ consciousness.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): That Jesus came to show us the way of the heart and that what

Jesus was saying that to show us the higher consciousness that we're all talking about here.

Jesus came to say, “Look I'm going to live in the body, in the human body and I'm going to

show you how it's done.” These are some principles and some laws that you can use to live

by to know that way. And when I started to recognize that, that Jesus didn't come in my

belief, even as a Christian, I don't believe that Jesus came to start Christianity.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): So that was also very helpful to me. And as I said earlier in the preshow

here, there is a wonderful book called, “Discover the Power Within You” by Eric

Butterworth, which helped me reconcile the two. So that might be really good for those of

you who are Christian and trying to balance the two. What would you say?

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Because one of the things that Eckhart says in the beginning of this

book on page six is this book’s main purpose is not to add information or beliefs to your

mind, or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness. That

is to say, to awaken. He says that on page six. And one of the reasons why I appreciate him

so much is because he truly isn't out to become your next guru. He doesn't want, you know,

all of you who are online with us tonight and those millions who will now hear about this

book, he's not interested in being your guru, correct?

Copyright 2008 HARPO PRODUCTIONS INC

Page 13 of 45

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): Yes,

correct.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Yeah. How would you respond to that? That's one of the biggest

questions that we have coming into our message boards about the same thing that Kelly is

addressing here from Alton about spirituality and religion. This is not trying to tell you how

to believe. And how do you advise people to reconcile this with their religious beliefs?

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): Well,

religion can be an open doorway into spirituality and religion can be a closed door. It

prevents you from going deeper. So that I love reading the New Testament and I also read

the old Testament. Sometimes there’s some incredible jewels in there. And when I went

through this inner transformation and for the first time accidentally I picked up a copy of the

New Testament at my mother's place.

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): And I

started reading and I immediately recognized the deep truths that is there and I realized the

truth that is deeper, that is expressed in what Jesus said is much deeper than what you, how

the church interprets it. There’s a depth to it. And it reflects your own depth when you read

it. So there’s no conflict between this teaching, which is purely spiritual, and any religion.

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): Because

if you go deep enough in your religion, then you all get to the same place. It's a question of

going deeper so there's no conflict here. The important thing is that religion doesn't become

an ideology, so I believe this. And the moment you say “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. But potentially religion can also be an open door.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Well, let me share this with you too, Kelly. There's another book by

a woman named Elizabeth Lesser, it's called, “The Seeker's Guide,” where she talks about the

new spirituality versus the old. So I just wanted to -- this is on page 51 and 52 of Elizabeth

Lesser's book called “The Seeker’s Guide.”

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): And she talks about old spirituality versus the new spirituality and

she says the old was – the old way is the hierarchy has the authority. Church authorities tell

you how to worship in church and how to behave outside of church. The new spirituality is

that you are your own best authority as you work to know and love yourself, you discover

how to live a more spiritual life.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): The old is God and the path to worship him have already been

defined and all you need to do is follow the directions. The new is being able to listen within

for your own definition of spirituality, your deeper longings are under search.

Copyright 2008 HARPO PRODUCTIONS INC

Page 14 of 45

And the old says exact here what Eckhart was saying. That there's only one path it's the right

way and all other ways are wrong. And the spirituality says that many paths lead to spiritual

freedom and peace.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): You have a rich array of gems from which to draw illumination. The

world's religious traditional, mythology, psychology, healing methods, scientific wisdom,

your own experience and that you can begin to string a necklace all your own. Then she

lists, you know, other old and new. And so it's really a question of what you were saying to

us earlier that this material strikes a chord within you.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Something in you opens up and wants, you know, feels alive and is

awakened to that. And yet there is the ideology that says what to you? What is the conflict

for you?

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Just thoughts on the afterlife, things like that. You know, you – in a lot of

books such as Tolle's, we get teachings from Buddhism or Hinduism, and those thoughts

don't go along with, you know, what I was raised to believe as a Christian. So that's been the

biggest thing that I've struggled with, I think, so...

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Well, I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many

more paths to God other than Christianity.

KELLY (ILLINOIS): All right.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): I'm a free-thinking Christian who believes that, who believes in my

way, but I don't believe that it's the only way, with six billion people here on the planet.

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Right.

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): Another

also who uses, who might appeal to you, who uses Christian terminology but goes very very

deep, using Christian language and Christian teachings; Joel Goldsmith.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): yes.

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): So any…

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Joel Goldstein?

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”):

Goldsmith.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Oh, Goldsmith.

Copyright 2008 HARPO PRODUCTIONS INC

Page 15 of 45

ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR “A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE”): Joel

Goldsmith. Any book by Joel Goldsmith that you would try that, and you can see how deep

the Christian teaching can be.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Okay?

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Well, thank you very much.

OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Thanks, Kelly. You're our first Skyper.

KELLY (ILLINOIS): Great. I’m honored.

The 45 page transcript and may be accessed here: http://images.oprah.com/images/obc_classic/book/2008/anewearth/ane_chapter1_transcript.pdf

You may also download video and audio formats here: http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/archive/archive_download.jsp

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