Jan 14, 2009

The Limits of Mysticism - Eckhart Tolle meets anthroposophy

For the following article issued by Insight21 -

The Limits of Mysticism - Eckhart Tolle meets anthroposophy

welcoming comments. . .
(and, if you prefer not to have to sign in - you can just email a comment, and I will post it for you -
jgev at ymail.com)


  1. [re: The Limits of Mysticism - Eckhart Tolle meets anthroposophy]

    amazing, outstanding, very deeply true. Thank you J.


  2. [re:The Limits of Mysticism - Eckhart Tolle meets anthroposophy]

    Hi Josef,

    I read your insight with interest. I am not sure if you are aware of my work www.esotericconnection.net. I haven’t read Tolle, but many people in my orbit think he is a high initiate and has the answer. Am I right in thinking that you are suggesting that he advocates shortcuts? Or is he confusing astral with I?

    Warm regards,

  3. Hi Kristina,
    Very glad you responded, as I did not, in fact, know about the quite useful resource you are providing there in “esoteric connection.”
    I shall be putting a link to that site, thanks for that.

    I do get the sense that Eckhart Tolle is advocating short cuts, compared with the more rigorous anthroposophical kind of discipline. Perhaps E. Tolle needs to have a closer look at Steiner and Kuhlewind, and others, to fill out some of what is missing there.
    On another level, there is that saying that goes "the people get the leaders they deserve" - I infer that so many today would like a quick and easy, convenient way to go about things, hence the popularity.
    And, again, perhaps it's a good avenue to draw people into some kind of practice that tackles these problems of consciousness, egoic challenge, and astrality. At least many are getting under way with these things. Next, however, they'll need to broaden and deepen, and come to the rigorous side of it all.

    As for me, I'm not an old soul, perhaps just a "medium" soul - so don't have enough of the answers to say much more. But I thank my lucky stars for having encountered the works of Steiner and Kuhlewind, resources to keep me on track.

    All best wishes,
    Keep me posted,
    I shall explore the "esoteric connection" site for more inspiration.

    Josef Graf

  4. [re: The Limits of Mysticism]

    Hi Josef, nice to get your article on Tolle's book. I've read both books, and it has helped me deal with emotional issues. I think that his third book will probably go deeper than the first two, as the second one was deeper than the first. He's still a youngster!

  5. ChristopherJanuary 17, 2009

    [re: The Limits of Mysticism]

    I have read some of that article and find it very interesting.

    I have read Tolle and for our course I was asked to read Kühlewind's 'From Normal to Healthy'

    which we then discussed in great depth in School, with an absolutely fantastic teacher who was friends with

    Kühlewind came to this institution to teach.

    My brother Paul, who took this training too, had witnessed Kühlewind.

    I have to do so much work for School, that I don't have much of a chance to read much else,

    but I'll make an effort to finish reading your essay.

    Both those authors fascinate me.

    You take care of yourself.

    with friendly greetings,


  6. [re: Limits of Mysticism]

    I found your insights and information on Eckhart Tolle extremely useful: a young friend sent me a copy of one of Eckhart's books a year ago, and it didn't quite gel for me. (Though I wasn't sufficiently interested to try and work out exactly why - it just felt a bit prescriptive, male, not free-flowing enough.) Your article gave me a lot of additional material and some new perspectives.

    - Ann

  7. [re: Following the Center - on the trail of Love]

    Beautifully written, Josef. Truly a Sun-event of love,


    Bobby Matherne
    Principal Researcher
    The Doyletics Foundation

  8. [re: Limits of Mysticism]

    Hi Josef -
    I was having some difficulty dealing with some past issues in my life and have been working to put them to rest and move on. Someone suggested Tolle's work "Power of in the Now". I read it and found on one hand it offered up some good ideas on how to try and deal "in the day" - but it left me wanting more concrete ideas/suggestions on fighting the welling up and constant replay in my head of some past issues, demons and events - events that have occured and I know cannot be changed - no matter how much I play the useless mind game of 'the what if" or, "I should of done...... " . But he obviously seems to have put his mind to this dilemma with some success. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.



  9. Hi Nick,

    Yes, I think these issues that we deal with, we make progress with, yet some aspects stick with us, until we’ve fully processed the deal, really integrated the change. Part of that is about the very nature of our multi-dimensionality - so much to contend with, at many turns. And the consciousness soul work we are doing is relatively new for us, too.

    As I was recently addressing a similar issue to someone, I thought I would include the following:

    As to advice, I’m not one to give much of that - I mostly defer to the individual’s answers, as they are more fitting than what I can come up with. For one, I’m just a “mid-ranger”, not an old sage kind a guy, for another, your inner wisdom is the finest you’ll ever encounter, as far as that which pertains to your own needs and processing (unless you luck upon some kind of high-order Initiate, such as Steiner.

    As far as the subject of the article goes, The Limits of Mysticism, the topic is mostly dealing with meditational, and related, processing, although it does enter into processing emotional stuff.
    I believe some of what Tolle presents can be made useful for processing emotional and spiritual stuff. Use what works, I’d say.
    But then, look into Kuhlewind and Steiner for some more rigorous development.
    Then, further yet, some of our emotional healing can come from another arena. I’ve explored some of the holistic counseling avenues, and they have been helpful - the kind of program that is based on a twofold path - one area of facilitating others’ processing, balanced with facilitating one’s own process and/or having one’s peer(s) assist with this.
    Perhaps there is such a program in your area?

    Of course, one has to find a holistic, spirit-honoring system of counseling, one that aspires to have you arrive at your own best answers, that honors that, and the multi-layered nature of our being.

    On another tack:

    Shadow dynamics work such that aspects of ourselves we have repressed become volatile. When we listen to a particular shadow aspect, air it, give it a venue of expression, it will gradually come to a place of relative balance. At first it might be extreme, in time it comes toward the “center” of a continuum. At that point, its voice becomes functional, its message has merit, and use within the whole compendium of our being.
    And so it is, with all the parts we have done this to - and you are not alone with this - we all have been doing this shadow creating since childhood (and prior, a la incarnations), then we come to a stage in our life when we have to process these things, else they undo us (imbalances in health, either physical, emotional, mental, spiritual).
    Further, as we do integrate these many parts left out, one by one, we become freed of their grip on us, we become more whole.
    Following along with this, you will then find that you encounter less and less, in other people, the particular problematic countenances that resonate with the parts of yourself you have integrated.

    These shadow aspects relate to that saying - our strengths become our weaknesses, and our weaknesses become our strengths.

    (and, for a reasonable context overview on this issue, and oh-so-many others we are dealing with - I like what a friend recently said - that humanity is like a 14 year-old, simply not mature enough to be very functional yet. What a sobering overview, I like that - although also tempering with that we carry all answers and power within ourselves. But it won’t come overnight, as Tolle might be taken to be suggesting, it’s a long process.)

    Knowing you will supercede my limited perspective, I offer these thoughts, which are only a platform for your own wiser knowing to carry further.

    Keep me posted,

    All best wishes,


  10. ChristopherJanuary 21, 2009

    [re: Limits of Mysticism]

    This article is very good and I agree on everything you say.

    I don't know if I'll be able to add anything to it.

    I am practicing control of thought which involves will activity.

    It sure helps when one is wanting to go to sleep and one is able to shut down one's thinking.

    It is a wonderful thing, to be able to observe one's own mind and not connect oneself with every thought which
    presents itself.

    One can chose which thoughts to connect with and which ones not.

    I believe that one needs this ability, in order to develop a higher form of thinking.

    These recommendations I got from Anthroposophy, in part from Kühlewind.


  11. [response to Christopher]

    Thanks for the input there, Christopher. It has special value, being from one who has been engaged in anthroposophy for some time, and one who has taken some direct training from some of these people like Kuhlewind.

    Also a question on the side - do you suppose John Tauler, former 13th Century principle disciple of Meister Eckhart, may have been a former incarnation of Eckhart Tolle?
    Seems feasible. If Steiner were here now, he'd know in a heartbeat.

    Which leads to one more question for you - is there anyone around now, to your knowledge, who might have that modern level of clairvoyance, to the initiation level that Steiner had?
    (one would have to be able to weed out the "atavistic" clairvoyants form the modern, and the lesser modern-types from the advanced. . . )

  12. A fine analysis and comparison of Tolle and Steiner, which did not demean the former, but treated him with much tact. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Jesaiah Ben-Aharon's new marriage of Anthroposophy with Deleuze in his Elementary School of Spiritual Science. Cf. his blog event and initiation. Thanks!

  13. What might add to problems in communicating about these very serious and difficult issues could be the lack of understanding different meanings of the concept of individuation. In order to examine and clarify different denotations of this concept, it could be useful to look in two main directions.
    One, is the important and very central use Carl G Jung made of the concept in his work, in connection with the total life enrichment of your soul personality.
    The other direction, is what philosophers for almost a thousand years have meant with referens to Aristotle, in connection with how your spirit succeeds in its individual development, out of the total pan-spirit, with crucial help from your individual physical body and with intermediate help of your soul.

  14. Nice article! Riddles of Phylosophy style!

    M. Scaligero, G.Kuhlewind's friend and mentor, would point to Tolle as a "medium" of the forces of Obstacle, but this appellation may include nearly everything which is not anthroposophical. Are these maybe future realizations man will have to come to?

    I have actually found also an anthroposophical book focused on the practise of breathing, and it didn't make any sense to me after knowing Kuhlewind, eventhough the book is quoting R.Steiner and M.Lipson.

    I hope I can make similar documents for my different experiences before Steiner, too.

  15. A wonderful read that expressed in words an inner dissatisfaction that I've been feeling about the Power of Now philosophy.Thank you most kindly.