Wednesday, 15 June 2011


It seems that ET comes from what could more widely be labelled The Advaitist tradition (Advaita = not-two) or non dualist tradition. There is a NEO-advaitist tradition* which has developed recently which parallels remarkably the conflict that Christians know as law verses grace. The old Advaitist tradition seemed to advocate various disciplines and meditations etc which would eventually lead the seeker into a deeper experience of 'being, consciousness, bliss' (or sat-chit-ananda). However, contrary to this the NEO-advaitist claimed that none of these works were necessary ... ALL IS FREELY GIVEN NOW IN THIS MOMENT. We need to be nowhere else other than where we are now to be in possession of / possessed by all that God is and has for us. This caused quite a stir to those who had practised disciplines year in year out and claimed to be adepts / gurus and suchlike!

And so today Christians are going through the same conflict which the early church went through - that of works versus grace. Furthermore the church struggles also with a highly intellectualised or sentimentalised form of Christian works. We qualify ourselves by our mental assent to certain well chosen biblical passages and judge others to be Christian proportional to their agreement with those biblical principals we deem to be most important from the Bible. Others make the most of their experience to the extent that they measure the authenticity of others accordingly. This is to me just another form of WORKS which we are imposing upon others to give us personal self righteous leverage.
Let me quote from Roy Hession's book 'We would see Jesus':

"The whole essence of grace is that it is undeserved. The moment we have to do something to make ourselves more acceptable to God, or the moment we have to have a certain feeling or attribute of character in order to be blessed of God, then grace is no more grace. Grace permits us to come (nay, demands that we come) as empty sinners to be blessed, empty of right feelings, good character, and satisfactory record, with nothing to commend ourselves but our deep need, fully and frankly acknowledged."

The question is this: Is it at all possible that a person can have a pure experience of Jesus Christ and pure devotion to Jesus Christ without having any doctrinal stance whatsoever neither any emphasis on 'experience' (even to the extent as with St John of the Cross the denying of experience for the sake of pure faith - which would be another 'work';o)?? His/her only spiritual position would be an ego-less service of devoted love to others and all things in surrender to that which is now. In Christian terms it would be surrender to the Father manifesting the self sacrificing love of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

If the answer to my question is yes - then I would heartily recommend Tolle’s books which seek to steer the reader in the way of neo-advaitist Christian grace.

For a defence of the Neo Advaitist trad:
For some arguements against: (The interviewer Mr Archer often probes to see whether the interviewee ridicules unnecessary effort towards 'enlightenment')

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