by Eckhart Tolle: During a Q&A session at one of his retreats this past summer, Eckart Tolle was asked by an audience member, “No matter how much karma you create in this life — the life we’re all living right now — is liberation possible?”
In essence, the take-home message of Eckhart’s reply could be summarized as “The mind is our obstacle, not the past.” You can watch Eckhart’s reply in full in video #1 below. Eckhart also answered a similar question in a 2011 newsletter in which someone asked, “You talk about Presence and Being as the keys to enjoying form, and creating positive circumstances, or softening circumstances. How does karma fit into all of that?” Eckhart’s reply was the following:
“Everybody is born into a certain external environment. Also, everyone is born with certain predispositions — they may be partly genetic, they may be other things. A person is born with certain patterns, in other words. We don’t need to examine where they come from, but the fact is that a human being is born into a certain environment. It may be violent, or it may be relatively peaceful. A person is born with inner patterns that you inherit. Even painbody is partly inherited.”
“There’s a whole set of conditioning that happens when you come into an environment.
The environment conditions you further, and there’s no choice involved — it’s just influences.
You find yourself in this world with certain unconscious patterns that have become the conditioning of who the person is. Karma, as I see it, is the unconscious conditioning that runs your life.”
“Karma is partly collective, and partly personal. You can only understand karma not as an abstract subject external to yourself, you can only understand it by observing yourself, and then you know many other things. If you want to understand karma, you need to look at yourself. I began to understand what karma is when something arose that was not part of karma at all. Here is the key — the arising of consciousness, or Presence, or spiritual awakening, is not part of karma. It is another dimension that breaks into the karmic realm. You do not become awakened by accumulating, as they sometimes say in the East, “good karma”. That’s fine on this level, you can make the walls or furniture in your prison a little more comfortable, but there’s something totally from beyond karma, that can come into your life at any point.” (YOU CAN READ ECKHART’S FULL ANSWER HERE).
In a separate Q&A session filmed in Australia about a month ago, Eckhart was asked what he thinks about Facebook, Twitter, and social media. You can watch his reply in video #2 below where he shares his wisdom, as well as a funny story of a dizzying Twitter experience he had with Oprah Winfrey. And finally in video #3 below Eckhart sits down with Oprah and explains his definition of God.
Also worth watching is another clip from his Australia retreat where he explains how mastery of life is achieved by living in two dimensions simultaneously. “Eckhart Tolle explains the present moment is really quite simple; however, it is the story we create in our minds about whatever is happening in the present moment that becomes problematic and produces unhappiness. The most important life lesson is the realization of who you are in essence, beyond the person (beyond form). The mastery of life is to live in the two dimensions — form and essence — simultaneously.”