Trance Induction and Hypnotic Suggestion
In the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle encourages you to not think about what you are reading, but instead to (paraphrasing) "feel the truth" of it. If your mind raises any doubts or concerns, he says that you should cast these aside. His teachings are not meant to be understood on an intellectual level, he says. All of this, it seems to me, is geared at lulling the reader into a trance-like state, in which Mr. Tolle's suggestions are more likely to sink deep into their psyche.
Throughout the book, he consistently talks about his ideas in a detached way, in keeping with his assertion that they are not 'his', but rather are universal truths. He continually puts to the reader that they already know everything he is saying is true, deep down. This disguises the fact that they are subjective interpretations, and again makes them more likely to penetrate the resder's psyche, especially if he succeeds in putting them into a more suggestible state.
Threat of Hell
Eckhart Tolle says that 'ego' is the source of all evil. If you are in the 'ego' state, true happiness is unattainable, and everything you do will be tainted. You will be part of the (paraphrasing) "collective insanity" that led to events such as the Nazi Holocaust. Scary stuff. He gets the reader into a state of fear of this condition of 'ego', then offers to liberate them from it by teaching them how to live in a state of "no mind". Classic fear-mongering tactics, no different in kind to what you'd get from a 'fire and brimstone' fundamentalist Christian preacher.
Promise of Heaven
As well as threatening us with this terrible stick, Eckhart also dangles a lovely carrot. If we disidentify from the 'ego' by living in a state of 'no mind', we will experience permanent joy. Everything in our lives will be transformed in a positive way. He talks about how, for example, in conversations with people we will spontaneously come out with witty and brilliant things (as somebody who has struggled with social anxiety, this especially appealed to me).
I notice that by detailing how sexy and zen we'll become if we follow his teachings, he's appealing directly to what he terms our 'ego' - ironically. Likewise by threatening us with how horrible our lives are sure to be if we don't follow his teachings.
Mr. Tolle continually invokes Buddhism and mindfulness meditation. Since his readers are predominantly Westerners, and Western festishisation of Eastern religion being what it is, they are likely to associate these things with 'authentic' spirituality - as well as knowing very little about them. Thus, Tolle is able to bask in the reflected glory of Buddhism, as well as claim that his ideas are a valid interpretation of what it teaches.
Another trick is that he mixes in sound advice and ideas from Buddhism and other religious and spiritual traditions with his own nihilistic, masochistic garbage - and then claims they are all getting st the same thing. Thus, the reader comes across a passage which seems to describe a fairly benign approach to meditation, for example, and then assumes that Tolle's more ostensibly counter-intuitive - not to mention dogmatic - teachings must be similarly benign.
Mr. Tolle intimates that he is enlightened. He says that he lives in a state of 'continuous presence', and 'presence', he says, is the state referred to be Eastern religions as 'enlightenment'. Thus, he encourages the reader to see him as infallible, and therefore beyond reproach and doubt. He does say not to take his words too literally, but only because words can never capture reality, "only point to it" - so not because he is untrustworthy, or even just fallible like everybody else, but for theoretical reasons to do with the nature of language. As a perfect, egoless, enlightened being, the reader is encouraged to believe that nothing Eckhart Tolle does could be anything other than perfectly benevolent and well-judged. If his teachings cause them pain, it must be their fault, not his.
How Eckhart Tolle took me to the brink of suicide
https://forum.culteducation.com/read.ph ... 795,134795