For better or for worse, Cuppa and I enrolled ourselves in Oprah's course with Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth. We bought the book, did the chapter one exercise, and watched the webcast. True, due to glitches, we weren't able to watch the webcast live, but we got there eventually. One has to make allowances for putting on an event such as this for 750 000 people; there were hitches, and that's okay. One thing Tolle says that at their core, all religions preach the same basic message. Of course, each uses it's own terminology, but the concept of spiritual awareness is essentially the same in each, and I for one certainly saw the parallels between Tolle's perceptions and the Christian ones with which I am familiar.
Ekhard talks about how humans are dysfunctional to the point of madness (his terminology) because of we are driven by our Ego natures. In biblical terms, it's our sinful nature, or Paul's old man or the carnal mind. To my perception, Eckhart and Christianity here seem to speak of the same thing with different language. The way to overcome the Ego in A New Earth is to find a place of stillness in order to discover the goodness that is at our core being. The Christian teaching exhorts us to "be still still and know ... God." Finally (for now at least) Tolle claims that the Ego, by its nature, cannot be changed or fixed but that we can awaken our consciousness by finding the goodness that is at our core. Likewise, in Christian terms, our sinful natures can't be fixed, but if we allow the spirit of Christ to dwell within us, we become new creatures.
It was interesting for me to begin to see these connections. I found it helpful to put the concepts into the framework that I understand best. I think very early on The Church became somewhat sidetracked and got more that a little hung up with a lot of doctrinal issues and, therefore, often lost sight of the essential message. However, even as I say that, I hasten to add that I must not paint with too broad a brush because the fact that these concepts of our dual nature (sinful vs spiritual) are familiar ground to me reveals that these ideas are certainly understood and taught within Christendom. It just makes it easier for me to understand what Eckhart is saying if I can frame them in old and familiar terminology.