On resisting Eckhart Tolle
She told me she spent the day walking along a river while listening to an Eckhart Tolle audio book. “The Power of Now?” I asked. “No, the other one,” she replied. I didn’t know any other ones. It was the beginning of a cold Saturday night. We were at a mutual friend’s birthday drinks at a pub, sitting shoulder to shoulder on a narrow wooden bench. “Eckhart Tolle keeps appearing in my life,” I said. “Like where?” she asked. I said that his lectures were recently sampled in an album by a prominent hip hop artist. He also showed up on my Instagram feed—a sponsored post—his Yoda-like face floating in front of a tropical island scene telling me to be present as the detached observer of my own mind. “And now you,” I said. “Eckhart Tolle is trying to get in touch with you,” she said. “I am resisting Eckhart Tolle,” I said.
She asked why I was resisting. I said I once read an interview with an author who doesn’t meditate because he doesn’t want to be at peace with his thoughts or watch them go by with detachment. He wants to be always lost in his thoughts and for his internal world to be filled with conflict and strife, as this is the source of good writing. I said I agreed to a certain extent, and then recalled, internally, that I really don’t like the writing of the author I mentioned and that the last thing I had heard about him was that he had left his wife after falling in love with Natalie Portman, unrequitedly. “So you like the fiction you’ve created around yourself?” she asked. “No, I don’t like the fiction that I’ve created around myself,” I said, now feeling uncertain. “But I’m attached to it anyway. I think that might be the point.”