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Ulrich (Eckhart) Tolle entered the world in 1948 in Germany.
Tolle has described his childhood as unhappy, particularly his early childhood in Germany. His parents fought and eventually separated. He has described sometimes playing in buildings that had been destroyed by bombs and he says he felt depressed by what he perceived as “pain in the energy field of the country”. At the age of 13, he moved to Spain to live with his father. Tolle’s father did not insist that his son attend high school, and so Tolle elected to study literature, astronomy and language at home.
At the age of 19, he moved to England and for three years taught German and Spanish at a London school for language studies. Troubled by “depression, anxiety and fear”, he began searching for answers in his life. At age twenty-two or so he began “seeking some kind of answer through the intellect, through philosophy, psychology, and literature” and he enrolled in the University of London.
One night in 1977, at the age of 29, after having suffered from long periods of suicidal depression, Tolle says he experienced an “inner transformation”. That night he awakened from his sleep, suffering from feelings of depression that were “almost unbearable”, but then experienced a life-changing epiphany. Recounting the experience, Tolle says,
‘I couldn’t live with myself any longer. And in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I’ that cannot live with the self? What is the self? I felt drawn into a void. I didn’t know at the time that what really happened was the mind-made self, with its heaviness, its problems, that lives between the unsatisfying past and the fearful future, collapsed. It dissolved. The next morning I woke up and everything was so peaceful. The peace was there because there was no self. Just a sense of presence or “beingness”, just observing and watching.’
He has written a number of books and is still a very active teacher, speaker and international peace advocate.
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”
“The past has no power over the present moment.”
“To love is to recognize yourself in another.”
On Being Yourself
Living without Stress
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