More on Eckhart Tolle
gossip from our "roving reporter,"
a long-time observer of the sannyas scene in London

et was in fact a regular attendee at the talks of australian 'guru'
barry long in london in the 80s. osho sannyasins were also there.
barry long got big in london,1986 during osho world tour when lots of
sheep were lost and ended up getting fleeced by a real sheep-
shagger, allegedly.

et didn't get fleeced. he took a lot of notes, told bl that he wanted to
be a spiritual teacher, got some positive feedback, tried glastonbury
for a while, then hit the new world for fame and fortune.
make no mistake. there are no flies on this guy.

seeing the way sannyasins, with their famous degrees and phds etc
collapsed spiritually comatose in front of barry long's farcicle
barry humphreys version of krishnamurti must have given et a
massive dose of encouragement.

so sannyasins are at least partly responsible for the success of
et. as they were for the success of barry long.
before the ranch collapsed, barry long would get about 4 people at his
meetings. by 86 he was getting a couple of hundred. the vast majority
sannyasins or ex.

1986 was for gurudom what 1976 was for punk.
loads of people went to sex pistols gigs and thought:
'these guys can't even play, but they're on stage. i could do that'

and they did.

this is a lot more about entertainment and celebrity than cultism.

one thing that people overlook here is the similarities of the whole 
guru thing to other forms of entertainment.
getting up on stage, acting, rock n roll, stand up comedy, even after dinner speaking..
it's all acting.
osho said something like:
'when you are nobody, you have to act, what else can you do'
in fact, everybody is in this situation.

did you hear about the quite recent experiment in uk where they 
tested hands-on healing by getting some pro actors to play the part 
of healers, alongside some pro healers.
the receivers of the healing didn't know the difference. the responses 
from the clients was actually slightly better for the actors!
imo. they probably had more 'presence' which is, of course taught in 
all drama schools.

if you act a part long enough and diligently enough, the whole body becomes it.
anthony quinn is a relevant example. after the highspot of his career 
'zorba the greek' he performed 'zorba the musical' for years, even 
proclaiming 'i am zorba' ,fathering 13 kids and generally larging it up, big time.

doing buddha is easier, as far as method acting is concerned.
sit on your butt. move slow. maximise presence. not much emotion. 
when in doubt, keep your mouth shut.
no wonder there are so many takers.

how many times have you heard performers of all sorts saying that 
being up there on stage is a better feling than than anything, even sex?
yes, the guy on stage has got a load of energy running through him.
you and the crowds' energy!

little et was a depressed and no doubt depressing, college research 
fellow, stuck in his dark library, reading religious crap.
i doubt he could pull himself a bird (or a bloke?) at that time.
but look at him now. cool as a cucumber, drinking in the adoration with 
a self-effacing smile, a nod and a wink at the carnegie hall, or wherever.
he's got the X factor, for sure.

as far as the script is concerned, i would be surprised if anyone 
who had been around the spiritual block reading and listening
to osho, krishnamurti and all the rest of them ,couldn't write a 
fairly passable discourse about meditation truth etc.
you just need the bottle, or the desperation, or the X factor, or 
whatever it is to go out and do it.

so like all entertainment, it comes down to taste.
et doesn't seem to have too much soul. he is more kraftwerk than james brown.
oh well, whatever gets you through the night, the dark night of the soul that is.

so to sum up.
et goes from.... 
being a terminally depressed, emotionally wrecked, failed would-be 
academic, sitting in his darkened room with his head stuck in dusty 
volumes of mediaevel theological texts.
career prospects: very grey indeed
chances of getting laid: zero
prognosis: pills or the noose
internationally most famous guru of all time. primetime talking head. 
record book sales. big venues. own limo. 
pretty asian girlfriend, twenty years younger than him, good 
figure, she likes swimming, keep fit and bodywork, agrees with 
everything he says, doesn't argue with him cos there's no one to argue 
with, and is even awakened herself (by him)!

so, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, i put it to you:
if that's not enlightenment, then what the fuck is?

~ Avery Wiseman

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