- Throughout history, there have always been rare individuals who experienced a shift in consciousness and so realized within themselves that to which all religion points. ... Through some of those men and women, "schools" or movements developed within all major religions that represented not only a rediscovery, but in some cases an intensification of the light of the original teaching. This is how Gnosticism and mysticism came into existence in early and medieval Christianity, ... It is through those esoteric schools or movements that the major religions regained the transformative power of the original teachings. - pg. 16
In Tolle's teaching, the major world religions (specifically Christianity here), can only be beneficial when enlightened spiritual gurus or mystics add to it. The Gnostics he speaks of were a heretical group of "Christians" who believed that God is an evil god, Jesus was merely a wise man - not God, and that spiritual salvation comes through increasing our knowledge. The gnostic teachings also penetrated Judaism and is where the Kaballah movement originated. According to Tolle, the Scriptures alone have no transformative power. The light of God's Word needs to be intensified by a mystic in order for it to regain its power.
Contrast that to what we believe, as the Reformers put it - Sola Scriptura (only the Scriptures), Sola Gratia (only by grace), and Sola Fides (only by faith). The Scriptures are the sole authority in our lives and our sufficient in themselves for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. And salvation is a free gift (grace) from God that we receive through our faith in Jesus Christ.
Tolle goes on to say:
- What is arising now is not a new belief system, a new religion, spiritual ideology, or mythology. We are coming to the end not only of mythologies but also of ideologies and belief systems. The change goes deeper than the content of your mind, deeper than your thoughts. In fact, at the heart of the new consciousness lies the transcendence of thought... - pg. 21
This is just a new way of saying that everyone should come to their own truth. There is no absolute truth. The human spirit can't be tied down by religions or belief systems. When you are your own God those things are irrelevant.
This all reminds me of something a college professor taught one day. He said, "There are no new heresies. They're always the same as they've been for thousands of years. They just package them differently from time to time."