Eckhart Tolle vs. The Secret / Abraham-Hicks

Eckhart Tolle

If you’re attracted to both these teachings you may be having trouble seeing how they fit together…

On the one hand Eckhart Tolle teaches that the source of all your troubles is your own ego. You’re lost in thought. You lack awareness or consciousness of your true, essential nature.

This is in line with the majority of spiritual teaching…

On the other hand, Abraham-Hicks and The Secret teach “You can have whatever you want.” “The universe is abundant.” “Place your order by putting yourself in the vibration of already having it, and it will be yours.”

At first it seems as though the two teachings are so different that there’s no reconciling them. One seems altruistic and the other, kind of selfish…

But in fact, the two teachings can be reconciled and both Jesus and Buddha taught that both these things are true.

In other words, we are both creative beings, who create primarily with thought and our essential nature is love — or the “one-life” that is the source of everything.

After all, if you think about it, nothing happens in life without it first happening as a thought. Or as Einstein put it “Nothing happens until something moves.” A great line.

So why doesn’t Eckhart Tolle also tell us how to get what we want?

Well, since the main problem really is the ego, and since we’re all creating anyway, the question is “Are you creating from the ego level, or from a higher level of awareness?” “Are you creating consciously, deliberately, or randomly?”

That’s very important as you can imagine. Spiritual teachings don’t deny that we have to create in this life. Nothing happens until something moves. They are just saying that the important thing is your state of consciousness.

The current state of the world is caused by ego consciousness, and the end result isn’t, by and large, very pretty — many, many problems and much suffering.

So, “Seek first the kingdom of God,” — deal with your ego, but also be aware that you create your life by what you think. Both are true.

Best wishes,
Michael Kinnaird

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26 thoughts on “Eckhart Tolle vs. The Secret / Abraham-Hicks

  1. Enjoyed reading your post about Tolle vs the secret. Your post shed light on the confusing issue of ego and going after your light path, thanks for sharing :-)

  2. Great great conclusion.
    I read The secret and I’m reading New earth.
    I also felt they are compatible.

    TOLLE mentionned that if we were in a state of inner-resistance ( also called negativity ) the universe will not be on our side and life will not be helpful which is basically the main idea of The secret.
    Negativity and all of the related feelings ruins you.. blocks life as Tolle says : If the shutters were closed the sunlight cannot come in. Even he mentionned that it affects the body’s basic function and with stress, it’s the cause of many illnesses.
    Both readings give examples about Jesus and Buddha and they never distant us from praying.
    Live the present moment, shift youself by thinking positive thoughts because anyway it’s stronger than negative ones, and stop thoughts that come to justify your unhappiness because in fact, they are creating it.

    Finally, It has been stated and proven that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.. go the simple best way.. be happy and smile/feel the peace and receive :)

  3. Hi Anthony,

    Yes definitely :-) Very simple eh? But not easy. If fact probably the greatest achievement for a human is to “recieve,” to let go of the ego.

    Each teaching is contained in the other in a small way. The focus of each teaching is different, that’s all.

    Get this quote from Abraham;

    “You don’t have to clean up your vibration relative to anything, if you can just not think about it any more. That’s why we teach meditation. It’s easier to teach you to have no thought than to have pure positive thought. When you quiet your mind you stop thought; when you stop thought you stop resistance; when you stop resistance–then you are in a state of allowing.”

    This is the essence of spirituality but this Abraham message is contained within what I consider to be distracting elements. I only noticed this and pulled it out because that’s my experience. I see it, I get it.

    In my view and experience… meditation is the most powerful process for spiritual change.

    Thinking about spirituality and improving your mental concept of what it is does very little.

    But I guess “there’s a time to surf and a time to wax your board.” I think do only a little waxing and a lot of surfing :-)

    Thanks for your comment!


  4. I don’t agree with everything you say. I see it differently.
    You say:
    “Spiritual teachings don’t deny that we have to create in this life. Nothing happens until something moves. They are just saying that the important thing is your state of consciousness.”
    For me it is like this:
    Spiritual teachings don’t say that you have to create. Life is creating by itself, just stay out of the way (the ego). You don’t have to do anything.
    Everything is moving all the time, by itself. You don’t have to make it move.
    If you are in a high state of consciousness, good things are creating by itself and you are just observing what is creating.
    You just go with the flow.

    The question is are you creating consciously (from your higher self) or deliberately (from you ego)?
    You can’t create randomly because of the Law of Attraction.

    Either you let go of the ego like Eckhart is saying or you use it to get to the now.
    I think that if you create in the way Abraham speaks about you are using you ego to get to the now. When you get to the core of what you want and know that you already have it you are in the higher state of consciousness, you are in the now.

  5. Hi Karin,

    Maybe the confusion comes from the difficulty of using words to describe what’s going on.

    If you read carefully each teaching, each contains the other in a small way. The focus is different in each. E.T. Talks about creating abundance by appreciating the abundance already in your life, noticing the abundance of nature etc. (hence changing your vibration).

    Abraham says you don’t need to correct your thinking in any particular area if you are pure “allowing” (allow the highest vibration).

    In a higher consciousness the sense of self shifts and yet the words we use remain the same. We might say “I wrote this” although the understanding might be “the writing happened through me.”

    That’s why an elightened person does not take personal credit for anything — there is no person to take the credit.

    Even though the crux of E.T’s teaching is removal of the ego, he talks about empowered action. Action empowered by life. I guess you could also call that “flow.”

    So I think maybe we agree. Perhaps your use of I refers only to the ego sense?

    The “true self” is so blissful that sages report difficulty in actually functioning in this world. I think it was Ramakrishna who kept praying that God allow him attention on the mundane things. I think E.T. could relate to that.

    Perhaps at that level, there still needs to be a reminant of desire still left (perhaps to help others) to even function in this life.

    E.T. reports that the blissful states gradually subsided and then he could function more normally. Or perhaps he gradually learned to keep that “vibration” but still function in life.

    Buddhism teaches that once enlightenment is reached, the cycles of birth and death ends which would tie in with the inability of sages to funtion at a mundane level.

    Abraham teaches that what manifests is a response to your vibration and E.T. teaches that there is bliss the other side of the ego. The highest vibration is Love and bliss. So surely that would manifest its like?

  6. Hi Mike,

    I see the difference this way:
    Abraham tells us to be like Polyanna, focus on the positive aspects all the time or meditate. Don’t focus on the negative because that will lower your vibrations.
    Eckhart is saying go from the ego-level to the “inner space”-level and everything will be fine.

    Abraham also tell us, not that often, to clean up our vibrations.

    For me they are just using different ways to be your Inner Being, to be in the now.

    But what is confusing is that Abraham doesn’t talk about the ego at all.

    I see it this way: You can use your ego-wants to connect with your Inner Being. If you focus on what you want (even if it’s an ego-want) and why you want it you will come closer to your Inner Being, to who you are, the higher vibrations.

    Eckhart (and Byron Katie) is saying: love what is
    and Abraham is saying: Don’t focus on what is, focus on what you want.

    For me that means: don’t focus on anything if you have an negativ attitude towards it.

    And Eckhart say: go to your inner space or just say yes to it. And B. Katie says: question your negative thougts about it and you will love it.

    For me I do a mix between the two methods.

  7. Hi Mike,
    I came across this web page by ‘accident’. Anyhow, it is with almost ‘knowing’ pleasure that I read it and with delight convey to you that what you have written here is what I (and most likely many others) feel innately (if they are in that vibratory range).
    Thank you for manifesting your thoughts for others to witness and help confirm that they are joined by ‘like-vibrating’ vortices. Our connectedness cannot be denied when we witness such repeated evidence on almost a daily basis.

  8. Why thank you Walt for your lovely comment. Yes, knowing without knowing why you know, is a strange and wonderful effect of a spiritual life wouldn’t you say?

    So many mysterious effects from just connecting to ” ” …. and we won’t give it a name :-)

  9. I really enjoyed your comparison of the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Abraham-Hicks. I, too, have wondered if they are compatible because I have received a lot of wonderful insite from both. I think when you consider that they are both saying that your state of consciousness is primary, that they are compatible. They are both very beautiful teachings even if they don’t overlap completely. I am very grateful to have found both.

  10. Hi Michael,

    Have you noticed that Abraham has changed tack quite significantly recently and now the emphasis is so much more on “alignment,” “allowing,” “getting into the vortex.”

    To keep it simple and practical I feel it’s best to work on “alignment” and beyond that… be REALLY careful what you’re thinking!!

    A higher state is required to even be able to control thinking. Hence “Seek first the kingdom of God.”

    Perhaps Abraham’s plan was to draw people by offering what they want i.e. “stuff” and then expand from there to the true message which I think is what we’re hearing now.

    Thanks for you comment.

    All the best,

  11. it is neccessary to find joy while being in this human form therefore the law of attraction is a way to fullfil that dream but without being completely present in the moment you can never be at peace so i find both these theories go so well together and find that one cannot do without the other-

  12. To be honest i dont see how these two can be compatible with each other, as soon as you want something that is not the present moment you have already left the present moment.

    To me abrahams message was obviously very attractive because it tells you that daydreaming about the future, (which we all want to do) is a good thing to do, whereas ive found it to be a dangerous thing to do, arguing with reality, setting yourself up for some serious falls. One thing id like to point out is that although the ‘intelligence abraham’ clearly means well and there is genuine well wishing behind their message, they are not physical beings. An australian master called Barry Long spoke about ascended masters being (im now quoting from him) ‘long-dead entities that use living people channel their teachings’, he goes on to say that ‘A half-master is not the master, just as a half-truth is not the truth’. You can google barry long and ascended masters, and he does maintain essentialy that they dont know what theyre saying is wrong and it is their own ignorance to speak this way.

    I dont know if Abraham is one of these that he was reffering to but honestly having listened to them for a long while i found their teachings to be unsustainable, every daydream will run into obstacles, every positive expectation has the seed of a poetntial negative event. Few things that Abe has said like ‘thought is ultimately more satisfying than no thought,’ hasnt been true in my experience! Being in the now, you need no thought of the future, but life is good now and that is all you need. This is just my two cents.

  13. Hi Someonelse,

    Eckhart Tolle has actually said that in future we will manifest things by thinking! It’s not his focus and I don’t think he even knew about it until recently.

    He had a spontanteous awakening and was immersed in bliss states for years. He can’t even figure out how he managed to do the things necessary to survive :-)

    That’s because it’s a DESIRELESS, perfect state. I read about Ramana Maharishi… he was basically saved by people who found him and took care of him because he was in bliss… no desire to do anything!!

    To be here, there has to be some desire! But there are different sort of desire. The one you don’t want is the one where is there a sense of lack.

    We MUST create if we’re alive, we much choose, we must desire… “prefer” if you prefer :-)

    If your friend says “Do you want eggs or beans for dinner” you must choose. We make thousands of choices every day.

    To be PERFECTLY in the moment is to be in bliss. You will desire nothing and could not function!

    But when the ego is dead, THEN we are making different choices, higher choices. We see into situations and see all the connections better.

    I am like you, I think Eckharts “way” is better. Seek first the kingdom!! :-) And where is that? WITHIN :-) Eckhart is saying nothing new, although he is saying it better and clearer than most.

    We do not have the power to manifest anything if our minds are all over the place. It takes incredible self-mastery. But as we mature we get bigger toys to play with :-)

    Manifestion is nothing more than understanding and applying the laws that exist. We move into our vision, that’s not hard to appreciate.

    As I say, I’m with you on “the way.” But still, we are choosing, creating with our thoughts. We must, we cannot survive or function without desire. Even to get out of bed you must have desire.

  14. hey! thanks for the reply, i hear what your saying. In the book new earth eckhart talks about sometimes having goals, and working towards them. Now if thats true about ramana maharshi i dunno if i want to be in that state, but one thing ive heard masters say for sure is that out of stillness does come action, and that the world we live in is no different from spirit itself, which makes sense to me aswell. Like that ancient saying, before enlightenment chop wood, after enlightenment chop wood, ie spirituality is in no way seperate from our lives as we know it.

    Eckhart talks about having goals and ‘riding the wave’ of them, which is cool but the only problem iv started to have with Abraham is the daydreaming fantasy part which doesnt necassarily lead to action. This idea of just thinking it through….again barry long talks about ‘thought which doesnt lead to action’ as being the start of the problematic mind. Maybe its just a question of the words being used, but I used to listen to abraham a lot and now ive seemed to have gone off it. Ive seen just a few dubious things like one time they summoned energy which apparently the audience could see and started to gasp and be amazed, which seemed like a vulgar display of power. Also the fact that the entities arent even physical, which begs the very dangerous question of whether they should be possessing other bodies at all, im not gonna pretend to know anything about that!

    But i certainly hear what your saying too, and it sometimes goes round in circles! lol
    Peace to you

  15. Hello again Someonelse :-)

    I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years to try to make some practical sense of it all. This is my sum up:

    1. Be the master of your mind-field. Be able to say “be still.” Be able to focus where you choose. Be able to say yes or no to thoughts. To achieve this could take a whole load of practice (meditation) as the mind has gotten out-of-control. Instead of our tool, it’s become our master and created a “self” for itself which isn’t real :-) All this continuous auto-thinking creates a “veil” — a continuous “projection” which stops us being aware of our true spiritual selves… like clouds blocking out the sun.

    2. Think deliberately. Once you can direct your thinking or be still, then you can powerfully focus on whatever outcome you think is appropriate. Once you can be in your stillness, you see the connections clearly, the forces in operation at any given moment and so are more able to influence things in a good way.

    Powerful focusing ability also means that your “goals” can come about more easily because 1. You are not only talking to your unconscious mind but “listening” for inspiration and ideas. 2. Your are not striving but purely creating. You are not coming from lack and so goals don’t have a sense of desperateness about them (I will be happy when I have “x”) 3. You do not trample others but in fact, your desire is more the helping/serving of others as you see that really, deep down, we are all connected, we all influence and affect each other… we are all one :-)

  16. Hmm, point 1 i certainly agree with, but recently iv been doing less and less of point 2!
    Maybe its true sometimes, like eckhart said, you cant be ‘enthused’ and working towards a goal all the time, but the sometimes you are driven by an impulse to do things. Thats one way of looking at it. Whichever way, i guess follow whatever feels right in your heart cant go wrong, then you have no regrets. :)

  17. i agree that both are potential “truths” for different people. however, i feel that the abraham-hicks teachings give a broader sense of seeing all aspects of self and accepting them, rather than trying to move away from some aspects of self (which is the tendancy of eckhardt tolle). when you go deeply into the abraham hicks teachings, you find that your ego is not a “problem,” and that you are not trying to “let go” of anything. rather, you are consciously aligning yourself with the things you want and deserve (rather than trying to psych yourself into thinking that if it is from the ego, then it must be bad or somehow not worth your time or effort). i think that tolle’s work is great as a philosophy, but not great for sustained daily practice. abraham hicks, on the other hand, delves into the depths of your “humanness” without sending a constant message that you must fix or get rid of certain aspects of yourself in order to be whole or complete. there are many holes in tolle’s incomplete philosphy that tends to leave people asking “why.” abraham – hicks, on the other hand, moves to answer those “why’s” until the knowledge is so ingrained as to be second-nature. thanks for the post!

  18. Here’s my take on it, its taken from a post i made on an abe-hicks forum, would love to know if u agree or not…

    “Hiya,::wave i think Eckhart’s teachings suggest connect up with source first, that is, NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND FROM THERE LOA TAKES CARE OF EVERYTHING ELSE!. Researching my response to this post has been ammaazingly helpful as i understand things soooo much more now and i am back to thinking they are mostly saying the same thing again. So mwah! to whoever bumped this thread as its brought me major Ah-ha moments and much relief.::idea_new

    If anyone wants to compare notes further, i suggest reading ‘A New Earth’ – chapter 10, especially p293- ‘Awakened doing’and p295-309 ‘The Three Modalities of awakened doing’, which are :

    ‘Acceptance’ ( if u are faced with something that u have to do but cant bring urself to enjoy doing( like changing a tire at 3am in the freezing cold rain )then bring acceptance to it ( which in abe speak releases resistance and moves u up the scale) He says if u can neither enjoy or bring acceptance to what you do – stop.

    Enjoyment ( very Abe sounding)

    Enthusiasm, which contains the following quote:

    “All this implies that your goal or vision is then already a reality within you, on the level of mind and feeling. Enthusiasm is the power that transfers the mental blueprint into the physical dimension. THAT IS THE CREATIVE USE OF THE MIND, AND THAT IS WHY THERE IS NO WANTING INVOLVED. You cannot manifest what you want; you can only manifest what you already have. You may get what you want through hard work and stress, but that is not the way of a new earth. Jesus gave the key to the creative use of the mind and to the conscious manifestation of form when he said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”( p305)

    I think Eckharts pov is that when u connect to source u then get an inspiration or enthusiasm to do or create something and it is only by being in the now and connected upthat the idea can manifest.

    To use Abe speak i think Eckhart feels u get inside the vortex first and from there u are inspired to create something whereasAbe seems to suggest desires come from outside the vortex and uhave to get back in it to allow them to manifest. phew.

    There are a few more subtle differences but i’ll post on them later.”

  19. Hi Karen :) this is a very intersting discussion, i was wondering if u would elaborate on what u mean by this bit:

    “For me it is like this:
    Spiritual teachings don’t say that you have to create. Life is creating by itself, just stay out of the way (the ego). You don’t have to do anything.
    Everything is moving all the time, by itself. You don’t have to make it move.
    If you are in a high state of consciousness, good things are creating by itself and you are just observing what is creating.
    You just go with the flow.”

    I’m interested to know ur perspective on this. You say “life is creating all the time”, which I agree with, but please could you explain to me which part of ‘you’ is not life? An Abraham explanation of what u mention above is that in each moment of contrast a desire/preference is set forth which is immediately answered and created by source, this IS what creates the expansion and flow of life and is why the physical is so important to the non physical as without it there is no creativity, no flow to life and thus no ‘life’.

    Abraham agrees that all you have to do to for the creation to manifest is to to allow and release resistance which can simply be by ‘not thinking thoughts’ all day long, but if u choose to be in physical then there are choices to be made unless u choose to stay motionless in one place all ur life and thus thoughts arise as thoughts are the creative force.

    Abraham suggest that its fine to release resistance by thinking less but more fun to actively deliberatly create…if ur gonna be thinking anywayz you might as well learn discernment and consciously create (or rather consciously allow…the creation part is done) because of the feeling and the joy and expansion of that is immense and what we are here for…to experience, to create…to choose….to have fun and get in the flow! To be joy, to be love. How would tolle explain the process of creation? Or ‘should’ u not ‘think’ about that as it is a thought and its better to be? just wondering for my own clarity….Namaste :)

  20. Hi Amanda,

    It seems to me like you have a good handle on everything.

    The key to everything is self mastery, to choose consciously. As you say, we are here and so we are choosing anyway, all the time by our ATTENTION.

    Meditation teaches you that attention is where the power is. To get to “NOW” it does take a lot of effort at first to hold onto your chosen focus — to ATTEND to your chosen focus.

    With practice, the effort becomes effortless and then life does indeed flow. But you always have choice.

    Mastery IS deliberate choice. Action not reaction. To be unaffected, non-reactive.

    The difficulty comes in defining where YOU are in all this. The fact is that your sense of self shifts until in the end it’s impossible to self-define.

    That’s because the very definition is a “lie” — a thought!

    St Francis of Assisi said “It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” That’s in Christian terms but it means death of the ego, the false self. Any self-definition based on thoughts is a lie, a dream of thought-form.

    Then if you wish to create, you do so deliberately and yes, the vision comes first and grows as a clear and bright thought-feeling. Then it is already real within you and the enthusiasm draws life into it to make it reality.

    It says in “Conversations with God” that passion is God saying “Hi” ahahah I love that.

    It’s true for me that the more alive you are — the healthier and more alighed with life you are, the more creative and passionate you become.

    Seek first the kingdom of God — align with now, with life. Make that your primary aim because THAT need earnestness, effort and without that, there is simply no way to choose and your false self will not die.

    Abraham has said that meditation is the ULTIMATE allowing place. ULTIMATE.

    When you are master of your attention, the effort ceases and you are consciously creating by your vision, by your attention, by your passion. Or you can be still, return, go home — even that is a choice.


  21. Hi Mike,

    Thanks very much for your prompt reply…i’m going to have a ponder on things and post again in a bit.


    Amanda :)

  22. Dear Mike

    I just wanted to thank you for your timely information — it feels like it was just FOR ME. I’ve read Eckhart and Rhonda… I was confused.
    so thank you.


  23. Hi Paula, you’re most welcome and I’m very happy to have cleared your confusion.

    Eckhart, unlike many spiritual teachers is authentic sure enough, but I do find it a little frustrating when folks make things unnecessarily complex. Spirituality is a VERY simple thing. Very simple indeed.

    In Eckhart’s early days he never did talk about meditation, which I also found frustrating since it’s the simplest and most powerful path. Now he does. That’s because his awakening was spontaneous due to suffering, so he had no experience of the earnest “pursuit” of enlightenment.

    Thanks for the thanks :-)

    All the best,

  24. Hi All and Mike ,
    Great posts on this page , I know this thread is quite old still I love the comparison and looking at the difference between these two angles as it were.My friend was pushing this manifesting at me and I read echart and Barry long and was unsure how to align both ( to A Hicks), I saw it as either use the mind to manifest a better life mainly materially or just be still and thoughtless as much as possible, which contradicted the constant use of mind to be creating all the time , Im not at the disciplined place of mastery of mind to still point on a regular basis or focused manifesting but Really loved the High quality of these posts -Truly a breath of fresh Air !!!!!

  25. Rumi says ‘Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.’ Maybe the field is exactly ‘the kingdom of God’ or ‘the vortex’ and both teachings say it is important to be in a place where the mind is still and non-attached. Manifestation then happens from a place of playfullness and love and works for the best of all beings, if that makes sense :)

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