|Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author|
of "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth:
Awakening to Your Life's Purpose"
In both books, Tolle writes about the core of what has been called the "perennial philosophy," that the individual has the opportunity to go beyond mere ego-consciousness and merge with a unitive Whole by being present in the here-and-now of the ever-passing present moment. In a popular YouTube video (embedded below), the comedic actor, Jim Carrey, shows his serious side in explaining the depth at which Eckhart Tolle's teachings have affected his life.
"I woke up and I suddenly got it,' Carrey recalls. "I understood suddenly how thought was just an illusory thing, and how thought is responsible for, if not all, most of the suffering we experience. And then, I suddenly felt like I was looking at these thoughts from another different perspective, and I wondered: 'Who is it that is aware that I am thinking?'"
"And suddenly," he says, "I was thrown into this expansive, amazing feeling of freedom - from myself, (and) from my problems. I saw that I was bigger than what I do; I was bigger than my body; I was everything and everyone. I was no longer a fragment of the universe, I was the universe."
The effect of Carrey's spiritual awakening, which he admits was ephemeral, has nonetheless been long-lasting, helping him cope with periodic depression, as his interview with "60 Minutes" anchor, Steve Kroft shows.
"I'm a buddhist, I'm a Muslim, I'm a Christian. I'm whatever you want me to be," Carrey says. "It all comes down to the same thing: You're in a loving place, or you're in an unloving place."