Such ideas can also make a reader feel that if it is so easy, why doesn’t it work for them? They must be deficient in some way. They then add that to the list of negatives that keep them stuck in a depressive world view.
I don’t interpret Eckart Tolle’s present moment awareness as being totally happy, anyway. I interpret it as being at peace with the underlying understanding that all lis right with the Universe, regardless of what my emotional reaction is to the circumstances. Sometimes being totally happy is not appropriate and shows a shallowness and lack of sensitivity that borders on the fake and annoying. Sometimes, being truly sad and feeling it deeply, is the appropriate emotion and shows compassion and empathy for other sufferers.
As F. Scott Peck says in the first line of The Road Not Taken, “Life is difficult.” Because people don’t want to face that, they are outraged, angry, disappointed, upset, unhappy, feel entitled to their piece of the pie, and every other negative emotion. If we accept that life is difficult and that it requires spiritual work and discipline to achieve inner peace, lots of our problems would clear up naturally.
With Eckart Tolle, it wasn’t really an accident that brought his breakthrough into the world of spiritual peace. It was that his mind broke. He had taken the ego-mind to the limit and saw the absurdity of its claims on him. He saw that he wasn’t two beings, his nagging ego-mind and his eternal, harmonious soul. It wasn’t an accident at all. It was the result seeing clearly, for the first time, that if he went with the repetitive, automatic, and negative path of this mind, his life would continue to be hell.
Many mystics have arrived at this realization the same way. Often it is the result of The Dark Night of the Soul. But it is never an accident. Part of it is by grace as well. But it is never because someone read a book and got “instant karma” as a result. It always takes some form of work.