The World’s 100 Most Spiritual People

Eckhart Tolle. Photo: Kyle Hoobin (CC)

Eckhart Tolle. Photo: Kyle Hoobin (CC)

The team at Watkins Books in London has published its début list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet. Did they get it right? Check out the full list here – and to give you a taste, this is the top 10:

1. Eckhart Tolle
2. Dalai Lama
3. Dr Wayne W. Dyer
4. Thich Nhat Hanh
5. Deepak Chopra
6. Louise L. Hay
7. Paolo Coelho
8. Oprah Winfrey
9. Ken Wilber
10. Rhonda Byrne

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

Latest posts by majestic (see all)

90 Comments on "The World’s 100 Most Spiritual People"

  1. Anonymous | Mar 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

    What?! I’m not on the list? That’s F*n’ BULLSH*T, MAN!!! I’m WAY more spiritual than any o’ them punks!

    I frickkin’ CRUSH YOU with my sublime compassion, Eckhart Tolle . . . . CHUMP!!!

    http://dananau.com/wabe/humor/monkgloats.pdf

  2. Liam_McGonagle | Mar 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

    What?! I’m not on the list? That’s F*n’ BULLSH*T, MAN!!! I’m WAY more spiritual than any o’ them punks!

    I frickkin’ CRUSH YOU with my sublime compassion, Eckhart Tolle . . . . CHUMP!!!

    http://dananau.com/wabe/humor/monkgloats.pdf

    • Wait wait wait… theres a World Yoga Championship? And one of their major measurements is simply oxygen control?

      “…walked away with the World Yoga Championship after averaging 1.89 breaths per minute for two straight hours.”

      The whole concept of a championship in such a matter is just ridiculous. When competition is involved you push yourself to the limits so chances are this “champion” was pushing back his oxygen intake beyond feasible “serene” levels. I’m sure his body was screaming at him to breathe. There are most likely gear-free divers that can compete on this level and it has nothing to do with yoga.

      On another note, how the hell do they time the achievement of “total consciousness (TC)” … all of this smells of the corruption of an old culture.

  3. OPRAH IS NUMBAH ONE FO SURE

  4. OPRAH IS NUMBAH ONE FO SURE

  5. Top 100 most spiritually prolific, more like it. Though Eckhart and his dissertations on Ego is quite valuable.

  6. Top 100 most spiritually prolific, more like it. Though Eckhart and his dissertations on Ego is quite valuable.

  7. Top 100 most spiritually prolific, more like it. Though Eckhart and his dissertations on Ego is quite valuable.

  8. Who are these people?

  9. Who are these people?

  10. Who are these people?

    • MrsShuck | Mar 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

      Thank you! I’d also like a definition of spirituality.

      • I agree, what the hell is the definition of spirituality anyways?

        This list looks like “Forbes 100 of the Richest and Most Spiritual People” issue.

  11. Hadrian999 | Mar 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

    I would have to say spiritual and spiritually influential are 2 vastly different things

  12. Hadrian999 | Mar 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    I would have to say spiritual and spiritually influential are 2 vastly different things

    • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm |

      And judging by the inclusion of Rhonda “The Secret” Byrne, spirituality is pretty far from relevance, too . . .

  13. Spirituality must be judged by how many books you sell on the NYT Non-fiction list, or alternately how much you charge for speaking tours. I’m not going to argue with Thich Nhat Hahn, though even he sort of attracts touchy-feely ego-driven dingbats in droves. Everyone else is an example of the kind of modern spirituality that istotally self-centered, flawed, and only good for turning the aspirants away from a chance for self or world improvement and instead focuses on wants, greedy desires, and a kind of idolatrous veneration of the self and all it’s petty flaw. This kind of spirituality is just another side of the same exploitive, class-structured, propagandistic capitalism, a sort of capitalism of spirituality if you will. I hope miss Byrne continue to enjoy her ‘universal secret’, which as I understand the secret is to blow smoke up people’s asses and charge big money for lectures.

  14. Spirituality must be judged by how many books you sell on the NYT Non-fiction list, or alternately how much you charge for speaking tours. I’m not going to argue with Thich Nhat Hahn, though even he sort of attracts touchy-feely ego-driven dingbats in droves. Everyone else is an example of the kind of modern spirituality that istotally self-centered, flawed, and only good for turning the aspirants away from a chance for self or world improvement and instead focuses on wants, greedy desires, and a kind of idolatrous veneration of the self and all it’s petty flaw. This kind of spirituality is just another side of the same exploitive, class-structured, propagandistic capitalism, a sort of capitalism of spirituality if you will. I hope miss Byrne continue to enjoy her ‘universal secret’, which as I understand the secret is to blow smoke up people’s asses and charge big money for lectures.

    • Darthtim23 | Mar 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

      nemo – I totally know where you are coming from regarding many, many ‘spiritual’ people on the list and otherwise, but Eckhart Tolle’s work is far from being self-centred and egotistical – I was archly sceptical myself before I read it…. but I couldn’t find anything wrong with it – in fact it’s given me much food for (no) thought (heh)… it’s Zen Buddhism rehashed (remastered?) for the modern age IMHO….

      I like the phrase ‘capatilism of spirituality’ btw….

  15. Darthtim23 | Mar 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm |

    nemo – I totally know where you are coming from regarding many, many ‘spiritual’ people on the list and otherwise, but Eckhart Tolle’s work is far from being self-centred and egotistical – I was archly sceptical myself before I read it…. but I couldn’t find anything wrong with it – in fact it’s given me much food for (no) thought (heh)… it’s Zen Buddhism rehashed (remastered?) for the modern age IMHO….

    I like the phrase ‘capatilism of spirituality’ btw….

  16. Anonymous | Mar 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm |

    It’s worth following the link to the original article to see just how ridiculous this list is. It includes such luminaries as Dan Brown at #42 and Erich von Däniken at #63.

  17. Dave_Plankton | Mar 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

    It’s worth following the link to the original article to see just how ridiculous this list is. It includes such luminaries as Dan Brown at #42 and Erich von Däniken at #63.

  18. Grooveboss | Mar 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm |

    profit that comes from the devine…..

  19. Grooveboss | Mar 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm |

    profit that comes from the devine…..

  20. Liam_McGonagle | Mar 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

    And judging by the inclusion of Rhonda “The Secret” Byrne, spirituality is pretty far from relevance, too . . .

  21. John Flax | Mar 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm |

    I’ve met exercise equipment that was more spiritual than fucking Oprah.

  22. John Flax | Mar 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm |

    Charlie Sheen was robbed.

  23. JohnFrancisBittrich | Mar 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

    I’ve met exercise equipment that was more spiritual than fucking Oprah.

  24. JohnFrancisBittrich | Mar 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

    Charlie Sheen was robbed.

  25. Wait wait wait… theres a World Yoga Championship? And one of their major measurements is simply oxygen control?

    “…walked away with the World Yoga Championship after averaging 1.89 breaths per minute for two straight hours.”

    The whole concept of a championship in such a matter is just ridiculous. When competition is involved you push yourself to the limits so chances are this “champion” was pushing back his oxygen intake beyond feasible “serene” levels. I’m sure his body was screaming at him to breathe. There are most likely gear-free divers that can compete on this level and it has nothing to do with yoga.

  26. lol also I cant believe i got punked by an onion article…………. I hate myself a little bit right now

  27. Ren Hoek | Mar 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Thanks for the meaningless list.

  28. Ren Hoek | Mar 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    Thanks for the meaningless list.

  29. What a ridiculously stupid list. While I agree with quite a few of the selections, but Ervin Laszlo, Drunvalo Melchizedek, Stuart Wilde, Coleman Barks, Richard Bandler (lol), Daniel Pinchbeck, Esther and Jerry Hicks?! I can’t believe they didn’t include Liam McGonagle in the top 10.

  30. What a ridiculously stupid list. While I agree with quite a few of the selections, but Ervin Laszlo, Drunvalo Melchizedek, Stuart Wilde, Coleman Barks, Richard Bandler (lol), Daniel Pinchbeck, Esther and Jerry Hicks?! I can’t believe they didn’t include Liam McGonagle in the top 10.

  31. Stopped reading at Oprah and unsubscribing / Unlike.

    Seriously, wow….

  32. Stopped reading at Oprah and unsubscribing / Unlike.

    Seriously, wow….

  33. Oprah Winfrey. Come on.
    Is this the 100 biggest media whores in the genre of spirituality?
    Being filthy dirty rich and spiritual is a bit of a contradiction.
    The 100 most spiritual people have probably never even heard of anyone on this list.
    Immaterial reality…
    Oprah…
    My head just exploded.

  34. Oprah Winfrey. Come on.
    Is this the 100 biggest media whores in the genre of spirituality?
    Being filthy dirty rich and spiritual is a bit of a contradiction.
    The 100 most spiritual people have probably never even heard of anyone on this list.
    Immaterial reality…
    Oprah…
    My head just exploded.

  35. georgebushisthedevil | Mar 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm |

    oprah is pimpin’ for the illuminati

  36. georgebushisthedevil | Mar 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    oprah is pimpin’ for the illuminati

  37. MrsShuck | Mar 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

    Thank you! I’d also like a definition of spirituality.

  38. Anonymous | Mar 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm |

    Just thought I’d let you know, I LOL’d for reals

  39. Kali23Yuga | Mar 5, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    This so-called list of the most spiritually infuential people just proves the kind of spirituality that is trendy these days amongst those yuppies. A vegetarian friendly one, for wellness centre couples, doing some Tai Chi after they dumped the kids and some yoga to relax after a stressful day of work.
    This just gives the old arts a bad name.

  40. Kali23Yuga | Mar 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

    This so-called list of the most spiritually infuential people just proves the kind of spirituality that is trendy these days amongst those yuppies. A vegetarian friendly one, for wellness centre couples, doing some Tai Chi after they dumped the kids and some yoga to relax after a stressful day of work.
    This just gives the old arts a bad name.

  41. Kali23Yuga | Mar 5, 2011 at 12:24 am |

    I prefer Meister Eckhart

  42. Duckplops | Mar 5, 2011 at 12:49 am |

    Oh freaking barf…

  43. Duckplops | Mar 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

    Oh freaking barf…

  44. Mitch Cumsteen, Nightputter | Mar 5, 2011 at 12:58 am |

    Who is really spiritual? The people that are filled with spirit, elan and compassion for others? Or, is this a spirit of holy ghost? Who brings a rise in emotion…Palin and Obama. Who considers themself as emotional leader… O’Rieley and Okra. Who brings out the spirit in people…. your favorite team when it is winning. When people learn to see how easy it is to be inspired by life, there won’t be this kind of list.

  45. Mitch Cumsteen, Nightputter | Mar 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm |

    Who is really spiritual? The people that are filled with spirit, elan and compassion for others? Or, is this a spirit of holy ghost? Who brings a rise in emotion…Palin and Obama. Who considers themself as emotional leader… O’Rieley and Okra. Who brings out the spirit in people…. your favorite team when it is winning. When people learn to see how easy it is to be inspired by life, there won’t be this kind of list.

  46. Flowerpower333 | Mar 5, 2011 at 1:45 am |

    I agree with John Flax. Oprah is not spirtiual. The only one I think they got right on this list is dalai lama…First I think this list reduicules sprirtiual people. Second if there were a list it be people more significant than the people listed. For example, Buddah, Dalai Lama,Martain L. King, The Beatles, Mother Teressa, Ganhandi those are the most significant people who have changed world history

  47. Flowerpower333 | Mar 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    I agree with John Flax. Oprah is not spirtiual. The only one I think they got right on this list is dalai lama…First I think this list reduicules sprirtiual people. Second if there were a list it be people more significant than the people listed. For example, Buddah, Dalai Lama,Martain L. King, The Beatles, Mother Teressa, Ganhandi those are the most significant people who have changed world history

  48. DeepCough | Mar 5, 2011 at 1:54 am |

    Some of these great “spiritualists” are some of the biggest con men (and women) and the biggest media demagogues in the world.

  49. DeepCough | Mar 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

    Some of these great “spiritualists” are some of the biggest con men (and women) and the biggest media demagogues in the world.

  50. Cultureshock1104 | Mar 5, 2011 at 3:14 am |

    And at least exercise equipment will eventually come out of the closet.

  51. How did I not make this list? What is WRONG with you people!

  52. How did I not make this list? What is WRONG with you people!

  53. In at no.34 is Ratzinger – interesting. Are the 33 listed above him more influential? Sadly I doubt that’s the case.
    Have to agree with the poster who questions if spirtual and influential really do have much correlation.

  54. In at no.34 is Ratzinger – interesting. Are the 33 listed above him more influential? Sadly I doubt that’s the case.
    Have to agree with the poster who questions if spirtual and influential really do have much correlation.

  55. How does one measure “sprituality?” Is it through deed, works, or publishings? Or is it though the grammage of “spirit juice?” Dan Brown’s power level is OVER 9000!!!!

  56. How does one measure “sprituality?” Is it through deed, works, or publishings? Or is it though the grammage of “spirit juice?” Dan Brown’s power level is OVER 9000!!!!

  57. I don’t know who 4 out of 10 of those people are. And I’m not sure why I should care about “how spiritual” the rest of them are.

  58. I don’t know who 4 out of 10 of those people are. And I’m not sure why I should care about “how spiritual” the rest of them are.

  59. I agree, what the hell is the definition of spirituality anyways?

    This list looks like “Forbes 100 of the Richest and Most Spiritual People” issue.

  60. why such bad language it is not needed but who am i to judge i am not the one who gave you life but God bless you and your love ones because we are all brothers and sisters.

  61. Oprah have done alot for my people and as we are all living in Gods world we are all brothers and sisters so lets repect each other God bless you and your love ones

  62. God bless your negative heart. http://www.mylifemymessage.com

  63. Fdelbagno | Apr 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

    You got it right….Eckhart is #1…of course he would not agree.
    We are all one.

  64. Fdelbagno | Apr 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    You got it right….Eckhart is #1…of course he would not agree.
    We are all one.

  65. please take oprah out of this !!

  66. please take oprah out of this !!

  67. The House of Madness | Jun 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm |

    Pretty much what I expected.

  68. The House of Madness | Jun 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |

    Pretty much what I expected.

  69. Parmar Praveen | Aug 9, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    I wonder there is no name from India without name of OSHO this list seems childish

  70. Parmar Praveen | Aug 9, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    I wonder there is no name from India without name of OSHO this list seems childish

  71. Parmar Praveen | Aug 9, 2011 at 4:31 am |

    I wonder there is no name from India without name of OSHO this list seems childish

  72. Cleanandsober | Aug 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    Oprah!?! You GOTTA be Kidding Me!

  73. Cleanandsober | Aug 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    Oprah!?! You GOTTA be Kidding Me!

  74. Cleanandsober | Aug 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

    Oprah!?! You GOTTA be Kidding Me!

  75. The 2014 list has been published: 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2014

  76. Hahahahahahahahahaaaahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!

  77. The same Jesus who said ‘only my Father is good’?
    You know, his Father. Did he stutter? The God of the Bible is his Father, not him. Jesus’ Father is a Person too.

    C’mon man. This is spirituality 101.

    Just like Buddhism 101 is Ahimsa = NO MEAT EATING.
    Ain’t that right Dolly Lama?

Comments are closed.