In his book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle, 54, describes how he passed through suicidal depression to spiritual bliss. Imagine his bliss when he discovered that his book had been endorsed by Oprah. Her relentless touting has helped Tolle's book build a cult following since its publication four years ago. Now in its 20th printing, with 800,000 copies sold, it has spent four months on the New York Times best-seller list.
What is Tolle telling readers that they seem so eager to hear? His Zen-like message, reminiscent of that of hippie guru Ram Dass, is that happiness is achieved by living in the present: "In the Now, in the absence of time, all your problems dissolve." But the book, awash in spiritual mumbo jumbo ("The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind"), will be unhelpful for those looking for practical advice. Of course, Meg Ryan loved it, and Cher says it changed her life. Hooray for Hollywood. --By Andrea Sachs