This piece by Gaylene Goodroad is posted on Herescope. Christians who are involved in Eastern mysticism will read this, see the danger, and leave it. The Christian who chooses to participate in any sort of pagan practice is in rebellion against God.
Eastern Meditation as the Universal Cure-All
the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with
influences from the east….”
When the Beatles helped to bring Transcendental Meditation (TM) into vogue in the 1960s, few could imagine then that the mystical Hindu practice would endure beyond the hippie generation and become commonplace today from the elementary school classroom to the Christian church.
What modern meditators might not know is that the “Fab Four” learned Eastern meditation from Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Upon his death in 2008, a CBS News article recapped the Maharishi’s dark contribution to the world:
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to transcendental meditation, died Tuesday at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop, a spokesman said. He was thought to be 91 years old… Once dismissed as hippie mysticism, the Hindu practice of mind control known as transcendental meditation gradually gained medical respectability. He began teaching TM in 1955 and brought the technique to the United States in 1959. But the movement really took off after the Beatles attended one of his lectures in 1967. Maharishi retreated last month into silence at his home on the grounds of a former Franciscan monastery, saying he wanted to dedicate his remaining days to studying the ancient Indian texts that underpin his movement…. With the help of celebrity endorsements, Maharishi – a Hindi-language title for Great Seer – parlayed his interpretations of ancient scripture into a multi-million-dollar global empire. His roster of famous meditators ran from Mike Love of the Beach Boys to Clint Eastwood and Deepak Chopra, a new age preacher. After 50 years of teaching, Maharishi turned to larger themes, with grand designs to harness the power of group meditation to create world peace and to mobilize his devotees to banish poverty from the earth.
|Exhibit: Hindu Guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi|
Note that the Maharishi’s “Hindu practice of mind control” was mined from “the ancient Indian texts” (i.e., the Vedas & Upanishads) and not the Holy Bible.
TM.org, a website devoted to promoting the guru’s Transcendental Meditation, quotes its founder, the Maharishi, who admits candidly that the goal of the mystical practice is to achieve “the state of enlightenment” —which is an altered state of consciousness wherein the meditator realizes his/her own divinity.
Harvard trained Ph.D., Candy Gunther Brown, a Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, highlights this troubling history of TM in her 2013 book, The Healing Gods: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America:
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (c. 1918-2008) popularized the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1960s America…In 1975, Time magazine pictured the Maharishi on its cover and described TM as ‘the turn-on of the ‘70s—a drugless high that even the narc squad might enjoy’… A goal of TM is realizing one’s unity with the divine.[bold added]
Dr. Brown’s synopsis of TM is sadly correct. This journey to occult enlightenment takes the meditator into an altered state of consciousness—“a drugless high that even the narc squad might enjoy”—a practice that the Bible condemns (Deut. 18:9-13; 2 Ki. 17:7-9; Rom. 12:2).
|Oxford University Press 2013|
Note how enticing the TM website describes this “drugless high”: “The TM technique allows your mind to easily settle inward, through quieter levels of thought, until you experience the most silent and peaceful level of your own awareness — pure consciousness.”There is no thinking, only feeling. Rather than relying on rational faculties, the meditator focuses upon themystical experience. Eastern meditation is occult mysticism. It is a practice that is diametrically opposed to Sola Scriptura: objective truth that the Lord God spoke—breathed—into His Word, the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16).
MARKETING MYSTICISM AS MEDICALLY BENEFICIAL
Through the decades since the British music invasion to America, savvy change agents have successfully marketed Eastern meditation to modern consumers—including American Christians—seeking relief from the mounting stress of day-to-day life and temporary escape from a mind-muddling world.
Eastern meditation is listed among several once-taboo practices that Dr. Brown refers to in her book as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). She claims that meditation (and other previously questionable practices) has become mainstream in our culture primarily due to its touted therapeutic benefits:
“The recent integration of CAM into the mainstream health-care market and conservative Christian subculture is an extra-ordinary development. Before the 1960s, most of the practices considered in this book—yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, meditation, martial arts, homeopathy, and anti-cancer regimens—if encountered at all, were generally dismissed as medically and religiously questionable. Conventional medical doctors disparaged CAM as quackery, and Christian clergy denounced CAM as idolatry because it seemed tainted by ‘Eastern’ religions or ‘New Age’ spirituality.”[bold added]
This “extra-ordinary development” of the “recent integration of CAM into the mainstream health-care market and conservative Christian subculture” is borne out on the TM website, copyrighted by the Maharishi Foundation USA, which promotes this Eastern practice to westerners by underscoring to the so-called health benefits of TM: Extensive peer-reviewed published research on the TM technique has found a wide range of wellness benefits including:
- greater inner calm throughout the day
- reduced cortisol (the “stress hormone”)
- normalized blood pressure
- reduced insomnia
- lower risk of heart attack and stroke
- reduced anxiety and depression
- improved brain function and memory
Besides citing research by the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American College of Cardiology, the TM website boasts celebrity endorsements from Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, and George Stephanopoulus, anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. It also includes testimonials from the Mayo and Cleveland clinics.
All of these Eastern meditation promoters disarm detractors of TM by denying its religious occult roots. TM is peddled to our pragmatic society as simple, healthful, and enjoyable:
It’s [TM] a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The TM technique is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Over six million people have learned it — people of all ages, cultures, and religions.[bold added]
Contrary to the disclaimer that “it is not a religion”, Transcendental Meditation was indeed birthed in the depths of the occult realm.
EASTERN MYSTICISM: TAPPING DEEP OCCULT ROOTS
Directly opposed to biblical teaching, Eastern religions teach that “God” (or divinity) transcends all creation and is also imminent in all creation (which is called panentheism). According to this false teaching, within every human soul lies an “inner divinity”, “higher self”, “higher consciousness”, “divine spark”, “Atman,” divine Presence,” etc.– that can only be recognized or awakened through meditation (Eastern mysticism). This spiritual awakening is called, “self-realization”, “cosmic consciousness”, “enlightenment”, “samadhi,” etc.
Christian researcher and author, Ray Yungen, also links this philosophy to occultist Alice Bailey:
It was Alice Bailey (the famous occult prophetess who coined the term New Age), who made this startling assertion: It is, of course, easy to find many passages which link the way of the Christian Knower with that of his brother in the East. They bear witness to the same efficacy of method [i.e. meditation]. What did she mean by the term “Christian Knower”? The answer is unmistakable!…[O]ccultism is awakening the mystical faculties to see God in everything.In Hinduism, this is called reaching samadhi or enlightenment. It is the final objective of yoga meditation: God in everything – a force or power flowing through all that exists….[bold added]
Crystal Love, New Age author and mystic, ties all of these unbiblical teachings to one of the oldest bundle of occult writings penned by the mythical prophet, Hermes Trismegistus:
“In the ancient Egyptian texts of The Hermetica it is also written that God is Oneness and that everything is part of one Supreme Being – an invisible universal consciousness, or mind – which has created all things from an original impulse, and yet which also resides within all of creation simultaneously [panentheism].”
|Fusion Press, 2000|
The medieval alchemists encapsulated this monistic belief into the phrase “As above, so below,” meaning that there is no transcendent God above (as in the personal God of the Bible), but that ‘All is One’ or divine (called Pantheism). From these occult ideas come some of the darkest practices forbidden by the God of the Bible.In her book, The Mystic Mind, Crystal Love talks about a “spiritual revival” and “revolution” of these things in our day, purportedly supported by Quantum Spirituality, which we have extensively critiqued and documented elsewhere. Love also links all of these things with the “untapped power and potential of the Mystic Mind” which, in the occult view, ties human consciousness (i.e., the mystic mind) with that “one Supreme Being – an invisible universal consciousness, or mind,” or God “force or power flowing through all that exists”. As above, so below:
…[W]e are witnessing a spiritual revival and revolution which is happening at the grass roots level of society as a whole, and which appears to be a culture in its own right, regardless of the views of either scientific or traditional religious thought and dogma. Astrology, healing, telepathy and ESP, the out-of-body and near-death experience, as well as reincarnation and past life regression, have become bridges to a new religion…. [I]t is modern science, particularly quantum physics that is now inadvertently offering verifiable scientific information on the nature of the universe and the validity of the mystical and supernatural. This can surely only lend support to a growing body of evidence, which… will soon come to confirm the unity in all things, and the amazing untapped power and potential of The Mystic Mind.
According to Love, the vehicle to “untapping the power and potential of The Mystic Mind” is Eastern meditation:
The word ‘Mystic’ originally comes from the Greek word for ‘mystery’ – meaning ‘the unexplainable’ – whose own root word means quite simply, ‘with closed eyes’. According to mystic philosophy, one cannot gain a full understanding of God, the nature of the universe, or indeed the ‘Self’, [i.e., ‘higher self’] by external or physical means alone since God, religion and spirituality all exist within our own selves, within our own souls. By ‘closing the eyes’ and shutting out the external physical world of the five senses through introspection, meditation or prayer, a divine union with God, vision or revelation may be experienced by the individual…The mystical journey is, by its very nature, a journey into the self, and a journey ultimately made alone.
Love explains what happens during this solo mystical journey:
To access this immense unconscious data bank of information we have to switch-off the intellectual apparatus, the medium for conscious thought and perception – the left brain. We have to delude it, literally hypnotise [sic] it – lull it into a non-active phase. As soon as we have shut this door, as soon as we put the conscious mind to rest, to sleep, the other door – the door into the unconscious – opens.
Herein lies the danger of entering into altered states of consciousness. What happens when the “intellectual apparatus” is “switched off”—when it is “deluded”, “lulled into a non-active phase” or “hypnotized”? What foreboding entities might lurk where the “door into the unconscious opens”? Pastor Larry DeBruyn warned Christians, who flirt with these same mystical practices under the pretense of prayer, about some disturbing possibilities in a recent article, titled, “Who Goes There? Encountering Voices in Contemplative Prayer”:
That contemplative spiritualists engage in practices that by their own admission expose them to the influence of Satan’s voice is troubling. Scripture admonishes believers, “Neither give place [i.e., an opportunity] to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). But in his advocacy of contemplative prayer, Richard Foster admits that Satan may seize the silence as an occasion to speak. He states:
I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as supernatural guidance that is not divine guidance... there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way![bold added]
What might Satan be saying to the meditator as he “seizes the silence”? In stark contrast to Eastern meditation, Christian meditation involves an active and engaged mind—not one that has been switched into neutral and vulnerable to demonic entities. Christians ‘meditate’ by ‘pondering’ or ‘thinking deeply’ about God’s Word—NOT by ‘emptying their mind’ and entering into an altered state of consciousness. “When I rememberYou on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches….” (Ps. 63:6). (See also: Ps. 4:4; 104:34; 119:97).
But regardless of these very real and spiritually dangerous concerns, Eastern meditation is revolutionizing our culture at an alarming rate—and our young people are in the bullseye of TM marketers. Continue reading
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