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A Desolate Waste-Land
Globalism - Ecumenism
Friday, May 18, 2012
Alf Cengia

I still run the gamut of emotions and frustration whenever I run across New Age materials in various media forms.  It happens all too frequently.

Whether it’s spotting a book sitting on a bookstore shelf or stumbling onto an article or a review, my mind travels back to a time - not so many years ago - when I too was lost in that Desolate Waste-Land commonly referred to as the New Age.

That is an accurate term for it because it best describes the emptiness and desolation I experienced when I searched for God using the disciplines available within that system. There was always that promise and assurance by its enthusiastic devotees but it is a tragic irony that so many spiritual seekers consistently failed to find God there.

He was tantalizingly close but could never be reached.  I had a thirst that couldn’t be quenched.

I remember reading a book by a psychic “channeling” an Anglican nun who had passed on to a higher plane.  In other words, she had died.  Was Jesus Christ there to greet her?  Not according to her channeler - she apparently wasn’t quite ready yet.  One had to continue to evolve spiritually so that one could enter the higher planes and eventually meet an otherwise inaccessible Jesus, who was presumably busy tutoring advanced entities.

Even when Jesus was recognized as a person who actually existed, His divinity and the significance of His sin-bearing sacrifice was denied by every NA teacher, without exception.  The term “Christ” referred to an enlightened consciousness that was available to all those masters who had progressed far enough spiritually.

The word “discipline” is almost an oxymoron as it applies to elements of the New Age.  As harsh or arrogant as this may sound, there is very little objectivity or logic associated with its various beliefs.  “Discipline” more correctly refers to the many different forms of yoga, meditation and NA dogmas.

I’ve told the story how years ago I was drawn into a conversation with a fairly advanced practitioner of a Buddhist system of meditation.  At the time I was already meditating up to forty minutes a day but he was way beyond that.  He had gone to retreats and was personally taught by advanced Myanmar practitioners.  Also, he was no intellectual slouch; being a lecturer in his chosen field of science.

One day he made a statement that went something like this:

“When you go deeply enough into meditation you reach a point when you can actually see there is no God. Our masters and teachers know this and you’ll soon see for yourself.”

Several questions came to mind but I didn’t want to offend him.  I wanted to know the mechanism involved in this Gnosis.  I’d heard of the so-called Akashic Records or Library which some gifted individuals could supposedly read.  The problem was that this information was conflicting.  It seemed naïve to presume to be able to probe the universe and the nature of reality by counting breaths and contemplating one’s navel.

The upshot came later when we were talking about a TV special where illusionist, David Copperfield, had apparently walked straight through the Great Wall of China.  My learned Buddhist friend casually informed me that his teachers thought Copperfield had gone over to the dark side by misusing his powers.

It wasn’t just that naivety that perplexed me.

My friend would meditate with the goal of ending his reincarnations on earth.  But then what?  I could never get a satisfactory answer as to the ultimate purpose if there was no God.  Moreover, I found out that he was actively recruiting individuals to join Amway.  It was contradictory behavior for someone who shunned all materialism and attachments to emotions.  Apparently he needed the money so that he could stop work and spend more time meditating to achieve something he couldn’t express.

Contradiction is no stranger to the NA. Previously, I pointed out how Hindu-inspired New Age writer, Deepak Chopra, complained that Christianity had hijacked Jesus.  In one book he argued that the Jesus of fundamentalism was nothing like the real Jesus.  He even tried to use selected Scripture to prove his point.

Yet in the same book he saw fit to cast doubts as to whether there was any real evidence for the existence of the very person he insisted was misrepresented by His own disciples and the Bible.

Speaking of contradictions, in his book “The Kingdom of the Cults”, Walter Martin wrote:

“Hinduism, today, is not the same as Hinduism five thousand years ago. The Hindu religion has evolved over the past five thousand years of Indian religious history (p 351).”

On page 352 he shows one way where the contradictory nature of Hinduism is found by comparing the God of the Gita with the God of earlier Vedic literature.  The former tended to a more monotheistic God who was separate from creation while the latter taught an impersonal pantheistic God.

Walter Martin also warned that the ultimate goal of Zen Buddhism is “the freeing of the will” and to allow the ego to be detached until “one’s real self calmly floats over the world’s confusion” (p 269).  He rightly pointed out that, in a world full of hunger, disease, death and tragedy, this view “bordered on the criminal.”

According to the popular Paramahansa Yogananda:

“From science, then, if it must be so, let man learn the philosophic truth that there is no material universe; its warp and woof is maya, illusion. Its mirages of reality all break down under analysis.” (Autobiography of a Yogi)

If this universe is really “maya illusion” then one can understand how so many NA teachers gloss over genocidal atrocities and other societal tragedies.

Yogananda wrote extensively about Jesus.  He even wrote a two volume tome on Jesus’ second coming and claimed to have been personally taught by Him.  Sadly, Yogananda’s Jesus is nothing like the biblical one.  That Jesus’ second coming is only a matter of the “Christ consciousness” permeating the individual.  The tragedy is that his readers swallow that lie “hook, line and sinker”.

Interestingly, the apostle Paul also claimed to have been personally taught by Jesus.  Yet his Gospel comports with that of the disciples...and comes with a warning (Gal 1:6-12).

When asked why he placed such an emphasis on Christianity, Yogananda responded that his guru wanted him to:

“...interpret the Christian Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, or Hindu Bible, and to show that the teachings of both are basically the same. It was with this mission that I was sent to the West.” (Emphasis mine)

I’ve read countless assertions by Yogananda’s readers that the Bible never teaches that Jesus is the unique Son of God.  When this is challenged, some protest that “problem phrases” were probably inserted later and that there are secret-truer meanings to Scripture.  Pressed further they will assert the Bible has many contradictions. This is essentially contrary to Yogananda’s statement.

Here are some thoughts to help put things into perspective:

John 1:1-18 explicitly states that Jesus created all things (not maya) and that He is the only begotten son of God. John 14:6 He tells us that He is the only way. Thomas calls Him “my Lord and my God” in John 20:28.

And what do we make of John 3:13-18? Verse 14 is directly connected to the brazen serpent which had to be lifted up and looked to for healing in Numbers 21:9, which points to the cross:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Is there any esoteric meaning behind Acts 4:12?  Is the New Age Jesus to be found in Phi 2:9-11?

In Luke 24:44 Jesus said there were many things about Him in the Old Testament that were to be fulfilled.  Removing all the New Age problem phrases from the Bible would require such an extensive undertaking that it would reduce it to a garbled mess.

This isn’t intended to be an extensive rebuttal to the NA Jesus.  However, I’d like to challenge sincere seekers to search out the Scriptures and test them.  The Bible is an integrated whole which does not contradict itself.  For many years I avoided reading it because I knew what was there and would have had to make a decision based on that.

Please don’t make the same mistakes I made.

The Jesus Christ we all need isn’t found in the New Age.

That place is a Grave Yard.

About Alf Cengia

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