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posted
Dear freinds,

As many of you know, I am writing about my conversion from the Eastern path to Christ. I would like to incorporate similar testimony from those who have been on variuos "New Age" paths into some of my discussion. Does anybody know of publications along this line other than the four books I've listed below?

The Beautiful Side of Evil (1982) by Johanna Michaelsen

Inside the New Age Nightmare (1989) by Randall Baer

The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace (1992) by Warren Smith

Ransomed From Darkness: The New Age, Christian Faith, and the Battle for Souls by Moira Noonan

I have yet to read all of the above, but the point of all of these authors seems to be consistent with my conclusion that there are powerful, supernatural forces that seek to seduce us away from the path of Christ.

Also, if you have personally come to Christ after pursuing 'false gods' or 'false religions' and would like to share your testimony, please contact me. Your discussion would, of course, remain anonymous and I would disguise personal material where necessary to retain your anonymity. Thank you so much.

much peace to you all!
in Christ Jesus,

shasha
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Shasha,

I read alot of books like those for a long time.

My experience is working in the opposite direction.
I have been more and more interested in the East for the last two years.

Did coming out of the New Age movement bring more light? What, specifically, are you refering to. Shirley McLaine, chrystals, tarot, astrology, bad experiences with gurus or groups, or a combination of these?

peace and caritas, mm <*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Shasha,

I read alot of books like those for a long time.

My experience is working in the opposite direction.
I have been more and more interested in the East for the last two years.

What was the realization that brought you to Christ?

Did coming out of the New Age movement bring more light? What, specifically, are you referring to. Shirley MacLaine, crystals, tarot, astrology, channeling, experiences with gurus or groups, or a combination of these?

peace and caritas, mm <*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tal Brooke's Avatar of the Night recounts his time spent with Sai Baba in India.
- http://www.scp-inc.org/president/index.php

There are quite of few books that bash the New Age, but the authors haven't spent much time there. Just do a search for Christianity and the New Age or Catholicism and the New Age and you'll find them. The Jesuit priest, Mitch Pacwa, has written a popular book, but I think he goes way overboard by completely discounting Jung's psychology and Matthew Fox's creation spirituality.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And here is lots of info on the term New Age:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age
 
Posts: 535 | Location: Sarasota, Florida | Registered: 17 November 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
The Jesuit priest, Mitch Pacwa, has written a popular book, but I think he goes way overboard by completely discounting Jung's psychology and Matthew Fox's creation spirituality. [/QB]
Phil, Yes, I don't think we need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The term "new age" is a broad one. I think one can believe a lot of the "new age" beliefs without being a "new ager".

Katy
 
Posts: 535 | Location: Sarasota, Florida | Registered: 17 November 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear Michael,

--------------------------
What was the realization that brought you to Christ?
---------------------------

Christ revealed Himself to me on a few occasions...I could see that

He is Love Incarnate,

the Lord of all lords,

and the end of all searching for God.

I define New Age as anything that aims to make us more 'spiritual' but denies the basic tenants of Christianity.
-------------------------------------------

Thank you Phil and Katy for your suggestions. I don't want to do New Age bashing, but I'm after genuine accounts of folks who've been converted by a direct, mystical encounter with Christ after excursions into false religions.

It is interesting to me that these people, myself included, seem to have some common experiences independent of one another:

1) we all report a period of acute, profound repentance once we see the Light of Christ and how lost we were;

2) we feel that there was actually a battle for our souls and now we are literally SAVED from some kind of destruction that would ultimately have ensued had we remained on the false path;

3) we feel profoundly, eternally grateful for God's saving Grace through Christ Jesus

4) we feel we've found HOME and the end of all seeking for peace and love is in our surrendered relationship with the God of Israel through Christ Jesus.

much peace to you all,
dear ones,

shasha
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asher>
posted
why is there this constant need to affirm your religiosity or spirituality as unique? i think this may have been done in the past by saints and mystics and granted there is often a special feeling of "gathering in my name," i don't see this to be a reason for narrowness. does this turn into divisions and/or religious divisions and finally violence? there's something to be said for cultivating a sense of the interconnectedness of all religions as being part of God's Plan and also part of a various forms of collective consciousness which include: historical consciousness, cultural consciousness, racial consciousness (no matter how much we would like to evade this, 'race' continues to haunt us). and i think that the 1960's innovations of poststructualism have helped various systems of thought to retain, or open up a space of fluidity that is necessary for interfaith dialogue and for contemporary life. it also seems important not running into the narrow trap (rather than say the narrow road of purging) of moral relativism. while i agree that the new age is a kind of spiritual hedonism, i see no reason to use that as a way to divide, or to form narrow divisions. and crtainly, i would say that many teachers from 'the east' brought a lot of insight here. hazrat inayat khan comes to mind.

religion seems to be found in unknowing and being open to encounter with the other--even if the other proves to be that aspect which defines the self of another system. for instance, it has been argued that islam has been christian's 'other' since the fall of communism (see the debates about the pope's statements, for example). christianity has defined itself in relationship to an imagined islam--an islam that exists in christian consciousness, contingent with historical consciousness, rather than any inherent/intrinic aspect of islam (as a religion of "violence," as many people here look at it) and conversely christianity as "rational." when one sees violence erupting around the world, one has to study this from a sociological perspective, firmly rooted in class, race, gender, economics etc. and not in "family structures" etc. that's just fear mongering and false. ok, not speaking to you specifically, but to those who construct islam in a way this way at shalom. i think many systems of thought are still stuck in a modernist telos. this doesn't mean that i see 'rationality' as silly. it simply means that rationality has to come with a host of other things. many interpretations of christianity are still stuck in a modernist telos. and really, as we see here, there is no such thing as 'christianity.' all systems of thought exist because of various inherent contradictions which faciliate dialogue--which faciliate meeting those dissonant strands. those contradictions are the 'truth' of religion in that they keep it from stifling--they permit movements along greater historical shifts where one element may be emphasized over another.

ok. all from me, for now. a religion without fluidity (not simply dictated by economy, "common sense values," or broader shifts) but genuinely dialogic, open, that's the religion i believe in. one that is hospitable to others. check out those mosque/churches in turkey which retain christian icons--where christians and moslems pray together. that's where the seed of hope is--not in all the orientalist constructions of islam, or any religion for that matter. look for those contradictions and your thinking and that's where liberation from the mind is--where the heart opens to the other--and to the self's own freedom. the rest is a pack of lies--or the rest is relative, dependent on class, race, gender, history etc. there's no escaping that, even the transpersonal realms can not escape these social facts.

and why is it that you learned and grew from eastern practices and have no gratitude towards those very traditions that you drew from? it is as tho you attempt to distinguish your newly founded faith in christ on the very disavowal of those eastern practices. in a sense, this simply shows a kind of shallowness and that you must really be attempting to integrate those experiences with your newly founded christianity. those eastern practices are constitutive of your newly founded christianity. a more mature approach would probably include some gratitude that these actually brought you to the point of rediscovering your christianity. it seems as tho you have slipped back into a kind of regressive mythical thinking about christianity. granted one needs to distance themselves from those practices, it seems disrespectful to diss them when they actually got you to place where you are. and it is really an interpretation that suggests that christ brought you to him. none of that can be proven.

how do you live in contemporary world (a hybrid world) with this narrow outlook? how can you escape the globalizing facts around you? the fact that religion will never be the same because of globalization, increased immigration flow because of labor shortages, increased need to dialogue with the 'other' -- the other who is constitutive of your very identity? these are important questions to dwell on as the boundaries between 'races' collapse and we are forced more than ever to dialogue--in order to survive as a species. so there's that sort of darwinian fact at work as well. i don't see how you can live in such an insular imagined world.

yours,

asher

re sai baba, i don't know any thing about him except i once had a cool dream of him where he touched my forehead and i went into bliss. other than this i have heard he is a magician of sorts--but this was from unreliable sources that i no longer trust.

however, we cannot say that all hindu gurus are the same, are magicans, or are 'evil'. i had a lovely hindu teacher for 7 years, but i couldn't follow his path b/c of celibacy and other rules which proved to be unhealthy for me. it was I who emphasized the anti-intellectual strand of his teaching and this caused me trouble. now i realize it was useful for a time to develop the heart, exclusively. because after three years of intellectual thinking, i see the partial futility of it. hence the heart broke out of its shell and was ready to become integrated with the mind.

any wayyyyyy. hope every one is well. and saalams.
 
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quote:
It is interesting to me that these people, myself included, seem to have some common experiences independent of one another:

1) we all report a period of acute, profound repentance once we see the Light of Christ and how lost we were;

2) we feel that there was actually a battle for our souls and now we are literally SAVED from some kind of destruction that would ultimately have ensued had we remained on the false path;

3) we feel profoundly, eternally grateful for God's saving Grace through Christ Jesus

4) we feel we've found HOME and the end of all seeking for peace and love is in our surrendered relationship with the God of Israel through Christ Jesus.
I can certainly agree with all of the above.

My history includes a seeking after God in Rastafarianism, New Age Hinduism/Buddhism and Occultism.

My conversion came about through what I believe was a direct intervention by God. I was immensely aware of my failings and false path. I repented and threw myself on the mercy and grace of God.

I was aware that there was a battle for my soul and that I was saved by Jesus Christ for certain destruction without him.

My life is lived in gratitude to God for saving me and remaining in relationship with me.

My only struggle is with point 4). While I agree with the statement, my Christian walk has not been one of succesive victories. I am still confused, still concerned at times that I am in the wrong Christian tradition and struggle with my salvation. But these doubts and worries and interspersed between profound times of connection with God and the peace that it brings.

Another interesting development in recent times is my reconsideration of aspects of my past and their role in my formation. In the past everything prior to my conversion was wrong, evil, deception etc. Now I am needing to sift through my past and look for God working through it all and bringing me to a greater revelation of himself in Christ Jesus.
 
Posts: 712 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shasha,

Agree with 1-4 above, and continually recycling through the stages.

"Born again," as they say, at 6, confirmed and a
"true believer" at 14, "spirit-filled" at 21, "twelve-stepped" at 34, "centering-prayered" with
"kundalini" at 37, and "integral" at 43.

Currently, mostly "confused" ... Wink

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving! Smiler
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear w.c.,

Thanks for those links. And thanks for the clean-up job.

As a matter of fact, I am a "hill-billy," close cousin with the red-necks. That's what the Albanian city-folk call us who were born in the mountains. ;')

I do appreciate Asher's point that one can be grateful to other spiritual paths. Afterall, once you've experienced the counterfeit, one can more deeply appreciate the genuine.

Dear Jacques,

I'd love to hear more about your spiritual path and how you came to Christ. If you've written it down somewhere and want to share it, send it my way.

Since coming to Christ, I've not had successive victories either! Lots of pain and suffering and dreadful choices, out-of-control behaviors...

Jacques and friends, check out Brad Scott's brief testimony. He studied with a guru for seven years and was on his way to becoming his successor. Notice the elements of repentance, gratitude and faith at arriving HOME in Christ and never looking back, despite storms and challenges.

I especially can relate to what he says about kundalini in comparison to the love of Christ that he experienced directly: "Not even the thundering power of the "kundalini" could match the brilliance and power of Christ's presence in my soul... The incarnate Christ, I came to discover, is the secret of the ages, the alpha and the omega: "the mystery of God . . . in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" resides (Col. 2:2-3). The risen Christ is the hidden power of all our strivings, the power of life and love that will, if we believe, remain always "at work within us" (Eph. 4:20). I no longer had to look elsewhere for meaning. I had found an abundant, endless supply of all the wisdom and love I would ever need. I stopped looking for light in all the wrong places."

http://www.watchman.org/na/scotttestimony.htm

Consider that people who leave Christianity to become something else don't go through repentance or any kind of deep conviction for having been spiritually deceived. They might say good-bye to a Christianity that is limited, nice moral teachings, but rule-bound and shallow. They might say, "Whew! I�m glad I�ve found some supernatural-minded folks like me, and I'm glad to leave behind those narrow-minded Christians who don't have a clue about the awesome power of kundalini and the true path to God / enlightenment!" But there is not this sense of being convicted with shame and a sense of having been severely deceived as in so many who have a profound mystical encounter with Lord Jesus.

much peace to you all,
dear ones,

shasha
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Shasha

I have previously posted my story on a thread here at shalomplace

enjoy.
 
Posts: 712 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear Jacques,

I did read your story and all the responses. Thank you for sharing.

Your story reminds me of a few others. Todd Bentley, whom I've mentioned to you on another thread, also reported terrible demonic attacks for months (?) following his conversion to Christ. He mixed various drugs and was into the occult...perhaps more so than you. You might be inspired by his autobiography, Journey into the Miraculous. Now God uses him mightely as an evangelist, with extraordinary miracles following.

Also Randall Bear found enlightenment through his use of drugs and then was heavily into the New Age Movement for 15 years before he realized that Satan was behind his seemingly 'glorious' ride. He had actually become internationally know for his work on crystals and new age 'science.' He came under heavy demonic attack one day while sitting in meditation in his "ascension chamber." He was bed-ridden by these attacks and dismayed that none of his spirit guides whom he had chanelled for so many years were able to rescue him. It wasn't until he repeated a prayer with TV evangelist Pat Robertson that his deliverance and healing began. Very moving account, especially the way he describes his acute repentance.

Drugs are clearly the work of Satan. I know a priest, Father John Corapi who was heavily into drugs, money, wild-living, the works, for 20 years before Christ saved him. He said he's never heard a confession that was worse than anything he'd done. Corapi used to hang out with drug lords who would literally chant Satantic verses over huge shipments of cocaine in order to get people hooked on it and demonically possessed.

False doctrine is also clearly the work of Satan. His greatest trick is to sprinkle lies amidst a whole lot of Christ-like truths or super evolutionary consciousness truths. The marvelous, scintillating, intellectually captivating works of so many New Agers will have you nodding your head in amazement and awe...but they all feel like false prophets to me.

You got some good advise on that thread. In particular, I resonated with what Stephen said to you, Jacques. You may want to re-read those responses...now that you are in a slightly different place than you were in July. Have you ever tried the age-old spiritual discipline of fasting combined with prayer? One can fast from anything, TV, talking, just one meal, etc.

The point seems to be to make a sacrifice of some kind for the sake of drawing closer to God. Pray with gratitude. Pray to be open to receive all of God's blessings. Let the restlessness in your spirit come to the forefront and pray for healing. If you were able to hear Satan's voice, you will be able to hear God's voice....

much peace to you and your family,

shasha
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear Michael,

-----------------------------------------

Currently, mostly "confused" ...

-----------------------------------------

Let us pray against that spirit of confusion!

and wishing you peace,
s
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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s,

Transformative experiences are promised. Yours shows promise. Good to have you here. I do believe that an open gateway such as the new age movement carries a host of opportunities for deception in the very fertile ground of sensitive and somewhat vulnerable seekers. Many have had their fingers singed. I'm going to start a thread on such an individual, and perhaps you can spot a few counterfeits therein.

caritas, mm <*)))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think, as with many paths in the spiritual, we need to read these sorts of books with care and caution.

I do not believe in the exclusivist idea that only Christianity is absolutely true, and all other religions are the creation of Satan. While I do believe the fullness of salvation is to be found by the path of Christ, a close study of other world religions shows most have profound depth and spiritual insight.

However, the danger and mistake many Westerners make is we turn religion into an idol for pleasing the self. Many people profoundly misunderstand Eastern religious teachings like 'detachment' and 'egolessness' and quite often Eastern religious ideas which in their original context, having very profound meaning as a part of an integrated spiritual path, become little more than worthless mantras and excuses for all kinds of spiritual decadence. It would be as if someone took the Holy Trinity for example, and reduced it to tarot cards and crystal gazing.

People forget generally, spiritual paths of enlightenment or contemplation are designed for people brought up in the faith. In Judaism for example, study of the mysteries of the Kabbalah is restricted to people who are 40 years old and over and who are in good standing both in religious law and society. Similarly in Buddhism, while enlightenment sometimes occurs very fast, other times it may take several lifetimes to reach final peace in nirvana. Similarly in Islam, one cannot become a Sufi unless one already is a good Muslim who is mature, married, and well-established in the obeyance of Islamic law (shariah). Mysticism has traditionally always been strongly tied to institutional religion, and even mystics like Meister Eckhart would have found the concept of mysticism incomprehensible detached from their Christian faith.

In all healthy religion, mystical experience and practice requires healthy discernment and also a good spiritual guide, and practice according to the psychological temperament of the person. Attempting to undergo the quest entirely on one's own is risky and fraught with many pitfalls.
 
Posts: 32 | Location: Perth, Australia | Registered: 09 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with Gregory. I think people may just want the high of an experience without the grounding in a daily routine (whatever traditon thats within).

when I was in may late teens i went on a lot of retreats and found myself in places where it felt very spiritually dark.

looking back I think I was searching for something authentic and non-formulaic. Having a spiritual director and/or charing my journey with others in a n honest way has been really helpful - being honest about my doubts and questions r,e christianity and other religions. But Jesus love and sacrifice are so powerful...

I personally find zazen useful but I tend to recite a phrase from the bible in my head. I think so many people are longing for a non-judgemental and open christianity , but one that is grounded in love. For me Pauls wriitngs in Romans are making so much sense now Smiler

here is an article about a zen christian minister. Sasha what are your thoughts on this?
http://www.sotozen-net.or.jp/k...ends/zf15_1/feat.htm
 
Posts: 22 | Location: japan | Registered: 11 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Apologies ... I see your name is Shasha
 
Posts: 22 | Location: japan | Registered: 11 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gregory,

I am so sorry, but I didn't see your post until just this morning.

You bring up some popular points, and I would like to respond to them right away. However, I'm super-busy at the moment, and will get to your comments as soon as I can. (Hope you're still around! ;-)

Rachel, thanks for your sharing and for the post. I will come back to resond when I've got a breather!

peace to all,

Shasha
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There's been lots written by Christian practitioners of Zen during the past few decades. E.g.
- Thomas Merton's Zen and the Birds of Appetite
- William Johnston's Christian Zen
- Dom Aelred Graham's Zen Catholicism
- Jim Arraj's God, Zen and the Intuition of Being

You can read Arraj's reflections on Zen and Christianity on his website. See this page for a good listing of links.

The general consensus seems to be that Zen practice can be an aid to detachment, and it helps to awaken the human spirit in a "place" prior to acts of cognition. Where one goes from there is another matter; for many, this is enough. But for those who have Christian faith, there is still the recognition of an-Other with whom we can be in relationship. Zen can thus help to facilitate a very deep and authentic surrender of self to God if one maintains the priority of faith.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<HeartPrayer>
posted
A Zen Master teaches Benedictine Brothers

About 25 years ago I visited a monastery in France (Benedictine, I believe) that had a cooperation with a Japaneze Zen monastery. When the Zen Master visited, he would guide them in various Zen meditation practices, also drawing inspiration and using examples from the monks� Christian beliefs and practices.

I am sure these Catholic brothers would not have pursued this if they sensed any danger whatsoever to their spiritual well-being.
 
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Dear Gregory,

----------------------------------------------
I think, as with many paths in the spiritual, we need to read these sorts of books with care and caution.
I do not believe in the exclusivist idea that only Christianity is absolutely true, and all other religions are the creation of Satan.
-------------------------------------

We cannot debate the meaning of somebody else�s mystical experiences or revelations. We can read, listen, be open to God�s voice and our own revelations, and so forth, to decide what is absolutely true.

I have chosen to take seriously the testimonies of people who�ve left the Eastern path after devoting much of their time there. I see a distinct pattern in those people who have independently arrived at similar conclusions about how and why they left Eastern paths after having a direct mystical encounter with Christ. There are striking similarities in this group that are not found in folks who leave the Christian path for something else, as I wrote above.

------------------------------------------
While I do believe the fullness of salvation is to be found by the path of Christ, a close study of other world religions shows most have profound depth and spiritual insight.
----------------------------------------------

Hmm�what do you mean here, Gregory? If you believe that the FULLNESS OF SALVATION IS TO BE FOUND BY THE PATH OF CHRIST, doesn�t that imply that there is a lacking in other paths? Even if they�re profound and offer spiritual insight? Seems to me, you can�t have it both ways.

-----------------------------------------------

However, the danger and mistake many Westerners make is we turn religion into an idol for pleasing the self. Many people profoundly misunderstand Eastern religious teachings like 'detachment' and 'egolessness' and quite often Eastern religious ideas which in their original context, having very profound meaning as a part of an integrated spiritual path, become little more than worthless mantras and excuses for all kinds of spiritual decadence. It would be as if someone took the Holy Trinity for example, and reduced it to tarot cards and crystal gazing.

--------------------------------------

I believe I�ve experienced the fullness of what the Eastern path has to offer, but I LEFT that path because Christ showed me something greater. I am basically a hedonist. I found the greatest pleasure. Swimming in non-dual ecstasy is great, but Christ is beyond enlightenment.

You bring up mantas. An important point is that mantras can be dangerous, and imo evil. This is where dark forces do come into some sects of the Easter path, imo. It is no secret that those teachers & gurus who give mantras say they are a living force, an actual entity that when called upon will *live inside of you.* There was a thread on evaluating TM in which Phil quoted the TM guru�s purpose of the mantra, which was to *become one with the deity of the mantra.* Hello!? This is a bad idea! (I wrote about my discovery of the danger of mantras in my paper From Seeker to Saved, on this thread).

If you think deities and supernatural forces behind mantras are not real or if you think all of them are HOLY because they are names of gods/goddesses and are part of long-established spiritual paths, you are completely niave.

With all due respect, Gregory, I don�t think you are aware of the dark forces in Eastern practices that call on deities and energies to accomplish spiritual growth. All things spiritual, other-worldly, regardless of how profound, are not necessarily HOLY, even if they lead to enlightenment, stilling the mind, etc. This is what I found to be true and so do the other authors I listed.

There is danger of romanticizing the Eastern path because parts of it are esoteric, deep, beautiful, espousing love and unity, etc. You can have extremely wise, brilliant, enlightened teachers who awaken your kundalini and all, and still be deceived by the teachings and the energies.

I believe this scripture in John 4 speaks to the crux of this issue.

You Samaritans do not know what you are worshipping [you worship what you do not comprehend].We do know what we are worshipping [we worship what we have knowledge of and understand], for after all salvation comes from among the Jews.

A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true genuine worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:22-24 AMP)

Jesus is directing our attention to an important lesson for seekers of God on any path. You see, one can be enthusiastic and earnest about one�s worship of God but still lack essential knowledge and truth about who His is.

The Samaritan woman responds, �I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us.� She is saying, �I appreciate what you are saying that we are ignorant of how to worship God in truth, but we�ve been told to expect the Messiah to reveal what this truth is of how to worship our Lord.�

And then Jesus responds by telling her, �I Who now speak with you am He.� That is, Jesus is telling us that He is the Messiah, and it is through worshipping Him that you will know how to worship God, the Father, in truth and not just in spirit.

See, the New Age philosophy and the crux of Eastern mysticism is that the divine is within us and we can seek and find righteousness on our own (often with the help of a guru/teacher), but divinity is �within.� In my opinion, this is a deception. They assert that we can achieve this unity with God through our own efforts, meditation, kundalini ascension, positive thinking, channeling of spirits guides, etc. These paths are all grounded in the illusion that we can, on our own, find God. We can achieve enlightenment and this is certainly a fascinating mystery that humans are equipped with this capacity! But Jesus did not preach enlightenment; he preached and prayed for our union with the Father and Himself as the only path to God, the Father.

much peace to you and your family,

Shasha
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan | Registered: 24 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Shasha:
[qb] Dear Gregory,

You bring up mantas. An important point is that mantras can be dangerous, and imo evil. This is where dark forces do come into some sects of the Easter path, imo. It is no secret that those teachers & gurus who give mantras say they are a living force, an actual entity that when called upon will *live inside of you.* There was a thread on evaluating TM in which Phil quoted the TM guru�s purpose of the mantra, which was to *become one with the deity of the mantra.* Hello!? This is a bad idea! (I wrote about my discovery of the danger of mantras in my paper From Seeker to Saved, on this thread).

If you think deities and supernatural forces behind mantras are not real or if you think all of them are HOLY because they are names of gods/goddesses and are part of long-established spiritual paths, you are completely niave.

[/qb]
Isn't using the name of Jesus as a mantra calling
upon forces, an entity of Jesus to live within oneself? This seems to be the crux of my confusion about a personal relationship with Jesus. And i see now that this is the reason i came to the list. It is not like i can talk about Kundalini issues and these types of issues with the neighborhood minister. Tried it and it didn't work.

I used a mantra of Jesus with passion and
did end up with the only words i have are, an entity of Jesus outside myself at first, when i still believed Jesus was outside myself. And later within as my practice went more interior.

I was saying a morning prayer one day, and from within myself, felt like around my heart, i heard a male voice saying the prayer with me. This was not the type of thing i could bring up in spiritual direction so i went to the eastern religions to try and understand. I was told about tulpas. So i scratch my head in confusion.
Confused
Ajoy
 
Posts: 135 | Registered: 05 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, i forgot to say that i had no conscious
control over the male voice that was coming from within me saying this prayer with me. I did feel
it was Jesus though.

Ajoy
 
Posts: 135 | Registered: 05 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK, i finally understand where my confusion with this issue is coming from. Smiler

Ajoy
 
Posts: 135 | Registered: 05 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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