Archive for the 'Hinduism & Buddhism' Category

Visualization and Affirmation

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

 

(image courtesy sherrysnider.com)

By Spencer D Gear

Contact (May 1997) recommended visualization [which is also known as guided imagery] and affirmation for “harnessing the power of the mind toward achievement and goals.” That is not what those involved in occultism say. David Conway, in Magic: An Occult Primer, exposes some of the agenda of visualization:

By now the adept has visualized the required forms, and, it is hoped, contacted their astral equivalents. In addition the force behind these forms will have been admitted into the circle. At this point we come to the most important part of the ritual… We shall flick the switch that lets in the cosmic power….

To do so he must temporarily lose his reason, for it is reason which bars the doors of the conscious mind where the astral world lies waiting. The way to open these doors is to assume a state of unreason similar to the divine frenzy of the Bacchantes. Like their delirium the aim of such unreason will be to receive the deity that is being invoked….


At last–and he will certainly know when–the god-form will take control of him… While the power is surging into him, he forces himself to visualize the thing he wants his magic to accomplish, and wills its success” (Conway 1973, pp. 129-32).

As articulated above, these deities being invoked often have very evil ramifications. However, nowhere in Contact‘s promotion of visualization was there even a hint of people losing their reason and unreason taking over. Instead, it was the road to mental health. The research literature and personal experience of occultists confirm that visualization is sometimes associated with horrific evil. Why was there no warning in your article?

“Many new age disciplines offer various techniques of visualization as a help to contacting the spirit world” (Ankerberg & Weldon 1991, p. 148). Hunt & McMahon show where such visualization may lead:

It promotes the unrealistic attitude that, rather than face a problem in the real world, the solution is to fantasize a different illusion, which becomes one’s new `reality.’ Instead of correcting this madness, many psychologists encourage it. In fact, a growing number of today’s psychotherapies are based upon this very theory. Such therapies incorporate visualization and the acting out of fantasies, a process which encourages the idea of escaping from problems rather than confronting them and working out a real solution (1988, p. 210).

Dennis Livingston of New Age Journal understood the implications when he criticised new age guru, Shirley MacLaine

I found the implications of her philosophy basically cruel and callous. . . MacLaine’s basic truth is that we create our own reality. . .
Are you poor? You chose poverty because you need to learn certain lessons. . . Do you have cancer? . . . Did you lose a loved one? . . . You participated in creating that reality . . . nobody is a victim . . . evil is just a matter of your point of view.
It sounds like the perfect yuppie religion, a modern prime-time rerun of nineteenth-century Social Darwinism. Both blame the victim. Only now, the poor are not poor because they are ‘unfit’ . . . [but because] they want to be poor . . .
If I were a dictator, I could think of nothing better than to have a nation dedicated to following MacLaine’s agenda (1987, p. 79)

Former occultist, Johanna Michaelsen, believes that “without a doubt one of the most powerful techniques being used to initiate the next generations into the New Age religion is visualization.” She is clear about its intention to help people “look within themselves to discover and release their divinity. . . It is not a neutral technique” (1989, p. 109). Even church leaders have wrongly bought into this technique. Michaelsen said that

in personal interviews with Witches I have been told that their covens have `laughed themselves silly’ at how the church has so wholeheartedly adopted their occult techniques, thinking that as long as they tagged `Jesus’ at the end of them that they were perfectly okay. In my own earlier days I used extensive guided imagery/ visualization techniques for developing psychic powers and mediumship. . . It was a colossal shock to me to discover that virtually the same techniques I had practiced as a occultist were being used in the church” (1989, p. 110).

Yet, Contact wanted to promote visualization as a road to mental health. I appeal for an honest evaluation of the techniques being advocated.

Works consulted

John Ankerberg & John Weldon 1991, Can You Trust Your Doctor?: The Complete Guide to New Age Medicine and Its Threat to Your Family. Brentwood, Tennessee: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.

Contact, Issue 10, May 1997, produced with assistance by the Bundaberg Consumer Advisory Group at the Office of the CDO for Mental Health, PO Box 2730, Bundaberg 4670, Australia; phone (o7) 4151 8111. The newsletter offers the disclaimer: “The opinions expressed within `Contact’ are not necessarily endorsed by those who produce, sponsor or fund this newsletter.”

David Conway 1973, Magic: An Occult Primer. New York: Bantam.

Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon 1988, America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers.

Dennis Livingston 1987, “Taking on Shirley MacLaine,” New Age, November/December.

Johanna Michaelsen 1989, Like Lambs to the Slaughter, Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers.

 

Copyright (c) 2007 Spencer D. Gear.  This document last updated at Date:  9 October 2015.

The dangers of Eastern meditation

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

(public domain)

By Spencer D Gear

The front page of a mental health newsletter was lauding the benefits of meditation. [1]  It advocated transcendental meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, concentration, walking and standing, visualisation and affirmation, and mantras and chants. However, the writer wanted to deny any association with Eastern religion, claiming that “stereotyped images” associated meditation with “dark-skinned people of Asian or Oriental descent.”

What are the benefits of meditation?  According to the newsletter’s writer, “In reality, meditation is all about relaxation, contentment and awareness. It is all about `stilling the spontaneous activity of the mind.'”

The accolades continued: “Through the deep relaxation that meditation can bring, comes an altered state of awareness. This altered state of awareness can take people from aggressive to tranquil, from fearful to confident, from doubtful to positive and from discontented to understanding.”

If this is the case, people should be flocking in droves to such a panacea. Many are, especially to the new age movement’s techniques. However, does Eastern meditation only lead to mental health? Does an altered state of consciousness only produce tranquility, confidence, a positive attitude and understanding?

Let’s get some facts straight. Meditation is Eastern religion. When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came to the West with his promotion of transcendental meditation (TM), he made it clear that it was a Hindu religious practice whose purpose was to produce “a legendary substance called Soma in the meditator’s body so the Gods of the Hindu pantheon could be fed and awakened.” [2]

What happened to Carole is just one example, that could be replicated many times over, of how meditation can go wrong — badly wrong! She began hatha yoga lessons and received her mantra, the word of power from Swami Rama.

As he laid his hands on her head, Carole said that “currents of electrical energy began to permeate my head and went down into my body… It was as if a spell had come over me, the bliss that I felt was as if I had been touched by God. The power that had come from his hand, and simply being in his presence, drew me to him irresistibly.” [3]

As the “electrical currents” continued pulsating, she experienced wonderful, powerful forces and energies. Thoughts kept impressing her mind, “Meditate, meditate. I want to speak with you.” Carole said that “it was a miracle. I was communicating with the spirit world. I had found God. ” While sitting in the darkness of her living room, she began to repeat her mantra. “A presence seemed to fill the room. I began to see visions of being one with the universe and the magnetic thoughts were now leaving and I was hearing a voice, which identified itself as Swami Rama, saying he was communicating with me through astral travel.”

Carole explains how the love and flowers turned to disaster. “Within one week, after meditating many hours each day and still in constant communication with this spirit, forces began to come upon me and gave me powers to do yoga postures. I was floating through them, the forces giving me added breath even. . . postures that before would be very painful to do.” [4]

After two weeks of daily meditation, Carole’s world crashed. She “became engulfed in a nightmare of utter dread and terror. Voices which once claimed they were angelic turned threatening, even demonic. She was brutally assaulted, both physically and spiritually. During meditation, in the midst of being violently shaken, she could sense that the very same energy received at initiation, energy which was now felt to be personal, was attempting to remove her life-essence from her physical body.”

In her words, the energy would “literally pull the life from my shell of a body.” She sensed an overwhelming hatred directed toward her, as if “monstrosities of another world were trying to take my very soul from me, inflicting pain beyond endurance, ripping and tearing into the very depths of my being.” [5]

There was nobody to help her. The attack eventually subsided, but there was more to come. Nothing could stop the assaults as she pleaded with the spirits. They ignored her. Her husband was powerless.

Noted neurosurgeon, Dr. C. Norman Shealy, a former Harvard University professor and author of Occult Medicine Can Save Your Life, entered the picture. He was unable to help and referred Carole to spiritist, Dr. Robert Leichtman. Dr. Leichtman admitted that Carole’s situation was not uncommon among followers of Eastern gurus. He told of people dying as a result of similar psychic attacks. But he, too, was unable to help.

After admitting herself to hospital, there was still no relief. When she returned home the attacks continued with incredible torment. “Although she was terrified of death, death was now her desire.” She was wishing to take her own life but was too fearful of dying.

In desperation, she admitted herself to the hospital. Once again, she was placed in a locked ward. She felt that there she would die — alone and in torment.

Carole is alive and well today. She is free from the spirits. Even her psychiatrist is amazed at the miraculous transformation. How did it happen?

Carole attributes both her health and her life to “a living Jesus Christ who delivered her from a desperate plight.” As she reflected on her predicament, Carole “is awed that such terrible destruction could be purchased at the price of a simple, supposedly harmless form of meditation.” [6] It started with a mantra associated with yoga.

Carl was a qualified psychologist with a degree in physics. He had a personal interest in religion and parapsychology and was excited by Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception. He cultivated altered states of consciousness, reincarnation, research and astral travel. Gradually, Carl admitted to himself that a deep alteration was taking place inside of him. After years of research and experience, he was consumed by the forces so evil that he became an incoherent vegetable requiring exorcism and was hospitalised for 11 months. He concluded:

“Solemnly and of my own free will I wish to acknowledge that knowingly and freely I entered into possession by an evil spirit. And, although that spirit came to me under the guise of saving me, perfecting me, helping me to help others, I knew all along it was evil.” [7]

Warning signs are required on cigarette packets.  Why shouldn’t people be warned of the dangers of Eastern meditation?

Endnotes:

[1] Contact, Issue 10, May 1997, “a monthly Newsletter for people interested in mental health in the Bundaberg [Qld.] district.”
[2] Art Kunkin, “Transcendental Meditation on Trial, Part Two,” Whole Life Monthly, September 1987, 14, 17, quoted in Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon, America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1988, chapter 3.
[3] Carole’s story is told in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Coming Darkness (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1993),p. 19f.
[4] Ibid., pp. 20-21.
[5] Ibid., p. 21
[6] Ibid., pp. 22-23. These authors state that the story is “condensed and edited from material sent, May 28, 1981.”
[7] Malachi Martin, Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans. New York, NY: Bantam, 1979, p. 485, in John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Can You Trust Your Doctor?: The Complete Guide to New Age Medicine and Its Threat to Your Family. Brentwood, Tennessee: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1991, p. 153.

 

Copyright © 2007 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 15 October 2015.

clip_image003