Sunday, November 20, 2005

Reiki: New Age occultism

Yesterday, while at Confession, I noticed a calendar of events for various parishes around the Diocese of Manchester. According to this flyer, Transfiguration Parish has offered workshops in Reiki (as have the La Salette Missionaries at their Center for Christian Living in Attleboro, Massachusetts). For this reason, I offer an article written by noted Catholic author Mr. Michael Brown and which appeared at his excellent website: www.spiritdaily.com:

Spirit Daily
Occult Infiltrating Catholicism In Ways That Are Both Clandestine And Blatant
By Michael H. Brown
The occult continues to make inroads and is infiltrating the Catholic faith itself, often in the guise of self-help psychology or meditation.
We receive constant reports about this. In Ohio there is a movement for a "future church" that would accent feminine spirituality and a mother goddess. A banner of the goddess has even been hung in a church. At a Catholic school in Indiana -- advertised as the nation's premier Catholic college for women -- there was an account of freshmen introduced into witchcraft during a literature course, where they were tested on a book by a witch named "Starhawk." We have a report that an altar was set up in the front (when a pagan priestess dressed in robes was invited to address the class). For opening ceremonies at the school -- according to the same report -- the college removed statues from a church and replaced them with a shrine to the earth, where a "circle of blessings" was conducted. Meanwhile a Midwestern Catholic publisher -- based in Notre Dame -- offers a book called Prayers to Sophia, an allusion to the "goddess of wisdom."
These are but some of the most blatant examples. In Colorado were reports of nuns who prayed to the east and west each morning -- a New Age invocation geared to the gods of nature -- and in New York rumors that a crystal had been placed by a nun in a Blessed Sacrament chapel. In Minnesota nuns long have been indoctrinated into what can only be called the New Age.
While these are all dangers -- and contrary to the Catholic faith -- an even more insidious infiltration has come through methods that don't seem occult on the surface. Many Catholics are now involved in "reiki" -- pronounced ray`-kee, a New Age system of energy healing based on the theory that a universal healing energy or life force permeates and that it can be "channeled" into someone so that their own life force is enhanced. The occult and New Age (as it is now known) involve anything that considers the universe and humans ruled by an impersonal energy. They often spring from Eastern religions or pagan beliefs.
"The practitioner places their palms on major organs and glands, and on the areas where the chakras are located," notes one website about reiki. "The chakras are part of Hindu belief that there are seven chakras, centers of psychic and spiritual energy, going from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Certain Hindu teachings claim that the kundalini, an energy force coiled snakelike in the base chakra, needs to rise to the topmost chakra as part of the spiritual enlightenment process."
We don't pretend to understand all the energies of the cosmos, and are not here to ridicule or condemn. But there are obvious dangers in all systems of belief, however well-meaning, that define a universal energy as anything but a personal God or that draw from mystery religions from the East.
There is also the "enneagram," which even priests and nuns practice. "Out of nowhere, the enneagram burst onto the Christian scene and became very popular with publishers and retreat houses," notes author Ralph Rath. "The enneagram is a circular diagram on which personality types numbered one through nine are symbolically represented at nine equidistant points on the circumference. The numbers are then connected by arrows in significant patterns which point the way to health (integration) or to neurosis (disintegration). Each human personality is said to fall into one of these nine types."
Unfortunately, the origin of the enneagram is in sufism, a mystical offshoot of Islam. "In contrast to the contemplation and the yearning for holiness of the Muslim mystics of former ages, contemporary Sufism, which claims over forty million adherents, has become a mix of pantheism, magic and rationalism with a belief in telepathy, teleportation, foreknowledge, transmigration of souls, and a denial of a personal God," notes another scholar.
Such has also been noted by the Church hierarchy. "Everywhere we notice the multiplication of bookstores, stores, courses and workshops, spiritual retreats, films, and television programs that promote the ideas and values of New Age," warned an archbishop, Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City, in a pastoral letter years ago. "Its ideas, awareness campaigns, and spirituality appear with increasing frequency in our children's classrooms and even in the preaching and religious teaching of Catholic institutions. Addressing this, Pope John Paul II clearly warned a group of bishops not too long ago: New Age ideas often open up a way for themselves in preaching, catechesis, congresses, and retreats, and thus come to influence even practicing Catholics who may not be aware of the incompatibility of those ideas with the faith of the Church."
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture released its own warning a year ago -- warning specifically about concepts of the "universal mind" and "higher self" that permeate New Age systems.
Tantra. Yoga. Hatha. Raja. Kundalini. Mantra. Mandala. Nirvana. Christian Zen. Higher consciousness. Self-realization. Centering prayer. Rolfing. Guru. Enlightenment. Sodhana. Eckhart. Jung. TM. Mind Control.
All must be treated with caution.
"There are many 'words' used by Christians today of which they have no knowledge regarding what they really mean," warns another writer, Eddie Russell. "These words and practices are introduced to them by plausible people and they are never questioned. The result is that many Catholics [and other Christians] may be practicing New Age occult religions without realizing it. Some of these practices are spiritually dangerous to say the least."


Paul

3 comments:

Ktulu said...

I'm sorry, but do you even know what the word occult means? Or have you been blinded by so much organized propaganda within organized Christianity that you have no clue about reality? You rant and rave about things you know nothing about, and you blindly follow the words of those who are biased and ignorant. Do some real research on things like Reiki, or for that matter, actually find out what the word occult means. Occult does not mean pagan, nor does it have anything to do with demons or evil. The word occult is older than Christianity itself. It means "hidden", and true "occult" practices are designed for exploring or understanding "the hidden". Reiki is simply a healing practice that manipulates energy flows within living organisms. This is not some form of "magick" (besides, one person's magick, is another person's technology, see: cargo cults), Reiki and the energies of "ki" or "qi" or "chi", are most likely the energy fields created by nervous system (which runs on electical current). Hence learning to use your mind to control your body, you can manipulate this energy for healing.

Your narrow-minded, hypocratic mind set is such a shame because it truly makes a mockery of the true Christ. Christ was truly a great example of how to live, and he opened the way for humanity to lead itself out of the darkness. Unfortunately the one you call the Devil (the Demiurge) has taken control of Christianity, and most organized religions, and twisted them into petty belief systems that can't hold themselves up to the questioning mind.

Blind faith is the downfall of your twisted, dualistic mindset. You blindly follow an idea of a god who you don't truly know. If you just opened your mind, questioned what you're told, and keep the model of Christ in your heart (not the twisted-Savior Christ, but the spiritual avatar of Christ), you'd be able to transcend the blindfold that's been tied tight to your head.

Ktulu said...

I'm sorry, but do you even know what the word occult means? Or have you been blinded by so much organized propaganda within organized Christianity that you have no clue about reality? You rant and rave about things you know nothing about, and you blindly follow the words of those who are biased and ignorant. Do some real research on things like Reiki, or for that matter, actually find out what the word occult means. Occult does not mean pagan, nor does it have anything to do with demons or evil. The word occult is older than Christianity itself. It means "hidden", and true "occult" practices are designed for exploring or understanding "the hidden". Reiki is simply a healing practice that manipulates energy flows within living organisms. This is not some form of "magick" (besides, one person's magick, is another person's technology, see: cargo cults), Reiki and the energies of "ki" or "qi" or "chi", are most likely the energy fields created by nervous system (which runs on electical current). Hence learning to use your mind to control your body, you can manipulate this energy for healing.

Your narrow-minded, hypocratic mind set is such a shame because it truly makes a mockery of the true Christ. Christ was truly a great example of how to live, and he opened the way for humanity to lead itself out of the darkness. Unfortunately the one you call the Devil (the Demiurge) has taken control of Christianity, and most organized religions, and twisted them into petty belief systems that can't hold themselves up to the questioning mind.

Blind faith is the downfall of your twisted, dualistic mindset. You blindly follow an idea of a god who you don't truly know. If you just opened your mind, questioned what you're told, and keep the model of Christ in your heart (not the twisted-Savior Christ, but the spiritual avatar of Christ), you'd be able to transcend the blindfold that's been tied tight to your head.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Dear ktulu,

I might take your comments more seriously if you only posted them once. I'm sorry you feel that I possess a "hypocratic mind" (whatever that is) and that "Blind faith" is the "downfall" of my "twisted, dualistic mindset."

Obviously love is an important aspect of your religious belief system as is "tolerance" which you so passionately preach.

Have you ever written for a sitcom?

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