Cults, Religions and the Occult: How Do They Compare? – Session 4, Part 3

  1. Christianity and Other World Religions
    1. New Age Movement
      not a monolithic movement because it lacks cohesiveness; major figures do try to promote a “movement” mindset in order to achieve overall goal. People and terms: Dan Brown, Jeanne Dixon, Edgar Cayce, Shirley Maclaine, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Shakti Gawain, Deepak Chopra (ascensiongateway.com). George Lucas, David Spangler, Marilyn Ferguson, Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God), Gaia, Mother Earth. Encompasses great emphasis on spirituality, miracles, angels due to philosophical perspective. 

      New Age is a recent and developing belief system in North America encompassing thousands of autonomous (and sometime contradictory) beliefs, organizations, and events. Generally the New Age borrows its theology from pantheistic Eastern religions and its practices from 19th century Western occultism.” (http://www.wfial.org/index.cfm)

      Some popular publications and journals are New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega.

      Other Names: Higher Consciousness Movement, Occultism, Eastern Mysticism, Eastern Spirituality, Ancient or Perennial Wisdom, Age of Aquarius, Holistic Health Movement.

      The New Age Movement is both a religious and a social movement. It’s a multi-focused, multi-faceted synthesis, in varying degrees, of the Far Eastern, mystical religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Western Occultism, adapted to and influenced by Western, materialistic culture.

      It is comprised of hundreds of groups and individuals who have gained significant influence, affecting almost every area of the culture [including] the church. It is expressed in organized religious forms such as Christian Science, Unity, and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, in various human potential seminars, and much in between, i.e., transcendental meditation, some alternative holistic health practices, and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools.

      The most central and commonly shared beliefs among New Agers are various combinations of gnosticism and occultism. Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that Divine essence is the only true or highest reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually this essence.

      The term “New Age” is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, if not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age (rationality) to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things. (http://www.watchman.org/profile/nwagmpro.htm)

      New Age author Marilyn Ferguson also sees the New Age movement as a road to positive change:
      “Humankind has come upon the control panel of change—an understanding of how transformation occurs. We are living in the change of change, the time in which we can intentionally align ourselves with nature for rapid remaking of ourselves and our collapsing institutions. … We are not victims, not pawns, not limited by conditions or conditioning. … We are capable of imagination, invention, and experiences we have only glimpsed.”

      1. Authority
        No external revelation has importance over any other, none is any more the word of God than another. No document, body of literature, external entity has the right to exert authority over an individual. Best description: radical autonomy, self-law.

        “The real problem with commitment to an external form is that it doesn’t allow room tor the inevitable changes and growth of people and relationships. If you promise to feel or behave by a certain set of rules, eventually you are going to have to choose between being true to yourself and being true to those rules.” “When we consistently suppress and distrust our intuitive knowingness, looking instead for [external] authority, validation, and approval from others, we give our personal power away.” Shakti Gawain

        Special revelation need not exist in books or in any other form outside of us, because each of us has our own special revelation in our higher consciousness.” UTT

      2. God
        All is God, God is all, all is one. All reality is one, spiritual, at the opposite end of the spectrum from Secular Humanism. Matter is simply a manifestation of spirit, lasting only until universal higher consciousness is achieved. Ultimate reality is the God-force or Christ-consciousness.

        “Once we begin to see that we are all God, that we all have the attributes of God, then I think the whole purpose of human life is to reown the Godlikeness within us.” Beverly Galyean

        “”We are as much God as God is a part of us; each of us is God; together we are God’ this all-for-one-and-one-for-all makes us the whole of God.” Ruth Montgomery, quoting a channeled spirit

         Every person should begin the day by affirming their own godhood: “You can use I am God or I am that I am as Christ often did, or you can extend the affirmation to fit your own needs.” Shirley Maclaine

      3. Christ
        “Levi Downing’s, The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, declares that Jesus became the Christ through a complicated mystical ceremony in Egypt (Aquarian Gospel, Section XI). The channeled New Age book, A Course in Miracles, states that Jesus became the Christ by seeing “the face of Christ in all His brothers.” (p. 83). Both the Aquarian Gospel and the above statement in A Course in Miracles reveals a lot about the New Age. Firstly, they believe that Christ and Jesus are distinct in some way. They will often say that Jesus was the man in whom the Christ dwelt. The Christ, is said to be a kind of cosmic principle, obtainable by anyone who is enlightened.” (http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk/newagejesus.htm)

        The Jesus of the Course explains, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other” (A Course In Miracles, Vol. 1, p. 5).

        In Jesus we had the first perfect full example of what it’s like to be in the image and likeness of God, and he launched that story, including the crucifixion of the animal body and the resurrection to a light body – a resurrected body of subtle energy – to show us that we are, indeed, meant to be in the image and likeness of creative gods.” Barbara Marx Hubbard

        “The significance of incarnation and resurrection is not that Jesus was human like us but rather that we are gods like him – or at least have the potential to be.” Science of Mind

        Jesus was human. He fully manifested human potential but he always discouraged the projection upon himself of a deified superman. He made clear that his powers were available to all, and showed the way to them.” Kell Kearns

        “The Son of God is not Jesus but our combined Christ-consciousness.”
        John White

      4. Man
        Man is divine, progressing toward godhood or Christ-consciousness. Each individual’s soul was present in other forms earlier in history and will remain in still other forms after the individual dies (reincarnation).

        Man has the ability to alter the progress of evolution; the goal is to achieve higher consciousness when material reality will disappear and all will experience cosmic oneness. The path to enlightenment and higher consciousness is through meditation often with the aid of crystals or mantras. An added benefit that comes from regular meditation is channeling. Other aids to meditation are astrology, firewalking, Ouija boards, aura readings.

        New Age meditation focuses on the God within rather than the God without.

        “And if you really want to pray to God, you can just close your eyes anywhere, and think about that feeling of god, that makes you part of everything and everybody. If you can feel that feeling of God, and everybody else can feel that feeling of God, then we can all become friends together, and we can really understand ‘What is God?’. So, if you really want to feel God, you can close your eyes now, and listen to your breath go slowly in and out, and think how you are connected to everything, even if you are not touching everything.” What is God?, children’s book

      5. Salvation
        Sin is an illusion, so too, the idea that we have left heaven. The world, sin and death are all illusions created by mankind who has believed in a wrong idea. Bottom line – if we are God enough we can save ourselves. Of course, it would help if everyone else got on board and we all achieved higher consciousness together. If enough people make it, there will be sufficient “critical mass” to bring along the rest and achieve the cosmic oneness that was lost in the Fall. The Fall was basically a glitch on the evolutionary road to godhood.

        “Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusion. Jesus became what all of you must be”. Course in Miracles

        “The gospels speak of Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The way that he took away the sins of the world was to show that they had no effect. Through his overcoming of death he took away all sins. However, this is not the way that the churches have understood it, or that it has been taught. So one important reason that the Course has come at this time, in this way, is to correct this error. What Jesus did was to live in this world – the world of suffering, sin, and death – show that it had no effect on him” (A Talk Given On A Course In Miracles, p. 65).

        By salvation I do not mean an elect few who will be plucked from the planet at the last possible moment. to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ in front of a gigantic throne for endless millennia after billions of brothers and sisters have suffered and died horrifically on earth below. I mean the continuance of the collective Human Being here, now and in a cocreative future of the advancing consciousness of Self divinity and loving power.” Kell Kearns

      6. Right/Wrong
        The standard of right and wrong is the individual. The individual has no authority to impose his/her standard on any other; all moral/ethical views must be tolerated because ethics is relative to the truth within each individual. More alarming, if all is one then good and evil are indistinguishable; so are right and wrong, wholeness and brokenness, light and dark, Christ and Lucifer.

        “Christ is the same force as Lucifer…Lucifer prepares man for the experience of Christhood.” David Spangler

        It is only by listening to the “God within” that each individual settles on a personal standard of right and wrong. The individual is responsible for holding himself to his own standard, if that is part of his standard, and cannot hold anyone else accountable to anything.

        Brad Pitt declares, “It’s taking everything you’ve learned from your parents and school and finding out what works for you and what you have to offer. The important question is, ‘What feels right for you?’”

      7. The End
        “W
        hat I see happening now is that we are at the edge of Armageddon and there are people who believe that even by using power, even nuclear power that there would somehow be a redemption after that which would lead to the return of Christ. That’s one reason they’re for the apocalypse! But, there’s another interpretation of this altogether. The alternative to the destruction of this existing world in order to bring Christ in would be the creation of the mass resonance and connectivity of the world which would bring in the experience of the Essential Being, the Father, the Creator, the God Within, in a critical mass simultaneously which would shift the field of Earth, the thinking layer, the Noosphere, that would be the Christification of the Earth. It could well be, this is my evolutionary intuition, that when we receive a massive degree of resonance in a critical mass of humans that whatever is beyond this dimension of human consciousness – the so called spirits, angels, living body of Christ, will be collectively experienced. We have ‘seen through a glass darkly’, when we experience mass resonance we will ‘see face to face’. We do not need to go through Armageddon.” Barbara Marx Hubbard

        Surely we can see the times. They are as obvious as the weather out our window. The choice between life and death has come down to this generation. “Greater things than I do shall you do,” Jesus said. “You are gods!” We are to bear each other into the vast territory of love, and let none be left behind who would come. The Beloved Community is our only survivable destiny. It is our salvation.

        We will not be denied this time, as Jesus was seemingly denied in his day. The Reign of God is among us. The Reign of God is at hand. The Reign of God is everywhere bursting forth. It is eternal Reality. There is more and more of the New Humanity each day. They can not crucify us all. We are a chain reaction of love. We will overrun the old order with love. Let us declare that with us the age of the crucifixion of humankind ends. The age of the universal resurrection into love begins here and now. Baptized as the Beloved Community, we emerge from the old river of extinction as a new creation.” Kell Kearns

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