by Ray Yungen
In 2 Corinthians 1:9, the apostle Paul says:
“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.”
The verse does not say we should trust in ourselves who are God—it says we should not trust in ourselves but trust in God. God is a personal Being, not the Universe, not a spirit guide, and most certainly not humanity.
The reason the New Age is wrong is that it takes devotion, trust, and glory away from the One who created us and gives it to man and the rebellious familiar spirits who deceive man into self-glorification. An analogy of this would be that of an artist’s canvas or paint—rather than the artist taking credit for the painting, the canvas or paint takes the credit.
That is why the Gentile nations were separated from the true God. They were the metaphysicians of old (the Mystery Schools) “who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served [honored] the creature [man] more than the Creator [God], who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).
This folly was due to the same error that millions are making right now. They turned to the realm of familiar spirits for guidance, just as people are doing today.
There is one account in particular that brings out what I want to convey. It is found in Acts 16:16-19:
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination [familiar spirit] met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying [psychic predictions]: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, Which shew unto us the way of salvation.” And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace and unto the rulers.
These verses show four things that are critical to understanding the nature and aim of the New Age movement:
1. The spirit was the source of her power, not some latent faculty inherent in the human makeup. When it went, her ability was gone.
2. The spirit was accurate to a high degree. Otherwise she would not have brought her masters “much gain.” You don’t become a success with a poor showing.
3. Paul and the spirit were not on the same side. This is quite evident by the fact that he cast it out of her.
4. Most important of all, the spirit tried to identify itself with God. When it followed Paul and Silas, it was saying the truth, “These men show us the way of salvation.” By doing this, the spirit could continue its practice of deceiving all concerned and perhaps later undo what Paul’s ministry had accomplished.
These spirits are doing the same thing today. This girl, no doubt, believed that it was her inner divinity giving her the information that was so effective in aiding the community. The truth of the matter is, when you say you have connected with your inner divinity and that you are God, sadly, you have joined the ranks of those who, “Professing themselves to be wise [knowing the truth], they became fools [absurd], and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man” (Romans 1:22-23).
Swami Muktananda was one of the most admired and respected New Age leaders during the 1970s and early 1980s. He was thought by many to be the virtual embodiment of the God-realized master. He told His disciples:
“Kneel to your own self. Honor and worship your own Being. Chant the mantra always going on within you. Meditate on your own self. God dwells within you as you.”1
When Muktananda died in 1982, one of his closest followers revealed that his master “ended as a feeble-minded, sadistic tyrant luring devout little girls to his bed every night with promises of grace and self-realization.”2 Without realizing he was echoing the truth of the verses just quoted, he concluded:
There is no absolute assurance that enlightenment necessitates the moral virtue of a person. There is no guarantee against the weakness of anger, lust, and greed in the human soul. The enlightened are on an equal footing with the ignorant in the struggle against their own evil.3
It is very clear that the metaphysical explosion that our society is currently immersed in is a continuation of what Leviticus 19:31 warned against:
“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards [metaphysicians], to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. ”
On this basis alone, Christians have a duty to challenge the validity of the New Age [New Spirituality] message that we are God.
1. David Eastman, “Kundalini Demystified” (Yoga Journal, September/October 1985), p. 43.
2. “Baba Beleaguered” (Yoga Journal, July/August 1985), p. 30, (reprinted from CoEvolution Quarterly Winter 1983).
3. Stan Trout, excerpts from an open letter (Yoga Journal, July/August 1985), p. 30.