The Ancient Healing Tradition of India-I
By Edwin A. Noyes M.D. MPH, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2011
THE GREAT WISDOM OF THE EAST?
While attending a mini seminar on alternative medicine, I was impressed by the enthusiasm of those putting on this demonstration. When asked how these treatments work, the answer was “we do not know but it works.” There was comment about the “great wisdom from the East.” It was insinuated that great knowledge of healing from the past had been abandoned, but it was being resurrected and we were being recipients of it.
This comment brought to memory that which I had learned of the healing methods of the past, from the West and East, but I could not recall any knowledge in the history of medicine that we were neglecting. In fact, I could only give thanks that we had left most of the old knowledge to the past. This was especially true of the basic concepts of anatomy, physiology, and disease including the old concept of its cause. The old world view explaining man’s existence, his purpose in life, and his future, is definitely not in harmony with the Biblical world view.
Therefore, I determined to prepare a presentation about the ancient healing methods of the East. The West has its own history in occult healing modalities, and today we see a blending of the two, hence the expression “East–West.”
Outside of God’s original plan for health and healing, the oldest continuous system of medicine is called Ayurveda. It had its beginning in the Indus River valley in northern India sometime before 1700 B.C.
…It was established by the same ancient sages (holy men) who produced India’s original system of meditation, yoga and astrology. Ayurveda has both a spiritual and practical basis,…1
The word “Ayurveda” is derived from two words of the Sanskrit language, “Ayus” and “vid,” meaning life and knowledge respectively. Ayus, or life, represents a combination of the body, the sense organs, the mind, and the soul. The Ayurveda healing tradition is an integral part of the Hindu religion. Vedas are ancient Hindu books of knowledge said to have been “divinely revealed” to ancient sages (holy men). The Vedas, written in Sanskrit, were started more than 3500 years ago.2
The Vedas are believed to embody the rhythm, knowledge, and arrangement of the universe, the secrets to sickness, health and healing. As the living sage of astrology in India, Dr. B.V. Raman has written,
The influences of planets on human diseases appear with such persistence that it is impossible to ignore their effect. The sun and the moon provide the strongest influence on human healing, and their movements indicate changes not only in the seasons but also in human health and behavior.3
According to Ayurveda, everything in the material creation is composed of combinations of the five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. These five elements derive from, and are the manifestations of, an unmanifest and undifferentiated Creative Principle, which is One (universal energy).4
The Creative Principle is believed to manifest throughout the universe as two great antagonistic forces which continually create, sustain, and destroy all that exists in the universe. These forces (in Sanskrit) are called rajas and tamas, to the Chinese, yin and yang, (dualism). In Ayurveda, there is a belief that three psychic forces govern the mental and spiritual health. This system is derived from astrology.
The basis of all treatments in the Ayurvedic system is the balancing of the life energies within us.5
Meditation is a primary and fundamental tool in this balancing therapy which uses diets, herbs, mineral substances, and aromas as well.6
Ayurveda teaches that the “mind-body” has the intelligence and ability to heal itself. This intelligence is believed to operate in the macrocosm (cosmos)–which also directs the yearly migration of birds, seasons and their changes, the movement of tides, the positioning and movement of the planets and stars in the universe, and also the human physiology referred to as the microcosm.
It is the sole function of Ayurveda to promote the flow of this great intelligence (universal energy) through each and every human being.7
In the Hindu thought and in Ayurveda healing tradition, the “Creative Principle,” as an indescribable force, might be referred to as the unified energy field which underlies all of creation. Ayurvedic physicians see man simultaneously as energy and matter and view diseases in the same way.
The previous paragraphs have given very briefly the basic astrological—cosmological foundation from which Ayurvedic medicine is derived. We will now look at how it is applied. The dominant healing practice of India was Ayurveda. It is interesting that there was also conventional medical care. India was known for its advanced surgical skills during the dark ages, while Europe lost its skills and knowledge. So we had alongside each other, without apparent conflict, astrological—based practice of healing, as well as medical practice that was not based on the Hindu religion and cosmology. The basic therapeutics developed in Ayurvedic medicine gradually spread to the world: first to Tibet, then on to China, Japan and to the rest of the East. It also spread to Persia and the Arabian Empire in the eleventh century. In the middle ages it showed up in Europe,8 and it is evident that in the United States its influence was present in methods of treatment in the 1700’s and early 1800’s.
In Ayurvedic medicine, two forces make up these supposed divisions of energy, together called life force. A third division of energy is added and is made up of parts of the other two. Man is said to have had his origin from the mingling of these forces in a proper balance. In Ayurvedic teachings, health depends upon the perfect balance among the three forces.
When imbalance is present in these energy divisions, called doshas, dysfunction or disease supposedly occurs. It is believed that balancing the doshas will restore health. Ayurvedic medicine has as its goal the balancing of doshas, these divisions of energy.
The doshas are identified with the three supposed universal forces: sun, moon, and wind.9
Ayurveda teaches that there are seven centers of concentrated, focused, universal energy in the body, which collectively form an aura, an invisible light to the “non-sensitive,” which surrounds a person. There are sensitives who say they can see the colored light of the aura. These energy centers start at the coccyx area and then are said to be located in the sacral, mid-abdomen, heart, throat, behind the eyes, and on the top of the head, all having connection to or close association with the spinal cord. A center is called “chakra,” meaning “wheel,” which can be considered a “whirling vortex” of energy. Think of a cyclone as a vortex of swirling cone shaped energy powered by hot air beneath and cold above, representing dualism. Dualism is incorporated in the explanation of the swirling energy of the chakra as being powered by doshas (rajas & tamas) to bring energy balance. Dualism is a foundational concept in Ayurveda and Oriental religions.
Chakras are supposed to promote and regulate the spread of universal energy to the organs of the body, each center focusing on distributing energy to certain organs in its anatomical area. The energy is distributed from the chakras via “nadis,” which are invisible non- anatomical channels proceeding out from the chakras to carry energy. There is said to be 72,000 nadis.
Ayurveda is founded upon belief in the universal energy theory and postulate that all living objects have an energy field outside of, and surrounding the body, which is said to influence other energy fields. Seven rays of colored lights constitute this energy field, believed to represent seven endocrine glands. The harmony and energy balance of the individual can be ascertained by observing this aura. Ayurveda also teaches that:
Every animate and inanimate substance, provided its function is not impaired, has an “aura”, which exists because of the life forces inherent in the natural constituents of its form. This life force, whether from mineral, vegetable, animal or human sources, creates a common auric realm or plane, which is a storehouse of pure, untapped energy. On this plane the mineral and vegetable kingdoms are constantly engaged, through their own channels of communication, in transferring their particular life force to the more subtle natures of animals and humans. Thus the aura depicts the sum total of all these qualities and presents a complete and whole picture of the subject.10
Ann Hill, in her book A Visual Encyclopedia of Unconventional Medicine, describes the aura as seven rays of the presumed human unified energy field, forming seven colors. Each individual is said to have different frequencies of these rays. She tells us that the aura can be drawn by a trained sensitive, viewing the aura, or by observing some object an individual has handled. A sensitive of special skills is said to be able to determine a person’s mental and spiritual state as well as to diagnose illness if present, by inspection of the aura. The nature of the color, bright or dull, reveals and determines the physical condition and/ or health, and also a person’s spiritual status.
This aura or magnetic energy field cannot be demonstrated by science. It can be perceived only by persons who are sensitives or mediumistic.11
In the chapter on universal energy we learned about the hypothesized concept of the division of universal energy into seven electromagnetic frequency levels. The lowest frequency level is at the speed of light and all other levels are at a greatly increased frequency speed.
This concept is not in harmony with known laws of physics that are understood today. The subject of the seven chakras is not the same as seven frequency levels. The lower chakras in the anatomical positions are said to handle and process energy at low levels of frequency and that higher chakras handle high frequency levels. Chakras are supposed to be able to act as transformers and convert low frequency levels of energy to higher levels, passing the energy up the chain of chakras and vice versa with the top chakras transforming high frequency energy into lower levels, passing it downward to the lowest chakra which is able to pass this energy into the physical body.
The higher frequency levels of energy are believed to come from the cosmos through the top chakra at the top of the head to be passed down the other chakras and eventually throughout the body. As a person is able to raise, by meditation and yoga, his subtle energies to the level of the top chakra those energies are interchanged with the energies of the cosmos. Also, plant food is believed to posses mid level frequencies of energy; this, in turn, influences the middle level chakras. Universal energy also comes to the body via the air (prana) we breathe, which is believed to be a major source of subtle energy. The aura which is supposedly produced from the sum total energies of the seven chakras and emanates light outside of the body can be felt, seen, and influenced by an aura of another, by coming into close proximity, by application of hands, and with special procedures of sending energy over a distance to another.
The root chakra (chakra # 1 at the coccyx) is also regarded as the seat of kundalini. The kundalini is symbolized as a coiled serpent within the sacral/coccygeal region. The coiled serpent represents a powerful subtle force that is poised and waiting to spring into action. Only when the proper meditative and attitudinal changes have occurred does this force become directed upwards through the appropriate spinal pathway and activate each of the major chakras during its ascent to the crown. The kundalini is the creative force of manifestation which assists in the alignment of the chakras, the release of stored stress from the bodily centers, and the lifting of consciousness into higher spiritual levels.12
The chakras are said to be in the colors of the rainbow, with each chakra having a specific color. Each aura has a frequency of resonance or vibration and emits a fine electrical current and in turn can receive vital energies from external influences. This is the source of belief in “vibrational medicine.” The human body is said to be a symphony of color, including the skeleton. The various colors we apply to the body with:
(a) clothing, walls, illumination, or (b) by mental image-making, counseling and guided meditation, (c) through projection, on the spiritual level, to any person anywhere, is believed to build the forces and strength of the chakras and the aura to effect healing.13
When “magenta” an eighth color is added, an octave is produced and then music is also able to influence the chakras. Gems are known to refract light, dividing it into different colors. Sunlight consists of seven colors of the rainbow, so it is believed these refracted sunrays from gems can increase the energy (vibrations) of the chakra specific to each hue of sunlight.
The seven natural colors, with the added eighth (magenta), are used in therapy when there is an energy imbalance. The colors are red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, violet, and the added eighth color, magenta. It is believed that these colors correspond with three musical octaves and with twenty-four vertebrae of the spinal column. Two additional octaves have been added, so that infra-red can be applied to the sacrum and ultraviolet to the skull.
…The colour therapist uses the spinal chart which is also employed by the music therapist and astrologer to dowse (use the pendulum) out the problem areas of a patient and thus determine which colour is to be used in treatment.14
Color therapy can be performed by placing water in a colored glass vessel and letting the sun shine through it. The water is then ingested, thereby applying color therapy to correct imbalances in the aura. This type of treatment is still practiced. It is not necessary to visualize color, as therapy can be administered even to blind people with equal benefit, it is believed, by having them drink the sunlight-exposed water.
Nutrition and dietetics figure importantly in many of these healing systems. For example, in the yoga-oriented Spiritual Nutrition and the Rainbow Diet (1986), Gabriel Cousens, M.D., states:
By putting foods of various colors over each chakra (spiritual center of the human body), I was able to determine which colors were most enhancing for each chakra.15
The aura (composite energy) of a person is also believed to be influenced by sound and/or music. Music therapy is another method of restoring an imbalanced aura.
Each animate and inanimate object is also believed to have a specific energy frequency or vibration. (Not all believers in the aura accept that inanimate objects have an aura.) These vibrations are altered when disorder is present in the body. It is claimed that detection of altered vibrational forces can be done by the hands, Kirlian photography, or by radiesthesia using electronic instruments. Energy therapies and vibrational therapies, of which there are many varieties, seek to understand this continuous energetic aura, and to interact with it in order to facilitate health and healing.
The above-described beliefs and teachings of Ayurvedic medicine form the foundation of many ideas that are widespread in the field of alternative therapies today. I wish to make it clear to the reader that the above-described beliefs are not accepted in the sciences of medicine, physics and physiology. The detection of the basic energy, which is the center core belief of alternative therapy, cannot be found or measured by even the most sensitive instruments, a discrepancy that cannot be explained by its adherents.
I recommend an article found on the Internet, “Human Auras And Energy Fields” by Don Lindsay,16 which discusses the subject of auras and whether or not science can demonstrate such. The following is his summary:
Humans do not have auras. There is no kind of ‘energy field’ consistently found around humans. I say this for a bunch of reasons:
* It is the consensus of the scientific and medical communities.
* Proponents have had a lot of years to produce positive evidence.
* Negative evidence from equipment.
* Negative evidence from photography.
* Negative evidence from those who see auras.
* Negative evidence from those who feel auras.
For those readers who might wish to further investigate the argument that there is proof of auras, I suggest the following specific article that claims there is scientific proof.
Spring Wolf’s Spiritual Education Network
CHAKRAS & MAGIC
The Colors of Life17
It is important not to confuse the claimed energy of the chakra and aura of Ayurveda, with the bio-electrical activity of living matter. There is certainly electrical activity within our bodies as is demonstrated by electrocardiographs, electroencephalographs, electromyography, etc. To do any of these tests it is necessary to either place needle probes into and under the skin, or to prepare the skin by sanding the outer layer of cells free to make good electrical contact on the skin. With the proper contact, electrical activity is then demonstrated in muscles and nerves. No electrical machines have shown electrical activity of a chakra, or of an aura inside or outside of the body. There is instrumentation that is one million times more sensitive than the living tissue of our bodies.
However, these electrical measuring instruments do not show evidence of Chakras—inside, or auras—outside the body.
Not all practitioners of Eastern mysticism accept the explanation that universal energy can be explained by conventional physics and object to the term electromagnetic in describing such. They believe that universal energy is a spiritual entity, and that it cannot be described by common scientific terminology. Many modern scientists who are believers of Eastern mysticism do, however, attempt to explain their beliefs by scientific terms. Some psychics claim to be able to see the aura, in color around individuals. When put to the test on these claims, they failed. If light from the believed aura did surround our bodies we might see rainbows about us when we are in the rain and the sun shines through the clouds. It would be very easy to demonstrate the colors of the rainbow by an optical prism held near the body if light was flowing from us, but this does not happen. The colors of the rainbow are light wave frequencies that are detected by the eyes of all of us, not just psychics or sensitives.
Dr. Elmer Green, who has his doctorate in physics and is a lifetime believer in Eastern mysticism, explains this concept: This universal energy, which is in question with science, exists in seven levels or degrees. The first level is the materialization of the energy and that is the material world around us. The other six levels are not measurable by instruments because those levels are beyond instrumentation detection. Only the human body is capable of detecting such (see chapter 19 on biofeedback). It is taught that these different levels of energy can exist simultaneously within the human body.
Oriental religions have as their purpose and goal in life to escape the cycle of reincarnation in which they believe they are caught up and to join the spirit world. They do this by a lifelong pursuit of raising the energy levels in the body up through the chakras to bring it to its peak performance at the seventh chakra on top of the head. The religious activities of the Hindu and other oriental religions are all for the purpose of maintaining an unhindered flow of universal energy, so as to raise the energy level to its zenith at the top chakra. Meditation and yoga are believed to raise kundalini and clear the chakras to allow the rising of universal energy, and their existence is solely for this purpose. When the universal energy comes in full power to the top chakra, a person’s energy level has meshed with the energy of the universe and one experiences enlightenment, the Supreme Self, Lotus, Jewel, Godhood status. The reincarnation cycle is then broken and at death of the physical body the soul will assume its position with the spirit world of nirvana.
During the pursuit of immortality status described above, disorder or illness of the physical body may occur. This is understood simply as a interruption of flow of universal energy through the body and corrective measures have been invented to correct and bring about the continued free flow of energy. It is those therapeutic methods that constitute many of present day alternative medical therapies. It is vital to have understanding of the foundational doctrine of the Oriental religions so as to recognize their counterfeit of God’s healing system and the false science proclaimed.
Meditation and yoga are simple, yet powerful techniques believed to open, activate, and cleanse congested or blocked flow of energy in chakras. Their most common use in America is for “relaxation,” however, meditation is far more than that. It opens the mind to connect to the cosmic energies, the universal mind, the Higher Self, (the pantheistic god). We are told that the Higher Self holds the solutions to many of our problems.18
Understanding the tenets of Ayurveda and Hindu’s basic dogmas is critical to understand therapeutic methods to be exposed later in this book. A vast amount of New Age doctrines and therapies are based upon the principles of what has been presented.
Ayurveda uses meditation as a primary and fundamental tool for healing. It also promotes yoga, diet, herbs, mineral substances, cleansing practices, and aromas for maintenance or restoration of energy balance. Meditation and yoga are fundamental tools of Hinduism for progression to a higher spiritual plane, with the goal of leaving this life on earth and moving on into the spirit world. In Ayurvedic medicine, meditation is fundamental to accessing the powers of the cosmos in order to bring increase and balance of the energies within a person. It is also a process, physically and mentally, of trying to elevate the believed divine attributes within one’s self and connect with the god of the cosmos, (Brahman), the ultimate deity of Hinduism. Meditation, whether for health or spiritual reasons, is a way of connecting with the spirit world. It is through meditation that blending of the sun and moon energies are said to occur. When a perfect blend is achieved, immortality is said to be the result. Immortality is believed to bring perfect harmony with Brahman, the ultimate Hindu Deity.
The above is the Hindu plan of salvation (counterfeit of God’s plan), the journey to nirvana, their heaven. It is centered in the dogma of Self—Divine within. By physical and mental acts it is believed that the divine within can be manipulated, resulting in progression to immortality, nirvana, and godhood. Physical disorders are considered simply a spiritual malady. Therapeutics is anticipated not only to relieve physical and mental distress but to restore the individual to the path of progression to godhood.
Ayurveda declares the essence of the human being to be the One, the Creative Principle, The Eternal Essence. A Hindu physicist might describe this essence as the ultimate unified energy field, which Ayurveda says underlies all of creation. Humans are seen as energy converted to matter, and disease as deranged energy. This life energy, also called prana, is believed to be enhanced through meditation, yoga, deep breathing, herbs, cleansing, and foods. Life energy (prana) is proclaimed to increase with deep breathing of air through the nose.
Of all the many forms of treatment described in the Ayurvedic texts, there is one which holds a pre-eminent position–the practice of meditation. This is the fertile soil upon which all other forms of therapy take root. Strictly speaking, without meditation the true healing potential of Ayurvedic medicine cannot be realized.19
The English word meditation has two definitions
1. study, contemplation, pondering, on or about a subject by an active thought process
2. putting the mind into a passive, neutral—no thought mode, stilling the mind, ridding our mind of all thoughts, the silence, and so develop an altered state of consciousness.
In our discussion of meditation in the Ayurveda system we refer to this second definition. To enlarge upon the above definitions think of it in this way: study, contemplation, and pondering can be thought of as looking outward and upward, while the passive mode puts our thoughts inward and downward.
How does one bring about the non-thinking state? We find an answer in Meditation as Medicine p. 25 by Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. It is achieved by the powerful effects of:
1. the breath
2. a mantra (repetition of word or phrase)
3. focusing the mind
4. posture and movement including finger positions20
Of the four acts given above in performing meditation the two most common and important are attention to breath, and repetition of a mantra. As the mind focuses on the breathing pattern, and at the same time on the repetitions of a word or phrase, a thoughtless state of the mind is triggered. The word mantra is from the Sanskrit language with the syllable “man” meaning “to think” and “tra” referring to liberation of thinking.” By an act and process that stops the mind from thinking, the mind is stilled. The subject of movement will be explored further in the discussion of yoga. Meditation and yoga go together like a hand in a glove. Yoga will be presented later in the next chapter.
Meditation is practiced in many forms and by many names, some we probably have not recognized as being meditation. In his book Meditation as Medicine, Dr. Khalsa lists the following practices as being considered meditation using a common element—relaxation.
- Prayer—contemplative prayer, breath prayer, silence; (uses breath & mantra)
- Visualization—an act of creation by imagination, using god— power from within
- Sufi meditation—found in Islam, “whirling Dervishes,” feverish dancing
- Guided Imagery—similar to visualization, minimizes thinking in words
- Mindfulness—Buddha type meditation, mind wanders as it focuses on breath
- The Relaxation Response—meditation, named so as to disguise, by Herbert Benson M.D.
Transcendental meditation—with secret mantra, brought to USA by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and popularized by the “Beatles”
- Zen Buddhist meditation—way to enlightenment, world view—one is all, all is one
- Native American meditation—drums, psychedelic herbs, crystals
- Movement meditation—t’ai chi, Qi gong, martial arts
Medical meditation—meditation combined with yoga and specific postures of body, limbs and fingers. Khalsa says–most powerful type of meditation.21
Continued practice of meditation over time causes gradual changes in the mystical subtle-energy flow through the chakras. They are slowly activated and cleared of any obstruction of flow, such as past traumatic emotional events, that of frustration, or anger, etc. Over time meditation will initiate a rise of kundalini—serpent power which is believed to be in the bottom chakra, forcing its climb up the subtle energy pathways (chakras) and within the spinal cord on its journey to the crown chakra and enlightenment—godhood.
Meditation and yoga are fundamental tools of Hinduism for progressing to a higher spiritual plane, with the goal of leaving this life on earth and moving into the spirit world. In Ayurvedic medicine, meditation is fundamental to accessing the powers of the cosmos in order to bring increase and balance of the energies within a person. It is also a process, physically and mentally, of trying to elevate the believed divine attributes within one’s self and connect with the god of the cosmos, (Brahman), the ultimate deity of Hinduism. Meditation, whether for health or spiritual reasons, is a way of connecting with the spirit world. It is through meditation that blending of the sun and moon energies are said to occur. When a perfect blend is achieved, immortality is the result. Immortality is believed to come from being in perfect harmony with Brahman, the Hindu Deity.
Transcendental meditation was brought to the USA by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1957 and popularized by the Beatles music group, and is a slight variant style of meditation. A secret mantra word is given to each initiate. Unbeknownst to the initiate, the word is a title or name of a Hindu god. Hunt and Weldon comment on this secret mantra in America The sorcerer’s New Apprentice p. 31 stating that from authoritative texts, not only is the mantra the name of a Hindu god, but by reciting it over and over one is calling on that god to possess them. TM (Transcendental Meditation) worked its way into the New Jersey Public School system and parents sued saying that it was a religion, but TM lawyers argued that it was a science. The New Jersey Federal Court decided it was a religion and banned its presence in the schools. (Malnak V. Yogi, 440 F. Supp. 1284-1977) The decision was appealed, and on Feb. 2, 1979 the first court decision was upheld. TM thereafter took out every word in their written material that would indicate that it was religious, and it has since spread across the US as science. Below is the pledge to Maharishi that every teacher of TM has to sign.
“Serve the Holy Tradition and spread the light of God to all those who need it.” Yet every TM teacher claims in his public lecture, “TM is not a religion.”22
Dave Hunt in Yoga and the Body of Christ pages 12-16 exposes the planned and designed missionary movement of Hinduism that has spread to the world. He shares with the reader that the largest missionary organization in the world is Hindu—India’s Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Also, in January 1979, this organization sponsored a second “World Congress on Hinduism” in Allahabad, India, and with 60,000 delegates attending. This organization had first attempted their mission activities by promoting religion, but that was not successful. So they made a change by presenting it as science. A speaker at the 1979 congress made the following comment:
Our mission in the West has been crowned with fantastic success. Hinduism is becoming the dominant world religion, and the end of Christianity has come near.23
The VHP organization has centers all over the world, with a branch in the USA called Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Inc.
We were warned long ago concerning mind therapies and spiritualism coming in as science:
The sciences of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism have been the channel through which Satan has come more directly to this generation, and wrought with that power which was to characterize his work near the close of probation. . . 24
In these days when skepticism and infidelity so often appear in a scientific garb, we need to be guarded on every hand. Through this means our great adversary is deceiving thousands and leading them captive according to his will. The advantage he takes of the sciences, sciences which pertain to the human mind, is tremendous. Here, serpent-like, he imperceptibly creeps in to corrupt the work of God.25
The practices of yoga and meditation are not without their dangers. Suicide is high among the instructors, demon possession, psychopathology, psychosis, epileptic seizures, hallucination, blackouts for hours, eyesight problems, extreme stomach cramps, mental confusion, sexual licentiousness, severe nightmares, anti-social behavior, recurrence of psychosomatic symptoms, and depression requiring psychiatric care. America the Sorcerer’s Apprentice page 51, states so severe and so common are abnormal reactions to meditation and yoga that in 1980 John Hopkins University School of Medicine professor Stanislave Grof (expert in LSD) and his wife Christina (instructor in Hatha Yoga) organized the “Spiritual Emergency Network” (SEN), now headquartered at California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Menlo Park, California. By 1988 the organization (SEN) was coordinating 35 regional centers and utilizing 1500 professionals in attempting to handle psychological emergencies resulting from the mind altering practices of meditation and yoga.
Dr. Khalsa tells us in his book that the Relaxation Response, which Khalsa identifies as a form of meditation, was made popular by Harvard’s Herbert Benson M.D.
…He [Benson] made meditation palatable to the medical community.26
The Office of Alternative Medicine, or OAM, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health has funded many studies on meditation. A 1994 report stated that:
… “Over a period of 25 years, Benson and colleagues have developed a large body of research.” “meditation in general and the relaxation response in specific have slowly moved from alternative to mainstream medicine, although they are still overlooked by many conventional doctors.”27
The techniques used in Benson’s Relaxation Response are identical to those used in all other forms of meditation, namely concentration on breathing, posture or position of comfort, passive attitude, and use of a mantra. Unfortunately, there have been people who have not recognized the Relaxation Response for what it is, and using a Biblical term or verse as a mantra have felt it was just what its name speaks of, a simple measure to bring relaxation. Unfortunately it is much more than that. It, too, is a technique to still the mind, to bring in passivity to the thinking and allows an altered state of consciousness. There are physiologic changes in our autonomic nervous system when the relaxation response is used such as in the amount of oxygen consumed, and apparently many healthful changes can occur without use of drugs. Yet in that state we open our mind up to the possibility of contact with and control by powers of darkness.
These meditation or relaxation techniques have demonstrated decrease in oxygen consumption by the body, lower hydrocortisone blood levels, increase in immune factors (including increased leukocytes), and it calms brain wave activity. These benefits remain for several hours following meditation. Yes, these methods do have an effect on our physiology, however, we must determine what is the source of this power and influence upon our systems.
Has there been a comparison of this apparently harmless technique with other forms of meditation? Yes, it was compared to Transcendental Meditation, the results of which are summarized in the following statement:
Tests at the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory of Harvard have shown that a similar technique used with any sound or phrase or prayer or mantra brings forth the same physiologic changes noted during Transcendental Meditation: decreased oxygen consumption; decreased carbon-dioxide elimination; decreased rate of breathing. In other words using the basic necessary components, any one of the age-old or the newly derived techniques produces the same physiologic results regardless of the mental device used.28…
Are these changes from simple relaxation of our nerves, or is there another power apart from our Creator God at work? If another power, then from where? That is the question. Have I made accusation against innocent techniques? A question I have asked multiple times of my self. Well, I find that those involved in leading out and teaching in the field of meditation and yoga have included the Relaxation Response technique as one of their own, but simply changed to an acceptable name.
How an individual becomes interested in, or starts practicing yoga and/or meditation has much to do with whether they continue. When a doctor recommends this practice to deal with certain medical problems the tendency to stay with it greatly increases. Frequent articles appear in medical literature proclaiming the medical benefits of yoga and meditation, so we see an ever increasing acceptance by the medical profession.
Herbert Benson M.D., a Harvard University Medical School professor and president of the Mind/Body/Medical Institute in Chestnut Hill, Mass., tells in his book The Relaxation Response that his research group has studied all the forms of meditation used down through millennia by various religions.
His research found certain essential acts paramount to reaching the altered state of consciousness and/or autonomic nervous system influences sought by the act of meditation. These are: comfortable position; muscular relaxation; deep rhythmic breathing; use of a mantra; all to bring the mind to a state of “passivity.” The mantra can be a word, phrase, sentence or even a Bible verse.
You may have been surprised to see “prayer” listed as one of the forms of meditation. How can that be? Is not prayer a dialogue with God? The Bible has recorded many prayers, and Christ prayed and taught his disciples to pray. Daniel chapter 9 reveals Daniel pleading with God to forgive Israel and fulfill His pledge to return them to Canaan; John 17 contains a prayer that Christ prayed to His Father in heaven the night of his arrest. Are we to look at those prayers in the Bible as falling under the definition of “meditation” as we have previously defined it? The King James version of the Bible has fourteen places where the word meditate is used and six times for meditation. King David utilized that word the most, with Psalms 119 as the focus of its use:
O how love I thy law! It (is) my meditation all the day. (Ps. 119: 97)
But his delight (is) in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Ps. 1: 2)
What is the real difference in the use of the words meditate and
meditation as they are used in the Bible, in contrast to their meaning in the preceding paragraphs? Prayer, as found in the Bible, reveals man seeking God and opening his heart to him, inviting Him to be Lord of his life. The definition as understood in the use of meditation in previous paragraphs is the same definition as for a “mystic” that is:
…someone who uses rote methods to tap into their inner divinity.29
Biblical style prayer:
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him. (Matt. 6: 7, 8)
Few Christians would choose to be involved in the standard meditation and yoga practice, but is it possible that they might choose to do so when it has been given a new name and are told it is a way to come closer to God? Is that happening? Yes, it is sweeping through the Christian world community. The words of Paul ring out:
Now the spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrine of devils. (I Tim 4: 1)
An early book to reach millions of people by promoting an apparently benign form of meditation was Creative Visualization in 1978 by Shakti Gawain. Ray Yungen tells us that this book could well be called the mystics bible. This book promoted improved creativity, career achievements, relationships, health, relaxation, and peace. It caught on with the public as few books do and gained the attention of people that were not of the New Age community. Below is a quote from the book:
Almost any form of meditation will eventually take you to an experience of yourself as source, or your higher self…Eventually you will start experiencing certain moments during your meditation when there is a sort of “click” in your consciousness and you feel like things are really working; you may even experience a lot of energy flowing through you or a warm radiant glow in your body. These are signs that you are beginning to channel the energy of yourself.30 (emphasis authors)
Ray Yungen, an Evangelical minister has researched and followed for thirty years the movement that is promoting a special type of prayer referred to as contemplative prayer, centering prayer, sacred space, silence, etc. The methods used in these prayers fit the criteria for mystic meditation. Yungen has written a book A Time of Departing which identifies and traces the origin, ancient history, recent history, and present influence and use of these mystical prayer techniques. He lists in his book authors who have written books promoting these prayer practices. These books have sold beyond belief. One set of authors sold fifty million copies, another author 20 million and a third 7 million. Since then, there have been scores of books on the same topic by as many different authors.
What makes the practice of these special prayers so popular is that mediators using the prayer methods do get the “click” that Shakti Gawain spoke of. People are convinced they have been touched by the Holy Spirit and have experienced God. Eastern doctrine of pantheism—god is everything, has been altered a bit and made more deceptive to the Christian by teaching that God is in everything—panentheism. This becomes the world view of those using the mystical prayer practices. The Bible does not support these views.
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, you are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power. (Col. 2: 9, 10)
I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah. 42: 8)
Contemplative prayer (and synonym names) use the basic principles of regular meditation that is, position of comfort, deep rhythmic breathing and use of mantra. This mantra may be some Bible name or verse but used in repetition. Then there is the emphasis on bringing the mind to a passive state, emptying of the mind, by concentration on the breath and mantra. This alters consciousness which is the key to all occult training, and can bring the individual to the “click” spoken of before, and now the individual is certain he has experienced the Holy Spirit and God.
Yungen traces the ancient history of the contemplative (meditation) movement to medieval monks known as the Desert Fathers living in the wilderness of the Middle East, who, in turn, most likely had borrowed the practice from the Far East. The Catholic mystics (especially Ignatius Loyola) over centuries kept the practice of meditation through prayer alive. It was picked up again in our age by Thomas Merton (1915—1968) a Catholic scholar who was to the contemplative prayer movement as was Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement. So too, Catholic scholar Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) had a strong part to play in promoting contemplation prayer to Catholics and mainline Protestants as well. The movement continued to pick up momentum as two monks joined in the fray, Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington. Yungen tells us that these monks blended their Catholic Christianity with Eastern mysticism and produced centering prayer.
The movement is also referred to as “Spiritual Formation.” One of its centers for spreading the contemplative prayer in this country is the Shalem Institute located near Washington D.C. and founded by Episcopal priest Tilden Edwards. Its purpose is to spread the practice of mystical prayer to Christianity. Thousands have taken training at this center, trained to be spiritual directors propagating mystical prayer. Another Episcopal priest, Matthew Fox, has influenced not only Catholics but also mainline Protestants, in promoting “God in everything.” In his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Fox makes the following comments: Divinity is found in all creatures… The cosmic Christ is the “I Am” in every creature.31
Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions. Without this (mysticism) I am convinced there will never be global peace or justice since the human race needs spiritual depths and disciplines, celebration and rituals to awaken its better selves.32
Mysticism is leading many Christians into what is termed inter-spirituality, (a merging together of all faiths). It has as its basic tenet that divinity (God) is in all things, and the presence of God is in all religions and through mysticism this state is recognized. Once again let us consider the words of Ray Yungen:
Former New Age medium, Brian Flynn, in his fascinating book, Running against the Wind, explains it as a uniting of the world’s religions through the common thread of mysticism. Flynn quotes the late Wane Teasdale (a lay monk who coined the term inter-spirituality) as saying that inter-spirituality is “the spiritual common ground which exists among the world’s religions.”33
In time, evangelical Protestants were infected with this movement. Richard Foster wrote a book Celebration of Discipline and is a prominent leader. He brought in “breath prayer”— that is, picking a single word or phrase and repeating it in conjunction with the breath. There have been scores of other ministers leading the charge and writing books, continuing its spread like a tsunami. The movement of mystical prayer has powered the formation of the Emerging Church which is an ecumenical movement including pagan, animist, Hindu, Catholic, protestant, Islam and all religions. The goal of the Emerging Church is to gather all religions under one banner. Feelings, not thus saith the Word, seems to be the measuring criteria in this movement.
If you consider carefully the above history of the development of the mystical prayer movement you will recognize that spiritual formation, contemplative prayer, centering prayer, silence, mysticism, and inter-spirituality have been introduced and promoted by clergy, not coming from the laity. The watchman on the wall will need to keep their eyes on fellow watchmen and sound the alarm when mysticism is recognized in the church.
I have only touched on this subject but that is enough to put out an alert. I suggest you obtain the book by Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, and read it carefully. You will be shocked I am sure, but will gain a deeper understanding as to where we are in time. The words of the book The Great Controversy by E.G. White come to mind at this moment:
…Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience….
…The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by seeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long expected millennium.
Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer.34
I will close this section with the following quote from Ray Yungen:
…Mysticism neutralizes doctrinal differences by sacrificing the truth of Scripture for a mystical experience. Mysticism offers a common ground, and supposedly, that commonality is divinity in all. But we know from Scripture there is one God and there is no other but He.35
1. Gerson, Scott M.D., Ayurveda, The Ancient Indian Healing Art, Element Inc., Rockport, Mass, (1993), p. 3.
2. Lyons, Albert S. M.D., Petrucelli, II, R. Joseph M.D., Medicine, An Illustrated History; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, (1978), p. 105.
3. Warrier, Gopi; Deepika Gunawan M.D., The Complete Illustrated Guide to Ayurveda, Barnes and Noble Books, (1997), p. 170.
4. Gerson, op. cit., p. 3.
5. Ibid., p. 5.
7. Ibid., p. 6.
8. Lyons, op. cit., p.105.
9. Raso, M.D, R.D., Mystical Diets, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY (1993), p. 87.
10. Hill, Ann, A Visual Encyclopedia of Unconventional Medicine, Crown Publishing Inc., NY (1978), p.46.
11. The New Age Movement and Seventh-day Adventists, (1987), Biblical Research Institute of General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Hagerstown, MD, p. 9.
12. Gerber, Richard M.D., Vibrational Medicine, The # 1 Handbook of SubtleEnergy Therapies, Bear and Co., Rochester, Vermont, (2001), p. 389.
13. Hill, op. cit., p. 219.
14. Ibid., p. 218.
15. Raso, op. cit., p.13.
18. Gerber, op. cit., p. 394.
19. Gerson, op. cit. p. 78, 79.
20. Khalsa, Dharma Singh, M.D., Stauth, Cameron, Meditation as Medicine, fireside Rockefeller Center, New York, NY, (2001), p. 25
21. Ibid., p. 40.
22 Weldon, John, The Transcendental Explosion, Irvine harvest House, (1976), pp.23-4; reported in Wilson and Weldon, Occult shock and Psychic Forces, Master Books, a Division of CLP, p.35.
23. Hunt, Dave, Yoga and The Body of Christ, The Berean call, (2006), OR, p. 13.
24. White, E.G., Messages to Young People, Southern Publishing Association, Nashville, TN, (1930), p. 57.2.
25. White, E.G., 1 Mind, Character, and Personality, Southern Publishing Association, (1977), p. 19.
26. Khalsa, op. cit., p. 7
27. Ibid., p. 41.
28. Benson Herbert MD., Relaxation Response, Wings Books, New Jersey, (1992), pp. 162, 163.
29. Yungen, Ray, A Time of Departing, Lighthouse Trails Publishing Company, Silverton, Oregon, (2006), p.34.
30. Gawain Shakti, Creative Visualization, Novato, California, National Publishing, (2002), back cover, reported in Yungen, op. cit., p.19.
31. Fox, Matthew, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, New York, NY, Harper Collins, (1980), p. 154, reported in Yungen, op. cit. p.68
32. Ibid., p. 68.
33. Yungen, op. cit., p. 50.
34. White, E.G., The Great Controversy, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Nampa, ID, (1888), pp. 588,589.
35. Yungen, op. cit., pp. 196,197.
Yoga – Cleansing – Ayurveda
The Ancient Healing Tradition of India-II
Forty years in the past yoga was an activity that most Americans considered as Hinduism and associated with pagan idol worship. The Christian community tended to consider its practice as a denial of faith. In the intervening years many Americans have been conditioned to accept it as a healthy part of Christianity. The term “Christian Yoga” is often heard or read. Its practice has spread through clubs, sports, schools, television, businesses, churches, youth groups, medicine, entertainment industry, and for many individuals simply a practice at home. It has even been especially prepared and presented to the very young and promoted as a “family activity.” Yoga has moved into wellness programs primarily through yoga exercises which have become popular in many churches, especially with young women.
Has the Christian community carefully analyzed yoga and found it to be an appropriate adjunct to the Judeo-Christian doctrines? Has there been any concern that it might be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing?” Some pastors give warnings about its practice, while some others are encouraging its practice? We need to look carefully at the origin of yoga and its place and purpose in the Hindu worship for the past 3500 years. Then we need to answer the question, is its use safe for the Christian? Read carefully this chapter and learn more about this controversial subject.
Yoga is an intrinsic part of Hinduism. Laurette Willis, who was led into New Age occultism through yoga and was then delivered through faith in Christ, and obedience to God’s Word, explains:
The goal of all yoga is to obtain oneness with the universe. That’s also known as the process of enlightenment, or union with Brahman (Hinduism’s highest god). The word “yoga” means “union”, or “to yoke”…Yoga wants to get students to the point of complete numbness in their minds (to open them to this force). God on the other hand, wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind through his Word.1
We read an opposing viewpoint:
Yoga is a science as well as a method of achieving spiritual harmony through the control of mind and body. The asanas (yogic postures) and pranayama (breath control) are practices that not only help us to acquire perfect health, but also develop the inner force that enables a believer to withstand stressful situations with a calm and serene mind.2
B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of Hatha Yoga (used in the U.S.), makes the following statement regarding the goal of yoga,
…the means by which the human soul may be completely united with the Supreme Spirit pervading the universe and thus attain liberation (escape reincarnation)… Yoga Journal, May/June 1993, p. 69.
Yoga is an ancient physical practice of postures and movements established to join the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga means to hook up, to join, to unite. The primary purpose of posture and movement of yoga is to facilitate the flow of energy through the body and chakras, especially kundalini energy. As stated previously yoga is associated with meditation like a glove is with the hand. Dr. Khalsa tells us in Meditation as Medicine that he combines yoga with meditation to obtain a more powerful response in healing.
Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung, a spiritist and anti Christian, brought yoga to the West nearly ninety years ago and was a devotee of it. He strongly emphasized that the spiritual cannot be taken out it, see quote below.
The numerous purely physical procedures of yoga (unite) the parts of the body… with the whole of the mind and spirit, as… in the pranayama exercises, where prana is both the breath and the universal dynamics of the cosmos…the elation of the body becomes one with the elation of the spirit…. Yoga practice is unthinkable, and would also be ineffectual, without the ideas on which it is based. It works the physical and the spiritual into one another in an extraordinarily complete way.3
Later, Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda popularized yoga in this country in the latter part of the twentieth century by introducing it as science in the guise of health enhancement. Yoga was presented as a purely physical practice non-related to religion. Hatha yoga, often considered only as physical yoga, has for its center of instruction the “Temple of Kriya Yoga” in Chicago. Yogananda initiated approximately 100,000 people into Kriya Yoga (or Hatha Yoga) for the purpose of “self-realization” (to realize one’s oneness with God). The leaders in this movement have been “Yogi’s,” or holy men.
These techniques were all precisely developed over centuries to induce subtle changes in states of consciousness leading to “self realization.” They were not developed for physical benefits.4
Medical newspapers and journals frequently print articles reporting, yet another medical condition that improves with the use of yoga and/or meditation. A government survey of 31,000 adults revealed that eight percent of Americans use yoga as an alternative medical therapy. As of 2004, Wal-Mart web site listed 990, and Target’s, 4235 yoga products for sale.5
Richard Hittleman a leader in the “physical yoga” movement in the USA makes the following comment:
…as yoga students practiced the physical positions, they would eventually be ready to investigate the spiritual component which is “the entire essence of the subject.”6
Yoga is sweeping the West. Multiple millions practice yoga not intending to embrace Hinduism, yet using the fundamental tools of Hinduism and placing their minds under its influence. They do not contemplate on God while in yoga meditation. Instead, they try to empty their minds of all thought, or concentrate on a single thought so as to achieve mental rest or “passivity of mind”. The end result, however, allows opportunity for Satan to control one’s mind. We are to contemplate on God through prayer and study scriptures of the Bible, while inviting the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts.
Yoga is also a commercial business. Consider the financial impact of this movement:
Nationally, Yoga is a 22.5 billion dollar industry. Advertisements for yoga books, videos, clothes, wellness retreats and even yoga business training classes can be found in the back of magazines such as Yoga Journal, and the phenomenon in now reaching into the mainstream…35 million Americans who will try yoga for the first time this year. Once confined to New Agers with an interest in Eastern spirituality, yoga is catching on among young men, fitness fanatics, aging baby boomers and other unlikely enthusiasts who claim the mind body practice does everything from healing illness to tighten abs.7
Contrast yoga meditation with Christian meditation which really is best called study, or contemplation. The Christian attitude is that of allowing God to direct his thoughts and life. He does not look inward in an attempt to raise his divinity to godhood, but outward and upward to the Creator God as the source of power and redemption. This is directly opposite to Ayurvedic principles. Can one take a fundamental act and practice, physical and mental, from a pagan religion (Satan’s ground) and make it Christian? The “Christian Yoga” term is an oxymoron. As the Hindu Holy men tell us we cannot take yoga out of Hinduism nor can you take Hinduism out of Yoga.
Reflecting upon the subject of meditation and yoga in the 1950’s, I cannot remember that the subject was ever thought of or considered by people with whom I associated. In the 1960’s a change was observed occurring on college campuses, such as style of dress, long hair on men etc. Standards were changing, and to one not involved in the culture change of the youth it was not well understood. Many influences were creating the outward changes we were seeing and most of us did not understand what was happening. One of the greatest influences for change came from the influence of psychedelic drugs and the popular music of the period. Timothy Leary is a name that comes to mind when this subject of psychedelic drug use is mentioned. He championed the use of LSD; other substances such as peyote, marijuana, amphetamine were easily available. The mind trips experienced with these substances blew away old norms and created a desire for ever expanding “consciousness.” Drug using musicians; Presley, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and many other music groups came on the scene captivating the youth and opening up the drug use as nothing else could do. This was a stepping stone to even more exhilarating practice of yoga and the “trips” that could be taken in this manner without purchasing drugs.8
The Beatles spent time in an ashram in India learning meditation and yoga then returned to the music performance circuit, promoting yoga. They had learned that mind trips, equal and beyond what drugs give, could be experienced by yoga without drugs. Yoga was now on a roll. Meditation and yoga is not a novelty any longer, it has gone “main street,” even in many of our leading hospitals. An altered state of consciousness (trance) is a prerequisite to experience mind trips and obtaining a “spirit guide.”
In view of the nonphysical nature of consciousness, it is intriguing that those who practice divination techniques for initiating contact with “spirit” dimension all agree that the secret is in achieving the requisite state of consciousness through drugs, yoga (other forms of Eastern meditation), hypnosis, and mediumistic trance. It is not surprising, then, that this “altered state of consciousness” and the contact it brings with “spirit guides” has always been the traditional shamanistic method of achieving paranormal or psychic powers. It has also often opened the door to what has become known as possession.9…
Yoga is an act whereby a person assumes a physical posture in Sanskrit called “asana.” There are more than fifty different postures in yoga. The purpose of yoga is to facilitate liberation from reincarnation (rebirth) as taught in pagan religions, and yoke (yoga) together the individual soul with a pagan Deity. By the practice of yoga the agitated mind is said to be brought under control. In the meditation-yoga system, the mind is controlled by focusing on obtaining to Samadhi, Lotus, Supreme Self, Godhood. At this level of attainment in meditation and yoga, the individual knows that he is a real entity having a life that will go on in spite of the destruction of the body. Meditation is an integral part of yoga practices and all that has been said about meditation is equally applicable to yoga. Szurko, an ex-yogic master, explains:
The importance of asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breath control)…to the yogi pursuing liberation lies partly in the belief that the body is the microcosm of the universe; that is to say, whatever exists in the universe may be found in the body, which is a “universe in miniature.” Thus the yogi finds within himself all bodies; all truth; heaven and hell; all the expanses of space and the whole of time as well as of eternity; spirit, the gods, and Deity itself. It follows in yogic theory that the person who masters this “universe within” will become, to the same degree, master of the cosmos.10
The knowledge of the universe is to be found in Self; all healing is to be found in Self. Yoga is less of a treatment for illness and more for preventative measures. The Hindu believes that yoga exercises decreases congestion and blockage of energy and facilitates its flow. Sitting straight during meditation or even without meditation, it is believed, will allow for release of the congestion and blockage of the universal energy making it flow smoothly through various organs. These exercises will supposedly stimulate the “chakras” which, in turn, allows the energy to flow freely and maintain health.
The above concept has been accepted by western mysticism and magic in whole and forms the philosophical basis of most alternative medical therapies yet to be discussed.
The positions of the yoga postures are important in its concept because each position is proclaimed to direct prana or universal energy to specific parts of the body. In Hatha yoga the spine is to be kept straight so that the latent kundalini, or serpent force, supposedly coiled up at the base of the spine from birth, will be able to ascend through the chakras (energy centers of Hinduism) toward the top chakra. All of these acts are directed at “stilling the mind.” Hatha yoga is the most popular in the US. “Ha” means sun and “tha” is moon. Breathing through the nose in the left nostril will bring in the moon energy and in the right nostril the sun energy. Both sun and moon energy then travel downward through special (nonexistent) passages, one on each side of the body, and go to the bottom chakra at the coccyx area. This energy will then ascend up through the body by the help of yoga postures and exercises until the energy comes into full force at the top chakra, signifying that eternal life has been attained.
Let Us Reason Ministries placed an article about yoga on the Internet entitled “Yoga Today’s Lifestyle for Health.” The author of the article, once a practitioner of yoga, tells of becoming involved in yoga meditation as a result of practicing the yoga exercise positions. He cautions us that the physical yoga is not separate from the whole of Eastern Metaphysics.
How popular are yoga exercises? Let Us Reason Ministries’ article on this gives just a glimpse of the interest.
Hatha yoga exercises are taught as part of YMCA physical education programs, in health spas and given as physical exercise on TV programs. Eighty percent of clubs now offer yoga classes. Yoga is also incorporated into institutional and liberal churches on the assumption that these techniques are nothing more than benign physical exercises which condition the mind and body. It has come in under the guise of stress reduction. Touted as scientifically proven is more an assumption that is really at worst, a presumption.11
The response that so often comes from participants of yoga exercise is that they are only doing “stretching exercises.” What could be wrong or dangerous with that? The answer is given by the author of the article submitted by Let Us Reason Ministries:
The poses that they so diligently practice in their stretching are named after Hindu Gods, and what one is actually doing, is calling on them. In that worshipful pose, they are bowing and for all intents and purposes worshipping that god. Our God says: ‘You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.’12
Another Yogic or Hindu mystic, Sri Aurobindo taught that all yoga, including Hatha yoga, “has the same goal-unity with the Supreme.” Many people think they are just taking a physical fitness activity when they join a yoga exercise group. The Master mystics and the Yogics tell us you cannot separate the physical from the spiritual. Szurko an ex mystic says:
When I taught yoga, it became apparent that for many people the spiritual dimension of the discipline was self-manifesting-it could be ignored at first, but not for long.13
I quote Yogi Ramacharaka:
The beginner will also do well to study ‘Hatha Yoga’ in order to render his physical body healthy and sound and thus give the spirit a worthy Temple in which to manifest.14
Theos Bernard, states:
…Great Masters, through the potency of Hatha Yoga, breaking the scepter of death, are roaming in the universe.15
Combined with yoga exercise is the emphasis placed on breathing. In Eastern medicine this is paramount. Air (prana) is believed to carry the universal energy, (life force), into an individual, and breathing in a certain manner (through the nose) increases the amount of this universal energy, intelligence, consciousness, or Creative Principle in a person. Ramacharaka also tells us:
The Yogi practices exercises by which he attains control of his body, and is enabled to send to any organ or part an increased flow of vital force “prana,” thereby strengthening and invigoration the part or organ…He knows that by rhythmical breathing one may bring in the unfoldment of his latent powers. He knows that by controlled breathing he may not only cure disease in himself and others, but also practically do away with fear and worry and the baser emotions.16
The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Alternative Healing Therapies, tells us,
The exercises of yoga are all designed to direct the flow of ‘prana’ and to release the body’s internal energy to create spiritual awareness. Yoga is thus a form of preparation of the mind, body, and spirit, which must be unified through conduct, right-thinking, and meditation, before the ultimate merging of the self with the universe, or the totality of all that is – the equivalent of God or the Hindu goal of “nirvana.” In this wider context, the postural and breathing exercises of “hatha” yoga are simply a means of promoting meditation and internal balance, through which the final goal of “oneness” can be achieved. “Hatha” yoga is a yogic system in its own right, although in the West emphasis is generally placed on its exercises.17
Taking air in through the right nostril is said to be breathing in the sun energy. Breathing through the left nostril is said to be breathing in the moon energy. In the nostrils are believed to be two channels for carrying universal energy. These channels are called ida (left) and pingala (right) and are believed to start at the nostrils and go down to the lower end of the spinal column. They are said to be related to the activities of the lunar and solar forces in the body. The mystic moon of the body (microcosm) is said to be located in the head, pouring with its milky rays the elixir (amrita) which serves the channel ida on the left side of the body, etc. The antagonistic principle of devouring solar heat is supposed to be situated at the lower pelvis area of the body.18
Hatha Yoga, by definition, means union of sun (ha) and moon (tha). At a little higher level of yoga called “pranayama” the two channels in the nostrils become stimulated and union of the two breaths takes place at the “agya,” the important chakra between the two eyes. One set of yoga exercises called Surya Namaskar, (Salutation to the Sun) is a set of easy movements and postures not held as long as most exercise postures. These exercises present a:
Spiritual salutation to the rising Sun the source of all energy for life, and are found in many religious and pagan societies.19
Hinduism teaches that there is a great “latent” power within each person. Said to be located at the base of the spine, it is called kundalini, also referred to as “the serpent power,” as this is the definition of this Sanskrit word. To attain god-hood this serpent power must be awakened and moved up the body through the Hindu chakras to the highest one at the top of the head. The movement of this kundalini is believed to be accomplished by practicing meditation and yoga. Yoga asanas
(postures) and exercises were designed to force flow of this serpent power up through the chakras and the body to the crown chakra on top of the head. The exercise positions are specifically designed to be snake-like in motion and are named after Hindu gods. One such position is called the cobra. Along with the positions of the exercises, great emphasis is placed on breathing. Remember prana, the universal energy of Hinduism, is believed to be in the air we breathe. In so-called Christian yoga (an oxymoron), there may be practiced what is called the breath prayer, a pagan practice given a Christian name, not unlike the centuries wherein paganism entered the church by simply giving Christian names to pagan customs.
When the universal energy delivered to the body by breathing has traveled to the lower chakra, it will begin to ascend in an undulating manner, going through the chakras until it reaches the seventh crown chakra at the top of the head, whereupon one receives immortality. This may take many lifetimes to accomplish.20 Yoga is a counterfeit of being yoked to Christ.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30).
Spreading across the world like a forest fire is the popular activity of yoga exercise and the breathing exercises that go with them. There may or may not be meditation involved, but most formal yoga sessions end with a few moments of meditation. This can easily lead to spiritualism experiences. Because the spiritual philosophy that is a part of Hinduism is not presented in a verbal manner with yoga exercises, or with meditation, people totally disassociate the Hindu religion and its “world view” of man’s origin, from doing the yoga exercises. Yoga exercises are alleged to be purely physical with no mysticism involved. Yoga is yoga, and those various movements and stretching are designed to raise kundalini up through the chakras to join with the universal god of Hinduism. Partaking of these exercises places oneself on Satan’s ground. He has used such activities for more than three thousand years and for his purposes only. Will we move his counterfeit system into our lives and into the church as paganism moved in during the fourth to fifth centuries, and call it Christian? An ex-Hindu Guru, now a Christian, has stated a very clear truth about the influences of participating in yoga. He said:
There cannot be Hinduism without yoga and there can be no yoga without Hinduism.21
The highest goal of the Eastern religion is to realize one’s own divinity, to make contact with the spirit gods, and to escape the cycle of reincarnation by joining the spirit world. These religions teach that this goal can be accomplished by our own works, not necessarily by good deeds, but by practicing meditation and yoga and its exercises. These practices were designed for these religions (by Satan’s directions) to facilitate an alteration in one’s state of consciousness wherein Satan can exert his power over them, and lead the person to believe he has attained god-hood, and will at death join the spirit world.
To participate in these practices is to accept the foundation pillars of Hinduism. It is akin to dancing around the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and since it seems safe, eventually the urge to reach out and touch and eat of its fruit is too strong a temptation to resist.
Ayurveda teaches that the body has special channels which not only carry nutrients throughout the body, but additionally conduct subtle energies which link mankind with the cosmos. Disease in Ayurveda medicine is said to be determined by knowing which of these channels is affected. Massage and yoga exercises are used to open these channels when they are blocked or are not flowing freely. The congestion of these channels is considered a source of disease.
In Ayurveda it is taught that there are one hundred and seven points on the body called “trigger points” (or marma points), and that by massaging these points we are able to facilitate the flow of energy that may be stagnant, blocked, or in some way congested. By massaging specific marma points with essential oils, then there is free flow of types of illnesses, and, in turn, these oils will be chosen for application to particular trigger points. The various trigger points are said to be associated with particular areas or organs of the body. None of the above comments is substantiated by science.
It is very important to understand that the “trigger points” in Ayurvedic medicine should not be confused with the expression “trigger point” as is used in today’s conventional practice of medicine. A very frequent complaint encountered in family practice is a localized point of pain on a specific muscle. Examination will reveal a firm, tender nodule in the muscle. A “twitch” of the muscle group will occur when the tender nodule is touched or pressed on. The cause of the nodule is most likely a section of muscle fibers in constant contraction. It can be very painful and can last days, weeks, or even months. There are various methods of treatment. Firm pressure held on the tender nodule for ten minutes may alleviate it. Injecting the nodule with a local anesthetic may also bring relief, and use of ultrasound over the nodule works well. I have personally treated hundreds of these tender nodules. They have no relationship to the “marma points” of Ayurvedic medicine.
Through memory of past emotional experiences, the Hindu believes we sometimes adopt postures and physical behaviors which create congestion of prana. Massage, above all else, involves the movement of energies, relieving congestion, thereby supposedly rejuvenating the mind-body.
Essential oils (oil of a plant) are extracted from plants having specific aromas, and are placed on specific marma points and massaged into the skin. Different marma points may require specific oils applied when massaged. These oils are used because they are believed to contain “spirit”—universal energy of high frequency.
In Ayurveda, food also imparts universal energy (prana) to the body. The diet philosophy is complex. There is a strong bent toward vegetarianism. Another Eastern religion diet, the Zen Buddhist macrobiotic diet, consists of seven steps, with progressive restriction of diet choices. It is believed that food brings a type of energy (universal energy) apart from the energy obtained from the metabolism of food. It is also believed that foods of animal origin are stronger in rajas–tamas, yin–yang, and fruits and vegetables are more neutral in yin–yang and do not upset the energy balance, thus an additional reason for the choice of vegetarianism.
One may hear of “live enzymes,” which can refer to the enzymes of plants unaltered by heat, or to the universal energy believed to be carried by the enzymes, and not a biochemical condition of the enzymes. Our bodies produce all of the appropriate enzymes we need and it is not necessary to assimilate “live enzymes” from plants for proper metabolism. The enzymes in plants are for facilitating the biochemical actions in the plant and do not function in our biochemical reactions. Previously stated in chapter five, also mentioned the choice of vegetarian diets due to the belief that eating plant food facilitated receiving energy from higher levels, or planes, which are then transferred to an individual’s higher planes of energy.
HERBS AND MINERALS
The use of herbs has been a fundamental practice in all ancient health and healing systems. Herbs are considered helpful in “bridging” the cosmic energies which are said to be internal and external to the body. In Ayurvedic practice, herbs are always to be used in conjunction with meditation, diet and other Ayurvedic approaches to health. According to these theories benefit from herbal therapy will depend upon it being added to other therapies; also, we must acknowledge the conscious ness of the plant or it will be of no value or effect on us. Little to no benefit is to be expected when it is used alone.22 A later chapter “Mystical Herbology” will enlarge on use of herbs in Ayurveda medicine.
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils are very popular as a method of influencing universal energy within a person. The aroma is obtained by using oil concentrates of flowers and plant substances. It can be applied as an oil or placed in vaporizers and diffused through the air. Many times plants are placed in water, and then placed in the sunshine for several hours. Sunlight is supposed to increase the “essence” of the plants. They are then processed by steam distillation of other methods of extraction into oils which are usually rubbed into the skin. This is one more way in which it is believed that the universal energy (prana) is absorbed by the body. This subject will be dealt with in detail in a later chapter.
Disease, by Ayurveda understanding, is the result of an abnormal accumulation of dosha (yin—yang) energies in the tissues of the body. One very interesting part of the Ayurvedic healing system belief is Panchakarma, or purification treatment. It is believed that cells in the body contain residual impurities deposited in them as a result of improper digestion. The goal of purification is to rid the body of ama or impurities which imbalance doshas.
Ayurveda teaches that there is a “fire” in the body (called agni), which we call “metabolism,” that drives all of the vital chemical processes. It directs and supports digestion. If digestion is impaired by too little agni, or for any other reason, then impurities (ama) are produced. The ama is supposedly a white sticky substance (not recognized by scientific medicine) that is absorbed by channels (non-demonstrable by the anatomist), spreads to the tissue of the body, and if not cleaned out, often develops disease by causing imbalances of the dosha energies. The diseases might be called gallstones, cancer, heart disease, etc. Ayurveda recognizes two types of disease–outside disease and inside disease. Ama is said to be the root of all inside diseases.23 The purification procedures are used both as preventative and restorative therapy.
The five cleansing therapies of Ayurveda are:
1. Nasal administration of substances that are believed to clear out the imbalanced doshas, or energies, from the head and neck area.
2. Emetics to induce vomiting, which clears the energies from the lungs and abdominal area.
3. Laxatives and strong purgatives to cleanse the blood, liver, spleen, small intestine, and sweat glands.
4. Medicated enemas to cleanse the colon, rectum, lumbar-sacral region, and bones of excess energies. “Ayurveda regards medicated enemas (Ayurveda lists over 100 different ones) as the most important purification method of all, because of the importance of the large intestine in health and disease.” The loosened doshas (yin–yang, rojas–tamas) are believed to be washed out through the intestinal tract.
5. Bloodletting had long been a practice in Ayurveda until a change (140–150 years ago) when using herbs was substituted for taking blood. The concept behind drawing blood was that it eliminated toxins and excess energies from the blood, lymph, and deep tissues. The purpose for bloodletting was to treat skin disorders, enlarged liver and spleen, gout, fevers, abdominal tumors, jaundice, etc. There are other cleansing practices such as the topical application of plasters and herbal pastes, etc. Bloodletting has nearly ceased and herbal use has been substituted in its place.
Ayurveda medicine is strongly connected to astrology, teaching that: … For this reason, the zodiac was used in determining which area of the patient’s body should be bled.
The sun and moon have the strongest influence on health and healing and their movements indicate changes not only in the seasons but in human health and behavior.24
Another believed-in (supposed) cleanser is urine, applied topically, by drinking, by enema, and even by injection into the body.
In traditional Ayurveda, alcoholism, poor appetite, nausea, indigestion, ascites (free fluid in abdominal cavity), and edema are treated with goat feces washed with urine; constipation is treated with a mixture of milk and urine; impotence is treated with 216 kinds of enemas (some including the testicles of peacocks, swans, and turtles); and epilepsy and insanity are treated with ass urine.25
These remedial substances were administered in enemas. Urine is the body’s process of elimination of a multitude of waste chemicals. To drink or use urine waste in any way is simply putting back into the system a concentration of impurities. I have systematically presented the fundamental principles in Ayurvedic medicine because even today these practices are commonly promoted. It is common to hear of coffee or medicated enemas, or an electrical machine, repeated enemas, herbs, etc., to remove toxins caught in body tissues. Various cleansing practices of Ayurveda are accepted and used by many who have no idea of its origin.
In the practice of panchakarma (purification) in Ayurveda, the organs selected for stimulation to supposedly facilitate the removal of toxins from the system, are not all organs science recognizes as designed to eliminate impurities and toxic substances from the body. Ayurveda sometimes may apply irritating and/or toxic substances to the sinuses, stomach, lungs and intestines, which in turn causes them to secrete mucus and fluids, to vomit, or to have bowel movements. This is not a process of ridding the system of impurities; it is a method of adding impurities, which in turn causes the body to react.
The sciences of anatomy and physiology recognize the function of the lungs, kidneys, liver, and skin as the prime organs for processing and eliminating toxins from the body. The intestinal tract is not a prime detoxifying organ. However, it does carry out of the body the detoxified impurities discharged from the liver. Our bodies also need fresh air, water, and exercise to facilitate the elimination of toxins.
The following comment states:
In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system and assists nature to resist disease.
The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood. A cold or cool bath is an excellent tonic.
Warm baths open the pores and thus aid in the elimination of impurities. Both warm and neutral baths soothe the nerves and equalize the circulation.26
COMPARISON OF HINDUISM’S AND THE BIBLE’S PLAN OF SALVATION
The path for the Hindu to reach nirvana, (spirit heaven), is by meditation—yoga, visualization (see next chapter), and with clearing the chakras by cleansing techniques such as nasal irrigation, cathartics, purgatives, and repeated colon irrigations. This is a self—works method, a counterfeit of the Bible’s plan. The holy scriptures guide us to seek God through prayer and a mental process that is active and guided by the Holy Spirit; facilitated by the imagery of the Bible to point our minds to the great saving truths found in the scriptures. The Hindu looks to his various “cleansing” techniques to clear the spiritual impurities, so as to better move energy through his chakras which he believes will then carry him into the spirit world of nirvana. In sharp contrast, the Christian by faith trusts in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ to cover (cleanse) his sin and be accepted into heavenly paradise by God the Father.
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. Rev. 7:13-15
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them… Rev. 12:10—12 (emphasis added)
CONVENTIONAL SCIENCE VS VIBRATIONAL MEDICINE
For the past three centuries the discipline of science was developed by experimenting, measuring, analyzing, and reproducibility. Conflict in beliefs occurred between the proponents of universal energy, vitalism, life force, etc., and modern science. The characteristics of the universal energy could not be measured, demonstrated, or explained by the known laws of physics. When electricity was discovered, and its laws of action understood, the proponents of universal energy felt that life force energy would now be demonstrated and explained to the non-believing skeptic scientists. It did not work out that way and there is still a gap in belief between the two.
In recent years, instruments for testing electricity and electro-magnetic energy fields have been greatly expanded and have become more sophisticated. Still, scientists cannot find common ground with those believing in, and teaching the universal energy hypothesis.
The scientist who believes in Eastern mysticism and energy hypothesis presents his work as proof. Points of “proof” proclaimed by universal energy adherents are:
All living things (people, plants, animals, etc.) are made up of a complex combination of atoms, molecules and energy cells. As these ingredients coexist, they generate a large magnetic energy field that can be sensed, felt and even seen around the physical body. This energy field is often called an Aura.27
Are there energy fields around the human body? Yes, sort of; but there are energy fields almost everywhere. The body’s energy fields are commonly measured by medical devices such as electrocardiograph, electroencephalograph, or electromyography. To obtain a measurement with these devices, it is necessary to either insert needles into the skin to make electrical contact, or sandpaper the skin to prepare it for the application of an electrode that can pick up an impulse that reveals the electrical field. If either of these methods is not used, the machines will not be able to detect an electromagnetic field.
Physics has some very advanced equipment. We can, for instance, measure one quantum of electromagnetic flux. That’s more than a million times more sensitive than living tissue. After all, life as we know it is always warm and wet. Devices don’t have that constraint. We can make devices out of poisonous metals. We can cool them to hundreds of degrees below zero, to make them superconductive. Even if the human nervous system turns out to be a thousand times better than I think, devices would still be hugely better at measuring energy ﬁelds.28
The human body has been measured with powerful machines that would detect an aura if such existed. The MRI machine is composed of extremely powerful magnets. When they are turned on, the hydrogen atoms in a person’s body shift in position and when the magnets are turned off, the hydrogen atoms return to prior position. The movement of the hydrogen atom creates an electrical force that is measured by the instrument and the computer converts the information into a picture of the body’s anatomy. No auras have been detected by MRI machines.
In 1939, in Russia, Semyon Kirlian discovered by accident that if an object placed on a photographic plate was subjected to a high-voltage electric field, an image would be created on the plate. The image, though somewhat non-discreet and fuzzy, was accepted by believers in auras as proof of an aura.
This phenomenon has been shown to be the result of moisture, or gases around the test object reacting with the generated electrical field and therefore reacting on the photographic plate. When Kirlian photography is done in a vacuum where no moisture or gases can exist, the “aura” vanishes from the photographic plate. (Hines 2003). In spite of the scientific explanation, Kirlian photography is still referred to as proof that auras surround living and non-living objects.
Radiating energy fields are said to be projected from the hands:
James L. Oschman, in his book Energy Medicine the Scientific Basis, makes the comment that energy fields can be detected around the hands of “suitable trained therapists.” Another author states that these same phenomena can be measured on “sensitives” but not on non-sensitives. (As an illustration of energy radiating from hands, Oschman uses the story of Mesmer and his power of healing as done by magnets and then as he changed to using only his hands for healing. See chapter on hypnosis.)
Claims that energy Fields or auras can be felt: Therapeutic Touch healing method is based upon this claim.
The spring issue of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine reports a rare test of Therapeutic Touch designed by James Randi. The practitioner (of TT) was unable to detect the presence or absence of a human arm in a ‘sleeve.’ The test involved a patient flipping a coin. After each flip, they either did or didn’t insert their arm into a sleeve. For the first twenty flips, the patient was in plain view, and the TT Practitioner was 100% successful (20 out of 20) in determining if the arm was or wasn’t in the sleeve…The patient was then screened from the TT practitioner’s view, and another twenty flips were done. The practitioners did no better than random (guessing) at telling if the arm was in the sleeve. They were asked if they would like to go on, and they refused.29
Emily Rosa, a nine year old girl, did a test of a similar type with the same results for a science project in school. Her project was written and appeared in three medical journals–Lancet, The British Medical Journal, and The Journal of the American Medical Association. Her experiment was also reported on nation-wide television.
Psychics and sensitives can see auras:
Ten thousand dollars was offered to any psychic who could accurately identify auras. A test was set up with twenty partitions on a large stage. The psychic, Berkeley Psychic Institute’s best, was to identify which partitions had a person behind it. This was a live test on the Bill Bixby television show. The psychic agreed that the test was fair. Prior to placing the people behind the partitions, the psychic was asked if she could see the auras of the people. She said yes, and that they were from one to two feet above their heads. Six people were placed behind partitions, but fourteen did not go behind partitions and stayed out of sight. The psychic saw auras behind all twenty partitions. There is now a one million dollar offer for the psychic that can pass this same test.30
Magnetic therapy is used in conventional medicine:
Pulsating electromagnetic waves are used to facilitate bone healing, with ongoing research exploring its use in soft tissue injury. It is now recognized that with an injury to tissue there is an electromagnetic field inside the body surrounding the wound, but none on the outside. Pulsating electromagnetic forces can effect this energy field stimulating healing by attracting repair cells. Powerful magnetic pulses can be used in severe cases of depression; however, there may be significant memory loss. There is no evidence from double-blind studies that any benefit occurs from using stagnant magnets. It may be asked, why use terms such as electromagnetic frequencies, radio frequencies, etc., throughout this book relating to supposedly emanating energies from our bodies. The reason is that there are no proper terms to use for an energy that does not really exist. I have used the terms that appear in writings of those supporting, believing in, and teaching the universal energy hypothesis. For example, from the book The Way of Energy by Lam Kan Chuen, we find:
You are a miniature field of the electromagnetic energy of the universe.31
I must use the terms appearing in the literature so readers can relate the information in this text to that which they may read. A more accurate term might be Satan’s electric currents. There are many highly trained scientists who are believers in Eastern mysticism. Several are superb authors. They are able to convincingly present the subject of the aura and hypothetical electromagnetic energy as radiating from our bodies and hands, which is said to be able to influence and correct the energy fields of others. I present two paragraphs from a book review which appeared in the British Homoeopathic Journal Vol. 87, July 1998, about one such author.
Dr. Richard Gerber is a physician in Livonia, Michigan, USA described as ‘the definitive authority for energetic medicine.’ In his book he draws together a variety of complementary therapies, including acupuncture, homeopathy, flower essences, magnet therapy, hands on therapies and radionics, seeking to link their healing mechanisms together. He uses the term ‘vibrational medicine’ to cover these forms of energy medicine, a term that may not be instantly recognizable to all. In the introductory chapter there is an excellent section on the preconceptions of modern medicine, and how they evolved as a result of Newton’s mechanical theory of physics.
Energy medicine is more in tune with quantum physics. It was delightful to read a comprehensible explanation of such complex ideas, which would be clearly understood by those without a scientific background. Gerber shows his skill as a teacher in his ability to convey difficult concepts in an accurate yet simple manner.
Gerber describes non-chemical information exchange between cells, which ultimately forms the basis of his theories on how these therapies may work. He creates a working hypothesis that embraces the ideas of chakras, meridians and energetic force fields. He expands on traditional Eastern philosophies of ch’i and prana, blending them together with fascinating results; there is a blending of scientific fact and esoteric philosophy that captures the imagination.32
Dr. Gerber presents in his book, Vibrational Medicine (and on DVDs), that universal energy frequencies above the first level or plane are faster than light frequencies. He refers to a William Tiller, a previous Physicist of Stanford University, for his authority on this subject. This hypothesis is not entertained in conventional physics.
I have listened to Dr. Gerber’s explanation of vibrational energy medicine. He is highly trained in conventional science and medicine. He is so smooth and convincing that I began to wonder about my own beliefs. I have repeatedly experienced this same self-questioning after reading other well-trained scientists and skilled authors who are oriented in Eastern religion and metaphysics. I found that I had to back away from the immediate discourse and evaluate the overall picture that each of these doctors present. Where are they heading with this concept and their explanations of the physical workings of the universe?
As I continued to listen to Dr. Gerber, the subjects of astral travel, astrology, numerology, reincarnation, clairvoyance, channeling, psychic abilities, spiritual evolution, and divine-self were presented as wholesome objectives and realities. He teaches that we have a divine nature and are divine lights. There is the idea of chakras being the processors of energy which moves us onward in the spiritual climb toward the supreme self or godhood. Attaining perfection is a process of self works which is obtained by the development of a higher energy level. Dr. Gerber is not the only scientist holding such beliefs.
I asked myself how it is possible that highly trained scientists, such as Drs. Gerber, Green, and Oschman arrive at conclusions so far from the accepted laws of conventional physics and chemistry. They at times speak of intuition as the source of their information. What is intuition? As I understand it, they are speaking of receiving intelligence from the universe that they are able to tap into. This is analogous to receiving divine revelation. The information received or arrived at by intuition, then is accepted as superseding conventional science.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet claims to have received seven dictated messages from Djwal Khul, an “Ascended Master,” (demonic spirit) which she placed in a book, these messages are:
…discussion of the chakras within the body as transmitters of light energy which is essential to the understanding of spiritual evolution.33
He, Djwal Khul, (Djwhal Khul in some other writings), presents numerous meditations and techniques for “clearing the chakras” to facilitate their expansion and projection into the “macrocosmic-microcosmic interchange.” These messages by Djwal Khul are a guide for the Pagan’s pilgrimage and pathway to immortality and godhood.
We are told in Khul’s messages that the aura is an extension of god “him–self” in us, and that the size of the aura is directly related to the mastery of god’s energies within our chakras. The “god” spoken of in this book is not the God you and I think of. In reality, it is Satan. However, the description given in this esoteric book is that it is the highest plane (plane 7) of universal energy. It is believed to be the level of energy which imparts immortality and Your Divine-Self.
Why write about such blasphemy? What does it have to do with spiritualistic practices in health and healing? The alternative and complementary methods of treatment are about balancing body energy. They are not based on being in harmony with God’s laws of health. If we choose to use these “energy” methods, we are accepting that they indeed may work in providing health and healing. At the same time we have accepted (perhaps not consciously) the energy hypothesis, which is the foundation and core of Hinduism and pagan religions.
DEEPAK CHOPRA M.D.
Deepak Chopra M.D. is a name you may have heard as a lecturer or in interviews on a T.V. show. He has authored 19 books promoting Ayurvedic medicine, produced many CDs teaching his style of Ayurveda, and established The American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine in 1991. In 1995 he opened The Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California, where he is Educational Director. His books are in twelve languages and sold around the world. The books have sold more than ten million English copies. He has produced TV and radio programs promoting his Ayurvedic teachings.
Chopra is a graduate of All India Institute of Medical Sciences; he took several years training in the U.S. at Lehey Clinic and University of Virginia Hospital, becoming certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. He taught at Tufts and Boston University Schools of Medicine, and was elected Chief of Staff at New England Memorial Hospital. He also established a private practice. Then his interests changed to Ayurvedic medicine. He no longer practices medicine, but applies his skills to the teaching and promotion of Ayurveda.
What does Chopra teach that catches so many people’s interest? Central to his philosophy is that the human mind has latent potential and self-knowledge. To bring this potential to fruition he supports meditation, nutrition, yoga and exercise, herbal medicine, massage, sound, movement, and aromatherapy. He teaches detoxification and purification by fasting and enemas. His influence in this country and other nations has been vast. There are other medical doctors who also have taken up Ayurveda teachings and have great influence in this country–Drs. Weil and Coussens. They promote the association of Western scientific medicine with Eastern mysticisms which is called integrative medicine. See chapter “Those Who Do Magic Arts.”
Presented in this chapter are the basic principles of the Ayurveda system of health and healing. It is based on belief in astrology and the idea that man originated from the cosmic energy called the Creative Principle or Universal Energy. This is the “wisdom from the East” that so many consider superior to the knowledge gained through present-day science. It can be seen that many of the old practices of the West in past centuries were primarily the practice of Ayurveda without the spiritual names. There is a carry-over of many of the old practices that have been slow to disappear.
In the Bible we are told that God gave Solomon “wisdom“:
Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt” … “Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. (I Kings 4:29–34, NIV)
God had blessed His people Israel, through the prophet Moses, with instructions for healthful living. Remember, Israel is the only nation in the history of the world to have a primary system of disease prevention. Today, we can give praise to God for the instructions in health and healing as given through the Bible and Ellen White, providing us with the most advanced knowledge in the world for healthful living. The end results have shown this to be true. Why would we even consider looking back to the wisdom of the East and of Egypt (paganism and sun worship), and reject God’s directions for health and healing?
At this time of great advances in science, when this knowledge has been applied with great benefit, we see widespread belief in and the following after, these ancient methods that have no history of being effective for improving the health of man. There is no evidence that shows these practices have extended the life of man by even one day. The medical history in the areas of the world that practiced these methods has shown that health was dismal and never improved until the science that follows the physical laws of God, chemistry, physics, and hygiene were followed. How can we accept and use these pagan methods if we believe in a God who spoke and created by His power? We are sustained by His power and not by some power in us that can be turned off and on or stimulated by the practices presented in this book.
Why put so much effort into exposing the Ayurvedic system of health and healing? Because this system has had great influence on health and healing as practiced over the world for millennia. This system is being used as the right arm of the religious message of Hinduism and spiritualism. Ayurveda cannot be separated from Hinduism, and Hinduism cannot be separated from Ayurveda. Ayurveda has its basis in astrology. The sun is the all-powerful tenet of astrology, and to give homage to the sun is equivalent to Luciferic worship. To participate in these so-called healing methods is to partake of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
1. Hunt, op. cit., P. 35.
2. Warrier, op. cit., p. 166.
3. Jung, C.G., trans. R.F.C. Hull, Psychology and the East, Princeton Un. Press, (1978), pp. 80, 81: reported in Hunt, Dave, Yoga and The body of Christ, The Berean Call, Bend, Oregon, (2006), p. 9.
4. Hunt, Dave, Yoga and The Body of Christ, The Berean Call, Bend, OR, (2006), p. 18.
6. Yoga Journal, May/June, (1993), p. 68.
8. Hunt, Dave, McMahon, T.A., America The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, (1988), pp. 233-252.
9. Ibid., p. 155.
10. Davies, Gaius, Stress, Kingsway Publication, Eastbourne, England, (1988), p. 241; reported in Willis, Richard J.B., Holistic Health Holistic Hoax?, Pensive Publications, 10 Holland Gardens, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD2 6JW, (1997), p. 231.
11. http://www.letusreason.org/NAM1.htm p. 1
12. http://www. letusreason.org/NAMl.htm p. 6
13. Szurko, Christian., Can Yoga be Reconciled with Christianity?, The Church Medicine and the New Age, (1995), p. 107; reported in Willis, op. cit., p. 232.
14. Ramacharaka, Yogi, The Hindu-Yogi-Science of Breath, London: L.N. Fowler & co., Ltd. P. 78 (1960); reported in Willis, op. cit., p. 233.
15. Bernard, Theos, Hatha Yoga, Arrow Books, London, (1950), p.19; reported in Willis, op. cit., (1997), p.233.
16. Ramacharaka, Yogi, (nd), Raja Yoga, London: L.N. fowler & Co. Ltd., (1960), p. 10; reported in Willis, op. Cit., p. 233.
17. Shealy, Norman M.D. Ph. D,, The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Alternative Healing Therapies, Element Books Inc., Boston, MA, (1999), p. 52.
19 Shealy, op. cit., p. 55.
20 Jaggi, op. cit., p. 123.
21. Gods of the New Age, Video Tape, 1988, Jeremiah Films Inc., Hemet, CA.
22. Gerson, op. cit., p. 90.
23. Ibid., p. 49.
24. Warrier, op., cit., pp. 170, 172.
25. Raso, op. cit., p. 89.
26. White, E.G., The Ministry of Healing, Pacific Press Publishing Asso., Nampa, ID, (1905) p. 237
27. http://www.Pagans. path.com/meta/aura.htm
31. Chuen, Lam Kam, The Way of Energy, Simon and Schuster Inc., (1991), Page 12.
33. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare, Intermediate Studies of the Human Aura, summit University Press, Colorado Springs, CO, (1974), p.6
The author is a Seventh Day Adventist. The above are chapters 7 and 8 reproduced from his book Exposing Spiritualistic Practices in Healing with his permission.
Categories: Alternative Therapy, Eastern Meditation, new age
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