Secular Psychology “Science of the Soul”?


Secular Psychology

“Science of the Soul”?

By Edwin A. Noyes M.D. MPH,,, 2011



Near the time I was writing the finishing pages of the book Spiritu­alistic Deceptions in Health and Healing I realized there was need for a chapter on spiritualism’s influence on the medical discipline of psychology. In the four years since the book was published I have had repeated requests to include such a chapter in any future book. Those re­quests have come from people who have either attended a seminar that I have conducted exposing spiritualism in health and healing, or have read the book Spiritualistic Deceptions in Health and Healing.

Those requests have been far more than just suggestions; they are urgent pleas even to the point of sending to me valuable text relevant to the subject. These individuals shared with me what they had seen and experienced firsthand in therapy that they now recognized as having spiritualistic overtones.

In an earlier chapter the subjects of phrenology and mesmerism (hypnotism) were presented. Quotations, from E. G. White, relevant to phrenology and mesmerism as laying the foundation for spiritualism had also included the word psychology as being of the same nature. Let us review one of those statements:

I have been shown that we must be guarded on every side and perseveringly resist the insinuations and devices of Satan. He has transformed himself into an angel of light and is deceiving thou­sands and leading them captive. The advantage he takes of the science of the human mind is tremendous. The sciences of phre­nology, psychology, and mesmerism (hypnotism) are the chan­nels through which he comes more directly to this generation and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation.1 (emphasis added)

I found it difficult to accept that modern psychology continued to fit the definition as categorized by the above quote and from other similar statements by the author, E.G. White. I did not doubt that the definition fit at the time it was written but felt that over time psychol­ogy had risen above and out of that definition to a status based upon science. As I have pursued the study of modern psychology, I have at times not only been surprised by what I learned, but even stunned. As I further researched comments of mindcure, mind—therapy, I read a quotation that raised high my interest in pursuing the answer for a question lingering in my mind. Why was psychology included in the mind—cure comments that E.G. White referred to as laying the foun­dation for spiritualism? I quote:

The true principles of psychology are found in the Holy Scriptures. Man knows not his own value. He acts according to his unconverted temperament of character because he does not look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith. He who comes to Jesus, he who believes on Him and makes Him his Example, realizes the meaning of the words “To them gave He power to become the sons of God.”2 . . . (emphasis author’s)

Laws of the Mind Ordained by God.–He who created the mind and ordained its laws, provided for its development in ac­cordance with them.3

A small book Christians Beware by Magna Parks, Ph.D. came into circulation in 2007 and at the same time as did Spiritualistic Decep­tions in Health and Healing by Edwin A. Noyes M.D. Magna Parks, a practicing psychologist for twenty years had encountered a written sermon that had been delivered prior to a church body. As she read, she found she was at odds with the content of the sermon and proceeded to study to determine whether she was wrong in her understanding or the pastor was mistaken. What she learned shocked her and changed the way she practices psychology and counsels.

No longer does she rely upon the standard principles of counseling that she learned in her training, she found that scripture contains an­swers to problems of the mind that she often encounters in her patients.




Her book is a recommended read for anyone interested in mind—cure therapy.

Magna Parks has with consummate skill condensed an immense subject into 78 pages of simple clear and concise phrases that all can understand. She has brought to focus three theories in psychology which she feels create the greatest influence today, psychoanalytic, behaviorist, and humanistic perspectives. She also states that the two theories with the most influence on Christianity are psychoanalytic and humanistic.4

She also identifies several of the leading personalities that have over the last 100 plus years most influenced the present day disciplines of psychiatry and psychology. The central theme to be found in secular psychology according to Parks is the fixation on “Self.” That within “Self” is the elements for mind therapy.

At this point in our discussion I think a definition of psychology would be appropriate as the explanation of the original meaning of the word goes a long way toward establishing common ground for under­standing forthcoming comments. From Webster’s New World Diction­ary, the Third Edition (1988) the Greek word psyche, has as one of its definitions “soul,” and is stated to be the origin of the English word psychology, which refers to the science of the mind or soul, also one of the definitions is the “science of animal and human behavior.” An 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary defines “psychology” as follows:

PSYCHOLOGY, n. [Gr. soul, and discourse] A discourse or treatise on the human soul; or the doctrine of the nature and prop­erties of the soul.

From Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible the Hebrew word nephesh is translated in English to soul. The Bible speaks of the soul nearly five hundred times, referring to mortal animal and man.

This chapter has as its purpose to share with the reader what I learned as I sought to understand why psychology, as pointed out by E.G. White, would be used by Satan to increase his power of deception near the close of probation. This chapter is focused on the quote that psychology can lay a foundation for spiritualism.



The lie told in the Garden of Eden “you will not die” is the founda­tion of spiritualism, that there is life after death and that the “soul” is separate from the body. Belief in this false doctrine as well as the deification of the dead can lead to communion with the dead which actually is communion with demons, fallen angels. Part of the lie at Eden was that man would progress to become wise like God and know good and evil. These two lies are the foundation of pantheism.

It is fondly supposed that heathen superstitions have disappeared before the civilization of the twentieth century. But the word of God and the stern testimony of facts declare that sorcery is prac­ticed in this age as verily as in the days of the old-time magicians. The ancient system of magic is, in reality, the same as what is now known as modern spiritualism. Satan is finding access to thousands of minds by presenting himself under the guise of de­parted friends. . . .

The magicians of heathen times have their counterpart in the spiritualistic mediums, the clairvoyants, and the fortunetellers of today. . . . Could the veil be lifted from before our eyes, we should see evil angels employing all their arts to deceive and to destroy. Wherever an influence is exerted to cause men to forget God, there Satan is exercising his bewitching power. . . . The apostle’s admonition to the Ephesian church should be heeded by the people of God today: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”5 (emphasis added)

At this point in our discussion a review of the principles of Satan’s counterfeit pagan religion— nature worship that originated in Babylon, and was known as part of the Babylonian Mysteries is helpful for un­derstanding the following discourse.

Primordial evolution theory replaced the Biblical account of the creation of the world—“by the breath of His mouth,” by Jesus Christ the Divine Son of God. In the pagan false story of creation, God is re­moved from His creative power and set aside. The creative power is di­vided into two parts, good—evil, positive—negative, or yin—yang, and this power is considered as god. With evolutionary time the two parts of energy were supposedly blended harmoniously to the point that all material substance was created, the cosmos, world, and man. All mate­rial substance is said to be made of this same creative power, or energy, so each substance is out of the same original universal source (energy) and has all the attributes of, and is a part of, everything. Synonyms of this creative power are consciousness, collective consciousness, Self, subliminal Self, and a hundred other names, even the blasphemous use of the name that God called Himself, the “I AM”. The entire theory has a name—pantheism.

A refinement of pantheism wherein God is left in the equation of creation but that he in turn left a spark of Himself in everything he created so that innately each of us has latent divinity within. This false concept is given the name “panentheism (panantheism).” This branch of pantheism claims that the soul is immortal and that we are gods. The belief that the soul has immortality is still prevalent today, even throughout Christendom. The God within concept leads to the glorification and infatuation of Self. Humanistic psychology has utilized this theme, further demonstrated by the term Self-esteem.





To identify spiritualism in psychology one or both of two teach­ings will need to be demonstrated to be a component of this discipline, namely 1) life continues after death—immortality of the soul; and 2) teaching of progression to the godhood of man—divinity within. That would not apply to every precept under the name of psychology but only to those teachings wherein such concepts are found. So we need to look at the teachings of psychology in the 1800’s, early 1900’s and forward until today. First we need to investigate the history of those who developed and influenced the establishment of the teachings and philosophy of this branch of medicine. Were they believers in such doctrines as the immortality of the soul, and or divinity within man.



Therapeutic psychology arose out of philosophy. Philosophy is the science (so called) of estimating values, and the superiority of any belief, situation, action, condition, or substance over another as deter­mined by the mind of man. In this world’s history the Greeks were known for having great philosophers. The psyche (soul) was a subject of much discussion by these Greek philosophers. The belief in the imortality of the psyche or soul had its start in this world in the Garden of Eden, and was carried down to Babylon and spread to the world with the language dispersion from Babylon.

I recently read with interest some translated writings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle from the text History of Psychology, Fundamental Questions, 6 wherein those philosophers discussed their concept of the soul. The ancient religions of India, Egypt, and China all have the doctrine of the immortality of the soul as revealed by The Book of the Dead from Egypt and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. St. Thomas Aqui­nas (1224-1274A.D.) writes of the immortality of the soul and about the soul after death.7 In History of Psychology the great philosophers from Socrates up to the modern times are reviewed and some of their writings that have been translated into English are included. The be­lief in the separation of the soul from the body and immortality of the soul seems to be a dominant concept of these philosophers. In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s the term psychology began to be used when referring to the study of the mind and gradually the discipline of mind therapy was considered under this term. Psychiatry is the term used for a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosis and treatments of neu­rosis and psychosis. Many of the 19th and 20th century thought leaders in the field of psychology believed in the immortality of the soul. This fact will be more clearly recognized as we look at leading psycholo­gists and psychiatrists of the modern area. Remember, the definition of “spiritualism” is the belief of life after death and communication between the living and the dead can occur, which is strongly prohib­ited in the Bible. E.G. White adhered to an enlarged definition of the term spiritualism as illustrated in the following snippets taken from The Great Controversy pp. 551-562.

That man is the creature of progression; that it is his destiny from his birth to progress, even to eternity, toward the Godhead; each mind will judge itself and not another; the judgment will be right because it is the judgment of self; any just and perfect being is Christ; true knowledge places man above all law; whatever is right is right; all sins committed are innocent; denies the origin of the Bible; the Bible is a mere fiction; Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God.

The doctrine of life after death and divinity within mankind had its origin from the lie told in the Garden of Eden, and is the foundation of Eastern thought and Western occultism. It is the doctrinal principles of

pagan religions and or nature worship. To recognize seeds of spiritual­ism within psychology we need an understanding of the Eastern expla­nation of man. 1) The soul separates from the body of man, continues in life after death and is immortal. 2) This soul is composed of a con­scious mind and has subconscious and super conscious components, which in turn are a part of a universal mind, referred to as Universal Consciousness, Self, Subliminal Self, Higher Self, god. As man’s mind is believed to be a part of a universal mind—god, man therefore has divinity within and the pursuit of life is to bring this divinity into full bloom, escape reincarnation, and join the spirit world of nirvana, and to enjoy an eternal life of bliss.

There are a number of practices which are applied in the field of mind therapy whose working power is explained by their proponents as an extension of the unconscious mind as spoken of in the preceding paragraph. These are hypnotism, clairvoyance, visualization, telepathy, channeling, meditation, yoga, transcendental meditation, Extra Senso­ry Perception, and others. There is the ever present belief and teaching that within Self resides all the wisdom of the universe, and the power of all healing. A myriad of techniques are designed to access that pre­sumed power from within. There are a large number of theories related to the function of the mind and mind therapy which are promoted in the field of psychology.

According to Alan E. Bergin and Sol L. Garfield, editors of the Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, 1994, p. 6, tell us that there are more than 400 differing psychotherapeutic methods offered to the public and by 10,000 varying techniques.8

Why so many? Answer: proof by scientific testing of its theories, diagnosis, and therapies is difficult to come by. Undoubtedly there are many principles adhered to in psychology that do have value and are free of spiritistic influence.




In my study for evidence of spiritualistic influence in psychology I have repeatedly come across certain names that are referred to by various authors, as being “thought” leaders and theorists in the field of psychology, such as James, Freud, Jung, Rogers, and Maslow. These men have set general theories during the past 100 plus years in the field of mind science. We will look at the history of each of these individual practitioners and teachers in our search for seeds of spiritualism that may have entered into secular psychology as may be practiced.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century including the early years of the twentieth century, Mesmerism, also know as hypnotism and suggestion, was commonly used in dealing with mind—cure therapy in the United States and Europe.9

By 1885 the ‘psychotherapeutic movement’ that had begun in Europe in the middle 1860’s with Liebault and developed rapidly in the next decade was making headway in the United States, principally through the efforts of psychologists William James, G. Stanley Hall, Joseph Jastrow, and James Mark Baldwin, and of  a few physicians.10


WILLIAM JAMES M.D. (1842-1910)

In 1890 William James, an illustrious Harvard professor of psychi­atry, wrote an article carried in Scribner’s Magazine entitled the “Hid­den Self.” He wrote that science had ignored mysticism, the occult, spiritualism, faith healing, and hypnotism because it could not be well understood and classified. James called for more study and research in this area. James was first hired to teach at Harvard, his academic home for virtually his entire career. He explored the occult and took forays into psychical research, séances, and, of course, several variet­ies of religious experience, authoring the book, Varieties of Religious Experience.

The medical professionals and public at large were interested in and utilized hypnosis, suggestion, mental healing, multiple person­alities, automatic writing, psychic research, etc., and it peaked in the 1890’s to decline slightly and then surge again between 1905 and1910.

A high point, prior to the present time, in American history for use of hypnosis and suggestion for mental therapy was in the first decade of the twentieth century.11 Adelbert Albrecht, editor of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, stated in 1913 that:

Several psychotherapeutists in America claimed to have cured hundreds of cases of alcoholism and its consequences by hyp­notism.12

In America at this same time, movements referred to as the Em­manuel Movement and Christian Science were popular. To combat the nervousness and evils of the day the Reverend Elwood Worcester start­ed a crusade combining liberal Christianity, Subliminal Self, and the other methods used in that day for psychotherapy; this was called the Emmanuel Movement because they first started their meetings Nov. 11, 1906 in the Emmanuel Church building. This movement did not necessarily utilize professionals for administering therapy and soon spread across the country among different protestant organizations, Baptist, Congregationalist, Unitarian, and Presbyterian, etc. These movements aroused interest in “Subliminal Self” and hidden powers with possible connection with the “Great Beyond,” this was the begi­nning of public awareness of the “Unconscious.” Ellen White mentioned these movements in her comments regarding mind—cure therapy.

There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of con­sulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism, such as the Emmanuel movement. Still oth­ers are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of theosophy and other Oriental religions.13


SIGMUND FREUD M.D. 1856-1939

At the time of the above mentioned peak use of hypnotism in Eu­rope and the United States, a neurologist psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, from Vienna, Austria came to the United States in 1909 to present a series of lectures on mind—cure that he had developed, he called it psychoanalysis. Freud tells us that he had used hypnotism but:

I have given up the suggestive technique and with it hypnotism because I despaired of making the suggestion strong and durable enough to effect a permanent cure. In all severe cases I saw the suggestion crumble away and the disease again made its appear­ance.14

Freud was a practitioner of psychiatry, and a researcher in neurol­ogy. He presented in 1909 to a group of psychiatrists in the United States the concept of psychopathology (deranged mental activity) as originating from the “subconscious mind” and he introduced a tech­nique of mind cure he called “psychoanalysis.” He had dropped the use of hypnotism and simply explored with the patient the history of their childhood and youth. Freud was an atheist, did not believe in spirits and explained occult happenings as an extension of the subcon­scious. His central pillar of doctrine was this “subconscious” and tied in most mental dysfunction to some relationship with a sexual relation­ship. Freud had also used cocaine as therapy for mental dysfunction. He eventually discarded cocaine for therapy as he did hypnosis. Freud was an interpreter of dreams and also used this technique in the psy­choanalysis process.




Freud did change the direction of psychotherapy in the U.S. and there was a decline in use of many of the occult techniques. However he added fuel to the fire in the concept of subconscious. The sub­conscious was the source of subliminal Self, instincts, man’s memory, reserve energies, etc. The subconscious was believed to be more sensi­tive to good and evil than our conscious mind; it was a connection to the Universal Mind or Spirit.

Its roots were the Infinite; it was closer to the Universal Spirit. The subconscious then was uncanny: it healed; it remembered everything; it solved problems; it could impart glorious, un­dreamed-of resources.15

Another movement in the first two decades of the 20th century in the U.S. was the “New Thought Movement” originated by a profession­al hypnotist Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-66), “philosopher- mes­merist-healer-scientist.” He taught that many diseases could be cured by suggestion and thus were therefore illusionary. Another mesmerist and spiritualist, Mary Baker Eddy carried the New Thought Movement on into Christian Science. A New Thought Sanitarium on the Hudson River in 1909 was offering treatments of:

…psychic experiments, non church religion, admonitions to conquer the world with sheer sentiments of optimism, electric shocks delivered through a serrated gold crown, hypnotism, and suggestion.16

The New Thought and Christian Scientists treatments for the mind were the most popular. From 1882 to 1908 the number Chris­tian scientists had grown from less than one hundred to 85,000. These movements claimed to be effective on all ailments.17 It was into this mixture of hypotheses that Freud introduced his own hypothesis of psychoanalysis:

Psychoanalysis is concerned with the discovery of events in the past life of the individual and with their consequences for him, and neither the events nor the consequences can ever be exactly the same for two person.18

Freud had a great impact on psychology in the United States in the early 1900,s. He used dream analysis, confession, and looking to the past as the source of mental problems. This approach tended to blame parents for the patients mental disorders. The philosophy was expand­ed by others until supposedly returning to the womb and to previous lives via hypnotism became part of the psychologists’ modus operandi.

It was out of this hypothesis of past life experiences, including intrauterine development and birth experience, that is portrayed as de­ciding the stability or instability of the future mental health of an in­dividual. This is the basis for the concept of “re-birthing”, and finding the “inner child,” “divine within” (“divine child” by Jung) in psycho­therapy.

Although Freud was not known as a spiritualist and tried to explain psychic phenomena as arising out of the subconscious he still took de­cided interest in such as he was a member of the Society (S.P.R.) that attempted to investigate on a scientific basis psychic happenings. Freud was elected as a Corresponding Member of the British Society for Psy­chical Research in 1911, and in 1915 he became an Honorary Fellow of the American Society for Psychical Research. In December, 1923, the Greek Society for Psychical Research honored him similarly. Matthew Raphael, author of Bill W. and Mr. Wilson, a book about the cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous, shares with us on page 161 Freud’s dab­bling in spiritism. A comment from Raphael:

…As we have seen, Sigmund Freud, whose highest ambition was to put psycho-analysis on a scientific footing, nonetheless took notice of psychical (occult) phenomena—much to the chagrin of his closest disciples …who felt a need to bury the offending facts or else to explain them away. An entire chapter of Ernest Jones’ monumental biography (of Freud) is dedicated to Freud’s “open-mindedness” about “occultism” (he was a member of the Society for Psychical Research) and his publication, over Jones’s protestations, of his papers on telepathy.

Ernest Jones MD, Freud’s biographer and coworker stated that it was generally held that Freud’s greatest contribution to science was his interpretation of Dreams and the concept of the unconscious mind.


C.G. JUNG M.D., 1875-1961

Probably the best know name in the field of psychiatry and psy­chology is that of Carl Gustav Jung M.D., a Swiss psychiatrist. His name is recognized the world over and is associated also with the dis­cipline of psychology. He was born in Kesswil, Switzerland by Lake Constance July 26, 1875 to Paul and Emilie (Preiswerk) Jung. Paul, his father was a Parson in the Swiss Reform Church, his mother came from a family of Parsons, her father and eight uncles.

Carl’s maternal grandfather, Parson Samuel Preiswerks’ first wife died, thereafter he held weekly intimate conversations with her spirit, to the irritation of his second wife.19 Samuel’s second wife Agusta, Carl’s maternal grandmother was gifted with the ability to see “spirits.”20

Emilie, daughter of Samuel and Agusta, too had the gift of seeing spirits. Her father would have her stand behind him as he prepared his sermons so as to keep the ghosts from annoying him as he studied.21 Emilie, Carl’s mother kept a diary which listed all of the strange experiences she encountered. She spoke of it as “spookish” phenomena and strange occurrences.22 Carl once saw the following come from his mother’s bedroom door.

I slept in my father’s room. From the door to my mother’s room came frightening influences. At night Mother was strange and mysterious. One night I saw coming from her door a faintly lumi­nous, indefinite figure whose head detached itself from the neck and floated along in front of it, in the air, like a little moon. Im­mediately another head was produced and again detached itself. This process was repeated six or seven times.23



Carl, as do all people, had dreams, however, he had a life-long fas­cination with interpretation of dreams. The first dream he remembers came to him when he was between three and four years of age. He tells us in his book Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, that this dream was to “preoccupy me all my life.”24 The dream consisted of a phallic sym­bol 15 feet high and one and one half to two feet diameter seated on a golden throne in a room deep into the subterranean parts of the earth. He heard in the dream his mother’s voice saying “Yes, just look at him, that is the man eater!” The symbol he later determined to represent “the dark Lord Jesus, and a Jesuit priest. He tells us that the dream haunted him for years and he never shared it with anyone.

At all events, the phallus of this dream seems to be a subterra­nean God “not to be named,” and such it remained throughout my youth, reappearing whenever anyone spoke too emphatically about Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus never became quite real for me, never quite acceptable, never quite lovable, for again and again

I would think of his underground counterpart, a frightful revela­tion which had been accorded me without my seeking it. The Jesuit’s “disguise” cast its shadow over the Christian doctrine I had been taught. …Lord Jesus seemed to me in some ways a god of death, helpful, it is true, in that he scared away the terror of the night, but himself uncanny, crucified and bloody corpse…25

Before Carl could read, his mother had read to him Orbis Pictus, and old, illustrated children’s book, containing a account of exotic re­ligions, primarily Hindu. Illustrations of the chief God’s of the Hindu were portrayed, Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva which he had an “inex­haustible source of interest in.26 He felt an affinity with these illustra­tions with his “original revelation”—his earliest dream.

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know wheth­er ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dream­er of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn (you) away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deut. 13: 1-5

In the spring of 1895 Carl began his studies at the University of Basel in the study of medicine. His father died in 1896. Six weeks after his father’s death he dreamed of his father returning and standing be­fore him. In the dream his father had recovered and was coming home. The dream repeated itself a few days later, it seemed real and forced Carl to think about life after death.

At the end of the second semester of his studies at the University Carl discovered in a library of a classmate’s father, a book on spiritu­alistic phenomena, dating from the 1870’s. It was the history of the beginning of spiritualism of that day. Questions concerning this subject plagued him and he read extensively of occultic authors’ writings, Zoll­ner, Crooks, Kant’s Dreams of a Spirit Seer, several other authors, and seven volumes of Swedenborg, a renowned spiritualist.

In1897 C.G. Jung lectured to a club at the University setting forth his views that the soul exists, is intelligent, immortal, and he believed in the reality of spirits and spiritualism by evidence of occult activities, believed in hypnotism, clairvoyance , telepathy, telekinesis, second sight, prophetic dreams, messages of dying people, horoscope calcula­tions, observed levitation. (Found in the Foreword for C.G. Jung, Psy­chology and the Occult)

During the summer recess of 1898 an event happened that Carl re­cords in Memories, p. 104, 105 that would “influence him profoundly.” He was sitting in one room studying and in the next room his mother was sitting and knitting and with the door open between rooms. Suddenly a noise like a pistol shot rang out. Carl found that a large walnut table top had split suddenly right through solid wood, even in a climate with plenty of moisture so the table was not excessively dried out. Two weeks later he arrived home to find his mother, sister, and maid in a state of agitation. Again a loud crack like noise had occurred, however, no new split could be found in the table. The noise had come from the sideboard, an old piece of furniture which contained bread and culinary tools. Carl found the bread knife broken into many pieces. He had the knife exam­ined by an expert in steel and was told the steel had no defects in it.27

He shortly became aware of relatives who were engaged in “table turning” and enjoying séances conducted by a fifteen year old cousin medium. He joined these relatives at the table for séances on Saturday nights for two and one half years. There was communication in the form of tapping noises from the walls and the table. Movements of the table apart from the medium were hard to determine and so he ac­cepted the association between the tapping noises and communications in the séance. He wrote his doctrinal thesis on these experiences and communications received in the séances.28 He states in Memories the following:

All in all, this was the one great experience which wiped out all my earlier philosophy and made it possible for me to achieve a psychological point of view.29


This contributed to Jung’s choice of psychiatry as a specialty in spite of it being held in contempt by most physicians and non physi­cians of his day. The doctors knew little more than laymen about psy­chiatric diseases and mental illness was a hopeless and fatal situation casting its shadow over a psychiatrist’s reputation. December 10, 1900 found Carl Jung working as an assistant at Burgholzli Mental Hospital, Zurich, so began a life and practice of psychiatry that was to influence the world, for better or for worse.

Jung tells us in Memories that he used hypnosis in the early part of his work but soon gave it up because he felt it added to working with the unknown causes of mental disorders and the apparent beneficial results often did not continue. He chose to analyze all aspects of the pa­tient’s life and thereby arrive at a probable source for cause and effect in psychiatric disorders. So Jung began developing his “psychological point of view” to effect therapy to the mentally afflicted. The treat­ment for mental disorders in the early 20th century was very limited; more effort was placed on diagnosis than on therapy as almost nothing was known as to the etiology of mental abnormalities, or what could be done to improve the condition. Hypnosis was widely used as therapy in the latter part of nineteenth century and early twentieth.

Throughout Memories, Dreams, and Reflections Jung tells of dif­ferent dreams and his attempt to interpret them. In 1914 he had three dreams he writes about in his chapter of “Confrontation with the Un­conscious” and speaks of being under so much stress he practiced “Yoga” exercises in order to hold his emotions under control.30

Jung speaks of some fantasies he developed such as The Biblical figures Elijah and Salome as well as a large black snake. Then came another “fantasy figure” which Jung says came out of the unconscious, that of Philemon. Philemon in this story was a pagan and carried an influence of old Egypt and Gnosticism. Jung states that these were en­tities in his psyche which he did not produce by imagination or by any method. Philemon was one of these; Philemon represented a force which was not of his self. Jung said that in his fantasies he held con­versation with Philemon.

Psychologically, Philemon represented superior insight. He was a mysterious figure to me. At times he seemed to me quite real, as if he were a living personality. I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what the Indians call a guru.31

Fifteen years from the first appearance of Philemon in Jung’s life he had a conversation with a friend of Gandhi that told him his guru (Gandhi’s friend’s guru) was an ancient Hindu master, Jung asked him if were referring to a spirit? He replied to the positive and Jung states that at that moment he thought of Philemon. Gandhi’s Hindu friend stated that there are live gurus and ghost gurus as well.32

Jung tells us in Memories that around 1916 an inner change began within him, he felt an urge to give shape to something. He was com­pelled from within to express what his spirit guide Philemon might have said, and he wrote in three nights The Seven Sermons to the Dead.33 Before he started writing he had the feeling that the air was filled with ghostly entities. His house seemed to be haunted as his daughter saw a white figure passing through the room. His second daughter stated that twice in the night her blanket had been snatched away; and his nine­-year-old son had an anxiety dream involving the devil. The next day at five P.M. the door bell began to ring without anyone to ring it.

The house was “crammed full of spirits,” Jung cried out “For Gods Sake, what in the world is this?” “Then the spirits answered back, “We have come back from Jerusalem where we found not what we sought.”

…They were packed deep right up to the door, and air was so thick it was scarcely possible to breathe.33 …Then it began to flow out of me, and in the course of three evenings the thing was written. As soon as I took up the pen, the whole ghostly assem­blage evaporated. The room quieted and atmosphere cleared. The haunting was over. 34

The Seven Sermons to the Dead was one of the key works of   Jung.  It was the spirits answer to the “nature of God,” the universe, and man, and contained the seeds for his fu­ture writings in psychology. Jung had the fantasy of being a Parson to the Dead. In Memories he explained this strange concept by saying that the soul establishes a relationship to the unconscious which corresponds to the mythic land of the dead. This would give the dead a chance to manifest themselves through a medium.

C.G. Jung explained as did Freud, those ghosts, spirits, and loud noises (poltergeist), and dreams all, as  coming out  of  an  unconscious- ness, which each person possessed within themselves. He did not ac­cept influences and power coming from fallen angels (demons). He rejected the great controversy between Satan and Jesus Christ as non­existent and sought to explain the occult on the unconsciousness of the mind. This concept grew into the doctrine of “Self” that is so prevalent in the field of psychology today.

Jung had studied Gnostic writers during the years between 1918 and 1926, they too, according to Jung, had the concept of the uncon­scious. He stated that he began to understand in the years between 1918-20 that the goal of psychic development is the SELF. He, while being commandant of a prison camp in Switzerland during the First World War began to draw mandalas. These symbols are of a round de­sign and with the entire symbol directing attention to the center of the mandala. The center represented the Self concept mentioned above. He had a dream in 1927 which brought to conclusion his forming doctrine of Self. He stated that through the dream he understood that the Self is the principle, orientation, and meaning in the process of development of consciousness. Symbols of the Zodiac are related to the archetypes which Jung’s spirit guide Philemon encouraged him to believe haunted the collective unconscious. Consequently Jung had great respect for astrology and used it in his analysis. “In cases of difficult diagnosis I usually get a horoscope,” wrote Jung.35


It took the first forty-five years of his life with all of the dreams, occultic phenomena, spirit guides, (Philemon), inner symbols, levita­tion happenings, Seven Sermons to the Dead etc., to form his theory of the “unconsciousness.”36  Analytical psychology is the product of all of Jung’s efforts to puncture the empty shell of psychological therapy during his life time. He felt need of strengthening and shoring up this theory of conscious­ness, unconsciousness, and the collective consciousness he postulated. He felt he found that added strength when he studied Gnosticism and then became fascinated by the study of alchemy. He felt that alchemy’s addition to the knowledge of Gnosticism gave him historical basis to bolster the theory of the unconscious. It added a historical connection to the past and a bridge to the future, to the modern psychology of the unconscious.

As I worked with my fantasies, I became aware that the uncon­scious undergoes or produces change. Only after I had familiar­ized myself with alchemy did I realize that the unconscious is a process, and the psyche is transformed or developed by the relationship of the ego to the contents of the unconscious. In in­dividual cases that transformation can be read from dreams and fantasies. In collective life it has left its deposit principally in the various religious systems and their changing symbols. Through the study of these collective transformation processes and through understanding of alchemical symbolism I arrived at the central concept of my psychology: the process of individuation.37

Jung wrote many articles on occult phenomena, the little book Psy­chology and the Occult is a booklet containing three essays by Jung. Essay 1) On Spiritualistic Phenomena, 2) The Psychological Founda­tions of Belief in Spirits, 3) The Soul and death.

Psychology and the East is a book composed of works by Doctor Jung. He was asked to review certain ancient writings of the Oriental religions and those written commentaries constitute this volume. These commentaries are taken from his Collected Works and translated to English. A comment at the beginning of the book Psychology and the East, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung is given by Alfred Plaut, M.D. states the following:

By temperament, Jung is nearer to the Eastern attitude of intro­version and hence to the “God inside.” This enables him to un­derstand the Eastern emphasis on detachment and inner vision and to compare the latter with the imagery of the collective un­conscious, with which Eastern man appears to be in direct and almost constant contact.38

He writes commentaries on Alchemical Studies and The Secret of the Golden Flower, and from these commentaries, one realizes that alchemy is another counterfeit story of redemption by emphasizing the transformation of physical matter such as base metal into gold and in so doing one can attain immortality. He also wrote “Psychological Commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Author Nandor Fordor in his book, Freud, Jung and Occultism remarks that many of Jung’s beliefs were derived from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Jung stated that it had been his constant companion since its publication in 1927.39

The book gives instructions to the dead and the dying and serves as a guide to the dead during the heavenly and hellish journey of forty-nine days between death and rebirth.40

Jung’s work, Psychological Commentary on the Book of the Dead, contains some revealing concepts commented on and found in his Col­lected Works:

1) The psyche (soul) has divine creative power within itself. 2) The creative ground of all metaphysical assertion is con­sciousness, the invisible, intangible manifestation of the soul. 3) The soul is assuredly not small, but the radiant Godhead itself. 4) Thus far the Bardo Thodol (Book of the Dead) is … an initia­tion process whose purpose it is to restore to the soul the divinity it lost at birth.41

Jung tells us that the application of this spiritualistic theory was the basis of Freud’s psychoanalysis. Also that when the European pass­es through this Freudian domain his unconscious contents are brought to view by analysis and he then journeys back through the world of infantile-sexual fantasy to the womb.42 Jung continues:

Originally, this therapy took the form of Freudian psychoanaly­sis and was mainly concerned with sexual fantasies. This is the realm that corresponds to the last and lowest region of the Bardo, know as the Sidpa Bardo, where the dead man, unable to profit by the teachings of the Chikhai and Chonyid Bardo, begins to fall a prey to sexual fantasies and is attracted by the vision of mating couples. Eventually he is caught by a womb and born into the earthly world again. .The European passes through this specifically Freudian domain when his unconscious contents are brought to light under analysis, but he goes in the reverse direction. He journeys back through the world of infantile-sexual fan­tasy to the womb. It has even been suggested in psychoanalytical circles that the trauma par excellence is the birth-experience it­self—nay more, psychoanalysts even claim to have probed back to memories of intra-uterine origin.43

…Freud’s psychoanalysis leads the conscious mind of the patient back to the inner world of childhood reminiscences on one side and on the other to wishes and drives which have been repressed from consciousness. The latter technique is a logical develop­ment of confession. It aims at an artificial introversion for the purpose of making conscious the unconscious components of the subject.44 (emphasis added)

Today we have “pop psychologists” that purport to take one back into the womb by a process of deep breathing, and in so doing release the hypothetical psychological cramps of the original birthing experi­ence, that is said to have allowed formation of anxieties, frustrations, etc., that man experiences. Below are some snippet explanations as to what today is referred to as “rebirthing.”

(…) Rebirthing is an American form of prana yoga that is closest to Kriya Yoga. It may be called scientific breathing rhythm or spir­itual breathing. Simply described, it is a relaxed, intuitive, con­nected breathing rhythm, in which the inhale is connected to the exhale, and the inner breath is merged with the outer breath. This merging of pure life energy with air sends vibrations through the nervous system and circulatory system cleaning the body, the hu­man aura, and nourishes and balances the human mind and body. Rebirthing – Maha Yoga: Spiritual Breathing, by Leonard Orr

…Rebirthing is called rebirthing because many times the sup­pression that comes up and is released is related to birth trauma. When a rebirthee has released enough suppression (usually in 10 to 20 sessions) they have mastered the breath and feel safe enough with the process to rebirth themselves whenever they want. What is Rebirthing? By Russell J. Miesemer (http://www.apol­

Contrast the above philosophy—psychology with scriptural refer­ence to a rebirth.

The Savior said, “Except a man be born from above,” unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 …“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” I Corinthians 2:14; John 3:7.

But how can one receive this rebirth? The book Steps to Christ by E.G. White, p. 8 gives the answer:

It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. “Who can bring a clean think out of an unclean? Not one.” “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Job 14:4; Ro­mans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human ef­fort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.

I find very interesting a comment by C.G. Jung in relationship to, the autogenic training (later referred to as biofeedback) of the Ger­man physician, Johannes Schultz M.D., which Jung says consistently links with yoga. Schultz’s chief aim, Jung says, is to break down the “conscious cramp” and the repression of the unconscious caused by it. Jung tells us his (Jung’s) method is built upon confession similar to Freud’s and he also uses dream analysis but on the unconscious mind philosophy they differ. He sees the unconscious as a “collective psy­chic disposition,” characterized by creativity in nature.45

Additional Bible texts reveal to us God’s warnings in use of dream interpretation.

Behold, I (am) against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 23:32

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that (be) in the midst of you, de­ceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 28: 8, 9

For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because (there was) no shepherd. Jeremiah 10: 2

Specific to yoga, kundalini yoga, tantric yoga, Lamaism, and Tao­istic yoga of China, Jung sees parallels for interpreting his “collective unconscious.” He intends for everything possible to be done which will switch off the conscious mind so as to allow the unconscious mind to emerge. He accomplishes this by using active imagination, imagery, and visualization in a special training technique for switching off con­sciousness.46

The final article in Psychology and the East from the works of Jung that I wish to refer to is “The Psychology of Eastern Meditation.” To better understand the East Indian’s spirituality a vision of his un­derstanding of the soul is presented. Jung explains it by telling us that to the Indian the world is a mirage, a façade, and his reality is closer to what we say is a myth or a dream. The Christian looks upward and outward to a divine power from a Creator God, while the Eastern man looks down and inward, into self-immersion through meditation. God is understood to be in all things including man so to access God, the Hindu will sink the altar in his temple down into a deep depression or hole rather than have it raised up above the worshiper as we do in the West.47

For the Indian true reality—the soul, is quite different than what the Christian understands as the soul. The Biblical soul encompasses the body, mind, and spirit of a living being. It is all one, and with death, the soul ceases to exist. The body returns to dust, there is no thought and the life which God gave to the body returns to God for his keeping. Notice the following Bible verses which present this understanding.

And the LORD God formed man (of) the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen. 2:7 And so it is written, The first man Adam, was made a living soul; I Corinthians 15:45 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in any (thing) that is done under the sun. Eccl. 9:5, 6 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea. Rev. 16:3 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:20


In Eastern thought true reality— soul—spirit, is considered a com­ponent of universal energy, prana, ch’i, etc., and the physical body is said to contain the “divine within,” the soul does not cease to exist at death of the body but passes on to nirvana or continues by passing into another body—reincarnation. The practice and exercise of yoga is also a way to reach the inner depths of this “divine within—Self.” Yoga is much older than Buddhism; “Buddhism itself was born of the spirit of yoga.”48

Yoga is an act of worship in Eastern religions; it is a sacred act, similar to gathering together in song, praise, sermon, and prayer for the Christian. To refer to “Christian yoga” or utilizing it as a recreational physical activity (yoga exercises) is repugnant and sacrilegious to the Eastern mind. Jung attempts to build a bridge which he hopes to lead the European to an understanding of yoga, to do this he uses a series of symbols.

The sun, our source of heat and light, is a central point in the vis­ible world. As the source of heat and energy upon which our world depends, it or its image has been accepted by many the world over as “divine” and worshiped as such. Special meditations and yoga exer­cises to the sun exist in every Eastern culture. In the Bible the sun has been used as a reference to Jesus Christ, as in an allegory. The Eastern mind turns to the sun in meditation attempting to “descend into the fountainhead of the psyche, into the unconscious itself.” The Indian likes to enter into the maternal depths of Nature while the European desires to rise above the world.45

Yoga exercises to the sun begin with concentration on the setting or rising sun, the sun is gazed upon until an after image is seen when the eyes are closed. Jung mentions that a method of hypnosis is facilitated by gazing at a bright object and he feels that the viewing of the sun as explained is meant to produce a similar hypnotic effect. Meditation of the “round” sun must accompany the fixation upon it. Eventually the meditator experiences himself as the only thing that exists, taking the highest form of consciousness. To reach this goal it is necessary to go through the above exercises of mental discipline to be free of the illu­sions of this world, and to reach the place where the psyche (soul) is one with the universe.

In the following quotation Jung compares these Eastern ways with the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola:

The exercitia spiritualia pursue the same goal. In fact both meth­ods seek to attain success by providing the meditator with an object to contemplate and showing him the image he has to con­centrate on in order to shut out the allegedly worthless fantasies. Both methods, Eastern and Western, try to reach the goal by a direct path….49

C.G. Jung continues in his attempt to bring understanding of yoga to the Western mind. He is doing this because in this article under review, he concludes that the theory of “psychology of the unconsciousness”, first initiated by Freud, and further developed by himself in the “psy­chology of the collective unconsciousness” is to the West what yoga is to the East. More simply stated: they are of the same origin.50 This conclusion is further enunciated by remarks of Jung in his book Man in Search of a Soul. He says that Western Theosophy is just an amateur’s imitation of the East. That the use of astrology is again taken up, which is daily bread to the Oriental. The study of the sexual life is surpassed by the Hindu. Richard Wilhelm showed Jung that certain complicated processes discovered by analytical psychology are described in ancient Chinese texts. We mention again the parallel between Yoga of the East and psychoanalysis as pointed out by Oskar A.H. Schmitz.51

Jung in ending his essay, “The Psychology of Eastern Medita­tion” makes the all important contrast of meditation, yoga and Eastern thought, the parallel of Freud’s and his, Jung’s, theory of the “psychol­ogy of the unconscious” in contrast to the Christian thought grounded in the Bible. The Christian reaches his goal of salvation through faith in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Divine Son of God, while nirvana, being one with the universeSamadhi, is reached by the Eastern mind by going deep into SELF to join with the spirit world of Brahman.

In the Freudian and Jungian concept of the unconscious we find the origin of the inner child, inner self, inner healing, divine child—(Jung), etc. J. Beard points out that inner healing is an off shoot of Freudian and Jungian theories rooted in the occult. They have moved from the field of psychology into the church.

A variety of “memory-healing” psychotherapies are masquer­ading under Christian terminology and turning Christians from God to self. Among the most deadly are “regressive” therapies designed to probe the “unconscious” for buried memories which are allegedly causing everything from depression to fits of anger and sexual misconduct, and must, therefore, be uncovered and “healed.”52

In the first half of the 20th century that aspect of spiritualism “Self—the divine within” is seen to have been fostered and promoted by the philosophy and writings of these personalities presented. In the following chapter exposure is made of the subtle and imperceptible progression of the subject of “Self” in psychology through the latter half of the 20th century.



1      White, E.G., Counsels for the Church, (1991), p. 329.4.

2     White, E.G., 1. Mind/ Character/Personality, Southern Publishing Asso­ciation, Nashville Tennessee, (1977), p. 10.

3     Ibid.



4    Parks, Magna Ph.D., Christians Beware! The Dangers of Christian Psychology, Teach Services, Inc., Brushton, New York, (2007), p. 5

5    White, E.G., Conflict and Courage, (1970), p. 343

6     Munger, Margaret P., The History of Psychology, Fundamental Questions, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, (2003).

7    Ibid., pp. 46-65.

8   Gabbert, Dan, Biblical Response Therap®, Healing God’s Way, Gabbert Family Resources, Aardvaark Global Publishing Co., LLC, (2008); p. iv; Available at Black Hills Health and Education Center, PO Box 19, Her­mosa, SD 57744,

9     Hale, Nathan G., Freud and the Americans, The Beginnings of Psychoanalysis in the United States, Oxford University Press, (1971), pp. 229, 230.

10   Ibid., p. 229.

11   Ibid., p. 230.

12   Ibid., p. 227.

13   White, E.G., Evangelism, Review and Herald Publishing Association. Hager­stown, MD, (1946), p. 606.

14    Hale, op. cit., p. 227

15    Ibid., p. 241.

16    Ibid., p. 246.

17    Ibid., p. 245.

18    Bettelheim, Bruno, Freud and Man’s Soul, First Vintage books Edition, (1984); Random House Inc., New York p. 42.

19    Jaffe’, Aniela, From the Life and Work of C.G. Jung, Harper and Row, Publishers, N. Y., NY, (1971), p. 2.

20    Ibid., p. 2.

21    Ibid.

22    Ibid.

23   Jung, C.G., Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffe’; translated from the German by Richard and Clara Winston, Random House, Inc. (1989), p. 18.

24   Ibid., p. 11.

25   Ibid., p. 13

26    Ibid., p. 17.

27    Ibid., p. 105,6.

28    Ibid., p. 107.

29    Ibid.

30    Ibid., p. 177.

31    Ibid., p. 183.

32    Ibid., p. 184.

33    Jung, op. cit., p. 190.

34    Ibid., pp. 190, 191.

35    Hunt, op. cit.., p. 76.

36    Jung, Memories, op. cit. 199

37   Ibid., p. 209.

38   Jung, C.G., Psychology and the East, Princeton University Press, (1978). Jacket cover back side.

39    Fodor, Nandor, Freud, Jung, and Occultism, University Books, Inc., New Hyde Park, New York, (1971) p. 157.

40   Ibid.

41    Jung, C.G., Psychology and the East, from The collected Works of C.G. Jung,  Volumes 10,11,13,18, Princeton University Press, (1978) pp. 62, 63, 64.

42   Ibid., p. 65.

43   Ibid.

44   Ibid., p. 84.

45    Ibid., p. 85.

46   Ibid., pp. 85.

47   Ibid., p. 170.

48   Ibid., p. 168.

49   Ibid., p. 171.

50   Ibid., pp. 172-5.

51    Jung, C.G., Modern Man I Search Of A soul, A Harvest Book-Harcourt, Inc., Orlando, Florida, (1933), p. 216

52     Beard, J., Inner Healing/Healing of Memories: Christian or Occult?




CARL ROGERS 1902-1987

One of the most influential minds in the field of psychology in the last half of the 20 century is that of Carl Rogers. He is one of the founding fathers of Humanistic Psychology and also had great influence in establishing research in this field. He started his advanced education training in a theological seminary, but after two years he transferred to Teachers College, Columbia University, receiving a MA degree and then in 1931, a PhD in Psychology. He was on the faculty of Ohio State University, University of Chicago, University of Wis­consin—Madison, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, and Center for Studies of the Person. He was known for originating “the person centered approach” for counseling and psychotherapy.

Carl Rogers theory of the Self is considered to be humanistic and phenomenological.1 His theory is based directly on the “phenomenal field” personality theory of Combs and Snygg.2 An encyclopedia tells us that he wrote 16 books and many journal articles defending his theory.

In his book, Client-centered Therapy (1951), Rogers divides his theory into nineteen propositions. We will consider those propositions that pertain to the theme of this chapter, searching for and identify­ing seeds of spiritualism in psychology. Propositions numbers four and five relate to how the “Self”, the “I” or the “Me” is formed in man’s development. Numbers eleven and twelve tell us that man’s ways of behaving which have been adopted by his organism are formulated within the concept of “Self.” The remaining propositions continue to elaborate on the theme of “Self.” In his propositions outlining man’s development of his personality, the main issue is the development of a Self concept and the progress from an undifferentiated Self to being fully differentiated. A Self Concept definition:

“Self Concept…the organized consistent conceptual gestalt com­posed of perceptions, of the characteristics of ‘I’ or ‘me’ and the perceptions of the relationships of the ‘I’ or ‘me’ to others and to various aspects of life, together with the values attached to these perceptions. It is a gestalt which is available to awareness though not necessarily in awareness. It is a fluid and changing gestalt, a process, but at any given moment it is a specific entity. (Rogers, 1959)3

If you find yourself confused by this definition of Self, you are not alone. Perhaps it will clear some as we progress in this study.

First we need to understand more of what “Humanism” is and then attempt to decipher the meaning of “humanistic psychology.” If a person reviews encyclopedias, or goes to the Internet and reviews the various web sites on the subject of humanism a voluminous number of articles are available. They cover the history of this thought and termi­nology going back to ancient Greek philosophers, ancient Asian and Renaissance humanism, and tracing its influence forward to our pres­ent time. Humanism is a world view and moral philosophy that places humans above their Creator God. In fact it does not accept the idea of a God, never mind a Creator God. It sees man as the center of the uni­verse. In the ancient pagan concepts expounded on earlier in this book we spoke of the belief that man was the microcosm of the macrocosm (the universe). We presented a figure of a man standing within a circle, within another circle. This figure represented man as the center of the universe and under this symbol in the book Magic and the Supernatu­ral by Maurice Bessy, figure 220, is written:

Man, as conceived in astrology, reflects the rhythms and struc­ture of the universe in the same way as the universe mirrors the rhythms and structure of Man himself, everything is part of ev­erything.

In the pagan belief man has a “super consciousness,” “True Self,” “Self,” which is the connecting link (divine within) to the wisdom of the universe and when man connects “all is One, One is all”, “as above so below,” immortality or godhood is achieved. In Freud’s and Jung’s philosophy and psychology this access to universal wisdom is through the “subconscious” and/or “collective consciousness” respectively, which is synonymous, as I understand it, with the expression “Self” used by humanists.

Humanist Manifesto I of 1933, declared the followers to be reli­gious humanists and in their view traditional religions were failing to meet the needs of their day. They claimed to form a religion that would meet the needs of their day.4

Human Manifesto II of 1973, states that a faith and knowledge are required for hope for the future and that traditional religion renders a disservice to humanity. Manifesto II recognizes the following groups to be part of their naturalistic philosophy: “scientific,” “ethical,” “dem­ocratic,” “religious,” and “Marxist” humanism.5

Human Manifesto III of 2003, secular humanists consider all forms of religion, including religious Humanism to be superseded by secular Humanism, a religion that does not believe in God. Their view is compatible with atheism, and agnosticism. They do not consider metaphysical issues, or the existence of immortal beings (spirits).6

Rogers is not known for being involved in paranormal psycholo­gy during most of his career, denies having any type of mystical experi­ences, or drug induced altered state of consciousness. Yet as he aged he gradually began to accept that there was really something to the experi­ences so many wrote about. He stated that the most convincing state­ments he encountered in the reporting of the paranormal were from Yaqui Indian medicine man—shaman.7 He also gradually changed his concepts of what happens at death, from a total end of a person to the probability of life after death. He expands further on this subject as he relates the circumstances in his wife’s final illness and eventual death.


Helen Rogers and Carl visited a medium in the later days of the ill­ness that lead to her death. Helen experienced contact with a deceased sister and facts were shared by the sister that were totally convincing to both Helen and Carl.

The messages were extraordinarily convincing, and all came through the tipping of a sturdy table, tapping out letters. Later, when the medium came to our home and my own table tapped out messages in our living room, I could only be open to an in­credible and certainly non-fraudulent experience.8

He tells of Helen having dreams and visions of a family member telling her she would be welcomed “on the other side.” She experi­enced the sight of evil figures and the devil by her hospital bed. She eventually dismissed the devil and he left for good. She had a vision of a white light that came close, and lifted her from the bed and then put her back upon the bed. The evening of her death, friends of Carl who had a long scheduled appointment with the medium, held a séance ses­sion. Contact was made with Helen and she answered their questions. She told them she heard everything that was said while she was in a coma the night of death and again she experienced the white light and spirits came for her. She had taken the form of a young woman; dying had been without stress.9

Carl said that these events gave him a lot of interest in all types of paranormal phenomena. He accepted spirit life and reincarnation.10 He found quite appealing the view that the individual consciousness is but a fragment of a cosmic consciousness and the fragment would be absorbed back into the cosmic consciousness upon the death of the individual, essentially the Eastern view of life after death.11 Rogers had developed an interest in the exploits of Carlos Castaneda and his initiation into the sorcerer’s world “Where the man of knowledge has a spirit ally, where the impossible is experienced.” Rogers comments further:

These and other accounts cannot simply be dismissed with con­tempt or ridicule. The witnesses are too honest, their experienc­es too real.

All these accounts indicate that a vast and mysterious universe— perhaps an inner reality, or perhaps a spirit world of which we are all unknowingly a part—seems to exist.12

William Kilpatrick writes that he was present when Rogers related the following. After Helen’s death Carl Rogers was ridden with guilt because he had formed a “new relationship” during his wife’s illness, so after her death he with a group of people consulted a Ouija board, in spite of no previous use of the board, suddenly letters began to form…:

It is Helen, and her message is one of complete absolution: “En­joy, Carl, enjoy! Be free! Be Free!”

“Well by gosh!” says Rogers, and he wipes his hand upward across his brow. “What a wave of relief swept over me when I heard that.”

From the group, exclamation of awe can be heard: “That’s in­credible!” “Fantastic!”

And now it seems everyone in the group has had their mystical and quasi-mystical experiences: …premonitional dreams, pol­tergeists, and encounters with something known as “the white light.” Whenever the latter is mentioned there are nods of famil­iarity, as though the white light were an old friend or a new G.E. product.13

Rogers, in A Way of Being, expresses his acceptance of and belief in the use of altered states of consciousness. He comments on the feel­ing of transcending experience of unity, where the individual self is a part of the whole area of higher values, such as beauty, harmony, and love. There is that feeling of being “one” with the universe. He shares the belief that the mystic’s experience of union with the cosmos is con­firmed by solid science. He shares with the reader his experience of when being closest to his inner intuitive self; he comes in touch with the “unknown” in himself. When he is in an altered state of conscio­usness he is full of healing and energy, just to be near the patient tra­nsmits healing. He speaks of the “life force” that is in each patie­nt and therapist, which he tells us is like a meditative experience wherein he feels himself as a center of consciousness, “very much a part of the broader, universal consciousness.”14 (emphasis added)

On the front cover of his book, Carl R. Rogers has written “The Founder of the Human Potential Movement Looks Back on a Distin­guished Career.” It appears to me that Rogers’ influence upon the field of psychology is based upon the same foundation as Freud, Jung, and of the Eastern pagan doctrines, i.e., the lie told in the Garden of Eden, “you will become wise like God.” That you have within Self access to the wisdom of the universe; it lies latent and must be developed. These teachings have indoctrinated the world through the influence of East­ern thought and similarly in the Western world in a disguised form, at times, under the banner of psychology—the science of the soul.

I have chosen to present the work of psychologists Abraham Maslow next, to illustrate progression in the development of Self in psychology toward more open spiritualistic concepts and practices.

Abraham Maslow 1908-1970:

Maslow is considered one of the founders of Humanistic Psychol­ogy along with Carl Rodgers. Maslow considered humanistic psychol­ogy a “third force” in the field of psychology, the first field was of Freudian, the second behaviorism. Maslow added to the theories of Rodgers with the concept of Self-actualization, that of reaching the point of highest possible attainment for an individual. Humanistic psy­chology ushered in several different therapies; all guided by the idea that people possess inner resources for full attainment and therapy is designed to help clear away those things which tend to block this fulfillment.


Self-actualization of Maslow could be compared with the self-realization of yoga, both look to the inner Self to secure the ultimate growth and refinement of the soul. The inner-Self is the subconscious‑ ness of Freud, the collective consciousness of Jung, the Self Concept of Rodgers and the Super-consciousness of the Eastern religions—the god within.

Maslow had a lot to do with the establishment of Transpersonal Psychology discipline. In 1969 Maslow, Grof and Sutich initiated pub­lication of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. The Association for Transpersonal Psychology was founded in 1972. Transpersonal Psychology focuses on the “spiritual” aspects of life while parapsy­chology focuses on “psychic” phenomena. Transpersonal psychology attempts to describe and integrate the experience of mysticism within modern psychological theory. Transpersonal psychology is associated with New Age dogma.15 This variant of psychology is often regarded as a fourth force of psychology, which in Maslow’s judgments summa­rized in Wikipedia “Transpersonal Psychology”:

Transcends Self-actualization of Humanistic psychology.16 Unlike the other first three schools of psychology i.e., psycho­analysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology which more or less deny the transcended part of soul, transpersonal psychol­ogy integrates the whole spectrum of human development from prepersonality to transpersonality.17 Hence transpersonal psy­chology can be considered the most integrated complete psychol­ogy, a positive psychology par excellence.18 From personality to transpersonality, mind to meditation, neuroscience to Nirvana, it is a complete wholesome science for all round development and treatment.19

In more understandable terms we could say that Transpersonal Psychology is more openly connected with the tenets of the neo-pa­gan—New Age mysticism than are the other disciplines of psychology. Now we trace the progression of the Self concept onward into more open New Age theosophy through Psychosynthesis of Roberto Assa­gioli, M.D.



Dr. Assagioli was an Italian Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist, having trained at the same mental hospital as did C.G. Jung in Switzer­land. He learned psychoanalysis but was not satisfied with this disci­pline as he felt it was not complete and proceeded to develop what he called psychosynthesis. He was influenced by both Freud and Jung and felt that Jung was the closest to his theory. Psychosynthesis is broadly defined as a spiritual and holistic application of psychology having been developed out of psychoanalysis. It is an attempt to develop the “higher psychic functions, the spiritual dimension.”

In 1938 he was imprisoned in Italy by Mussolini for one month due to his humanistic teachings and he used that month to investigate his inner-Self.20 Assagioli sees the “will”—“the power of choice” in a central position of “Self-consciousness.” He combines the Eastern approach to mental health with Western psychology in a stronger way than most other psychologists have done. His writings are frequently quoted in the field of holistic health as well as mental health.

Will Parfitt, a practitioner of psychosynthesis for 40 years, in an ar­ticle on the Internet titled “Roberto Assagioli – The Kabballist,” presents what is known about Assagioli’s connection to the Jewish secret soci­ety “Kabbalah.” Assagioli‘s library contained many books of mystical nature, writings of Gershom Scholem (the founder of modern Jewish mysticism), works of Alice Bailey and Theosophy, the works of Plato, etc. Most striking were psychospiritual articles written by Assagioli describing the psyche identical to the Kabbalah’s description of the psyche. The psyche is divided into three divisions: the lower uncon­scious, the middle unconscious, and the upper unconscious which is the Soul—Self.

Assagioli was careful in his writings to avoid mention of the Kab­balah or its doctrines, yet it is apparent that he subscribed to its tenets. The Kabbalah is pantheistic in its doctrines; it is mystical. Parfitt tells us that:

Psychosynthesis easily interfaces with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to create a model that can be effectively applied in many areas, particularly in the fields of healing, counseling and psy­chotherapy. Indeed, an understanding of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life is useful for practitioners of all types of therapeutic work. The larger, synthesizing context of the Kabbalah enables differ­ent models to be included without any subsequent loss of the integrity of each system.21

The Psychosynthesis psychology of Assagioli goes beyond transpersonal psychology in that it is quite open to the Eastern spiri­tualistic—pantheistic teachings. It can be seen that the pantheistic Self can be found in Freud’s, Jung’s, Rodger’s, Maslow’s, and Assagioli’s psychologies, and that over time the progression to openness of a pan­theistic tone is recognized.

Herbert Benson M.D.

An author and researcher who is not a psychologist, but has be­come well known in the medical world; a Cardiologists, and founder of Mind/Body Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. He is a graduate and associate professor of Harvard Med­ical School. He is author or co-author of many scientific publications and authored a number of books which have sold more than 4 million copies in several languages. He was an early promoter of spirituality in medical practice. His work has been a bridge, joining medicine with religion, East with the West, mind with the body, and belief with sci­ence. His research and writings have had a significant influence in the field of medicine.



Dr. Benson and his work were included in the chapter “Ayurveda”, Meditation section. I wish to review its role in mind—therapy; its con­tribution to the field of psychology.

A discipline known as “The Relaxation Response” brought forth by Herbert Benson M.D. has had considerable influence upon the medical community. Dr. Benson conducted quality medical research, studied the physiological changes in the autonomic nervous system in followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi while they practiced Transcen­dental Meditation, and then he named those physiological effects of transcendental meditation The Relaxation Response. Remember, it took meditation to produce the relaxation response. He studied the ef­fects of this relaxation technique upon various medical disorders in his Harvard research lab. He was able to show beneficial effects upon high blood pressure, help in reducing illicit drug use, benefit for migraine headaches, lower cholesterol levels, overcome insomnia, stimulate cre­ativity, relieve various pain syndromes, and various anxiety disorders.

Dr. Benson is also Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. His book, The Relaxation Response, has sold millions. It gained wide acceptance by the medi­cal community because it showed benefits under controlled trials that met with the medical standards of research. The methods presented by Benson are easy and without cost. This method he considered as harm­less to the physical body. However, it was not evaluated as to its effect upon the long term spiritual health. William A. Nolen M.D. wrote an endorsement to the relaxation response as follows:

I am delighted that someone has finally taken the nonsense out of meditation… Without the need to waste hundreds of dollars on so-called “Courses,” the reader knows how to meditate—and how to adopt a technique that best suits him or herself. This is a book any rational person—whether a product of Eastern or West­ern culture—can whole heartedly accept.22

Not only medical professionals but also the mental health estab­lishment has accepted Dr. Benson’s Relaxation Response as quality science and many therapists have utilized his technique. In 1975 it was introduced to the armed forces, “the meditative technique, cleansed of ideology,” and made a smashing hit with the Admirals and chief of naval education. It became a standard in indoctrination of new recruits throughout the armed forces. All basic training programs use it because of its effect as an alternative to drug use.23

What is this Relaxation Response that the doctor has made so popular? Benson reviewed the past and present religions of the world, including practices of shaman of primitive tribes throughout the world, looking for and selecting a particular practice used in healing that tended to be common to all. He found that meditation similar to tran­scendental meditation contained the principles that were found in the healing practices he had reviewed in his study of the various ancient religions as well as certain present religions.

All non-Christian and mystical Christian systems have some form of Eastern type meditation in their religious practices. Apostolic style Christianity does not, it has the practice of what we refer to as study and prayer as its particular method of communion with God. However, within the Christian movement there has been a mystical branch as traced by Benson. It started with St. Augustine (354-430), then con­tinued through monastics of the desert (desert fathers) during the early middle ages, using the mantra as a form of prayer tool.

The meditation practices and rules for living of these earliest Christian monks bear strong similarity to those of their Hindu and Buddhist renunciate brethren several kingdoms to the East… the meditative techniques they adopted for finding their God sug­gest either a borrowing from the East or a spontaneous rediscov­ery.24

A book by an unknown author with the title of A Cloud of Un­knowing written possibly in the fourteenth century promoted the use of a passive mind to achieve a contemplative mind (meditation). There are records of people in the Christian faith known as Christian mystics who practiced some form of meditation down through the centuries. We have continuation of this movement in the Christian community today teaching a similar practice, referred to as contemplative prayer.

The Relaxation Response is composed of four elements, pre­viously listed in the chapter on Ayurveda but important to review at this point: 1) A quiet environment; 2) an object to dwell upon, word or sound in repetition (mantra) or to gaze upon some object or symbol; 3) passive attitude, an empting of all thoughts from one’s mind; facili­tated by deep rhythmic breathing; 4) a comfortable position allowing the same position for at least 20 minutes.

Medical research has substantiated that there are very definite effects upon our nervous system and endocrine system by use of these methods. The involuntary nervous system reacts to many methods of relaxation and stress reduction. The rate of metabolism will be slowed within minutes by 20% or more as revealed by the reduced utilization of oxygen. Blood lactate levels drop revealing that the muscles are in a more relaxed state, blood pressures will become lower, heart rate slows, breathing rate slows, and the brain wave changes from the beta rhythm to alpha rhythm which is a slower rate of electrical brain waves. All these changes result in improvement of various medical conditions as mentioned in the first paragraph of this section.

If the Relaxation Response is so easy, cheap, safe, accessible, and effective for problems that are not always responsive to medicines, why has this section on Relaxation Response been placed in this chap­ter which is exposing Satan’s deceptions that are infiltrating the mental health field?



Because it is insidious and deceptive and spiritualistic. Dr. Benson has proposed the technique as a neutral method between science and religion by changing the word meditation to Relaxation Response and suggests use of Christian terms in the mantra. Many health professionals have accepted it. Some spiritual leaders believe they would not be partaking of its spiritualistic pagan tenets if they choose to use this method.

Meditation and yoga are worship acts and practices made to pa­gan gods. Transcendental meditation is a particular method of yoga wherein a secret mantra is given that is never to be shared with anyone. This manta is in fact a name of a Hindu god and when the mantra is used the meditator in turn is calling upon that Hindu god to possess him or herself.

Some may doubt the above statement. I will share with the reader a recent experience that makes clear to me this is so. I was conducting a seminar on the subjects of this book in Massachusetts March 2010 and I had shared the above statement with those in attendance. Follow­ing the lecture a young man came to me with a question—how did I know this fact that the mantra given in transcendental meditation is the name of a Hindu god and that to repeat it is to call on that god to pos­sess the meditator? I could not recall at that moment where I learned such, however, he told me I was correct, that it was a secret not to be revealed. He had once worked for the great Transcendental Medita­tion Ashram near Lancaster, Massachusetts and had been initiated into transcendental meditation; he had received the secret name of a Hindu god and bowed before two alters to Hindu gods in this initiation. One and one half years later he had surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and became a baptized Christian.

The Relaxation Response is a name given by Dr. Benson to the physiologic changes measured on transcendental meditators he used in his research. This meditation that he measured had the same response on the nervous system that occurs from meditation of Eastern religions, of Shamanism, of Christian mystics, Western occultism, of yoga, etc. For certain there are real effects, hundreds of experiments and studies substantiate that it is not a sham; there is a power in these practices. How does hypnotism bring changes to our nervous system to the de­gree that painless surgery has been done while under its influence, or painless surgery with patient awake with acupuncture? Men are able to walk or run through white hot coals of fire without burning flesh or clothing. Is this the answer?

These Satanic agents claim to cure disease. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, or the so-called “sympathetic remedies,” while in truth they are but channels for Satan’s elec­tric currents. By this means he casts his spell over the bodies and souls of men.–Signs of the Times, March 24, 1887.

In the Appendix H (Satan’s Ground), there is a list of more than thir­ty different conditions or situations that are considered “Satan’s ground” by Ellen White. Is it possible that a thirty-five hundred plus year old worship procedure, designed to worship and connect the worshiper to Satan’s spirit world could be considered as “Satan’s ground,” and an act that the worshiper of the Creator God would choose to avoid?

What has made The Relaxation Response so deceptive is a name change. Most of the medical profession at the time Dr. Benson was doing his research rejected practices coming from Eastern thought. By demonstrating physiologic changes from meditation and changing the name, prejudice was overcome. One of Dr. Benson’s investigators, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. shares with us his confirmation of the way that Dr. Benson was able to gain the medical professions acceptance of his relaxation response therapy.

…Transcendental Meditation, popularized by the Beatles, and the relaxation response, was popularized by Harvard’s Dr. Her­bert Benson. Dr. Benson, who directed a postgraduate course I took at Harvard Medical School, was chiefly concerned with isolating the most obvious healing aspect of meditation, and therefore focused his research almost solely upon simple, worry-free relaxation. In so doing, he made meditation palatable to the medical community.25 (emphasis added)

Dr. Khalsa is author of the book Meditation as Medicine, wherein he compares the relaxation response and Transcendental Meditation with his method—Meditation as Medicine. He makes the comment that visualization, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, and affirma­tion are forms of meditation but lack the value and full effects he sees from his method—Meditation as Medicine. He refers to Relaxation Response as the kindergarten version of Medical Meditation.26 Khalsa points out that Medical Meditation has unique attributes wherein spe­cific breathing patterns are utilized; postures are specific even to the position of the hands and fingers; specific mantras that give selected sounds; and a special mental focus are used. What makes the difference between a “kindergarten” level practice and one of superior effective­ness? Answer: the spiritual sensitivity of the operator, or said another way, the operator’s close connection to the powers of the occult.

Dr. Benson followed his book, The Relaxation Response, with a second book, Beyond Relaxation Response, which brings out addition­al areas of interest not mentioned in the first book, The Relaxation Re­sponse. In this second book he emphasizes the faith factor. He speaks of two powerful spiritual vehicles: 1) meditation 2) personal religious convictions. The statement is made in his book that the use of Relax­ation Response is to form a bridge between two disciplines, the prac­tice and art of meditation and your traditional faith.27 How does one connect an ancient practice designed to alter one’s level of conscious­ness and to connect man with the spirit world and blend it with the Christian faith?




As I read through this small book it soon became clear that the book is written to persuade one, of the beliefs of the Eastern thought, i.e.,, the origin of man coming from a theorized energy and not from a Holy Being—Creator God. Buddhism’s doctrines are cautiously intro­duced throughout the book in a masterful way suggesting a blending of these principles with other religions including Christianity by use of the technique (Eastern style meditation) spoken of as the Relaxation Response.

A third book by Benson, Your Maximum Mind, moves the reader one more step further toward changing one’s world view of reality. In this text Benson recommends his “Relaxation Response” technique as a means of:

…Our research has shown that to pass into the so called hypnotic state, the Relaxation Response is first elicited. Then, the hypno­tist may suggest various actions to the individual being hypno­tized.28 (emphasis added)

This above quotation is telling us that all that is needed after the Relaxation Response is reached is to have a hypnotist make sugges­tions and the meditator will respond accordingly. Is that not fully hyp­nosis when the Relaxation Response has been reached? Another ques­tion comes to my mind: what is the difference between a hypnotist and any other person that might give suggestions to the meditator that has achieved the Relaxation Response? I suggest this answer: the hypno­tist has placed him or herself under the control of occult powers. What about the person who attained the Relaxation Response?

If I choose to use the Relaxation Response for stress or other rea­sons, how do I know when I have reached the full response? Dr. Ben­son gives the answer in The Maximum Mind, pages 38, 39:

It’s interesting that many people who have elicited the Relax­ation Response—and experienced increased communication be­tween the two sides of the brain—express the experience as a sort of “wholeness.” They use such terms as “unboundedness,” “infinite correlation,” “well-being,” and “intense wakefulness.” Also, those in this state tend to have much greater awareness of the richness of details which surround them in their environment.

Often people just say that the state is inexpressible; it’s beyond words and language and can only be felt, not described. In its most intense form, this type of experience is known as a “peak experience”—whether you’re talking about a spiritual insight, a winning sports effort or some personal intellectual break through.

Benson in the same chapter as above refers to a Dr. Stanley R. Dean, professor of psychiatry at the Universities of Miami and Florida, who makes the following comment on this “peak experience.” As one that:

…produces a superhuman transmutation of consciousness that
defies description. The mind, divinely intoxicated, literally reels and trips over itself, groping and struggling for words of suf­ficient exaltation and grandeur to portray the transcendental vi­sion. As yet, we have no adequate words.

In the research laboratory when this state of full Relaxation Re­sponse has been reached, monitoring of brain waves reveals alpha and theta brain waves in both hemispheres. These are the wave lengths of a slowed brain activity which results from a passive mind, and theta is specifically the rate demonstrated in biofeedback and hypnotic trance.

The book, Your Maximum Mind, by Benson has as its purpose to share with the reader Dr. Benson’s belief that by use of the Relaxation Response the brain can be tuned to bring forth its full potential. He presents the story of research that his laboratory from Harvard Uni­versity did in Tibet, monitoring Tibetan monks as they meditated. One group of monks came into a room at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and took wet cloths, wrapped them over their bodies. Meditation style (gTummo Yoga), was entered into. The wet cold clothes within three to five min­utes began to steam and in thirty to forty minutes the clothes were dry. They repeated this act several times.

Another group of monks living at 17,000 feet elevation walked in the early evening up to an elevation of 19,000 feet and dressed in sandals, loin cloth and a thin cotton cloth over the body. They took off their sandals squatted down with their heads resting on the ground in front of them and entered into gTummo Yoga. The temperature was zero degrees Fahrenheit. Thus they spent the night without even a shiv­er, in the morning they arose shaking off snow that had settled on them during the night and walked back to their monastery.

Dr. Benson shares with us his belief that the monk’s ability to do these acts is a result of the Relaxation Response—meditation and re­lying profoundly upon their Buddhist faith. Might it not be the same power that prevents burns to clothing and skin for those who walk forty feet through white hot coals of fire?

In the book, Your Maximum Mind, Herbert Benson reveals how by use of the Relaxation Response we can increase our abilities in aca­demic activities, music, health, creativity, spirituality, etc. We do this by bringing ourselves into the fullness of the Relaxation Response then exposing ourselves to any of those endeavors we wish to excel in. The level of achievement in that art will be much higher than we are able to achieve without using this technique. Why not take advantage of it?

Can I find in the Bible any suggestion that this is the way to enrich my spiritual life? Is there any hint of such in the books written by E.G. White? I have not found any suggestion of such. I do find the advice to seek wisdom from God. Solomon asked wisdom from God and was blessed with such. We cannot serve two masters at one time, it is al­ways only one. Is it spiritually safe? The Christian will find his growth in abilities and wisdom coming from the Creator God of the universe, not hidden within his consciousness to be brought forth through an oc­cult power.



That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowl­edge. Colossians 2: 2, 3 (emphasis added)

Herbert Benson comments further:

So when you are in this state of enhanced left-right hemispheric communication, it’s easier to process information and view situ­ations in a new and innovative way. In other words, a “cogni­tive receptivity” or “plasticity of cognition” occurs, in which you actually change the way you view the world.29 (emphasis added)

Benson told the L.A. Times:

…in his clinical experience, about 60-70% of those who begin a meditation-type practice primarily for medical reasons (often at the recommendation of their doctor) adopt the teachings. (Bud­dhism) L.A. Times Quiet the Mind, Heal the Body, 1/12/03


False Science of Mind Cure:

Philosophy since the time of Socrates and Plato considered the workings of the mind and expounded upon man’s understanding of its workings. Man added to man’s ideas; the scriptures were not consulted in an attempt to explain the mind, psychology became a discipline of its own. Scriptures were not accepted and an anti-Creator—God attitude was present through the ages. The tradition of men helped to devise many of the concepts and dogma that went into forming modern mind sciences. Undoubtedly there also has been worthwhile advancement in knowledge in the mind sciences that is valuable and not connected with spiritistic influences. It is important to make clear that there are psychologists and psychiatrists that do not use techniques that are re­lated to the methods exposed in this chapter. However, it is important that we understand these principles so if we choose professional aid in mental health that we are intelligent in those practices that are tainted.

Says Paul, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8) This scripture is especially applicable as a warning against modern Spiritualism. If the mind commences to run in the channel of phrenology and animal magnetism, it is almost sure to lose its balance. “Vain deceit” takes possession of the imagination. Many think there is such power in themselves that they do not realize their need of help from a higher power. Their principles and faith are “after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Jesus has not taught them this. He does not direct the minds of men to themselves, but to God, the Creator of the universe, as the source of strength and wisdom.30

For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is do­ing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women that none but his voice will be heard.31

True Science Mind Cure:

At the beginning of the previous chapter this quote from book 1 Mind, Character, and Personality by E.G. White, p. 10 was presented.

I desire to draw attention to it once again. Many pages in this chapter have been written exposing a false science of mind—cure that looks to Self—the divine within, as the power and means for restoration of mental health.

Laws of the Mind Ordained by God.–He who created the mind and ordained its laws, provided for its development in ac­cordance with them.

To have mental health it is first necessary to exercise the power of the will—to choose:

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:13

Satan cannot touch the mind or intellect unless we yield it to him.32

Christ can do nothing for those who are yoked up with the en­emy. His invitation to us is, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor 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.” When in our daily experience we learn His meekness and lowliness, we find rest. There is then no necessity to search for some mysterious science to soothe the sick. We al­ready have the science which gives them real rest–the science of salvation, science of restoration, the science of a living faith in a living Savior.33

Within the scriptures are to be found the principles for safe and effective therapy for the mind. Those that may be looking for help and guidance for mental well being, choose not only a Christian health professional but also one who finds in the scriptures his guidance for assisting patients in securing mental health. I have become acquainted with books written by authors that are guided by scriptures in their professional endeavors. Undoubtedly there are many more such pro­fessionals. I wish to share some names of authors and books so written.






First: A book entitled Christians, Beware! The Dangers of Secular Psychology by Magna Parks, Ph.D., a previously practicing psycholo­gist. Her book is written, about an oftentimes confusing subject. With simplicity and clarity she tells her story of twenty years of psychological counseling following the secular methods taught by the schools she attended.

She once read a sermon that challenged the usual principles of therapy in psychology counseling and found it in opposition to her way of treatment. She studied to expose the error of understanding of psychology by this pastor as revealed in his sermon.

Her pursuit in this study led her to the conviction that he was right and thereafter she turned to the scriptures for her source of wisdom in bringing mental health to her patients. The conclusion Dr. Parks came to in her search for the guiding principle used in secular psychology is summarized in the following quotation.

It is my prayer that what you have read in this book will provoke you to re-examine your perspective on secular psychology as it relates to your life as a Christian. The teachings of secular psy­chology point us to one object—self. This is completely contrary to God’s desire for us to be focused on Him.34

Second: Depression The Way Out by, Neil Nedley, M.D., is anoth­er book that approaches mental health utilizing the physical, mental, and spiritual approach. It is especially directed at mental depression. Dr. Nedley is an internal medicine practitioner and during his specialty training he became interested in the mental affliction of depression. This disorder is extremely widespread in our country. He recognized that the results of the usual therapy were not very beneficial. The cus­tomary medical approach has been treatment of depression largely by medication. In his book Dr. Nedley places great emphasis upon life­style and changing our patterns of thinking, avoiding negative thoughts and carrying an attitude of gratitude. The value of helping people see themselves as having true value because they were bought with a price, the life of the Son of God, and avoiding the pursuit of self-esteem is emphasized.35

Third: Daniel L. Gabbert with 25 years of full time Christian min­istry of which 13 have been in church pastoral ministry, six as a mental and spiritual health coach at Black Hills Health and Education Center, in Hermosa, South Dakota. There he conducts training seminars for those wishing to learn and share with others God’s method of healing the mind. He has written a special training manual entitled, Biblical Response Therapy®, Healing God’s Way. He too, has recognized the infatuation of Self by the mental health field. He exposes in great de­tail this false focus; tracing its origin from Satan in his rebellion—sin against God and to its infection and spread in man, therein identified as Self. In the preface of his manual the following words reveal the focus:

The purpose of this manual is to provide sincere Christians the basic principles for leading hurting people along the incredible path of spiritual and mental healing and restoration found in God’s word. These principles are based solely upon the precepts of healing the thought life (the habits of thinking and feeling) as found in God’s word….36

The information prepared for the training course and contained in Gabbert’s syllabus recognizes the influences of our physical health upon the function of the mind and thought life, the effects of diet, exer­cise, and even our world view. The syllabus material is based on scrip­ture and occasionally selections from the author E.G. White as follows:

Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-bal­anced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobe­dience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness (self) took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgres­sion (sin) that it was impossible for him in his own strength, to resist the power of evil (Satan).37



The purpose and goal of this chapter has been to search for seeds of spiritualism in the field of psychology/mind cure. This study was initiated because of statements by the author E.G. White naming phre­nology, mesmerism (hypnotism), and psychology as laying the founda­tion for spiritualism. This statement is made several times in her writ­ings. This search proceeded guided by definitions of spiritualism as understood by Ellen White, which are: man’s consciousness in death, (immortality); spirits of dead return to minister to the living; no dif­ference between righteousness and sin; man will judge himself; men are unfallen demigods (divine within, pantheism); Theosophy prin­ciples, theory of animal magnetism (which includes universal energy, universal mind, divine mind, Self and or Divine Self, consciousness, unconscious, and all synonyms).

Spiritualism declares that there is no death, no sin, no judgment, no retribution; that men are unfallen demigods; that desire is the highest law; and that man is accountable only to himself…38

Thousands of men and women have been involved in the field of psychiatry and psychology and different forms of mind—cures but this discourse has presented only a few names that are more prominent in the literature of psychology as having formulated theory concepts which have influenced the field of psychology/mind-cure over the past 120 or so years. Within this book the foundational precepts of Eastern religions and mysticisms as well as Western occultism (Theosophy) have been presented. These in brief are: man’s origin is from a blending of a universal divine energy, therefore man has divinity within—Self, man by his works progresses toward godhood, belief in reincarnation and that man eventually reaches nirvana (spirit’s paradise).



Did we find any of the above defined aspects of spiritualism in psy­chology? Let us review: the concept of life after death (immortality) was found in philosophy writings down through the ages; the theories of the subconscious of Freud; collective consciousness of Jung; self of most other psychologists; are in reality synonymous with the doctrine of Eastern mysticisms and Western occultism. They are presented as apart from religion, but in reality I believe they constitute a near-reli­gion with the same core dogma of Eastern religions, that is—the divine within.

This conclusion is illustrated by tracing the gradual change in the concepts of psychology during the past century. Freud was anti-reli­gion and denied there were spirits until his later years; however, he promoted the doctrine of intelligence in the unconscious.

Jung’s life was filled with contact with the spirit world and by his own words this influence helped him formulate his theories of psy­chology, that of the collective unconscious which is the same as the Eastern consciousness. Rogers and Maslow were leaders in humanistic psychology which places man as possessing the divine within, Maslow moved farther than Rogers toward Eastern mysticism as seen in his interest in what is called transpersonal psychology which is an empha­sis on spirituality, but not Biblical directed spirituality. Assagioli was oriented in psychology but also accepted parapsychology (occult mani­festations) into the discipline of transpsychology. Herbert Benson, the scientist, has taken the Eastern practice of meditation, repackaging it as relaxation, bridged it to religion for treating stress, anxieties, and various medical disorders.

Satan has not only controlled pagan man’s loyalty by his counter­feit teachings of salvation by works, but also great parts of the Chris­tian civilization by the greatest deceptive doctrine found in secular psychology, Self. I do not believe that all psychologists or psychiatrist are directed by this false doctrine in their therapy. There are undoubt­edly practitioners who do follow the Biblical model of “True Science Mind—Cure.”

The law of the universe is: God gives all things to the Son, who gives to the created, who in turn returns love to the Son, and the son to God, completing the great circle of beneficence. Satan introduced Self as a substitute for the love of God.

Eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was proclaimed by Satan to make man wise like God—man possessing within self all healing and wisdom of the universe. This is the theme of Satan’s counterfeit story of God’s creation and salvation.

In Paul’s second Epistle to the Thessalonians, he exhorts to be on guard and not depart from the faith. He speaks of Christ’s coming as an event to immediately follow the work of Satan in spiritual­ism in these words: “Even him, whose coming is after the work­ing of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.39

The warnings of the word of God regarding the perils surrounding the Christian church belong to us today. As in the days of the apostles, men tried by tradition and philosophy to destroy faith in the Scriptures, so today, by the pleasing sentiments of higher criticism, evolution, spiritualism, theosophy, and pantheism, the enemy of righteousness is seeking to lead souls into forbidden paths. To many the Bible is as a lamp without oil, because they have turned their minds into channels of speculative belief that bring misunderstanding and confusion. The work of higher criti­cism, in dissecting, conjecturing, reconstructing, is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation. It is robbing God’s word of power to control, uplift, and inspire human lives. By spiritu­alism, multitudes are taught to believe that desire is the highest law, that license is liberty, and that man is accountable only to himself.40

The follower of Christ will meet with the “enticing words” against which the apostle warned the Colossian believers. He will meet with spiritualistic interpretations of the Scriptures, but he is not to accept them. His voice is to be heard in clear affirmation of the eternal truths of the Scriptures. Keeping his eyes fixed on Christ, he is to move steadily forward in the path marked out, discarding all ideas that are not in harmony with His teaching. The truth of God is to be the subject for his contemplation and meditation. He is to regard the Bible as the voice of God speaking directly to him. Thus he will find the wisdom which is divine.41

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.42



1     Pescitelli, Dagmar, An Analysis of Carl Rodgers’ Theory of Personality, Listed in Wikipedia/Carl Rodgers. (1996)

2   Combs, Arthur W. and Snygg, Donald (1949), Individual Behavior: A New Frame of Reference for Psychology, New York, Harper & Brothers, Article on Snygg and Combs’ “Phenomenal Field” Theory.



3   Rogers, Carl (1959). A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed in the Client-centered Framework. In (ed.) S. Koch, Psychology: A study of Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the person and the social context, New York: McGraw Hill.



6     Kurtz, Paul, Living Without Religion: Eupraxophy, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, (1995), p. 8.

7     Rogers, Carl R., A Way of Being, Houghton Mifs in Company, New York, New York, (1995), pp. 253, 254.

8    Ibid., p. 90.

9     Ibid., p. 91

10   Ibid., p. 92.

11   Ibid., p. 88.

12   Ibid., p 99-102.

13    Kilpatrick, William Kirk, The Emperor’s New Clothes (Crossway Books, (1985), pp. 176,7

14    Rogers, op. cit., pp. 128-130.

15 p. 3.







22 Benson, Herbert M.D., Klipper, Miraiam Z., The Relaxation Response, Wings Books, a Random House Company, New Jersey, (1975), cover of book.

23    Ferguson, Marilyn, The Aquarian Conspiracy, J.P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Ange­les, Distributed by St. Martin’s Press, New York, (1980), p. 237.

24    Goleman, Daniel, The Meditative Mind (Los Angeles, CA: Tarcher/Putman Inc. 1988), p. 53; Reported in Yungen, Ray, A Time of Departing, Light­house Trails Publishing, Silverton, Oregon, (2002), p. 42.

25      Khalsa, Dharma Singh M.D., Meditation as Medicine, Stauth, Cameron, New York, NY, (2001), p. 7

26     Ibid., p. 10.

27     Benson, Herbert M.D., Beyond Relaxation Response, A Berkeley Book, Times Books edition , 1984, Berkley edition ,(1985), New York, NY, p. 6.

28   Benson, Herbert M.D., Your Maximum Mind, Times Books, Division of Random House, Inc., New York, (1987), p. 38

29   Ibid.

30    White, E.G., ST, November 13, (1884), par. 1.

31    White, E.G., Letter 244, (1907). {MM 111.2.}

32    White, E.G., 2 Mind, Character, and Personality, Southern Publishing As­sociation, Nashville, TN, (1977), p. 710.

33   White, E.G., Medical Ministry, Pacific Press, Nampa Idaho, (1932), p. 117.

34    Parks, Magna, Christians, Beware! The Dangers of Secular Psychology, Teach services, Brush New York, (2007), p. 77.

35     Nedley, Neil M.D., Depression the Way Out, Nedley Publishing, Ardmore, Oklahoma, (2001), chapter 5

36    Gabbert, Ibid., p. i.

37    White, E.G., Steps to Christ, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, MD, p. 17.

38    White, E.G., Evangelism, (1940), Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, MD, p. 608

39    White, E.G., Confrontation, (1971), pp. 91, 92.

40    White, E.G., Acts of the Apostles, Pacific Press Publishing Association,

Nampa Idaho, (1911), p. 474.

41    Ibid.

42    White, E.G., op. cit., 1MCP p. 19.1


The author is a Seventh Day Adventist. The above are chapters 20 and 21 reproduced from his book Exposing Spiritualistic Practices in Healing with his permission.


Categories: new age


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