Friday, April 25, 2008

Emergent MIND Change

"A new world, as the mystics have always said, is a new mind."
-Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy:Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s
(J.P. Tarcher, 1980), p. 36 [emphasis added]

"The mystery of the creative/intuitive mind is underscored in the 'perennial wisdom', which finds the
deep intuition connected to the one Universal Mind. Thus there are indeed no limits to its capabilities save those the individual creates as part of the resistance to discovering one's godlike qualities. Furthermore, because of this connection to the All, problem solutions, which come from the deep intuition will be solutions that benefit all, not one at the expense of others."

- Willis Harman, Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think
(Warner Books, 1988), p. 88 [emphasis added]

Dr. Dennis Cuddy, in his bi-weekly NewsWithViews column on April 7 made a startling observation. Cuddy, an historian and author with expertise in the mental health arena,* noticed that there were similarities in Brian McLaren's new book everything must change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope and Eckhart Tolle's new book touted by Oprah's Book Club, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Both authors define mental illness in terms of wrong belief systems which are harming the planet:

McLaren in his book continued to explain that this failed Christian religion's threats of hell "lose their effect when those making the threats seem a little defensive, deranged, out of touch, manic….." Note that he's saying they are mentally ill! This is similar to New Ager Marilyn Ferguson in THE AQUARIAN CONSPIRACY: PERSONAL AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE 1980s (1980) saying that if people will get rid of "crippling belief systems," they can have a "transformation of consciousness" and find "sanity within." More recently, it sounds like Eckhart Tolle's A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE (2005) promoted by Oprah's Book Club. He asserts that all of those expressing the certainty that "I am right and you are wrong" are a "dangerous thing in religions." It reflects a "collective mental illness." Tolle characterizes "sin" as simply "missing the point" of human existence and suggests that "Eastern wisdom teachings" allow us to "let go of dogmas" and "rigid belief systems." He also relates that in THE HOLY BIBLE "a new heaven" actually refers to "the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness." Note again the terms "mental illness" and "transformed." ("Transformation by Crises and Synthesis")

Indeed the two books do bear a basic similarity in their underlying premise that man's belief systems (i.e., particularly orthodox Christian theology) are deranged and need to undergo a basic "shift" that will result in "transformation" necessary for the survival of the planet.

Eckhart Tolle describes this "shift" in Teilhardian terms as a "shift in consciousness" that will result in a spiritual "awakening." His book moves from the self-help genre to become a full-fledged New Age indoctrination primer. Claiming that the "'normal' state of mind of most human beings contains a strong element of what we might call dysfunction or even madness," Tolle goes on to call this the "collective mental illness" of humanity, redefining "original sin" as "collective insanity." (pp. 5-10)

"The collective manifestations of the insanity that lies at the heart of the human condition constitute the greater part of human history. It is to a large extent a history of madness. If the history of humanity were the clinical case history of a single human being, the diagnosis would have to be chronic paranoid delusions, a pathological propensity to commit murder and acts of extreme violence and cruelty against his perceived 'enemies' -- his own unconsciousness projected outward. Criminally insane, with a few brief lucid intervals." (pp. 11-12) [emphasis added]

Tolle's solution to this "deep-seated collective delusion" is "a radical transformation of human consciousness." Man must begin by recognizing his own "insanity" before he can "emerge." He must eradicate "mental belief structures" by exchanging "a set of thoughts you regard as the absolute truth" -- what Tolle calls a "mind-dominated religion" -- for the "transcendence of thought." (pp. 12-20) In other words, those in

"traditional religions are able to let go of identification with form, dogma, and rigid belief systems and discover the original depth that is hidden within their own spiritual traditions at the same time as they discover the depth within themselves. They realize that how 'spiritual' you are has nothing to do with that you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness." (p. 18)

"What is arising now is not a new belief system, a new religion, spiritual ideology, or mythology. We are coming to the end not only of mythologies but also of ideologies and belief systems. The change goes deeper than the content of your mind, deeper than your thoughts. In fact, at the heart of the new consciousness lies the transcendence of thought...." (p. 21)

This is, of course, a perfect description of the New Spirituality. And to top it off, Tolle reminds the reader of the classic mantra of the New Age - "The dysfunction of the egoic human mind... is for the first time threatening the survival of the planet." We must all "Evolve or die," which entails an "evolutionary leap" -- "the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness." (p. 21) "The meek are the egoless" (p. 309) who have merged with the collective whole. All of this is supposed to create "A New Earth."

Likewise, Brian McLaren has been forging new orthodoxies for a New Spirituality in his aptly-named Emergent church movement. In order for Christians to "emerge" (p. 299) -- what McLaren refers to as a "deep shift in context" (p. 43) -- they must give up their belief system that is mentally ill. They must abandon their "threats of hell" which "seem a little defensive, deranged, out of touch, manic, or embarrassed" in order to have a more "vibrant form of the Christian faith that is holistic, integral, and balanced." (p. 34) McLaren portrays the "typical Christian believer" as "tense, judgmental, imbalanced, reactionary, negative, and hypocritical." (p. 33) Definitely not the picture of mental health!

McLaren's new earth involves changing the world's dysfunctional, suicidal and unhealthy "dominant framing story" (p. 70) with an "ascending spiral of transformation" based on "an alternative framing story that, if believed, could save the system from suicide." (p. 72) McLaren writes that

"the suicidal framing story that dominates our world today has no power except the power we give it by believing it. Similarly, believing an alternative and transforming framing story may turn out to be the most radical thing any of us can ever do....

"...[I]f we believe that God graciously offers us a new way, a new truth, and a new life, we can be liberated from the vicious, addictive cycles of our our suicidal framing story...." (p. 270) [emphasis added]

"So the revolution we need starts in us--in our minds, our hearts--as an act of faith, a transfer of trust from the dominant system to a new way of seeing, believing, and living." (p. 271) [emphasis added]

This new way of "seeing" and "thinking" and "living," according to McLaren, "is not a new system of belief patched into an old way of life; it is a new way of life that changes everything." Everything else "must be unlearned." Those who "are being malformed" must be "shaped" or "formed" ("spiritual formation") by a "deeper script or lesson plan." (pp. 283-292)

Marilyn Ferguson, who publicly outed the Luciferian Theosophist-created New Age Movement in her book The Aquarian Conspiracy, also described "deep inner shifts" that could occur, precipitated by activities that could generate altered states of consciousness, i.e. distortions in the brain's cognitive functioning. This was seen as a vehicle to facilitate a more "rapid transformation of the human species," beginning with an emergent "vanguard." And she claimed that those who underwent this "awakening" process had a more "sane, healthy center, the wherewithall to deal with stress and to innovate." (pp. 31-32) She explained how

"The Aquarian Conspiracy is using its widespread outposts of influence to focus on the dangerous myths and mystiques of the old paradigm, to attack obsolete ideas and practices.... "We can conspire against the old, deadly assumptions. We can live against them." "For only that which is deeply felt can change us. Rational arguments alone cannot penetrate the layers of fear and conditioning that comprise our crippling belief systems. The Aquarian Conspiracy creates opportunities wherever possible for people to experience shifts in consciousness. Hearts as well as minds must change. Communication must be not only wide but deep..... "Penetrating to the roots of fears and doubts, we can change radically.... A new world, as the mystics have always said, is a new mind." (pp. 34-36) [bold added]

Evangelical leaders a generation ago listened to Willis Harman, whose influence predominates Marilyn Ferguson's book. They invited him to speak about his ideas on "Global Mind Change" and "Noetic Sciences" and how he was working on a "more unified view of reality" that based on "altered states of consciousness" that could create a "significant cultural shift" and "transcendent goals for the individual and society." Harman informed them that "the fundamental tenets of religion [are] an illusion, turn out themselves to be invalid." His presentation went virtually unchallenged. (See Herescope series September and October 2005 on this topic.)

Today it is readily apparent that church leaders are "rethinking" and "emerging" and hyping activities that create altered states of consciousness, such as contemplation, labyrinths, drumming, ecstatic and frenzied "revivals" with signs and wonders, etc. Furthermore, they are dumping old theologies by the truckloads, claiming that orthodoxy is responsible for the sins of the church and creating problems for society. Those who cling to the old belief system of biblical doctrine are increasing portrayed as mentally ill, and blamed for every sort of problem. This false caricature is increasingly utilized by those who promote an emergent New Spirituality, both without and within the church.

Dr. Dennis Cuddy's research into the international mental health agenda, published in three books* as well as online at in a lengthy series on "Mental Health, Education and Social Control" sheds additional light on the ramifications of this dangerous caricature. Definitions of what constitutes mental "health" and mental "illness" are changing, nationally and internationally, and in the future those who hold to traditional beliefs may be assessed as "deranged."

The Truth:

Dr. Francis Schaeffer wrote a book in 1971, True Spirituality, that serves as a timeless refutation of mysticism. In it, he explained the importance of rational thought, reason and Absolute Truth in the Christian life.

"Here is true Christian mysticism. Christian mysticism is not the same as non-Christian mysticism, but I would insist that it is not a lesser mysticism. Indeed, eventually it is a deeper mysticism, for it is not based merely on contentless experience, but on historic, space-time reality--on propositional truth. One is not asked to deny the reason, the intellect, in true Christian mysticism. And there is to be no loss of personality, no loss of the individual man. In Eastern mysticism--to which the West has turned so madly now that it has lost the sense of history, of content, and the truth of biblical facts--there is always finally a loss of the personality. It cannot be otherwise in their framework. You will remember the story of Shiva, who is one of the manifestations of the Everything. He came and loved a mortal woman. Shiva put his arms around this woman in his love, and immediately she disappeared and he became neuter. This is Eastern mysticism. It is grounded in the loss of personality of the individual. Not so Christian mysticism. Christian mysticism is communion with Christ. It is Christ bringing forth fruit through me, the Christian, with no loss of personality and without my being used as a stick or a stone either." (The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Volume 3, True Spirituality, [Crossway, 1982], p. 249)

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

*Dr. Cuddy has authored three books on this topic: Mental Health Screening: How Will It Affect Your Children, National Mental Health Program: Creating Standards for the New World Order, and most recently Mental Health, Education and Social Control. The first two books are available from Discernment Ministries (903-567-6423) and the third can be obtained by phoning 800-652-1144.