THE MYSTICAL REVOLUTION – Part 3
The following is an excerpt from the booklet: THE MYSTICAL REVOLUTION October 14, 2015 by Lighthouse Trails By Ray Yungen
The Christian Response
In 1983, a Christian attorney from Detroit, Constance Cumbey, wrote a book titled The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow after she accidentally stumbled upon the New Age. Cumbey was basically the first person within the evangelical church to expose the New Age as a movement. There had been many books on cults, like Kingdom of the Cults or Guidebook for Cults. But Cumbey’s book focused on individuals working within various organizations, who rather than drawing people away to cults, attempted to turn the organizations themselves into spiritual organizations that reflected the new paradigm. The book that alarmed Cumbey was the book by Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (an influential New Age manifesto at the time), which described people who had become aware of these other dimensions and were working to become “Aquarian conspirators” (as Ferguson called them) and bring everyone else into this mystical body. They were the pioneers or the avant-garde in this new wave of consciousness.
But then the term New Age became a worn-out buzzword. The people who promoted New Age beliefs stopped using the term. As a result of this tactic, Christian concerns died out, and people saw the New Age movement as a kind of fad that was fast disappearing. I’ve always wondered about books, such as Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness (immensely popular during that period), as to whether they had something to do with this dismissal of the New Age as a fictional fantasy and perhaps nothing more than a silly craze. It seems the initial alarm dissipated because people perceived the mystical revolution as non-relevant. A trip to your local Christian bookstore today will illustrate this point. In the section that deals with cults or apologetics, you will find books dealing with Mormonism, atheism, Islam, and so forth, but you will find almost nothing on the mystical revolution even though it has actually exploded and become embraced by a wide segment of the population.
In 1986, something very significant happened that helped turn unknown New Age writers into world-famous household names—the Oprah Winfrey Show began. Oprah had read a book by Unity minister Eric Butterworth and converted to the New Age mystical paradigm. Then in the ’90s, she dedicated her show to the New Age concepts of higher consciousness. In 1992, Oprah invited a woman named Marianne Williamson on her show. Williamson had written a book titled Return to Love, which was based on the channeled manual A Course in Miracles. To help launch Williamson’s message, Oprah gave away 10,000 copies of A Return to Love, resulting in 70,000 copies of the book selling within the first week after the show. Needless to say, Oprah was very excited about this book.
Oprah soon had a who’s who parade of New Age authors on her show. She highlighted a series of authors, most of whom went on to sell millions of books. She had Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of Simple Abundance, and Iyanla Vanzant. And then, Oprah had one of the individuals I would consider the most indicative of this movement—Gary Zukav. Because of his regular appearances on the Oprah Show, his book, The Seat of the Soul, was at the top of the New York Times best-seller list 31 times and remained on the New York Times best-seller list for three years. Needless to say, it has sold millions of copies.
Zukav’s book was not the kind of book most people normally would have bought; it could be likened to a scholarly textbook, rather than the kind of book that would appeal to the masses.
There were many others also reaching the broad public. And by public, I mean this in the truest sense of the word. Public television began to advocate the New Age perspective. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, John Bradshaw was appearing on public television on a show called “Bradshaw on the Family.” Bradshaw had been trained in Hindu meditation by Dennis Weaver, the actor who played Chester on the 1960s television Gunsmoke. Bradshaw then passed on this knowledge to his viewers and readers, talking about meditation and the higher self. (Higher self is a term meaning the inner divinity or the god within every person.)
Deepak Chopra, an East Indian-American doctor, was another figure on public television quite often. Chopra promoted holistic health. But the most prominent and effective figure on public television, who was on for twelve years during pledge drives, is author Wayne Dyer. One could legitimately call him the Billy Graham of New Age spirituality. He had a deep booming voice and a commanding presence, which gave him an air of authority. But his message could best be summed up in one of his numerous books titled Your Sacred Self. Again, his message was always in the vein of mysticism—that if one did meditation one would achieve connection with the higher self. Like Bradshaw, Dyer reached millions of people through this venue. He literally personified the mystical revolution. In all, he has sold around 50 million books. He died in August of 2015 at the age of 75, but his books and teachings will live on.
Dr. Dyer’s publisher was Hay House, a publishing company started by a woman named Louise Hay who wrote a book called You Can Heal Your Life that sold 40 million copies. Hay became so wealthy that she was able to start her own publishing company. Today, Hay House is one of the largest New Age publishing companies.
The logo for Hay House is “look within.” In other words, everything you need is right inside of you. This is in line with the lyrics of “Within You, Without You,” the song by George Harrison of The Beatles—“it’s all within you.” As I stated earlier, these words are the theme of what New Age spirituality entails. In the Age of Aquarius, the message is when man “realizes” his own divinity, everyone will find “God” within themselves.
One could say, “Well, to each his own. We live in a pluralistic society. If people want to believe this stuff, they can. It may sound flaky or somewhat offbeat or eccentric, but I don’t care if other people believe this stuff. It won’t affect me at all. I’ll follow Jesus, and I’ll be a good Christian. There’ll still be plenty of good Christians around. Just because there’s this flaky religion out there doesn’t mean I should get excited about it.”
But here is what needs to be considered: when you look behind the curtain, you see things extremely disturbing. For instance, in the acknowledgments of popular author Iyanla Vanzant’s book, In the Meantime, she thanks her spirit guides, giving them each names. This is true of practically every major author in this movement. And then, there is Gary Zukav. The main theme of his books is that we need to turn our lives over to our non-physical guides (spirits) and teachers. Sarah Ben Breathnach was involved with Wicca and also had non-physical guides and teachers. In her book, Simple Abundance, she says spells cast on Halloween are more powerful than any other night in the year. That book sold five million copies.
Even the highly regarded and influential Wayne Dyer expressed his love and devotion to a group of non-physical entities who called themselves “Abraham” in a book for which he wrote the foreword.
I could give numerous other examples than the ones just mentioned, but that would be redundant. This is not the exception; this is the rule. Perhaps the most noteworthy would be that of Louise Hay, founder of Hay House Publishers. Hay has a particular devotion to one of the non-physical guides and teachers whom Gary Zukav talks about, a spirit guide named Seth. Channeler Jane Roberts has authored several “Seth books.” Of those books, Hay states:
I would like to see the Seth books as required reading for anyone on their spiritual pathway. The amazing in-depth information in the Seth books is as relevant today as it was in the early 70s when Jane Roberts first channeled this material.
This is sobering considering that practically every third or fourth book in the self-help section of most bookstores is published by Hay House.