Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Age Whackiness?

The following is an excerpt that I came across, searching the web and studying weirdo ideas:

"To achieve Self-realization, happiness, inner peace, success, happy relationships, and GOD-realization all attachments and addictions must be let go of. As Buddha said, "All suffering comes from attachment." It is amazing all the things we get attached to. All negative emotions can be traced to attachment. All failed relationships can be traced to attachment. To pass the fourth initiation, in its fullest sense of the term one must become a "renunciate", which means living in this world but not of this world. One must learn to have super-strong preferences in life but not attachments. The nature of preference is that you go after them with all your heart and soul and mind and might but if you don't get them you are still happy.
In matters of love, that which you share and then let go of will come back if it is meant to be. If it doesn't come back it is not GOD's will. This is the law of life. That which you try and hold onto you lose. This is one of the key principles in understanding the laws of manifestation.
Whatever you are attached or addicted to in life no matter what it is, be it people, material things, future events, sex, money, ad infinitum, change these things to preferences. Some go too far in the other direction and become totally detached with no preferences. This is not good either for they are not involved in life. It is important to have a total passion for life and for all your goals, preferences and priorities, but the key is to be happy and have inner peace regardless of what happens, instead of fighting life. This whole lesson is truly the fourth great spiritual test of the spiritual path."

I put this up here, because I'm struck, both with the weirdness of the lingo and the overtones of Christian beliefs that I have heard or fostered for years. I distinctly remember watching a clip of Dr. Dobson, talking about relationships and saying, if you love something, let it go: if it comes back, it's yours - if not, it was never yours to begin with. Sound similar? Try telling Dobson he has a lot in common with New Age thinkers and dabblers in Eastern religions. Ha ha. I don't know about "GOD-realization." I'm certainly not willing to allow for it in my worldview, but don't you think we might have something to learn from these kinds of people? Living life, letting go of attachments, but living with passions and priorities, it all seems like pretty good advice, whether dealing with money, career, sex, alcohol. Most of us, I think, need to be stronger people psychologically. We've tried to be spiritual and "loving," but we don't seem to know what to do with ourselves, if our situations change. It seems like it's just advocating self-control, a little quality that I've heard is a fruit of the Spirit.

I've wondered before, what could the church have achieved, if instead of slamming the door on the New Age movements of the late 80's and 90's, actually involved itself in conversation with them. We might have made inroads with many people, who now see us as backward/intolerant/judgemental. Not that I'm all about worrying how people see us. But I think we may have benefited from such an exchange as well.

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