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October 11, 2010

The Perils of New Age Pantheistic Monism

Pantheism and Monism: The Foundation of Immorality*

By Alexander Dvorkin, Professor of the University of Moscow

With the idea of “discovering of the Messiah within you” we approach two main axioms of the New Age, one flowing from the other. One of these is New Age (or pantheistic) monism: namely the belief that everything is united. While every sort of difference between different substances – “between Joseph and Judy, between Joseph and the tree, or between Judy and God”1 – all seem to be differences, nonetheless they are not. The significance of this dogma for New Agers is emphasized by Jonathan Stone, who considers it an essential component of the New World Order: “I feel that the World Order is approaching, in which science will merge with the monistic philosophy and a new consciousness will conquer the whole world. The distinguishing unifying characteristic of the World Order will be the belief that ‘all substances, all beings are one.’”2

Within this concept of monism there is no place for man, for the person. New Agers believe that apart from man there is no God, because man himself is God (the second claim of the New Age). Therefore, if someone examines it closer, it would appear that according to the New Age worldview neither man, nor God, nor the world exists. Author Betty Galyean writes: “When we start to realize that we are all God, that in all of us exist the capacities and qualities of God, then we start thinking that the purpose of human life is the return once again to the possession of the divinity within us, of Absolute Love, Absolute Wisdom, Absolute Understanding, Absolute Mind. We thus return to the creation itself of this ancient, this vital unity, which is also consciousness.”3

These are the New Age philosophical points. Their practical application appears, for example, in the already aforementioned film [Out On A Limb] of actress Shirley MacLaine (in the movie production of her own book) in the scene where she stands by the shore with her teacher and raising her hands screams with all her strength “I am God! I am God! I am God!” This is more or less what our old friend Ramtha** braggingly said through his hostess Ms. Knight in one of her appearances on TV, when she said, “What is called God exists in your essence. And that which is called Christ exists in your essence. And when you understand that you are God, you will acquire happiness.”4 However, to the New Agers, God is an impersonal absolute, indifferent to good or evil. Basically, each one of them is ready to endorse the thought of Ramakrishna who once declared: “The Absolute relates neither with good nor with evil… Whatever manner of sin, evil or torment we encounter in the world are only torments, evils or sin as they relate to us… I am afraid that you must accept the events that happen in the universe exactly as they are… I see, I understand that all three – the victim that is sacrificed, the altar on which he is sacrificed and the one that sacrifices him – constitute the same essence. Oh, what a vision!”5

The presence of such an absolute God as the only God justifies any manner of immorality. For example, here is what guru Rajneesh says to New Agers: “Bhagwan, you teach men to care for themselves before they care for others. It appears that this contradicts many world religions which teach to serve humanity. This not only goes against many religions, but against all religions. They all teach to serve others selflessly. In my opinion, selfishness is a natural phenomenon. Selflessness is something extrinsic. Selfishness is part of our nature… You must accept this. And if it is part of our nature, it must somehow be vital, otherwise it wouldn’t have existed at all. It is exactly because of selfishness that you survive, due to the fact that it was necessary to care for yourself. Otherwise, humanity would have vanished a long time ago… I am teaching you to be natural, totally natural, shamelessly natural. Yes, I teach you selfishness. No one has ever said something like this before me. They do not have the guts to say so. And they were all selfish! Why does a monk submit himself to torments? There is a reason. He wishes to reach paradise and all its pleasures. Of course, if you sacrifice seventy years of comforts for the sake of eternal graces, this is a good bargain. I don’t believe this is selflessness.”6

Every moral order disappears. Here is what A. Yakovleva, former senior editor of the leading New Age journal The Road to Yourself, says about herself: “I am not obliged to live with a man just because they once placed a stamp in my passport at the registry office or because we have children. I can get up and leave him anytime. For me, the word 'obligation' no longer exists. For me, only the word 'want' exists. And if still to this day I have not left my husband, it only means that I want to be with this person.”7

The notion of the reincarnation of souls makes every ethical issue relevant: in previous reincarnations, a man could have been a woman, a son and his mother could have been lovers, this is why now everything is determined by karma and everything is allowed. For example, here is what a spirit that goes by the name Zoli declares through an intermediary-medium: “Sex and sexual union – and it does not matter whether it is sex between a man and a man, a woman and a woman, or a man and a woman – is all communication… If there is respect between father and daughter, father and son, mother and daughter, mother and son and they are all at an age that permits them to enjoy sexual union, from the height of our understanding we absolutely do not see in it anything reproachable…. If, of course, it concerns children who have not yet come to an age that is psychologically appropriate for sexual union, then it is difficult to talk about respect. However, in such relations agreement is present. The child and the other person that performs the so-called offence agreed to take into consideration this intense emotion… It is a matter of mutual action, an interaction of karma and of energy.”8

The feeling of shame or of embarrassment that may occur after incest or a homosexual act, according to Zoli, is the result of the degenerate influence of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. The spirit advises: “If so-called incest has taken place, above all try to overcome the feeling of guilt… The belief system that a society accepts is what causes the problem. The problem is not created by the action itself but by the feeling of guilt that follows.”9

* An extract from the twentieth chapter of the seventh part (pp. 732-734) of the book Sectology. Totalitarian Cults. Attempt in Systematic Research, by professor Alexander Dvorkin, written in Russian (third edition, edited and updated). The present English translation was translated from the Greek.

** Note: A spirit (according to New Agers) about 35,000 years old, which came in contact with Ms. Knight, a simple American housewife, and since then talks to the world through her.

1. Groothuis D. R., Unmasking the New Age, Downers Grove, III: Inter Varsity Press, 1986, pg. 18.

2. Stone J., SPS Journal, 1977, July. Attributed to Tucker. R. Strange Gospels, pg 338

3. Attributed to Adeney F., "Educators Look East", Spiritual Counterfeits Journal, 1981, Winter.

4. Brooks A. "Theology from the Twilight Zone", Christianity Today, 1987, September 18, pg 25.

5. Rollan P. The Life of Ramakrishna. The life of the Vivekananda (in Russian), Kiev 1991, pg. 165.

6. Bagvan Sri Raznish, Life, Love, Laughter (in Russian), Moscow 1993, pg. 70.

7. The Road to Yourself 1992, No. 5, pg 27.

8. As above, No 2, pg 32.

9. Same as above.

Source: Journal Parakatathiki: January-February 2006, Issue 46