Okay, can I just start of my saying something? Just to get it off my chest! I can not stand Oprah! I have never been a fan of hers. She just creeps me out, it’s weird!! I’m expecting an alien to jump out of her mouth or something. I know she donates a lot of money. The school she founded and funded in Africa, minus that scandal involving the teacher, is a wonderful thing. Her new reality TV show is disgusting, as is all reality television!! Some of the things she is saying and some of the books she’s getting behind are concerning. I’m fairly certain she isn’t a terrible person but I for one reason or another can’t stand her. I’ll work on that!!!
In the mean time I’d like to talk about the new series of web-casts following the chapters of the book “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. This was brought to my attention by my wife who forwarded me a link to this, New Age Oprah!!
Please understand that when I see things like this my mind right away says “Come on!! Give me a break!!” What’s with the voice over. Why did they mention Obama? To me this video screams AGENDA!!! Not that I don’t agree with a lot of what is said about “A New Earth” and it’s teachings but, it was kind of funny to watch. In writing Rhea a response to this a light bulb went off! Blog topic, sweet!!!
I have watched a multiple of these web-casts and have to say it’s pretty troubling. This book, and a few others Oprah has endorsed lately are a little scary. From watching the videos this is my understanding of what is being taught. 1. There is a power with-in and source of this power that is sometimes neglected by the individual leading to a need to go elsewhere for that power, like latching on to someone or turning to God. 2. The ego plays different roles and manipulates people to get what it thinks it needs. 3. People should try and focus on living in “the now” and by living in the now you are able to take your focuses away from your problems and just live in the moment with reduced stress. 4. Being one with what he or she is feeling is building the new Earth and a new awakening. 5. There is a personal power within us that can either be good or bad!!
On the surface these all sound great. They actually all go along with many of the teachings of Jesus and he was a good guy, so the book has to be OK. Right? Well, actually wrong! It’s for that very reason they are so dangerous and manipulative. We are living in very turbulent times, especially in the United States. Historically during times of change or turmoil people tend to polarize themselves. They gravitate toward either fundamentalism or a personal, spiritual experience (New Age is it’s modern term). Today the later of the two seems to be the most popular, in which I would categorize “A New World”. These are not new thoughts by any means and have been around for hundreds of years. With the lack of any membership list or dogma this is very appealing to people who have either been turned off by or had a bad experience with religion, mainly Christianity.
These beliefs tend to blend many different religious ideologies together while holding that there is only one basic principle or belief as grounds for reality. At the same time denying God a personality and blending God into nature or the universe. In short they are syncretistic, monistic and pantheistic all at the same time (dictionaries are fantastic). Eckhart Tolle and Oprah are holding that all of reality is basically one. There is a oneness among everything. This leads to the thought that we are one with each other and at one with nature and at one with the universe and… one with God. Everything is divine and there are no real distinction between anything then everything is… God. We are… God. Shirley Maclaine but it this way “I am God, because all energy is plugged in to the same source… We are individualized reelections of the God source. God is us and we are God”
Please know that I am not condemning this thinking, or judging it as wrong. I in fact think that the reason for Oprah’s support of this and other new age books is a perfectly acceptable reaction to a shallow and watered-down religious life we so often find in our society today. That said also please understand that while Eckhart Tolle and Oprah long for the depth and freedom to believe in everything, what they end up finding is the exact opposite. They will find that their theology, and this is a theology, and spirituality are completely separated. By their thinking their very own search for the light or life’s meaning can begin and end anywhere which can only conclude in finding neither depth nor freedom and complete darkness. In the process they are leading so many others down the same path.
As I said this type of thinking isn’t by any means new. What is new is that it used to be that early “New Age” movements, or mystics actually sought an authentic experience of faith as a result of an already dynamic understanding of that faith. It was their theology in and of itself that led them to spirituality. Today’s New Age followers are missing that understanding of their faith and theology finding an empty spirituality and lack of light. Plainly, they are seeking with out really knowing exactly what it is that they are looking for.
For me, my search begins with Light itself, God unobscured and incomprehensible, revealed only through the glory of Jesus. I now it sounds “super religious” but hang in here, it makes complete sense. Starting with the question of light, or life’s meaning, and relying on only proven truths I began a quest to find the answers to life’s questions, light. I have found that there is a source of that light and He is the light of the world, God!
Often times people subscribe to New Age ideologies because of a preconceived notion that Christianity is un-bending, strict, stuck in it’s ways. They don’t understand that it is the exact opposite. Christianity has been viewed through a fogged lens for far to long, portrayed by the media and sceptics as something it really isn’t. Unfortionatly it’s far to often Christianity is defined by the actions of self professed Christians who are not walking with God and truely trying to seek out the truths of life, not following the teachings of Jesus. Maybe New Age seekers or non-Christians don’t understand that there is a fantastic, awesome tradition of seeking within Christianity. A tradition which began when humans recognized that we alone can not fix everything that is wrong with the world. It continues to this day because of the knowledge that there is no one who can, no matter who much you tame your ego or live in “The Now”. There will always be problems and focusing on the self isn’t the answer. We have forever been seeking an answer to why we are here, we will forever be questioning and feeling a longing in our souls for answers to life. For me, my relationship with God is so much more than the self discovery and personal freedom promised by “A new Earth” and the like. It is a praise to God and in turn is life it self!!
Thanks for reading