This chapter is the communication I had with Rob, a reader.
I read through you book last night and was very struck by your experience, and your willingness to be so candid about it. Though I did not travel as widely as you did in that world, I immediately recognized some of the traps and hooks you identified which I had only partially recognized on my own.
I want to know more about how you have been able to leave the illusions behind about your prior new age practices and return to your faith. I think this is very important in this time. You obviously invested a lot of time, attention, and effort in pursuing these new age paths. You experienced the hook of thinking you could become perfect and that you could reside in bliss. You came to know spiritual pride and arrogance, and built a lot of your identity around acquiring and manifesting powers and states of enlightenment. I recognize all of this from my own experience with that world. You kept a connection to Christ all along the way. I did not. Somehow you were able to rekindle that connection. Yet this is not an easy turn to make, as you describe so clearly in the latter parts of the book.
A section of the book tells of the pain of your disillusionment. I know something of this pain, having crossed into the territory of clinical depression twice in the last three years after journeying too far into yoga, reiki, and Tibetan Buddhist practices. As you have experienced, once you let go of these illusions about purifying and perfecting and residing in bliss, the world goes very dim. One can see the suffering, disappointment, and frustration all around you and within you that you were blocking out or denying before. They you also feel the weight of the time and effort you have wasted pursuing outright deceptions and you begin to really question your mind and its capacity for denial and deception. That which made you and your life seem special, unique, and magical is erased when the games and deceptions become apparent. There is a disorientation and a horrible void. It feels like this is a dangerous traverse, like one is walking through hell. It is very difficult to keep walking, because as you say, this new age path can become an addiction of the mind, the imagination, and the spirit.
I wonder how you have managed to keep walking. The process you describe toward the end of the book is one of dying to your old self, but can you feel or say yet what is being born anew? You mention you are surrendering to God’s will, but how are you able to feel or identify what that is, especially with all the white wolves around that you describe? Is there more you can tell me and your readers about how you were able to turn and embrace God after putting down your illusions – the techniques or tactics or prayers or changes of heart and mind you managed to find that helped you most, that helped you kick the addiction? Having seen the deception of the new age, many of us no longer trust our own judgment. We also are desperate not to simply replace one set of deceptions with another.
I ask out of sincere interest because I have come to end of this new age road as well. I did not have the Christian faith alongside me through that journey but I am trying to turn toward it. I can now see much of what you have seen and shared about the dangers and seductions of that road. Walking down that road brought much pain to my wife and three children. I do not want to wander back down that road again, but having put these practices down, I am left in a bleak wasteland that I do not wish to traverse either. It is empty and at times I pray that God would simply take me away. I want to know more about how you were able to let God back into your heart. I need to know what you found that worked best to protect you in your return to faith and help you in that turn. I need to know how you make it through each day now, because putting the esoteric stuff down and turning your back on it can leave you in a place of devastation. I do not understand how people are able to survive following Christian principles in a world so based on greed and deception. How do you do it? How do you remain humble in a world where the arrogant dominate? What do you live for now that you have put the magic away? How does one invite Christ in to begin the necessary healing? How do you figure out who can really help you and which ones are the white wolves?
If you hear a sense of urgency in my questions, it is because I too am in the thick of it like you, but perhaps several steps behind you and lacking the lifelong relationship with Christ. I am not finding much of a way forward, though I am praying it can be found through Christ. And I suspect there are others in a position similar to mine, or soon will be, if you are correct about the time of tribulation we have entered. If there are other resources you have found helpful along the way, I would be much obliged if you could mention those. My gratitude for your honesty.
Thank you for your message and your sharing. I am happy that you find the book useful. I will do my best to address your questions and answer your concerns. In the many years of my involvement with the new age all along I had faith in God but this faith was diluted and lost in the many dark practices of the new age. Yes Jesus was in my heart but He was one of the many other “ascended masters” on my list. I did not return to any original faith because my spiritual belief was perverted from the very beginning. I was like so many other people, convinced I was following and worshiping a being whose name is Jesus, Yeshua or Sananda and seeking the bliss of the “Christ consciousness” . The name of Jesus who probably is the most misused name in the history of man, doesn’t guaranty His Nature, Life and Character. The real Jesus is to be found only in the Scripture. Only when we follow His commandment and abide in His words, can we partake of His nature and Character. So I didn’t not manage to keep this alive all along because it was never there in the first place. Like you I was navigating the dark waters of a lost world praying to God to be rescued but being deceived as to His real nature and identity.
The transition out of the new age is difficult and I feel it is beneficial to let yourself feel the despair of loneliness and emptiness even though it is a scary place to be. Allowing feelings of grief in ourselves has a useful function, it is a bridge to the heart.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. James 4:9
The rebirth happen only when we let go and die to our old identification. That process is painful because the old carnal man identified to the material world and under the control of the dark forces doesn’t want to let you go, he wants to keep you right where you are, in bondage even if you are miserable and lost. The ego has invested too much energy and attachment to its edification to easily let the spiritual man take precedence over himself.
So we need to feel the sorrow and free up the tights of attachments to the old self, the many fabrication of our personality. The feeling of the pain is the connection to the heart. The suffering bring us closer to what really matter, the Love of God and His Kingdom.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10
I have hit rock bottom many times and I allowed myself to completely feel the pain of being alive and completely lost, cut off from the presence of God. In these moments of being helpless and powerless I have asked God to come into my heart and deliver me from my suffering and desperation.
I truly was at the end of my rope, my life had come to a place of utter futility and emptiness. I had no will of my own left to live and continue, I wanted to die, I felt I had lived in pain for an eternity. My heart was broken in so many pieces, I had experienced so many deceptions and so many disappointments.
Eventually in that place of intense sorrow I asked Jesus to come to me and to save me and He did….!! Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6
He came to me with infinite love and tenderness. I felt His marvelous gentle presence, His nurturing embrace, His uplifting Spirit.
It is so simple, and yet not so easy to do, if you humble yourself to Him, let him know you are nothing and you need Him to save you, He will come to you. This is why I say we need to let ourselves feel deeply the pain of being lost because this feeling in our heart is what makes us genuinely call out to Him and what makes Him hear us and respond to us.
It is not a mental exercise but a complete surrender of the heart, a deep knowing and realization that God is the only answer to our trouble and our misery. God is faithful, if you come to that place of total surrender to Him, He will come to you, no matter what you past is or how seemingly bad you have been.
The discovery of the new age deception made me very humble and I realize what a fool I have been, how little I know and how very incapable and unreliable I am to discover the truth on my own. This is what it means to be reborn in Christ, you acknowledge your weakness, your short coming, your imperfection and you let God take over and be in the driver seat of your life.
How refreshing, how good, how joyful it is to let God take you by the hand and allow Him to guide you. Being born anew feels like you have a new life, you are a new creature, you think and act differently. As the Spirit of God is transforming me from the inside out, my personality changes and my priorities in life also are moving in a new direction. I am letting go of the work that sustained me financially for so long, I am moving away from where I live not knowing for sure where I will end up, being very content and knowing the LOrd will provide and guide me where I need to go. Surrendering to God’s will is the outcome of an intimate relationship with Him. It is an experience. a living interaction, an everyday communion.
What will sustain and nurture such a relationship is the daily study of the bible. What brought about my experience of being reborn is the sudden realization that the Bible is indeed the true Word of God. It is God speaking to you and teaching you how He wants you to behave in this life. In Chapter 5 of the book : “Is the bible the Word of God?”, I describe this realization and there is also reprinted in Apendix1 the article that triggered this awakening.
Yes the White Wolves of Christianity are alI around us but I wouldn’t worry about it right now. A lot of reborn Christian are not part of any churches and their fellowship happened on the Internet or locally in small group meeting in people ‘s houses. The true church of Christ is not a building, a congregation or a denomination but a body of believers like you and I.
Reading the bible is the most important practice to make the transition from the new age to a state of rebirth in Christ. You can pray God to speak to you and reveal His truth in His Word. Starting with the new Testament, it is the Covenant Jesus made with you, so you need to find out what that covenant is. There is no techniques or tactics that will changes your heart and mind or helped you kick the old addiction. You are not the one doing the work, God is, through His grace changing you and all you need to do here is pray and ask Him to deliver you.
There is no deception in the Bible, you can trust the Holly book with all your heart and mind. When you do that, it will completely change you, God will speak to you personally through His verses and you will start to understand the truth, it is like switching the light on.
If you seek God diligently, ardently, relentlessly, you will find Him. If your heart is sincere, He will reveal Himself to you. The love of God is your best protection and your faith in Him a shield against your enemies.* “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler [shield of protection] to all them that trust in him…” (2 Samuel 22:31).
Each and everyday I pray and talk to my Lord. I have conversation with Him and I tell him about what it is like to be down here in this dark fallen world and what it feels like to be in a human body. God is that close to you, He knows you well, even better than yourself. Talk to him and share your struggles and your difficulties, ask Him for His help and do not doubt, you shall receive it .
People are able to survive and strive following Christian principles in a world so based on greed and deception because it is not them doing anything but Jesus is doing it in them.
Remaining humble in a world where the arrogant dominate is easy, Jesus keeps you and makes you humble. Humility is His very nature and when you abide in Him, you will become like Him. I live for Jesus and Jesus in me is a miracle that replace the fake magic of the new age. There is no comparison. To invite Christ in yourself to begin the necessary healing, you simply ask Him with an open heart.
I have walked into that dark night you describe, and I have felt how the despair and sorrow can break open the heart. I also feel like I have put down the new age practices, though from my dreams I can see there is still a part of me yearning for that false sense of mastery and superiority that you so clearly captured in your book – and it does hook new age practicioners so easily. I have been to the place where the will to live is broken. I have heard the suicidal voices. I have prayed to Christ to show me the way, and yet I still cannot feel his presence. When I cannot sleep, I pray constantly through the night.
Perhaps I have not surrendered enough. There is something about giving up responsibility for my life, for my children, and trusting God to provide that feels reckless or an invitation to disaster and hardship. Do you ever feel this at all about giving up your home and your work? If so, how do you manage the fear or the hesitancy of giving everything up to God?
Is there anything more you can tell me about how you invited Christ into your heart, the moments before he entered, what you were allowing yourself to feel then, because it is this step I feel I am missing but need very much in this time, and it is also the key step that others will need who leave behind the new age deception.
I am grateful you have taken the time to respond to me and appreciate what you are trying to share with others who have been so wrongly deceived. This work needs to be done now. I will keep trying to let Christ in with the help of the experiences you have been kind enough to share.
I am not encouraging anyone to give up earthly responsibilities of providing and protecting wife and children. The family environment offers much opportunity to learn unconditional love and service to others. I do believe that asking God to provide for our families instead of fulfilling our duty is a recipe for disaster and hardship.
I gave up my home and my work because I was living in a new age environment and I had no other familial responsibilities. My children are grown up and independent, so I am free to move and go wherever God is leading me.
True repentance is what might be missing in your walk with God. Repentance is a change of mind. You are changing your habitual ways of being and thinking. When you seat down and read the New Testament with an open heart, a willingness to learn and be guided from the Lord, you will clearly see God’s commandments and what you need to repent about in your life. God will come to you only when you truly repent. That is what happen to me when I wept for several days, my heart was heavy with conviction and regrets. I saw how filthy, unholy and unrighteous I have been and how ignorant I was of God’s law. I was sorry I didn’t know of God’s holy ways and I understood the true meaning of sin. I was guilty and I ask God to forgive me. I begged Him with all my heart to forgive all my sinful ways and that is when He came to me.
Have you done that? do you really know all of God’s commandments, what it means to be righteous and holy ? have you truly repented of breaking God’s law? have you acknowledge to God you are a sinner? Have you ask for His forgiveness?
You can use your own word to express repentance to God, as long as it is spoken with all of your heart. I am posting here the “sinner’s prayer” in case you need a little inspiration. It is not so much the words of the prayer that God will hear but the intent of your heart. This prayer alone is not enough to be saved and reborn. For this grace to happen to us we have to follow Jesus’s steps and become Holy like He was. We need to obey all His Commandment and abide in Him every day in every ways.
I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.
I now confess to You all of the wrong and sinful things that I have ever done in my life. I ask that You please forgive me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that You have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that You come into my life and live with me for all of eternity.”
Yes, I have seen how far I strayed, I have felt the full weight of guilt and remorse, and cried out and confessed before God that I have sinned and am broken and imperfect before him. I have prayed prayers of thanks that Christ was willing to die for my sins, and begged the Lord to find forgiveness for me and all my arrogance, all my lies, all my misdirection, and all the pain I have caused others. So I will do this again, and again, though I think what is missing is not so much my repentance as my true and full belief that I can be and have been forgiven by the Lord, as the remorse for my actions is still in me. I will also turn to his words in the New Testament for direction on his laws. I thank you for the sinner’s prayer and I pray that I can also find my way out of the deception and the darkness which we both have known. Please spread your experience and your message – there are so many others who have no idea what kind of trap they are caught in now.
Again, please know my gratitude for your willingness to share so candidly such a painful journey,
I am trying to understand what is missing in your life. You said:”I will also turn to his words in the New Testament for direction on his laws.” Does that mean that up to now you haven’t been reading the bible?
If so this might be why you feel: ” I think what is missing is not so much my repentance as my true and full belief that I can be and have been forgiven by the Lord, as the remorse for my actions is still in me.”
This true and full belief that we are forgiven by the LOrd is revealed in the bible and this assurance of love from God needs to be nurtured daily in communion with Him through His words.
The good incredible news of the new testament is that Jesus already saved us, we were forgiven and made holy at the cross, He sacrificed Himself in bearing the weight of our fallen nature. In paying the debt of our sins in the eyes of God. This salvation, this love of God is so present in every word of the bible. This is truly mana from Heaven, a healing balm on your heart, an ever unfolding miracle waiting to be embraced and partake of by each one of us, each of God’s children.
The more you read the Word, the more your partake of the flesh and blood of Jesus, the more you become like Him. In that state there is no space left for the memories of the past, you become a new creature, a Son of God.
I have always had a hard time connecting with the Bible. As a child I would fight going to Sunday School, although maybe that had more to do with my insecurity. Each time I have tried to read it, I have not found much to work with, and so I will try again, with the help of others like my brother this time. Part of the resistance of reading it comes because, as you know, the new age literature is all about how we can perfect ourselves or perfect the world around us, wielding all kinds of magic, and there is much conflict and strife and suffering in the Bible. I was trying to find, with the new age practices, a way to reduce or remove suffering in myself and in the world around me. For example, you will find this aspiration to transcend suffering in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.
Some people attracted to new age paths are seeking to find a permanent state of bliss. I did not go that far, but I did want to be able to access states of mind where I felt in communion with the divine and part of some larger whole. So I did not want to read about betrayal and murder and all the other brokenness of this world mentioned in the Bible. I wanted to believe all this conflict and strife could be resolved somehow, maybe simply by prayer or ritual in some cases. You are telling me there are words reinforcing God’s love in the Bible too, and so now I will go looking again. Perhaps there is a good place you can recommend going first in the Bible based on your experience retrieving yourself from new age beliefs.
I am wanting to know more about how your feelings and perceptions changed in the moments as you were finding Christ, and after you were able to find Christ. Something convinced you Christ loves you unconditionally. Something convinced you to surrender and trust God. I am not sure what that was. Maybe you simply let yourself, at last, believe? And maybe that is what I am missing. Even though I have been knocked to my knees like you, completely lost, in the darkest desolation, have repudiated my prior path in new age deception, and begged for Christ to forgive me and accept me and heal me, perhaps I have not believed enough that he could love me unconditionally, that he could except even one who had been so successfully deceived as myself.
I do not know how long ago you had your conversion experience. It sounds like it was in the last 2-3 years. What happens now when you experience a great loss? Or when you see others in tremendous suffering? Or when you feel your own vulnerability in the world? Does it simply feel like that is God’s will and you must accept it, not knowing the larger plan he has for you? Do you find comfort in knowing regardless of what happens in this life, you will have eternity after death with the Lord? How do you strengthen your faith when adversity arises? How do you find protection when Lucifer feels like he is tempting you again, if that ever happens?
There is something here about getting to other side of the utter and total disillusionment one feels (as well as disgust) once the new age deception becomes apparent. It is very easy to then fall into depression and conclude the world is a wretched mess, there is nothing left to live for, and to decide it is time to go. Some of us will know to call out for Christ when he hit that point. I get at least that far. And some like you, will then feel Christ ‘s loving presence and know from then on there is no question about his power, and that you are protected, and that whatever happens, no matter how painful it is for you to experience or witness from then on out, is to be accepted as God’s will.
Maybe I am off the mark. I am trying to learn how to make the next step, and hoping there is something from your experience that can shed that light for me and others who have been deceived by new age trickery. There is a step from utter disillusionment with the new age to faith in Christ that you accomplished. That is a big step. Part of it may be you kept some relationship to Christ even through your wandering through the new age, and so you had a different foundation than I have had. Though I was baptized, I did not carry Christ with me on my new age wandering. Part of it may be you have read deeply in the Bible, and I have yet to do that. And on some level, it feels like I have to go to Christ, rather than expecting him to come to me. It feels like I have to make the leap of faith, I have to let Christ be in my heart, rather than just pleading for his help and mercy.
Thank you for your message , I appreciate your honest sharing. We are given in the new age teaching an unrealistic idealistic view of the world. The new age always reverse the truth, so the world is presented as a heavenly place in evolution towards perfection and we human being are becoming god-like and perfect as we move and work through “spiritual practices”.
The bible on the other hand is giving us a true honest representation of the state of the world. As you say there is much conflict and strife and suffering found in its pages and that is because the world is such. The events related in the Old Testament described what happened in ancient time and it is also a parable in type of what is happening in our time on the spiritual level. So there is a double meaning found in there, relating the physical events in bible time as well as revealing what is and will happen in our time. The bible say there is nothing new under the sun, what has happen will happen again. We are living in a fallen world and we are rapidly approaching the End Time as described in the book of Revelation.
This is a painful situation for any sentient being and there is much suffering for us as human being. The new age is about escaping this suffering here on earth while the bible is teaching us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus to be crucify. Quite an opposition. I have never succeeded escaping suffering and the misery of my human condition following the many new age falsehood, I don’t believe nobody ever has. On the other hand I have found much peace in embracing the crucifixion which is the dying of the old man, the end of ambition, attachments, wants and desire to become anything in the world. Crucifixion is the death of the carnal man so that the spiritual man is reborn in the image of Jesus.
So trying to find, through the new age practices, a way to reduce or remove suffering in oneself and in the world around us is trying to escape the truth of what the world really is and denies the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This only brings eternal damnation because we are missing our opportunity while on earth to receive salvation.
The servant is no greater than his master. John 13:16 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him.”
If Jesus died for us in this world, how can we possibly escape that suffering even if the dying is a symbolic parable, a letting go of the fleshy desires. The aspiration to transcend suffering in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism brings you to a state of dullness and stagnation. If you refuse to feel your pain, you will not feel your joy, you are as good as dead…!!!
My own brother is an ordained Zen monk living in the world and has been following Buddhist teaching all his life. I can tell you witnessing his life and belief that after 30 years of following the Buddha, he is no closer to “liberation and enlightenment” than he was when he first started. This of course has been designed as a dead end street on purpose. All along he had been relying on alcohol and cigarette to dull the ever present unresolved pain in his life. Quite a burden to carry a pain without ever finding the courage to actually feel it.
Christ on the other hand is saying to you: pick up your cross and follow me” meaning let yourself feel the pain of the world and die to that part of you, the carnal material man, that is making that pain seems unbearable. Once the carnal man is dead, there is no grip for the pain to hold on to you and what replace it is joy, pure love, gratitude, compassion……etc. These are the fruits of the Spirit of God that brings a true permanent state of bliss bringing us to the eternal Kingdom of God.
The new age is selling and packaging a “quick fix” telling you, bliss comes effortlessly if you could just allow it in yourself or if you could just sit long enough in meditation. True bliss is a union with God the Father trough His precious son Jesus. It is a communion that happen, not because of any work or merit on our part but because of the Grace of God bestowed upon us through our faith and love.
You said: “I am wanting to know more about how your feelings and perceptions changed in the moments as you were finding Christ, and after you were able to find Christ. Something convinced you Christ loves you unconditionally. Something convinced you to surrender and trust God. I am not sure what that was”
What convinced me to surrender and trust God, is the love I have felt and received from Him. I have faith but my love is stronger than my faith. I know Jesus loves me, and I respond in loving Him back. This love brings tears to my eyes, it is so precious, so beautiful, so profound, how can this be expressed in words? the apostle Paul say that Love is greater than any other godly virtues. I know it is true for me. “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23.
I don’t take credit for loving God, everything that we have is given to us by God, so how can I brag about my love for God? you can pray and ask God to give you the love for Him. If you love God, everything will fall into place, you will become one with Him. I feel we need to give to God instead of just expecting blessings from Him.
The world is a wretched mess as you say and the challenge is to be in the world but not of the world. The one true thing worth living for is God, and His Kingdom. “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Psalm 56:4).
It seems reading your spiritual account that you may be enduring a trial of faith. Faith is also a gift from God and you can pray to receive it. I have prayed so many times to have my faith increases a thousand fold…..We need not be cheap in our prayers, nothing is impossible for God…!!
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).
You are enduring a trial of patience with your faith. Hold on to it brother knowing that we are justified by faith in the eyes of God. I do feel the only thing greater than faith is the love of God. When you have faith you are accounted righteous by God and to see if you are righteous, God will test you and will make you cross a desert, like the one you are in right now.
But my righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him. Hebrews 10:38
“The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psalm
You wrote in your last response to me (and again, I am grateful for your willingness to take the time to help me understand your experience better) the Bible is parable in type of what is happening in our time on the spiritual level. What helped you learn how to unlock or interpret these parables in a way that made sense to you? This matters to me because I think I have a difficult time seeing the lessons of the parables amidst the details of the ancient stories of conflict and deception and suffering.
You also wrote you have found much peace in embracing the crucifixion which is the dying of the old man, the end of ambition, attachments, wants and desire to become anything in the world, and you recommended that you let yourself feel the pain of the world and die to that part of you, the carnal material man, that is making that pain seems unbearable.
Like me, you probably could see how broken this world is once you woke up from the new age illusions. This is a profoundly painful awakening, and it can take you to the edge of madness when you realize the world we live in is not evolving towards perfection and these new age practices have not made you more god-like and part of some spiritually advanced wing of humanity. Instead, the world is a mess and you realize you have been hooked by deceptions.
I can understand putting down the ambitions you cultivated in all your new age pursuits to become something in this world. I feel like I have reached a similar point, though this leaves me in a place that feels bleak and without purpose or meaning. I wonder, now what keeps you going? What do you live for? What do you get out bed in the morning for? How do you use your day? How are you going to take care of the minimal material needs you have as a human being if you have let everything go?
If we walked similar paths through the new age practices, as I feel we did, your ambition was to gather spiritual powers and insights and use them to heal or advance yourself and to heal others, perhaps heal this world. Those things had less to do with carnal or material advancement, although they may have been twisted along the way in that direction, as appears to be the case with tantra for example.
So now, as a man who loves God, and who is loved by God, and has dropped all ambitions, what do you do with each day? How do you live for God and his Kingdom while still living in a body in this world? Or maybe that is something you are still learning how to do. Maybe it is made clear in the Bible how to do that.
I am grateful for the various prayer suggestions you left at the end of your last note. My faith and trust in Christ is not so much being tested as it is trying to put down roots in the desert that is left once you see the new age deception and put all of those practices and beliefs down. Because I can see others like you have made it through this desert, I hold hope that it will be possible for me, but this is very treacherous terrain and I appreciate your willingness to share your experience in passing through it. May the love of Christ prevail.
I never had much illusions regarding the state of the world. Yes the new age fantasies kept me to some extent from total despair but I felt much of the time like a fish out of water. My interests and pursuits were altruistic but that often came with desires of personal gain and recognition which are part of the carnal nature.
What keeps me going, what I live for, what I get out of bed in the morning for and how I use my day is all center around God. It is a work in progress. I am learning everyday to walk closer to God, to hear His voice and feel His presence. The question I keep asking Him in my prayers is : “ How do you want me to serve you Lord?” “ What can I do for you today?”
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that
hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
The key to a fulfilling spiritual life is to allow more of God in us and less of ourselves. I trust God will take care of the minimal material needs I have as a human being.
I spent years and days and hours searching for solutions. I have analyzed numbers and read words and thought big thoughts for thousands of days. I believed I could figure out the solutions to the economic problems of this world. I believed I could crack the codes of financial markets.
I thought I could find ways to lift people out of their poverty and drudgery by learning about how the system worked and identifying what could be done to change it. I believed there were ways we could find to change the rules of the game so people could lead richer, more connected, more creative lives. It wasn’t just about figuring out how people could have better material standards of living. There was a better quality of life I believed we could find.
And I hoped even if I could not find the solutions, I would eventually be able to buy my way out of the rat race through by saving out of my income and investing wisely. I believed I could find an enclave somewhere, a place where many people were already living the way I envisioned was possible. Or at least the money I earned and saved would, I hoped, buy me the protection from the decay of the mainstream culture.
So much of this lies like a smoldering heap before my eyes now. These things I constructed my life around were abstractions, vague visions, mostly just intellectual games, though well intentioned. I barricaded myself in the world of ideas. And I used much of this quest simply to keep my attention off the mess building up around me, and to keep my mind off the horror of human, spiritual, social, and natural destruction going on in the world around me. In many ways, though the quest was sincere, it was a deception I used to protect myself from feeling the full suffering and horror in this world. It was too much too feel, too dark.
Though I tried to warn others of the things I did see coming, of the excesses and the dangers, this did not make much of a difference. People did not want to hear about why and how their dreams of making quick money in the financial markets or in the housing market might be derailed or shattered. That was their ticket to freedom I was criticizing. What did I expect – that they would welcome my warnings? After all, part of me was seeking the same thing – a ticket that could buy my way out of the mess of this world.
The new age stuff took on a bigger role some 5-6 years ago as I burnt out on my work. There I thought I could find a connection to the divine, I could feel its presence in the world, and somehow begin to work with it, and this would keep the burnt out feeling at bay. This would cure my feeling of disconnection and disenchantment from my work long enough for me to eventually buy my freedom.
I experienced and then learned Reiki, and believed I could heal others by the laying on of hands. I deepened my yoga practice thinking this would increase my sensitivity to energy, and that it would increase my power to work with it. I adopted Tibetan Buddhist prayers and practices, worshipping a myriad of deities while muttering their mantras. I envisioned becoming some sort of healer or spiritual guide.
The people involved with these things seemed kind and caring, especially relative to the ones I had met in the investing world. These people seemed to share some of my vision of a better world, one where hearts could be open and spirit could grow and where freedom from the constrictions of mainstream society was available. I thought they were building a new world out of the ashes of the old one. But most of this too now looks like a deception.
So I have hit two dead ends, running at full speed. These are paths I deeply believed could save me and help the world around me. They were my reasons to keep going. I pursued these paths to what I thought would be freedom and fulfillment with such focus that I ignored my family or treated them with contempt.The people who’s lives I could most directly influence, I did not guide or lead very well, while I was off exploring my ideas and visions of how to make the world a better place.I am now paying the price for that mistake.
I pray to Christ to help me find a better path. I pray to Christ to help show me what I can do to help this broken world and take care of my family and lead a life that is real and fulfilling, not imaginary and enticing. Hours and hours of thinking and daydreaming and searching over many months have left me with no solutions. I am deeply disillusioned with the prior paths I believed in so strongly, yet I have not been able to discover a new calling that is achievable and not just another delusion.
The Lord wants us to persevere, I understand. He wants to build our faith and character through these trials. He wants us to learn from the mistakes our pride and arrogance can lead us to make. But we are human, and we do break, and sometimes the breaking we do is irreversible. I pray for Christ’s grace, so that I may see clearly what I am to do in this world with the time I have left, and so that I may have the courage and wisdom to carry out the Lord’s will. I pray that Christ can hear my pleas and recognize my remorse.I confess these things to you because maybe you can understand them a little better than others. Maybe you walked to your own dead ends along the way. And somehow you found a way to keep going even when your prayers appeared to go unanswered.
You have invested much time and energy in the things of the world, money, financial gain, investment…..etc…..as you probably know by now the financial world system is a scam. It is illegal and meant to enslave humanity and enrich the elite of the world, Rothschild bankers, Illuminati……whatever their name, there are in fact faithful servants of Lucifer. The simple truth is there is more than enough in the world to meet the need of EVERYONE on the planet. God has provided, there is no shortage of anything.
So in a real sense you have joined force with the devil in perpetrating with your work the great deception. You are discovering it is not so easy to cut free from the clutches of the Dark one. You see in his eyes, you belong to him, he is not letting you go.
In order to be victorious, You need to understand the nature of the battle you are fighting, you need to be smart and have a plan of action, a strategy to fight. This is a real spiritual battle you are involved in, a battle you can only win with Christ on your side.
I feel there is specific actions you need to take in your life to set yourself free from this bondage. You are not under the curse unless you believe you are and unless you are ignorant that Jesus already delivered you on the cross. Claiming this saving grace for yourself and standing in the Promises of the Gospel is the first step towards freedom. As a spiritual warrior, you need to discover your own blueprint for winning the battle.
I am sure this, you are doing not just for yourself but for other people like you who will follow your example. They will be inspired to also engaged in spiritual warfare and cast out the curse out of their live in the name of jesus. It is good to keep a diary and write down the specifics of the battle. No doubt as a result when it is over and you are free, you will be writing a book, you are a good writer.
So be of good sheer brother, God is watching you and see everything you do and hear every thoughts you have. Keep asking Him what needs to be done to be victorious, have faith and perseverance, You need to prove yourself to Him first, to show God you are on His side ready to forsake your old allegiance with the Evil one.
As I said before I feel Love is the key, love God with all your heart and sooner or later, He will crush the evil one in you…..
Make a list of all the things you need to change in your life and check them out one by one.
Thank you for this Philippe. I have tried to be aware of the tendency to transfer magical thinking from my new age practices onto my prayers for Christ. I always ask for help, not for Christ to do it for me – I just ask for help in seeing what needs to be done, and in finding the strength and the ways to do it.
I am not always successful in keeping it that clean. The magical thinking wants to intrude again. For example, I find myself reciting the Lord’s Prayer over and over again as if it will somehow protect me, like a mantra.
I suppose those who have the strength of faith in the afterlife, and in Christ’s redemption of their sins on the cross are prepared to suffer through anything. Against eternity, any period of time seems short. You said you’ve worked with depression for over 30 years. I cannot imagine how you did that. This is my third patch of depression in four years. After the first one I though I was done with it. After the second I though I had learned all the lessons. Now I wonder, will this ever end?
These are dark nights, as you know from your own experience. During these dark nights, we can hear more clearly the howling of others suffering in this broken world. It can lead us to more compassion. It can also lead to such despair. As much as I try to understand it as God’s will, for larger purposes than I can perceive, it is hard to accept the bleak reality of what is going on in this world once you allow the lies and deceptions to fall away.
One day this fall, after feeling the suffering in the world all through another sleepless night, I considered dropping everything and going into nursing. Or becoming a chaplain for a hospital or for a prison. I thought what better way to show my compassion for the suffering? What better way to offer direct relief?
Yesterday, I went into an intensive care unit to visit my wife’s half brother, who is likely to die very soon from pneumonia. Facing the reality in the hospital, I realized I did not have what it takes to be a nurse. To be amidst that suffering each day felt like it would kill me. All I could do was pray to Christ to take mercy on this man, to accept him in death, and to ease his pain.
I spent all that time playing with Reiki in order to heal others and heal myself. Yet placed into a situation where people were really suffering, in an intensive care unit in a hospital, rather than in someone’s living room with other new age followers, I could see I was not strong enough to even be in such a place, never mind work there day in and day out. What had I been thinking to believe I could become a nurse? How could I have held such a false perception of what it takes to be a nurse in a hospital? I will not look at nurses and doctors the same way again. Their ability to walk through the battlefield of human suffering amazes me now
Sometimes I ask the same question about becoming a true Christian. They are prepared to suffer. They are prepared to sacrifice. They can be in the intensive care unit and still help the patients rather than be paralyzed with a desire to get out of there, or be filled with a compulsion to make themselves more comfortable in some way as others suffer around them. They can do that even as the hospital itself is falling apart and the world around the hospital is filled with greed, deception, corruption, and more desperation and suffering.
That is a place so far away from the distorted way I can see I was using the new age ideas to make myself feel invincible and superior. Even though there were practices connected to compassion and reducing self importance, I can see it was mostly about finding my own happiness or fulfillment.
Yet I need God to know I am not ready for to be in the intensive care unit yet. I get that I am not invincible. I feel my vulnerability and the vulnerability of those around me. I imagine and feel the vulnerability and suffering of others in the world. I realize I cannot fix it all at once. I realize I may not be able to fix any of it. I realize everything we have in this world can be taken away in the blink of an eye, including our life or our minds. I realize I can only do so much to protect myself and others.
All suffering on this earth may seem like a little suffering to those who can feel or see the eternal suffering of hell, or feel the eternal promise of heaven. I suppose that is what it takes to put it into perspective. When you are in the middle of depression, it does have the feeling that it is never going to stop, that there is no way to just put it down and move on with the new lessons it may have offered up. This can bring us to defeat, not victory.
These trials can destroy people, Philippe. God seems to be saying it will only destroy you if you don’t deepen your faith in his promises, and you must do that when you are in the midst of these trials in order to survive them.
I have deceived myself over and over again in this life. I have sought to make myself feel special, superior, unique and above this world. I thought I could master this life, find some sort of invincibility. I thought I could find the ideas and the methods that would fix this broken world. I thought I could protect myself and my family with money.
Christ has shown me my arrogance. He has shown me how exposed and vulnerable I truly am, and how exposed and vulnerable others are. He has shown me how my mind tricks me. He has shown me how I have closed off my heart to protect myself and drive myself. He has shown me how I have dodged my responsibilities to my children and my wife as I sought my own comfort. He has shown me how my defiance and arrogance has led me to walk down evil paths.
I am grateful for that Christ has shown me these things, as painful as they are to see.
Yet I search and find nothing beyond this place of despair and desolation. What does Christ want from me? What can I do here in this world as it falls apart? What have I been placed here, in this time, to do?
Nothing draws me. Nothing seems effective or important enough. My skills seem inadequate. My old vague dreams lie shattered. Perhaps I have seen too much deception and destruction and have become too cynical now that even new age lies I once clung to have been revealed. Perhaps I am still not willing to make the sacrifices required in this world in order to make a difference. Perhaps I still want my privilege, my comfort, my freedom even as the world falls apart. Perhaps Christ is here to crush these out of me with the depression.
But Christ must also know for me to be this lost, with no plan, is not helping anyone. Time is slipping away. What do I have left to give? What can I give that will not murder my soul any further than I already have with all those years working in an office in the financial district? What can I give to others that will bring in the money I need to take care of my family?
My attention is diverted with worry and fear and disorientation. The black rain of sorrow in my heart does little more than corrode me from the inside out. There is not much room for faith in there. I pray for Christ’s mercy, I pray for a new path to become clear, and yet there is nothing I can see in front of me, no new purpose. I realize this may be part of the price I must pay for having stepped down wrong paths.
Why do I feel like there is no place left for me in this world? Is this just the spirit of rejection in me, the arrogance and self-cherishing part speaking lies? What does Christ require in order to cast out this spirit of rejection which is so deep within me? Why do I feel like this world is not good enough for me, and yet I am not good enough for this world? How can I accept or even love a world and work in a world that has gone so wrong, and that God is due to eventually destroy?
I try to understand these things, so I can change. I confess not much makes sense. I pray for insight and a vision of a future for me and my family that is true and can be made real in this world without ruining us. Still, I see nothing ahead. Christ must know this is only bleeding me, and I cannot understand how that serves his purposes.
I have nothing to offer that will cheer you up because I am in the same place as you are, dying to my old self, my ideas and attachment. Maybe we are at a different loop in the cycle of letting go but it is still dying and it is painful. My children are independent and gone so I can’t undo or change the things I wished I had done differently.
You still have your wife and children with you……there is much you can do to lift you up out of this negative state. LOve them and serve them with all your heart and forget about yourself. This is what I wished I still could do but it is too late for that. I mean I love them at a distance and send my daughter money but I only have a limited impact on their life.
You on the other hand still have that opportunity. You wonder what you could do for the world…….well everything that need most your love and attention is right under your roof at home……..this is the world, your family is your world…….you know the saying: ” oh I love humanity but I can’t stand people…..” it is like that, we want to save the world but we don’t see the ones that need to be saved and are in most need of us are right there under our noses…..we can’t do anything meaningful for the world until we have put our own house in order. This is first you and then your family. You are the leader of your household and as such you must be an example to them, an inspiration, a role model. Your children must be looking up to you and say: ” I want to be like my dad”
God is love so if you love your family with all your heart and you do for them what you have never done before, you go out of your comfort zone, out of your comfortable ways, to serve them and love them. If you do that I am pretty sure you will find God. Love is action, selfless service……the more we take care of others the more we forget about ourselves, the less “self” there is and the more peace we find in God.
You are blessed to come to this realization at this time, most people will find out when it is too late…….so God is with you, no doubt……change is painful and change we must ……but the more you die to your old man the more of your spiritual man is being reborn and renewed, day by day, moment to moment……this is the meaning of this verse: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is not I that live, but Christ living in me” ( Gal. 2:20).