Byron Katie and Her New Agisms

September 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM

It is amazing to me that every so often, some new person within the New Age movement comes to the fore and gains a following from a large segment of the population.  They are often hailed as the new guru spreading wisdom through truth that brings peace.

What is absolutely phenomenal is that it doesn’t really matter who the new person is or what they say because it’s all been said before.  Solomon was correct when he said there is nothing new under the sun.  Of course, these folks might agree with that sentiment, but would add that they are stating “ancient truths” in a new way, a way that allows people who might have missed the message before, to grasp hold of it now.

I’ve read so many of these New Age gurus that the things they espouse have run together, largely because the difference between them is moot.  Whether it’s Eckhart Tolle, or someone else, it really doesn’t matter.  Eventually, these up-and-coming gurus all find their way onto the Oprah Show and they are catapulted to esoteric stardom.  If only people would take a step or two back and look hard at what is being presented to them, they might actually begin to see there is nothing new being presented.  It is simply being presented through a new individual and the words are slightly different.

What I have found is that these people all have the same essential demeanor and it is largely because people lift them up to a pedestal that puts them above the rest of us.  Because of this, they are viewed as a swami who literally espouses the secrets of the universe.  They can read the phone book and people will whisper in awe to one another.  Much of what they preach to people is about as informative.  In fact, I would have to say that the average phone book contains more essential truth and information than anything that these prophets of deceit present.

I realize that to those who religiously follow these individuals, the use of the phrase “prophets of deceit” seems harsh.  I am not intending to insult them or the people who follow them.  What I am trying to do is help people realize that the individuals through whom these esoteric truths come may in fact be fully deceived themselves.  Because of this, it stands to reason that the people who sit at their feet are deceived as well.  That is simply a byproduct of what is being taught if it is not truth at all, but being presented as truth.

Bryon Katie is a fairly new person to the field.  What I mean by that is that while she may have been around for a while, like most new fads (for the lack of a better word), she has just recently gained celebrity stardom in the world of the esoteric.  She has been named as “A spiritual innovator for the new millennium” by Time magazine and the number of those who flock to her seminars and workshops have grown tremendously.  The question is why?  What exactly does Katie bring to these people that keeps them not only coming back for more, but causes them to think of her as a true guide for those seeking truth, but who are living in darkness?

The answer is found in what she says, what she promulgates, and what she espouses.  I can’t help but think that whenever I read something by someone claiming to bring New Age esoteric truth to the masses, I find myself starting to laugh hysterically.  The reason is due to the fact that what is being stated is complete nonsense.  Of course, those who follow people like Katie would argue that I don’t “see it” because I am not willing to see it.  I cannot grasp what I am not open to receiving.  The only thing I can say to that is, let’s take a look at some of Katie’s pithy sayings, shall we?  You can decide for yourself if there is any merit to what is being presented.

One of the things that Katie is probably best known for is “The Work.”  In a nutshell, it is formulated within the following principles:

  1. Fill out the judge your neighbor worksheet
  2. Ask the four questions
  3. Find the turnarounds[1]

Ultimately, “The Work is a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, and to address the cause of your problems with clarity.”[2]

Seems simple enough and on the surface, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong.  In fact, it can be good medicine for anyone, even Christians, if done correctly.  The problem of course, is the frame of reference that Katie uses to help people through the process.  Emphasis is on meditation.  We are not simply talking about thinking about things.  Meditation in the New Age world is the attempt to silence your mind, to become “one” with the universe, to open the door to greater understanding.  This occurs, when the brain’s alpha waves work on their own and this can only occur when people learn to allow the alpha waves to work independently.  It is at this point when people can participate in astral projection and other things as well.

Recently, we ran across a website that sells CDs that when listened to through headphones “guarantee” entrance into an altered state of consciousness within minutes.  This was unheard of years ago, but now it is becoming routine.  The altered state is achieved because it has been discovered that certain frequencies create the situation in the brain when the alpha waves work independently.  This altered state is necessary during meditation to enter into greater depths of cosmic understanding and confluence.

So it is not surprising that within Katie’s system, meditation is also a requirement.  “The Work is a meditation. It’s about awareness; it’s not about trying to change your mind. Let the mind ask the questions, then contemplate. Take your time, go inside, and wait for the deeper answers to surface.”[3]  It is the same with every system within the New Age movement.  The objective is to free the mind so that the mind can work all by itself.  Let the mind do the work, the achieving, the breakthroughs and go along for the ride.

Of course, the problem is that within Christianity aspects of New Agism have infiltrated the visible Church.  This New Agism is the attempt to become “like” God.  Too many Christians (or those who say they are Christian) are succumbing to the temptation to go inward instead of outward.  In other words, God wants us to focus on Him and His will and purposes.  This is done through a form of meditation and prayer, but the meditation used with Christianity is far different from the meditation used within New Age circles.  While New Age gurus help us empty or free our minds by literally thinking of nothing, God wants us to meditate on Him through His Word.  We ruminate on His truth – the Words He has presented to us – so that we can grow through the power inherent within His Word.  We are not thinking of nothing.  We are using our brains to focus on the deep truths found within His Word.  We are not to empty our minds so that they can be filled with cosmic “God-consciousness.”

Katie’s four questions are:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

The emphasis here is on ME.  I am supposed to decide if something is true.  I am supposed to “absolutely know” that something is true and if I cannot do that, then it is not true.  I am to focus on my reactions to a thought and I am to decide who I am if that thought about me did not exist.

Katie has a Facebook page and there, she highlights many of her statements that are designed to help people get past the problematic areas of their life.  What is more than fascinating is how many people will click the “like” button and even leave their own comments extolling the value of Katie’s “deep” sentiments.

Here are a few for you to consider, all quoted directly from her FB page:

  1. The miracle of love comes to us in the presence of the uninterpreted moment.”
  2. Ultimately, I am all I can know.
  3. Nothing you believe is true. To know this is freedom.
  4. When you come to love yourself, you automatically love the other person. You can’t not.”
  5. Any story that you tell about yourself causes suffering. There is no authentic story.

Let me just make some observations and of course, you can feel free to disagree with me – that’s your prerogative.

When Katie states that “I am all I can know,” she is either stating that I can know nothing outside of myself or this is an implied reference to the belief that we are gods and as gods, as we know ourselves, we gain the universe.  In either case, I would of course, disagree completely.  It’s another version of the lie that the Tempter told Eve – you shall be as gods.  The truth is – if there is any truth at all and if that truth is found in God’s Word – we are not God or gods.  We are human beings.  Yes, we have been created in God’s image but that does not mean that we are deity anymore than Peter’s proclamation that we are partakers of the divine nature means that! (cf. 2 Peter 1:4).  Peter is simply stating that through salvation, we escape the corruption of the flesh through our spiritual union with Christ.  “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  God’s divine nature works within us to free us from the corruption caused by the sin nature.  It’s that simple.  Peter is not saying that we ourselves are divine.  In fact, it is only through our union with Jesus that we have the ability to be free from the sin nature at all.  It is because of this union that God works in and through us.  The divine nature is not ours and never will be ours.  It belongs to God and He uses His nature (because He indwells us) to perfect us.  His nature cannot be separated from Him – the two are joined forever.  Where He is, there is His nature.

One individual who seems to “get” what Katie is saying responds to her comments with, “The ‘I am’ is all I can know, the bridge between the nothingness and the all, the knowing is not of the mind, it encompasses the mind and every thing and non thing, blows my mind.”  This is a nod to what Jesus said about Himself and what the God of the Old Testament said – “I Am that I Am” – is what this is referring to here.  Unfortunately, what Jesus meant by it is completely different from what Katie and her followers mean by it.

As God, Jesus can say that and it is 100% true, all the time.  If we say it, we are claiming to be God, which we are not.  However, without this premise, the New Age would not exist in all its many forms.

In response to this statement from Katie, one individual wrote, “Ultimately, All you can know is nothing. But what a nothing that is!”  This is completely nonsensical.  It makes no sense…unless you believe that there is no reality.  If you are coming from that perspective, then this makes perfect sense.

We’ve all heard the statements that reality is what you make it, or you can change your reality based on how you visualize it.  We’ve seen this played out clearly in movies like The Matrix.  In that movie series, Neo wakes up from his non-reality (dream state) to the realization that he can create his own reality.  In the absence of his true reality (the one he creates), there is actually nothing.  The nothing is represented by the life found within his dream state.  That was actually nothing because it did not truly exist.  It only seemed to exist because his mind created it.

Here’s another comment by an admirer.  “When you find your authentic self her comment makes total sense..but first you have to find you;)

Again, this points back to the Neo in The Matrix scenario.  Once Neo found out that he was not the dream life he was “living,” it became clear to him that he was now free to find his “true” self.  His dream state kept him from finding out that he was in fact, dreaming.  Once he realized he had been dreaming – after he “woke” up – he was then “free” to simply be.

The premise then is that nothing really exists in our life.  It’s all a dream.  We decide subconsciously what and who we are as well as how we live and deal with what we think is life.

All of this is nothing more than the gobbledygook that has been promulgated within the New Age movement for decades, if not centuries.  Because of the tremendous influence and realism of science fiction movies, it has become far easier for people to visualize now what was impossible a few decades ago.  In fact, because of the constant promotion of New Age beliefs within the framework of many Sci-Fi movies, it is normal to discuss aspects of these movies as if they are real.  Since much of what is promoted is accepted as having a sense of realism attached to them, then it is only one short step to go to discuss these things with a sense of reality.  People simply assume that the technology that exists in Sci-Fi movies exists in real life (or is close to existing).

So what people are being taught – implicitly through movies and books and directly through people like Katie – is that reality is something that is defined by the individual for themselves.  We control it or have the ability to control it if we will only come to see that.  Separate from that, we are doomed to an existence of nothingness or put another way, we are at the mercy of our wayward thoughts.  Instead of controlling and directing them, by default we are directed by them.  We need to turn this around, according to New Age gurus.

Look at number five in the bulleted list above, the one that says that any story I tell about myself causes suffering and that there is no authentic story.  This is a contradiction of some of the other things that Katie states.  On one hand, there is nothing unless and until I begin to create my own reality by learning to master my thoughts (after I realize that I am not who I thought I was).  On the other hand, even when I create my own reality, it is still not authentic because only nothing exists.  The idea that by telling my story, I am causing suffering may sound ethereal and that’s because it is, but ultimately, it has no meaning.  If we follow Katie’s teachings, then if nothing really exists, then how can my story cause suffering to others?  It can’t.  People who suffer do so because they either want to suffer or because they have not learned to create their own reality (according to New Age thought).

Here’s another comment from a follower of Katie’s:  “Nothing Byron Katie believes is true. To know this is freedom. Ultimately she is all she can (or choses to) know.—I agree Byron, I agree.”

The truth is that if we take that first statement – nothing Byron Katie believes is true – it says absolutely nothing.  In fact, it is nothing.  If nothing believed by anyone is true, that is an inherent contradiction.  This is unless the person believes that reality is able to be shaped because in itself, it does not exist.  This is Christian Science and Theosophy, both of which state that reality is what you make it because it doesn’t exist.  Evil does not exist.  Satan does not exist.  The biblical God does not exist.  Nothing exists that we cannot create.

Here are a few more pithy statements that bear noting:

  1. Everyone in your life is a figment of your imagination—even you.”
  2. For me, reality is God, because it rules.
  3. A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.

All of these statements have been said before with different words by many others.  None of it is new.  I suppose Katie would say that none of it exists.  The truth of the matter is that this world is built on something far more than platitudes designed to confuse people into some understanding.

This type of talk reminds me of Mr. Furious in the movie Mystery Men.  The Sphinx – who had become the leader of these men (and one woman) – tossed out quite a few of these statements out in order to teach them the “hidden” truths, which were designed to make them throw off their doubts and fears, allowing them to become established in a newness of understanding.

Statements like, “If you balance a tack hammer on your head, you will have a balanced attack against your opponent” became extremely frustrating for Mr. Furious.  However, all the others in the group were simply amazed at the profundity of truth emanating from The Sphinx.

Unless we come to realize that words cannot change us and only God can, we will be forever mesmerized by the newest New Age guru to come through town, touting the latest book that is designed to make them rich and allegedly help the average person to overcome themselves. In doing so, people wind up turning more and more inward as if their salvation is found within.  Yes, I realize that Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God being within us, but again, He was referring to something other than what those within the New Age constantly apply to His Words.

As a Christian, God lives within me through the Holy Spirit.  He is the One who directs my life.  He is the One who perfects my life.  He is the One who takes away the desire to sin (turn away from God and do my own thing) and replaces it with a desire to serve Him.

All New Age gurus teach the same thing: we are gods and we alone have the capacity to create our own reality.  I wish people would understand that this is the exact same lie that was told to our first parents.  Why don’t people see it?  It is because it is too simple and too foolish.  It’s not “intelligent” enough.  It demeans us because it means that in order to obtain true salvation, we are dependent upon something outside of ourselves.  People do not want to admit that there is no way we can recover from our fallenness without God’s help.  However, it is relatively easy to admit that we are at fault for not realizing our own inner deity.  The New Age says that we are gods and can create our own realities that will lead to eternal life (becoming one with the universe for all time).  God says we are not gods and we need Him and the only salvation that He provides in order to receive eternal life (a life lived in God’s presence where neither death or sin ever enters).

The New Age says we have what it takes.  God says take what He has provided.  There is nothing profound within the New Age movement except to those individuals who prefer to reject God and believe that the capacity to save themselves is built within each person.  It may take many reincarnations to achieve what is needed, but that is fine.  God says He has given us one life in the here and now and depending upon how we respond to Him now will result in where we will spend eternity then.

It is absolutely incongruous to me how the same lie can be repeated so often in so many different forms.  Each time, it attracts new people and confirms old ones.  Each time, people stand in awe of the absolute prattle that is newly boxed and distributed as if it is the first time it has been stated.  These folks are not interested in God at all, so in the end, He gives them over to themselves.  That is certainly not what He prefers, but it is what those people prefer.  In the end, He will certainly grant them the desires of their heart even if it means that He will let them go whistling down the path that leads to destruction.  He does not want that, but He will allow it.  I pray that is not the case for you.

[1] http://www.thework.com/thework.php

[2] Ibid

[3] http://www.thework.com/downloads/worksheets/instructions_for_thework.pdf

Entry filed under: 9/11, alienology, Atheism and religion, Barack Hussein Obama, Communism, Demonic, dispensationalism, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Gun Control, Islam, Islamofascism, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Maitreya, new age movement, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, Radical Islam, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming, Sharia Law, Socialism, temple mount, Transhumanism, ufology. Tags: , , , , , .

A Muslim Responds to John Esposito Mr. Obama’s Answer to His Debt Problem: Raise Taxes


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13,272 other followers

Our Books on Amazon

Study-Grow-Know Archives

Blog Stats

  • 1,002,479 hits

%d bloggers like this: