If you meet the Buddha, kill him, that Christ may live in you. — Traditional
About 10 months ago, I purchased a book called ‘Entering the castle’ by Caroline Myss. I was intrigued enough by its citing of Saint Teresa of Avila’s ‘Interior castle,’ and I had listened to Myss’ ‘Advanced energy anatomy’ audiobook the previous year without any significant objections.
I never got around to finishing it, thanks to Myss herself. Prior to reading ‘Entering the castle,’ I had pretty much abandoned prayer, save for an occasional “Thank you” to no one in particular when it occurred to me to be grateful for my life. But early on in Myss’ book, she speaks of addressing God in a personal way, and I did just that, fashioning these words together: “Lord, may I be ever more aware of Your presence.” From this, and other things going on then, it wouldn’t be long before I was convinced not just of some general “God” but of Jesus Christ Himself as God.
With this newfound faith, the remainder of what I read of Myss’ book became distasteful to me. She spoke a good deal of Jesus, but always lumped in with other supposedly holy masters such as Buddha and Krishna. Apparently, according to Myss, the real message of Jesus is for us to grow in spiritual awareness, and we’re free to select our spiritual guides; Jesus Himself is not the point, in this homogenized soul evolution. That thing in the Gospel about Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life? That’s just His way of saying that we should be directed towards greater consciousness and let our higher souls prevail.
As much as she may not want to be considered a New Age guru, Myss drips of such marketing sensibilities. Instead of just giving psychological advice, which for argument’s sake she does fine, she presumes to wrap this in spiritual terms, all the while giving Saint Teresa a bad name.
And who’s to stop her misrepresentations? She has a degree in theology and had a Catholic upbringing, however little this is apparent in her conclusions. Faith in specific persons such as Jesus and Mother Mary is replaced with pigeonholing into mere archetypes. The substance of true religion thus degrades into mere fiction, as fictional as the Force in ‘Star wars’ anyway.
Myss is oblivious to the fact that she turns spiritual development into a mere matter of method for the sake of achieving mental health, even as she opposes such a view of yoga and meditation.
And she wouldn’t be the evolved spiritual teacher she is without her jabs at the Catholic Church, the same Church that Saint Teresa belonged in and whose doctrine the Catholic mystic accepted in faith, owing to Christ Himself founding it.
If smart satan were to devise a plan to sway people away from Jesus, it would do well to involve the following:
– Undermining the Church on account of its members, who are all sinners, and characterizing gender roles in the clergy and matrimony as oppressive;
– Equating Jesus as revealed in the Bible, to Buddha and Yoda, the difference of which is merely tribal (or planetary in the case of Yoda);
– Uttering the phrase ‘spiritual but not religious,’ branding spirituality as rising above dogma-fixated religion, neglecting that the spiritual is value-neutral and that evil spirits are spirits; and
– Keeping the ‘spiritual leaders’ of such an elevated philosophy in the inertia of their nirvanic or samadhic bliss, for which knowing God through Jesus is discarded. I mean, could you picture Obi-Wan and Yoda ever abandoning their Jedi ways for Christ, when they already get to float around as holograms more powerful than masters of evil could imagine?
All the above of which Myss promotes or condones. Except maybe the ‘Star wars’ references.
Prayer’s still the answer
My conversion to Catholicism comes after having spent two decades growing out of ideas from the New Age, Eastern religions, and modern philosophy. Which do have worthwhile things to say but for their confounding with or usurping of true religion, that is, Christianity as founded by Christ, Who actually lived, died, and rose again in history.
When I now hear someone like Myss speak of the divine and use God’s name when discussing their oh-so-reasonable thoughts, it’s apparent that they miss the whole point of faith. We could pray, as Myss tells us to do, but her particular brand of all-inclusive incantations makes for a static, self-satisfied hell rather than an ongoing connection with God.
But who am I to say this, when I only started praying again after reading I ought to do so from Myss herself? But let’s give credit where it’s really due. When God reaches us amid the sin and untruth of the world, the glory is to God and not to sin and untruth.
Disclaimer: I only read half of Myss’ book. If it ends with Myss proclaiming her return to the one true Church, then forget you ever read this.