April 9, 2017
It is interesting that different belief systems have certain words that are acceptable and others that are not. Some even go so far as to accuse those of different beliefs as being evil, not because of any of their actions, but merely because of their choice of words.
There are different key words used by various Christian religions, but if we look at Christianity as a whole and new age thinking the difference becomes pretty pronounced. Now there is also a difference in shades of meaning between various new age and metaphysical groups, but not so pronounced as between the Christians and new age thinking.
One of the words that sends up a red flag for the standard Christian is “consciousness.” The standard thinking for them is that consciousness means merely being awake and if you use it for more than that you off into forbidden thinking. Now some new agers may throw the word around more than is needed and sometimes without much thought behind it, but they are indeed correct in their idea that there are various levels of consciousness. We will examine them, but for clarity’s sake let us first define the word.
Consciousness, especially in the context of this discussion, is the state of being awake or aware of certain things. One could say that the greater one’s consciousness is the greater will be his realm of awareness.
In this physical world we could assume that he who is well traveled will have a greater awareness, or consciousness, of the world than one who stays at home.
He who wears night vision goggles will have greater consciousness of the terrain than the one who does not have them.
When we apply consciousness to spiritual thinking we then shift awareness from the physical to the spiritual or that which us not seen by physical eyes.
Now the regular Christian believes that he is aware of God’s presence in his life, Jesus in his heart and the Holy Spirit so he would be factual in claiming that he has a higher consciousness in this area than the typical atheist. It is interesting that by definition most Christians could correctly use the term “higher consciousness,” but they shy away from it.
On the other hand metaphysical people correctly embrace the word. Here are various things that we can be aware of while in this human state.
(1) The emotional world. We are all aware of emotions, but some much more than others. Some can read emotions in others and know how to communicate well on an emotional level. Some have an empathic consciousness and can feel the emotions of others. In this category alone one can find several different states of consciousness.
(2) Love. Love stirs emotion but is in a world of its own. There are several different levels of love. There is selfish possessive love, romantic love and spiritual love all taking a different level of consciousness to fully understand.
(3) Mind and reason. Mind and thought is invisible but we all know it is there and again there are many different levels of using thought and reason. Stephen Hawking has a different state of consciousness theorizing about black holes than does the ditch digger waiting for the end of his shift. Our thinking takes us to many levels of conscious awareness.
(4) Creativity. One who writes music, novels, paints or performs will tap into a creative awareness of which many people are not aware.
(5) Higher vision. Some can see etheric and astral matter and can see auras, and sometimes spiritual beings. This increases the number of things of which they are conscious.
(6) Understanding. Every time our understanding increases so does our consciousness. Understanding merely opens the door to more conscious awareness.
(7) Intuition. Some can focus within and connect to the intuitive plane and obtain flashes of inspiration that will enhance his consciousness.
(8) The word of ideas. Some can bring down great and original ideas from a conscious state that many never attain.
(9) The Christ consciousness. This is a term often used by new agers yet shunned by most Christians. Ironically, it is the new agers who are being biblical here in following advice from Paul who said:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil 2:5
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” Col 1:28
If we follow Paul’s advice and have Christ in us as well as the same mind as Christ then we would indeed have the Christ consciousness.
There is spiritual internet out there that links up the minds of Christ and numerous spiritual brothers and sisters. All can share the mind and consciousness of Christ.
Indeed consciousness has many levels and applications and is a very positive word to use.
There are a number of other words used by people into metaphysics that seem to rub orthodox religious people the wrong way. Here are a few:
This is a biggie as many Christians seem to equate this with the devil himself, but is this reasonable?
Not really. Occult merely means “hidden from view.” This is a common word used in astronomy when a planet passes in front of a star and hides it from view. The star is said to be “occulted,” or hidden.
Something mysterious that is not revealed or not understood by the masses is also said to be occult. The word is sometimes used in reference to astrology, palmistry, deep metaphysical writings, ceremonies and even scientific mysteries. One could say that the mysteries of creation, black holes and the theory of relativity is quite occult.
So, if this word has such a wide application then why do some orthodox Christians associate it with Satanism or the devil?
Interestingly, they rarely use it to attack real Satanists who probably do not use the word any more than the word “Bible.” Any group, good or bad must use thousands of different words. Single words do not make any group good or evil. One has to look at the whole of their teachings and actions. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” not by any individual words.
Because many metaphysical teachings are not understood, and thus hidden from the orthodox Christian the word ‘occult” is used by them in a positive way. Religionists therefore take the opportunity to demonize the word and the people who correctly use it.
Instead of taking this “evil by association” approach they should examine how the word is used in a case-by-case basis and see what the person is actually saying. Like any other word used in a context of a page of text the meaning can go many directions.
(2) Magic, white magic and black magic
Any use of the word “magic” in the supernatural sense is seen as something inspired by Satan according to many orthodox believers.
I think that most in the new age and metaphysical community would agree that any type of magic that causes harm to another to further selfish ambitions is on the dark path and would fit in with black magic.
Then there are gray areas where magical ceremonies are used to acquire wealth or fulfill personal desire but without intent to harm.
Some would call this black magic, but the practitioners just call it magic.
Then we get to more benevolent magic which is very similar to what standard religion calls “miracles.” Some call the work of benevolent miracles such as Jesus performed, “white magic.”
A rose is a rose by any other name so if one calls a miracle white magic , where is the rub? After all a miracle or white magic is merely a healing or event – the workings of which are beyond human understanding.
If someone is talking about white magic in a similar context to the Bible miracles then there is no case to associate such a person with the dark side.
Many believers do not like this word, which seems to make their hair stand on end. As soon as they hear a person use this word in a positive way they will immediately associate him with the devil’s side of the fence.
This should not be the case as the meaning behind this word is expressed very clearly in the Bible:
“If a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP. for he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (the resurrection of krisis or rebirth in mortality); but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.” Gal 6:3-6.
Basically the law of karma is that we reap that which we sow. If that is an evil teaching then Paul who wrote Galatians had to have been evil also.
(4) New Age
This is another phrase that orthodox believers do not like and associate it with everything that is considered anti Christ.
Many who follow a metaphysical path are called new agers because they believe the old age is passing away and a new and better age of peace is coming.
The strange thing here is that Christians themselves are new agers, but just do not use the word. They are new agers because they claim to believe that we are approaching a new age of peace where Christ will rule on the earth.
After all their scriptures say:
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the days of old. Behold, I will do a NEW thing; now it shall spring forth….” (Isa 43:18-19)
Instead of calling the coming age of new things, the “new age,” they call it the millennium.
So both the new agers and the Christians believe in a coming new age of peace, but call it by a different name.
This word and practice is becoming more accepted all the time. Still there are quite a number of hardliners that believe the practice somehow takes people away from God. What they do not realize is that prayer itself is a form of meditation and creating plans for your life is another. Meditation can bring people closer to God rather than take them away.
The important thing here, when we look at beliefs that are different from our own, is to first understand exactly what those beliefs are. When the language barrier is crossed we may find that the gap may not be as great as imagined.
Just as there are words that turn off standard Christian and religious believers there are also words that turn off people inclined toward metaphysics and esoteric philosophy.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that many search out some type of alternative belief system because regular religion just placed a bad taste in their mouth.
The most common reason for this is that as a child religion was forced down their throats. Their parents dragged them to church and forced them to listen to the preacher and teachers. Some had religious parents who were strong disciplinarians and punished the kids in the name of the Lord.
Still others maybe tried out religion of their own free will and were turned off by hypocrisy.
Others like myself did not feel fed with the simple doctrines and wanted more.
Quote a few of the LGBT community do not feel at home or accepted in any orthodox religion and search for acceptance elsewhere.
The bottom line is that if one does not feel he is getting the highest spiritual food available he will sooner or later move on and look for greener pastures.
The second major problem alternative believers have with standard religion is their vocabulary. This is rarely pointed out, but it is indeed a factor in their alienation.
So, what are the words that turn off many and why would this be the case?
Here are some: Sin, repent, salvation, devil, demons, evil, redeem, judgment, forgive, holy – plus the way the Bible is presented in the King James with all the thees and thous, especially the “thou shalt nots.”
Overall the language used by the scriptures and the teachers seems too judgmental and holier than thou for many.
What I found interesting when I started checking into the original meanings of the Greek and Hebrew words from whence the Bible is translated is that many of the words conveyed quite a different meaning to those who lived in ancient times than they do now. I was delighted to find that the original meaning made a lot more sense and did not convey such a puritanical atmosphere.
Let us look at just three common religious sounding words.
The word sin comes from the Greek word HAMARTANO which means “to miss the mark.” In other words when the Greeks, 2000 years ago, shot at a target with an arrow and missed they “sinned” (HAMARTANO) or missed the target. Is this how the word “sin” is used today? Verily no. When the religious person thinks of sin in our age, he generally thinks of being unclean and ridden with guilt.
Now when you shoot at a target and miss the bulls eye do you feel degraded and guilty to the extent that you feel paralyzed and even feel unworthy to shoot again? No, of course not. When you miss you may find it mildly irritating, but you generally can’t wait to have another try at it.
Guilt has been identified with sin by those who have sought to control the souls of men, but among the enlightened prophets it was not always so. To them sin was seen as a human error and salvation from sin is the path that leads to a correction of error. The prophets in times past did not seek to control through guilt, but sought to shift consciousness from error to perfection as they saw it.
So, what would salvation from sin mean in ancient times? Salvation comes from the Greek SOLTERIA which literally means “to rescue or deliver.” Therefore salvation from sin is really a deliverance from error.
If one is taught the truth about guilt and its cause and release and the person accepts this teaching as correction, then he is saved from sin or delivered from a great error in his thinking. In the old days many people believed that the world was flat. But when Columbus proved to them that it was round, it could be said that Columbus saved the world from its sin. In other words, he delivered (saved) the world from its error (sin) in thinking.
When it is said that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world the truth is that the world made a grave error in crucifying him.
When it is written that Jesus saved the world from its sins, the meaning is simply that he left the teachings and example necessary to correct the world from its error in belief and thinking. Most people did not believe a man could rise from the dead. Jesus corrected this error by demonstrating power over death, thus he saved the world from sin in this matter.
“Repent” is translated from the Greek word METANOEO which literally means “to exercise the mind to think differently, or to comprehend differently.” A new ager should not be turned off by this original word for it is similar in meaning to being told today to “raise your consciousness.”
If we wish to usher in the New Age we must indeed think and comprehend differently than we do. There must be a paradigm shift for humanity, Most importantly, we must accept responsibility for our own actions, and not wait for God to save us or to set things right.
We could go through all the common Bible words and explore their original meaning and discover that they had a different slant back then the way it is used today.
I’ve covered quite a few of these in my past writings for those who wish to explore.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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