Daily Archives: April 1, 2009

Church Condemns Reiki & New Age Movement

I am sitting in my hotel room in Denver at 4am in the morning awaiting to make several appearances on Colorado TV and radio. This gives me an opportunity to bring to your attention several articles I discovered on my cross-atlantic journey that I think you should know about. The first was a short piece in yesterday’s “Guardian” entitled, “Catholic bishops in US ban Japanese reiki.” Guidelines issued by the US Catholic Church warn of the dangers of reiki, the Japanese New Age therapy that seeks to improve health through channeling energy. Reiki translates as ‘universal life energy’ and as many of you know is gaining popularity in today’s New Age culture. The church dismiss it because it “lacks scientific credibility” and could expose patients to “malevolent forces.” Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. One Christian reiki expert said that the church has misunderstood the channeling of energy to mean spirits. It’s all the SuperSense at work to me.  I looked into this further and found a really interesting Pontifical report on the New Age movement that made me realize that the church is worried about the switch in spiritual allegiance that appears to be taking place in Western culture. Far from assuming that Christians can entertain a variety of belief systems, the Vatican is concerned at the prospect of the erosion of Christianity by New Age beliefs and practices.

Here’s something I did not know ( and a good reason to keep reading rather than ignoring beliefs if you are a skeptic like me). Do you know why it is called the “New Age?” This is because the two thousand years period after Christ is known as the age of Aries by astrologers and as it draws to a close, we have the new Age of Aquarius. I remember the hippie song about “this is the dawning of the new age of Aquarius,” but I did not understand the reference. So the church has a good historical reason to fear the times are a changing. Ironically, that fear is based on astrology, another belief system the Vatican tried to condemn. I think that the current tension that many of us see between the religious and the atheist is misplaced. I think the real turf wars are going to take place within the spiritual realm as each group struggles to fight for or retain popularity. Again how ironic that natural selection will probably shape the face of the spiritual landscape of the future. In my opinion, one thing is for certain. That landscape will always have the SuperSense as I think it is the natural disposition of humans to believe in the unbelievable.


Filed under atheism, In the News