The clearest example of this is in the famous hymn to Christ in Saint Paul's letter to the Christians at Colossae:. Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity. Now the Church is his body, he is its head. For these early Christians, there was no new cosmic age to come; what they were celebrating with this hymn was the Fulfilment of all things which had begun in Christ.
Eternity entered into time: what 'fulfilment' could be greater than this? What other 'fulfilment' would be possible? For Christians, the real cosmic Christ is the one who is present actively in the various members of his body, which is the Church. They do not look to impersonal cosmic powers, but to the loving care of a personal God; for them cosmic bio-centrism has to be transposed into a set of social relationships in the Church ; and they are not locked into a cyclical pattern of cosmic events, but focus on the historical Jesus, in particular on his crucifixion and resurrection.
We find in the Letter to the Colossians and in the New Testament a doctrine of God different from that implicit in New Age thought: the Christian conception of God is one of a Trinity of Persons who has created the human race out of a desire to share the communion of Trinitarian life with creaturely persons. Properly understood, this means that authentic spirituality is not so much our search for God but God 's search for us. Another, completely different, view of the cosmic significance of Christ has become current in New Age circles.
The divine pattern of connectivity was made flesh and set up its tent among us John The Cosmic Christ The Cosmic Christ is local and historical, indeed intimate to human history. For New Age the Cosmic Christ is seen as a pattern which can be repeated in many people, places and times; it is the bearer of an enormous paradigm shift; it is ultimately a potential within us.
According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ is not a pattern, but a divine person whose human-divine figure reveals the mystery of the Father's love for every person throughout history Jn ; he lives in us because he shares his life with us, but it is neither imposed nor automatic. Christian mysticism and New Age mysticism. For Christians, the spiritual life is a relationship with God which gradually through his grace becomes deeper, and in the process also sheds light on our relationship with our fellow men and women, and with the universe.
Spirituality in New Age terms means experiencing states of consciousness dominated by a sense of harmony and fusion with the Whole. This fundamental distinction is evident at all levels of comparison between Christian mysticism and New Age mysticism. The New Age way of purification is based on awareness of unease or alienation, which is to be overcome by immersion into the Whole. In order to be converted, a person needs to make use of techniques which lead to the experience of illumination. This transforms a person's consciousness and opens him or her to contact with the divinity, which is understood as the deepest essence of reality.
The techniques and methods offered in this immanentist religious system, which has no concept of God as person, proceed 'from below'. Although they involve a descent into the depths of one's own heart or soul, they constitute an essentially human enterprise on the part of a person who seeks to rise towards divinity by his or her own efforts. Not everyone has access to these techniques, whose benefits are restricted to a privileged spiritual 'aristocracy'. There are spiritual techniques which it is useful to learn, but God is able to by-pass them or do without them.
That would contradict the spirit of childhood called for by the Gospel. For Christians, conversion is turning back to the Father, through the Son, in docility to the power of the Holy Spirit. All meditation techniques need to be purged of presumption and pretentiousness. Here is a key point of contrast between New Age and Christianity.
Our problem, in a New Age perspective, is our inability to recognise our own divinity, an inability which can be overcome with the help of guidance and the use of a whole variety of techniques for unlocking our hidden divine potential. The fundamental idea is that 'God' is deep within ourselves. We are gods, and we discover the unlimited power within us by peeling off layers of inauthenticity.
Here theosis, the Christian understanding of divinisation, comes about not through our own efforts alone, but with the assistance of God's grace working in and through us. It inevitably involves an initial awareness of incompleteness and even sinfulness, in no way an exaltation of the self. Furthermore, it unfolds as an introduction into the life of the Trinity, a perfect case of distinction at the heart of unity; it is synergy rather than fusion.
This all comes about as the result of a personal encounter, an offer of a new kind of life. Life in Christ is not something so personal and private that it is restricted to the realm of consciousness. Nor is it merely a new level of awareness. It involves being transformed in our soul and in our body by participation in the sacramental life of the Church. The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety.
From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others.
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In a cultural environment, marked by religious relativism, it is necessary to signal a warning against the attempt to place New Age religiosity on the same level as Christian faith, making the difference between faith and belief seem relative, thus creating greater confusion for the unwary. In this regard, it is useful to remember the exhortation of St. Some practices are incorrectly labeled as New Age simply as a marketing strategy to make them sell better, but are not truly associated with its worldview.
This only adds to the confusion. It is therefore necessary to accurately identify those elements which belong to the New Age movement, and which cannot be accepted by those who are faithful to Christ and his Church. The following questions may be the easiest key to evaluating some of the central elements of New Age thought and practice from a Christian standpoint.
Some of these questions applied to people and ideas not explicitly labelled New Age would reveal further unnamed or unacknowledged links with the whole New Age atmosphere. The New Age concept of God is rather diffuse, whereas the Christian concept is a very clear one. The New Age god is an impersonal energy, really a particular extension or component of the cosmos; god in this sense is the life-force or soul of the world. God is no longer to be sought beyond the world, but deep within myself.
This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life. God is in himself personal, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created the universe in order to share the communion of his life with creaturely persons. Jesus Christ is often presented in New Age literature as one among many wise men, or initiates, or avatars, whereas in Christian tradition He is the Son of God. Here are some common points in New Age approaches:.
Other revelations about Jesus, made available by entities, spirit guides and ascended masters, or even through the Akasha Chronicles, are basic for New Age christology;. Isolated individual personalities would be pathological in terms of New Age in particular transpersonal psychology. New Age is thinking based on totalitarian unity and that is why it is a danger The Christian approach grows out of the Scriptural teachings about human nature; men and women are created in God's image and likeness Gen 1. The human person is a mystery fully revealed only in Jesus Christ cf. GS 22 ,and in fact becomes authentically human properly in his relationship with Christ through the gift of the Spirit.
The key is to discover by what or by whom we believe we are saved. Do we save ourselves by our own actions, as is often the case in New Age explanations, or are we saved by God's love? Key words are self-fulfilment and self-realisation , self-redemption. New Age is essentially Pelagian in its understanding of about human nature.
For Christians, salvation depends on a participation in the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, and on a direct personal relationship with God rather than on any technique. The human situation, affected as it is by original sin and by personal sin, can only be rectified by God's action: sin is an offense against God, and only God can reconcile us to himself.
In the divine plan of salvation, human beings have been saved by Jesus Christ who, as God and man, is the one mediator of redemption. In Christianity salvation is not an experience of self, a meditative and intuitive dwelling within oneself, but much more the forgiveness of sin, being lifted out of profound ambivalences in oneself and the calming of nature by the gift of communion with a loving God. The way to salvation is not found simply in a self-induced transformation of consciousness, but in a liberation from sin and its consequences which then leads us to struggle against sin in ourselves and in the society around us.
It necessarily moves us toward loving solidarity with our neighbour in need. New Age truth is about good vibrations, cosmic correspondences, harmony and ecstasy, in general pleasant experiences. It is a matter of finding one's own truth in accordance with the feel- good factor. Evaluating religion and ethical questions is obviously relative to one's own feelings and experiences. His followers are asked to open their whole lives to him and to his values, in other words to an objective set of requirements which are part of an objective reality ultimately knowable by all.
The tendency to confuse psychology and spirituality makes it hard not to insist that many of the meditation techniques now used are not prayer. They are often a good preparation for prayer, but no more, even if they lead to a more pleasant state of mind or bodily comfort. The experiences involved are genuinely intense, but to remain at this level is to remain alone, not yet in the presence of the other.
The achievement of silence can confront us with emptiness, rather than the silence of contemplating the beloved. It is also true that techniques for going deeper into one's own soul are ultimately an appeal to one's own ability to reach the divine, or even to become divine: if they forget God's search for the human heart they are still not Christian prayer. New Age practices are not really prayer, in that they are generally a question of introspection or fusion with cosmic energy, as opposed to the double orientation of Christian prayer, which involves introspection but is essentially also a meeting with God.
In New Age there is no real concept of sin, but rather one of imperfect knowledge; what is needed is enlightenment, which can be reached through particular psycho-physical techniques. Go where your intelligence and intuition lead you. The most serious problem perceived in New Age thinking is alienation from the whole cosmos, rather than personal failure or sin. The remedy is to become more and more immersed in the whole of being. In some New Age writings and practices, it is clear that one life is not enough, so there have to be reincarnations to allow people to realise their full potential.
Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a development flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity Some New Age writers view suffering as self-imposed, or as bad karma, or at least as a failure to harness one's own resources. Others concentrate on methods of achieving success and wealth e. In New Age, reincarnation is often seen as a necessary element in spiritual growth, a stage in progressive spiritual evolution which began before we were born and will continue after we die.
In our present lives the experience of the death of other people provokes a healthy crisis. Both cosmic unity and reincarnation are irreconcilable with the Christian belief that a human person is a distinct being, who lives one life, for which he or she is fully responsible: this understanding of the person puts into question both responsibility and freedom. The experience of this evil determined the incomparable extent of Christ's suffering, which became the price of the redemption The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the redemption, Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the redemption was accomplished.
He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the redemption. Much in New Age is unashamedly self-promotion, but some leading figures in the movement claim that it is unfair to judge the whole movement by a minority of selfish, irrational and narcissistic people, or to allow oneself to be dazzled by some of their more bizarre practices, which are a block to seeing in New Age a genuine spiritual search and spirituality.
Where there is true love, there has to be a different other person. Union is seen in Christianity as communion, unity as community. The New Age which is dawning will be peopled by perfect, androgynous beings who are totally in command of the cosmic laws of nature. In this scenario, Christianity has to be eliminated and give way to a global religion and a new world order. On the one hand, it is clear that many New Age practices seem to those involved in them not to raise doctrinal questions; but, at the same time, it is undeniable that these practices themselves communicate, even if only indirectly, a mentality which can influence thinking and inspire a very particular vision of reality.
Certainly New Age creates its own atmosphere, and it can be hard to distinguish between things which are innocuous and those which really need to be questioned. The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord. He is at the heart of every Christian action, and every Christian message. So the Church constantly returns to meet her Lord.
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The Gospels tell of many meetings with Jesus, from the shepherds in Bethlehem to the two thieves crucified with him, from the wise elders who listened to him in the Temple to the disciples walking miserably towards Emmaus. One of the attractive elements of John's account of this meeting is that it takes the woman a while even to glimpse what Jesus means by the water 'of life', or 'living' water verse They move from hearing about Jesus to knowing him personally, then understanding the universal significance of his identity.
This all happens because their minds, their hearts and more are engaged. The fact that the story takes place by a well is significant. This approach could yield a rich harvest in terms of people who may have been attracted to the water-carrier Aquarius but who are genuinely still seeking the truth. It is important to acknowledge the sincerity of people searching for the truth; there is no question of deceit or of self-deception. It is also important to be patient, as any good educator knows. It is a matter of letting people react in their own way, at their own pace, and letting God do the rest.
Guidance and sound formation are needed. Christ or Aquarius? The Age of Aquarius is conceived as one which will replace the predominantly Christian Age of Pisces. New Age thinkers are acutely aware of this; some of them are convinced that the coming change is inevitable, while others are actively committed to assisting its arrival. Christians have only to think of the difference between the wise men from the East and King Herod to recognise the powerful effects of choice for or against Christ.
It must never be forgotten that many of the movements which have fed the New Age are explicitly anti-Christian. Their stance towards Christianity is not neutral, but neutralising: despite what is often said about openness to all religious standpoints, traditional Christianity is not sincerely regarded as an acceptable alternative.
Fusion or confusion? New Age traditions consciously and deliberately blur real differences: between creator and creation, between humanity and nature, between religion and psychology, between subjective and objective reality. The idealistic intention is always to overcome the scandal of division, but in New Age theory it is a question of the systematic fusion of elements which have generally been clearly distinguished in Western culture.
It is not playing with words to say that New Age thrives on confusion. The Christian tradition has always valued the role of reason in justifying faith and in understanding God, the world and the human person. While this is a positive insight, recalling the need for a balance involving all our faculties, it does not justify sidelining a faculty which is essential for a fully human life.
Anything which promotes conceptual confusion or secrecy needs to be very carefully scrutinised. It hides rather than reveals the ultimate nature of reality. It corresponds to the post-modern loss of confidence in the bold certainties of former times, which often involves taking refuge in irrationality.
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The challenge is to show how a healthy partnership between faith and reason enhances human life and encourages respect for creation. Create your own reality. The widespread New Age conviction that one creates one's own reality is appealing, but illusory. It is crystallised in Jung's theory that the human being is a gateway from the outer world into an inner world of infinite dimensions, where each person is Abraxas, who gives birth to his own world or devours it.
The star that shines in this infinite inner world is man's God and goal. The most poignant and problematic consequence of the acceptance of the idea that people create their own reality is the question of suffering and death: people with severe handicaps or incurable diseases feel cheated and demeaned when confronted by the suggestion that they have brought their misfortune upon themselves, or that their inability to change things points to a weakness in their approach to life.
This is far from being a purely academic issue: it has profound implications in the Church's pastoral approach to the difficult existential questions everyone faces. Our limitations are a fact of life, and part of being a creature. Death and bereavement present a challenge and an opportunity, because the temptation to take refuge in a westernised reworking of the notion of reincarnation is clear proof of people's fear of death and their desire to live forever. Do we make the most of our opportunities to recall what is promised by God in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
How real is the faith in the resurrection of the body, which Christians proclaim every Sunday in the creed? The New Age idea that we are in some sense also gods is one which is very much in question here. The whole question depends, of course, on one's definition of reality. It is important constantly to focus on effective ways of speaking of transcendence. The fundamental difficulty of all New Age thought is that this transcendence is strictly a self-transcendeence to be achieved within a closed universe. Pastoral resources. In Chapter 8 an indication is given regarding the principal documents of the Catholic Church in which can be found an evaluation of the ideas of New Age.
First of all, it is worth saying once again that not everyone or everything in the broad sweep of New Age is linked to the theories of the movement in the same ways. Likewise, the label itself is often misapplied or extended to phenomena which can be categorised in other ways. The term New Age has even been abused to demonise people and practices. It is essential to see whether phenomena linked to this movement, however loosely, reflect or conflict with a Christian vision of God, the human person and the world.
The mere use of the term New Age in itself means little, if anything. The relationship of the person, group, practice or commodity to the central tenets of Christianity is what counts. For example, there is a large number of pastoral centres, cultural centres and centres of spirituality. Ideally, these could also be used to address the confusion about New Age religiosity in a variety of creative ways, such as providing a forum for discussion and study. It must unfortunately be admitted that there are too many cases where Catholic centres of spirituality are actively involved in diffusing New Age religiosity in the Church.
This would of course have to be corrected, not only to stop the spread of confusion and error, but also so that they might be effective in promoting true Christian spirituality. Catholic cultural centres, in particular, are not only teaching institutions but spaces for honest dialogue.
These are precious resources, which ought to be shared generously in areas that are less well provided for. Encounters with these groups should be approached with care, and should always involve persons who are capable of both explaining Catholic faith and spirituality, and of reflecting critically on New Age thought and practice. It is extremely important to check the credentials of people, groups and institutions claiming to offer guidance and information on New Age.
This fits in with the New Age vision of moving into an age where the limited character of particular religions gives way to the universality of a new religion or spirituality. Genuine dialogue, on the other hand, will always respect diversity from the outset, and will never seek to blur distinctions in a fusion of all religious traditions. Those people who are invited to such groups need to look for the marks of genuine Christian spirituality , and to be wary if there is any sort of initiation ceremony.
Such groups take advantage of a person's lack of theological or spiritual formation to lure them gradually into what may in fact be a form of false worship. Christian prayer and the God of Jesus Christ will easily be recognised. There is no problem with learning how to meditate, but the object or content of the exercise clearly determines whether it relates to the God revealed by Jesus Christ, to some other revelation, or simply to the hidden depths of the self.
The question of respect for creation is one which could also be approached creatively in Catholic schools. A great deal of what is proposed by the more radical elements of the ecological movement is difficult to reconcile with Catholic faith. People's minds and hearts are already unusually open to reliable information on the Christian understanding of time and salvation history. Emphasising what is lacking in other approaches should not be the main priority.
It is more a question of constantly revisiting the sources of our own faith, so that we can offer a good, sound presentation of the Christian message. We can be proud of what we have been given on trust, so we need to resist the pressures of the dominant culture to bury these gifts cf. Mt One of the most useful tools available is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is also an immense heritage of ways to holiness in the lives of Christian men and women past and present.
Where Christianity's rich symbolism, and its artistic, aesthetical and musical traditions are unknown or have been forgotten, there is much work to be done for Christians themselves, and ultimately also for anyone searching for an experience or a greater awareness of God's presence. Dialogue between Christians and people attracted to the New Age will be more successful if it takes into account the appeal of what touches the emotions and symbolic language. If our task is to know, love and serve Jesus Christ, it is of paramount importance to start with a good knowledge of the Scriptures.
The Cosmic Mirror
But, most of all, coming to meet the Lord Jesus in prayer and in the sacraments, which are precisely the moments when our ordinary life is hallowed, is the surest way of making sense of the whole Christian message. The great religious orders have strong traditions of meditation and spirituality, which could be made more available through courses or periods in which their houses might welcome genuine seekers.
This is already being done, but more is needed. Helping people in their spiritual search by offering them proven techniques and experiences of real prayer could open a dialogue with them which would reveal the riches of Christian tradition, and perhaps clarify a great deal about New Age in the process. In a vivid and useful image, one of the New Age movement's own exponents has compared traditional religions to cathedrals, and New Age to a worldwide fair.
The New Age Movement is seen as an invitation to Christians to bring the message of the cathedrals to the fair which now covers the whole world. This image offers Christians a positive challenge, since it is always time to take the message of the cathedrals to the people in the fair. Christians need not, indeed, must not wait for an invitation to bring the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who are looking for the answers to their questions, for spiritual food that satisfies, for living water.
The Mass is ended! To those shopping around in the world's fair of religious proposals, the appeal of Christianity will be felt first of all in the witness of the members of the Church, in their trust, calm, patience and cheerfulness, and in their concrete love of neighbour, all the fruit of their faith nourished in authentic personal prayer. Some brief formulations of New Age ideas. William Bloom's formulation of New Age quoted in Heelas, p. Some of these great beings are well- known and have inspired the world religions.
Some are unknown and work invisibly. We, therefore, work with Spirit and these energies in co-creating our reality. This is why we talk of a New Age. This new consciousness is the result of the increasingly successful incarnation of what some people call the energies of cosmic love. This new consciousness demonstrates itself in an instinctive understanding of the sacredness and, in particular, the interconnectedness of all existence. The world, including the human race, constitutes an expression of a higher, more comprehensive divine nature. Hidden within each human being is a higher divine self, which is a manifestation of the higher, more comprehensive divine nature.
This higher nature can be awakened and can become the center of the individual's everyday life. Each Age has its own cosmic energies; the energy in Pisces has made it an era of wars and conflicts. But Aquarius is set to be an era of harmony, justice, peace, unity etc. In this aspect, New Age accepts historical inevitability. Some reckon the age of Aries was the time of the Jewish religion, the age of Pisces that of Christianity, Aquarius the age of a universal religion.
Androgyny: is not hermaphroditism, i. In New Age, it is a state resulting from a new awareness of this double mode of being and existing that is characteristic of every man and every woman. The more it spreads, the more it will assist in the transformation of interpersonal conduct. Anthroposophy: a theosophical doctrine originally popularised by the Croat Rudolf Steiner , who left the Theosophical Society after being leader of its German branch from to Steiner believed it had helped him explore the laws of evolution of the cosmos and of humanity.
Every physical being has a corresponding spiritual being, and earthly life is influenced by astral energies and spiritual essences.
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Channeling: psychic mediums claim to act as channels for information from other selves, usually disembodied entities living on a higher plane. It links beings as diverse as ascended masters, angels, gods, group entities, nature spirits and the Higher Self. Christ: in New Age the historical figure of Jesus is but one incarnation of an idea or an energy or set of vibrations.
For Alice Bailey, a great day of supplication is needed, when all believers will create such a concentration of spiritual energy that there will be a further incarnation, which will reveal how people can save themselves For many people, Jesus is nothing more than a spiritual master who, like Buddha, Moses and Mohammed, amongst others, has been penetrated by the cosmic Christ.
The cosmic Christ is also known as christic energy at the basis of each being and the whole of being. Individuals need to be initiated gradually into awareness of this christic characteristic they are all said to have.
Crystals: are reckoned to vibrate at significant frequencies. Hence they are useful in self-transformation. They are used in various therapies and in meditation, visualisation, 'astral travel' or as lucky charms. From the outside looking in, they have no intrinsic power, but are simply beautiful. Depth Psychology: the school of psychology founded by C. Jung, a former disciple of Freud. Jung recognised that religion and spiritual matters were important for wholeness and health. The interpretation of dreams and the analysis of archetypes were key elements in his method.
Archetypes are forms which belong to the inherited structure of the human psyche; they appear in the recurrent motifs or images in dreams, fantasies, myths and fairy tales. It was originally used for divination, but has become known as the symbol for a system of personality typology consisting of nine standard character types. It became popular after the publication of Helen Palmer's book The Enneagram , 97 but she recognises her indebtedness to the Russian esoteric thinker and practitioner G. The origin of the enneagram remains shrouded in mystery, but some maintain that it comes from Sufi mysticism.
The initiation process takes people from a merely external, superficial, knowledge of reality to the inner truth and, in the process, awakens their consciousness at a deeper level. Salvation, in this context, coincides with a discovery of the Self. Evolution: in New Age it is much more than a question of living beings evolving towards superior life forms; the physical model is projected on to the spiritual realm, so that an immanent power within human beings would propel them towards superior spiritual life forms. Human beings are said not to have full control over this power, but their good or bad actions can accelerate or retard their progress.
The whole of creation, including humanity, is seen to be moving inexorably towards a fusion with the divine. Reincarnation clearly has an important place in this view of a progressive spiritual evolution which is said to begin before birth and continue after death. Human beings are said to become aware of their place in this holistic vision of global reality by expanding their consciousness well beyond its normal limits. The New Age offers a huge variety of techniques to help people reach a higher level of perceiving reality, a way of overcoming the separation between subjects and between subjects and objects in the knowing process, concluding in total fusion of what normal, inferior, awareness sees as separate or distinct realities.
Feng-shui: a form of geomancy, in this case an occult Chinese method of deciphering the hidden presence of positive and negative currents in buildings and other places, on the basis of a knowledge of earthly and atmospheric forces. Gnosis: in a generic sense, it is a form of knowledge that is not intellectual, but visionary or mystical, thought to be revealed and capable of joining the human being to the divine mystery.
In the first centuries of Christianity, the Fathers of the Church struggled against gnosticism, inasmuch as it was at odds with faith. Some see a reborth of gnostic ideas in much New Age thinking, and some authors connected with New Age actually quote early gnosticism. However, the greater emphasis in New Age on monism and even pantheism or panentheism encourages some to use the term neo-gnosticism to distinguish New Age gnosis from ancient gnosticism. Great White Brotherhood: Mrs. Blavatsky claimed to have contact with the mahatmas, or masters, exalted beings who together constitute the Great White Brotherhood.
She saw them as guiding the evolution of the human race and directing the work of the Theosophical Society. Hermeticism: philosophical and religious practices and speculations linked to the writings in the Corpus Hermeticum, and the Alexandrian texts attributed to the mythical Hermes Trismegistos.
When they first became known during the Renaissance, they were thought to reveal pre-Christian doctrines, but later studies showed they dated from the first century of the christian era. Welcome to your own journey within! The Everything Answer Book. Parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain and emotional shallowness. To handle the behavior that results, traditional books on parenting abound with clever techniques for control and quick fixes for dysfunction. In Dr. Shefali Tsabary's conscious approach to parenting, however, children serve as mirrors of their parents' forgotten self.
Those willing to look in the mirror have an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness. The pillars of the parental ego crumble as the parents awaken to the ability of their children to transport them into a state of presence. The Conscious Parent. Gary Gemmill, Ph. This book provides an explanation of the quantum physics principle, from a psychotherapeutic perspective, that all experiences we encounter in life are a reflection of our own consciousness, and especially of denied feelings that we carry within. He becomes stuck in his suit of armor, providing a metaphor to the plight of many modern relationships.
Organizational behaviorist Gemmill and psychologist Kraus ask what we conceal from our awareness-what underdeveloped talent or overexercised weakness? In a word, plenty, and they contend that we can detect these qualities in our experiences with other people in our lives-that our concealed parts are reflected right back at us in these associations as a mirror might, though we're frequently oblivious to this. Since these unseen behavioral traits influence our life choices, the authors write, ignorance is hardly bliss. Like skating backwards, learning to decipher ourselves in others-and in some cases, our reactions to things-is difficult to teach, but Gemmill and Kraus provide plainspoken examples and exercises to mark the path.
They recommend starting with projection, in which we unconsciously place onto others our positive and negative attributes. They take a simple but highly illustrative tack-to ask oneself the question, "What do I like best about this person? What do I like least?