The rise of a global spirituality
On September 17, 1995, I signed in at Mikhail Gorbachev’s well guarded State of the World Conference as an official [amateur] reporter. I wanted a first-hand glimpse of the global plans for the 21st Century — plans that would help build the foundation for today’s rapid change.
This was clearly a worldwide event. The former head of the Soviet Union had gathered “nearly 500 senior states-people, political leaders, spiritual leaders, scientists, intellectuals, business executives, artists and youth from 50 nations to begin a process of deliberation on the central question of what priorities, values and actions should guide humanity as it moves into the next phase of development.” As Gorbachev announced,
“From the outset I would like to suggest that we consider the establishment of a global Brain Trust [forget representative government] to focus on the present and future of our civilization … this idea of a Brain Trust can only succeed if endorsed and actively pursued by people who are widely respected as world leaders and global citizens.”
The elite speakers and partners in this venture included the elder president George Bush, Carnegie Chairman David Hamburg, Ted Turner, Maurice Strong (the New Age chief of the UN’s 1992 environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro), and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who founded of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller. Thirteen years later, Brzezinski became a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama. [Longer list of speakers here]
An elegant Baha’i singer in a flowing white gown set the spiritual tone with a prayer to her universal god: “O faithful One… O helping one… Source of all being…” The music was her own, she said — given by the unknowable, compassionate god of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and other spiritual avatars throughout time.
Her prayer-song fit the conference theme. As Mikhail Gorbachev observed during a dialogue on a new form of democracy,
“…there was no trace of the futile debate about what is better, capitalism or socialism…. We should seek a synthesis of ideas and values that have proven their viability…”
That synthesis abolishes all Biblical absolutes. Again and again, the Communist leader and his hand-picked “council of the wise” or “global brain trust” told the assembly of more than 1000 guests and participants that a new set of inclusive universal values must replace the Judeo-Christian world view. Familiar terms must be redefined to fit the new global perspective, while the old beliefs and political systems must be abandoned.
Like many other speakers, New Age author Dr. Deepak Chopra repeated the call for synthesis in his evening plenary speech. He challenged his friendly listeners with this question:
“Can you step out of the river of your own conditioning…? For only then is there an opportunity to create… a new world. We cannot do it the way we have done it in the past. It is time to change the whole paradigm through which we view physical reality.”
Apparently, these esteemed visionaries had already made that paradigm shift. The conference left little doubt that the chosen speakers and enthusiastic audience viewed reality from a decidedly evolutionary/universalist perspective — the kind that popular author Dan Brown promoted through his latest book on the philosophy behind Freemasonry and the mystical Noetic Sciences.
The spiritual leaders addressing the Forum taught either pantheism (“God” in all), universalism (all paths lead to the same ultimate reality), or monism (all is one) as the world’s new spiritual foundation. Among them were New Age educator Willis Harman, Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy, Sonia Gandhi, and revered representatives of Vietnamese, Mongolian, and Cambodian Buddhism. Their input during panel discussion and roundtable sessions left no doubt that Biblical Christianity was marked for decay.
Astronomer Carl Sagan showed us pictures of our tiny blue planet in the midst of a vast galaxy in an infinite universe — then scolded those who still viewed minuscule individuals as significant pieces of the cosmic puzzle.
Had they forgotten the horrors of collectivism — and the environmental devastation — spawned by the Communist ideology that Gorbachev never renounced?
Murder, mysticism and immorality
Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly, gave the closing plenary message:
“…there was very strong agreement that religious institutions have to take primary responsibility for the population explosion…. Cut the population by 90 percent and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”
The applause was deafening!
Kill millions of people? How? What happened to love, compassion, and concern for the poor? These leaders had called for poverty programs, gun control, and global financial redistribution as if they wanted to save lives. Were these schemes simply a stepping stone toward global control? Did no one care about the individual lives behind the faceless masses?
As in the former Soviet Union, an ordinary person’s life becomes worthless in this pragmatic context for global management! The illusive “common good” becomes little more than an Orwellian phrase that limits personal rights and freedom — but promotes unrestrained immorality. Notice the way Keen rationalizes his values in these quotes from “Hymns to an Unknown God”:
“Imagination allows us to sample in fantasy what is inexpedient or demonic to act out. Dionysus, the [Greek] god of excess and ecstasy [same as the Roman god Bacchus], rules supreme in dreamland…. An amoral imagination provides us with the experience in dreamtime of living ‘beyond good and evil’ that is necessary for the development of Compassion.”
That’s what mysticism is all about! Experience — the spiritual experience of an unknown god! A deceptive journey into the realm of demons where lies and licentiousness reign! Perhaps he doesn’t realize that such captivating immoral “ideals” have eroded freedom and destroyed lives since the beginning of time.
It’s not surprising that Biblical (“fundamental”) Christianity has aroused such hatred. God’s Truth — in contrast to amoral, feel-good myths — is full of warnings that we ignore at our peril. For example,
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
The spreading darkness
I didn’t want to read The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown’s latest book. But after prayer and some questions from our visitors, I read the first section and last 100 pages. The fact that “Freemasons hail Dan Brown’s latest novel” — and that the current CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences has warmly welcomed it  — made it more relevant. They apparently appreciate Brown’s promotions of their mystical beliefs.
The following dialogue from the book takes place during an exploration of the Masonic signs, symbols, and secrets hidden in the Washington Monument, an Egyptian obelisk. Robert Langdon is the friendly protagonist in the book. Peter Solomon is his older friend and mentor, a respected professor, a 33rd degree Mason and the Supreme Worshipful Master. By giving him a pleasant personality, Brown veiled some of the book’s darkness behind a screen of geniality.
Notice how God’s Word is twisted into a mystical icon of all religions.
“Robert, the Bible does not talk openly for the same reason the Ancient Mystery Schools were kept hidden…. for the same reason the neophytes had to be initiated before learning the secret teachings of the ages…. The Ancient Mysteries and the Bible are the same thing.’…
“Peter, the Bible and the Ancient Mysteries are total opposites. The mysteries are all about the god within you. . . man as god. The Bible is all about the God above you…’
“Yes! Exactly! … The moment mankind separated himself from God, the true meaning of the Word was lost. The voices of the ancient masters have now been drowned out, lost in the chaotic din of self-proclaimed practitioners [probably pointing to Christians] shouting that they alone understand the Word….’
“We’ve lost the Word, and yet its true meaning is still within reach…. It exists in all the enduring texts, from the Bible to the Bhagavad-Gita to the Koran and beyond. All of these texts are revered upon the altars of Freemasonry because Masons understand what the world seems to have forgotten… that each of these texts, in its own way, is quietly whispering the exact same message.’ Peter’s voice welled with emotion. ‘Know ye not that ye are gods?’…
“Peter lowered his voice to a whisper. ‘The Buddha said, ‘You are God yourself.’ Jesus… even promised us, ‘The works I do, you can do . . . and greater.’ [See truth here: His strength in my weakness] Even the first antipope—Hippolytus of Rome—quoted the same message, first uttered by the gnostic teacher Monoimus: ‘Abandon the search for God. . . instead, take yourself as the starting place.’…
“’A wise man once told me,’ Peter said, his voice faint now, ‘the only difference between you and God is that you have forgotten you are divine.’”
This deception is the fulfillment of the serpent’s promise in Genesis 3: “You will be like God.” That has been the driving force within occult orders through the ages. Now it’s coming out into the open.
One of the first public celebrities to proclaim this arrogant lie was New Age movie star Shirley MacLaine. “I am God,” she shouted to the world back in the 1980s.
I met her at the end of Gorbachev’s conference. She happened to walk by, and I asked her what she thought of the conference.
“It was good. It helped raise consciousness,” she answered.
“But wouldn’t it have raised more consciousness if one of the meals had just been rice instead of gourmet meats and elegant desserts?” I asked. After all, some speakers had emphasized global equality and concern for the poor.
She frowned. “People paid a lot of money to come here,” she answered. “They deserved good food.”
As George Orwell pointed out, some people in socialist collectives are meant to be “more equal than others!” In a totalitarian system, all the thanks must go to the state and/or its elite rulers — “equal” or not!
All the more, we will thank our God!
Both socialism and idolatry have a way of building a sense of entitlement: “I deserve it.” But with God, it’s different! We don’t deserve any of His wonderful gifts! Yet His undeserved grace is available for all who will trust and follow Him!
He has given us a mission to this fast changing world of idols and illusions: to share His love! We may feel inadequate, but He will enable us. For when we are weak, He gives us strength! When all looks dark, He is our Light! When the world brings despair, He remains our unfailing Hope!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
God is! Nothing is impossible with Him! He is our Shepherd, our Savior, our Wisdom, and our Way! “What a Friend we have in Jesus!” [Hymn words & melody]