Tapping into what?
Sounding a Warning...
by Kent Philpott
The title is intriguing: “Discover your inner superhero at Marin conference.” The June 8, 2010 Marin Independent Journal article featured the presentation of speaker Jeff Kripal, a professor of religion at Rice University, at an annual conference to be held at a local Episcopal church. The theme of the conference, “The Intention of the Universe: Our Evolutionary Destiny,” echoes well the audience’s worldview.
Jeff Kripal has every good intention—encouraging people to step outside their inhibitions and restraints and tap into power within themselves. It sounds good, even appealing and exciting. Power—humans are anxious to have more power and control.
What follows now is one person’s opinion, and I am no skeptic—there is indeed a latent supernatural power.
There is a powerful realm beyond the material; it is the supernatural. But not all supernatural spiritual power is godly.Those who are acquainted with various spiritualities know there is such power, and acquiring it is the moving force behind ancient and modern occult practices. Humans have in all ages longed for and sought after this power, sought to be superheroes, both of the good and of the evil. The extreme expressions of this seeking and obtaining power is the dynamic behind so much of what is wrong with our world—the dictators, the tyrants in whatever guise who demand ultimate obedience — historically the destroyers of life and culture.
There is, in fact, a counterfeit spiritual power that is of a demonic nature, and the superhero of demonic power is Satan.
Biblical prohibitions of occult practices
The dark side, also known as the demonic realm, has long worked through particular mechanisms. The most complete list of these is found in the Torah, in one of the books of Moses—Deuteronomy 18:8-14. When the people of Israel came into the land promised to them by God it was necessary to warn them not to engage in the “abominable practices” of the people who were living there. Without this warning, the Israelites would likely have been pulled into the pagan rites and beliefs of their neighbors. Therefore, God said they were not to copy anyone “who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.”
In the ancient Greek city of Philippi once lived a slave girl who was able to divine the future. She earned for her masters large sums of money with this supernatural power. One day a follower of Jesus named Paul, who had considerable rabbinic instruction behind him, had an encounter with this fortune teller. Paul said to her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Paul was speaking to the evil spirit that had possessed the girl and had empowered her to be able to tell fortunes. Once the demonic spirit was gone she was no longer able to perform her occult art. To some the psychic ability to foretell the future might have seemed like a wonderful supernatural gift, but it was not that at all—rather it was satanic. (The whole story is in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 16 verses 16-24.)
Tapping into latent power in ourselves so that we might get in touch with what might be futuristic is of a psychic nature and thus fits into what we find in the passages from Deuteronomy and Acts cited above.
Encouraging the psychic or paranormal?
The context for Mr. Kripal’s ideas is to ignite and encourage the creative juices that he suggests are evidenced in the futuristic writings of people like Jules Verne. He is interested in moving people toward that which is psychic or paranormal. Yes, we all have instances and experiences that seem beyond the normal, those déjà vu events common to humans.
The purpose of this essay is to sound a call for critical thinking. There may be more here than meets the eye. Unhappily, an obsessive hunger for supernatural power will not be of benefit in the long run. It may instead prove to be overwhelming, compulsive, disappointing, besides being spiritually and emotionally dangerous.Last Update: 2013-08-12 16:41