Are You God?

Debunking “Christ Consciousness”

One of the bible verses frequently utilised as proof of the concept of “Christ Consciousness” is found in John 10:34 (NKJV):

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?

When taken out of context and presented as a solitary statement it very much sounds like an affirmation from Jesus where we can behave like egotistical narcissists and insert ourselves into the narrative, telling our wildly deluded minds that we are gods! This is what “Christ consciousness” teachers are trying to tell everyone.

However, when we read the whole as part of a longer conversation, we begin to see that it is not an affirmation at all. It’s an intellectual argument against being murdered as well as a subtle way of throwing shade and condemnation.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?

“If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

In this conversation between Jesus and the Jewish leaders, Jesus quotes Psalm 82, which is very much in-keeping with theological debate. The Jews would have known the reference and understood both the justification for Jesus’ innocence as well as the condemnation from a man who was claiming to be their authority in the form of the incarnated Lord God, Son of the Father, which is probably why they still tried to kill Him…

Psalm 82

God stands in the congregation of the mighty;

He judges among the gods.

How long will you judge unjustly,

And show partiality to the wicked?

Defend the poor and fatherless;

Do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy;

Free them from the hand of the wicked.

They do not know, nor do they understand;

They walk about in darkness;

All the foundations of the earth are unstable.

I said; “You are gods,

And all of you are children of the Most High.

But you shall die like men,

And fall like one of the princes.”

Arise, O God, judge the earth;

For You shall inherit all nations.

The original Hebrew word for “gods” was Elohim which can be used interchangeably to mean either “god” or “judge” so it can reference a heavenly figure or an earthly one, but essentially it represents a divine authority who is able to pass judgement over another person’s life. To be a judge was a sacred duty bestowed by God, not just a job description, and it had to be performed in strict line with the Word of God or else there would be eternal consequences similar to how God dealt with the fallen angels, who are sometimes described as princes in the Old Testament.

Taking a passage of the bible out of context is like walking up to a group of people who are mid-conversation and loudly interjecting; “I know, right? You just can’t trust rabbits.”

They’re likely to stare at you as though you have three heads and all three of them are stupid.

This assessment would be correct, and yet this is exactly how New Age teachers like Deepak Chopra and Progressive Christian teachers like Richard Rohr use the bible. This is such a paper-thin use of the text that it’s laughable to anyone who really knows the doctrine, but that’s kind of the point: they need you to just take their word for it and remain ignorant, rather than investigate the source material for yourself.

If you’re in doubt about the matter of whether we have our own divinity after this analysis of the text, it is worth keeping in mind that the Bible addresses the subject in multiple areas…

1 Corinthians 1:25 (NKJV) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 15:50 (NKJV) Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit in-corruption.

Galatians 2:6 (NKJV) But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favouritism to no man – for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.

Galatians 4:8-9 (NKJV) But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Isaiah 31:3 (NKJV) Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; And their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; They all will perish together.

So in short, human beings are finite flesh-and-blood and we cannot hope to compare ourselves to the epic and perfect standards of the true God. We’re puny, foolish creatures who’s deeds are corrupted and lame.

If a person’s measuring stick for wisdom, fallibility, great deeds and longevity is only human-sized, of course it’ll be woefully inadequate. As God points out to Job in chapter 38:31-33

Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,

Or loose the belt of Orion?

Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season?

Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?

Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?

Can you set their dominion over the earth?

Puts things in perspective a bit.

On a final note; it’s not that spiritual advisers who write about consciousness aren’t talking about some real phenomena in the process, but their theology is fundamentally flawed and the most dangerous thing is to mix a lie into the truth.

Take Richard Rohr for example: he’s an ordained Franciscan spreading Gnosticism when he’s been taught better. The title of one of his books is called “Falling Upwards” and for anyone who knows about the occult, it’s easy to recognise OBE or astral travel being referenced.

I can only hope that people figure out the parlour tricks before it’s too late.

How Did You Lose Your Faith?

The hidden Ponzi scheme of Progressive Christianity.

What is progressive Christianity?

Imagine that Christianity is like either a church or a house. As a community, people seek spiritual shelter within the church, and in their personal lives they seek it within their own home, so we will use a church as an example, but it can also flow over into the home.

A church is a structure which is built on a foundation, and in the traditional church it was built on the foundation of the unshakable bedrock of the Word of God as revealed in the bible. The Apostles and Saints then provided the framework and structure of the building and the congregation of devout Christians fill the church with its furnishings and the Holy Spirit. We know from Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) Jesus says “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

What the progressive church seeks to do is to lift the church up off its foundations, cart it away to a new site which is a pile of shifting sand, plonk it down and then evict the Holy Spirit and the furnishings of worshiping God and replace them with idols and demons. Those demons them mimic the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit and successfully deceive the congregation through highly emotive experiential “truths” and false revelations. The uncanny resemblance of kundalini manifestations in some hyper-charismatic churches is not a coincidence.

The reasoning behind the choice to shift the foundation of the church is so that Christianity can fit in with a world lost in darkness. That’s exactly what the bible advises AGAINST doing. Romans 12:2 (NKJV) says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In other words, you need to know the true word of God from the bible and engage your mental faculties in order to seek an understanding of it, and not be deceived by false hope or empty promises.

The bible already has instruction for how to set a foundation for the church in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (NKJV) “According to the grace of God, which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one of you take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” [my own emphasis]

Because the foundation of the church is no longer the sturdy bedrock of the Word of God, when it comes to difficult periods of life such as losing a job, contracting a terrible disease, being divorced from your spouse, the death of a loved one etc. there is no foundation to turn to and lean on in order to get through it.

Why?

Because the prosperity gospel of progressive Christianity has removed all of the parts of the bible which deal with times of trial and replaced it with a manifestation ideology. They tell people that God only provides blessings, not curses, and therefore if trouble visits your house, it was entirely your own fault and God has abandoned you.

This is a grotesque lie.

It’s designed to undermine a person’s relationship with God, which is why my opinion is that progressive Christianity is a deliberate attempt to demolish faith. It’s also the oldest lie in the book (literally) and the basis of the story of Job. God doesn’t allow Job to endure trials because He’s trying to prove His own glory, He allows the trials to testify that Job is worthy of God’s love and not a fickle believer who is only righteous when things are going well, which is what Satan accuses Job of.

When you are conformed to the values of the materialistic world and think that God is merely an optional extra or some kind of genie who grants wishes, you build on shifting sand which eventually erodes beneath you and the house collapses. It’s a little bit like the progressive churches are dodgy housing developers who sell houses where they have extensively cut corners and then as soon as you notice cracks appearing, they file for bankruptcy so you can’t get compensation.

Somewhere up the chain of their hierarchy they’re aware of the Ponzi scheme. At the very least the entities planting the ideas are. Everyone else is lost in the deception, trying to make it work for their life and feeling a deep sense of shame and personal failure when it doesn’t.

In true Christianity, when the storms come and damage your house, the bedrock remains and you can rebuild. God never promises that troubles won’t arise, but He promises that you will be better able to weather them if you put trust in Him.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV) Jesus says “Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

At the end of the day, you might be a little weather-beaten, but you won’t be spiritually homeless.

Isiah 25:4 (NKJV) says “For you have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

So how do we seek true love from God? How do we know when it’s real?

In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis dissects different forms of love and in particular compares Gift-Love with Need-Love. He describes Gift-Love as a sense of doing someone else a favour by loving them, rather than a heartfelt need for proximity; “It would be a bold and silly creature that came before its Creator with the boast ‘I’m no beggar. I love you disinterestedly.’” This is the form of almost cynical love which Satan espouses as the only possible variety because as soon as someone fails to be perfect they immediately become un-lovable and the gift-giver can revoke their gift and walk away. Satan would advise humanity to never approach love from a place of need or vulnerability because it is disgusting and pathetic to him, and shames us for being “selfish” in our needs.

But it isn’t pathetic to God. Instead, he is the anxious Father waiting on the road for his son to return home so he might provide the comfort and support his child badly needs, as in the parable of the prodigal son. God needs to be needed in our lives. As Lewis put it; “…no one calls a child selfish because it turns for comfort to its mother; nor an adult who turns to his fellow ‘for company’… Since we do in reality need one another…”

C.S. Lewis explains how difficult times can become an opportunity to fully know the love of God when we previously could have taken it or left it from a height of complacency: “A very strange contrary follows. Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?” Because we are so unlike the divinity of God, we cannot offer Him anything He needs other than our confession that we truly need Him in our lives. Often this sort of approach to offering love is very humbling, which is why we don’t seek it unless we have to.

It would be easier for us to offer love from a place of strength and independence so that we can reject before we are rejected and hurt before we become hurt. It’s the reason why it is easier to give charity than to receive it.

Love is a risk which demands vulnerability, and we cannot receive love if we don’t acknowledge that we need it. Romans 5:5 (NKJV) says “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” This describes the quenching of our thirst for love as Jesus said to the woman at the well when He promised living water (John 4:14).

You have to ask for it first but you’ll never ask if you never need and the prosperity gospel tells you to seek all of the earthly satisfactions so that you may never be in need again. Progressive Christianity also rejects the notion that we fall short of God’s plan as mere humans and that we need His Holy Spirit to edify us and make us whole. Instead, they push a notion they call “Christ-consciousness” which claims an equal footing to God and removes the necessity of God.

True love is inter-dependent not independent. The Gottman Institute of relationship research has been studying couples for decades and they emphatically state that relationships don’t last unless people know this basic truth and take care of the relationship from the knowledge that the other person’s love really does matter. Of course, this can’t be one-sided, which is why we can’t just demand that God loves us regardless of how we treat Him while we ignore His basic requests for the health of the relationship.

When we fail to put love into perspective as both a necessity and a responsibility, then we effectively push it away and treat it with cynicism. When we prepare for disappointment, we become disappointing.

And that’s progressive Christianity in a nutshell: disappointing.

For further reading and in-depth analysis of the doctrine of progressive Christianity I recommend two books:

Another Gospel by Alisa Childers

Doctrine of Demons by Carolyn Hamlett & Loren Grace

I also made a video on how Hitler invented “positive Christianity” as a way to pervert the bible and justify genocide:

Why I Left Witchcraft for Jesus

Earlier this year my YouTube channel took off. I amassed 43,000 subscribers. It seemed like all of my dreams were coming true after two years of hard work and bitter struggles.

To the audience watching, it looked like an aspirational practice which afforded me powerful gifts like divination. I was manifesting my best life. I was woke. I was tapped into the truth and the correct path of contributing to society…

Except I wasn’t.

Behind the façade of social media was someone who’s life had crumbled around her and who was desperately scrambling to understand the continuously elusive cloud of truth. As soon as I uncovered one secret, I had a dozen more questions.

Perpetual questions with no solid answers.

My mental health began to decline as my marriage collapsed, I lost my home, gave up my career to chase the clouds, lost all of my belongings except my clothes, my car and my pets, then started to succumb to depression and anxiety.

For some reason, this practice which had supposedly been the key to health, wealth and happiness was destroying everything I had achieved in my normal life. I was isolated, broke, living in a house which had no interior wall linings, had begun yet another abusing relationship, and surviving on welfare while I struggled to keep up with my university studies which were the only option out of poverty.

Even in the midst of evidence that doing tarot readings for clients was detrimental to me, for some reason I persisted in the misguided belief that I was serving God…

Yes, you heard that correctly.

How does someone become so deceived that they genuinely think they’re serving God through witchcraft and divination?

A large portion is very much cultural these days. It’s frightening to say this now, but I had so much positive reinforcement from all over the place that I seriously don’t think that most people know what the bible actually says, including priests and pastors. At one point, I actually got an email from a female pastor saying that she believed I was doing something good.

In my previous career as a librarian I would be surrounded by groups using the meeting rooms for yoga, meditation and energy healing. The group of mediums I joined held their weekly psychic sessions in a church hall. As a kid I went to church with reiki teachers.

I had been raised “Christian” in a mixture of episcopal and charismatic churches (my mother moved frequently) and given a very superficial version of the bible aimed at ignoring the real dangers of straying from God and instead permitting all sorts of un-biblical ideas to be given equal weight through cherry-picking verses out of context and misapplying them. My mother is still fairly well deceived by the progressive church’s prosperity and tolerance gospel, but she watches my videos now and is getting a bible studying in the process.

Even the other witchcraft channels I watched talked about angels, Christ-consciousness and God as though this was completely complimentary.

I had no idea. None of the people I knew had any idea. We were all completely deceived.

The lie is so slick, well-packaged, and sincerely promoted by devotees like myself, that a lot of people don’t even have a fighting chance. The cultural shift is so anti-Christian that it is swiftly becoming illegal to go to Church or quote the bible and the rhetoric says that to be Christian is to hate people and to be bigoted.

I doubt anyone wants to be either of those things.

However, that’s a manipulation which I had seen before when dealing with narcissists and I started to push back against the culture, even while still being a witch. Narcissism will tell a victim that to deny the abuser their “right” to exploit the victim, well… that makes the victim a big fat meanie who is infringing on the narcissists’ pound of flesh. How dare they!

The process of waking up from the deception started with an increasing awareness of the narcissistic sickness within the culture. From there my research led me to Marxism and Nihilism underpinning a great deal of education and secular philosophy.

Even without becoming Christian the witches were turning on me.

My politics was not “correct” according to the Facebook tribunals which would pop up behind my back, even though I had never advocated for removing people’s basic human rights or treating anyone without kindness. I was deemed “too conservative” despite having lobbied for unions and voting Green my whole life.

Merely stressing the importance of critical thinking and research was sacrilege in witchcraft.

I was officially politically homeless.

I was also becoming more isolated and stressed, having moved interstate and then forced into lockdown. Accessing mental health services was a slow process which took months and in the meantime I needed to figure out how to help myself.

I quit giving tarot readings.

They sucked a lot of energy out of me, often making me dizzy to the point I would be afraid of dissociating, which is a scary thought. My hands shook badly and I would suffer occasional panic attacks when put under merely mild levels of stress.

I needed a community and I needed to meet new people and get out of the house from time-to-time. In the small communities of Tasmania, most people can be found at church, so I decided it might be a good idea to tap into a community that way.

Boy, was I in for a bad time.

Apparently, when you dabble in mediumship, divination, manifestation, shamanic journeying and witchcraft… you make contact with the demonic realm.

They do not take kindly to people making contact with Jesus.

The first sign I was under spiritual attack was when I tried to go to church the first time. After such a long night of disturbed sleep, it was not possible to drag myself out of the house on Sunday morning.

Then I tried to buy a bible. For an entire day I drove to three different towns trying to get to a book store which might stock one. All of the potential shops were closed precisely within half an hour of me arriving at that destination. The next week when I made the trip again I got close to the destination and started feeling light-headed. I was only just able to park my car and then sat on a bench for a while to steady my breathing and gather my wits before I could walk to the shop and make my purchase.

But I did it; I finally had a bible.

For the first time I could remember I was properly reading the word of God and it actually made sense to me. So many things clicked into place. Stories which had seemed absurd, or superfluous, or purely mythical, or downright disturbing… they suddenly took on all-new meaning which I had not previously understood because I hadn’t learned about how sophisticated and thoroughly evil the devil really is.

That weekend I scoured the area to find a church service which wasn’t on a Sunday morning. Luckily, there was one that very Saturday evening and I loitered outside for the doors to open so I wouldn’t become waylaid again. My strategy worked out and I attended church for the first time in 15 years.

After that was when the nightmares started.

When demons take their gloves off, you really know about it. I was visited in my dreams by entities whose eyes would turn black as they lunged to sink their teeth in. however, far from being intimidated or deterred, it solidified my resolve to get them out of my life forever through prayer and obedience. If Jesus had already declared victory over the powers of darkness, there was no way I was going to be bullied by a snivelling loser.

That being said, the devil knows how to work through other people, not just messing with your dreams, and he turned friends against me when I came out on the YouTube channel. The attacks may have been deeply personal and highly derogatory, but once more it fortified my resolve to burn that bridge forever and I ended up deleting both the channel and the website.

So here I am, starting over.

In true smiting form, Jesus of Nazareth has sent the Holy Spirit to purge the unclean spirits from my life and break the chains of my bondage. Anxiety, confusion, insecurities, depression, fear… I’m finally free.

I can start living my life in truth and light.

Amen.

Problems with Meditation

Meditation and mindfulness are heavily promoted by mental health professionals these days, with an endless stream of studies produced to support it. However, unlike a comprehensive drug trial, there has been a scandalous lack of research into the risks involved in meditation and equally less investment in defining the parameters of techniques and teaching, or advising at-risk patients on the side-effects.

The terms can also be pretty woolly as to what is meant by “meditation” or “mindfulness” and which techniques are actually beneficial versus the problematic varieties.

Meditation isn’t just a practice for the mind, it has deeply spiritual roots which are also not acknowledged by the Psychology profession. Treating a spiritual practice as though it is purely mechanistic both undermines the religious source it comes from as well as ignores the spiritual activity which is likely to occur. It’s a purely atheistic mindset and it has real-world repercussions.

People can be highly offended by any cautionary advice when dealing with spiritual activity, to the extent that they’ll become enraged at my saying that meditation is risky. It’s interesting that people are so willing to play with their spiritual wellbeing in reckless ways, and only want spiritual teachers who will affirm the notion of experiential validity, because in reality we would never behave that way in any other facet of life. If we went to a financial adviser and they told us not to worry about our finances, but to just spend in ways that make us feel good, we could be pretty confident that they’re not a good financial adviser, right? So why do we do that spiritually? That makes zero sense.

And yet, that is the meditation advice in a nutshell: don’t worry about what the source of spiritual connection is, just accept it into your soul and psyche without question… if something looks shiny or makes lots of pretty promises, it must be good!

That’s absurd.

A lot of psychologists recommend meditation but the type of meditation being pushed is from eastern religious practices, and even they acknowledge in their historical texts that it has huge dangers associated. In an article published by the Atlantic in 2014 they interviewed a psychology doctor running research into the negative effects of meditation and also running a recovery centre for people who have suffered psychotic breaks during meditation practices. The article contains some revealing insights about the eastern traditions of meditation being practiced by uninitiated people in the west today.

The types of meditation being recommended are literally the sort designed to bring about an existential crisis: anicca (impermanence); dukkha (dissatisfaction); and anatta (no-self). It’s no wonder that some of the monks attempting to plunge into this nihilistic void go insane and kill themselves.

According to another article by Medical News Today, they quote a research paper published by Plos One which found that 25% of regular meditation practitioners have experienced at least one psychological disturbance directly related to the practice.

A quarter.

A quarter of people who meditate.

One in four.

Those are insane numbers. And that’s actually a conservative estimate, because a study conducted in 1992 cited in a Guardian article recorded a number as high as 63% reporting adverse effects. This article from the Guardian goes on to suggest that a lot of the adverse effects are being deliberately ignored or even suppressed by shaming anyone who reports them for two very distinct reasons, both of which revolve entirely around greed and not around wellbeing.

For one thing, it’s a big industry now worth billions of dollars, and secondly it absolves employers of the responsibility to take care of the health of their workers by placing the onus on the worker to manage their stress instead of the employer reducing the stress.

The known risk factors discovered by the scant studies we have are:

  • Being Male
  • NOT having a religious belief
  • Going to a meditation retreat

The retreats are the most risky, reporting hospitalisation of their attendees, some of whom do not recover their sanity.

Some of the stories from people who have suffered psychosis are absolutely horrific. Both the Guardian and Atlantic articles detail case studies of real-life victims which involve hallucinations, panic attacks, passing out, suicidal thoughts, hospitalisation, relationship breakdowns, inability to work, and strange sexual urges.

As usual, whenever anyone has these negative experiences, instead of reassessing the practice, whoever is running the program blames the victim and abandons them to a living hell.

But, you know… love and light.

One of the arguments in favour of eastern meditation is that it changes brainwave frequencies from the daytime alert state of beta waves into the little understood frequency of alpha waves associated with falling asleep, listening to music and prayer. However, this is an argument based purely on correlational evidence, not causational, and also implies that the pure mechanistic presence of something means that it must be GOOD.

If that sort of logic was applied to other areas of life, then people could hypothesise that there’s zero difference between consenting sex and rape, but somehow we differentiate between the two… why? Because we know that one causes harm and the other does not.

Just because a mechanism is present or works in a similar way, such as the presence of alpha waves for both prayer and eastern meditation, this is not proof that they have equal outcomes.

As I mentioned before, the alpha state is a brainwave frequency seen most commonly in the hypnogogic and hypnopompic states of going to sleep and waking up. It’s an intermediary brain state between sleep and alert consciousness, so we still have some level of awareness, but also have a natural lowering of our defences. This transition state is when people experience sleep paralysis.

To a lot of scientists this is simply a glitch in our mechanisms where the body is off-line as it would be during sleep, but our conscious awareness has kicked in when normally we would simply be dreaming, except that REM, the dreaming brain state, is more akin to wakeful beta waves than it is to alpha waves, which means that it’s potentially not the same as dreaming.

The hypnagogic state and alpha waves are also associated with phenomena such as hallucinations and lucid dreams. A lot of New Age and pagan spiritual activity encourages lucid dreaming and astral travel, but somehow it’s also understood that sleep paralysis is plagued with negative entities, known in Christianity as demons, and the recounts are remarkably consistent over time and between cultures.

Experiences such as leaving your body and seeing it from above, hearing a familiar voice shout your name, sounds of electronic zapping or high-pitched tones, feeling another presence in the room, seeing shadow figures, being choked and crushed by an entity, being sexually molested, visions of demons hovering above your face… all of the experiences are fearful, unpleasant and against the person’s will as evidenced by the fact they can’t move or speak to fend off the attacker.

Hypnosis is another method of hacking the brain through altering the brainwaves. It is understood by practitioners that the alpha state allows access to the more subconscious theta state. Through this access point people can become subject to memory implants among other alterations to their psyche, such as reducing addictive desires. As a tool, it is a neutral mechanism, but it can be used for both beneficial outcomes and harmful ones.

So why are mental health professionals persistently oblivious to the pit-falls of meditation if it involves the same outcomes as sleep paralysis?

For one thing, they have heavily biased research informing their advice, which is deviating clients away from genuinely helpful methods such as CBT, but also the research is being conflated with research on prayer because they involve the same brain mechanisms outlined above.

As I said before, mechanics does not constitute equal outcomes, but people are so determined to avoid God at all costs that they’ll cling to a thoroughly defunct practice until it literally collapses underneath them.

So how is prayer different?

Prayer

There’s a big difference between meditating on existential dread, or meditating on physical bodily functions, and actually praying or contemplating a higher power which fulfills our need for parental-esque guidance and comfort. NBC News published an article on Better Health which examined the power of prayer to fight addiction and assist with mastering tumultuous emotions.

The article also looked at the neurochemical science behind prayer which has been proven to supply the brain with the social-bonding hormone oxytocin. You literally form a personal bond with God similar to a secure family relationship. It might not make your problem disappear, but it helps you feel less alone while facing them. It also found that Alcoholics Anonymous participants could visibly overcome an addictive response through prayer evidenced on fMRI imaging.

Unfortunately, as usual, the article associated the prayer research with meditation, even though there was no connection evidenced in the studies.

Pope Benedict (when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote about Christian meditation and prayer using the teachings of St Augustine as a reference for navigating the digital age:

“The spiritual restlessness arising from a life subjected to the driving pace of a technologically advanced society … brings a certain number of Christians to seek in these methods of prayer a path to interior peace and psychic balance.”

“Without doubt, a Christian needs certain periods of retreat into solitude to be recollected and, in God’s presence, rediscover his path.”

“On this topic St. Augustine is an excellent teacher: if you want to find God, he says, abandon the exterior world and re-enter into yourself. However, he continues, do not remain in yourself, but go beyond yourself because you are not God: He is deeper and greater than you…. To remain in oneself: this is the real danger.”

Philippians 4:6-8 (NKJV) says;

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

This is how the bible advises to meditate; specifically on the word of God, and on the good things that he has given to you. NOT on your own breathing and the existential heat-death of the universe. The aim of Christian meditation isn’t to run away or deny our problems, but to ask God for assistance and spend time reflecting on how we might solve our problems with the help of the Holy Spirit. God then grants us peace of mind.

Perhaps this is why the studies on negative effects from meditation found that religious faith was an inoculation against a psychotic break? Rather than becoming overwhelmed, they can turn to God instead to find what they need.