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Maitreya | Witchcraft | Barbara Marx Hubbard
Question: What is your opinion of him. I have some of my own views already just based on reading about him on the web page http://www.shareintl.org. But I am really curious what you know and what you think.
Answer: See Dalai Lama Celebrating the Medicine Buddha and Maitreya Has Come and Will Save the World
Back in the eighties, Benjamin Creme, a occultist with quite a following among theosophists (See Star Wars and Brave New Schools, Chapter 2- The International Agenda) was announcing through the mainstream media that Maitreya was already living somewhere in the world and would soon make his public appearance. Today, his appearance and reign is far behind the promised schedule. But, since these expected events are based occult prophecies and deceptions from demonic "masters", it's not surprising that neither Creme nor Maitreya kept their promise. It was interesting to see Creme's website. Thank you.I am so glad our King reigns -- and that He opened our eyes to know Him and discern these horrible lies. We are so blessed in Him!
Question: I have an old friend who claims to be Christian. I am not a judge, but she doesn't see the spiritual danger behind New Age or Wicca. She invited me to meet her at a place where she would do an incantation. I had no idea what that word meant, and I didn't think about it until I got there. The place was all black and seemed satanic, but I happened to know the owner. She knew I was a Christian and said, "Dont worry, Shawn, we all believe in the same God." I said "I know what you believe and it isn't the same." Can you please give us some information on this?
Answer: First, may I suggest your read Chapter 4 in A Twist of Faith? It will help explain the nature of certain earth-centered religions and forms of contemporary Wicca. Then read about the "Sophia Circle" in Chapter 2.
The primary difference between Christianity and witchcraft and other earth-centered religions has to do with our views of God. Christians see Him as a personal Father, Friend, Savior and Shepherd. The Bible tells us that He created the world but is not an inherent part of His creation any more than a sculptor is part of a vessel he makes. Yet, as God chooses to touch and transform certain parts of His creation, He makes those parts sacred by His presence. In other words, God transcends our world, yet He is intimately present in and with those who know, trust and follow Him.
Earth-centered religions look to an entirely different deity. Pocahontas' haunting song, "Colors of the Wind" reflects faith in pantheism (a universal life-force infusing and connecting everything) and monism (all is one). Since the Bible warns Christians to avoid "other gods" as well as all forms of compromise, Christians cannot embrace or conform to paganism. But we can and should demonstrate God's love wherever we go.
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Question: Do you know much about Barbara Marx Hubbard? I have read she is a former Army Task Force Delta think tank member. On here homepage she has a link to a Marianne Williamson who is a Unity church pastor. An acquaintance of mine went to a service at Marianne's church and noticed a "mystery school" type of setting. My point in writing is trying to determine if there is some type of mind control influence flowing from the Army to the churches. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
Answer: I wrote about Barbara Marx Hubbard in A Twist of Faith. Here are two quotes, followed by excerpts from three chapters:
"I did not... rise again on the third day to show you what I could do, but what you can do. Yours is the power. Yours is the glory!" ( Barbara Marx Hubbard's message from the spirit she calls Christ, Hubbard, Revelation, page 91.)
You live in an abundant universe, in which you can co-create resources by the power of thought.... Your thought will utterly control the vibrations of the light waves which are your body." (Barbara Marx Hubbard, Revelation, page 112-112)
From A Twist of Faith, Chapter 5:
"Eros, Ecstasy and Creation." The title of Grace Cathedral's 1995 conference on "Christian spirituality" promised lots of fleshly delights but little biblical wisdom. Waiting in line, once again, outside San Francisco's massive Episcopal cathedral, I read the conference program:
"The Renaissance of Christian Spirituality restores the original splendor of Christ's vision: the Divine Eros linking the soul with God.... Restoring this original passion is crucial for the embodiment of sacred wisdom and the essential transformation of consciousness needed to preserve the planet."
The church doors opened and the crowd began to press forward. At the entrance, a woman handed me a program.
"How many do you expect?" I asked her.
"About eight hundred," she answered.
Someone announced that books were for sale in the back of the church. I went to look, and noticed a large book by futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard titled Revelation. I picked it up, opened it to a page near the center and read a paragraph that began, "Godly children always know they are about God's business."
The words sounded Christian, but the context was occult. The next sentence left no doubt about the source: "You will be capable of self-healing, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience.... Empathetic love will be a constant state. A community of natural Christs attuning to the Design of God... suprasexually engaged in conscious co-creation, ever ecstatic, ever new, ever mindful of God."[i]
What a confusing blend of Christian words and occult concepts. A quick survey showed that Barbara Marx Hubbard, or her "inner voice", had reinterpreted the entire book of Revelation piece by piece -- everything except chapter 17 which shows both the return and the destruction of the pagan Babylonian prostitute. The "voice" seemed to be a spirit that called itself Christ. I prayed for the protection only the true Christ can give, then read on.
"You will be androgynous. You will learn to co-create... You will choose to create another being only on very special occasions when the whole community of natural Christs sees the requirement.... You produce as God does. You heal as God does..."[ii]
Was she saying that new babies would only be born when the whole community agreed? That seemed a strange contradiction to the feminist demand that each woman own her own body and control her own productivity. It even clashed with her own claim that anyone could be a "natural Christ," empowered to create, produce, and heal "as God does." Yet, it fit the collective political ideals of radical feminists. Thus, on the one hand, no one would need to ask God for anything, since people would have the power of god. On the other hand, each individual god would have to bow to the collective god -- the "community of natural Christs!”
"That's the best book I've ever read," said the woman next to me.
I turned to her and smiled. "What makes it so good?"
She thought for a moment. "It's about transformation. It's about hope for the future. Our collective minds evolving together toward a new unity."
When I handed it to the saleswoman, another woman spoke up. "You're going to love that book."
A deep haunting sound began to fill the cavernous cathedral, driving us to our seats. It sounded like some kind of horn. On the stage built over the church altar, someone was blowing into one end of a long uneven tube. The other end rested on a pedestal. The strange instrument, I read in the program, was a Didgeridoo, a Eucalyptus tree hollowed by termites and traditionally played by Australian aborigines. Its owner, Stephen Kent, swayed and curved like a cobra dancing to the tune of a Hindu piper. As the eerie, monotonous sound droned on, I instinctively wanted to shut it out, to cover my ears--anything to escape the tremulous sounds.
Nature as guide. When the haunting sounds finally melted into the opening chords of a grand organ, the Dean of the Cathedral, Alan Jones, walked to the podium. "There are many voices of Christians in this culture," he began, "and it's time the voices represented here are heard...." He introduced Lauren Artress and Robert McDermott as "two great friends and lovers of Christ." Reverend Artress, director of Quest, Grace Cathedral Center for Spiritual Wholeness, spoke first.
"There is indeed a renaissance of Christian spirituality," she began. "It's taking on momentum. This is coming in through practices that are coming back into Christianity -- the methods, the way of meditation, the labyrinth. . . . We want to once again discover our path. . . . Our three themes that we begin to weave together this evening are Eros -- the whole sense of love, love for the divine, for our bodies, for ourselves. . . . The second is Ecstasy . . . a lost thread, the sense of blissing out on God, being so full of love and divine that you are ecstatic. . . . The last is Creation. . . . We acknowledge that we have to have a larger story than we have had in the past -- a story that unites us and incorporates the whole cosmos."[iii]
What an enticing mix, I thought. Who wouldn't want to be "blissing out on God" while writing her own imaginary story about God and His cosmos.
Apparently, in this world of imagined innocence and bliss, the animal spirit within would be free to speak. We would "go out and howl with our own voices," said Paul Winter, composer of the controversial Missa Gaia musical, which blends the trumpeting of elephants, the howling of wolves, and the sounds of the dolphin into a symphony of praise to mother earth. "We, as a much younger species, would learn something from these elders of ours."
"Wolves are not dangerous to man,"[iv] he assured us. "Join me in a hallelujah chorus by howling like wolves." Moments later, the cavernous cathedral reverberated with chilling imitations of howling wolves -- some called it a "Howl-eluia chorus."
"...When I fall on my knees, with my face to the rising sun...." sang the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir moments later.
O Lord, have mercy on us! I had heard that song many times in traditional churches, and it always disturbed me. My mind drifted to pagan cultures where priests or shamans lead their tribes in worship to the rising sun.[v]
"I will go in Jesus' name," sang the Interfaith Choir. "I'll spread the gospel in Jesus name...."
"O Jesus," I whispered, "I'm afraid most of these people don't even know you."
Earthy powers. The next day, the conference moved to the Star King Unitarian-Universalist church. Rosemary Reuther, professor of theology at the Garette-Evangelical Theological Seminary (United Methodist) in Evanston, Illinois, spoke first. At the first glance, her grandmotherly appearance disguised her pagan dreams and impressive titles: theologian, scholar, educator, visionary, and revolutionary.
"Feminism," she began, "is a complex movement." She listed some of its "many layers" and demands:
Full inclusion of women in political rights.
Access to full employment.
Transformation of the patriarchal socio-economic system in which male domination of woman is the foundation of social hierarchies.
Few would disagree with the first two,[vi] but the third and more basic demand requires a total transformation of western culture. Never mind that eastern cultures are far less friendly to feminist ideals than their western counterparts. (Just look at China, Japan and Iran.) The spiritual mastermind behind this movement has aimed his bullets at Judeo-Christian monotheism (one God), not Eastern monism (all is one). In his grandiose plan, injustice toward women is merely an excuse for vilifying Christian influences. He couldn't care less about wounded women.
Small wonder then, that feminists seek far more than equality. They call for a revolution -- a new culture, a new history, new government, a new form of global socialism, and a new religion. The new religion is essential because, according to Reuther and other feminists, the old "patriarchal religions" caused all the problems in the first place.
"The Western ruling class male," explained Rosemary Reuther, "made God in his own image -- or rather in the image of his aspiration." Her answer to male domination echoes what the leaders of the re-imagining conference declared: Women must create their own deity -- one that reflects their image and aspirations and brings them back in touch with the earth:
"There are deep, positive connections between women and nature. Women are the life givers, the nurturers, the ones in whom the seed of life grows. Women were the primary food gatherers, the inventors of agriculture. Their bodies are in mysterious tune with the cycles of the moon. The tides of the sea. And it was by experiencing women as life givers, both food providers and 'birthers’ of children, that the early human communities in fact made the female the first image of worship, the goddess, the source of all life."[vii]
"Women need to reclaim this affinity between the ‘sacrality’ of nature and the ‘sacrality’ of their own sexuality and life powers," she continued. "To return to worship the goddess as sacred female is to reconnect with our own deep powers."
Our own deep powers? The tragedy is that Reuther and other would-be historians are telling a lie. The women they present as models didn't exist. Earth-centered women never did have the powers today's feminist envision. The bane and blessing of the imagination is that you don't have to prove anything. The fact is that ancient women or indigenous women would beg their various gods and spirit for the food and protection we now take for granted. They lived at the mercy of the spirits from whom they bought favors they desperately needed. Indigenous people are still tormented by the spirits they fear.[viii]
The goddess figures archeologists have uncovered are less a testimony to the power of women than a sign of the superstitions that dominated their lives. In pagan cultures, altars and sexual symbols helped pay capricious spirits or demons for basic needs: a fertile harvest, food for the family, a baby. Fighting life-and-death battles against disease, curses, tempestuous weather, and wild animals, they had little time to seek self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and control over their own life and body. A good year meant food to eat, and a child that didn't die. Well aware that their lives were driven by forces they could not control, they would plead and appease, not command.
Barbara Marx Hubbard, who followed Reuther, also promised imagined power—but with a New Age twist. Instead of a goddess, her story points to a more impersonal New Age force. Like so many others, she cloaks her occult ideas in Christian terms and puts scriptures into a pagan context:
"In the sixties I began reading Teillard deChardin. What is interesting about Teillard is that the evolution of our planet leads to a time on earth which he calls Omega.... Our system, as it becomes more complex, is rising in consciousness, and at some point he felt there would be a quantum jump in which we would empathetically experience ourselves as connected to the whole.... I related it to reading in the Bible, 'Behold I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, we shall all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye.'
"I had an experience of the... field of light.... it had persona and it was real.... I felt enfolded in light and I heard the words, 'My resurrection was real. It is a forecast of what you will do collectively when you love God above all else, your neighbor as yourself, yourself as me, a natural Christ.... You shall all be changed....'"
When the "inner voice" spoke to Ms. Hubbard's heart, she sensed "an overwhelming magnetic love."[ix] In silence, she replied, "I choose it, but I don't know how to do it."
Again "the presence" spoke. "You choose it. I'll do it."
This exchange began her relationship with "a Being" that has produced books, lectures and countless followers who continue to spread the illusion of abundant life through a counterfeit Christ.
The "Christ" who spoke to Barbara Marx Hubbard promised a massive change when the global consciousness has reached what many call a "critical mass." In her book, she talks about a violent "Planetary Birth experience" when the "ancient defect of consciousness" will "be corrected forever."[x] At that point -- "when enough of you are attracted and linked"[xi] -- her Christ would return, but not in person as will the true Christ. Instead his "Presence" (his spirit or glory) would appear and draw all people into an ultimate Universal Humanity.
If this occult "Christ" who pulls people to himself with "overwhelming love" -- and will one day appear as a mystical "presence" --sounds like a movement within churches today, you have reason to be concerned. Remember, Satan twists all of God's good things into tempting counterfeits that lure people toward himself.
I own my body. "You will be in charge of your body," the Christ spirit told Barbara Marx Hubbard, "maintaining it, discarding it, or evolving it into new forms."[xii]
Her "Christ" has prophesied the coming of "uncontrollable joy" which will "ripple through the thinking layers of the Earth." It will be as "irresistible as sex," flooding all human "co-creative systems" with "love and attraction."[xiii]
Who will "awaken this co-creative" genius and prepare the world for "the Second Coming?" "The Holy Spirit,"[xiv] says Hubbard's Christ. But humans have to help, and this is where Hubbard's evolutionary force joins contemporary neopaganism. To help you evolve, Hubbard suggests standard circle rituals: create a sacred space, light candles, and pass the sacred wine or juice. At this point, Hubbard would "evoke the Presence of the living Christ"[xv] instead of the Wiccan goddess, but as you know, the label matters little. For those who want more practical helps, she suggests A Course in Miracles[xvi]-- the occult messages channeled by a spirit guide and taught by Marrianne Williamson, guru to Hollywood and Oprah Winfrey.
Do you see the threads that run through all the diverse pagan groups? Do you wonder why God warns us that "false Christ's and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect"? Or why He tells us to "test the spirits?"[xvii]
The high-brow spirituality of Barbara Marx Hubbard may contrast sharply with the naked sensuality of the new rage: the "wild" women who join circle covens or worship the goddess in forested groves. But the difference is superficial. In essence, both forms of occultism spring from the same spiritual source. Both promise love, super sex, ownership of one's own bodies, and answers to personal needs and wants. Anything goes, no matter how outrageous.
[i]Hubbard, 154. Her interpretation of Revelations 10:5-7.
[iii]Renaissance of Christian Spirituality conference, March 24, 1995. Transcribed from tape.
[iv]This is not true, as Finn's and Norwegians know well. Allowed to freely multiply, at the cost of ranch animals and children's safety, the wolves in Wyoming may soon prove less friendly than their friendly photographs suggest. (See Jeremiah 5:6; Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29)
[v]John 6:35, 48. Sun worship characterized ancient Middle Eastern, Egyptian, and Roman civilizations as well as Indo-European, Meso-American, and some Native American cultures. In their pantheon of gods and spirits, the sun god reigned supreme as the all-seeing all-powerful source of life and wisdom. He usually required human sacrifice.
[vi]On the surface, the first two points seem generally acceptable, but some of the feminist interpretations involve deeper implications with regard to workplace quotas, gender education, and change in social consciousness.
[vii]Rosemary Radford Ruether, "Healing Violence to Creation," a keynote address given at the Renaissance of Christian Spirituality conference, March 25, 1995.
[viii]Misson stories about demon oppression and curses.
[ix]Hubbard, Revelation, 75.
[xvii]Matthew 24:23-24 and 1 John 4:1.
From A Twist of Faith, Chapter 10:
A new kind of heaven. You met Barbara Marx Hubbard, president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, in chapter 5. When she spoke at the Renaissance of Christian Spirituality conference in San Francisco, some of her followers urged me to buy her book Revelation which was dictated by a spirit "voice" called "Christ." I bought it, and shuddered as I read her occult interpretations of God's book of Revelation. Those who know God's Word would notice its eerie likeness to God's original message. Those who don't know the Biblical version could easily think this is it.
"Now you see through a glass darkly," wrote Mrs. Hubbard, twisting bilical truth into a confusing mish-mash of occult ideas. "Soon you will see face to face. Now your are in pain. Then you will be in joy. Now you fear that you cannot manage a complex planetary system. Soon you will know that the planetary system is guided by a cosmic template. . . . A New Heaven and a New Earth shall you create."[i]
Heaven, she continues, "is but the next stage of your development, with many more to come."[ii]
Since the "voice" first spoke to Barbara Marx Hubbard in 1980, it has taught her about a "collective transformation" that will take place when a "critical mass" of "individuals align to shift the basic thought form of earth from fear and separation to unity" and thus "shift the consciousness of the earth" and lead to a new "birth."[iii] If humanity cooperates with the plan, each human "mind will be consciously connected with the Mind of God."[iv] Those who don't will be "selected" for destruction.[v]
Does this sound too strange to be relevant? It shouldn't. Much of this teaching is seeping into mainstream churches as well as the rest of our culture -- not because the masses are listening to Barbara Marx Hubbard, but because her source is the same as theirs. Occultism cloaked in "Christianese" has become part of our common language, challenging us to study God's Word and "test the spirits."
Listen carefully to Mrs. Hubbard's words, for Satan is counterfeiting everything that's good these days -- even good things like joy and laughter:
"An uncontrollable joy will ripple through the thinking layer of Earth. The co-creative systems, which are lying psychologically dormant in humanity will be activated. From within, all sensitive persons will feel the joy of the force, flooding their systems with love and attraction. It will be as irresistible as sex. It is suprasex, the innate capacity to unite to create the next step of evolution . . . .
"As this joy flashes through the nervous systems of the most sensitive peoples on Earth, it will . . . . cause a shift in the consciousness of Earth."[vi]
Don't ever fear genuine joy, but be guarded against any uncontrollable manifestation of spiritual power. God calls us to self-control, and forces that take control over our bodies and manipulate our minds are not from Him.[vii] And if the "good feelings" that follow spiritual experiences don't line up with Scriptures, beware.
In other words, know the genuine truth well enough to recognize the counterfeits. The lies come in all kinds of wrappings and disguises. You may have heard of Arianna Huffington, one of the fast-rising female stars in conservative political circles and Washington society. The title of her latest book, The Fourth Instinct, refers to a spiritual force with "power to transform ourselves and our world."[viii] You know she is not talking about God when she calls it "the bridge to this next stage in man's evolution and the voice calling us to cross over."[ix]
"Even those who are not looking for 'a new heaven and a new earth'. . . recognize that what the millennium requires from us above all else is a psychological shift, a spiritual breakthrough,"[x] she says. The Fourth Instinct "is an evolutionary spiral based on a different set of imperatives -- for now the survival of the fittest will be the survival of the wisest."[xi]
The wisest? According to whom?
Not to Christians who are still "clinging to the old"[xii] world-view or paradigm which offers only "the bankrupt solutions of yesterday." They know all too well that "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God," for "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." (1 Corinthians 3:19-20)
Instead, Ms. Huffington urges her flock to follow a "universal force that will lead us beyond the last horizon of our known self toward a wiser, more loving, more luminous state of being."[xiii] That brings us back to Barbara Marx Hubbard. "To be wise now, is to . . . . take the evolutionary perspective and see the world in process of transformation,"[xiv] she says. "Wisdom is to see reality, not as a static set of things, but as a . . . process leading toward godhood for humanity."[xv]
Strange and mystical, isn't it? So is James Redfield's top-selling thriller, The Celestine Prophecy. It's huge readership proves the appeal of this occult message. Like Mrs. Hubbard and Mrs. Huffington, Redfield urges humanity to practice the psychic skills needed to produce a "critical" mass in order to speed our evolution. That means rejecting church leaders who block the new awareness.
When a local United Methodist church announced a weekly discussion group on the Celestine Prophecy, I decided to check it out. On my first visit, I found a group of about twenty men and women sharing their strange "coincidences", angelic visitations,[xvi] and other mystical experiences which supposedly led to a "conscious evolution"— the focus of Barbara Marx Hubbard's message. Perhaps they believed, as Redfield promised, that they would one day transform into "pure light" and simply "walk into heaven."[xvii] In spite of the church setting, no one ever mentioned the likely possibility of counterfeit spirits. Apparently, the group viewed all kinds of spiritual feelings and experiences as good. Redfield's lie had become more belivable than God’s truth:
"For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual . . . .
"Once we understand. . . how to engage this allusive process and maximize its occurrence in our lives, human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life . . . .
"All that any of us have to do is suspend our doubts and distractions just long enough . . . and miraculously, this reality can be our own." [xviii]
During the last Celestine Prophecy session, the teacher told us that we were close to becoming the "critical mass" of evolving minds that would catapult us into the next stage of "our" spiritual evolution. There we would accelerate the pace of our evolution and voluntarily limit reproduction and consumption. "Whole groups of people who have reached a certain level [would] become invisible, and the barrier between this life and the other world" would begin to crumble.
"Would we still have criminals?" asked a woman.
"There would be no need to steal, for all have the same values," answered the teacher. "We're moving toward heaven, a state of being where people are valued for their essence. . . . Fundamentalist people live . . . in a state of fear. . . . But someone who is truly spiritual, is serene. She lives in a state of grace."
"My sister-in law is like that," said another women. "She is wonderful. Always in that state of serenity, even when things get really hard."
"What does she believe?" asked the leader.
"In God. In Jesus Christ. She hurts a lot, but she has perfect peace."
The leader changed the subject.
The sin of separation. Did you ever read Aldous Huxley's futuristic classic, Brave New World? If you did, you may remember the occult ritual used to enforce planetary peace and oneness. No one could escape the hypnotic drills that quenched individualism and raised group consciousness: "The group was now complete, the solidarity circle perfect... Twelve of them ready to be made one, waiting to come together, to be fused, to lose their twelve separate identities in a larger being."[xix]
Huxley's Brave New World carried a warning that few have taken seriously. Today many of its scary ideas are more pervasive than when Huxley first suggested them -- not because his voice sang louder than others, but because so many others sang in the same choir. Since their message fit both current trends and academic liberalism, it began to resonate through our educational institutions at every level. Today, it's preparing a new generation for social revolution, and radical feminists want girls to lead the way.
United Nations leader Robert Muller may not care which sex leads the revolution as long as Huxley's unity becomes global reality. "Conflicts will diminish as our global, universal, spiritual and cosmic awareness increase,"[xx] he assures us. Ripe for change, many are listening. The fact that Muller’s mystical unity matches the spiritual evolution taught by Barbara Marx Hubbard, Arianna Huffington, and James Redfield multiplies the influence of all four.
[i]Barbara Marx Hubbard, Revelation (Greenbrae, CA: The Foundation for Conscious Evolution), 111.
[iii]Spoken at the Renaissance of Christian Spirituality at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, March 24, 1995.
[v]Hubbard, selection for destruction
[vii]See 1 Corinthians 14 and 2 Timothy 1:7(?)
[viii]Arianna Huffington The Fourth Instinct (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), 21.
[xvi]Some of those angelic helpers could have been God's true ministering angels. But, when people are oblivious to God's warnings and as ready for any spiritual experience as this circle of seekers was, their chances of meeting the counterfeit grows. Some experiences sounded ominously occult.
[xvii]Redfield, 240, 241, 242.
[xviii]Redfield, "Author's Note" opposite page 1.
[xix]Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (New York: HarperPerennial, 1932), 52.
[xx]Robert Muller, A Planet of Hope. Quoted in Robert Muller's World Core Curriculum Journal, Vol. 1 (The Robert Muller School, Arlington, TX, 1989), 1.
From A Twist of Faith, Chapter 7:
Graceful like a dancer, Christina moved across the stage. Above her hung the flags of the nations and a banner announcing the 1995 "State of the World" -- a five-day global conference convened in San Francisco by Mikhail Gorbachev.[i] The theme and its vision of global renewal fit her well, for in her flowing white maternity gown and long golden hair, she resembled a New Age painting of an ethereal earth goddess ready to birth new life. Clutching the microphone, she began to sing a prayer to her universal god:
O faithful One... I call on thee
O holy one, O helping one...
Abiding hope, I call on thee
Beloved, compassionate, source of all being
O God of grace, come down.
The prayer, she explained, was from her Baha'i prayer book. The music was her own, supposedly given by the unknowable, compassionate god of Hinduism, of Buddhism, of Christianity, and of all spiritual avatars throughout time.
Christina's global spirituality set the stage for the evening plenary -- a metaphysical message by top-selling author Dr. Deepak Chopra, director of the Institute for Mind/Body Medicine in San Diego. "The universe is seeking to fulfill itself through us," he said. "Are we up to the responsibility?" His next point shows the much repeated motif of the conference:
"Can you step out of the river of your own conditioning and see the world as if for the first time? For only then is there an opportunity to create a new body -- but more importantly, 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."
The political, spiritual, and business leaders gathered in San Francisco on the evening of September 28, 1995, had already made that paradigm shift. By the third day, it was obvious to me that the speakers and their enthusiastic audience, including Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jane Fonda, saw reality from a decidedly global perspective. Again and again, Gorbachev and his hand-picked "global brain trust" told over 1000 guests and participants that new universal values were needed to guide the world into the 21st Century. These values must replace the Christian world view, eradicate poverty and oppression, and establish a new kind of tolerance, unity and equality.
That their noble goals clashed with more selfish interests didn't bother the world's leading visionaries. One moment they decried human injustice; the next, they bemoaned human existence. "Don't feed them," suggested Ted Turner in a discussion on reducing consumption to save the earth. Sam Keen, author of best-seller Fire in the Belly, made an even more provocative statement in his summary of the discussions on the Global Crisis of Spirit and the Search for Meaning:
"Religious institutions . . . . must speak far more clearly about sexuality, about contraception, about abortion, about values that control the population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren't enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage."
At the end of the conference, the publisher of Earth Vision magazine told me about her disappointment over the seeming hypocrisy. "I don't believe they really care all that much about the poor," she said. "An evening meal here costs over $120 per person, yet they talk about equality, justice, and raising consciousness. Why couldn't they have served just one meal of rice? That would have done more to raise our awareness than all their promising words."
Just then, Shirley McLaine walked by, so I asked her what she thought of the conference.
"It was good. It helped raise consciousness," she answered.
"But wouldn't it have raised consciousness more if one of the meals had just been rice instead of gourmet meat and elegant desserts?"
She frowned. "People paid a lot of money to come here," she answered. "They deserved good food."
[i]Organized by the Gorbachev Foundation, the five-day State of the World Forum convened in San Francisco on September 27, 1995. The former head of the Communist empire had gathered "nearly 500 senior statespeople, 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," said Jim Garrison, President of the Gorbachev Foundation.
"Human interdependence," he continued, "must now become our watchword as we move into the global civilization which lies ahead: interdependence with each other, interdependence with the earth, interdependence with the Spirit which perennially guides the affairs of humankind."