Spirit Guides: Coming to a Church Near You?by Leisa Garcia, Director of Issachar Studies
In a previous article from the September 2009 issue of Personal Update entitled, “Whatever Happened to the New Age, Part I,” I showed that many famous New (Age) Spirituality writers claim to receive their inspiration or works directly from spirit guides:
• Alice Bailey, occultist and New Age Matriarch, who some credit with coining the phrase “New Age,” and of which the New (Age) Spirituality leaders reference quite often, had a spirit guide called Djwhal Khul (DJ).
• Helen Schuchman transcribed A Course in Miracles as dictated by her spirit guide—an inner voice which identified itself as “Jesus.”
• Barbara Marx Hubbard transcribed her book The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium from her spirit guide—an inner voice which identified itself as “Christ.”
• Neale Donald Walsch wrote an angry letter to God and was amazed when “God” immediately answered his letter by speaking to him through an inner voice which resulted in his book Conversations with God.
• Ester Hicks bases her best-selling books on translations of thought she claims she channels from a group of non-physical entities called “Abraham.”
• David Spangler wrote many New Age books, including The Birth of a New Age, which he said was a compilation of channeled transmission he received from his disembodied spirit guide, “John.”
• Bernie Segal, an author and leader in the New (Age) Spirituality, claims to have a spirit guide named “George,” whom he met the very first time he meditated.
Spirit guides, which in Scripture are described as “familiar spirits,” are a common factor in New (Age) Spirituality practices. Many times these spirit guides are acquired through mystical meditation, either purposely or unexpectedly. Communication or use of familiar spirits is forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:10-11: “Therefore shall not be found among you any one… (who is) a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard…”
• Consulter of familiar spirits—communicator with fallen angels or demonic entities in the spirit world.
• Wizard—one who has supernatural knowledge which is attained through communication with familiar spirits, a “knower.”
Familiar spirits are simply demonic entities which commonly manifest themselves as “angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) and are believed to be beneficial and benevolent by those involved with them.
Another method of acquiring spirit guides is through an-other New (Age) Spirituality practice—Reiki (pronounced Ray-key) a form of energy healing. It incorporates the assistance of spirit guides, whether the practitioners choose to acknowledge them or not.
One Reiki practitioner was a Reiki Master before he finally discovered that he had Reiki guides. He first met one of them through a meditation session. He then created a meditation specifically designed for each Reiki practitioner to find and communicate with the spirit guides assisting them in the Reiki sessions: “In all my Reiki courses, I offer a simple meditation for students to meet their Reiki guide. I am pleased to say that nowadays most do.”1
Although the most frequent definition given of the word “Reiki” is “Universal Life Force,” Reiki practitioners give a variety of explanations:
• When seeking a definition from a more spiritual context, we find that Rei can be defined as the Higher Intelligence that guides the creation and functioning of the universe…Ki is the non-physical energy that animates all living things. Ki is flowing in everything that is alive, including plants, animals and humans.2
• In Japan, the word Reiki is not commonly associated with Dr. Usui’s healing system at all, but is simply a generic word that refers to the occult, to healing, or to things relating to spirit.3 [Emphasis mine]
• The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words—Rei which means “God's Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy.” So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”4 [Emphasis mine]
The last definition is from Reiki.org, a website called “The International Center for Reiki Training.” In a section called “Developing Your Reiki Practice” it states:
…There are higher sources of help you can call on. Angels, beings of light and Reiki spirit guides as well as your own en-lightened self are available to help you. They can help you develop your Reiki practice by directing clients to you and assisting with treatments…5
Origins of Reiki
According to an online medical-dictionary:
Reiki was developed in the mid-1800s by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese scholar of religion. According to the story that has been passed down among reiki teachers, Usui was a Christian who was intrigued by the idea that Christ could heal sick people by touching them with his hands. Searching for clues that would explain the secrets of healing with hands, Usui made a long pilgrimage around the world, visiting many ancient religious sects and studying ancient books. Some reiki teachers claim that Usui found clues leading back nearly 10,000 years to healing arts that originated in ancient Tibet. During his in-tense studies, Usui claimed he had a spiritual experience, which enabled him to heal with his own hands by becoming aware of and tapping into the universal life force.6
When Dr. Mikaeo Usui died, his power was transferred to one of his students. Many Reiki Masters are able to trace their Reiki “lineage” back through the various masters to Dr. Mikao Usui himself.
What is a Reiki Treatment?
A Reiki treatment is usually performed by the practitioner holding his or her hands a few inches above different areas of the body, holding each position until they sense it is time to move to the next position. The traditional Reiki hand positions (especially in the West) cover all the important major chakras and many acupuncture points. Chakras are part of the eastern religions such as Hinduism and are addressed in yoga and mystical meditation.
During a Reiki treatment, some feel as if there are more hands on them then just the practitioner’s hands or sometimes feel that the practitioner’s hands are over a different area of the body than they actually are. This common occurrence is called “phantom hands.”7
There are four Reiki symbols used by many Reiki practitioners and one of them is used to perform Reiki treatments over long distances.
This symbol broadly means, having no past, no present, and no future. Another way of interpreting this symbol is saying, “The Buddha in me contacts the Buddha in you.” The Reiki distance-healing symbol is used to send Reiki energy from one place to another. The Reiki practitioner is in a particular place and from there he sends the Reiki energy to another place. When you use the Reiki distance-healing symbol, time and distance have no meaning. Most Reiki practitioners believe that the distance-healing symbol is the most helpful and powerful symbol of Reiki. Using the symbol gives the practitioner access to the life records or “Akashic Records” of a person.8
The attention to chakras, the involvement of spirit guides, New (Age) Spirituality practices, mystical meditation and many Eastern religion practices all add up to something a believer should not be involved in.
Reiki for Christians??
The term “laying on of hands” is used to describe Reiki and also another energy healing technique called Therapeutic Touch. Many, including Dr. Usui who founded Reiki, have the belief that energy healing is what Jesus used to heal people and is the same thing as having the “gift of healing” spoken of in Scripture.
But the power of God resides in God Him, His power does not exist separate from Himself so that everyone can somehow tap into it and use the same power. Jesus had the power to heal (just as he was able to forgive sins) because He was and
The gifts of the Spirit are given and operated through the power of the Holy Spirit. There are no instructions whatsoever that indicate the gift of healing can be transferred from one person to another or that it requires a number of different hand positions to balance life energies. It is given to specific believers by the Holy Spirit.
A TV Endorsement of Reiki
On January 9, 2010, Dr. Mehmet Oz told two million viewers to “try Reiki.” Dr. Oz’s wife, Lisa, is a Reiki Master who called Reiki “my favorite treatment that could change the future of medicine forever.”10
Regarding this TV program, one Reiki website, The Reiki Digest” stated:
As word spread via the Internet across the global Reiki community, web traffic here at The Reiki Digest increased tenfold, and hundreds of new readers subscribed to our email edition. To accommodate the many inquiries coming in from people seeking Reiki treatments, training, or more information, we set up a free referral service to help clients and students find qualified practitioners. [Emphasis mine]
The Daniel Plan
Dr. Oz is one of three doctors chosen (the other two are Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman) to give health advice to the thousands of Christians who are or will be participating in the Daniel Plan, a year-long program to lose weight and to get healthy that was kicked off in January 2011. Undoubtedly, these doctors have a lot of excellent medical advice; however, interspersed with all of the good advice are New (Age) Spirituality techniques such as yoga, meditation, and energy healing (Reiki). In the first interview of Dr. Amen for the Daniel Plan, he stated:
There is a meditation exercise from Harvard—it’s not religious at all, it’s called the “relaxation response.” Take a big breath, blow it out. Every time you breathe out, say the word “one.” Do it for 10 minutes, you’ve got all these thoughts com-ing into your head. Imagine a big broom—sweep them away. [Emphasis mine]
The instructions given are the exact ones given for any form of mystical meditation—relaxing, slow methodical breathing, repeating a single word over and over again (it doesn’t matter what word you choose), doing this for at least 10 minutes a day, and clearing your mind of all thoughts. You’ll find these basic instructions for any form of mystical meditation you hear about, including contemplative prayer.
Thousands of Christians are and will become involved in the Daniel Plan and trust these three doctors to help them. The fact that no warning was given as to the dangers of mystical meditation in this first interview with Dr. Amen is disconcert-ing and may indicate the acceptance of other New (Age) Spirituality practices such as Reiki later on.
The mystical practices have already entered the church through other avenues, but the influence of the Daniel Plan, if not handled properly, has the potential of opening up a flood-gate.
9. http://www.indobase.com/reiki/receiving-reiki/reiki-distance-healing.html; http://christianreiki.org/.