Dawna Sawatzky
Ever since God created the world his everlasting power and deity-however invisible-have been . . . there for the mind to see in the things he has made. That is why such people are without excuse: they made nonsense out of logic and their empty minds were darkened. Rom. 1:20, 21, Jerusalem.

Living in a New Age community, I felt compelled to find out about my neighbors’ philosophies. A college class on wholistic health seemed a way to find out, so I signed up.

Each session followed the same format: a philosophical talk about human connections with universal energy (often demeaning Christianity), a mind-altering activity, then personal testimony as to how each person felt as a result of the activity.

I would listen to the instructions, observe or leave during the activity, then listen to the evaluations.

During one session the instructor asked the students to lie on the floor and hyperventilate for 90 minutes. A yoga expert, with her phenomenal breath control, was among the first to have a reaction-a grand mal seizure. Later she said it was the highest high she had ever had. One third of the class had “out of body” experiences, half were “visited by their personal spirit guides.” All felt enlightened by their “spiritual” experiences. The rest of us were Christians and hadn’t participated.

This “rebirthing” activity, as well as meditation, visualization, and many other mind-altering activities, is touted as a way of “getting in touch with the god within,” a seeking for universal “wisdom.” In reality, all they were doing were activities that would affect the brain’s wave patterns and chemical balance that almost certainly induce hallucinations and self-hypnosis.

We think of this as a modern phenomena, but in 1890 Ellen White warned: “Satan tempts men to disobedience by leading them to believe they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge. But this is all a deception. Elated with their ideas of progression, they are, by trampling on God’s requirements, setting their feet in the path that leads to degradation and death” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 55).

I came away from this experience grateful for a God who is my personal Saviour, a God whom I can trust to speak to me words of truth through His Holy Spirit. It’s frightening what Satan can put in our minds when we lose control by doing unhealthful things that affect our brain’s wave patterns and chemical balance.

Our personal Saviour and Creator promises that our meditation on Him is mind-renewing and strengthening.