I’ve been challenged recently by a series of discussions with a good friend who is becoming increasingly hypnotized by a broad, all-inclusive system of belief which has come to be known today as the New Age movement. The above picture represents one of the latest ideas discovered by my comrade and presented to me for consideration. This picture depicts what is known as “the third eye.”
“The third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight” (Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia). Adherents to the reality of the third eye suppose an individual to be capable of making certain advances on life’s journey which open successive spiritual gateways of “enlightenment.” One particular threshold in this process of enlightenment results in access to a third eye thus completing an optical trinity.
Now, in theosophy (mystical and occult philosophies seeking knowledge of the mysteries of god, life, nature, and human purpose), the third eye is connected with the pineal gland. The pineal gland is an endocrine gland which is found in the brain of nearly all vertebrate creatures. This gland is located near the center of the brain and is responsible for producing serotonin and melatonin which aids in proper mood, digestion, sleep patterns, and memory. In connection with such searches for divine wisdom, evolutionists connected with theosophy maintain this was an actual physical eye in early people races but eventually retreated into the skull and became the pineal gland. But now, this gland which all people possess, is able to be unlocked and useful for perceiving both physical and invisible realities otherwise unattainable to those uninitiated or unenlightened.
Many varieties of both physical and mental exercises are deemed necessary to move an individual through the stages toward achieving enlightenment. Such disciplines might include things such as proper diet, exercise, avoiding energy draining people, eastern meditations, and other concepts and adaptations which seek to adjust one’s spiritual posture to sync with the overall environment.
Though born out of New Age thought, these and other related ideologies reflect age old beliefs tied to philosophy, the occult, and basic humanism. Now, proponents of New Age thought wouldn’t actually come out and say it like this, but the reality of their system of reasoning actually claims that man has sufficient potential and power within himself to achieve godhood apart from the only true God.
Now, it’s important that we be reminded that proponents of such systems of thought are not necessarily bad people. Let’s not clench our fists and sneer and jeer just yet. We know Scripture teaches we have a very real enemy, and his name is Satan. New Age minds also believe there is an enemy seeking to cause division, hate, and turmoil in societies and cultures at large. But let’s go back to the beginning when man was created and look again at what Satan was really doing.
The serpent said to the woman, For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). Being like God is not a bad thing in and of itself folks. We often talk about this passage in Genesis 3 and scowl at Eve and Adam for such a preposterous and wicked thought. We condemn them saying, “They wanted to be God! They tried to usurp God’s throne!” But what Satan was actually suggesting to Eve was simply that she could make her own choices apart from God and attain godliness (enlightenment) through her own human effort. We’ve all tried to do this in our own lives in various ways.
At this point, let’s also recall that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). What this means is that if we actually saw Satan, he might look like someone or something representative of God. He would be compelling and attractive. Angels are messengers, and light relates to the truth about the God of the Bible. Therefore, Satan wears various disguises which seek to counterfeit God and the communication of His divine truth. Furthermore, it’s pretty easy for Satan’s counterfeit truth to easily deceive humans who have little spiritual knowledge concerning actual divine truth (2 Corinthians 4:4). In this sense, undiscerning non-Christians and uninformed Christians alike become easy prey for the lion who prowls around seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan, who knows God’s Word, knows how to use this knowledge to twist and deceive the minds of unstable people. After all, to tell the greatest lie, you’d have to first know the truth.
Dear reader, please do not be confused. New Age thinking and the idea that you can somehow achieve enlightenment through human responsibility and asceticism is not new. Jesus spoke to this issue when he presented himself as the only Light of the world through whom true enlightenment is received (John 1:9). Like the rays of the sun communicate the life of the sun, Jesus alone communicates to us the life of God. Yet just like people today, the society in Jesus’ generation remained spiritually dull and blind because they refused to acknowledge Him as the only source of divine truth. And like the people then, so we too after hearing the gospel and continuing to reject Jesus thereafter, will be allowed to continue on our self-made “journey to enlightenment” without him.
There is a true third eye, but it’s not the pineal gland, the hidden eye of eastern mysticism. There is a true third eye, but it’s not any gateway which opens by human ingenious. No, the only invisible eye which opens us to the world of truth and spiritual reality is the eye of faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Jesus is saying salvation is indeed an issue of eyesight, but true enlightenment begins with seeing Him properly as God incarnate. In other words, Jesus must be our reference point for evaluating all other realities. It’s imperative we start with Jesus. We must never start with ourselves.
Take a few minutes and read Matthew 13:10-15. Why was Jesus beginning to speak in parables? What did He say would be the result? As we become familiar with the life of Jesus, the gospel reveals that He presented Himself as Israel’s Savior, and they rejected Him to remain on their own pilgrimage of choosing truth for themselves. Yet not limited to Jewish people alone, if anyone chooses to walk around Jesus, You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive (Matthew 13:14). By thinking you’ve opened your third eye, you’ve actually closed your eyes altogether. While seeing, you really do not see at all (Matthew 13:13).
Jesus claimed to be the only source of divine truth saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life (John 8:12). Paul echoes this truth writing, For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Dear one, I’ve written these things that you might open your eye of faith to receive eyes to see the light of Jesus Christ. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling…and what is the surpassing greatness of His (Christ’s) power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-19). This cannot be achieved by human strength or intelligence. We must receive Jesus from God and believe unto salvation. Having to be enlightened by Jesus may at first seem humiliating, but after a little while you’ll see it’s so liberating. Will you consider opening yourself to Him today?
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (Ephesians 5:11)
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