I was asked to interview someone of a different religion or religious movement and share my personal reflections on that person’s understanding of God, their thoughts on whether God can be reached and what can be learned from insights of another perspective. Given my previous personal history within the New Age movement, I thought I would interview Gina, circa 2010-2014, on her perspective on these questions. I embarked on a Facebook deep dive to get a glimpse at the particulars of my beliefs by searching old posts to supplement what I remembered from my faith journey. This was a time where I was in the thick of my chemotherapy treatments, lasting from roughly 2009-2012. It was a period where I was intensely focused on my ability to heal from cancer through lifestyle changes, specifically through nutrition. I fell in love with many inspirational speakers in the health and wellness movement that also happened to be involved in the New Age movement.
I had many Facebook posts quoting personalities such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Kris Carr. Kris Carr whom I was particularly drawn to, had a remarkable story, a cancer survivor who was told by top cancer specialists that she had only a few months to live and had yet overcome this fatal diagnosis by living decades past her “expiry date” as she called it. She forged her own path to wellness that was heavily focused on nutrition, a ‘clean’ lifestyle and many meditative and spiritual practices as well. She became my idol and role model for the way I would approach my own cancer journey. I recently came across one of her blog posts from 2017 that I feel captures well her beliefs and mine that are rooted in New Age thinking and gives a glimpse into the God question as well as whether he could be reached. Here is an excerpt of the blog:
“I’m a fixer, a problem solver, a get-the-job-done type of gal. I like to manifest the crap out of life…Now, I’m not saying that this is always a bad thing. It’s helped me be successful in many areas. But when my behavior is out of balance, it’s exhausting. So lately, I’ve been easing up. Less doing. More being…Yet no matter how much I took off my plate, I was still overwhelmed, and I didn’t understand why. My conscious, solution-oriented mind was coming up short. It was time to tap into spirit and ask for help. So, I prayed on it. I prayed and prayed and in the stillness of meditation, I heard this: “You’re pushing your way through life, relying on force vs. faith. You’re depending on your own strength vs. Divine timing. You’re not alone. There are unseen forces working on your behalf. So, stop trying to control everything. Instead, show up for your life and the people in it with love. The Universe will do the rest.”
There is much in this paragraph that is so attractive, inspiring, empowering even. The sentence about being a fixer and problem solver captures me so well. That is why perhaps the health and wellness and New Age movement appealed to me so much. It’s about self-improvement and being a doer, capable of bringing about my desired change in life. In short, I was the God that I could turn to – the spirit to ask for help when my actions weren’t resolving my problems. When things were outside of my control, it was the universe - the other “god” that would ultimately work things out in my favour.I eventually found that not only were these beliefs illogical given the reality of the universe and my human nature, but they were ineffective at significantly changing my life. Ultimately, it was putting my trust in Jesus and accepting his free gift of salvation rather than trusting on my own (flawed) works that truly changed my life.