JB writes: “What can you say on this topic. I heard a recent story of a young woman climbing through various states of consciousness and actually going to India and connecting with a guru who teaches this. Has something to do with oneness and after these encounters with even relatives such as dead grandparents etc. there’s an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and peace. What can you tell me about this?”
This sounds like the Oneness Movement which bills itself as the solution to human suffering which it achieves by awakening individuals to a “state of Oneness”. This state of oneness is described as a “level of consciousness wherein we awaken to higher levels of love and joy.” This awakening comes about via the Oneness Blessing which can be bestowed only by certain individuals and is capable of dissolving the “illusion of separateness” among mankind.
Originating in India, the Oneness Movement is the brainchild of a man named Vijaykumar Naidu (b.1949) who later re-named himself Bhagavan.
Bhagavan claims he is here to grant mass enlightenment to all humanity by the bestowal of Divine Power and deeksha (Initiation or Blessing) on others. The website states: “The Deeksha Blessing is a direct transfer of intelligent sacred energy which causes the heart to open, heals relationships, quiets the chatter of the mind, opens the doors to higher states of awareness and initiates a process of Awakening into Oneness where there is no longer a sense of separateness. All that remains is the awareness of reality as it is — the joy of being fully present in the moment.”
Not surprisingly, this Movement claims to be religion-free. “There is no dogma associated with the path. We offer the gift of awakening to your True Self. This allows the individual to experience his/her own truth and to commune with what is Divine for him/her. . . . Whatever path of spiritual awakening you are on will be supported. This gift is for all of us, no matter our belief systems.”
I was also not surprised to learn that this blessing or “transfer of divine energy” (which Bhagavan likes to call a “neurological brain-shift event”) can only be bestowed by himself, his wife, his close disciples, and anyone willing to pay large sums of money for a 21-day course to become a certified “deeksha-giver”. This blog claims the cost for the basic course is $7,000, which doesn’t include other costs.
Bhagavan’s Oneness Movement, Oneness University, and ostentatious $75 million Oneness Temple has been the source of unending controversy in India, which this news report from 2004 attests.
I have not read anything about people receiving this blessing and achieving states of consciousness wherein they commune with dead relatives, but considering all of the other outlandish claims made by proponents of this movement, this would hardly be surprising.
Needless to say, this is hardly the kind of activity that a Christian should be involved in. Anytime we enter altered states of consciousness, we render ourselves vulnerable to outside spiritual influences that can wreak havoc on every area of our lives, not least of which is our soul.