The New Age movement has strong pulling power on people who are sensitive to subtle energies. While this is understandable, being sensitive and working in awareness with subtle energies for healing is not something new; It has been done for millenia by shamans and mystics in cultures all across the globe. Nor is the way of working with subtle energies we see today necessarily the best way of doing it. Are we perhaps better off learning from ancient teachers and mystics?
In the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, Christian mystic Hildegard von Bingen and the Christian occultist Paracelsus introduced healing with subtle energies in a Western medicine context, relying on the four classical Elements and as the building blocks of creation, interpreting disease as an imbalance between these building blocks (the four humors), similar to how Ayurveda diagnoses imbalance between the three doshas.
The fact that the nun and theologian Hildegard worked with subtle energies in a very witch-like way back in the 12th century was no secret. She prescribed crystal cures, herbal potions and other seemingly magical cures for various conditions. Her writings reached far and wide, in spite of the printing press not having been invented yet, due to her massive popularity back in the day. Paracelsus had a way of working that tied in heavily with Astrology. While Hildegard’s work on medicine remained in obscurity until quite recently, Paracelsus has been celebrated by occultists as well as people interested in alternative medicine ever since he was first published.
However, like so much else in the New Age, the main teaching of Paracelsus, the ‘doctrine of signatures’ was lifted from a whole, a philosophical framework of an orderly creation with God at its centre, where chemical substances correspond with spiritual values and all the principles for healing with eternal spiritual laws. You could argue that his teachings have been bastardised. In fact, I’m pretty sure he would argue that himself.
Hildegard has been luck in that sense because her work has been carried forward into our age by modern day Christians. This is absolutely vital in terms of understanding her medicine because she considered faith the most vital part of healing… not just a general faith in the goodness of the Universe or love as a power, but the faith in God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. She also speaks of the Devil and she considers Lucifer as the source of all disease.
Interestingly, in spite of (or perhaps because of) this, Hildegard’s teachings are becoming increasingly popular. My guess as to why is because she helps us make sense of the world around us. She, along with other mystics, would be quick to point out that there is ‘nothing new under the sun.’
One of the main problems for New Agers working with subtle energies is that because ‘everything is energy’ (God was abolished decades ago in favour of ‘The Universe’), we are at the mercy of these energies. There is nobody in charge but the Self/self. This is a great paradox within the New Age because most New Age gurus and teachers seek to inspire their readership to believe in their own greatness and see themselves as the creator of not only their lives but essentially their whole existence, including outside circumstances.
There is a considerable amount of victim blaming going on in the New Age movement. Click To Tweet If you suffer from dis-ease, it is because you are not thinking yourself well. On the one hand this implies that you are 100% responsible for your own wellbeing (no such thing as grace!) but at the same time it seems to create beings who are quick to blame the ‘energy’ of others, the environment, or certain celestial events for not feeling well.
Nod with me now if you have read stuff like ‘Man, the energies of 2016 are so harsh, I can’t wait for 2017’ or ‘The energies since the start of 2017 have been very difficult’ or ‘This latest retrograde is killing me’ or ‘The energy in my workplace is so negative’ etc.
The remedy according to New Age gurus? Cut cords with toxic people. But don’t stop there: ‘cut out everything that no longer serves you.’ Because even though the core teaching of New Age is that you are responsible for your own thoughts and it is your thoughts that create harmony or dis-ease, nobody is wanting to be held accountable. So, in reality, the fault is always with harsh or negative energies somewhere.
But this is great because the New Age gurus can cash in on this paradox by teaching people how to ‘shield’ themselves from these supposed harsh or negative energies. ‘You are a lightworker, so beautiful and pure and sensitive,’ they say, gently massaging your ego; ‘You clearly need help with shielding yourself from this harsh existence and the ugly negativity of others. Pay $$$ and I will show you how.’
Have you seen or perhaps even attended any of the (mega expensive) workshops that teach you how to cut out that which no longer serves you? We have moved from a Christocentric world view where spirituality is no longer about being of service but about being surrounded only by that which serves us… (because you’re worth it!) all the while claiming the title ‘Lightworker.’
When you have faith in God, you don’t need to go around shielding yourself – You know you are shielded by the grace of God, always and forever. You are free to go about helping others as best you can instead. That doesn’t mean you can’t also sense and use subtle energies in your healing work but you see them as part of the building blocks of creation, not as the creator or an extension of yourself. You most definitely do not ‘pray’ to a finite ‘Universe’ or spirit beings. By the way, have you noticed how prayers to ‘The Universe’ are always about how to get something the ego desires. Hildegard might argue that who you are really praying to is Lucifer.
Subtle energies are real, there is no denying it… but please beware of the context. If there is none other than a vague ‘everything is energy’ and you find yourself spending lots of $$$ to buy a clue about how to work with these mysterious energies, why not simply pray, ‘Please God, show me the way.’ You have just as much a direct line as any of these self-professed gurus – in fact, you have more of a direct line than almost all of them because very few actually work with God and for the Kingdom.
Love and Blessings,