It is no secret that other religions, philosophies, ideologies, and other related folly are threatening Christianity today and will continue until the second coming of Christ. In fact, many people are leaving the church and either joining non-Christian faiths – Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, et al, or becoming unaffiliated – atheist, humanist, agnostic, et al.1 One such philosophy gaining ground (or more accurately, gaining ground by reinventing old ideas) is pantheism – more specifically, mysticism (mystic will be used instead of pantheist hereafter) – becoming one with God; as powerful, as knowledgeable, as loving.
One does this by meditating and plunging deep into his or her own consciousness, “centering themselves in the awareness that they are God-[conscious] instead of just believing in the existence of such a magnificent force…,” as author Brandon West states in his article, You Are God: The True Teachings of Jesus.2 Brandon goes on to state that the world would be a better place if we were all to become God by delving into our supposed infinite consciousness; our original nature (i.e., the universal mind).
Mr. West does not stop there. He asserts that Jesus (along with other religious leaders) teaches one must “master themselves by looking within and meditating,” thus, becoming God once the realization of our infinite consciousness is discovered. Is that really what Jesus taught? Is that what He was ultimately trying to convey – we are all God? Are these really true teachings of Jesus, as Brandon purports?
Not only will this post reveal the absurdity of pantheistic (sprinkled with mystic/new-age) philosophy – more importantly – it will address the inaccurate assertions Brandon put forth; that we are God due to:
- Becoming love by way of energy vibrations, thus becoming God (God Is Love, 1 John 4:16)
- Everything in the universe being energy, we are all connected by that energy, and we are made up of that energy; thus, energy must be what we call God (You Are God, John 10:34)
- God being in us because we are energy, and energy is God (God Is Within You, Luke 17:21)
Seeds of distortion regarding the One true God were planted long ago due to Adam’s sin (Rom 5:12). Sin separates us from God and leads to physical and spiritual death. We know His truth yet suppress it. Therefore, God gives us over to our lusts and impurities. We exchange the glory of God for the glory of man, professing to be wise in our own eyes; thus, worshiping the created (creature/man) and not the Creator (Rom 1:18-25). Pantheism (‘pan’ meaning ‘all’, and ‘theism’ meaning ‘God’; thus, all is God) glittered with mysticism (think, various types of religious experiences – intuitive and/or ineffable) does just that according to Brandon’s article.3
Keep in mind this clash of worldviews. Simply quoting bible verses will not (in most cases) show the folly of one’s error in reasoning. Thus, an alternate approach will be sought using syllogistic logic (P = premise, C = conclusion) and Proverbs 26:5 (using one’s own logic against them, lest they be wise in their own eyes) to address Brandon’s suppositions regarding energy and infinite consciousness. First, let us lay the foundational argument for cause (a beginning) using one of the many variations of the cosmological argument before moving forward. This is to refute claims of ad infinitum (i.e., a multi-universe/universe going on forever without beginning):
- P1 – Things exist
- P2 – It is possible for those things to not exist
- P3 – Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist
- Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical
- P4 – There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence
- An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence
- Since the universe exists, it must have a cause
- C1 – Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things
- C2 – Therefore, the uncaused cause must be God [an all-powerful being who transcends time, space, matter, the laws contained therein; and yes, that includes energy since it is a physical property] 4
Now, the mystic may argue that energy cannot be created or destroyed (1st law of thermodynamics), and therefore has always existed and is what we consider to be God. However, since energy is a physical property it begs the question – How did energy come into existence? Energy exists; therefore, had a cause. Since it cannot have created or caused itself, it is therefore reasonable to consider its creation by a Being outside the constraints of the physical/material universe.
According to some mystics, the claim of infinite consciousness requires an infinite energy field, “that creates the conditions to manifest different realities according to differing sensory perception”.5 An infinite energy field would in essence necessitate an infinite amount of energy to feed it, requiring at least a closed, if not entirely open system. This is an impossibility! The universe is an isolated system. Isolated systems do not exchange matter or energy with their surroundings; thus, usable energy is running out, gradually declining into disorder (second law of thermodynamics – entropy).6 So, it is not reasonable to believe energy is in fact, God. Scripture teaches that, “Jesus Christ [God] is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8, NASB). If energy can run out, does it really possess the properties of an all-powerful being? Of course not.
Before moving on to address the three verses in question regarding Jesus’ teachings, keep in mind the author is basing his beliefs on the premise that energy is God, or what we call God (which the bible clearly rejects). Therefore, we must point out the absurdity of such claims (Prov 26:4-5) before moving on to the gospel and what the bible actually teaches. Let us start with a few smaller items of concern from the author’s opening statements:
“Some missionaries came to my house the other day…”
More than likely they were either Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, who reject the bible as being trustworthy, inerrant, and used as the ultimate standard (which is contrary to Christian belief). It would behoove the author to state specifically who these missionaries were to get a better sense of context and experience.
“…it was absolutely clear that the foundational flaw of religion based off of the bible as it is primarily taught today…is that it teaches first and foremost that we are separate from this force called God. But that is a contradiction because the bible, specifically the teachings of Jesus as I will clearly illustrate, teach that you are God, and that we are all God.”
To prove we are indeed a separate force from God, one need not look any further than Genesis 1:1 (NASB), “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” We can also look at Acts 17:24 (NASB), “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth…” Or how about Psalm 146:6 (NASB), “[God] Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them…” and lastly, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27, NASB). We are separate because we were created by The Creator; establishing a creature-Creator relationship; one subordinate to the other.
It is clear from Genesis to Revelation, the bible’s message on the Creator-creation relationship. To show the folly of energy being God, try reading scripture replacing Lord, God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit with ‘energy’. You will soon realize how silly this worldview is. For example, energy (a physical property) is not/cannot be our basis for logic, love, or morality because energy does not have/cannot have a sense of logic; it cannot have ‘feelings’, or a sense of right/wrong; it cannot love/hate, it cannot calculate (pardon the rhyme). Moreover, contrary to the author’s assertion to a supposed contradiction, there clearly isn’t one, as we will continue to unveil.
“Jesus wasn’t a Christian…[He] mastered [Himself] in solitude by looking within and meditating.”
Indeed! Jesus was a Jew. The word, ‘Christian’, was first introduced in Acts 11:26 and occurs just two more times throughout the New Testament (Acts 26:28; 1 Pet 4:16). A Christian is simply a disciple; a follower of Christ. Ultimately, Jesus not being a Christian is, in effect, a moot point; a red herring if you will, and irrelevant at best.
The notion that Jesus was “looking within and meditating” to master Himself is as absurd as it is unbiblical. When Jesus went to pray, He did just that (Matt 26:36-56). Furthermore, not only did Jesus always pray to the Father, He also teaches us to do the same (Matt 6:5-15). Meditation, as defined by mystics, is never used in reference to prayer in scripture; not once! There is not one shred of evidence that Jesus went to discover His infinite self and His connection with universal consciousness. In fact, meditation (coming from the Greek word – meletao – devise, plan, practice, exercise myself in, study, ponder), is only mentioned twice in scripture – Acts 4:25 and 1 Tim 4:15. There is no mystic connotation implied in these verses whatsoever.
Having adequately addressed the author’s opening statements, we can now move on to his three main points of discussion: God Is Love, You Are God, and God Is Within You.
God Is Love
The author is absolutely correct when stating God is love (1 John 4:7-21)! Issues arise when mystics wrongly discern love to be no more than emotional vibrations, speeding up and slowing down based on our mood or feelings; in other words, “all human emotion is energy,” as Mr. West pointedly asserts.
Scripture gives two main definitions of love in the Greek – agape and philia. Agape love is defined as goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love (God – whose very nature is love itself); transcendent, unconditional love which serves regardless of circumstances (1 John 4:8). Agape love is listed first in the fruits on the spirit (Gal 5:22).
Scripture then goes on to describe what this kind of love looks like (attributes) when put into action in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This is not to be confused with philia, which is brotherly love.7 If the very nature of God is love itself (as clearly defined in scripture in the aforementioned passages), how does one attribute the same to energy?
Mystics often appeal to, as Mr. West seems to have, the notion of energy vibrations. Keep in mind, energy vibrations can only measure emotional activity, they cannot measure, assert, define, or exemplify morality, let alone what is means to love; the vibrations are subject to the individual’s understanding of love, joy, etc. Again, an ultimate standard (transcendent of the physical universe, all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all/ever-present, and unchanging) of love is required or else the standard is but mere opinion. Brandon’s article fails to put forth an ultimate standard; thus, can only be assumed that energy (as a physical property) is indeed that standard.
Here is what a real-world example of energy as an ultimate standard, taken to its logical conclusion looks like:
First, understand the typical mystic/new-age spiritual vibration chart, measured in hertz or mega-hertz (Hz/MHz), normally flows from low vibrations (shame, guilt, apathy, etc.) to higher vibrations (love, joy, peace), with enlightenment being the highest (i.e., ultimate/unlimited consciousness).8 Since energy cannot and does not espouse any type of morality or ultimate standard of love, it begs the question: Could people like Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung have achieved an ultimate consciousness? How about serial killers? Serial rapists? If we base love on subjective waves of energy (especially each abstract point on the vibration chart), the answer is of course (and unfortunately), yes. The deplorable acts of the aforementioned indeed brought them great joy, peace, and love. This fails on multiple levels, especially as an ultimate standard!
You Are God
Brandon begins his opening statement with, “This second quote [“…Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (John 10:34, KJV”)] of [H]is couldn’t be any clearer. I am not sure how this is explained away in the major religions that use the bible, but Jesus is clearly telling each and every one of us, resounding to the world from two thousand years ago, that we are indeed God; that you are God.”
Remember, context is everything! First, let’s point out Brandon’s fallacy of equivocation. He’s using Yahweh and the lesser gods as if they are the same; they are clearly not. Psalm 82:6 which Jesus is quoting in John 10:34, does in fact mention lesser gods – or in the Hebrew – Elohim (gods). There is a divine council God (Yahweh) oversees; not consisting of men, but of angelic, demonic, and other beings in the spiritual realm which are considered lesser gods. The Hebrew bible does mention Elohim to describe Yahweh, yet He’s unique among all the others. To put it another way, Yahweh is an Elohim, but no other Elohim is Yahweh; He is not among equals. He is set apart as we see throughout scripture.
So, does John 10:34 teach we are gods? Psalm 82:6 makes it clear that God was speaking to a divine council, not mere humans. We don’t try to “explain away” this fact, as Brandon purports. We simply put it in the correct context so that one who has little understanding of scripture can grasp but a mere piece of it; maybe more.
God Is Within You
“So what Jesus is saying here is that the kingdom of God, heaven, the place where God allegedly resides, is actually within you. In other words, God is within you.”
Let’s first address the phrase, “…within you.” This is an unfortunate translation in the KJV and NKJV. The more accurate translation is “in your midst” or “among you.” Here is why: Jesus surely wasn’t telling the Pharisees the kingdom of God was within them since they despised Jesus and lacked a relationship with God. Jesus’ miracles (for example) were a testament or taste of what the kingdom of God is actually like, and will one day manifest itself on earth (Isaiah 35:1).9
“I know, as well as anyone else who has ever seriously meditated knows, that when you go deep enough within yourself you will discover that you are infinite universal consciousness which some call God.”
Here Brandon asserts a sort of feeling when diving deep into one’s consciousness. Now, for someone who also purports this being a “fact of physics,” this is complete nonsense. Again, measuring vibrations is merely one’s subjective feelings and what they believe constitutes love, hate, pleasure, pain, etc. If Hitler were hooked up to, let’s say, an oscilloscope and you asked him how killing the undesirables (e.g. Jews, mentally and physically disabled, etc.) made him feel, he’d be oscillating off the charts (MHz increases). In other words, his energy vibrations would read as being pleasurable; joyful and accepting of such atrocity.
What can be analyzed as increases or decreases in one’s subjective pleasure falls short of explaining morality, logic, reliability of senses, the concept of freedom, etc. Therefore, what we have are just a bunch of feelings that really amount to just that and nothing more. These experiences, it seems, are nothing more than ineffable. Strictly speaking, mystic experiences cannot be measured, nor can they be verified. They are nothing more than personal utopian grasps at an alternate reality; trying to explain the unexplainable strictly through scientific (maybe more accurately – hallucinogenic) means.
The author alludes to this gentleman and self-proclaimed physicist as a legitimate authority on connecting spirituality and science. Keep in mind, the type of spirituality asserted here is “energy is God and God is energy.” Your own research concerning Mr. Haramein is encouraged if you wish to get a more well-rounded understanding of Brandon’s worldview; however, it’s not necessary.
In short, Mr. Haramein is considered an amateur theoretical physicist who is unacknowledged by his fellow colleagues. Much of his work is unproven and not even testable. His work, as well as his conclusions should be examined with extreme caution.
As the rebuttal has shown, Brandon (like many others; sadly, many Christians too) has a clear ignorance when it comes to interpreting scripture. Why? Because few take the time to read it in context; as we all know, context is everything. Brandon ignores the very basics of what the bible entails: The Creator-creation relationship, the attributes of God, how we were created in His image, how He is outside of time and the physical universe, etc.
If energy is all there is, we have a big problem. The 2nd law of thermodynamics shows that the universe is running out of usable energy and becoming more and more disordered; thus, heading to a deep freeze (although the bible is clear that the old heaven and old earth will pass away and a new heaven and new earth will come forth (Rev 21:1)). Remember, energy is a physical property. It could not have brought itself into existence; thus, it must have been created by a Being outside the physical universe (God).
Scripture tells us the flesh is never satisfied (Prov 27:20, 1 John 2:16); it is set on things that yield no profit and only separate us from God, leading to death. Pantheism with a mystic twist distorts scripture and reduces it to a type of psychedelic episode.
Not only are mystics meditating to delve deep into their supposed infinite consciousness, many are taking it one step further by ingesting drugs (dimethyltryptamine (DMT), LSD, etc.) to propel them toward a more fanciful experience. Again, the flesh is never satisfied. Mystics’ desire for more illicit drugs and their craving for an increased and more erotic alternate reality experience will only increase; some to the point of permanent cognitive and neurological damage, among other things. This, they do all in the name of exploring a subjective experience that can’t be measured or verified that has yielded no positive results whatsoever. These psychedelic or meditative episodes at their most benign are ecstatic rubbish, and at worst, demonic.
My heart and prayers go out to Brandon and others like him, caught up in a Matrix-esque type of debacle which will only lead to confusion and chaos of the mind; and their wanting to escape further and further down a path that leads to destruction. My hope is Brandon and others are as open to hearing the Gospel as they are to ecstatic experiences, so they can finally know the truth so it can set them free (John 8:32).
1 PewResearchCenter. (2015). America’s Changing Religious Landscape. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/
2 West, B. (2014). You Are God: The True Teachings of Jesus. The Mind Unleashed. Retrieved from http://themindunleashed.org/2015/11/you-are-god-the-true-teachings-of-jesus.html
3 Geisler, N. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI.
4 Slick, M. (2016). The Cosmelogical Argument. Retrieved from https://carm.org/cosmological-argument
5 Kopecky, R. (2016). What is Infinite Consciousness? Retrieved from http://www.gaia.com/article/infinite-consciousness
6 Sarfati, J. (2016). The Second Law of Thermodynamics. Retrieved from http://creation.com/the-second-law-of-thermodynamics-answers-to-critics
7 Smith, J. (2012). Emotional Energy. Retrieved from https://thesevenminds.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/emotional-energy/
8 Got Questions. (2017). What is Agape Love? Retrieved from https://gotquestions.org/agape-love.html
9 Got Questions. (2017). What did Jesus mean when He said, “The kingdom of God is within you?” Retrieved from https://www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-of-God-within-you.html
Author: Brian Kurkjian, Ed.D
Contributor: E.J. Stone