Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guided imagery and the Christian

The Ohio State University Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers two online videos to help faculty and staff manage the stress and financial pressures that many are experiencing in these difficult economic times. There are two: a 13-minute “Walk, Talk & Breathe: Learning to Manage Stress in Difficult Times” and the 23-minute “Relieving Financial Stress.” I only watched a few minutes, and I might have giggled at the poor quality and nasal voices, if I hadn't recognized immediately that the University is perilously close to pushing religion on its employees when it gets started on guided imagery to relieve stress. But aside from the spiritual nature of it, I think I would have hired a professional to do the voice overs or actors, instead of squirmy, self-consious university staff, because we are just all accustomed to seeing pros on screen.

Yes, exercise and breathing correctly can probably help stress levels--walk briskly or jump rope and you'll feel the stress go; but so can cutting up your credit card, listening to some quiet music, and kneading a batch of home made bread. None of those require reaching down into your inner being and pulling out a plum--your very own god-likeness. Guided imagery is just a form of "new age" religion, based on the very, very old age forms of eastern religions and mysticism.

Here's what the voice of Lisa will do, according to the blurb (in my opinion, Lisa doesn't have the voice for this): "With gentleness and vision, Lisa guides us to the shore of our inner wisdom, and helps us to remember that if we consistently bridge back to it, it will never fail us." And here's what Christianity teaches about that "divine center"--your inner wisdom or core that Lisa's going to help you find--it is the source of sin and rebellion and false gods. You may think you experience God (I doubt she says that but I only listened to a few minutes), that same God which is a universal consciousness, residing within everyone, guiding them on the path to some sort of peace or perfection, but it's a lie. That makes us all little gods. That's the oldest story in Genesis. This denies everything Christians know about reality, about sin, and about solutions.

If you are feeling stressed about finances, open your Bible--don't turn to the university or the government. I think finances and wealth may be the #1 topic--and centers on this verse, "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Ps 24:1

See The empty promise


mdoneil said...

We used to have a cabin on the shore of my inner wisdom, but we sold it after we moved out of Upstate New York.

Norma said...

Matthew, you crack me up. I know my inner wisdom has a bridge to nowhere.