Monday, December 3, 2018

What’s Your Aura?

We are one week away from my Advent talk on Expectation at Holy Redeemer Church in Burton!  Please join me on Monday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m. in their large hall!

Brief follow-up on Erasing Gender . . . the president of Chile just signed into law a bill that permits people 14 or older to legally “change their name and gender in the civil registry” (read more)  

What's Your Aura?

When we were in Sedona, Arizona this past summer, our oldest daughter and I joked about having our aura read.  There were signs in local new age centers inviting people to come in and have their “photo” taken.

Not knowing what it was, but knowing it was something we would not get involved in, it caused further discussion about crystals.  What are they?  What are they supposed to do for us?

So naturally, I was intrigued when I read What’s the Difference Between Crystals and Relics by the Catholic News Agency.

It is a well-written piece that includes warnings about why crystals are harmful for people to buy into.  In comparing the crystals and relics, one of the interesting points was that with relics, you are connecting with saints who are close to God, but with crystals, you are drawing on “’perverted’ spiritual energy.”  

So what about our aura in Arizona?

Apparently aura photos pick up your energy field which is displayed as color around your body (think 70's Mood Ring).  Through the color field, it is claimed that certain things can be determined, like whether you are healthy or depressed or are having relationship problems.  The cost of having a photo taken, from the site I am referencing, is $50.  They claim that “By studying the colors of the aura, they can also see inherent talents and abilities and it is not uncommon to discover personal spirit guides, angels, deceased relatives, new pregnancies and past life impressions.”  Their aura camera is a very accurate, $10,000 Polaroid, and of course, you need a very intuitive reader to interpret it.

As it says in Jesus Christ The Bearer of the Water of Life (published by the Pontifical Council for Culture/Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue):

It is best to stay away from the New Age stuff and stick with insightful, solid commentary such as can be found in Jesus Christ The Bearer of the Water of Life.

It says:

New Age has become immensely popular as a loose set of beliefs, therapies and practices, which are often selected and combined at will, irrespective of the incompatibilities and inconsistencies this may imply.”

But, the purpose of the Council’s reflection guide is for “Catholics involved in preaching the Gospel and teaching the faith at any level within the Church. This document does not aim at providing a set of complete answers to the many questions raised by the New Age or other contemporary signs of the perennial human search for happiness, meaning and salvation. It is an invitation to understand the New Age and to engage in a genuine dialogue with those who are influenced by New Age thought.”  (Paragraph 1)

Here we can see once again that the Church has, at its heart, the goal of understanding and dialoguing with those outside its practices and beliefs.

This is necessary, of course, and follows the example of Jesus who dined with those who opposed him or who followed a path of immorality.  He understood that there is zero chance of having influence or drawing others to him, if genuine dialogue is shut down.

It can be frustrating, though, because  the more you read this New Age stuff, the stranger their language becomes.  For instance, on the particular website I was reviewing, they said:

“Now allow the truth to be true for you! Our bodies get sick, they break and ultimately they dissolve back into that from which they came. Consciousness is not that. Consciousness is nothing – or better said – no thing. Said one more way to drive this most important point home, anything that you can see is not consciousness. You and I are consciousness –pure consciousness which has no substance –no mass. No mass means no time. No time means eternal. No mass means that you occupy no space. No space means that you have no borders –your [sic] are boundless, eternal and beyond pain and suffering. This is true life the promose [sic] of all our teachers and sages –over all the countless ages.”

One more thing.  A few years ago I came across a very popular book titled Conversations with God.  I checked it out because an acquaintance considered it “his bible.”  What I noticed in this book—and with so many other things (like the New Age stuff)—is that one might find a very thin thread of something that is familiar or appealing from the Christian tradition, enough so that it confuses the truth of Christianity, replacing it, as in the book’s case, with a self-created fallacy.  Because of some of the familiar material, Christians are susceptible to thinking it is sound, which it is not.

The best thing we can do when we encounter writings and practices that are outside the norm, is to check them against what we know as taught by the Church or addressed by those who have credibility within it.  If something does not sound right, it most likely is problematic.

I encourage you to follow the links that I provide in these columns as they often have more clarifying information on the particular subject addressed.

Janet Cassidy

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