Of course, the determined atheist of the past could not accept the existence of soul and spirit and so continued to support materialism even in the face of growing evidence to the contrary. This attitude maintained its dominance in science until very recently. Science has been traditionally given such unquestioned authority that it was virtually worshiped, giving rise to the religion of scientism. Scientism is an immensely powerful factor in shaping both secular and religious thought in today’s world. Charles Tart defines scientism as “the psychological dominance of a materialistic philosophy hardened into dogma and masquerading as an authentic science….”
Many scientists, following the lead of Einstein, turned to mysticism. Rather than admit the existence of the God of the Bible, they postulated a universal Force behind evolution, or a universal mind or consciousness. Psychology helped to establish these pseudo-spiritual beliefs. Carl Jung, who was heavily involved in the occult, had already postulated his “collective unconsciousness,” a concept which he received by inspiration from the demonic realm. Today’s remote viewers are convinced that the information they pick up comes from the “collective unconscious.” We will examine that claim in due course.
While the development of transpersonal psychologies in the early 1970s brought an almost grudging admission that the realm of the spirit was real, there was a reluctance to admit that science had no jurisdiction over it. Science continued to be regarded as the only way to evaluate the nonphysical as well as the physical. We had been conditioned to revere a “scientific explanation” for all phenomena.
Many of those involved in the New Age were only too eager to pretend they had “scientific” support. When TM 9one form of yoga) fell flat as the “Spiritual Regeneration Movement,” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi changed its name to “The Science of Creative Intelligence.” With that new and deceitful name, TM becomes a success worldwide.
One of the most ancient religious practices in Hinduism and Buddhism is now widely accepted in the West as the science of yoga. This new designation gives yoga a respectability which it does not deserve. Among those determined to rebirth religious practices as science was Dr. Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, who studied at Stanford university under famed psychologist William James. Evans-Wentz became known as the “scholar-gypsy”; he traveled the world seeking initiation into Hinduism, Buddhism, and other pagan religious practices. His first book involved years of research into the existence of the “wee folk” of Ireland. He wrote:
“We can postulate scientifically, on the showing of the data of physical research, the existence of such invisible intelligences as gods, genii, daemons, all kinds of true fairies, and disembodied men [spirits of the dead].”
If such beliefs sound like old-fashioned superstition, then take a close look at Touched by an Angel, one of the most popular television shows today. Many viewers unabashedly take its charming lessons on life and theories about the next life very seriously. Whether there is any connection to a heightened expectation raised by the program itself, accounts are multiplying from those who claim they have encountered angels. Of course, such encounters have been claimed since the beginning of time.
Some of today’s most deceptive cults have adopted the word “science to give their brand of spirituality credibility and authority: Science of Mind, Religious Science, Christian Science, et al. There could be no greater anachronism or delusion, inasmuch as the mind and spirit are outside the realm of science. It would be an equal delusion to insist, upon the basis of any analysis made by physical science, that the occult (which operates in the realm of mind, soul, spirit) was nonexistent. Physical science, by very definition, can make no judgments concerning a nonphysical spirit realm.