This embrace of an “anything goes” spirituality has been in process for some time. Going back to August 1987, the annual conference of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology was titled “Spirit in Action.” Pittsburgh psychologist Jon Spiegel, writing in the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) Newsletter, declared, “AHP has always held spiritual concerns close to its heart…[remaining] open to spiritual practices both east and west. We have championed the return of spirit to therapy.”
One can only wonder what humanists mean by spirit, spiritual concerns, and spiritual practices. In fact, they are willing to accept almost any “spirituality”—Buddhism, Hinduism, witchcraft, or any form of shamanism. There is one “spirituality,” however, which is not acceptable, and that is Christianity. Why? Because it claims to be the truth, a claim that is intolerable for those who must remain open to anything—except, of course, Christianity.
The new spirituality maintains that “right” is what is “right for you,” which may be different from what is “right for me.” But that doesn’t matter because we’re both “right” in our own way. Truth is whatever one chooses to believe because the source of truth lies within each of us.
The new respectability given to the occult in the 1990s reflects at least in part an upsurge in interest in religion. The nation’s Christian bookstores, numbering more than 2500, had about 3 billion dollars in sales in 1995, three times the total in 1980. Nor do Christian books any longer come exclusively from religious presses as they did a few years earlier, but many now come from the large secular publishers. Early in 1997 the Lily Foundation gave a 5-million-dollar grant to WNET-TV, New York’s public television station, to produce 39 weekly half-hour feature programs about religion and ethics to premiere in the summer of 1997. “Religion Newsweekly,” as the program is to be called, “will cover a variety of religious viewpoints and…will not ‘proselytize’ for any particular religion….”
Once again there is no right and wrong, no truth. One religion is as good as another. Yet the many important contradictions between religions render that view impossible.
Common sense cannot refrain from protest. This “truth doesn’t exist” or “it doesn’t matter” approach would be disastrous if it were adopted in real life. Imagine an airline pilot practicing that philosophy. He certainly wouldn’t reach his intended destination, nor would he and his passengers live very long. Then why should intelligent people imagine that just any road will lead to heaven? Wouldn’t the God who has imposed such definite laws on the physical universe (without which there could be no science) have equally definite