After we fed the neighborhood and gave out devotionals, reading some of the Bible verses to the vendors, we headed back to my place to prepare for the Eckankar seminar. It was important to saturate our minds with the truth beforehand, so we listened to the whole CD together before we went. We put a label on the CDs that read, “The Riddle of Reincarnation- Past Lives Testimonials.” It’s true that Walter Martin does go over several past lives testimonials on the CD with, of course, a Biblical perspective. We took about ten books of quotes from America’s Founding Fathers, and I packed my purse full of Meditate on This booklets which have specific verses that are opposed to the New Age Movement, as well as excerpts from the Satanic Bible to show that the New Age Movement is essentially the same thing as Satanism. So, off we went praying in the car for the Lord to go before us and the Holy Spirit to meet us there.
We got there early and spoke to Wendy who was sitting by herself. I asked her how she was doing, and she said, “Not too well.” Long story short, I explained how to become a Christian. I prayed for Wendy after she told me about some physical and emotional problems she was facing. She took the Meditate on This booklet. She said she didn’t believe in reincarnation, so we didn’t give a reincarnation CD to her.
We were greeted very warmly by the Eckankar teacher. Eckankar is a belief system with a focus on dreams and interpretations, past lives, and “Soul Travel”, including astral projection (where the soul leaves the body, travels, and then comes back to the body) through meditation. They have potlucks, worship services, and temples. It was founded in 1965 by Paul Twitchell who was born in KY. He was a “seeker” from an early age and was introduced to a group of “Vairagi ECK Masters” who would change the course of his life. They trained him to be the living ECK Master. I asked for more details on this, as I assume this was a spiritual encounter with these masters and not physical, but the teacher did not give me any further details. Their ECK brochure says this man, Paul, explored “a wide range of spiritual traditions under different teachers. The high teachings of ECK had been scattered to the four corners of the world. Paul gathered these golden teachings of Light and Sound and made them readily available to us.” Today, Eckankar is a non-profit, religious organization having members in over one hundred countries with its “spiritual home” at the Temple of ECK in Chanhassen, Minnesota. They claim their teachings can be traced throughout the spiritual history of the world and have been passed on by ECK Masters since before recorded history. They describe it as “the religion of the Light and Sound of God.”
We had been praying before we arrived that the presentation would not go smoothly for the teacher. We walked in and the teacher announced, “Well, for some reason the video can’t be shown because the VHS player won’t work! And also, we are missing our board that they were supposed to have brought us, so we are going to do something different today.” It ended up being all questions and answers! It was the perfect format for us to reach these people. There we sat in prayer. She said, “Let’s begin by saying the HU prayer and then singing the HU song.” You take deep breaths in and out and then the HU sound opens your heart up to “god.” None of us participated. I just sat there with my head bowed thinking about Scripture while they were all humming “HU.” The practitioners claim this sound will heal a broken heart, help people experience divine love, offer solace during times of grief, and guidance for decision making.
When their HU prayer was finally over, the teacher said, “Now we are going to talk about past lives. Does anyone have an affinity for a place they have never been? That means you were probably there in a past life.” One guy raised his hand and said, “I think I lived in Greece.” Another guy said, “I have a feeling I lived in Egypt in a past life…” The teacher looked at me and asked, “Dwayna, do you have a place?” I smiled and said, “No.” She went on around to all of the people in the room. It was interesting to me that everyone who had had a “past life” had lived in very romantic getaway type of places. No one had ever lived in Russia before or been a homeless person in India, for instance. That was interesting to me.
After the soul journey discussion, the teacher then announced, “Now we are going to talk about dreams. Our dreams lead us and guide us to our highest existence. Would anyone like a dream interpretation?” The guy beside me, who had been in ECK for over a year said, (and I am not kidding) “I had a dream the other night about a cat, and my cat was on my shoulder, and it felt good. What does that mean?” I thought to myself these poor people. These poor, poor people. She smiled, delighted at the chance to explain further, “Well, the cat represents love, and since it was on your shoulder that means love will never leave,” and everyone laughed. She asked, “Dwayna, do you have a dream you would like to share?” I tried my best to smile, although I’m sure that it was obvious that I was faking it. I said, “Nope. I sleep very well, and I don’t have any recollection of dreams usually.” She asked, “How about a daydream?” I said, “Actually, there are no daydreams I would like to share at this time.” She seemed a little frustrated at that point and said, “Now, come on, this is easy. You can do this. Just remember a dream.” She looked around the room and announced, “We are trying to leave our ego!” I raised my hand very meekly, and she turned to me. I asked, “Well, I have a question. How can someone be highly enlightened and yet have no ego?” The ECK guy beside me said, “That’s a good question.”
(Of course, as Christians, we know that dream interpretation belongs to God, as the Bible says in Genesis 40:8: Then they said to him, “We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not dream interpretations belong to God?” If we are ever troubled by our dreams, the Bible says we should ask God to help us understand them).
The teacher went on to say that the truth is all about love and within each of us. She said, “Where else could you find more love, than right here in this room?” I raised my hand and said, “A scripture from the Bible comes to mind. It says But God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. What do you think of that?” She answered, “That is beautiful.” And then she went on to change to subject from the Bible back to an individual’s subjective experience, even trying to make the case that good and evil are the same thing.
I continued, “So, are you saying that there is nothing wrong with rape? That is not wrong? It is good?” Another Christian in our group raised his hand and said, “I need a manual to work a computer, and I need a manual for my car. What is your manual? Do you guys have a manual for living life? The Bible is my manual.” An ECK guy sitting close by me joined in and said that his manual was the Bible, as well as other books. I reached in my purse and I handed him a pocket sized Meditate on This booklet and earmarked the page for Day 8 which reads, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength…Jeremiah 17:5” The guy read it and said out loud, “Oh, my goodness!”
I asked how the world was formed according to ECK, and she said that it was formed by the Holy Spirit. Another Christian in our group asked how she knew the difference between the Holy Spirit and the other spirits. She said it call comes from within.
She asked if there were any more questions, and I raised my hand and asked, “What do you think of Jesus in the Bible? I mean, the person of Jesus Christ was not just some cosmic christ consciousness.” She said, “He was wonderful and very highly enlightened.” I continued, “Because the Jesus of the Bible didn’t just kiss the babies, but He also called people white washed tombs and talked about hell.” I went on to give my testimony to the whole class and share with the whole class the Gospel! The teacher said, “That was just beautiful. One thing about ECK is we don’t turn anyone away. Christians are welcome just like everyone else.” I said, “Well, I have everything I need in the Bible, and I don’t have a need to be back, because I just can’t go for all of this that goes against the Bible.” A person from the class asked, “So, if anything goes against the Bible, you can’t believe it?” I answered, “Right. It doesn’t make sense, like why did Jesus die, if there is such a thing as reincarnation? Why did He die on the cross? ”
The whole class started to participate and many hands were raised to the point where the teacher was losing control a bit. One of the long time members said she was having “soul travels” while we were talking about Jesus. The teacher looked as if her karma just may have shifted a little…Slightly agitated, she warned,” We are going to have to wrap this up now. People have been debating these types of things since the beginning of time.” Then, her “Stepford Wives” dazed expression returned as she said, “But, Oh, how I have loved the conversation. What a unique day this has been.”
They sang one more round of the HU, and we Christians just constantly quoted Scripture softly under our breath while we endured it! Every single person in the class took a Walter Martin CD on reincarnation, a Meditate on This booklet, and the book of quotes from presidents, etc. to show America’s Christian heritage!
Our prayers were answered, because the people were receptive. We will probably never see them again (unless someone from the group gets saved and we see him or her in heaven). I am sure I wouldn’t be welcome to visit again, even if I desired to do so after they hear that Walter Martin CD. They asked, “Does the CD really cite past lives testimonials?” I said, “It sure does.” What I didn’t tell them is the first sentence he speaks is, “We are now entering the world of the occult.”
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight.” – Isaiah 5:20-21
Enjoying the Lord with you,