You might be asking what does yoga have to do with Christian Science? The answer, of course, is “Nothing!” However some of our younger Church members, as well as those not so young, seem to be getting confused about this and are promoting it as something that can lead to peace and God.
This position is fraught with peril.
Let me explain.
Yoga is rooted in the religious/philosophical practices of Buddhism and Hinduism—both of which are antipodal to Christian Science in every conceivable way. They present a false sense of spirituality whereby their adherents, many of whom are no doubt well-meaning individuals, think they are following a spiritual path by gazing inwardly through the brain/body (human consciousness) for enlightenment—something that neither can provide since they are material concepts and thereby inherently false—instead of looking outwardly to God, the one and only Mind in Whom “we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) The sensations produced upon the devotees feign bliss and peace while actually causing the individual to fall more deeply into the dream of mortal existence.
Now you might be thinking: “Well, I’m just doing yoga for exercise. There’s nothing wrong with that!”
That’s your choice, of course, but you need to be aware of the fire that you’re playing with. Each of the movements/gestures is imbued with millennia of so-called spiritual significance and thought—thought that millions around the globe are still investing it with. Thought that cannot be divorced from it. And thought that can wrongfully influence you away from the ability to experience and practice the healing power of Christian Science.
The biblical tree of the knowledge of good and evil has many fruits—all of which we would do well to avoid!
Thanks for this reminder, Ken. I think there is a lot of confusion on this issue and you explain quite simply. There just seems to be such a willingness to lightly dismiss the history and origins of such bodily focused activity.
You’re welcome! And thanks for your comment! Yes, animal magnetism–the carnal mind, mortal mind–would tempt us to do just that: lightly dismiss error! 🙂
Thank you, Ken! The phrase “looking outwardly to God” might possibly be misinterpreted in the sense that one should look into the outward world (with our pysical senses) to find God. Searching for God’s thoughts is also an “inward” looking, away from the outside world, with our spiritual senses. But if the heart is filled with God’s presence, we shall indeed see His likeness also outside, in fact everywhere – like in the Arabian proverb: Look at your children and see how God is playing with them.” – Uli von Burski
Thank you for your comment, but the phrase that concerns you is one that is based on a letter from Mary Baker Eddy re this very issue. Here is the quote:
“The Hindu prophet or Yogi will tell you that matter is illusion and then interpret his philosophy and religion through matter, alias illusion. Looking into this thing, our Master asked, ‘Do men gather grapes of thorns?’ Can men make illusion profitable or demonstrate Truth by error? The Hindu prophet avers that brain matter is the channel for intelligence. Therefore matter must maintain the inter-communion between his deity and the Hindu adept. His hypotheses demand that we look inwardly for all enlightenment. But Christian Science demands, as did St. Paul’s Christianity, that we look outwardly to God for divine power and away from human consciousness. St. Paul argues against introspection whereby to work out the salvation of men, and says to be absent from the body is to be present with God.” (Mary Baker Eddy Library: A10398)
Since I did say, “looking outwardly to God” and not “outwardly to the world”, and since my point is based on her statement, I think I’m on safe ground here! 🙂
thank you Ken,
it is a rather sober recognition but it is absolutely true that nothing else has a real, practical influence on thought than Mind, God, alone. I remember sometime ago, when I was active in my operetic carreer and seeking comfort und strength in some esoteric thoughts and practices and finding absolutely none, I turned immediately again to my work in Christian Science alone. I was very grateful for the exposing of this false way of seeking comfort and inspiration and since then, my focus is always prayer in Christian Science and knowing that divine Mind alone is the source of my strength, comfort, inspiration joy and spiritual gorwoth.
Thank you and thanks so much for sharing your experience of having tasted those false fruits, finding no satisfaction in them, and then turning back to the Comforter–Christian Science! 🙂