Denying True Reality: Mystic Evolutionism in Practice
A "great awakening" is taking place today among some leading evolutionists. They see and admit that the Darwinian evolutionist theory does not deal with the world which is but rather with a make-believe world invented to discredit belief in the Creator-God of the Bible. Three such leading evolutionists are astronomers Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe and paleontologist Colin Patterson of England. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe came to believe in God as the only possible explanation of the origins of life because "the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd."1 Hoyle said he was "at a loss to understand biologists' widespread compulsion to deny what seems to me to be obvious." Wickramasinghe even agreed to testify in support of the State of Arkansas in the recent court trial over that state's balanced treatment act of creation and evolution in its schools.
Most amazing are statements made by Colin Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History in an address he delivered on November 5, 1981 at the American Museum of Natural History to a select group of about fifty specialists interested in the subject of origins. He called contemporary evolutionary theory of the Darwinian type "an anti-theory, a void that has the function of knowledge but conveys none. . . Explanatory value of the hypothesis of common ancestry is nil. ... evolution not only conveys no knowledge but seems to somehow convey anti-knowledge, apparent knowledge which is harmful to systematics."2 From the most recent data, not yet published, on amino acid similarities in various animals Dr. Patterson showed in case after case that evolution theory made the wrong predictions. He concluded that basing one's systematics on evolution will give bad systematics, and that therefore he and many other systematics specialists base their classification system not upon ancestry but upon similarities in structures. Similarities in structures, of course, are precisely what creationists predict and explain on the grounds of the Creator-Designer using homologous designs. In practice the creationist "model" is vindicated. This is nothing new; noted Canadian entomologist William R. Thompson, F.R.S., pointed out in his preface to the 1956 Everyman edition of The Origin of Species that Darwinism stands contradicted by the fact that the taxonomic system as a whole. . appears as an orderly arrangement of clear-cut entities which are clear cut because they are separated by gaps"3 and the persistence of a few common fundamental structural plans.. . the animal world. . . can be divided into some ten great groups or phyla . . . stable and definable entities from the taxonomic standpoint."4
While such awakening (Patterson even strikingly speaks of waking up one morning to face the truth about the cognitive void of the evolutionary theory) may or may not eventually lead to belief in a Creator-God, who may or may not be perceived to be the God of the Bible, it does lead to recognition of the evolutionary world view as non-scientific to say the least, and as mystic, basically escapist make-believe fantasy to say the most. It is escapist because it will not face the real world, created, sustained and governed by the God of the Bible Whose creative decree is not subject to the wishful thinking of any creature. It is now becoming revealed as such, and those who have hitherto been able to nourish their faith in a Godless universe through the evolutionist myth are left starving, or naked as the Emperor in the children's fairy tale. Some, like Dr. Kenyon of San Francisco State College5 or, to a lesser degree, Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, face the true factual reality and its Maker. Others, like the biologists "denying the obvious" mentioned by Hoyle, cling to their Darwinian mystique. Yet others, like Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, substitute other would-be scientific theories for the discarded one.
It is at this point that the dividing line between superficially "scientific" positivist evolutionism, and explicitly "vitalist", "forces" or mystical-occult evolutionism is also becoming revealed as one of degree rather than kind. In a very perceptive article from the Biblical Christian perspective, Brooks Alexander writes:
Rationalist secularism and occult mysticism . . have no inherent barriers against. . syncretism. . As those two world views strive with one another, they tend to mingle. . Soon it becomes impossible to say whether a given movement, trend or school of thought is a secular impulse that has absorbed Eastern/occult values, or an Eastern/occult teaching that has dressed itself in secular language. .
Secular humanism thus readily escalates to a form of cosmic humanism. Occult philosophy is humanism taken to its logical conclusion.. Secular humanism and cosmic humanism thus can be seen as points along a spectrum of connected beliefs rather than as opposed ideologies. For that reason, the two world views will begin more and more to resemble one another. Thus distinctions between them will become increasingly blurred, which is only to be expected since most of them were illusory to begin with.6
This author has shown the affinities between positivist and mystic evolutionism in previous articles.7 It remains to be pointed out that the "make-believe" mentality now obvious in positivistic (Darwinian) evolutionism is also at the root, and revealed in the practice, of mystic-occult evolutionism in its various manifestations, such as "vitalistic evolution", "evolution by purposive forces", pantheistic-monist mysticism, and their subgroups. It is ironical that positivistic (Darwinian) evolutionists have been rejecting their mystic-occult evolutionist brethren because mystic evolutionism could not be empirically proved and must therefore be wishful thinking This rejection was, I believe, a remnant of the kind of skepticism which is but a form of the honest and basically humble love of truth essential to salvation by true reality/Truth, reminiscent of the "show-me" attitude of Doubting Thomas the Apostle of Christ. Remaining skeptical toward mystic evolutionism seems to show some element of healthy-mindedness or common sense.8 For the degree of wishful thinking within mystic evolutionism is quite incredible, and in practice borders upon certifiable insanity defined as wilful and conscious denial and distortion of true reality.
Let me illustrate by way of concrete example. Some time ago a friend of mine was locked up in a psychiatric ward. She had become so attracted to a married man that she daydreamed herself into the fixed idea that he reciprocated her feelings, would divorce his wife and marry her, without any evidence whatsoever in the man's behavior. Soon she kept saying with dogged and baffling intensity that her daydream would certainly occur. Yet she also knew this could happen only at the cost of treason to the man's wife (the true meaning of adultery). Eventually she withdrew into a totally isolated, subjective world of make-believe "reality" where her fantasy was fulfilled at no cost. Thanks to God's grace and Biblical counseling she was finally enabled to confront true reality and to abandon her fantasy. Today she is functioning, productive, sane and at peace; her deep and rightful womanly desire for love and marriage has been placed under Christ's easy yoke, God's will exercised within God's law.
Now my friend's substitution of an imaginary, subjective "reality", and denial of true reality under God's eternally settled law expressing His eternally faithful and unchanging character, is quite similar to certain techniques now taught and practiced as part of pantheist-monist mysticism, belief in evolution by purposive "forces", and their offspring, the "human potential movement." Consider, for example, the system of "confluent education" recently introduced in the public schools of Los Angeles. Its author, Or. Beverly Galyean, bases it upon the following belief:
Once we begin to see that we are all God . . . then I think the whole purpose of human life is to reown the Godlikeness within us . . . and when we do that, we create back to that old, that essential oneness which is consciousness.9
Under this system, first-grade children are told to imagine that the sun is shining directly into their eyes, but "despite its strength the sun's brightness doesn't hurt them."10 They are told to picture themselves full of light and containing all of the light in the universe.
With that light, the teacher says, they now feel at peace they are perfect. As they return from this fantasy journey, the children are reminded that they are intelligent magnificent and that they contain all of the wisdom of the universe within themselves. .
"I am a perfect person and student" is an expression which children are instructed to repeat to themselves frequently. The child can tap into this universal mind and receive advice, information and help from it. This is usually done through meditation and contact with spirit guides It would seem obvious to anyone attempting to prepare children for successful functioning in the real world that some very serious misconceptions are instilled here, quite apart from the more sinister implications of teaching contact with a "universal mind" and "spirit guides."
Part of a truly beneficial and maturing education is to learn to accept oneself as one realty is, who one's real limitations and real (not imaginary) strengths. No, children are not necessarily intelligent "magnificent" and all-wise No one is. It is, to put it bluntly, lying nonsense to repeat to oneself frequently that one is "a perfect person and student." The very next failure mercifully destroys this illusion in all but those who will not see and equally mercifully, most first-graders still do want to see.72 It is in itself a sign of the spirit of our time that this obvious truth about human fallibility (not to mention sinfulness) is seemingly disregarded by many educators. Frances Adeney writes:
As an educator, I attended three conferences which included confluent education workshops led by Dr. Galyean. In 1980, the Society for Accelerated Learning and Teaching sponsored a convention, "Education in the 80's." Well over three- fourths of the participants in Galyean's sessions were public school personnel. The Mandala Conference, a huge gathering of New Age proponents, sponsors four days of education workshops at their annual convention in San Diego, which I attended in 1980 and 1981. Hundreds of public school educators participate in this Eastern-oriented program. At both conventions, participants responded enthusiastically to Galyean's workshops, voicing no criticism of the program or its ties with Eastern/occult philosophy.13
It may astonish the reader who believes that religion is excluded from public school instruction that this supposedly ironclad principle does not hold in actual practice. Adeney also reports:
Galyean pointed out that many schools are quite open to overtly religious technologies such as meditation. In more conservative areas it is necessary to use euphemistic terms such as centering and focusing to describe meditation. . . . First graders are introduced to spirit guides although Galyean remarked that "Of course we don't call them that in the public schools. VVe call them imaginary guides."14
The "centering" and "focusing" techniques which form part of Dr. Galyean's "confluent education" system are also described in detail and warmly recommended in a book addressed to young parents, How to Help Your Children have a Spiritual Life, by Annette Hollander, M.D. This book was first published in April 1980, became a selection of the Young Parents Book Club in October 1980, and has been issued in a Bantam paperback edition for mass distribution in January 1982(1 picked up my copy on the shelves of my friendly neighborhood supermarket). The front page tells us that the author drew from the insights of the human potential movement. In a chapter entitled "Many Ways of Knowing" we are told:
"Centering" techniques offer more than relaxation . . . It has to do with contacting a core of inner strength in ourselves that is always there, whether or not we are doing anything. It is the place from which we move.15
The book is brimful with listings of resource materials and addresses of organizations belonging to the "human potential movement", and espousing beliefs of pantheist mysticism, "forces" evolutionism and "cosmic consciousness. The "third-force" school of psychology initiated by Abraham Maslow, and "fourth-force" transpersonal psychology are the basis for many recommendations. "Forces" evolutionism is represented among other sources by Marilyn Ferguson's The Aquarian Conspiracy,16 and Rudolf Steiner's The Education of the Child and Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood' Our Goddess and Heroine Heritage.17 The work of two famous psychologists of the "stages of psychological and moral development" theory (evolutionist in nature), Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg, are also heavily drawn upon and recommended for further study.
We would be guilty of make-believe ourselves if we disregarded the impact of the wide circulation and implementation of the above described materials. While I was preparing this article, a young nursing student friend told me of meditation-fantasy "centering" techniques taught in one of her classes at a Catholic hospital of "orthodox-conservative" reputation by a nun-teacher preaching belief in "good forces" and their influence. Add to these teachings imposed upon captive student audiences the incalculable impact of mysticevolutionist movies, comics, books of fiction and non-fiction, seminars and yes, sermons and you see that the outworking of mystic evolutionism in its various forms is all around us, our loved ones, our friends, children and grandchildren today. The true reality of God's creation, in which man must breathe oxygen and eat and drink to survive, and cannot survive on hydrogen, rocks and total lack of liquids; the true reality which is just as hard-and fast in its God-given moral law whose fulfillment alone is true love; the true reality in which some men are intelligent while others are dull or retarded, in which there is real pain, real evil and real loss through real sin; the true reality of that which by virtue of Biblical creation is-what-it-is, and is not what it is not, and cannot be wished into becoming other than that which it is or is not that reality is denied by the evolutionist myth-makers.
The antidote is clear and uncompromising presentation by word, and most importantly, by concrete practice moment by moment, of the good news of our God's creation of all things ex nihilo, and hence of His sovereignty which allows us true discernment between the true and the false, the right and the wrong, that which is, and that which is not. The Christian can speak of this God's grace in Christ which redeems and restores us to His true reality, saving us from our sins of rebelliously substituting our own subjective make-believe "reality" for His true one. While the confrontation dates back to the Serpent in Eden, it has perhaps never again been so widespread and clear-cut as today. The rise of Biblical creationism in our generation is no accident; like Queen Esther in the day of Haman, it has been prepared "for such a day as this."
"The physical sciences, good and innocent in themselves, had already. . begun to be warped, had been subtly maneuvered in a certain direction. Despair of objective truth had been increasingly insinuated into the scientists; indifference to it, and a concentration upon mere power, had been the result. Babble about the élan vital and flirtations with panpsychism were bidding fair to restore the Anima Mundi of the magicians. Dreams of the far future destiny of man were dragging up from its shallow and unquiet grave the old dream of Man as God." (That Hideous Strength, 203)
9 Quoted in Frances Adeney, "Educators Look East", in S.C.P. Journal, Vol. 5, No.1 (Winter 1981-82), (Spiritual Counterfeits Project, P.O. Box 2418, Berkeley, CA 94702), 29.
10 Ibid, 28
11 Ibid, 29
12 The author's 12-year old daughter Rebecca, who has Downs' Syndrome and an 1.0. of around 40, indignantly retorts, "lam NOT Smart" if anyone tries to praise her for supposed smartness. I have learned greatly through and from her; not least is the great truth that a true assessment of ourselves is essential to true appreciation of and gratitude for the true love of our Father in Heaven, and of our charitable fellow men, for us as we really are. How blessed in the gift of childlike humility granted by love of the truth !
13 Adeney, op. cit. 30.
15 Annette Hollander, M.D., How To Help Your Child Have a Spiritual Life. (New York: Bantam Books edition, January 1982), 46.
16 For an examination of this book, see Ellen Myers, op. cit. in CSSH Quarterly, Vol. IV, No.3 (Spring 1982), and op. cit. in CSSH Quarterly, Vol. IV, No.4 (Summer 1982).
17 For an examination of Rudolf Steiner and his mystic evolutionist school of thought known as "anthroposophy", see Ellen Myers, "The Ultimate Evolutionist Model: Evolution by Purposive 'Forces"' in CSSH Quarterly, Vol. IV, No.4 (Summer 1982).