The Things That Are Happening
In the world of spirituality, how do we know which religion is "right" or "wrong"?
BY: Ptolemy Tompkins
Recently, while working on the manuscript of "The Divine Life of Pets," my book about the soul-life of animals, I ordered a book from Amazon that, once I had it in my hands, I realized wasn’t going to be all that useful to me. I decided that it might be of interest to a woman in my apartment complex a few floors down from me, so I left it with George, our doorman, to pass to her.
A few days later, George stopped me on my way out of the building.
George is Hungarian and has been working at my apartment building for years. While I knew him as a responsible doorman and a pleasant person, I didn’t know anything about his personal life beyond the fact that he was fond of sports and liked to keep up with what was going on in his native country by reading Hungarian-language newspapers.
“That book you asked me to deliver,” George said in his correct but heavily accented English. “I wanted to speak to you about it.”
Had the book been lost? I was about to tell George it didn’t matter when he continued.
“I am so interested to learn that you read about these things too,” he said.
“What things?” I asked.
George raised his arms slightly and smiled.
“Ah, you know. The soul. Spiritual transformation. The higher self…The things”--and here George paused for a moment, as if looking for the right words--“that arehappening
something happening? I think it might be. That encounter with George was only the latest piece of evidence I’ve bumped into in recent days that people are thinking about spiritual matters in a new way.
As someone who grew up in the early seventies in an unconventional household where alternative spiritualities (occultism, Eastern religions, etc.) held sway, I’m no stranger to the idea, popular in New Age circles, that the earth is about to undergo a massive change in perspective: a paradigm shift in which people will rise into a higher, more spiritually attuned condition.
But as someone who has written forAngels On Earth
for over ten years, I’m equally aware that for most Americans, such ideas raise deep suspicions. Most Christians are highly suspicious of New Age ideas, and the transformative visions of the individual and the earth at large that most New Age philosophies promise in one form or another.