Shepherding & Charismatic Movements
They Shall Be as gods
“And the serpent said unto the
woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat
thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good
And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was
pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…”
Quakerism is called " a
mystical reform movement.” 23. Mysticism is defined in the following
Ferguson asserts that a state of voluntary spirit possession, [is]
"the core of mystical experience."24.
According to Alan Gauld, William James was, “
the famous psychologist, philosopher and father of author Henry James,”
who, “ became president of the American S.P.R. in
The S.P.R. is the occult Society for Psychical Research.
Before becoming a psychologist in 1890,
“James had been
trained as a chemist and a physician, so that his evolution from the study of
matter to the study of man’s religious longings was throughout supported by
science, which was the kind of knowledge his century most admired.” 26. James
was, “a leader of the philosophical movement of
Pragmatism and of the psychological movement of functionalism…[His father]
Building upon the works of Swedenborg, which had been proffered as a revelation
from God for a new age of truth and reason in religion, the elder James
[Williams father] had constructed a system of his own that seems to have served
him as a vision of spiritual life. This philosophy provided the permanent
intellectual atmosphere of William's home life…” 27.
One author states:
initial organization was composed mainly of enthusiastic Spiritualists, but at
the core was an experienced team of paranormal investigators, the so-called
The Sidgwick Group consisted of
Henry Sidgwick, Frederic W.H. Myers, Edmund Gurney, Walter Leaf, Lord Raleigh,
Arthur Balfour and his sisters Eleanor (who married Sidgwick in 1876) and Evelyn
(Lady Raleigh), among others... This informal group had originally been formed in
1874 for the purpose of investigating mediums and Spiritualistic seances...."
The Society for Psychical Research home
page describes their mission and range of study to include the following:
"The principal areas of study of psychical research
concerns exchanges between minds, or between minds and the environment, which
are not dealt with by current orthodox science. This is a large area,
incorporating such topics as extrasensory perception (telepathy, clairvoyance,
precognition and retrocognition), psychokinesis (paranormal effects on physical
objects, including poltergeist phenomena), near-death and out-of-the-body
experiences, apparitions, hauntings, hypnotic regression and paranormal healing.
One of the Society's aims has been to examine the question of whether we survive
bodily death, by evaluating the evidence provided by mediumship, apparitions of
the dead and reincarnation studies." http://moebius.psy.ed.ac.uk/~spr/#Origins
The SPR continues today, studying all manner of occult
manifestations, which includes the following.
Inquiry into all forms of paranormal cognition (ESP,
clairsentience, verdical hallucinations).
Inquiry into all forms of paranormal motion and action
(poltergeist, levitation, teleportation).
Inquiry into altered states of
& dreams, hypnotism, out-of-body experiences).
Inquiry into mediumship and related phenomena
(automatic writing, spirit communication).
Investigation of evidence for survival after death and
Investigation of all other phenomena that appear to be
Investigation of the social psychological aspects of
all such phenomena, within and across cultural boundaries.
"Development of new ways of thinking concerning the
application of accepted scientific theories to the findings of the above
The original SPR also studied psi phenomena and
explains the determined need to do so was the basis of a new religion.
“…The existence of
parapsychological phenomena continues to be a subject of dispute,
although societies for the study of psychic phenomena, made up of
eminent scientists and laymen, have been in existence for over a
century. In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was founded in
London, followed six years later by the founding of a similar society in
the United States, partly through the efforts of psychologist William
of two types have been described. They may be cognitive, as in the case
of clairvoyance, telepathy, or precognition; here one person is believed
to have acquired knowledge of facts, of other people's thoughts, or of
future events, without the use of the ordinary sensory channels--hence
the term extrasensory perception (; Esp) …parapsychological phenomena
may be physical in character: the fall of dice or the dealing of cards
is thought to be influenced by a person's "willing" them to
fall in a certain way; or objects are moved, often in a violent fashion,
by poltergeists (see poltergeist). The term psychokinesis is often used
in this connection...”
of the reasons for interest in psychical research in the last
half of the 19th century was the rise of the spiritualist movement
that grew out of the acceptance of spirit communication as real and the
use of this as the basis of a new religion.” 28. [bolding added]
We know there is nothing new under the sun, and what is
described as new by these 'Spiritualists' is simply embracement of the the
At the age of 59, William James delivered a lecture
series (1901-1902) , which resulted in the book, “The Varieties of Religious
Experience.” Understanding that psychology is a religion based on a rejection
of Jesus Christ, it is noteworthy that James’ book is about the 'psychology of
religion'. He presents the example of a "genius leader,” of which
Quaker, George Fox, is considered the very best example.
"Even more perhaps
than other kinds of genius, religious leaders have been subject to
abnormal psychical visitations. Invariably they have been creatures of
exalted emotional sensibility. Often they have led a discordant inner
life and had melancholy during a part of their career. They have known
no measure, been liable to obsessions and fixed ideas; and frequently
they have fallen into trances, heard voices, seen visions..." 29
James goes on to say that Fox's Quakerism could not be
religion which he founded is something which it is impossible to
overpraise. In a day of shams, it was a religion of veracity rooted in
spiritual inwardness, and a return to something more like the original
gospel truth than men had ever known in England. So far as our Christian
sects to-day are evolving into liberality, they are simply reverting in
essence to the position which Fox and the early Quakers so long ago
Showing that many are given similar mystic
illuminations, James shares the experiences of Jacob Boehme and George Fox
in their moments of 'illumination,' where they “knew all things.”
the] age of twenty-five...was "surrounded by the divine light, and
replenished with the heavenly knowledge; [He states]...In one quarter of
an hour I saw and knew more than if I had been many years together at an
university. For I saw and knew the being of all things, the Byss and the
Abyss, and the eternal generation of the holy Trinity...I knew and saw
in myself all the three worlds...knew the whole working essence, in the
evil and in the good...I had a thorough view of the universe as in a
chaos, wherein all things are couched and wrapt..." Jacob Behmen's
Theosphic Philosophy, etc. by Edward Taylor, London, 1691, pp. 425, 427,
abridged. So George Fox: ‘I was come up to the state of Adam in which
he was before he fell. The creation was opened to me; according to their
nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should
practice physic for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues
of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord." Journal
Philadelphia, no date, p. 69. Contemporary 'Clairvoyance' abounds in
similar revelations..." 31
God views 'gods' as belonging
to Him and they will be judged, just like any other person.
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
to Cosmic Consciousness
Previous Section: The ‘god'
IN EVERY MAN
23. Article: Friends, Society of (Quakers) p. 374;
William H. Gentz; General Editor; The Dictionary of Bible and Religion;
Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1986,
24. An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mysticism and the
Mystery Religions, p. 148; as cited p. 229, The Secret Teachings of the Masonic
Lodge: A Christian Perspective; John Ankerberg and John Weldon,; Moody Press,
25. Alan Gauld, The Founders of Psychical Research,
Schocken Books, New York: 1968, p. 140
26. The Varieties of Religious Experience; p. vi;
William James, A Mentor Book; 'A Study in Human Nature: Gifford Lectures of
Natural Religion Delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902'; The New American Library
of World Literature, Inc. 1958; (psychology of religion) Forward by Jacques
27. James, William" Encyclopædia Britannica
Online. March 9 2000
28. "parapsychological phenomenon" Encyclopædia
Britannica Online. Accessed March 9 2000.
29. op.cit. James, p. 24
30. Ibid. p. 25
31. Ibid. p. 315
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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