Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the Editor
Healing, Mysticism and TM
1344 East Mayfair Avenue
Orange, California 92667
From: JASA 26
(March 1974): 40.
Has the Journal ASA ever grappled with the crucial subject of healing, or can you suggest any other outstanding sources of ideas on it? Of course, if one does not believe in any "miraculous" or "spiritual" healings today, there is no problem. But if as a Christian one believes that such healings are occurring today, one has to face the fact that some are occurring in non-Christian settings. One can attribute all extraordinary healings either to Christ or to Satan and be done with it, I suppose, but those of us with a scientific bent need to come to grips with the whole subject.
In the article by Denton in Journal ASA 25, 99 (1973) he lists eight mystical experiences known to drug users. Does lie mean to differentiate these states from those experienced without drugs? On page 104 he said that "there are better and more lasting ways to experience the potential depth, variety richness, esctasy and meaning of life than by chemicals," The most obvious means that comes to mind today is Transcendental Meditation, which is scientifically demonstrated to he healthful for the body. Is Denton for it or against it?
On page 101 Denton said that some thirsty young people (thirsty for euphoria/ ecstasy or identity, meaning, transcendence, or personalization) drink from "drug induced springs filled with waters of deception." What does he make of mysticism that is not drug-induced; is it also deception? Does he mean that the eight states listed on page 100 are deceptions of Satan? I am not just nit-picking; I am eager to learn, what he means and what the position of your organization is on these topics.
Have you yet offered a serious analysis of Transcendental Meditation as a meditative technique of proven therapeutic value? This week the University of California at Irvine began a course on this topic and some closely related topics, taught by an instructor in their school of medicine. As you may have heard, our state legislature recently passed a recommendation that the public schools of California should begin to offer courses in TM. As the parent of a hyperkinetic child with learning disabilities, I am interested in the possibility of this calming exercise for school children, but as a Christian I fear the possibility of inflicting some subtle spiritual danger upon school children in the guise of an innocent and healthful influence.