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November 8, 2009

gorgeous-sedona-arizona-sunset copyOn October 8, 2009, James Arthur Ray led a group of 50 plus spiritual seekers to Sedona Arizona to participate in a Native American cleansing ritual.  A ritual that left three dead and eighteen injured.  At $10,000 per person, that’s a pretty bad bargain.  So what were these people looking for at such an exorbitant price?  Spiritual enlightenment, of course.

A friend of mine had been trying to get me to accompany her to her vacation home in Sedona for many years, but my work schedule just wouldn’t permit it.  I am Christian, she is Jewish Israeli, but from what she told me about this New Age haven, I scarcely felt the urge to go.

Sedona is a mecca for New Age adherents and metaphysical occultists.  They claim that Sedona has the most powerful magnetic field in the country and boasts powerful mystical energy that can cure disease and bring one in alignment with the universe. 

According to Alison Braidwood of Arizona Leisure Vacation Guide: 

“It’s believed that vortex energy encourages healing, is an aid to meditation, and encourages feelings of wellbeing. The New Age industry that’s sprung up as a result encompasses vortex tours, artists, crystal healing and a wide range of alternative practitioners.

The term vortex, as it applies to Sedona, was coined by Page Bryant, a medium who began investigating local sites sacred to Native Americans in the early 1980s. Sedona’s “vortex tourism” industry may only have existed for a few decades, but the special properties of the sites have been known to local tribes for generations.

Debate rages as to what the vortex energy is, exactly. It could be electro-magnetic, emanating from the earth’s core. Some people think the energy exists in another dimension but that it somehow crosses over into our world.”[1]

Wendi Friend adds:

“Then, of course, there’s the electromagnetic field factor. Now here’s one area on which the science and metaphysical communities can and do agree. Electromagnetic fields are real. However, the effects of those fields are understood in completely different ways by scientists and metaphysics. What’s important to remember is that electromagnetic fields CAN produce a reaction, but the experience isn’t necessarily paranormal or metaphysical as much as it is medical. Electromagnetic fields have been known to cause reactions in the human brain that have hallucinogenic effects. Then again, who’s to say a hallucination can’t be interpreted as a spiritual experience?”[2]

In any case, in the past couple of decades, the reality of scientific fact has been transformed into a gateway to occult experience by New Agers.  Many in our society today seek for God among the graveyards of death.  Little do they know that they are placing themselves under the tutelage of deceiving spirits.

I think that after many years of witnessing to my friend about the Jewish Messiah, Yeoshua, she thought that we might find common ground between our two religions in the blend of metaphysical universal “Christianity” in the hills of Sedona.   She even attended a sunrise service in honor of universal love, but isn’t something missing here?

So what, exactly, were James Arthur Ray’s clients looking for a the poorly constructed sweat lodge of Native American spiritism?

In an article by Mary Fran Bontempo for The Bulletin:

“Ray’s followers were merely acting upon their human condition, which, in an interesting juxtaposition, is to seek the spiritual.  As humans, most of us, at least occasionally, are acutely aware that something in our lives is missing.  It’s often difficult to put just what that is into words, but for most of us, it translates into a search for God.  Ray’s teachings muddy the waters more than just a bit, given that the pursuit of wealth plays a major part in his teachings, but ultimately, he talks about becoming one with the force of the universe, which is only interested in our greater good.  Call it what you will—spirit, the force, the universe—it’s God by any name.”[3]

But God does have a name and He is not a force.  His name is JESUS, and until all knees bow and all tongues confess His Lordship, there will continue to be those with empty hearts and souls who seek enlightenment among the habitation of the dead.  They will consort with deceiving spirits, angels of light, and reap the consequences of their actions.  God strictly forbids our dabbling in the darkness; those who do, reject the very One, and the ONLY One, who can save their souls:

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NASB)


Have you found Jesus, or are you still searching for the elusive spiritual experience that James Arthur Ray’s followers were looking for?  The narrow path isn’t lighted with vortexes, electromagnetic fields, crystals or chakras.  Seek the true path of enlightenment for there is only one:

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. “ (Psalms 119:105 NASB)




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