In many of the eastern religions, we see man attempting to reach a state of oneness with the universe and a realization that one can become god.
Nirvana is a state of mind and blissfulness that many in the east would desire to attain to. Nirvana in Indian religious thought, is the transcendent state of freedom achieved by the extinction of desire and of individual consciousness.
Nirvana is the supreme goal of the disciplines of meditation, particularly in Buddhism. One then finds that place inside themselves of peace and tranquility where the thought or experience, is that they have reached their goal in life.
That goal is in finding out that there is no god other than the realization that they are “it.”
On the other hand, those who know Christ, know that He first spoke to us in that secret place of our soul and heart.
We didn’t just “tap” into a fountain within us that was always there, He spoke to us first, through The Holy Spirit.
In many of the eastern religions, one sees that they are the “center.” They come to a realization that though the abstinence of certain foods and desires, through perhaps even suffering, through denial of earthly pleasures, that they can attain this god-head.
However, what ultimately happens is that through the “emptying” of one’s self, one at some point realizes that they desperately need something or someone, greater than themselves to save them from themselves.
Many years ago, before I knew The LORD, I was seeking truth in other ways and forms. I practiced a form of transcendental meditation thinking where I would find ultimate peace and happiness.
In the early 70’s I would sit cross-legged and stare for hours at a candle flame, or a place in front of me.
Day after day, I would practice this, and I found out that I certainly had become “relaxed” and thought I was tranquil, but I actually had come to a trance-like state. It was all about me.
I was the center, and my compulsion to find peace, had actually caused me to withdraw into myself.
A few months after this, I remember reaching up my hand into the air and saying, “Jesus?”
Well, from that point, everything seemed to change. It became an earth-shattering mountain-top experience for me in knowing that there was someone who had called me.
It wasn’t within me where this had come from. It wasn’t a part of my psyche or soul that the experience had originated from.
I joined a Bible study group, read the Bible, and came to know Him who had called me.
The reason that I’m talking about these things is partly because there are still many out there searching as I was once. They think that some other religion, philosophy, or experience will ultimately fulfill and bring them ultimate happiness and purpose.
I read many other books and sought out different religious teachings and philosophies, and in the end, they just left me “dry” and “hollow” within.
Sure, there were great thoughts and ideas that some had found, but there was not a person, or a life-giving Spirit found within their pages or experiences.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, following the tradition of men according to the rudiments of the world, and not in accordance with Christ,” Colossians 2:8.
Again, some think that true happiness and fulfillment is to be found “within.”
They think that one can find that center, that place, where they can shed all pride, all malice, all of their masks and ultimately find “inner peace.”
I’m telling you that it isn’t there. Yes, The Kingdom of Heaven is found within, but it is only found “within” after He first “finds us”!
“We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.” Thomas Merton.
First Published: August 6, 2013.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to The LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?