As a Luciferianist neo-pagan, one thing that truly irritates me is how utterly sociopathic new age philosophies truly are. This is in particular applied to what I call “the Vedic bullshits”, systems inspired by the Hindu and Buddhist notions of enlightment, specially western notions of Reiki. Really, most traditions focused on enlightment really are like this, but “Vedic bullshits” are the worst of the bunch.
Suffering: the most flawed learning system ever
The whole basis of these attitudes is their notion of suffering. As anyone familiar with Vedic religions can tell you, the karma laws are in full effect in here; you attract your own problems, you are to blame for all crap that happens to you here, often residual crap from previous lifetimes. That alone is a horrible way to perceive the world, as it has led to the worst cases of lack of empathy ever seen (India and it’s problems is a good example of this mentality gone fully applied), but these New Age beliefs like Reiki take this view of reality to it’s logical extreme.
The purpose of life on Earth is to experience and learn, achieving enlightment as you develop your spirit. Suffering, therefore, is a way to adquire knowledge, to develop your soul. According to these beliefs, you attract your own suffering, via emotions, via actions, via anything that generates negative responses from the karma law. This is often carried over in subsequent lives; if your previous life caused suffering and strife, your next life, according to the law of karma, will be one in suffering and strife twicefold.
Any sane human being can already see the flaws in this type of logic. If you can’t, here’s a list of reasons why the very notion of karmic “justice” is an utter failure:
1- Suffering can teach people, but it more often doesn’t. Suffering can lead to realisation, but far more often it results in extreme mindsets. People who suffered all their lives can become enlightened, but more often they end up as becoming exactly as their environment shaped them: selfish, paranoid, insane, close-minded, and many other worse things. The centers of suffering in the world, like Africa and Asia, aren’t centers of enlightment, but of cycles of poverty and crimes against humanity, while the so called “morally bankrupt” western countries are the world’s centers of enlightment. If suffering was designed as means of teaching humanity to reach enlightment, then it sure as hell isn’t working, since it’s the people who aren’t suffering who truly are reaching enlightment.
There’s a reason why stereotypical atheists are people who always suffered a big trauma. It doesn’t get any less spiritual than that, people!
2- Karma is the most twisted system of justice ever conceived. If it was exclusively applied in life, it’d be a great system, as punishment would come after evil occured. However, most of karma’s actions occur in regards to reincarnation; a bad person may only suffer in the next life, being born sick or poor, or both. Since the person does not remember his/her previous life, the end result is an INOCCENT child suffering because he/she was evil in a past life. This is beyond fucked up, and makes the abrahamic Epicurian Paradox seem non-problematic!
3- The notions that suffering heals are just plain moronic. If illnesses come just by having chakras closed by being lazy or shy or otherwise blocked by negative emotions, then why the hell do you think being exposed to an environment where these problems are twicefold is going to open them? Hell, people get psychologically broken by suffering; healing is possible, but when things like extreme psychologically induced catatonia happen, you know bullshitting your way by saying “it’s the process of healing” is not going to be an effective answer.
Even more bizarre complications
These notions alone are very sickening, but if you take the very philosophies in themselves, these opinions become just plain bizarre. In Reiki, the idea that universal life energy is behind everything. In the original japanese tradition, Reiki is used to heal people and to achieve personal happiness. In western Reiki, the purpose of Reiki supposedly is still healing, but things get very messed up. In mixing with the Vedic traditions of enlightment and chakras made as in that Reiki is now more of a means to enlightment than anything, and that “healing” is just of the self, that “healing” other people is impossible, that you can only help them to heal themselves. And you thought Christianity was corrupted!
Furthermore, in some Vedic traditions, NOT helping other human beings in life is bound to have negative karma on your ass. While I suppose this can be bypassed by enlightment – the chakras above the Anahata are said to be above the laws of karma after all -, to choose to simply ignore other’s suffering while advancing your own enlightment seems rather evil to me. More evidence that karma is flawed.
Most impressive is christian and muslim mystics who also only care about enlightment and use this type of excuses. Nevermind that the whole purpose of those religions is to help other people (even if doing a frankly horrible and misguided job at that), and that Gnosticism, which has more excuses for this sort of lack of empathy, has historically been FAR MORE ALTRUISTIC.