Religious Riptide: Eastern Spirituality Comes West – A Short History

“A study of the Bagavad Gita, the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, the writings of Confucius and Lao Tsu, the sayings of Buddha, the life of Muhammad, I Ching, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, pyramid power, astrology, astral projection, Zen Buddhism, the Egyptian and Tibetan books of the dead, primitive tribal religion, shamanism, spiritualism, Greek mythology, Greek philosophy, and a host of lesser dabblings brought me no closer to peace of mind or health of soul.”

(Carl Teichrib – Midwest Christian Outreach) Secularism didn’t supplant religion in the Western world, as some Twentieth Century humanists had anticipated. Instead, new spiritual expressions and movements entered the landscape, often with roots firmly planted in the metaphysical soil of the East. This article, excerpted from my bookGame of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment, explores some of these changes.

Ashrams and yoga and LSD – Eastern oneness blossomed with Western psychedelic wholeness. But the religious message was not limited to chemical experimenters.

In the 1960s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi traveled around the world lecturing on Hindu beliefs and Transcendental Meditation (TM). His tours took him into the lofty towers of academia and within the esteemed halls of political power, including a meeting with UN Secretary-General U Thant. In the United States his technique of meditation, TM, soon became a sensation. View article →


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