Something Far Better

Picture of somebody meditatingTHE claims made for certain meditation techniques are quite attractive: to widen understanding of oneself, to replace negative tendencies and bad habits with positive ones, to overcome anxieties and fears, and, yes, even to improve health.

“If we have the proper inner attitude about life’s problems, then we can also solve them,” promises the book Autogenes Training für Fortgeschrittene (Autogenic Training for Advanced Students). Many people hold up “self-realization” and finding the “inner, or real, self” as the cure-all for every problem. But is this a realistic approach?

“The heart [the seat of motivation] is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate,” says the Bible. So, really, our deep inclinations and feelings, our “inner, or real, self” is not a reliable guide.

Life’s problems are many. To name only a few: discrimination, aging, serious sickness, death. Just how successful can a “proper inner attitude” be in solving these? True, a proper attitude can help us cope with these difficult problems of life and can prevent us from becoming emotionally or psychologically crippled by them, but it cannot solve them. This lies outside the realm of man’s ability.

The wisest man of antiquity, King Solomon of Israel, said: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.” Yet some may feel that this is unrealistic. One person who turned to a meditation technique for help noted: “To me religious faith and prayer appeared too passive; I needed more: the active support of the subconscious. . . . Autogenic training was to help me get it.” But religious faith and prayer need not be passive; indeed, they dare not be if they are to be genuine.

Personality changes are required of true Christians, but not by means of a do-it-yourself program that employs self-centered meditation techniques. Rather, the Bible urges a total reliance upon God for help in ‘stripping off the old personality and the putting on of the new one.’

The Christian apostle Paul said: “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.” Obviously the personality changes Paul made were made on the basis of accurate knowledge with the support and guidance of God’s holy spirit, not the “active support of the subconscious.”

A Superior Kind of Meditation

The superior kind of meditation centers not upon the creature but upon the Creator.

This kind of meditation turns our attention to the real cure-all for man’s problems, God’s Kingdom, now near at hand.
Under this Kingdom of God, man will be completely cured of all his weaknesses, bad habits and wrong tendencies, yes, even of all his diseases: “Bless Jehovah . . . who is forgiving all your error, who is healing all your maladies. Think what that will mean! Nothing less than human perfection! What report could be better or what sayings could be more pleasant than that? And should not hearing such a report have a beneficial effect upon the human organism, both mentally and physically?

Let your mind dwell on the blessings that will come under Kingdom rule. Just picture what the earth will be like when filled with only “meek ones.” Then think of something that has recently irritated you, caused by the brusque manner of others. Gone will be those everyday irritations because the “meek ones” will have replaced the harsh.

Meditate upon how secure you will feel walking alone at night when “the wicked one will be no more.” Reflect, too, on how you will “delight in the abundance of peace” when the threat of a nuclear holocaust no more hovers over your head. This type of meditation can bring you lasting benefits.

Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses are living examples that people who gain an accurate knowledge of God’s purposes and obediently follow the fine counsel of his Word can break bad habits, overcome shyness and anxieties, cope with prejudices, develop a personality pleasing to both themselves and those around them, and to some extent even improve their health. How is this done? Not by emptying the mind, but, rather, by keeping it active in being “filled with the accurate knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension.”

No, “self-realization” will never be able to bring the benefits and the satisfaction that come from meditation upon Jehovah God and his Word. Have you made time for this superior type of meditation? If so, you will avoid dangerous meditation techniques that can never be what only God’s Kingdom is—a cure-all.

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