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The Goal of Hinduism: The Universal Religion

I was amazed to see the inroads that Hinduism had made during my absence from Christianity. It may seem odd that I discovered these changes all at once. This was because my guru held dominion over my every action and all this time I was, quite literally, "cloistered," even in the world. The Swami's severe injunctions kept me from reading any Christian books or speaking with Christians. For all their pretentious talk that all religions are true, the Swamis know that Christ is their nemesis. So for twenty years I was totally immersed in the study of oriental philosophy and in the practice of its disciplines. I was ordered by my guru to get a degree in philosophy and anthropology, but these were only avocations that filled time between the important parts of my life: time with Swami and time with the teachings and practices of Vedanta.

Swami Vivekananda's mission has been fulfilled in many particulars, but one piece is yet to be accomplished. This is the establishing of a Universal Religion. In this rests the ultimate victory of the Devil. Because the Universal Religion may not contain any "individualistic, sectarian" ideas, it will have nothing in common with Christianity, except in its semantics. The World and the Flesh may be fires in the stove and the chimney, but the Universal Religion will be a total conflagration of Christianity. The point of all this is that the Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin has already laid the foundation for a "New Christianity," and it is precisely to Swami Vivekananda's specifications for this Universal Religion.

Teilhard de Chardin is an anomaly because, unlike traditional Roman theologians, he is highly appreciated by scholarly clergy who, in charity, I believe don't have any idea what he is talking about. Because Teilhard's ideas are to a great extent plagiarisms from Vedanta and Tantra gummed together with Christian-sounding jargon and heavily painted with evolutionism.

Let me quote one example from him: "The world I live in becomes divine. Yet these flames do not consume me, nor do these waters dissolve me; for, unlike the false forms of monism that impel us through passivity towards unconsciousness, the pan-Christianism I am finding places union at the term of an arduous process of differentiation. I shall attain the spirit only by releasing completely and exhaustively all the powers of matter... I recognize that, following the example of the incarnate God revealed to me by the Catholic faith, I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe." This is outright Hinduism. It has a little bit of everything in it a recognizable verse from an Upanishad and pieces from several of the philosophical systems along with their practices.

In a press conference given by Father Arrupe, General of the Society of Jesus, in June of 1965, Teilhard de Chardin was defended on the grounds that "he was not a professional theologian and philosopher, so that it was possible for him to be unaware of all the philosophical and theological implications attached to some of his intuitions." Then Father Arrupe praised him: "Pere Teilhard is one of the great masters of contemporary thought, and his success is not to be wondered at. He carried through, in fact, a great attempt to reconcile the world of science with the world of faith." The upshot of this reconciliation is a new religion. And in Teilhard's words: "The new religion will be exactly the same as our old Christianity but with a new life drawn from the legitimate evolution of its dogmas as they come in contact with new ideas." With this bit of background let us look at Vivekananda's Universal Religion and Teilhard's "New Chrisitianity."

Second, its foundation is evolution. In Teilhard's words: "A hitherto unkmown form of religion - one that no one could yet have imagined or described, for a lack of a universal large enough and organic enough to contain it is burgeoning in men's hearts, from a seed sown by the idea of evolution." And again: "Original sin... binds us hand and foot and drains the blood from us" because "as it is now expressed, it represents a survival of static concepts that are an anachronism in our evolutionist system of thought." Such a pseudo-religious concept of "evolution," which was consciously rejected by Christian thought, has been basic to Hindu thought for millenia; every Hindu religious practice assumes it.

Third, the Universal Religion will not be built around any particular personality, but will be founded on "eternal principles." Teilhard is well on his way towards the impersonal God when he writes: "Christ is becoming more and more indispensable to me... but at the same time the figure of the historical Christ is becoming less and less substantial and distinct to me." "My view of him is continually carrying me further and higher along the axis of hope!) orthodoxy." Sad to say, this non-historical "Christ" spirit is Hindu orthodoxy, not Christian.

Fourth, the main purpose of the Universal Religion will be to satisfy the spiritual needs of men and women of diverse types. Individualistic, sectarian religions cannot offer this. Teilhard believed that Christianity did not fit everybody's religious aspirations. He records his discontent in these words: "Christianity is still to some extent a refuge, but it does not embrace, or satisfy or even lead the 'modern soul' any longer."

Fifth and final, within the Universal Religion (or New Christianity) we are all wending our way to the same destination. For Teilhard de Chardin it is the Omega Point, which belongs to something that is beyond representation. For Vivekananda it is the Ofm, the sacred syllable of the Hindus: "All humanity, converging at the foot of that sacred place where is set the symbol that is no symbol, the name that is beyond all sound."

Where will it end, this deformation of Christianity and triumph of Hinduism? Will we have the Om, or will we have the Omega?

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