"Esoteric elitism, which seems downright cynical to an outsider, is incompatible with Christian faith. The Bible shows that the way to God does not depend on man's talent. The gospel is a general message, because it teaches us that "anyone who believes… Will have eternal life (John 3:15). Man does not have to make an effort by entering the depths of the soul in his own way to acquire higher insights that enable him to connect with God" (Arlebrand, 1992, p200)
"Contrary to occultism, Christianity presents salvation as a gift from God. In the gospel, the word grace plays a central role. Without man deserving of it, God has given him the deliverance from existential guilt and chaos powers that he so eagerly seeks. Therefore, the Apostle Paul could write: 'For by grace you are saved by faith, not by yourselves, the gift of God is. It is not because of deeds, no one should be able to boast' (Ephesians 2:8-9) […] The esoteric way is about man freeing himself. The gospel is the message that God has freed man. Therefore, the word grace is so central to Christian faith" (Arlebrand, 1992, 207)
"The Law of Karma is also contrary to Christianity's strong emphasis on God's forgiveness. According to the law of karma, man must always face the consequences of his actions, good and bad. There is no way to escape the law of karma. Sooner or later, the retribution of one's own actions reaches man, whether in present life or in any of the coming existences. In occultism, therefore, we often find the idea that man himself has ultimately chosen his own life" (Arlebrand, 1992, p212)
"By first dying for the sake of men and then rising from the dead, Jesus Christ has given man the opportunity to experience God's forgiveness and grace" (Arlebrand, 1992, 212)
It is also possible to describe this cultural change based on how we handle symbols. At the adolescent level, one cannot perceive the inner meaning of symbols.
"They are treated as if they were sacred in themselves and not just bearers of the sacred. The symbols cannot therefore be changed, but must always remain the same (Bergstrand, 1991).
He links this to changes that have affected the entire society.
"The meaning context disappears when the previous common symbols are emptied of their content. The sacred disappears along with the symbols of the sacred, and there is a void in the culture, where all kinds of new movements can spread" (Bergstrand, 1991, p28)
In Christian theology and literature you can read a lot about the question of guilt in connection with spiritual search and human suffering, e.g. Persson (2007)
An interesting parallel to psychonalysis's view of "guilt", being able to perceive it, as something good and necessary. And some kind of pathology that is tanta6 with not being able to feel guilty.
"Man's problem lies much deeper than in mere ignorance and limited consciousness. The problem is moral: she has rebelled against her creator and therefore bears guilt before God. She has become a sinner, one who misses life's highest goal. Repentance to God, not insight through inward-lookingness, is the solution to the existential problem man struggles with" (Arlebrand, 1992, 215).
A personal relationship with God.
"By receiving Jesus Christ as our personal savior, we have the opportunity to enter into a personal relationship with God. This is quite different from experiencing, in an expanded state of consciousness, an impersonal Being" (Arlebrand, 1992, p205)
Pantheism is "the attitude in which the human mind automatically falls into when left with itself" (CS. Lewis, 1977:87; cit in Arlebrand, 1992). There is a better ref!
There is no place for God in esotericism.
"In many esoterics one can sense an obvious difficulty in integrating God into their philosophical system, since in practice there is no place for God in the universe of occultism. This applies to a large extent Theosophy and its publishers anthroposophy and Martinus cosmology. Astrology presupposes an omnipotent cosmos, but has no place for God" (Arlebrand, 1992).
Johannes Aagaard, on the concept of occult spirituality: "It is not God that is sought. One seeks divine power and power to overcome the weakness, torments, and death of human life" (cit i Arlebrand, 1992, p213)
The search for a sustainable, good "object"
That it may be a missing object behind the "search" for truth and enlightenment. According to Arlebrand, the New Age has degenerated into
"spiritual materialism and consumerism. Without contact with God, man is forced to fall into the worship of himself and his personal needs. […] Man seeks ultimately not "anything", but "someone"" (Arlebrand, 1992, 224-225).
"We are not called to save ourselves."
"Many people are afraid that evil thoughts and feelings will come out when you let go of control. And of course it could be. We are not called to save ourselves. It's God's job" (Persson, 2007, how ref lecture script for the web?)
A Robert Burrows (referenced in Arlebrand, 1992) is said to have written about the phenomenon of channeling:
"It is a striking irony that those who so vonifiedly spread the word of the divine inside end up seeking the advice of spirits on the outside. The conclusion is inevitable: they went inward and, like the rest of us, found themselves in need. Divinity is a burden that humanity simply cannot bear" (p204, Arlebrand's quote, or Burrows?).
Arlebrand concludes that the phenomenon of channeling shows that many people "never in practice manage to live with the assurance that the cosmos and the Divine are impersonal" (Arlebrand, 1992, p205).