Expert Answer Forum
Reiki QUESTION from Ed May 12, 1999 Can you tell me if there is anything wrong with Reiki?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on May 13, 1999 Dear Ed:
Reiki is yet another one of the Eastern Healing philosophies based upon a pantheistic theology and god of self. In the literature of the International Center for Reiki Training we find the typical claims to science that are actually utter lies.
For example, from a borchure, A Brief Overview put out by the International Center for Reiki Training, we find:
The knowledge that an unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times. The existence of this life force energy has been verified by recent scientific experiments, and medical doctors are considering the role it plays in the functioning of the immune system and the healing process. Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that allows everyone to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy to improve health and enhance the quality of life. This life force is called Ki in Reiki:
Ki means the same as Chi in Chinese, Prana in Sanskrit and Ti or Ki in Hawaiian. It has also been called, odic force, orgone, and bioplasma. It has been given many other names by the various cultures that have been aware of it. Ki is the life force. It is also called the vital life force or the universal life force. This is the nonphysical energy that animates all living things. As long as something is alive, it has life force circulating through it and surrounding it; when it dies, the life force departs. If your life force is low, or if there is a restriction in its flow, you will be more vulnerable to illness. When it is high, and flowing freely, you are less likely to get sick. Life force plays an important role in everything we do. It animates the body and also is the primary energy of our emotions, thoughts and spiritual life.
There is absolutely no evidence at all of the existence of this Ki or life-force, or Ch’i as the Chinese call it, flowing through the body which must be in balance with the Ki of the universe to effect health. It is an utter lie to claim scientific evidence for this. To begin with, this force is claimed to be non-physical energy. If it is non-physical then it is impossible for science to verify its existence. Science can only examine the physical and material world. God is non-physical and God cannot be proven or verified by science. The soul is non-physical and the soul cannot be proven or verified by science.
The grain of truth here is that in some ways the Ki is what we would call the soul, the life-force that animates all things. And we Christians do perform therapy on the soul through prayer, contemplation, meditation, spiritual reading, spiritual counseling and the like.
But we don’t claim an invisible fluid bioplasma running through the body that must be in balance between Yin and Yang as the Chinese call this.
Dispite the oxymoron of scientific evidence for a non-physical force, there is simply no evidence whatsoever for such a force.
When I was a New Age Health practitioner myself, I was taught this same garbage, that the invisible fluid ran through the body and that scientific evidence supported this. I never saw that research or evidence, but I took it upon faith from my teacher that it was true. It is not true.
But if we dig deeper into Reiki, we will discover things far more sinister.
Reiki, which is a Japanese healing philosophy, was introduced into the West by. Mrs. Hawayo Takata. Mrs. Takata said that the word Rei means universal…
… However, Mrs. Takata also indicated that this interpretation is a very general one. The kanji ideograms have many levels of meaning. They vary from the mundane to the highly esoteric. So while it is true that Rei can be interpreted as universal, meaning that it is present everywhere, this level of interpretation really doesn't add to our understanding of Reiki. Research into the esoteric meaning of the Japanese kanji character for Rei has given a much deeper understanding of this ideogram. The word Rei as it is used in Reiki is more accurately interpreted to mean supernatural knowledge or spiritual consciousness. This is the wisdom that comes from God or the Higher Self. This is the God-Consciousness which is all knowing. It understands each person completely. It knows the cause of all problems and difficulties and knows what to do to heal them.
Although Reiki claims not to be a religion -- apparently because Reiki, … has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it. -- it nevertheless asks us to believe in and to accept a false god – the Higher Self. Reiki comes right out and admits that its concept of god, the god it appeals to, the god that gives it wisdom, is the Higher Self.
Reiki, like all Eastern Healing Philosophies, is based upon and founded upon pantheism at best and outrigtht idolatry of the Self at worse.
This is not to say that we cannot find grains of truth in this philosophy, which is not unusual. Most philosophies have some grains of truth. Consider the following poem teaching Reiki ethics. In it you will see shadows of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
The secret art of inviting happiness The miraculous medicine of all diseases Just for today, do not anger Do not worry and be filled with gratitude Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people. Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer. Pray these words to your heart and chant these words with your mouth Usei Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind The founder, Usui Mikao
But this ethic is not sourced in the True God, but in an understanding of god as the Self.
But if none of this is enough to give a clue to the idolatry, occultic, and utter inappropriateness of Reiki for the Catholic, consider this from the Reiki brochure:
An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student by the Reiki Master. Its use is not dependent on ones intellectual capacity or spiritual development and, therefore, is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds. In other words, Reiki, as well as other Eastern Healing practices, is passed on in a sort of Apostolic Succession, a laying on of hands as it were. What are they passing on? With Apostolic Succession of bishops the laying on of hands imparts and passes on the Mark of Holy Orders given by the Holy Spirit. It imparts the Holy Spirit. This also happens at Baptism and Confirmation. The transfer is of the Spirit. What is Reiki transferring?
The ability to use and practice Reiki is not intellectual or spiritual development, then where is the ability coming from?
We know that with the True God, He often imparts knowledge, skills, and gifts to those who do not have the intellectual or spiritual development to do what they do. But they do it anyway! How? They do it by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them.
What spirit is working in those who receive Reiki?
Bottom Line? Reiki is not something for Christians to be involved with. It is New Age nonsense at best and an idolatry of a false god at worst.
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