question, the most influential practical mystic today is talk
show host Oprah Winfrey. Her predominantly female audience,
numbering in the tens of millions, looks to her as the source
of spiritual inspiration--even more so than church, in many cases.
I realize speaking critically of someone as warm and caring
as Oprah might stir angry emotions in many of her viewers. Nonetheless,
please keep in mind that with Oprah, as with the others I have
written about, her obvious good qualities are not the issue
here. While I might admire Oprah as a person, I am gravely concerned
about what she promotes.
during her career, Oprah read a book titled Discover The
Power Within You by Unity minister Eric Butterworth. In
line with Unity teaching, the book expounded on the Divinity
of Man as perceived through mystical practice. Oprah embraced
these views so earnestly that she advocated:
talk show has launched many New Age authors into national super-stardom--authors
such as Marianne Williamson, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Iyanla Vanzant,
and Cheryl Richardson.
such author propelled into prominence by Oprah, with regard
to New Age teaching, is Gary Zukav. Zukav became a regular guest
on the Oprah show following his first appearance in October
of 1998. Afterwards, his book titled The Seat of the Soul became
a constant fixture at the top of the New York Times bestseller
list for an astounding two years!
Seat of the Soul, pure and simple, is a spiritual primer
or manual for New Age thought. It has gained such popularity
even though it lacks the elements that have traditionally attracted
a wide readership (i.e., novels, biography, scandal, health,
etc.). The book's basic message is, "Dwell in the company
of your nonphysical Teachers and guides [spirit guides]."2
Seat of the Soul has struck a resonant chord with an enormous
number of people. The notion of "nonphysical guides and
teachers"3 is now considered perfectly
acceptable by a vast number in the reading public. When such
a book is embraced by so many for so long it means the New Age
is already here. Clearly, our society is not heading toward
the cliff concerning New Age spirituality--we are already over
2005 book, Live Your Best Life, highlights various areas
of her philosophies. In the chapter on spirituality there is
a story about Spiritual Energy. In it, there is a positive reference
to a Reiki master who supports Oprah's view that "we [humanity]
are all interrelated." This underlies Winfrey's spirituality,
that ALL IS ONE. Despite her charming personal manner, there
is little doubt her viewers and readers are still being fed
a consistent diet of New Age spirituality.--From A
Time of Departing, 2nd ed. by Ray Yungen, pp. 102-104.
Oprah Winfrey cited in Eric Butterworth's, Discover the Power
Within You (San Francisco, CA: Harper Row), front cover
Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul (New York, NY: Simon
& Schuster, 1990, Fireside Edition), p. 239.
Oprahy Winfrey, Live Your Best Life (Des Moines, IA:
Oxmoor House, first edition, September 2005), p. 239.