JW Meditation: Is it Really Mind-Control?

by ezekiel3 4 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • ezekiel3

    JWs are increasingly urged to meditate ?JW style?. The ?asana? as pictured in the Watchtower and other publications is always the same: A person seated, holding a Bible (often to the chest), and staring vaguely upwards.

    Although this ?meditation? is rarely practiced by the R&F, some do enjoy ?picturing? what Paradise will be like. It is obvious to me that this is being pushed as a method of creative visualization. Most Christian religions avidly denounce any sort of formal meditation ? not JWs. Is this just a white-washed form of mind control?

    Compare the excerpts from Shakti Gawain to the JW mantra: ?Reflect on the past, muse on the present, and contemplate the possible future.? (Red highlights are mine.)

    Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

    In creative visualization you use your imagination to create a clear image, idea, or feeling of something you wish to manifest. Then you continue to focus on the idea, feeling, or picture regularly, giving it positive energy until it becomes objective reality ... in other words, until you actually achieve what you have been imagining.

    Either way, the technique is basically the same. After relaxing into a deep, quiet, meditative state of mind, imagine that you are working in your ideal job situation. Imagine yourself in the physical setting or environment that you would like, doing work that you enjoy and find satisfying, interacting with people in a harmonious way, receiving appreciation and appropriate financial compensation. Add any other details that are important for you, such as the hours you work, the amount of autonomy and/or responsibility you have, and so on. Try to get a feeling in yourself that this is possible; experience it as if it were already happening. In short, imagine it exactly the way you'd like it to be, as if it were already so!

    It should be noted here that this technique cannot be used to "control" the behavior of others or cause them to do something against their will. Its effect is to dissolve our internal barriers to natural harmony and self-realization, allowing everyone to manifest in his or her most positive aspect.

    What ?internal barriers? is the WTBTS trying to dissolve? See the WTBTS quotes below?

  • ezekiel3

    *** Insight from the Scriptures Vol-2 p. 363 Meditation ***

    The kind of deep, concentrated thinking in which a person seriously reflects on past experiences, ponders and muses over current matters, or thoughtfully contemplates possible future events.

    *** w84 2/1 p. 28 Do You Meditate or Just Daydream? ***

    Meditation, however, can be done at a much deeper level . Have you ever watched a cow chewing the cud, or ruminating, as it is called? To ?ruminate? also means to meditate. But a cow cannot ruminate on an empty stomach, any more than we can meditate with empty minds. Hence, a study of the Bible has value, for the more you study, the more spiritual thoughts you have to ?chew.? And even if you rate yourself as a poor student, you will find that as you apply yourself, study will gradually become easier, more pleasurable. New thoughts will connect with old thoughts. Seemingly disconnected thoughts will begin to organize themselves into coherent patterns. And as Solomon said, ?to the understanding one knowledge is an easy thing.? (Proverbs 14:6) But it takes time. And if studying God?s Word is not presently one of your main enjoyments in life, why not ponder, or meditate, on this right now?

    *** w72 9/1 p. 523 You Are Never Alone ***

    Meditation should be purposeful, enabling one to think things over and arrive at some definite conclusion. To that end we need guidance when we meditate, and the best guide of all is the Holy Bible. When reading it, pause and mentally expand on what you read. Thus you will avoid helter-skelter thoughts with no definite goal.

    *** w57 8/1 p. 469 Will You Get to Live on Earth Forever? ***

    To meditate we must have peace and quiet, must shut out sounds that assault the ear and blind ourselves to sights that distract the eye. The organs of sense must be soothed so they will not be occupying the mind with their messages, thus freeing the mind to think of other things, new things, different things, freeing it to probe within itself instead of being barraged from without. If a room is full more persons cannot enter. If the mind is occupied new thoughts cannot come. We must make room to receive when we meditate. We must open the arms of the mind to new thoughts, and do this by clearing our mind of the everyday thoughts and concerns, by shutting out the daily jumble of complex modern living. It takes time and solitude to thus empty and free the mind of the daily whirling turmoil, but if we do this the mind will graze its way through the green pastures of God?s Word and will be soothed by the restful waters of truth. Meditation will bring you many fresh, delectable, spiritual tidbits; doing it regularly will spiritually revive, renew and replenish you. Then you can say of Jehovah: ?He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.? Or, ?He gives me new life.??Ps. 23:2, 3, RS; AT.

  • new light
    new light

    Yes, the WT writers know the power of meditation. And yes, it is indeed a not-so-subtle form of mind control. "Why?", one may ask. "Is not deep meditation the way out of mind control?" Yes, and no. The WT publications strictly direct the sheep to approved meditative states, while casting fear and doubt onto anything fostering free thought. A faithful JW may not meditate using incense or sitting in the lotus position. In fact, all yoga has recently been labeled as an inviter of demons. In fact, a recent publication criminalized meditating with incense burning for the same reason.

    JWs are to focus all spiritual reveries on "present truth". If they are feeling especially contemplative, they may reflect on how NWT verses relate to "present truth", although caution is necessary so as to avoid any personal interpretations.

    Yes, the WTS is well aware of the power of the subconscious mind and, knowing that their sheep may be led astray in exploring this space, they have done their best to build a fence in this most personal of properties.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Considering that JWs are taught to only have "approved" thoughts I would say YES it is a form of mind control. There are so many things JWs are taught that are a danger to their spirituality and that they cannot allow their minds to freely wander. The only "conclusion" they will arrive at is one that is recommended by the WTS

  • jgnat

    Let's cover the weekly study technique. Read the article and the question. Answer the question by underlining the "right" answer. Read the review questions at the end and find the "right" answer in the article again. Listen to the article again on Sunday. Give your answer verbally from the underlined text. Re-review the answers at the end.

    Where, oh where in this study technique is critical thinking engaged? It is designed to impregnate, not illuminate.

    An interesting discussion on the use of visual icongraphy by the Jehovah's Witnesses to influence their thinking here:


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