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Willis Harman’s “Global Mind Change” Worldview

Willis Harman, a leading Theosophist futurist who impacted a group of evangelical leaders back in the late 1970s, has been a frequent topic on this blog. If one wishes to search out the other posts on this New Age leader, simply type in his name in the search box on the upper lefthand corner of this blog and all of the blog posts mentioning this name will pop up.

Willis Harman wrote a book entitled Global Mind Change in 1988. The full original title of the book was Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think, and it was copyrighted by the Institute of Noetic Sciences and published by Warner Books. Notice the use of the phrase “New Age Revolution” in the subtitle. At the top of the front cover of this book is an endorsement from the San Francisco Chronicle that says:

“There never has been a more lucid interpretation of New Age consciousness and what it promises for the future than the works of Willis Harman.” [emphasis added]

The second edition of this book came out ten years later and was published by The Institute of Noetic Sciences and Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. The full title was changed to something slightly more bland: Global mind change: The Promise Of The 21st Century. The endorsement by the San Francisco Chronicle about a “New Age consciousness” had disappared off the front cover.

But these cosmetic changes didn’t mean that the book’s content was any less heretical. The new edition of Harman’s book included a section subtitled “The Worldview Challenge.” Harman described this futurist worldview:

“For the past three decades there have been ample indications of a change in values emphasis, and indeed of a shifting underlying picture of reality, among an expanding fraction of the populace. Similar changes have been noted in most of the modernized countries in the world. It would be premature to attempt to say with certainty what this means; that will be the task of some future historical analyst. However, among the elements of this paradigm change that seem evident are the following three:

“1. Increased emphsis on the connectedness of everything to everything–not only the ‘things of the outer world, but also our inner, subjective experience. This element tends to be increasingly central in the ecological, feminist, holistic health, ‘new spirituality,’ and other social movements.

“2. A shift in the locus of authority from external to internal. Whether in religion, politics, or science, we see growing disenchantment with external authorities and increasing reliance on intuitive, inner wisdom and authority. Perhaps this shift is most apparent in emphasis on intuition and the assumption of inner divinity in transpersonal psychology and other forms of the ‘new spirituality.’

“3. A shift in the perception of cause from external to internal. The weak meaning of a statement like ‘We create our own reality’ is that the we perceive the world around us (and ourselves) is affected by the contents of our unconscious and preconscious minds. The stronger meaning of such statements (and the assertion that there are no coincidences, and that behind apparently accidental events may lie hidden meanings and patterns) is that we are indeed co-creators of that world and that ultimate cause is to be sought not in the physical, but in mind, or consciousness.” [bold emphases added]

Reading the quoted material above gives an indication of just how far neoevangelicalism has gone towards this Theosophical worldview. The shift in authority from the Word of God to an “intuitive, inner wisdom and authority” can be seen all around us. The focus in neoevangelicaldom has shifted to Harman’s search for the “hidden meanings and patterns” in experiences. Not unlike Rick Warren’s assertion in The Purpose-Driven Life that “It is no accident that you are holding this book.”

And note Harman’s philosophy that we are “co-creators” of our world. This is a heresy which is increasingly touted by mission organizations who are focusing on building the kingdom of God on Earth.

The Truth:

“But draw ye hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?

“…For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:3-4; 15)