The Energy of Places of Worship
Don Chapin, PhD, December 15, 2019
John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images…
This picture, from the article “Millennials Are Leaving Religion And Not Coming Back” appears to be a throw-back to the medieval “Christian” church practice of attempting to inspire awe in prospective and illiterate church-goers.
But, to those of us who can “sense energy,” there’s virtually nothing there. Why? As I see it, today’s churches are more social clubs than places of true worship and the (lack of) energy of the artifices, no matter how visually impressive, reflect that.
Compare that kind of experience with sensing the energy of much older, smaller edifices of worship, no matter what religion… go into such places anywhere in the world and you can immediately pick up on the compassion and love imbued in those structures from the energy of involved parishioners… China, SE Asia, even Europe (although the closest I’ve been was to small, centuries-old churches in San Juan, Puerto Rico).
For example, in Singapore in December, 1962, I happened to enter the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, established in 1884, without realizing what the building was until I was on the way out. I was almost bowled over by the energy as I sat down to meditate… the compassion and love energy was tremendous! Yes, I could sense some “blips” of neediness… of some requesting assistance, but the positive energy was overwhelming and so abundant that I found myself spreading it around, first over the city, then the island. There was so much of it I finally spread it over all of SE Asia, bringing in fresh energy from the Christmas Light.
The Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist cathedral, San Juan, Puerto Rico, opened in 1540, is the second oldest church in the Americas, holding the tomb of city founder Ponce de León. It possesses a similar energy from the hordes of parishioners that have attended.
The First Presbyterian Church in Virginia City, NV, rebuilt in 1876 after the 1875 fire, also possesses a similar energy accumulated over the years of worship, although not as intense.
A Buddhist academy in the hills of Cambodia, although not ancient, is similarly endowed with a strong spiritual energy owing, no doubt, to the enthusiasm of the monks in training, clearly demonstrating that enthusiasm can permeate a structure similar to a century of worship.
Almost everywhere in China and SE Asia are small local shrines with similar, albeit lower energy levels. Compare that with the almost total lack of that energy in “modern” Christian churches. Is it any wonder that modern churches have a declining attendance (ref. October 17, 2019, “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace”, https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/ An update on America’s changing religious landscape).
New Christian churches typically invoke Jesus Christ in dedication ceremonies and “leave it to Jesus,” typically not realizing that it’s their own collective energy that sets the tone of their edifice. Personally, I prefer a nature setting with plenty of trees for my meditations.