Out of the Darkness Into the Light. By Gerald G. Jampolsky. New York: Bantam Books, 1989. 266 pp. Paper, $9.95.
This book is a cleverly disguised promotion of New Age theology. Dr. Jampolsky, a psychiatrist, gives his New Age “testimony”-without ever openly identifying the book as such. He describes how he changed from being an alcoholic and workaholic to being sober and loving.
Take note. Eastern Mysticism does work. It can change lives. It certainly did alter this man’s lifestyle. If positive changes in lifestyle prove one’s theology, then this book is a sure-fire apologetic for the New Age Movement.
New Age catch phrases and ideas are carefully interspersed throughout the book. The author speaks of: asking his “inner teacher” for help (p. 243); of his “guidance” telling him what to do (p. 239); and, of receiving “a long message, giving me a purpose and plan that completely changed my life. The information came to me almost like inner dictation” (p.139).
Once he refers to “the God-Self” in each of us (p. 247), and to “helping a fellow traveler [a New Age term] along the path” (p. 106).
He also speaks glowingly of visiting a psychic for a “reading” which later proved to predict his future accurately (p. 142). He reports having studied parapsychology, Kirlian photography, and “nontraditional healing” (pp. 71–72). He makes a number of references to death and seems to hold to the view of Eastern Mysticism and Pantheismreincarnation and merging with “God” (p. 142, 168).
Jampolsky’s “conversion” came in 1975 when he read A Course in Miracles (pp. 79ff.)-a book referred to reverentially throughout the book. This is clearly his holy book.
Most of our readers will find little which is valuable and much which is dangerous in this book. However, for the person who is well-grounded in Scripture and well-versed in psychology and New Age theology, this book is worth reading. It is a powerful presentation of New Age theology by a best-selling author. In addition, it does contain some insights which could prove helpful to those who struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorders and workaholism (e.g., slow down; simplify your life; be less critical of others and self; make a daily commitment to love others and yourself). Of course, to find these insights one must sift through tons of worthless rock to find a few nuggets of value.
Readers should also be aware of the fact that the author views homosexuality as perfectly normal and he is strongly seeking to win converts to his opinion (pp. 201–19).
It is my prayer that the author would truly come “out of the darkness into the light.” Unfortunately, he is still in deep darkness-the darkness of New Age theology.
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society