New Age Inner Work

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2001
Described as “turning inward to seek the ‘wisdom’ of alleged inner guides,’ inner work shows up in several of the new age practices. Drs. Ankerberg and Weldon give a brief description and warning.

New Age Inner Work

(from Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, 1996)


Description. New Age inner work involves turning inward to seek the “wisdom” of alleged inner guides, “sanctified” or empowered imagination, the power of the unconscious mind, “archetypes,” and other information sources. Concepts from Jungian psychology in particular are employed in New Age inner work.

How does it claim to work? For New Agers, every person has a divine “inner core” or “higher self” that can be contacted by the proper methods (meditation, visualization, dream work, yoga, Jungian active imagination, shamanistic practice, and so on). This inner core is said to be a reservoir of wisdom and information on any number of subjects.

Scientific evaluation. Discredited; neither brain research nor the objective study of the mind offers evidence for the claims of New Age inner work.

Examples of occult potential. Psychic development, spiritism.

Major problems. Spiritism is masked under neutral categories (e.g., the unconscious mind or “higher self”) and redefined as latent human potential.

Biblical/Christian evaluation. The inner nature of man is not a storehouse of tremendous divine wisdom and power; rather, man’s true inner nature is sinful and self-serving (Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19-20).

Potential dangers. Psychological hazards. (e.g., forms of psychopathology); problems resulting from self-deception or the reception of false information from the inner work in any number of areas (e.g., finances, doctrine, health; occult influences).

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