Here, go read this. I’ll wait.
tl;dr: a very long, quite well-written piece by a Christian author warning us about mandala coloring books being spiritually dangerous.
Okay, woo alert. Since I am an Existential Mystic, my tendency is not to grant woo an independent reality, so perhaps it’s a little unfair for me to pick apart the writings of a Spiritual. But the far ends of any scale are fascinating, so let’s dive right in.
One of the issues I have with die-hard Spirituals is that their belief in the reality of their particular woo is so absolute that it extends to all the other woo as well. In this case, we have a carefully reasoned blogpost that provides proof of the dangers of simply filling in random spaces on a piece of paper: if you color a mandala, it will automatically open the door to your soul/mind/body and let demonic forces in.
Evangelical believers, particularly, are prone to this kind of thing. Their understanding of God is that of a “personal God,” which does not mean (as most of them think it does) a God who is “mine”; rather it means a God who is “a person,” i.e., independently existing as an individual outside our reality. The same applies for the idea of a “personal Satan” or “personal demons.”
This belief, coupled with some vague biblical literalism,1 leads them to the understanding that not only do God and Satan have a real existence, but so do witches and demons and all those “other gods” whom generally our evangelical friends ridicule as nonexistent “false gods” but who really exist not really yes really.
In the same vein, they understand transactional magick to be real and effective: that’s the basis of their belief in intercessory3 prayer. They easily transfer that belief to pentagrams, Ouija boards, Dungeons & Dragons, yoga, and yes, mandala coloring books—just touching one of these things is enough to unleash the hounds of hell whether or not you believe they’re “real.” Just joking around at a sleepover with “Bloody Mary” or taking a hot yoga class will press the On button on the remote control, and, well, you’ve seen enough horror movies to know what happens next.
Here’s the interesting part: the only proof they ever have is their own belief in the reality of belief systems that otherwise they will tell you are not real. It never occurs to them to say, “Hm, those other people are trying make sense of the Infinite, too—I wonder how similar their approach is to mine. Maybe I could get further in my own faith if I paid attention to theirs.”
Nope. Instead, because their Tao is the only Tao—they can NAME IT AND EVERYTHING, KENNETH—all those other paths to the Infinite have to be wrong. Demonic.
Coloring mandalas. You may think there are 64 colors, but as we all know, there’s only one real Flesh.
Here endeth the lesson.
1 I say “vague” literalism, because no one reads the Bible literally literally. No one. They may believe it’s Adam & Eve2, not Adam & Steve, or that Noah took a gazillion pairs of animals on the ark (including diplodoci), but quiz them about owning slaves or sleeping with the maid or stoning a bride who everyone knows has been living with her new husband for two years, and their literal understanding rapidly evolves into something more metaphoric/historical/pragmatic.
2 NSFW LINK!
3 Or imprecatory.