The University of California Berkeley campus in the 1960s was a place of great social ferment, but some referred to it as “the open ward.” Fringe members of the hippie movement like me, and even those from the ‘far side,’ found a comfortable social acceptance there. The campus was divided into two main groups at the time: the political activists and the spiritual seekers. Most of us felt that something was terribly wrong with the way things were going in the world. The political activists joined peace marches and student strikes or served jail time for their confrontations with the police. Those of us who felt we were more ‘spiritual,’ or ‘aware,’ believed that what the world needed was a transformation in consciousness. We took LSD, smoked grass, went back to the land and joined communes, or meditated.
It seems I was born wanting to know the meaning of life, and my early years were underscored by a deep, relentless hunger for personal identity. My mother, grandmother, and some kitchen helpers told me about the gentle, caring Jesus, and gradually I came to realize God’s love for me and His eternal provision through Christ. When I was twelve years old, I responded to a call to invite Jesus into my life. Because I had no mentoring and no understanding of the Bible, this fell short of a life-changing experience. Furthermore, Jesus never seemed very real to me in the church services I attended, and no one ever explained how I could have a personal relationship with Him. The resulting vacuum drew me toward experiences that would prove to be counterfeits of spiritual fulfillment. I thought I could find ultimate answers without a Scriptural basis—an unfortunate mindset held by many in our day.
As I entered my teen years, I became interested in psychic abilities and began dabbling with the Ouija board, astrology, hypnotism, or anything occult. I was fascinated with psychic powers and wanted to learn how to attain them. Consequently, I drifted away from Jesus and more or less ‘did my own thing.’ Though I had begun my spiritual journey believing in Jesus as the Messiah, I inevitably cast aside what I perceived as ‘boring’ Christianity and chose the path of mystical self-realization and enlightenment. This pursuit became a near obsession with me, until an event occurred much later that would radically change my life forever.
Seeking to be closer to where things were really ‘happening,’ I moved to the famous Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco and hung out at the Psychedelic Shop, the famous Bill Graham rock concerts, and the Golden Gate Park Love/Be-Ins. The marijuana and LSD started taking their toll on my memory. I began to view using these drugs as playing Russian roulette with my life and sanity.
Some of my hippie friends taught me the value of health food. They cleared out my entire food pantry declaring almost everything unfit to eat. Out went the white sugar, white flour, white bread, and almost everything else. Within just one day I had switched over to a diet of mostly organic and fresh vegetables, beans, brown rice, honey, and raw food. I came to believe that being high should be the result of a healthy lifestyle and not drugs. The hippies had it right about materialism, but carried it too far, developing a kind of reverse elitism toward anything ‘establishment.’ Living in the Haight-Ashbury began to turn sour as reports of thefts and murders surfaced. When the house next door was robbed by a cat burglar, I decided that it was time to move on.
As my interest and experience with altered states of consciousness increased, I began to read many New Age books including the writings of Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary, former Harvard professors who had dropped out of the academic world to pursue the path of altered awareness and spirituality. Berkeley, California, was home to a virtual buffet of spiritual and self-enlightenment groups. When I was not attending classes at the university, I could be found selling my jewelry on Telegraph Avenue, visiting with the street hippies, or hanging out at The Forum coffee shop. Telegraph Avenue was considered the hub of Berkeley’s cultural life for many of us.
The writings of Alan Watts and Herman Hesse were very popular at the time, as well as the I Ching and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. There was a bookstore on Telegraph Avenue called Shambala that featured metaphysical books. I tried to read the Essene Gospel of Peace, while my own Bible was gathering dust on a shelf back in my apartment. Whenever someone nudged me to read the Bible, invariably I would begin at Genesis only to get stuck somewhere in the “begets.” My spiritual journey might have taken some big steps forward if I had begun with the Psalms, Proverbs, or especially the Gospel of John.
At times, before making a major spiritual shift in my life, I was always mysteriously presented with another choice, the ‘way out’—but I was usually not very responsive. I discovered that two of my acquaintances from college dormitory days were living upstairs in my apartment building. I was amazed to learn that they were the best friends of the head secretary at my job, a former personal secretary of Billy Graham. I met them on the stairs one day, and around their dinner table they shared how they had come to experience a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They described how His love had given them indescribable happiness and peace. They seemed to be enjoying a kind of Christian nirvana, but not spacey like a lot of New Agers I knew. Their joy and fulfillment made me quite jealous, but I just could not and did not see the answer—though it was right in front of me.
Another Christian was a man who tirelessly preached in front of the Cal Berkeley campus, “Holy Hubert” Lindsey, the original red haired and freckled “Alfalfa” of the TV special, Our Gang. Scores of Berkeley hippies and bystanders were converted because Lindsey preached and prayed faithfully in the face of much opposition. Unfortunately, he died many years later, in 2003, from the many injuries inflicted by his persecutors. God was certainly reaching out to me through these unusual circumstances, but I was unwilling to surrender. The current political correctness was enjoying its infancy in those days. A popular saying was, “Do your own thing as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.” I imbibed this attitude and was sold out to the lifestyle and mind-set of the sixties.
Even though I had been offered matchless wisdom, all I could see was my own agenda. Faith would have unlocked the golden door to the incredible richness described in Matthew 13:16-17: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Instead, my friends and I floated on a sea of relativism, refusing to consider the possibility of moral absolutes or doctrinal boundaries—especially anything that breathed normalcy, like the Christian faith. We were not full-fledged hippies, only because we still retained some remnants of decency and social responsibility from our family background. For this moral heritage and for their long-suffering patience, I owe my parents a considerable debt of gratitude.
When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru from India, brought Transcendental Meditation to the United States, it took the Berkeley campus by storm. Disillusioned with drugs as a means to altered awareness, many young people were looking for a safer alternative. We really believed the claim that within five years of practicing TM we would reach enlightenment. We were told that if we became TM teachers our progress would be quicker. The irresistible bait was the promise that such a state of consciousness would free us from all suffering. I swallowed the lure without question.
Unlike regimens requiring hours of concentration or a change of lifestyle, TM’s appeal was its easy accommodation to the tempo of modern life. For me, TM promised to meet a need that all the benefits of education and a high standard of living had not fulfilled. And certainly an undisciplined life had not brought me any closer to knowing who I was. They say hindsight is always perfect. I understand now the hollowness of the claims that were made. It is so much wiser to fully inspect the details before embarking on some new spiritual journey. But then, we were young, idealistic, and impatient for answers.
My first TM experience made me feel very relaxed and high, and I was elated that this could be had without drugs. I was very devoted to my twice daily meditations, attended meetings regularly, and generally enjoyed my life as a meditator. TM was first promoted as a simple means to stress reduction, but it was much more than that. Maharishi announced it as a five year plan to Bliss Consciousness. I began to see there was a deep spiritual element pervading every aspect of the practice.
Sproul Plaza on the Berkeley campus was a place where political or spiritual groups could meet and promote their programs. One day I was drawn to a group of Christians who had set up a table in the open square. They seemed to have that ‘mellow look’ that made me think they were meditators. When I asked if they were, they showed me some scriptures from the Bible I never knew existed—quotes of Jesus like:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
“All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but My sheep did not hear them.” (John 10:8)
This did give me pause to think. These were not the words of a narrow-minded fanatic. They were spoken by Jesus Himself. I began to read my Bible in an effort to find a unity between TM and Christianity, but such effort left me in frustration. So, I did the only thing that made sense to me at the time, and that was to put my Bible back on the shelf and to continue TM.
Becoming a TM Instructor
In an effort to speed up my progress toward cosmic consciousness, I enrolled in a teacher training course in Fiuggi, Italy, directly under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There were about 2,000 of us from all over the world. We memorized the TM initiation ceremony in English as well as Sanskrit and meditated sometimes as much as 12 hours a day. We would “round off” our meditations with breathing exercises, called “pranayama,” and yoga postures, called “asanas.”
At this course Maharishi unveiled his “World Plan.” His goal was to establish one TM teacher for every 1,000 inhabitants in order to bring about world peace. This would be arranged under the auspices of 8,000 appointed “Peace Keeping Experts” in major cities across the U.S. It might be likened to a spiritual shadow government exerting psychic influence. It seemed like a plan that would help bring harmony around the globe. But afterwards, I overheard one teacher trainee saying, “This World Plan had better be right or we’re all in BIG trouble!”
We teachers were never to teach TM without the Puja (the Sanskrit initiation ceremony). Though it was not apparent to newcomers, I eventually discovered it was a worshipful acknowledgement of various Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as TM’s honored lineage of gurus. For instance, part of the Puja translates:
To the Lord Narayana, to lotus-born Brahma the Creator, to Vashishtha, to Shakti and his son Parashar, to Vyasa, to Shukadeva, to the great Gaudapada, to Govinda, ruler among the yogis, to his disciple, Shri Shankaracharya, to his disciples Padma Pada and Hasta Malaka and Trotakacharya and Vartika-Kara, to others, to the tradition of our Master, I bow down…offering an ablution to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Several of the most revered gods in Hinduism are mentioned right at the start: Lord Narayana (another name for Vishnu), Brahma (the creator god) and Govinda (another name for Krishna). Shri Guru Dev was Maharishi’s mentor. Unknown to many TM practitioners, during the initiation, a consecration to Hindu deities and a psychic link to the Hindu tradition of departed masters, represented by Maharishi, is established. This required Puja is not just a polite ceremony to honor the tradition, which is the explanation normally given.
Though it is claimed that TM will make one a better Buddhist, Christian, or any other religion, the philosophy behind the practice of TM still conflicts with the basic values of the Judeo-Christian world view, as well as other faiths that do not acknowledge these deities or subscribe to their worship. In an earlier book, Maharishi even openly admitted this connection when explaining the mantras TMers are given:
“For our practice, we select only the suitable mantras of personal gods. Such mantras fetch to us the grace of personal gods and make us happier in every walk of life.”
It is interesting to note that Jesus taught against the use of “vain” or “meaningless repetitions,” but instead encouraged his disciples to pray with a fully alert mind in a two-way communication with God through His Spirit (Matthew 6:7 KJV, NASB). This does not involve shutting down the mind or altering the consciousness in any way. Moreover, Jesus passionately upheld the truth of the Ten Commandments, the first of which declared that there is only one God and that none should be worshipped but Him—no gods, no goddesses, no gurus—NONE! How could Jesus be an avatar (one of many incarnations of God) and yet teach things so totally opposite to the New Age belief system? It just seemed impossible to reconcile the two.
At the teacher training course many complained about the negative symptoms they were experiencing, but the leaders said these reactions were merely due to a process of “unstressing.” Of course, this explanation was not very convincing or comforting for those going through the distress. Some scientific studies have concluded that what occurs in TM is actually the result of a conditioning of the nervous system rather than removal of stress. It has been shown that TM does not increase—it actually lessens creativity in the waking state. There are numerous studies that try to prove the benefits of TM, but not surprisingly, many are conducted by TM meditators themselves.
“Just Ask Them In”
One night an evil spirit tried to take possession of me. This was not a dream or figment of my imagination; it was a real, powerful being with the intention of taking complete control of me. I could feel it putting pressure all over my body, and it was very frightening. Someone asked Maharishi, “What do you do if you see a demon?” to which he replied, “Just ask it in.” On another occasion he conceded that if a demon tries to force itself upon you, resist it and it will leave. So the teaching was not always consistent.
Providentially, I chose to resist. The Hindu tradition does not recognize the very real conflict between good and evil, as the Christian faith teaches. Because of my early commitment to Christ, I knew I should resist evil. However, others on the course did not fare so well. One acquaintance of mine told me that she had personal knowledge of an entire wing of a psych ward that was filled with TM practitioners who had flipped out.
After my return from the teacher training course in Fiuggi, my sense of spiritual emptiness grew. I also observed a lack of love in myself and other meditators. I kept hearing about suicides and divorces, especially among the teachers who had gone in for the longer meditations. I personally witnessed a suicide attempt in the meditators’ house where I lived in Berkeley. The woman, who had recently come back from the teacher training course, was looking for a pair of scissors so she could kill herself. She kept screaming and crying… for a long time.
Obviously, some of the extreme changes brought about through TM or yoga go far beyond what is referred to as mere “relaxation.” Many meditators experienced astral travel, visitation of spirits, psychic awareness, and other manifestations. I began to be ‘awake’ during my sleep state, aware of the beginnings of astral travel. However, I always had a concern—“What would happen if I ‘checked out’ of my body? Would someone or something else ‘check in’ while I was gone?” I have since concluded that allowing one’s mind to become passive (unattended) is like a country failing to properly guard its borders from foreign invaders. In TM there is something called the “blackout phenomenon” where one goes blank and can’t remember anything during that period of time. For me, this virtual ‘black hole’ experience could last anywhere from a few seconds to an hour.
Once adherents have been practicing TM for a while, they are eligible to take the “Yogic Flying” program. Surprisingly, not everyone who takes up this practice belongs to the ‘lunatic fringe.’ Some are recognized names in media, business, and politics. The course seemed way too expensive, not to mention ludicrous. No one to my knowledge has ever been able to fly. My original mantra cost $35, but today it is a whopping $2,500 (at the time of this writing). Advanced techniques can run as much as $100,000. One video course is said to cost a cool million dollars. When Maharishi was asked by a cynical member in his audience how TM would help the poor in India, he responded, “They will be hungry, but they will be happy.” The mission Jesus gave to His disciples to feed the hungry and heal the sick provides an obviously glaring contrast.
The deeper I went with TM, the more my faith in Jesus just kept getting lost in the archives. Someone once asked me if I was a Christian because they thought I looked like a believer. I replied that I was not a Christian, but rather a Hindu or a Buddhist. The conditioning process of twice daily repetition of the mantra had brought about a distancing from my early Christian roots and the embracing of a New Age concept of God as an impersonal energy or force permeating everything. I had turned away from the understanding of God as my Creator, Savior, and Friend.
In spite of my commitment to the goals of TM, however, I saw many things from the inside of the TM movement that I found disturbing. For instance, we were required to hide the Hindu roots and spiritual nature of the practice from the public because ostensibly, most people are not ready for advanced levels of consciousness and would only find it confusing. Therefore, we had to operate by stealth, AKA “the ends justify the means.” Every time I presented TM as merely a scientific means to stress reduction, I knew I was lying. One may protest, “Well, I’m just doing TM (or its counterpart Hatha Yoga) for the physical benefits.” Sannyasin Arumugaswami, the managing editor of Hinduism Today, is not so naive. He honestly admits:
“Hinduism is the soul of yoga… A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs.”
Evidently all was not bliss in the ranks of TM meditators, especially among those in the higher echelons. To be honest, the more I continued to practice TM, the more negative character traits I saw in myself. I was becoming increasingly proud, aloof, and insensitive to the needs of others. TM acted as a sort of anesthesia, ‘numbing down’ my conscience and hiding problems that really needed attention. While I was under the illusion that I was becoming a very ‘evolved’ person, the sad truth is that I needed a change of heart. As the saying goes, “You can’t see the flies in your eyes because you have flies in your eyes.” Mind numbing meditations were affecting my ability to distinguish simple truth from obvious error.
The Supreme Name
My yearning for spiritual fulfillment and my dissatisfaction with the lack of integrity I saw in the TM movement caused me to look outside the confines of the TM organization to see what other groups had to offer. While many people have found transformation through the plain preaching of the Gospel, God chose a non-traditional approach with me. I met a psychic on the Berkeley campus who had dabbled in Christianity. He held some classes, leading us in a unique method he described as “Calling on the Name of the Lord.”
While I am not recommending this as a correct spiritual technique, God used it in my life. First, we were told to tune into the psychic or spiritual fields of spiritual leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha. Then we called upon the names of some friends. Finally he said to call on the name of Jesus, the “Name above all names.” He said that God loves us and will respond to our call, as a loving father would respond to his children. He said the Creator would free us from the bondage of the created world. There was a clear distinction between Creator and creation. The Godhead was not to be confused with a ‘life force,’ although His power created the world and continues to influence it. So in addition to my silent TM, I called on Jesus making prayerful statements like, “Oh Lord Jesus,” “Jesus touch me,” “Jesus fill me,” “Jesus save me,” or simply “Jesus.” We were told to call to Him from our heart. It wasn’t long before I learned there is incredible power in the name of the Lord!
After calling on the Name of Jesus for a week, verbally and out loud—not silently like my mantra—my ego began to feel punier and I wondered if I was losing my ‘enlightenment.’ I reasoned that the power in this Name was greater than the power of the mantra, so I pressed on and didn’t give up even when I felt my foundations shaking. I want to make it clear that I had come to a point in my life where I was willing to do anything to find God! I was willing to lay down all my preconceptions, hopes, and desires, with only one burning desire, to KNOW HIM! God has promised, “You shall find Me when you seek for Me with all of your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
During this time, I often visited with the Hare Krishna group as they sat on the lawn of the Berkeley campus. Their leader (who I felt was a very devout and honest man) told me he thought I was following a deceptive path. He said that the TM organization teaches that God is already in us, but they worship Krishna who is separate from them. To illustrate his point, he presented an analogy: “Picture a green bird sitting in a green tree. The bird does not become the tree, but remains a bird.” It made perfect sense to me. I’d never felt comfortable with the idea that God is an impersonal force. Being a worshiper of God seemed so much truer than wanting to BE God. Anyway, this was closer to the Christian view of being created in the image of God. It’s just that I couldn’t quite relate to their god, Krishna, represented as a little blue man with a flute. My parents weren’t blue, I wasn’t blue, and I certainly hoped God wasn’t blue.
After a while, the Hare Krishna leader began to read from their sacred Hindu text, The Bhagavad Gita. Suddenly he stopped, looked intently at me, and he said, “You are going to find God because you are sincere.” His voice seemed magnified like a megaphone, and something inside of me began to break free. I know this was unusual, but God can speak any way He chooses. Then I heard these words from the text: “God has three infinite aspects: Knowledge, Power, and Bliss.” I had a burning sense that something of monumental importance was imminent.
Before returning to my apartment, I was standing outside the Student Union talking with some friends. As I looked across at some trees, I noticed with utter astonishment that somehow they appeared to be clapping their hands in the wind. I did a reality check, and sure enough the trees seemed to be praising God. I was unaware of the Bible verse that says, “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you. And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
Back in my apartment I randomly pulled a book out of the bookcase which fell open to these words, “God has three infinite aspects: Knowledge, Power, and Bliss.” I was stunned! That night I wanted to commemorate such an amazing day by saying the Lord’s Prayer, which in itself indicated a huge change in my life. When I got to the part that says, “For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory,” there was a powerful burst of brilliant white light which shook me to the core. Immediately I remembered the words, “Knowledge, Power, and Bliss.”
The following night I removed all pictures of gurus and spiritual masters from my walls except one: the Lord Jesus. I had concluded that I only needed one Master. This picture was approximately six feet from my bed. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. My yogi friend stood there and asked if I would join him in calling on the Name of the Lord, as we had done many times before. Shortly after we started, something totally unexpected happened.
The heavenly light of God’s inimitable glory descended from above and I felt lifted into a timeless, eternal space. I don’t know how long I was in this state, because I lost all sense of time and felt weightless. It was as though I were a child, full of wonder and awe. Cords of bondage previously unknown to me were released as wave after wave of the purest love unimaginable poured through every fiber of my being. There was a sense of freedom and release that I had never experienced in all my years of TM and Yoga. My friend saw this happen to me, but said he did not experience it himself, after which he looked strangely afraid.
When I returned to my bedroom, the picture of Jesus had amazingly changed its location and was right beside my pillow. A vision of something like a flaming dart pierced my heart with a love that was unconditional, permanent, and totally undeserved. This amazing love changed me forever. By placing this picture next to my pillow, God was sending me the undeniable message that He had drawn me close and that He is the Friend who will always “stick closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). I knew I had a secure relationship with Him that nothing could take away.
Compass of Life
As a result of this breakthrough, the Word of God (the Bible) became a compass of spiritual direction and living inspiration for me. The TM mantra no longer held the same power or attraction. Instead it brought negative results, so I stopped. The power of Jesus and His precious name threw light on everything dark and sinful in my life, and His love truly set me free!
Ironically, I became a “Jesus freak” in the eyes of others. Humbled, but undaunted, I relished every opportunity to share Jesus with the misguided and wandering souls where I lived. I did go through what I refer to as my ‘white period’ in which I wore beads and white clothes because I thought they had pure vibes. I didn’t realize that outward trappings don’t have a thing to do with purity. Nevertheless, God used it to disarm a lot of spiritual seekers who otherwise would have kept a ‘safe’ distance from me.
During this time a friend of mine and I visited some ashrams and yoga centers. We asked them if they would like to experience Jesus for themselves. Most of the time they responded favorably. After all, they called on the names of gods and spirit guides all the time. It shouldn’t be considered too strange to call on the One who claimed to be the Creator manifested in human form. Several of them were radically changed.
Gradually I came to understand the difference between true salvation and cosmic consciousness. I was able to differentiate between true spiritual authority and illegitimate psychic power. But Jesus did not disappoint my desire for the supernatural! Right from the start of this new life, I experienced many divine touches and miracles of God, including a dramatic, fully documented healing of my own spine. Of course, the greatest miracle of transformation occurred in the sanctuary of my heart. For this I am eternally grateful.
There is no greater way of summing up this account than to quote an appropriate passage from my compass, the Bible. The Lord says,
“I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble.I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation.” (Psalms 91:14-16 NLT)
Addendum to this wonderful transformation story by True Light Project founder, Mike Shreve
Vail Carruth was a dear friend and one of the first authors to publish a book through our publishing company, Deeper Revelation Books. You can get a copy of her book titled Authentic Enlightenment in our store. It is a wonderful, heartwarming read.
A few years back, Vail passed from this world to the next, so you cannot communicate with her personally (unless you follow her advice and meet her in heaven one day). If you have questions about this transformation story, instead you can contact me, Mike Shreve, at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a commentary that I wrote years ago concerning her testimony:
The key element in Vail’s transformation was calling on the Name of the Lord. This is a very important point. Of course, there are many seekers who say, “It doesn’t matter. Regardless of what name a person uses for God, He is still being worshiped.” There was a time when I would have vigorously upheld this view without qualification. But then I realized my error.
We associate any name with the one who bears it—and the mention of that name brings to mind the character (or lack of it) the named person possesses. And so it is with our concept of God. Krishna is considered the Supreme Being by many of his followers. According to Hindu lore, Krishna married 16,108 women and had ten children by each of them over a span of 125 years. Supposedly, he expanded himself into 16,108 forms so he could live in a palace with each of his wives.
If this is not true (and it certainly isn’t) then if God responded to the name Krishna in a supernaturally real way, He would be validating an untrue myth and making a very confusing statement about Himself. Furthermore, He would be verifying the doctrines promoted by Krishna in Hindu literature (which includes concepts like reincarnation, karma and the divinity of humankind).
Consider two other examples:
In the Muslim faith, God is referred to as “Allah.” He is considered so absolutely ‘One’ that associating Divinity with anyone or anything is considered the highest of sins, called shirk. Based on this, in Islam, it is considered blasphemy to say that Jesus was the “Son of God” or “God manifested in the flesh” (Luke 1:35, 1 Timothy 3:16). The biblical view concedes that yes, there is only ONE GOD, but enhances that truth with the understanding that He is comprised of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These two views of the nature of God are completely irreconcilable. So evidently, if God responded in a supernaturally real way to the name Allah, He would be denying His own triune nature.
In Hinduism, Ultimate Reality is Brahman, an impersonal energy force, or cosmic level of consciousness. “Impersonal” means a non-hearing, non-seeing, non-communicative, non-responsive cosmic power. Hindus do not pray to Brahman for Brahman does not answer; instead, they meditate upon Brahman as an internal, divine life-essence. It is important to note that within Brahman there is both darkness and light, both good and evil.
The true God is a personal God who comprehends and deeply senses all our needs, who hears our appeals to Him and a God in whom is NO darkness or evil. If God responded to the name Brahman, He would be verifying that “He” is actually an “It”: no more than a universal “force” and that the true nature of Ultimate Reality is a mix of both good and evil (as the yin-yang symbol indicates).
On the other hand, when we call on the name of JESUS, we automatically associate that name with the essence of who He was and what He did: how He was born of a virgin (the ONLY incarnation of GOD), how He lived a sinless life, was crucified for our sins, yet He victoriously arose, conquering death. We also associate that name with the doctrines of the Bible—including the belief that there is only one life in this world and one way to salvation.
Certainly there are many seekers in this world who truly and deeply love God, yet when they pray, they call on various names that God has not applied to Himself and often those names are associated with non-biblical stories, myths and legends. They may be “worshipers,” but they are not yet “true worshipers.” (John 4:23) As mentioned in an earlier commentary, Jesus taught that only those who “worship in spirit and in truth” qualify for this status—and part of “worshiping in the truth” involves uttering the true name of God when we call upon Him. If you have never done it before, try calling on the name of JESUS (or the Hebrew equivalent: YESHUA) until He responds—not in a monotone, mantra-like way, but a loving, worshipful, prayerful way.
It worked for Vail and it will certainly work for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.