Huna (New Age)
Huna is a Hawaiian word adopted by Max Freedom Long (1890–1971) in 1936 to describe his theory of metaphysics which he linked to ancient Hawaiian kahuna (experts). With roots in New Thought and Theosophy, it is part of the New Age movement.
Long went to Hawaii in 1917 to work as an elementary school teacher, and became interested in the religious beliefs and practices of the kahunas, but none talked to him so he was unable to penetrate to the inner workings of this religion. He left Hawaii in 1931, convinced that he would never learn these secrets. In 1934, he woke with a revelation that the secrets were encoded into the Hawaiian language itself. He called the religious system he developed from this revelation 'Huna' (the Hawaiian word for secret), and wrote his first book in 1936 to chronicle his discoveries. In 1945 he founded Huna Research. In 1953, he published The Secret Science at Work as a Huna textbook, and in 1965 The Huna Codes in Religions, examining parallels to Huna in religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Principles and beliefs
Huna emphasizes practical living and harmony with three levels of consciousness or selves. Long claimed that a low, middle, and higher self were recognized by the kahunas. He called these selves the unihipili (subconscious, inner, emotional, intuitive), uhane (waking consciousness, rational) and aumakua (super-conscious, connection with the divine). Huna changes the Hawaiian concept of mana, (privileged as a divine power in traditional Hawaiian belief), and views it as a vitalizing life force, which can, with knowledge of the three selves, be used to heal body and mind and achieve life goals.
He believed he discovered an ancient Truth, not just about Hawaiian spirituality but linking back to mother India and ancient Egypt. He thought Hawaiians were a lost tribe of Berbers. He wrote that spiritual adepts migrated to Hawai‘i from Egypt, passing on to the priests of India some of their basic beliefs.
Long linked Huna to Theosophy and New Thought movements of the time. He wrote that the Christian Scientists understood positive thinking better than any group he knew, and encouraged his readers to subscribe to Unity Church’s magazine, Daily Word. Later Huna teachers have placed it firmly in the New Age, with Serge King referring to a story by his mentor, that Huna came originally from aliens from the Pleiades who were remnants of the mythical advanced civilizations of Mu or Lemuria, and Pila Chiles associating the islands with chakras, vortexes and lay lines.
Serge King named the three selves "Ku," "Lono," and "Kane," and articulated seven principles of Huna:
- IKE (ee-kay) - The world is what you think it is.
- KALA - There are no limits.
- MAKIA (mah-kee-ah) - Energy flows where attention goes.
- MANAWA (man-ah-wah) - Now is the moment of power.
- ALOHA - To love is to be happy with (someone or something).
- MANA - All power comes from within.
- PONO - Effectiveness is the measure of truth.
King also cites West African shamanism as an influence.
Rima Morrell has written that one who truly practices Huna, has the ability to influence consciousness. The consciousness is not restricted to human consciousness, but may include that of animals, rocks, everything in the world around us both seen and unseen, therefore can include gods and goddess (akua) and the spirits of the departed ('aumakua) who often appear in the form of animals.
Relationship to traditional Hawaiian beliefs
Max Freedom Long wrote that he obtained many of his case studies and his ideas about what to look for in kahuna magic from the Director of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, William Brigham. According to an article in the peer-reviewed Hawaiian Journal of History, there is no credible evidence that the two men met. Even if they did, Brigham was not an expert on kahunas and did not document in his own writings any of the incidents Long ascribed to him, including walking on hot lava. In his letters and manuscripts, Brigham stated that Hawaiians were "an inferior race," and implied they were lazy. He referred to Queen Lili'uokalani as a "she devil," "squaw," and "nigger."
Native Hawaiian scholar Charles Kenn, a Living Treasure of Hawai'i recognized in the Hawaiian community as a kahuna and expert in Hawaiian history and traditions, was friendly with Max Freedom Long but said, “While this Huna study is an interesting study, … it is not, and never was Hawaiian.” 
Pali Jae Lee, a research librarian at the Bishop Museum, and author of the classic book, Tales From the Night Rainbow, conducted extensive research on Max Freedom Long and Huna. She concluded, based on her interviews with Hawaiian elders, "Huna is not Hawaiian." Lee cites Theodore Kelsey, a Living Treasure of Hawai'i renowned for his work as a Hawaiian translator who wrote a letter to Long in 1936 (now in the Hawai'i State Archives) criticizing his use of the terms "unihipili" and "aumakua."
Author Nancy Kahalewai, a teacher of lomilomi massage, wrote that "traditional lomilomi practitioners do not teach this philosophy. In fact, most insist that it is not from the native Hawaiian culture at all." 
Wells College Professor Lisa Kahaleole Hall, Ph.D., a Native Hawaiian, wrote in a peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Hawai'i that Huna "bears absolutely no resemblance to any Hawaiian worldview or spiritual practice" and calls it part of the "New Age spiritual industry."
Mikael Rothstein, an associate professor of religious history at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, is the author of several books on religious history and new religious movements. He wrote about Huna in a peer-reviewed anthology:
- Rather than integrating Hawaiian religion, however, New Agers seem to carry out a radical reinterpretation of this tradition, or simply invent traditions that were never Hawaiian. … New Age representations redefine Hawaiian concepts in order to align them to basic New Age trends.
Rothstein also gathered opinions and analysis of Huna by native Hawaiians:
- According to leading figures on the native-political scene in Hawaii, this kind of New Age representation amounts to straightforward exploitation. People often feel that non-Hawaiians are violating native intellectual property rights and that the out-of-context use of Hawaii’s religious legacy cripples the values that are imbedded in concepts such as kahuna, hula, Lomi Lomi, etc. The very idea that anyone could join a workshop and develop kahuna skills within a few weeks, for instance, is considered ridiculous as the traditional kahuna’s knowledge depends on a way of life rather than learning. …By importing Hawaiian ethnicity and revivifying what is perceived to be Hawaii’s religious legacy, New Agers from Europe and the United States…do not need the Hawaiians themselves. They need a myth about them, and so they create it… 
Huna books are "examples of cultural appropriation." 
According to the standard Pukui and Elbert Hawaiian dictionary, 'unihipili are the spirits of deceased persons, 'uhane is a soul, spirit or ghost, and 'aumakua are family or personal gods, deified ancestors who might assume the shape of animals. Kū, Lono and Kāne are Hawaiian gods.
In the Hawaiian language, the term kahuna is used for any expert. Kahuna include experts in diagnosing illness, herbal medicine, canoe building, temple building, wood carving, star-gazing, agriculture, and others.
Huna Research Inc was founded by Long in 1945. On his death in 1971, he was succeeded as its head by Dr. E Otha Wingo (in accordance with a request by Long), and moved its headquarters to Missouri, where Wingo was a professor. It has fellowships in Canada, Australia, England, Germany and Switzerland, in addition to the United States.
Huna International was formed as a religious order in 1973 by King. It has three branches: Aloha International, Voices of the Earth and Finding Each Other International.
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