Re: The Sinister Side of the New Age
New Age is a broad movement of late 20th century and contemporary Western culture, characterised by an individual eclectic approach to spiritual exploration. The New Age is a diverse movement of individuals; many graft new age beliefs onto a traditional religious affiliation. Recent surveys of US adults indicate that around 20% of Americans hold at least some New Age beliefs.
Many of the ideas of the New Age movement are elements of older spiritual and religious traditions, from both east and west, melded with modern ideas from science especially psychology and ecology. The New Age has borrowed from all the world's major religions with influences from Spiritualism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shamanism, Sufism, and Neo-Paganism being especially strong. Out of the movement have come a wide-ranging literature on spirituality, new musical styles and even crafts - most visible in specialty shops and New Age fairs. The name "New Age" also refers to part of the LOHAS market segment in which its goods and services are sold to people in the movement.
Though there are no formal or definitive boundaries for membership, those who are likely to sample many diverse teachings and practices (from both 'mainstream' and 'fringe' traditions) and to formulate their own beliefs and practices based on their experiences can be considered as New Age. Rather than following the lead of an organised religion, "New Agers" typically construct their own spiritual journey based on material taken as needed from the mystical traditions of the worlds religions, also including shamanism, neopaganism and occultism.
Most New Age practices and beliefs may be characterized as a form of alternative spirituality or alternative religion. Even apparent exceptions, such as alternative medicine or traditional medicine practices, often have some spiritual dimension — such as a conceptual integration of mind, body, and spirit.
The term New Age is generally limited to a Western or modern context where the Judeo-Christian tradition and/or Positivism are dominant, so the use of "alternative" in New Age thought generally implies a contrast with these dominant religious and/or scientific beliefs. Hence, many New Age ideas and practices contain either explicit or implied critiques of organised mainstream Christianity —emphasis on meditation suggests that simple prayer and faith is insufficient. Belief in reincarnation (which not all New Age followers accept) challenges familiar Christian doctrines of the afterlife.
Those who categorize themselves as New Age followers have multifarious beliefs;
nevertheless, certain themes emerge. An individual who identifies with the New Age may subscribe to some or all of these, depending on their own sense of what is right and wrong.
All humanity—indeed all life, everything in the universe—is spiritually interconnected, participating in the same energy. “God” is one name for this energy.
Spiritual beings (e.g. angels, ascended masters, elementals, ghosts, and/or space aliens) exist, and will guide us, if we open ourselves to their guidance.
The human mind has deep levels and vast powers, which are capable even of overriding physical reality. “You create your own realigion Nevertheless, this is subject to certain spiritual laws, such as the principle of cause and effect (karma).
Children are being born today with a more highly developed spiritual power than earlier generations. See Indigo Children.
The individual has a purpose here on earth, in the present surroundings, because there is a lesson to learn. The most important lesson is love.
Death is not the end; there is only life in different forms. What some refer to as an afterlife does not punish us but teaches us, perhaps through the mechanisms of reincarnation or near-death experiences.
Intuition or "divine guidance" is a more appropriate guide than rationalism, scientific skepticism, or the scientific method.
Western science wrongly neglects such things as parapsychology, meditation, and holistic health.
There exists a mystical core within all religions, Eastern and Western. Dogma and religious identity are not so important. The Bible is considered by some, but not all, to be a wise and holy book. Many important truths are found in the Bible, or are referred to only very obliquely. Some say that Jesus was an Essene, or that he traveled to India in his youth to study Eastern religions. Others say that Jesus was a later avatar of the Buddha.
Feminine forms of spirituality, including feminine images of the divine, such as the female Aeon Sophia in Gnosticism, have been subordinated, masked, or obliterated by patriarchal movements that were widely practiced when sacred teachings were first committed to writing. A renaissance of the feminine is particularly appropriate at this time.
Meditation, yoga, t'ai chi ch'üan, and other Eastern practices are valuable and worthwhile.
A certain critical mass of people with a highly spiritual consciousness will bring about a sudden change in the whole population. See Hundredth Monkey.
Science and spirituality are ultimately harmonious. New discoveries in science, e.g. evolution and quantum mechanics, when rightly understood, point to spiritual principles.
An appeal to the language of nature and mathematics, as evidenced by numerology in Kabbala, gnosticism etc., to discern the nature of god.
We have a responsibility to take part in positive creative activity and to work to heal ourselves, each other and the planet.
The food you eat has an effect on your mind as well as your body. It is generally preferable to eat fresh organic vegetarian food which is locally grown and in season. Raw food and sprouted seeds have a particularly spirit enhancing quality.
Fasting can help you achieve higher levels of consciousness.
Ultimately every interpersonal relationship has the potential to be a helpful experience in terms of our own growth. We learn about ourselves through our relationships with other people by getting to see what we need to work on ourselves and what strengths we bring to the other party in order to help them in their life. All our relationships are destined to be repeated until they are healed, if necessary over many lifetimes. As Souls seeking wholeness, our goal is eventually to learn to love everyone we come in contact with.
Ancient civilizations such as Atlantis may truly have existed, leaving behind certain relics and monuments (the Great Pyramid, Stonehenge) whose true nature has not been discovered by mainstream historians.
Certain geographic locations emanate special energy, which may be male or female in character. Many such places may have been considered sacred in the worlds religions or as healing places by indigenous native populations.
Rocks and crystals have special psychic energies and can be an aid to meditation and healing.
There are no coincidences (see Synchronicity). Everything around you has spiritual meaning, and spiritual lessons to teach you. You are meant to be here, and are always exactly where you need to be to learn from what confronts you.
The mind has hidden powers and abilities, which have a spiritual significance.
Dreams and psychic experiences are ways in which our souls express themselves
A positive attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything.
There is a cosmic goal. There is typically a belief that all entities are (willingly or unwillingly) cooperating in some cosmic goal of achieving a "higher" or more complete coherence with a cosmic "consciousness" (or some other goal state of "goodness"), often described as an evolutionary process or simply to learn. This underlying cosmic goal gives direction to all events, reducing the concept of coincidence to one of ignorance of hidden meaning.
This is a time of great transformation for the Earth and human consciousness. Certain dates have a special significance in these changes. 1986 and the Harmonic Convergence was one, and there are others to come in 2011 or 2012.