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~New AGE Spirituality?!~

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Gracella

IF-Stunnerz

Gracella

Joined: 15 December 2004

Posts: 26252

Posted: 01 April 2007 at 12:11am | IP Logged

NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY

a.k.a. Self-spirituality, New spirituality, Mind-body-spirit

 

Introduction:

The New Age Movement is in a class by itself. Unlike most formal religions, it has no holy text, central organization, membership, formal clergy, geographic center, dogma, creed, etc. They often use mutually exclusive definitions for some of their terms. The New Age is in fact a free-flowing spiritual movement; a network of believers and practitioners who share somewhat similar beliefs and practices, which they add on to whichever formal religion that they follow. Their book publishers take the place of a central organization; seminars, conventions, books and informal groups replace of sermons and religious services.

Quoting John Naisbitt:

"In turbulent times, in times of great change, people head for the two extremes: fundamentalism and personal, spiritual experience...With no membership lists or even a coherent philosophy or dogma, it is difficult to define or measure the unorganized New Age movement. But in every major U.S. and European city, thousands who seek insight and personal growth cluster around a metaphysical bookstore, a spiritual teacher, or an education center."

The New Age is definitely a heterogeneous movement of individuals; most graft some new age beliefs onto their regular religious affiliation. Recent surveys of US adults indicate that many Americans hold at least some new age beliefs:

bullet hspace15 8% believe in astrology as a method of foretelling the future
bullet hspace15 7% believe that crystals are a source of healing or energizing power
bullet hspace15 9% believe that Tarot Cards are a reliable base for life decisions
bullet hspace15 about 1 in 4 believe in a non-traditional concept of the nature of God which are often associated with New Age thinking:
bullet hspace15 11% believe that God is "a state of higher consciousness that a person may reach"
bullet hspace15 8% define God as "the total realization of personal, human potential"
bullet hspace15 3% believe that each person is God.

The one version of the "New Age" that does not exist:

Major confusion about the New Age has been generated by academics, counter-cult groups, Fundamentalist and other Evangelical Christians and traditional Muslim groups, etc. Some examples are:

bullet hspace15 Many of the above groups have dismissed Tasawwuf (Sufiism) as a New Age cult. In reality, Sufiism has historically been an established mystical movement within Islam, which has always existing in a state of tension with the more legalistic divisions within Islam. It has no connection with the New Age.
bullet hspace15 Some conservative Christians believe that a massive, underground, highly coordinated New Age organization exists that is infiltrating government, media, schools and churches. No such entity exists.
bullet hspace15 Some conservative Christians do not differentiate among the Occult, Satanism, Wicca, other Neopagan religions. Many seem to regard all as forms of Satanism who perform horrendous criminal acts on children. Others view The New Age, Neopagan religions, Tarot card reading, rune readings, channeling, work with crystal energy, etc. as merely recruiting programs for Satanism. In fact, the Occult, Satanism, Neo-pagan religions are very different phenomena, and essentially unrelated. Dr. Carl Raschke, professor of Religious Studies at the University of Denver describes New Age practices as the spiritual version of AIDS; it destroys the ability of people to cope and function." He describes it as "essentially, the marketing end of the political packaging of occultism...a breeding ground for a new American form of fascism."

 

New Age beliefs:

A number of fundamental beliefs are held by many New Age followers; individuals are encouraged to "shop" for the beliefs and practices that they feel most comfortable with:

bullet hspace15 Monism: All that exists is derived from a single source of divine energy.
bullet hspace15 Pantheism: All that exists is God; God is all that exists. This leads naturally to the concept of the divinity of the individual, that we are all Gods. They do not seek God as revealed in a sacred text or as exists in a remote heaven; they seek God within the self and throughout the entire universe.
bullet hspace15 Panentheism: God is all that exists. God is at once the entire universe, and transcends the universe as well.
bullet hspace15 Reincarnation: After death, we are reborn and live another life as a human. This cycle repeats itself many times. This belief is similar to the concept of transmigration of the soul in Hinduism.
bullet hspace15 Karma: The good and bad deeds that we do adds and subtracts from our accumulated record, our karma. At the end of our life, we are rewarded or punished according to our karma by being reincarnated into either a painful or good new life. This belief is linked to that of reincarnation and is also derived from Hinduism
bullet hspace15 An Aura is believed to be an energy field radiated by the body. Invisible to most people, it can be detected by some as a shimmering, multi-colored field surrounding the body. Those skilled in detecting and interpreting auras can diagnose an individual's state of mind, and their spiritual and physical health.
bullet hspace15 Personal Transformation A profoundly intense mystical experience will lead to the acceptance and use of New Age beliefs and practices. Guided imagery, hypnosis, meditation, and (sometimes) the use of hallucinogenic drugs are useful to bring about and enhance this transformation. Believers hope to develop new potentials within themselves: the ability to heal oneself and others, psychic powers, a new understanding of the workings of the universe, etc. Later, when sufficient numbers of people have achieved these powers, a major spiritual, physical, psychological and cultural planet-wide transformation is expected.
bullet hspace15 Ecological Responsibility: A belief in the importance of uniting to preserve the health of the earth, which is often looked upon as Gaia, (Mother Earth) a living entity.
bullet hspace15 Universal Religion: Since all is God, then only one reality exists, and all religions are simply different paths to that ultimate reality. The universal religion can be visualized as a mountain, with many sadhanas (spiritual paths) to the summit. Some are hard; others easy. There is no one correct path. All paths eventually reach the top. They anticipate that a new universal religion which contains elements of all current faiths will evolve and become generally accepted worldwide.
bullet hspace15 New World Order As the Age of Aquarius unfolds, a New Age will develop. This will be a utopia in which there is world government, and end to wars, disease, hunger, pollution, and poverty. Gender, racial, religious and other forms of discrimination will cease. People's allegiance to their tribe or nation will be replaced by a concern for the entire world and its people.

The Age of Aquarius is a reference to the precession of the zodiac. The earth passes into a new sign of the zodiac approximately every 2,000 years. Some believe that the earth entered the constellation Aquarius in the 19th Century, so that the present era is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Others believe that it will occur at the end of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that the previous constellation changes were:

bullet hspace15 from Aries to Pisces the fish circa 1st century CE. This happened at a time when Christianity was an emerging religion, and many individuals changed from animal sacrifice in the Jewish temple to embracing the teachings of Christianity. The church's prime symbol at the time was the fish.
bullet hspace15 from Taurus to Aries the ram circa 2,000 BCE. This happened at a time when the Jews engaged in widespread ritual sacrifice of sheep and other animals in the Temple.
bullet hspace15 from Gemini to Taurus the bull circa 4,000 BCE. During that sign, worshiping of the golden calf was common in the Middle East.

New Age practices:

Many practices are found among New Agers. A typical practitioner is active in only a few areas:

bullet hspace15 Channeling A method similar to that used by Spiritists in which a spirit of a long dead individual is conjured up. However, while Spiritists generally believe that one's soul remains relatively unchanged after death, most channelers believe that the soul evolves to higher planes of existence. Chanelers usually try to make contact with a single, spiritually evolved being. That being's consciousness is channeled through the medium and relays guidance and information to the group, through the use of the medium's voice. Channeling has existed since the 1850's and many groups consider themselves independent of the New Age movement. Perhaps the most famous channeling event is the popular A Course in Miracles. It was channeled through a Columbia University psychologist, Dr. Helen Schucman, (1909-1981), over an 8 year period. She was an Atheist, and in no way regarded herself as a New Age believer. However, she took great care in recording accurately the words that she received.
bullet hspace15 Crystals Crystals are materials which have their molecules arranged in a specific, highly ordered internal pattern. This pattern is reflected in the crystal's external structure which typically has symmetrical planar surfaces. Many common substances, from salt to sugar, from diamonds to quartz form crystals. They can be shaped so that they will vibrate at a specific frequency and are widely used in radio communications and computing devices. New Agers believe that crystals possess healing energy.
bullet hspace15 Meditating A process of blanking out the mind and releasing oneself from conscious thinking. This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object.
bullet hspace15 New Age Music A gentle, melodic, inspirational music form involving the human voice, harp, lute, flute, etc. It is used as an aid in healing, massage therapy and general relaxation.
bullet hspace15 Divination The use of various techniques to foretell the future, including I Ching, Pendulum movements, Runes, Scrying, Tarot Cards.
bullet hspace15 Astrology The belief that the orientation of the planets at the time of one's birth, and the location of that birth predicts the individual's future and personality. Belief in astrology is common amongst New Agers, but definitely not limited to them.
bullet hspace15 Holistic Health This is a collection of healing techniques which have diverged from the traditional medical model. It attempts to cure disorders in mind, body and spirit and to promote wholeness and balance in the individual. Examples are acupuncture, crystal healing, homeopathy, iridology, massage, various meditation methods, polarity therapy, psychic healing, therapeutic touch, reflexology, etc.
bullet hspace15 Human Potential Movement (a.k.a. Emotional Growth Movement) This is a collection of therapeutic methods involving both individualized and group working, using both mental and physical techniques. The goal is to help individuals to advance spiritually. Examples are Esalen Growth Center programs, EST, Gestalt Therapy, Primal Scream Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Transcendental Meditation and Yoga.

The Canadian Census (1991) recorded only 1,200 people (0.005% of the total Canadian population) who identify their religion as being New Age. However, this in no way indicates the influence of new age ideas in the country. Many people identify with Christianity and other religions, but incorporate many new age concepts into their faith.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/newage.htm

I was reading this article and i thought like me, you all might find it interesting tooWink! feel free to comment.......Tongue

Gracella

 

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lotty

Senior Member

lotty

Joined: 17 March 2006

Posts: 487

Posted: 04 April 2007 at 5:08am | IP Logged
OMG Shocked where did u find that all?

very nice one
thanks for sharing

missmhow

Goldie

missmhow

Joined: 05 June 2006

Posts: 1548

Posted: 18 April 2007 at 3:09pm | IP Logged
thanks..its so informative..wud like to read it many times..

Edited by missmhow - 18 April 2007 at 3:09pm

DivyaD

IF-Rockerz

DivyaD

Joined: 14 October 2005

Posts: 6051

Posted: 19 April 2007 at 3:11am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Gracella

NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY

a.k.a. Self-spirituality, New spirituality, Mind-body-spirit

 

Introduction:

The New Age Movement is in a class by itself. Unlike most formal religions, it has no holy text, central organization, membership, formal clergy, geographic center, dogma, creed, etc. They often use mutually exclusive definitions for some of their terms. The New Age is in fact a free-flowing spiritual movement; a network of believers and practitioners who share somewhat similar beliefs and practices, which they add on to whichever formal religion that they follow. Their book publishers take the place of a central organization; seminars, conventions, books and informal groups replace of sermons and religious services.

Quoting John Naisbitt:

"In turbulent times, in times of great change, people head for the two extremes: fundamentalism and personal, spiritual experience...With no membership lists or even a coherent philosophy or dogma, it is difficult to define or measure the unorganized New Age movement. But in every major U.S. and European city, thousands who seek insight and personal growth cluster around a metaphysical bookstore, a spiritual teacher, or an education center."

New Age beliefs:

A number of fundamental beliefs are held by many New Age followers; individuals are encouraged to "shop" for the beliefs and practices that they feel most comfortable with:

bullet hspace15 Monism: All that exists is derived from a single source of divine energy.
bullet hspace15 Pantheism: All that exists is God; God is all that exists. This leads naturally to the concept of the divinity of the individual, that we are all Gods. They do not seek God as revealed in a sacred text or as exists in a remote heaven; they seek God within the self and throughout the entire universe.
bullet hspace15 Panentheism: God is all that exists. God is at once the entire universe, and transcends the universe as well.
bullet hspace15 Reincarnation: After death, we are reborn and live another life as a human. This cycle repeats itself many times. This belief is similar to the concept of transmigration of the soul in Hinduism.
bullet hspace15 Karma: The good and bad deeds that we do adds and subtracts from our accumulated record, our karma. At the end of our life, we are rewarded or punished according to our karma by being reincarnated into either a painful or good new life. This belief is linked to that of reincarnation and is also derived from Hinduism
bullet hspace15 An Aura is believed to be an energy field radiated by the body. Invisible to most people, it can be detected by some as a shimmering, multi-colored field surrounding the body. Those skilled in detecting and interpreting auras can diagnose an individual's state of mind, and their spiritual and physical health.
bullet hspace15 Personal Transformation A profoundly intense mystical experience will lead to the acceptance and use of New Age beliefs and practices. Guided imagery, hypnosis, meditation, and (sometimes) the use of hallucinogenic drugs are useful to bring about and enhance this transformation. Believers hope to develop new potentials within themselves: the ability to heal oneself and others, psychic powers, a new understanding of the workings of the universe, etc. Later, when sufficient numbers of people have achieved these powers, a major spiritual, physical, psychological and cultural planet-wide transformation is expected.
bullet hspace15 Ecological Responsibility: A belief in the importance of uniting to preserve the health of the earth, which is often looked upon as Gaia, (Mother Earth) a living entity.
bullet hspace15 Universal Religion: Since all is God, then only one reality exists, and all religions are simply different paths to that ultimate reality. The universal religion can be visualized as a mountain, with many sadhanas (spiritual paths) to the summit. Some are hard; others easy. There is no one correct path. All paths eventually reach the top. They anticipate that a new universal religion which contains elements of all current faiths will evolve and become generally accepted worldwide.
bullet hspace15 New World Order As the Age of Aquarius unfolds, a New Age will develop. This will be a utopia in which there is world government, and end to wars, disease, hunger, pollution, and poverty. Gender, racial, religious and other forms of discrimination will cease. People's allegiance to their tribe or nation will be replaced by a concern for the entire world and its people.

The Age of Aquarius is a reference to the precession of the zodiac. The earth passes into a new sign of the zodiac approximately every 2,000 years. Some believe that the earth entered the constellation Aquarius in the 19th Century, so that the present era is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Others believe that it will occur at the end of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that the previous constellation changes were:

bullet hspace15 from Aries to Pisces the fish circa 1st century CE. This happened at a time when Christianity was an emerging religion, and many individuals changed from animal sacrifice in the Jewish temple to embracing the teachings of Christianity. The church's prime symbol at the time was the fish.
bullet hspace15 from Taurus to Aries the ram circa 2,000 BCE. This happened at a time when the Jews engaged in widespread ritual sacrifice of sheep and other animals in the Temple.
bullet hspace15 from Gemini to Taurus the bull circa 4,000 BCE. During that sign, worshiping of the golden calf was common in the Middle East.

Hi! Great article and info...

Reading this, especially the New Age beliefs... I noticed that a lot of these ideas have been propogated by the Gita, which has been in existence since thousands of years ago.

Also, just as a point of discussion, can people, in this day and age manage to believe in something that has no basis, as such or literature and scriptures to fall back on? Mans make up itself requires a finite idea or dogma to follow for anything to mature and develop over years and for people to believe in it...So, I wonder about the endurance of new age spirituality.

Then again, maybe it will prosper, rebellion against something with teachings and laws, like religions that have been around for all time is the way of the world today... Kaliyug!

sareeta

IF-Sizzlerz

sareeta

Joined: 14 August 2006

Posts: 11542

Posted: 19 April 2007 at 4:05am | IP Logged
Fantastic article and a new school of thought as well. THank you sooo much for, sharing it... !

Divya, I do see your point and agree too, society has always tended to believe and fall back on , something that has been believed to exists since ages and has been put on paper and also has, if I may use the word, a concrete sense of existence... and proof of the same?

But yet , with the emergence of several schools of thought over the years, existence of athiesm , and people of who follow the same, leads me to belive, may be in a small percentage, but this new school of thought will have its own following and may be with the emerging violence and state of affairs and religious battles around the world, people may embrace this new school of thought , as a way out of misery... Dont know...!

It has always been seen , the people have looked to religion as more of a convenience to pretend to follow what they beleive is right rather than what that religion preaches ( had it been without pretence, the world would have been a more peaceful place than it is today!) and New Age spirituality is only a step away , where people would embrace this religion for what solace it shall provide the confused minds! Unfortunately... the purpose of this school of thought shall be lost on many a minds!

But it seems , like the time has arrived for this New age spiruliaty( exisitng long since , the golden era of Gita and Mahabharata as you suggesed) to be brought forth and embraced as well!

Jus my thoughts! Smile

eexxoottiicc

IF-Rockerz

eexxoottiicc

Joined: 24 October 2006

Posts: 6917

Posted: 20 April 2007 at 9:50am | IP Logged
hey thanx a lot Tongue

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