The New Age Movement

Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Astrology
Horoscopes and the Zodiac are used in understanding, interpreting, and organizing information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters.

Teleology
Life has a purpose; this includes a belief in synchronicity ”that coincidences have spiritual meaning and lessons to teach those whom are open to them. Everything is universally connected through God and participates in the same energy. There is a cosmic goal and a belief that all entities are (knowingly or unknowingly) cooperating towards this goal.

Indigo children
Children are being born with a more highly developed spiritual power than earlier generations.

Interpersonal relationships
There are opportunities to learn about one’s self and relationships are destined to be repeated until they are healthy.

Intuition
An important aspect of perception offset by a somewhat strict rationalism noted especially in the works of psychologist Carl Jung.

Optimism
Positive thinking supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything; this is based on the concept that Thought Creates. Therefore, as one begins focusing attention and consciousness on the positive, on the “half-filled” glass of water, reality starts shifting and materializing the positive intentions and aspects of life. A certain critical mass of people with a highly spiritual consciousness will bring about a sudden change in the whole population. Humans have a responsibility to take part in positive creative activity and to work to heal ourselves, each other and the planet.

Human Potential Movement
The human mind has much greater potential than that ascribed to it and is even capable of overriding physical reality.

Spiritual healing
Humans have potential healing powers, such as therapeutic touch, which can be developed to heal others through touch or at a distance.

Eclecticism
New Age writers argue people should follow their own individual path to spirituality instead of dogma. Some adherents of traditional disciplines such as the Lakota people, a tribe of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, reject the term New Age. They see the movement it represents as either not fully understanding, deliberately trivializing, or distorting their disciplines.

Anti-patriarchy
Feminine forms of spirituality, including feminine images of the divine, such as the female Aeon Sophia in Gnosticism, are deprecated by patriarchal religions. Stonehenge and other ancient sites are revered by many who practice New Age spirituality.

Ancient civilizations
Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, and other lost lands existed. Relics such as the crystal skulls and monuments such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza were left behind.

Psychic perception
Certain geographic locations emanate psychic energy (sometimes through ley lines) and were considered sacred in pagan religions throughout the world.

Eastern world practices
Meditation, Yoga, Tantra, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, martial arts, Tai chi chuan, Falun Gong, Qigong, Reflexology, Reiki, and other Eastern practices can assist in realizing one’s potential.

Diet
Food influences both the mind and body; it is generally preferable to practice vegetarianism by eating fresh organic food, which is locally grown and in season. Fasting can help achieve higher levels of consciousness.

Mathematics
An appeal to the language of nature and mathematics, as evidenced by numerology, Kabbalah, Sacred geometry, and gnosticism to discern the nature of God.

Science
Quantum mechanics, parapsychology, and the Gaia hypothesis have been used in quantum mysticism to validate spiritual principles. Authors Deepak Chopra, Fritjof Capra, Fred Alan Wolf, and Gary Zukav have linked quantum mechanics to New Age spirituality, which is presented in the film What the Bleep Do We Know!? (2004); also, in connection with the Law of Attraction, which is related to New Thought and presented in the film The Secret (2006). They have interpreted the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, quantum entanglement, wave function collapse, or the many-worlds interpretation to mean that all objects in the Universe are one (monism), that possibility and existence are endless, and that the physical world is only what one believes it to be.

In medicine, such practices as therapeutic touch, homeopathy, chiropractic, and naturopathy involve hypotheses and treatments that have not been accepted by the conventional, science-based medical community through the normal course of empirical testing.

New Age spirituality has led to a wide array of literature on the subject and an active niche market: books, music, crafts, and services in alternative medicine are available at New Age stores, fairs, and festivals.

People who practice New Age spirituality or embrace its lifestyle are included in the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) demographic market segment, currently in a growth phase, related to sustainable living, green ecological initiatives, and generally composed of a relatively affluent and well-educated segment. The LOHAS market segment in 2006 was estimated at USD$300 billion, approximately 30 percent of the United States consumer market. According to The New York Times, a study by the Natural Marketing Institute showed that in 2000, 68 million Americans were included within the LOHAS demographic. The author Paul H. Ray, who coined the term Cultural Creatives in his book The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World (2000), states, “What you’re seeing is a demand for products of equal quality that are also virtuous.”

Practitioners of New Age spirituality may use alternative medicine in addition to or in place of conventional medicine; while some conventional physicians have adopted aspects or the complete approach of holistic health.

New Age music is peaceful music of various styles, which is intended to create inspiration, relaxation, and positive feelings while listening. Studies have determined that New Age music can be an effective component of stress management. Some New Age music albums come with notes to encourage use in meditation.

This style began in the 1970s with the works of free-form jazz groups recording on the ECM label; such as Oregon, the Paul Winter Group, and other pre-ambient bands; as well as ambient music performer Brian Eno and classical avant-garde musician Daniel Kobialka. In the early 1970s, it was mostly instrumental with both acoustic and electronic styles. New Age music evolved to include a wide range of styles from electronic space music and acoustic instrumentals using Western instruments to spiritual chanting from other cultures including Native American flutes and drums, synthesizers, and instrumental world music sounds.

There is an emphasis on living in a simple sustainable way that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and shuns the consumer society.

Activist Constance Cumbey offered the first major criticism of the New Age Movement from a Christian perspective in The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and Our Coming Age of Barbarism (1983).

The Vatican has issued a statement which criticises the New Age as blurring distinctions between particular religions and undermining what it sees as the essential truth of Christianity.

The Marxist academic Ward Churchill has criticised the new age movement as an instrument of cultural imperialism that is exploitative of indigenous cultures, including Native American, by reducing it to a commodity to be traded. In Fantasies of the Master Race, he criticises the cultural appropriation of native American culture and symbols in not only the new age movement, but also in art and pop culture.

The author Ken Wilber posits that most New Age thought falls into what he termed the pre/trans fallacy. According to Wilber, human developmental psychology moves from the pre-personal, through the personal, then to the transpersonal (spiritually advanced or enlightened) level. He claims that 80 percent of New Age spirituality is pre-rational (pre-conventional) and relies primarily on mythic-magical thinking; this is in contrast to a post-rational (includes and transcends rational) genuine world-centric consciousness.

First nation groups, particularly native americans, have denounced what they see as misappropriation of their cultural heritage within the new age movement. They have coined the term plastic shaman to describe individuals who are attempting to pass themselves off as shamans, holy people, or other traditional spiritual leaders, but who have no genuine connection to the traditions or cultures they claim to represent.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss