The term ‘New Age’ began to pop up in a big way in the 60-70’s when people were importing Eastern religions, attending channeling sessions and building pyramids in their backyards (what a time to be alive!). These spiritual topics weren’t quite religious, so they didn’t fit into that category of publishing houses, but they were spiritual – thus the “New Age” was born! It seems the new age, is basically a publishing word to describe ‘spiritual miscellaneous’.
The New Age Is Not New
Of course, I am just talking about terminology here, the ‘New Age’ is a lot more then simply the junk drawer of spirituality, it actually represents a part of society that is very, very ancient. So, ironically, the new age is not new but a well established portion of independent spiritual thought. Much of the material within the new age contains ideas and spiritual literature from the cutting edge of the metaphysical scene. There has always been a sections of society that wanted to explore spirituality in a different way then what was being offered up by the institutions around them. Many of these individuals often have a naturally spiritual constitution and are actually channeling topics that will become influential in eras to come.
The new age is often described as a goofy new movement in society, as though it has just popped up out of no where lead by a bunch of people with no shoes sporting too many sacred geometry tattoos. This is a myth. The ‘new’ in new age is not referring to a modern movement, it is referring to the pioneering nature of the material. A large portion of the information that is popular in the new age is cutting edge. It is teachings channeled for this time, or fundamental truths (many times suppressed) carried over from previous eras and given a new language. The propagation of the popular teachings within the new age creates…. A new era….A new age.
The New Age is also not rooted in Blavatsky, Cayce, or any other particular individual. Those mystics have simply come to represent the phenomenon of the New Age for their era. Prior to that other Oracles would have paved the way for them. Within every generation are mystics, their purpose is to translate relevant spiritual perspective for society, each generation of mystics builds upon the last.
Also keep in mind that all religions were once part of the new age and grew over time to become institutions. In order to understand the New Age we have to see it as the portion of spiritual study that is raw, wild spirit. The place where new spiritual concepts are introduced, good, bad and ugly. A place where ancient truths that still need to be integrated are carried over. It is a place where if you are brave enough, you can meet yourself.
The New Age is Influential
This means that whether we like it or not, the most cutting edge spiritual insight is born from the new age, and what becomes popular in the new age will eventually take its place in mainstream society. The new age is upstream to philosophy, business, entertainment and even religion. This can be seen by leading religious figures using law of attraction language in their sermons as well as directly referencing and quoting new age authors (clips in video above). These concepts were not discussed in this manner until teachers under the umbrella of the new age had popularized it. Religious institutions must evolve, and many pastors find new age concepts to be what resonates. They’re not wrong. However, it should be noted that the material that is now resonating in religious circles is old news to many new agers who are already on to other cosmic pastures. Unfortunately these new agey hip pastors are often called heretics by the traditional pastors that believe taking a more personally empowering direction is not what the bible teaches. I am not mentioning this to be contentious, but to highlight the clear relationship between new age thought and institutionalized spirituality. There can be a symbiotic relationship here, but not if it is driven by ego rather then a genuine interest in the development of the organically spiritual individual.
It’s not just religion that gleans its inspiration from the new age, some of the largest companies in the world offer meditation classes, retreats, empowering seminars, yoga, even crystals and gadgets are incorporated. Green juice, a child of diet and new age, is now a hot commodity at many cafes and restaurants. Of course film and television also incorporates many new age ideas. Stranger Things clearly explores the astral realm and psi abilities and the X-files has been known to steal their show ideas from new age message boards. There are an awful lot of movies that claim New Age themes, too many to mention. As weird as these topics seem at first glance, they clearly settle in the mainstream society, many times decades after spear heading new agers have integrated them. Despite this clear path between new age topics and the mainstream the tin foil hat memes come on strong.
The new age is ancient and contains wisdom teachings that have been suppressed over time as well as new channelings particularly for the era. There has always been a new age. There always will be a New Age. And thank God for that. Thank God for independent sovereign thought and warship. We may not love everything about the New age, I have many issues with what I see in this field, but it is important to put into perspective its role in society as a place where people can discover themselves freely.
Challenges of the New Age
Two challenges of the new age at this time are discernment, lazy thinking and fear of nuance. We’ll start with discernment: you cannot properly navigate the new age unless you are willing to develop discernment. The lack of structure within the new age is frightening to a lot of people who despite being interested in self development and consciousness, feel that they do not have the capacity to sense their truth. Many people do not trust their instincts and intuition and feel more comfortable leaning into others for answers. This is an incredibly difficult initiation for spiritual seekers, however, once we discover that we each have the power to truly connect with god/cosmos ourselves our lives change in a way we cannot even imagine. Many stubborn problems can be resolved as we lean into the truth within our heart. There is no one dogma that characterizes the new age and many teachings do not agree or have conflicting information. This means that we begin to walk our own path, one we have discerned ourselves by listening to the quiet light of our own soul. That is salvation.
Stigmas Create a Darker Shadow
The fact that the new age is stigmatized by society doesn’t help anyone. The reality is, keeping it in the dark allows dishonest and unqualified people to gain influence. If people do not feel comfortable publicly sharing their new age experience, beliefs and practices with others then it is nearly impossible generate significant discussions about ethics and create standards. This atrophies societies spiritual progression. I personally have seen too many people being lured off to isolated locations by crazy-eyed gurus with flat affects and too many “volunteers”. Spirituality and consciousness can be an exciting, healing and ever evolving discussion for society, but we have to get to the place where we can openly have it.
No matter the current condition of the new age, people are left to treat the new age like a buffet, choosing what resonate with them for where they are now. The benefit to this is that you develop strong discernment skills, the down side is that if you do not have these skills you will be challenged to develop them. This process, as difficult as it may be, is imperative to think freely and be conscious in society.
Addiction to Religious Dogma
Another challenge of the the New Age is that it doesn’t work if you are addicted to dogma and you fear connecting with your own soul. This may sound silly, but, huge portions of the population are not comfortable with autonomous spirituality. Many individuals in society are accustom to associating their soul, their spirituality, with dogma, or a priest, or a religious text. Not having a structure feels dangerous, and many people have been taught that to independently connect with their heart and soul will, without fail, attract demons. This means that many in society are not ready, or do not realize, that spirituality can be practiced without giving their power away. The new age to people who are religiously dogmatic is out of control and full bad influences that will tarnish their soul. “Do not leave these fair pastures and clean waters, over the hills lies a cruel and dark world, one that will snap you up and turn your insides rotten!” These warnings are not spiritual truths, they tell you nothing about how higher dimensional reality works, they are a business strategy.
Others whose god is the material world, shy away from the new age because they confuse it with religion, they see anything that has to do with spirituality as a scam and fraud. It is their path to heal the wounds of previous religious abuse before they dive into spiritual work again. Until they do this they will see anything within the theme of spirituality as negative. This is obvious in some debates with atheists that interchange religion and spirituality as though they are the same thing. There is also a distinct difference between religions and consciousness studies/personal spiritual connection based on your intuition.
This path of raw spiritual connection has its challenges: with no rules, no mandatory Sunday service, or evening prayer people are left to forage their own way through their spirituality. They are left to feel into the deepest calling in their hearts and to potentially bounce it off many different sources to learn the language of their unique spirit. This is not an easy journey, to find the common thread in complex spiritual literature, but if you want to take the training wheels off and understand your consciousness, it is absolutely necessary.
Lazy thinking and Fear of Nuance
The other parallel issue in society that we face that affects the new age is lazy thinking where we refuse to acknowledge nuance. We often create blanket statements and judgements about subjects, or people, that make us uncomfortable. When we fear something, we avoid detail. We can see this with the two common dogmatic spectrums in society: materialism and religion.
For example, people who are bound to materialistic constructs of the world call the new age woo woo, full of wacky hippies, or a religion. Meanwhile, the new age is rooted in spiritual exploration, beyond dogma and religion. In the new age, when there is dogma, it is because people are dogmatic. If you are are too rooted in the material plane the new age is going to be very intimidating; it is much easier to dismiss an entire swath of study then challenge what feels like a fragile foundation within.
As we allow ourselves to play and open up we see that Spirit has a different quality then the material world, it’s not going to feel the way the material world does. This apparent quantum leap is jarring. It doesn’t help the materially addicted that the most accurate instrument to detect the spiritual planes is our consciousness, not a man made device. None the less, direct connection and consideration of the spiritual planes is going to bring out a different part of you, the non-material part of your consciousness; and if you are unwilling to get out of your material comfort zone you are not going to see the patterns and experience the wisdom and healing that is possible. Perhaps those who lean too heavily into the material world fear going crazy and losing control, which is why they always project that the new age is mentally ill and unstable. They are projecting their own fears.
On the other hand, people who are subject to religious dogmas, as discussed earlier, are also practicing lazy thinking as they believe the entire New Age is satanic. That any intuition is coming from demons or demons incarnate (the illuminati). Anything outside of their beliefs is inherently evil. This is, of course another example of prejudice. A theme that has haunted the new age for millennia as mystics and free thinkers were tortured, burned, hung, crucified and humiliated for their autonomous approach to spirituality. Perhaps they fear the ego that tricks them into being small, a shadow of themselves, which is why they see these shadows all around them. Perhaps they are the possessed.
The truth is we ignore nuance because diving into details means that we may be personally challenged by what we discover. We see this in politics where neither party wishes to acknowledge the inherent value in the other. This keeps them polarized and unproductive, no one benefits. Society begins to deteriorate when we refuse to challenge ourselves and dive into out inner world. Where we make blanket statements is where we are being lazy and it is where we fear looking into ourselves. We are faced with these challenges during this time so that we can become closer to our heart and soul. The natural evolution for our era is to move beyond all dogma, scientific and religious to discover how our consciousness works. How we are plugged into a level multidimensionality that we cannot yet even fathom. It is our journey to discover our unique purpose, how our soul feels, our history here, our innate interconnected reality.