NEW AGE PHILOSOPHY
What is all the fuss about New Age Philosophy and spiritualism? What can I learn from it and how?
If you want your head to swim, try some New Age philosophy. “The mystery of life is beyond all human conception. We always think in terms of opposites. But God, the ultimate, is beyond the pairs of opposites, that is all there is to it.” “All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing That Is.” To understand New Age philosophy, it’s important to understand that the contemporary Cosmic Humanist movement has its roots in the Romantic poets of the 1800’s, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau. These men rejected the God of the Bible, instead writing at length about a transcendent quality of spirituality experienced purely through personal introspection. These ideas did not attract a broad audience until the 1960’s, when popular recording artists, movie stars, and Eastern gurus began trumpeting their New Age views across the nation. More recently, well-known recording artists such as Madonna and Alanis Morissette have identified themselves with Hinduism, while popular personalities such as Tiger Woods, Phil Jackson, and Richard Gere openly embrace Zen Buddhism. Other luminaries, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, express a belief in scientology.
As a result, Cosmic Humanist ideas are being widely disseminated through movies, television, and burgeoning book sales. Since its publication in 1993, The Celestine Prophecy has sold over 8 million copies in more than 32 countries, achieving distinction as the bestselling American hardcover book in the world for two consecutive years. “We are manifesting nothing less than a new world view that will flourish in the next millennium.” Cosmic Humanists believe that all reality is God—from a grain of sand to the Milky Way. Their philosophy reflects this belief by focusing on such principles as the Gaia hypothesis, which views planet Earth, and indeed, the whole universe, as a living organism. Gaia is sometimes referred to as Mother Earth. The universe is no longer seen as a machine, made up of a multitude of objects, but has to be pictured as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process.
New Age philosophy rejects naturalistic and materialistic philosophies because such explanations deny the all-pervasive supernatural. If the spiritual aspects of life lead to higher consciousness and inner truth, we should view all reality from a supernatural perspective. This perspective leads Cosmic Humanists to a philosophy of non-naturalism—nothing is natural, everything is supernatural. The philosophical stance of Cosmic Humanism is that ultimate reality is in the spiritual dimension.
The New Age philosophy of non-naturalism affects both epistemology and ontology. In terms of epistemology (theory of knowledge), proponents of the New Age movement emphasize the importance of getting in touch with our higher self. When we get in touch with the God-force within, we can intuitively know truth without limits. When we consistently suppress and distrust our intuitive knowingness, looking instead for external authority, validation, and approval from others, we give our personal power away.
When we look within, we will find truth, but this is not truth as it is commonly understood. New Age truth is emotive rather than descriptive. It has been said that: What’s the meaning of the universe? What’s the meaning of a flea? It’s just there. That’s it. And your own meaning is that you’re there. We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about. To Cosmic Humanists, truth—what we can know—is a feeling or an experience. Knowledge does not contain the meaning of life.
Each of us creates our own truth according to the principle if it feels like truth to you, it is. All knowledge exists in the God-force within us, and if we connect with that power, we tap into knowledge. What would happen if everyone in the world were to connect with his or her godhood? They can turn off the sun and turn it back on. They can freeze oceans into ice, turn the air into gold, talk as one with no movement or sound. They can fly without wings and love without pain, cure with no more than a thought or a smile. They can make the earth go backwards or bounce up and down, crack it in half or shift it around. There is nothing they cannot do.
The Cosmic Humanist ontology also stems from a non-naturalistic philosophy. Ultimate reality or substance is the God-force or Christ-consciousness. God is the essence of existence, the life force within all things. Cosmic Humanist philosophy, like Secular Humanism and Marxism-Leninism, is monistic—all reality is one—but in a very different sense. In Cosmic Humanism, ultimate reality is spiritual rather than material. Oh God, I know that I come from you, that I am part of you, that I will return to you, and that there will be no end to my rebirth in the eternal stream of your splendid creation.
New Age ontology has been described as: This worldview encourages us to treat all things not only as ourselves, as the holistic view would see it, but as honored and precious manifestations of God. This perspective may prove problematic since it does not specify the substance that makes up the God-force. However, Cosmic Humanists seem unconcerned with this question since each of us arrives at our own truth and our interpretations will differ. All that is can form itself into individual droplets of consciousness. Because you are part of all that is, you have literally always been, yet there was the instant when that individual energy current that is you was formed. Consider that the ocean is God. It has always been. Now reach in and grab a cup full of water. In that instant, the cup becomes individual, but it has always been, has it not? This is the case with your soul. There was the instant when you became a cup of energy, but it was of an immortal original Being. You have always been because what it is that you are is God, or Divine Intelligence, but God takes on individual forms, droplets, reducing its power to small particles of individual consciousness.
In New Age philosophy, all is one, so only one type of ultimate reality can exist. This ultimate reality must be spiritual because God, which is everything, is ultimately spiritual. Spirit is the only substance that exists, and matter is only a manifestation of spirit. The purpose of knowing is not to explain or describe reality; rather, knowledge is useful only as experience, and experience is getting in touch with our godhood. Each of us may experience different truth because truth resides in the individual and manifests itself in our godhood.
New Age philosophy is a useful tool to help us think thoughts that lead to feelings of unity rather than a system for discovering and interpreting reality. Although most people do not think this way, they should say, ‘God, please help me,’ means, ‘God, correct my thinking.’ ‘Deliver me from hell,’ means ‘Deliver me from my insane thoughts.’” The best thoughts are not necessarily logical, but they are sane in that they remind us to feel at one with God.
New Age is a compilation of metaphysical, Eastern-influenced thought systems. These thought systems unite theology, nature, and philosophy. This movement comprises countless “theologies” that often center on religious tolerance and moral diversity. The main phrases (or “isms”) that reveal the focal point of New Age thought are “feel-goodism” (do whatever feels good, as long as you are not hurting someone else), “moral relativism” (situational ethics), and “pluralism” (universal tolerance). The phrase “New Age” refers to the “Aquarian Age” which, according to New Age supporters, is now beginning. This Age is expected to bring in peace and enlightenment, as well as reunite humans with “god.” New Age doctrine says that humans are currently estranged from god due to a lack of insight concerning god’s real nature and reality. In New Age understanding, mankind is central. Humans are considered to be divine, as co-creators, and as the ultimate hope for the future of the world. Although New Age is generally tolerant of almost any world religion or philosophy, it is opposed to the “narrow-mindedness” of Christianity that teaches Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal salvation. New Age philosophy is complicated to define because there is no centralized hierarchy, doctrine, or membership. At its foundation, the New Age movement is a religious system with two main doctrines: Evolutionary Godhood and Global Unity. New Age: The Doctrine of Evolutionary Godhood Generally, New Age thought supports the theory of organic evolution, but extends the concept to the evolution of the spirit. This is the concept of “Evolutionary Godhood,” where the next step in evolution won’t be physical, but spiritual. The principles of evolution are constantly moving mankind toward god-consciousness, where man and reality connect in unified enlightenment. The “fittest” already understand this reality, while the “unfit” (such as Christians and other proponents of dogmatic worldviews) act as a hindrance to evolutionary forces. Many New Age practices are designed to accelerate the evolutionary push into the spiritual realms. These practices include: (a) astral projection, which is training your soul to leave your body and travel around; (b) channeling spirits, so they may speak through you or guide you; (c) crystal usage, which purifies the energy systems of your body and mind; and (d) visualization techniques, which include everything from basic mental imagery to role playing of animals or divine creatures. In a nutshell, Evolutionary Godhood means that mankind will soon see itself as god. This is often referred to as the “Christ principle” or “Christ consciousness.” New Age teaches that we are basically good and inherently divine, and ultimately, we can create our own reality. New Age: The Doctrine of Global Unity The second major doctrine of the New Age movement is “Global Unity.” This concept typically consists of three parts: Man Unified With Man. One New Age principle is that we will all realize our proper divine relationship with one another and achieve pure harmony through the acceptance of this divine knowledge. With relational harmony comes economic unity. With economic unity, we can achieve political unity (a single world government) and spiritual unity (a one world religion). Man Unified With Nature. Another New Age principle is that god is everything, and everything is god. Therefore, nature is also part of god. We must be in harmony with nature. We must nurture it and be nurtured by it. Mankind is no different than any other animal. We must live in harmony with them, understand them, and learn from them. Actually, many in the New Age movement refer to the union of earth and nature as “Gaia.” Gaia is revered, respected, and even worshipped as a god by some. American Indian rituals are also popular in the New Age movement because they focus on the elements of nature and man’s relationship to them. Man Unified With God. Since man is divine by nature, all people can realize their “divinity” and contribute to the unified purpose of man, earth and nature. The ultimate goal in life is to fully realize our own divine goodness. The New Age god is impersonal and omnipresent. He/it has not revealed himself/itself to mankind, and therefore, mankind is not accountable to any notions of moral law or absolute truth. There is no objective morality in the New Age philosophy. We should have tolerance for all systems of truth, meaning and purpose. We should create a world of pure relativism, where morality and religion are strictly relative to each person’s individual notion of reality itself.
Follow me in Facebook