New Age is a non-religious yet 'spiritual' movement that developed during the 1960's. It is believed New Age developed as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of politics and religion to provide a safe and equal world view.
The movement draws from both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, infusing them with influences from self-help, motivational psychology, holistic health with some parapsychology in order to create spiritual practises and philosophies without borders or confining dogmas. Unlike most formal religions, it has no holy text, central organization, membership, formal clergy, geographic centre, dogma or creed.
Another trait of the New Age movement is holding to a holistic view, believing that the Mind, Body and Spirit are interrelated. Its roots are traceable to many sources: Astrology, Channelling, Hinduism, Gnostic traditions, Spiritualism, Taoism, Theosophy, Wicca and Neo-pagan traditions, etc
The New Age movement has, many times, come under criticism from a variety of groups claiming that practises like Astrology, Crystal Healing, Reiki, Yoga, Chakra Healing, etc have no evidence that they work. In fact, New Age followers practice many beliefs, such a reincarnation, which is based on what has been written in the Vedas, one of the oldest sacred texts from ancient India and one of the oldest scriptures in the world.
There are a number of fundamental beliefs are held by many New Age followers;
* All that exists is derived from a single source of divine energy or consciousness.
* All that exists is an expression of Consciousness; This leads naturally to the concept of the divinity of the individual. They do not seek God (or Consciousness) as revealed in a sacred text or as exists in a remote heaven; they seek God within the self and throughout the entire universe.
* Consciousness is all that exists. Consciousness transcends the universe.
* Reincarnation: After death, we are reborn and live another life. This cycle repeats itself many times. This belief is similar to the concept of transmigration of the soul in Hinduism.
* Karma: We reap what we sew, or in scientific terms; cause and effect - if we do bad, bad will come back to us.
* An Aura: This is believed to be an energy field that surrounds the body. Invisible to most people, it can be detected by some as a shimmering, multi-coloured field. We can use Kirlian photography to see these energy fields. Those skilled in detecting and interpreting auras can diagnose an individual's state of mind, and their spiritual and physical health.
* 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.
* 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.
* Universal Religion: Since all is Consciousness, 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. 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.
* 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.
To conclude, it seems the New Age movement is rapidly growing in numbers. Maybe people are ready to take their own spiritual health into their own hands?
Anadi has studied various practises in Europe, China and India. SoundsOrange offers FREE music, Reiki Downloads, Internet Radio and an Holistic Life TV channel; SoundsOrange.tv.