What Is The New Age?
Paula & Gordon Ireland Proprietors
Earth Spirit Emporium: Books & Stuff
"Where Olde Traditions meet the New Age"
The New Age movement means different things to different people.
However, I feel that most all New Age topics have one basic
underlying theme. That theme is personal spiritual development. Every
day there are thousands upon thousands of people around the world who
are waking up to the knowledge, understanding and realization of who
they really are, where they came from, and why they are here.
This collective transformation of individuals can be described as the
New Age movement. As a whole, the New Age movement is dynamic,
rapidly-growing, and gaining momentum. The New Age movement provides
the framework and the tools to assist people with their own personal
growth and spiritual development.
The New Age movement itself is somewhat of a paradox, since to
organize into some kind of "movement" could be considered to be
contrary to the fundamentals of individual spiritual development.
That is why there is some ambiguity to the meaning of the New Age,
because it can mean different things to people. But that's okay. What
is important is that each individual embarks on their own journey of
learning, adventure, and discovery.
A key component of the New Age which many people prescribe to is the
belief that our planet and its population are literally moving into a
New Age. This New Age is one of awakened consciousness where people
give up their limited third-dimensional survival mode of existence
and awaken to a higher, more enlightened world. This coming New Age
is an era of harmony, progress, knowing, and enlightenment.
What About Metaphysics?
The New Age is strongly related to some of the concepts defined in
the branch of philosophy commonly referred to as metaphysics.
Although the academic branch of metaphysics is most concerned about
the nature of ultimate reality, popular metaphysical topics often
include discussion and analysis of subjects beyond the physical third
dimension. Some examples of metaphysical topics include: free energy,
out of body experiences, UFOs, psychic phenomenon, alternative
healing, and other topics that our conventional sciences find
difficult to explain.
What About All the Various New Age Tools?
A study of the tools of the New Ager can help define the task at
hand. A person may include crystals, candles, incense, tarot, runes,
a pendulum, bodywork, meditation, toning and chanting, drums, and
more. These tools can help a person transcend into various states of
consciousness, and thus ultimately help a person turn within to look
inside oneself for understanding and awareness. One reason that there
are so many different tools to assist the New Ager is that different
people find different values within each tool. For many, the Tarot
works well. Others like crystals. Others meditate or channel. It
matters little how one achieves higher understanding and wisdom. What
is most important is that an effort is being made to transcend our
limitations and seek out a higher good.
Is the New Age A Kind of Religion?
Although it may be spiritual, the New Age is far from being a formal
religion. In fact, many New Agers tend to shy away from the structure
and confines of traditional religious practices. But at the same time
the New Age is and can be intensely spiritual. The New Age person
often prefers a direct spiritual experience rather than one from
All religions are essentially cultural institutions, reflecting the
cultures that manifest them. Thus the growth in numbers of people
exploring New Age topics would suggest that as individuals and as a
society, we are willing to explore alternative explanations of who we
are. The New Age is simply one path to choose on the road of
spiritual growth. It matters little which label we put on the path,
since in the end all paths ultimately converge at the same place.
Everyone is searching for the eternal truths to some of life's most
challenging questions, it is simply the way that people choose to go
about their own search that is different. One reason the New Age path
is popular is that it is more concerned with the ultimate truths
themselves, rather than the process of how they are arrived at.