The Nonsense of New Age
I was hanging out at a bookstore the other day and one thing that struck me was the size of the section that they had set aside for New Age-related products.
From tarot cards to books on enhancing your psychic abilities to attracting wealth and good fortune to ways to communicate with animals, an extensive selection of these products is available.
Before it closed, Borders used the Metaphysics label for its New Age section. However, what metaphysics really is is a branch of philosophy that is the study of the nature of reality.
It does not involve mysticism.
With Christianity’s dwinding influence, it looks like people are personally replacing or compliment their god of Christianity, Judaism or Islam with psychics, faith healers, and astrologers.
I can understand the appeal New Age has since its emphasis is on people to find their own spiritual path and enlightenment as opposed to major religions, like Christianity, where people must follow their dogma in order to attain salvation or forgiveness.
However, this brand of mysticism is just as much a fraud as the Abrahamic and other religions of days gone by too.
Look at the documentary What the Bleep Do We Know!? which posits a theory of some spiritual connection between science and faith.
The central theme espoused during the film is that you make your own reality while claiming that humans are interconnected with other beings, your senses are playing tricks on you, people create their own reality as they go along and that humans are all part of the collective universe or consciousness.
One so-called expert interviewed in the film states that we must go beyond our senses in order to better understand ourselves. That we cannot know reality and the life we are in or reality we see is an illusion.
All of these points are grounded in the philosophy of Plato that shuns physical reality in favor of the immaterial and supernatural and, of course, is utter nonsense.
It is unfortunate that many fail to understand that the fundamental errors in all schools of thought that involve mysticism and that their premise is essentially the same.
The only benefit individuals can gain from such approaches is a sense that they don’t have to cope with reality. At least temporarily.
A Christian, Jew or Muslim hands his or her free will over to a clergymember, while a New Age follower hands his or her consciousness over to a psychic medium, faith healer or pagan wicca.
Yet followers of mysticism all seek (in varying degrees) the same benefit in escaping from the responsibility of thinking or facing reality itself. No different than a drug user looking for a quick fix.
By people using their minds rationally, consistently and recognizing reality as an objective absolute many who would normally utilize New Age-oriented philosophies or religions, would no longer have the need to.
Though the comparison maybe controversial, mysticism itself – in this case New Age – is nothing more an escape hatch from reality. New Age and the Abrahamic religions are cousins in that their premise attacks a person’s ability to think and reason for themselves and, by and large, are an awful way for people to deal with life.
Environmentalism also falls into this category too. Its core belief is that its followers have some sort of religious conviction to preserve wildlife and beautiful scenery.
Yet, like Christian doomsayers and New Age mystics, environmentalism is another mystic sect that emphasizes and has reverence for spirituality in nature while propagating faith and self sacrifice.
I have nothing against vacations, recreational activities or just plain relaxation time since, unlike mystical philosophies, these activities do not force people to suspend thought.
However, I think the world would be a much better place if people would face reality for a change rather than trying to run away from it and, in turn, using mysticism as a means to do so.