NEW AGE GURU
Spiritual Insight or Rehashed Dribble
At the time of Jesus there were dozens of messiah-wanna-be preaching in Jerusalem. Sakyumuni brushed elbows with astute mystics and clever frauds representing a myriad of philosophical ilk. There is little new, under the light of reason, in theo and philosophic evolution. Nor is there much new about the inevitable sophistry that follows.
Why then, when all theological perspectives are fully represented in existing religions, do we need a New Age spiritual movement? For me the answer is in the experience. Each generation craves a deeply personalized and physically actualized spiritual relationship. People crave the feeling of God in their lives, to know bliss personally, not a theoretical notion but something tangible.
When the community centers of spiritual guidance lose touch, with the experiential hungers of their flock, enlightened shepherd and charismatic wolves begin to prey. Curiously, it has been the biggest rogues, the extreme players on the slippery slopes of mass appeal, who have had the most influence.
Here are some of the more notorious. Love and hated in great measure. Some are heroes, some horrific killers, for some the jury is still out. All are under the umbrella of our cultural search for essence in our daily lives. They are here to provoke reflection on our own personal choices.
Despite the anxiety of family and friends, the pursuit of unconventional teachings will always be a possibility. For the initiated, New Age alternatives are the breath of life in a once deadened existence. This enthusiasm makes us vulnerable, yet joyful surrender is essential for the flow. No surrender of disbelief leaves us cynically restricted within the very perimeters we hope to penetrate.
There is no point in telling us no. Oppression fans the fire. Iranian fundamentalists tried to destroy the Baha'i, China struggles with Falun Gong and both faiths flourish from the fountain of protest. There is a collective searching among options. I choose to taste what I can, seasoning with a grain of salt, and try and allow myself the freedom both to surrender into the moment and out again when my red flags warn of danger.
There is no more a need to be with the crowd than it is to avoid the party. New Age is as timeless and perpetual as the classical theologies, waiting for when we are ready, any way we like it, hot and heavy, or in the dark silence of large empty churches. God remains on stand-by waiting for our comiing of age. Born again into our own New Age alternative.
The historical source of the New Age Movement
The Theosophical World View
Theosophical Society 1875
1. The universe and all that exists within it are one interdependent whole, and all known forms of life are collective at the core of their very existence, and rooted in the same universal life creating reality.
2. This Reality (energy) is all-pervasive, but it can never be summed up in its parts, since it transcends all of Its expressions. It reveals itself in the purposeful, ordered, and meaningful processes of nature as well as in the deepest recesses of the mind and spirit.
3. Recognition of the unique value of every living being expresses itself in reverence for life, awareness of Love, compassion for all, and an understanding of the need of individuals to find truth for themselves and express that truth as the basis of their existence. The ways in which these ideals become realities in an individuals life are both the privileged choice and the responsible act of every human being...
Central to the concerns of this thought is the desire to promote understanding and fellowship among people of all races, nationalities, philosophies, and religions. Therefore, all people, whatever their race, creed, sex, caste, or color, are invited to participate as individuals, or within any collective environments that share in these basic beliefs and understandings.
In following these principals, there shall be no dogmas, as these teachings point toward the source of unity beyond all differences. Those who understand this will demonstrate a devotion to their own truth, love for all living things, and share a commitment to a life without judgment of others.