Quantcast
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF NEW AGE PRINCIPLES AND TEACHINGS
AUTHOR: Clark, John J. II
PUBLISHED ON: April 24, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF NEW AGE PRINCIPLES AND TEACHINGS

Remember the old story of three blind men feeling an elephant and then
describing to another blind man what an elephant is?  Very distressing,
however, is the somewhat benign treatment NAM is given by many pastor’s,
which is often the result when someone does not understand the principles
involved and their theological framework. When the shepherd’s are ignorant,
the sheep are soon deceived.

From a Christian perspective, NAM is not innocuous. It appears from the
surface to be a network of people and organizations with interests in
helping humanity, improving selfesteem, holistic health, ecology, and peace.
While all these things are good, the underlying principles involved should be
understood before you are tempted to start buying crystals or going in for a
psychic reading.

While the people in NAM disagree over a lot of things, kind of like
denominations, yet there some definate points of consensus among “true
believers.” Some of them are listed below and are universal in nature to true
New Agers:

*      Monism  This is a belief that there is only one ultimate
      substance or principle, whether mind (idealism), matter
      (materialism), or some third thing that is the basis of
      both. All reality is a cosmic or organic whole without
      independent parts. Thus, there is no such thing as good or
      evil (as in a dualistic principle), or that man has two
      natures, physical and spiritual. This monistic Ultimate Reality
      is neither dead matter or unconscious energy – it’s Being,
      Awareness and Bliss. It is as like the Hindu conception of God
      as an impersonal, infinite consciousness and force.

*      Pantheism – The concept that all that is, is God. Because
      man is a part of “all that is,” he is also divine. All New
      Agers believe that “all is one” – everything that exists
      consists of one and the same essence or reality.

*      Man separated from God only in his own consciousness, a
      victim of false identity. If all is one and that one is God,
      then you must be God also. So why do we not feel like God?
      Because we lack a true sense of Self-realization. Fortunately
      there are methods of spiritual technology that will help you
      become conscious of your true identity as God. We simply
      need to enter an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC).

*      So what are ASC’s? Mystical consciousness altering experi-
      ences that are viewed as doorways to “personal transforma-
      tion” – a lifelong growth process marked by increasing
      wholeness and personal power.

      *    These ASC’s include “channeling,” “meditation (a.k.a.
            “centering”),” “automatism,” sensory deprivation,”
            “chanting,” etc. Relaxation exercises, like “therapeu-
            tic body work,” mood music with relaxation exercises or
            yoga, help to start you down the path to ASC’s.
      *    Experience and intuition are final authorities and serve
            as subjective proof to the reality of any new revela-
            tions encountered. One can not have objectivity if one
            believes he’s in a universe where nothing ultimately
            exists but one solitary Self or subject and he is part
            of it.

*      Hindu concepts of karma and reincarnation.  Karma is an imper-
      sonal law in the universe, not the personal judge of the
      universe. By the law of karma, whatever a person does, good
      or evil, will return to him in its exact proportion in new
      incarnations until the bad karma has been balanced by the
      good. Basically, this reincarnation concept is a “salvation
      by works” approach to sin. It is also a nice way of saying
      that “you are the cause of all your own problems.” Were you
      raped? Sorry, but it was probably your “karma” working
      itself out. Brutal, this “karma” stuff.

*      Evolution is a key concept for NAM. It involves the progres-
      sive development of the earth to it’s present state with the
      best yet to come. They have abandoned the original Darwinian
      theory for a Neo-Darwinism and Punctuated Equilibrium (PE).

      *    PE is new paradigm for understanding evolution, pro-
            posed in 1972 by paleobiologists Stephen Jay Gould of
            Harvard and Niles Eldridge of the American Museum of
            Natural History. It suggests that the equilibrium of
            life is “punctuated” from time to time by severe
            stress. If a small segment of the ancestral population
            is isolated at the periphery of its accustomed range,
            it may give way to a new species. The population is
            stressed intensely because it is living at the edge of
            its tolerance. Gould says that a new species arises
            suddenly in the geological evidence all at once and fully
            formed, instead of gradual evolving. New Agers believe
            that we are now in the edge of a new punctuated thrust,
            the dawn of conscious evolution into the “Age of Aquari-
            us.” The earth (Tara or Gaia) is an evolving mind
            poised to be thrust into a new era of punctuated
            “consciousness”. That is, if we don’t nuke or pollute
            ourselves into extinction before we get there.

*      Spiritualized doctrine of evolution – that personal transfor-
      mation leads to planetary transformation and the New Age.
      Hence, the evangelistic thrust of the movement.

*      Belief systems are worlds that we create to meet our cultur-
      al needs. When these myths are no longer serving the culture
      (such as the orthodox Judeo-Christian faith today), they
      should be put away for the common good.

*      Values clarification:  Based on the assumptions of each
      person having a Higher Self this concept holds that values
      emerge from within and therefore should not be imposed from
      without. It is a teaching method designed to help students
      discover and clarify their own values. It is widely used in
      public education under the rationale that it is an appropri-
      ate approach to values in a pluralistic society because it
      does not seek to impose any particular value system on the
      children. There are no absolute truths as values are to be
      subjectively determined.

Now, briefly, let’s take a look at the direct differences between NAM and
Biblical Christianity:

*      Biblical Perspective: Spiritual and personal growth is based
      on increased dependence on Christ, conforming to His will as
      revealed in the Word (2 Cor. 3:3-6; Jas. 4:13-16; Eph. 3:14-
      15).

*      NAM Perspective: Spiritual and personal growth is a trans-
      formation from being dependent to one who knows and feels
      that he/she is in charge of his/her life.

*      Biblical Perspective: The distinction between Creator and
      creation is absolute and permanent and the limited creature
      must always depend on, and obey, the all-sufficient, sover-
      eign Creator. There must be an increased independence on a
      human level, but our relationship with God operates on
      increased dependence.

*      NAM Perspective: Distinction between “creator” and creation
      is illusionary. One must control one’s own life. One must
      “take responsibility” and “be accountable” in terms of self.
      We have power to create our own reality, but it will be done
      for us unless we take “responsibility” for what ever happens
      to us (often human-potential-seminar graduates even blame
      cancer and rape on the people who suffer from them); Unlim-
      ited human potential and the shaping our own future both
      individually and collectively

*      Biblical Perspective: We are responsible and accountable to
      external authorities, beginning with God and then including
      human authorities He has instituted (Rom. 13:1,2).

*      NAM Perspective: Hopes for the future are based on astrology

*      Biblical Perspective: Hopes for future are based on Biblical
      prophecy

*      NAM Perspective: If all is One (God), there can be no sin
      and death, making the substitutionary death of Christ for
      our sins meaningless.

*      NAM Perspective: Jesus was a great man and God, but no more
      so than the rest of us. He only realized His Christ potential
      to a higher level than most after purging himself of “bad
      karma” through many incarnations and is now only one of
      several “master” who serve humanity from a higher (albeit,
      not the highest) plane.

*      Biblical Perspective: People are being led away from a
      sincere and pure devotion to Christ to another Jesus. 2 Cor.
      11:3-4, 13-15; Col. 1:16-17; 1 Peter 4:5

*      NAM Perspective: Not all profess affinity with Christianity,
      many are openly pagan in nature. Great attraction is given
      to the “earth mother” deity. “A spiritual path is valid for
      us if it is appropriate to our needs as we ourselves define
      them” (emphasis original) by Mark Satin, a NA author.

*      Biblical Perspective: It’s a return to the ancient pagan
      concept of worshiping the earth, albiet, with an intellectu-
      al twist to make it acceptable. 2 Pet. 2:22, (Note: “dog” is
      what Jews commonly called Gentiles and here it represents
      Gentiles returning to the idolatry of their distant past);
      Rom. 1:18, 22-25. Interestingly, NAM devotees are attempting
      to save the world by serving the author of its destruction
      (John 8:34; 10:10).

New Agers are generally sincere, intelligent, humanitarian and, given their
world view, rational and consistant. They are also wrong at their foundation,
according to Biblical revelation. Before you hang that crystal around your
neck for “good luck” or to “keep evil away,” remember the one who put evil
under his feet, Jesus Christ the Lord. If your church is so boring that you
are tempted to try this stuff, then find a church with life, the life Jesus
said the church should have.

                        NEW AGE MOVEMENT DICTONARY

Just as a new Christian is bewildered with the new terminology that he hears,
so the terminology of the “New Age Movement” or (NAM). The following
definitions will be a helpful tool to acquaint you with these new terms. It
is not at all exhaustive, but a beginning point of departure.

Definition of Terms:

Age of Aquarius: A time, deemed imminent, by NAM where mankind and
      the world mind will enter a more enlightened astrological age
      of advanced spiritual consciousness. For some New Agers it is
      little more than a convenient symbol for the anticipated
      order, but for others, a firmly help religious belief. It’s
      basis is not upon Biblical prophecy, but on astrology.

Altered States of Consciousness (ASC): Because New Agers believe
      in “pantheism” (see below), they must somehow deal with the
      fact that most people do not feel to be one with God. New Agers
      explain that man is separated from God only in his own
      consciousness. Thus he has a false sense of separate identity
      which blinds him to his true unity with God. ASC is the spiritual
      technology used to alter the consciousness to obtain “self-
      realization” (See below). Techniques for ASC include meditation,
      chanting, ecstatic dancing, sensory deprivation, etc.

Aquarian Age: See “Age of Aquarius”

Astrology: A pseudo-science based on the belief that one can
      foretell the future by studying the supposed influence of the
      relative positions of the moon, sun, and stars on human
      affairs.

Automatism: A form of “channeling” (See below) which is a most
      clear-cut form of possession by a nonhuman source which
      bypasses the mediums’ mind and communicates via direct control
      of his or her body. Automatic writing, the Ouija board, and
      the use of pendulums are all in this category.

Cartesian: An analytic method of reasoning, largely originating
      with Rene’ Descartes, the seventeenth-century French
      philosopher and mathematician. It consists of breaking up
      thoughts and problems into pieces and in arranging these in
      their logical order. Thus, the whole is equal to the sum of
      it’s parts. New Agers reject this type of reasoning in favor
      of an intuitive awareness of our connection with the whole.
      The holistic approach sees the universe as one indivisible,
      dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can
      be understood only as patterns of cosmic process.

Centering: A term used instead of meditation when the later is
      considered an unacceptable concept for teaching in the public
      schools. When resistance to meditation is encountered they
      pushers of New Age methodology will switch terms to get the
      same ends. These techniques include yoga, guided imagery,
      chanting, mandalas (visual symbols used as aids to meditation,
      and fantasy-role-playing games. Many have been led by these
      to encounter spirit guides called Wise Ones through these
      techniques.

Channeling: A word to describe spiritistic communication in various
      forms. The idea is to communicate with beings in distant
      dimensions. This is a practice common in pagan religions of
      the past and distinct from biblical prophecy and inspiration.
      It’s modern influx began with the work of medium Jane Roberts
      and her entity “Seth.” Seth has been trailed by thousands of
      new  entities, the most well know are “Ramtha,” channeled by
      J. Z. Knight, and “Lazaris,” channeled by Jach Pursel. The
      influence of Actress Shirley MacLaine has given it a lot of
      press. (See also clairaudient, light-trance, full-trance,
      full-body).

Chanting: A method used to attain a consciousness altering
      experience (See “psychotechnologies”).

Clairaudient: A form of “channeling” (See above) a message is
      believed to be dictated telepathically to and repeated by the
      human “amanuensis” or “messenger,”  who remains fully conscious
      and in control of his/her faculties.

Cosmic consciousness: A term popularized by a turn-of-the-century
      psychiatrist R.M. Bucke to describe the awareness one receives
      as a result of “Altered States of Consciousness” (See above).
      It is an awareness or consciousness of the nature of the One.
      This could be because at the peak of the mystical state about
      all that can be experienced is “consciousness.” It describes
      the mystical state of “transcendence” of individuality and
      identification with everything.

Crystals: New Agers place a lot of stock in vibrations. Everything in
      the spiritual realm is supposed to operate according to exact
      scientific law, so spiritual energy or healing energy is
      thought to transmit at definite, very high vibration levels
      or frequencies. Aware that crystals serve as good energy
      transmitters in electronics (as in watches, radios, computer
      chips, lasers, etc.), New Agers assume that they must be good
      for transmitting and amplifying other kinds of frequencies as
      well. They can attract desirable forces, repel undesirable
      forces, help in weight loss, confidence. They can also absorb,
      stimulate, amplify and focus every spiritual and healing
      force. A NAM form of “good luck charm” with a pseudo-
      scientific backing.

Demonic energy: A Christian description of what New Agers would
      call psychic energy such as seen in the belief that crystals (see
      above) can transmit such energy.

Dissociation: A psychological way of explaining channeling, the
      word is used to describe the appearance of a separate
      personality during a channeling session in which, in reality,
      part of the mind splits off from the whole to take on the
      other character.

Dualism: The theory that the world is made up of two basic
      entities, as mind and matter. Theologically, it is a doctrine
      that there are two mutually antagonistic principles, good and
      evil, and, that man has two natures, physical and spiritual.

Earth Mother: A New Age concept of seeing the earth as deity, a
      maternal goddess instead of a paternal God.

Ego death: A New Ager term to describe a state of mind where the
      individual increasingly becomes identified with God within
      rather than the objective person without.

Emergent evolution: The supposed self-organizing force behind the
      universe inherently moving toward higher organization, bringing
      assorted objects into increasingly complex relationships. It
      borrows from G.W.F. Hegel’s philosophical concept of
      explaining history as a process moving mankind ever forward
      by thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

Enlightenment: Coming to an inner understanding the oneness of the
      universe through inner consciousness (See Alternate States of
      Consciousness, ASC above).

Eschatology: A Christian term to describe the study of end time
      events.

Evolution: A basic cornerstone for NAM, it involves the progressive
      development of the earth to it’s present state with the best
      yet to come. They have abandoned the original Darwinian theory
      for a Neo-Darwinism and Punctuated Equilibrium (See Below).

Full-trance channeling: A step deeper into channeling than “Light-
      trance” (See below) in which the subject has no recall on
      resuming normal consciousness. The voice and personalities
      usually undergo more noticeable changes than light-trance
      channels because they have fully vacated the seat of
      consciousness.

Full-body channeling: Also called incarnational channeling, it is
      similar to deep-trance channeling, except that instead of
      unconsciousness, the channels report experiencing something
      like the New Age conception of the death state, in which the
      spirit leaves the body and moves toward a distant light. It
      is believed that the channels have fully vacated their bodies
      and the entities have moved in, which is what gives this type
      of channeling its name.

Gaia: (or alternately, “Terra”) after the Earth goddess of Greek
      and Roman mythology, is the name given to the emerging and
      evolving world. (See “global brain”).

General Systems Theory (GST): (See also “Holistic”). GST proposes
      that there are several natural laws that determine the
      functioning of all systems (physical, organic, psychological,
      social, and even conceptual). It is believed that an
      interdisciplinary study of systems would yield a
      mathematically precise, experimentally verifiable description
      of these laws. For example: Present day economists tend to
      dissociate the economy from the fabric in which it is
      embedded, and to describe it in terms of simplistic and highly
      unrealistic theoretical models of efficiency, productivity,
      GNP. This is to narrow a look to be accurate. One must also
      see it in the wider social and ecological context. When GST
      is combined with mysticism, the New Ager feels that one can
      not look only at the physical world as separate from the other
      dimensions. Thus reality is more of a process or energy than
      a substance of a “thing.”

Global Brain: Humanity is evolving toward a coherent global form
      where each person is an important neuron in the emerging
      planetary brain constituted by myriad “networking” among
      people. The idea that all lives will be translated into some
      spiritual form of information that will make the entire globe,
      and the human family, a single consciousness. While most New
      Agers believe a global brain is forming, they are divided as
      to whether the globe itself is now a conscious being or that it
      will eventually evolve into one. Where the world consists of
      a lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, man is
      the new “thinking layer” called the “nooshere” (Gk. nous,
      meaning “mind”)

God: New Agers tend to see God as more of a pervasive Energy (the
      “Force” of Star Wars) than an objective entity; and they
      generally identify the world with God. God is seen as a very,
      not a noun, proper or improper. (See also “pantheism”).

Gnosis: Positive knowledge in spiritual matters claimed to have
      been mystically acquired.

Harmonic Convergence: A gathering, in August of 1987, of thousands
      of chanting and meditating New Agers to “sacred sites” around
      the world to prevent global disaster and bring in the New Age.

Healing energy: (See “Crystals” above).

Higher Self: The word education comes from the Latin word educare, “to
      lead out from within.” What teachers are now interested in
      leading out from within is the expression of the self–the
      highest qualities of the individual student’s unique soul. God
      has been “disposed and sealed” in the illusory identity of the
      student and it is the teacher’s responsibility to “unbury” or
      awaken within each child this sleeping Self (also called “God
      within,” “Inner” or “Higher Self,” “Inner Wisdom,” “Infinite
      Potential,” etc.) It is believed that each student already has
      all knowledge and wisdom. He only needs to be taught (through
      meditation, etc.) how to tap it. See also Values Clarification.

Hinduism: A pantheistic religious originating in India the serves
      as a foundational philosophy for many of the NAM concepts and
      ideas about karma, reincarnation and meditation.

Holism: (See “Holistic”)

Holistic: In contrast to the Cartesian (See above) approach to
      reasoning, the holistic approach sees the universe as one
      indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially
      interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of cosmic
      process. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Thus
      the old Cartesian paradigm is to be done away with in favor
      of the new paradigm known as the “systems view” and embodied in
      the General Systems Theory (See above). The systems view looks
      that the world in terms of relationships and integration.
      Instead of concentrating on basic building blocks of basic
      substances, this approach emphasizes the basic principles of
      organization. Every organism is an integrated whole and thus
      a living system. The systems are not confined to individual
      organisms and their parts, but also by social systems and eco-
      systems. Anything that effects the part also effects the
      whole.

Incarnational channeling: (See Full-body channeling)

Inner Wisdom: (See Higher-Self above).

Karma: A ancient Hindu concept of an impersonal law in the
      universe, not the personal judge of the universe. By the law
      of Karma, whatever a person does, good or evil, will return
      to him in its exact proportion in new incarnations until the
      bad karma has been balanced by good karma. Basically it is a
      salvation by works approach to sin. (See “Reincarnation”)

Light-trance channels: A common contemporary “channeling” (See
      above) in which the subject does not enter a deep-trance
      state, they are only partially conscious when channeling, and
      have some memory of the experience afterward. Jon Klimo also
      calls it a “temporary cohabitation of the seat of
      consciousness.”

Mandalas: Visual symbols used as aids to meditation.

Mantra: The name of a Hindu deity that one is to mentally repeat
      in order to enter into a meditative state. A TM word drawn
      from Hinduism.

Masters, ascended: Those who have broken the Karma cycle and no
      longer require being reincarnated. These ascended souls have
      achieved their goal and now communicate through channels (see
      above) instructions as to how we may do the same.

Maya: A traditional Hindu concept adopted by NAM. The world is
      considered maya (illusion) and is thus an obstacle to eternal
      bliss. In the enlightened state, all is seen as God (see
      pantheism).

Meditation: A mental process whereby one can get in touch with his
      or her inner-self (see above). It is used to obtain Self-realization
      (see below).

Medium: (See Channeling above).

Metanetwork: A network of networks. One network can exist within
      a larger network, which in turn can exist within a still large
      one (that is, a metanetwork). See “Network”.

Metaphysics: Meaning literally “after-physics”, it is the study of
      the nature of being or reality that is beyond Aristotle’s
      concept of physics with dealt with external nature.

Millennium: A Christian term referring to the coming rule of Christ
      over earth for 1,000 years.

Mobius: The name of a firm exploring the practical uses of psychic
      abilities.

Monism: The doctrine that there is only one ultimate substance of
      principle, whether mind (idealism), matter (materialism), or
      some third thing that is the basis of both. All reality is a
      cosmic or organic whole without independent parts. (See also
      dualism).

Multiple vision science: A synthesis of modern science and ancient
      mysticism sought for by NAM.

Mysticism: Belief in the doctrine that asserts the possibility of
      attaining knowledge of spiritual truths through intuition
      acquired by fixed mediation. A “subjective” (See below)
      approach to discovering reality. New Agers often use channeling
      and other methods to achieve these revelations.

Neo-Darwinism: See Evolution.

Network: Informal, loosely knit organizations composed of self-
      reliant and autonomous participants. People and organizations
      that simultaneously function as independent ‘wholes’ and as
      interdependent ‘parts.’ They operate outside established
      institutions

New Age Movement (NAM): An extremely large, loosely structured
      network of organizations and individuals bound together by
      common values (mysticism and monism) and a common vision (a
      coming “new age” of peace and mass enlightenment, the “Age of
      Aquarius”).

Pantheism: The concept that all that is, is God. Because man is a
      part of “all that is,” he is also divine. All New Agers
      believe that “all is one” – everything that exists consists
      of one and the same essence or reality. This essence or
      Ultimate Reality is neither dead matter nor unconscious energy,
      but Being, Awareness, and Bliss. It is the Hindu conception
      of God as an impersonal infinite consciousness and force.

Psychotechnologies: A term used to describe methods for achieving
      ASC’s. They include meditation, “creative visualization,”
      chanting and several others.

Punctuatialism: (See Punctuated Equilibrium below)

Punctuated Equilibrium: A new paradigm for understanding evolution,
      proposed in 1972 by paleobiologists Stephen Jay Gould of
      Harvard and Niles Eldridge of the American Museum of Natural
      History. It suggests that the equilibrium of life is
      “punctuated” from time to time by severe stress. If a small
      segment of the ancestral population is isolated at the
      periphery of its accustomed range, it may give way to a new
      species. The population is stressed intensely because it is
      living at the edge of its tolerance. Gould says that a new
      species arises suddenly in the geological evidence all at once
      and fully formed, instead of gradual evolving. New Agers believe
      that we are now in the edge of a new punctuated thrust, the
      dawn of conscious evolution and the Age of Aquarius

Reincarnation: The process whereby one overcomes bad karma by
      living successive lives. (See “karma”)

Self-realization: The realization that one’s true Self is God. Using
      Altered States of Consciousness brings one salvation by having a
      conscious (mystical) experience of his or her supposed oneness
      with God. These realization experiences are viewed as doorways
      to “personal transformation”. It is a lifelong growth process
      marked by increasing wholeness and personal power.

Subjectivism: The philosophic theory that all knowledge is produced
      by the mind or a particular state of mind, something felt by the
      subject, or person thinking, as opposed to the attributes of
      the object thought of. Subjective experience and intuition are
      the final authorities for New Agers.

Tara: See “Gaia”

Unlimited Human Potential: See Higher Self above.

Values clarification:  Based on the assumptions of each person
      having a Higher Self (see above) this concept holds that values
      emerge from within and therefore should not be imposed from
      without. It is a teaching method designed to help students
      discover and clarify their own values. It is widely used in
      public education under the rationale that it is an appropriate
      approach to values in a pluralistic society because it does
      not seek to impose any particular value system on the
      children. There are no absolute truths as values are to be
      subjectively determined.

Vibrations: (See Crystals above).

Author: (John J. Clark II)

Doc Viewed 17077 times

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.