“The True Age”
Because the New Age isn't really New
They call us “New Agers” because we look at things differently than they do. They think we are weird, tree-huggers, hippies and pagans. They think we wear tie-dye and don't take showers or use soap. Naturally, we are all “high” all the time. We turn our backs on modern medicine and technology. We believe in things that no “normal, sane” person would believe in, like energy work, reincarnation, meditating everyday, talking to Spirit and God forbid, alternative medicine. They are certain that there are things they know, that we just refuse to believe because we are lazy and stubborn and get off on going against the grain. We don't want to be a part of regular society. We want to live in a commune, grow our own food, dance around the fire every night and howl at the moon. Yup, they call us “New Agers”. But there is something that we know that they don't: the “New Age”…….it isn't really New.
Let's take a look at some of the beliefs that are lumped into the New Age category: spirituality, channeling, astrology, healing, alternative medicine, the afterlife, meditation, reincarnation, metaphysics...just to name a few. How often have you brought up one or more of these subjects in a conversation and gotten the eye-roll, or the heavy sigh? How often do you notice that someone completely stops listening when you begin to share a cool story about the reiki session you had last week? Or that spirit reached out to you and helped you change your life? Or that you actually know someone that chose to take a different route in their healing, and was cured of cancer or high blood pressure or panic attacks? There actually is an aire of contempt for those that think or live differently from what is considered “normal society”. A judgment if you will.
Take “spirituality” for example. Spirituality is defined as: “and kind of activity through which a person seeks meaning, especially a search for the sacred, personal growth, blissful experience or an encounter with one's own inner dimension. There is translatable text from as early as the 5th century where spirituality is referenced as “animated by God or driven by the Holy Spirit”. By the 13th century, it was mostly claimed by the clergy and considered to be the purity of motives, affections, intentions, inner dispositions...the psychology of the spiritual life, the analysis of feelings”. In the 17th and 18th centuries it became more secular, defined as “one who is more Christian, more abundantly and deeper than others.” In the later 20th century, many began distancing themselves from organized religion, for varied reasons, and through his spirituality gained a more “cult-like” definition in modern society, religion taking a stance against those that pulled away.
There is in fact a statistic that states the 25% of the US population identifies itself as “spiritual but not religious”...though I would offer that the number of actual spiritual minded people is smaller, and that this statement is used by many to explain away their lack of belief in something on a greater scale than themselves.
Channeling is typically a difficult pill for people to swallow, being the practice of entering a meditative state in order to convey messages from a spiritual guide. Communication with spirit or those in the after life is prevalent in almost every society ever recorded. In the 1800's, Chief Seattle in a speech, spoke of the Native American beliefs that there is no death only a changing of worlds and that the dead can have an affect on the living. Noah, Moses, Mary, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed and Jesus….all have been widely accepted as having the ability to communicate with spirit or “God” directly, yet religion today declares that anyone with this ability is false or possibly possessed.
Astrology describes the correspondences between celestial observations and terrestrial events. As early as 3 BC Astrology was used with calendars to predict seasonal shifts. In fact, up until the 17th century, Astrology was considered a scholarly tradition, drove the development of astronomy, alchemy, meteorology and medicine. There are actually markings on cave walls dating as far back as 25,000 years ago tracking lunar cycles. Gudea of Lagash, ruler of Sumeria from 2144-2124 BC, even claimed that the gods revealed to him in a dream (channeling?) the correct constellations that would be most favorable for the construction of his temple. Astrological studies appear all over the world, among different cultures throughout recorded (and unrecorded) history.
Healing, holistic points of view and alternate medicine are in fact the precursors to modern medicine. Prior to scientific studies and the development of medicinal schools, almost all “practitioners” were self-taught and used methods currently referred to as “holistic”? Once mass education and modern science and medicine began, the natural treatments were mostly set aside and/or frowned upon. It is interesting that what is considered “alternative medicine” is actually what was used for millennia and is the basis for modern medicine today.
Reincarnation can be found in textual references as far back as the 2nd millennium BC speaking of the doctrine of Karma and rebirth. In fact it was discussed and viewed in faith way before Buddha made these ideas more popular. During the Inquisition, reincarnationist movements were persecuted as heresies. There were even Christian sects (the Bogomils and the Cathars) that believed in reincarnation.
Meditation as a practice has been discussed as early as 1500BC. It is the practice of training one’s mind to induce a certain level of consciousness in order to reach a certain outcome. Finding balance, reducing stress, improving health….this is all prevalent in varied societies throughout history, however today it is considered “new agey”.
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. Basically (or not so basically) it is trying to understand existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. It is the study of science without the emphasis on empirical data, and predates Plato and Aristotle.
These are just a few examples of thought processes, methodologies and practices that have been around for millennia, but are somehow considered to be New Age. In fact, the term new age itself tends to lean toward the sardonic, discrediting any and all ideas to the “general population”. Movies, television, the news, even Facebook spends a lot of energy poking fun at these ideas and practices. Almost anyone that is involved in any or all of these is subject to ridicule, harassment and chastisement.
But here’s the scoop. None of this stuff is actually “new”. It’s been around since the first human looked up and wondered what the lights in the sky meant. Or since someone got sick and felt better after eating certain herbs. Or went off by themselves for a few minutes because chaos at the campsite or in the cave or at the village was a little much and they needed a time-out. All of these “new age” thoughts and methods have been around far longer than what society considers being “the norm”.
I am here to propose that we are actually entering the “True Age”; the age of enlightenment where we all return to the simple times before people were stressed out and making themselves ill by worrying or taking too many different prescription drugs or getting away from their innate connection with their higher selves, their spirits, and their souls. The True Age, where meditation takes the place of television shows and news programs that promote violence and hatred. The True Age, where we take care of ourselves by eating better and exercising instead of putting medicinal bandages over symptoms that can be prevented through self-care. The True Age, where people remember their connection with their ancestors, or Spirit, or God, or the Universe as a whole, and honor that connection with faith and love.
Yes…..this is the beginning of the True Age. We will stand in our truth, together, and instead of violently opposing the forces of hate and ignorance, we will care for each other, seek out others like us, embrace them for their differences and celebrate their similarities. We will live in the knowledge that lies can no longer exist because the truth is stronger and recognizes the darkness in the lies. We will love and live and share honesty and be vulnerable and know that we are safe amongst each other. We will embrace our challenges, seek guidance from each other, release ego from the day to day lives we once lived, and stand together in the truth that we can only continue to grow and thrive if we do it together…in the True Age.