Most of those are actually recycled from the 'old age', that is to say the pre-abrahamic age, or they're western adaptations of modern non-abrahamic religions. This is, of course, the root of their appeal. Even if the majority are fatally mutated, the fact that they have the wit to evolve speaks in their favor. And as 'beliefs' go, they're far less harmful than any of the abrahmaic garbage. A comparison of their myths and stories will make that clear.
Here are two of my favorites, one Hindu and one Buddhist:
Shiva, the great Hindu god, whose dance continuously creates and recreates the Universe, was once confronted by a demon named Rahu. Rahu was sent by King Jalandhara, a giant who has conquered most of the world, to retrieve Shiva’s bride Parvati, for himself. Infuriated by Rahu’s insolence, Shiva created an ogre to eat him alive. Rahu begged for mercy and Shiva, whose temper falls faster than it rises, let him go. "But what about me?", asked the ogre who had just been created. "I was created to eat the demon Rahu. What will I eat now? I am still hungry". "Eat yourself", said Shiva casually. The ogre took Shiva’s word seriously and began eating himself. He ate his hands, his legs his trunk, he ate every part of his body and was left with only his head.
Shiva was amazed at the ogre’s obedience. He said, "I’m pleased with you. Henceforth, you will be known as Kirtimukha, face-of-glory. Your face will be seen on every arch, located even above the gods."
An old man sat meditating under an enormous bhodi tree when a vision of the Buddha appeared to him. The Buddha granted the answer to one question. The old man asked, “How many lifetimes must I live before I achieve Nirvana?”
The Buddha pointed up to the tree and said, “As many as there are leaves upon this tree.”
The old man leapt up and began to dance for joy, shouting, “So few!”
I really don’t think “the new age” is called such because anyone
(atleast the people who know anything substantive about it,
which are most likely few) believes the ideas/practices are
themselves new. Rather, it the particular “age” we find ourselves
in is indeed considered atleast fairly new by many esoteric
traditions and those who study and practice them. I won’t
enter into the rather complex details about all this and i’m
fairly sure that you atleast, judging from some of what you
said before, are more or less aware of them. Others can find
out on their own, if they wish. Some people here seem to think
education ceases beyond anything that can be, or is, taught in
most of our institutions of higher learning.The information about
such things is readily available to all those who would have it.
But few wish to venture beyond they’re own comfortable and
ego-stroking microcosms. I no longer have the time, patience
or desire, to try and show alot of people why they may wish
to merely CONSIDER alternatives to their ideas about ultimate
reality. The “know-it-allism”(whether spiritual or material) tends
to satisfy the ego and struggling against such things is more
often than not, an exercise in total futility.
I agree with Landulf here. I think that the movement is called New Age, because a large number of neo-pagan beliefs thought/think that we were/are at the dawning of a “new age”. Like the song, this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, or some such.
Given recent events, though, it is going to have to be renamed the “Missed Age” movement, because the peace, love, and understanding that they thought/think was/is immenent, isn’t showing up.
Given recent events,though,it is going to have
to be renamed the “Missed Age” movement,because the peace,love,and understanding that they thought/think was/is immenent, isn’t showing up.
Well Matt, i’m glad everyone hear isn’t a pollyanna. Like people
who think we find our glorious salvation only through globalization, free markets, democracy and technology.
Surely these things may play a role, but I don’t think
we can count on them for everything. I prefer to call
this “age”, the “new dark age”.
Well being an old hippy who actually at one timed learned how to cast horoscopes, (don’t ask), I thought you should know that there is an ongoing debate about the actual start of the New Age based on Science. Most armchair astrologers considered the Age to change in the year 2000, however they dont count the 10th hidden zodiac sign, so they are off by about 600 years…
The term New Age as used today was coined sometime in the early 1970s, as a marketing idea to put all the wacko alternative religions being investigated by the counter culture rejecting organized religion under one easy to use term.
The idea is much older, and goes back to Carl Jung and even before him:
We were debating on a different topic and didn’t know that we have so much in common as far as our background is concerned. I do meditate and am familiar with what Harris discuss as the spiritual/metaphysical dimension of the human race.
I hope you will be amused by the stories in my family. My brother (Aquarius) is an interpreter and translator of the works of German philosopher Hegel. He also is a distinguished astrologer (radio appearnces and publications) and the current chairman of the Gnosis society in Poland. He has a psychic friend and together they “interview” spiritual beings from other dimensions (I am not making this up). On the other hand my father is and always had been a sworn atheist much more despotic and strong headed in his beliefs that the hardest atheist cases in this forum. Anyway, my father currently 86 is experiencing what can be classified as automatic writing experience (experience similar to what with Shirley MacLaine wrote in one of her books). He is supposedly in contact in one of our great great great ancestors and is forced to recite the ancestor’s peoms. I called my brother yesterday to say hello and wish him happy New Year, and asked what does he make of those poems. He said that they actually rhyme and make some sense. My father himself when asked for explanation thinks that it is his subconscious mind and some kind of mental sickness. However, according to him it is not very severe because “if I really try I can resist”. The shear volume of the poems recited per day is impressive. My father was a prolific writer (he is a professor of philosophy, specializing in Italian Renaissance and the history of atheism) but not THAT PROLIFIC. My father also had prophetic dreams. He would be looking for a book and in his dream he saw the library and the specific bookshelf where the book was hiding. The next day he would go to the library and found the book exactly in the same spot as in the dream. There were some psychic experiences in my family, too. I recall a conversation with my aunt who told me about her dream in which she had a very correct projection into the future. Anyway, going back to my father; my brother and myself used to wonder what kind of karma he accumulated that forced him, a sworn atheist, to put up with two weird sons, one an adept of yoga, the ather of astrology.
I would agree with your assessment of the New Age movement. Compared to Christianity it is a benevolent, harmless system of beliefs laiden with a lot of superstition. When Poland was forced to convert to Christianity there was a popular revolt agains Christianity and against the clergy. People were outraged that benevolent pagan way of life was replaced with oppressive and cruel dictatorship by Christian religion bearing no resemblance to the “loving message of Jesus Christ”. Something getting to the hippie community where everybody was in marihuana induced bliss and imposing Bush style drug laws, only worse. Well guys, that is what is to be expected from the new Supreme Court so be prepared.
Let me invite you to my “real” website (Thomass Orr id, of course, just a cover). You will find my “creative” work on the New Age there. http://www.przemek.us
These days my serious work and investigations revolve around politics. In the process I am “going back to my roots” so to speak by re-discovering my family’s socialist traditions. I hope we can continue discussing politics. People I relate to the best are those similar to Sam Harris. However, I like atheists, too, if they are not too dogmatic.
Very interesting website, Przemek—which I like much better than “Thomas Orr” though it’s a pain to type. Of course I’ll get used to it.
I flashed on this topic after reading and posting in other threads and was intrigued by the discussion of the different Ages. I’m reading a thoroughly fascinating book right now, The Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock, and the current discussion concerns the Pyramids at Giza, the Sphinx, the Valley Temple, and the Osirieon, among many other related places, and distinguishes their antiquity, based on archeo-astronomical data, to about 10,450 BC. More accurately, at least that old.
The weathering on the Sphinx has been shown recently by geologists to be caused by water, both flooding and by rain, and the last epoch of such substantial water on the earth was at the end of the last ice age. However, more convincingly, the Sphinx, which is also part lion, is oriented due east at the vernal equinox, and at 10,450 BC due east was also the constellation Leo. They arrive at these notions not by dogma or any particular religious knowledge, but by mathematical calculations based on the precession of the equinoxes. This is a cyclical reality the earth goes through which lasts 25920 years, involving the tilt of the axis slightly towards the sun and then away, involving only a few degrees of arc. However, this is monumentally significant for our climate, and it has been shown that this cycle has coincided with the occurances of the advancements and retreats of ice caps, collectively known as Ice Ages through the millenia.
So, in a round about way, I’m trying to clarify what has been discussed here as Ages. This 25920-year precessional cycle is made up of 12 2160-year Ages, and historically, it has been divided into the twelve zodiacal signs represented by their respective constellations. The current age is the Age of Pisces and it is about to end, hence the whole “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” euphoria (I actually prefer many other songs from Hair over that one). Before the Cross, early Christians used the Pisces sign of the fish to remark on and recall their devotion since Jesus was born at the beginning of this Age, and which is why the fish sign is so prevalent today on the backs of cars as one sits in traffic having to stare at them, although mine has little legs on it.
In any case, every 2160 years, the sun rises in the next zodiacal sign/constellation. Therefore, astronomers/mathemeticians can calculate that the Age of Aries, preceding Pisces, was corroborated by so many Old Testament references which included the Ram, and that the Age of Taurus was notable in the ancient Crete Minotians, who worshiped the Bull, and so forth, back to Leo, which was due east on the horizon at the rising sun during the time the Sphinx is shown to have been built.
Another curious circumstance is that the three pyramids at Giza and surrounding ancient structures are precisely placed and aligned to mirror the constellation Orion, and not as this constellation is oriented today, but as it was, based on calculations of the precession, in 10450bc.
Not to go on much further because you have to read the entire book—there’s just so much to absorb—but one more fascinating item is the construction of the pyramids themselves, and in particular the Great Pyramid, which Egyptologists still stubbornly attribute to the pharoah Khafre about 2000bc. It’s measurements and orientation are so precise, not only being positioned accurately, down to the minutes of arc, to true north, and so to the other cardinal points, its own dimensions at the perimeter of its base and via its total height, comprise the geometric relationship of 2pi, and it’s proportions are exactly 1:43,200 to the entire northern hemisphere. In other words, they knew that this multiple of 2160 years also related to the precession of the equinoxes, which would have required ancient ancient knowledge passed down through at least another 26k years, meaning the builders had been part of this ancient civilization, and/or been so techologically advanced as to be able to make these calculations and construct such massive structures—6 million tons of rock with blocks weighing 200 tons each.
So sorry to go on…again…but the Mayan year of 2012 is supposed to be the approximate end of the Age of Pisces and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Hancock goes into some detail about the striking coincidences between the ancient Egyptians and the Mayans and other cultures and shows how their histories and knowledge are linked to common influences.
In any case, The Fingerprints of the Gods is a comprehensive eye opener and I strongly recommend it.
[quote author=“TheChampion”]No folks, the new age does not occur until after Jesus gets back. Until then, please refrain from using the term, or the concept for that matter. No sense in it.
Now go do the right thing.
Why do you distract me from my gardening joys with such nonsense? Can’t you read the signs? Didn’t you notice how New Age is creeping up on us and beating the s**t out of outdated Christianity?
Star Wars and Harry Potter, and now Dan Brown’s the Da Vinci Code ... even the Google campus is full of the New Age Spirit. Sentimental Disney movies (full of Christian sentimentality) are out while Shrek and other pagan-like stories break the records in the box office. Let’s face it. Christianity is boring and no fun and Jesus Christ is no longer the super-star. Who is going to cheer him up when he comes? The red states? I already can predict a very boring spectacle. Like Mark Twain said about the Christian vision of heaven - something like the Sunday visit to the church that nobody seems to be able to stand for longer than an hour. And this is supposed to be for eternity?
I didn’t want to watch the Passion because I was afraid of the violence but finally my wife rented it. And what? Disappointment. The “signs” and “magic” after the crucifiction? Even the New Age aliens are more credible than that. Expected a little more grace from Mel Gibson.
So where are your guns, Champs? We the New Age people are winning the war.
Thanks for your suggestions, Champ. Here is mine suggestion from the heart for you. Rent “Father Ted” on CD from the Block Buster and you will have a good time laughing at priesthood, the Catholic Church and the religious nonsense in general. My son keeps quoting Father Ted and imitating the actors although I am not sure how much he understood because after weeks of laughing he asked us “what is a priest?”. Which is a healthy indication of how little of the religious nonsense he managed to absorb so far (he is eight).
Mr. Orr, so sorry to interupt thou gardening joys with minor questions, such as the meaning of life (just kidding).
Thomas, why yes, you are winning the culture war! Congratulations. Course, that’s to be expected. The path to destruction is wide and many are on it, the path to life is narrow and few are on it. Enter through the narrow gate.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14)
So I suspect all of you folks will enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Doesn’t mean it won’t come back to haunt you in the end (meant for those who have ears….).
Thomas, I know you’re a smart guy, I’ve read some of your work. Therefore, it must be the spiritual blinders that keep you from hanging with the likes of me. I choose to go the way of Moses…..
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
Because, and this GOES FOR ALL OF YOU….I gently tell you as best that I can, Jesus is Lord, he’s coming again, salvation is a free gift, I beg you to reach out and take it, take it now while you can.