Kirtan (Indian devotional chant/song) in Grants Pass - the New Age has arrived! A group came up from Ashland, and I went with a friend, my first experience of kirtan live. Not exactly a performance, not exactly a religious ceremony, I enjoyed it as an exercise in harmonizing body, speech and mind. Universal presence was invoked. However, watching the steam rise from a cup of hot tea sometimes invokes universal presence.
The New Age offers us a playground with lots of pretty things. I have cd's of kirtan. I don't know why I think Sanskrit and the Indian tonal system are beautiful, I just do. Do I think it's any more sacred than the Beatles singing 'Let It Be'? No.
The problem with most of what we label 'New Age nonsense' is that evidence for claims made is laughably thin. Evidence may link a particular herbal concoction with a particular cure. Our question is always 'How strong is the evidence?' The woman who was the lead singer of the kirtan group said something about 'changing the world' but I wasn't listening to that.
Mysticism is not about 'changing the world' or any other material advantage. The domain of mysticism is just now, awareness of presence, investigating the open foundation of unity. There is no cause and effect in the timeless realm of mind. New Age hucksters of all stripes are selling hope of material advantage. There's nothing mysterious about that.