I’m no expert in religion. Or in New Age.
But I have studied them both, and have come to a conclusion.
New Age isn’t really new at all.
It’s just the old religious program in new packaging.
The religion program
Differences aside, religion centers around one thing: getting off of Earth.
Getting into Heaven, God’s New Kingdom, or some other ethereal plane.
Whatever the details are, the bigger picture is that Earth is temporary and second-rate. And it’s probably a punishment too, for original sin or something else related.
Bottom line is, the real deal is somewhere up there.
And what about enlightenment? Same thing, albeit a little more abstract. Enlightenment is about getting “out” of the human frame of consciousness — and arriving a better, truer, more divine, noble, higher consciousness.
The New Age
The New Age movement became popular as new generations became fed up with the oppression of religion.
They were tired of men being the gatekeepers to spirituality — they wanted to worship the Goddess too. They were tired of a black and white view of right and wrong — they wanted spiritual freedom. They were tired of being guilted for enjoying sex before marriage or falling in love with someone of the same gender — they wanted to make their own, educated, adult decisions about how to lead their lives.
And they were sick of the rigid Western grid of thinking — they wanted Eastern philosophies and an exploration of spirit and consciousness that would make churches weak in the knees.
All this makes the New Age look anti-religion.
Especially since according to the New Age movement, all of the universe is an expression of God, and so man is God. Or at least, he carries the spark of divine within him. This is clearly antithetical to what religion holds — that man is below God, nowhere near his status.
But the main program of the New Age is still the same old program.
The New Age program
Whatever the details are, the bigger picture according to the New Age, is that Earth is temporary and second-rate. And punishment too, because we’re stuck here in the physical when we’re really of the spiritual — and we can’t get out. (Maybe that was our cosmic mistake.)
The real deal is somewhere in a higher dimension. The real deal is retuning back to God, the Source. Ascending from physical form to pure spirit. Returning home. Becoming whole again.
What the religious/New Age program really is
The religious and New Age program is really escapist wishful thinking.
It catches on like wildfire because of all the dissatisfaction with the current state of worldly affairs. And how hard it is to be alive, human, and inhabiting Earth.
The program’s so popular because the planet is messed up and people need reprieve. Because there are complex societal problems no person alone can solve. And because it feels so hopeless and scary… that the only way to cope is to wish and hope for that better place “on the other side.”
Life is a mystery. We have no clue why we’re here. And death is even scarier. In the face of death, what does life even mean?
Could it be that this question is so hopeless and scary that the only way to cope is to wish and hope that this is all an illusion and we’re to be someplace better? Where harsh human life and inevitable human death don’t exist?
When planning for the future is dysfunctional
There’s nothing dysfunctional about preparing for the future, as religions prepare you for the afterlife and the New Age prepares you for the cosmic reunion. Wishful thinking doesn’t have to be dysfunctional either.
But too much planning backfires. Too much worry or obsession about the future impairs your ability to respond to life right now. Planning becomes dysfunctional when it runs off course and becomes escapist instead.
Why the religious/New Age program is dysfunctional
There’s also nothing dysfunctional about believing in an afterlife, that the soul goes on, that God exists, or that God is in everything.
But it becomes dysfunctional when you use that as an excuse to disengage from the real life that is happening right here, right now.
It’s dysfunctional when you let other high ranking spiritual officers tell you what to do –without thinking about whether it fits in with your mindful construct first.
It’s dysfunctional when you let a spiritual belief system beat you down into guilt and submission. Guilt for “original sin.” Submission to other human beings or Ascended Masters that are supposedly more spiritually evolved than you.
It’s dysfunctional when you use a spiritual belief system to condone a life a self-destruction. Self-destruction of your ability to:
- Think for yourself — which the religious institutions and gurus don’t like
- Feel for yourself — which the religious institutions want to regulate and the New Age wants to keep polarized to only love and light
- Care for yourself — which the religious institutions say is selfish, because you need to serve God, and the New Age says is selfish, because you need to be Egoless in order to return to God
And it’s definitely dysfunctional when you use your belief systems to condone a life a escapism, much in the way mindfulness meditation can.
How the New Age is the new religion
The New Age is just less-organized religion.
While organized religion is responsible for numerous and atrocious immoral acts that are clearly visible, New Age thinking is responsible for numerous and atrocious self-destructive acts that pretend to be spiritual.
And when you condone self-destruction, the destruction of the world only follows.
You can’t separate organized religion or less-organized religion from propaganda. Because any time there are high-ranking officials in charge of what lower ranks do and think and feel, with a lot of worldly power in their hands — you don’t have the right to make up your own mind.
So think critically about religion and the New Age movement. And follow your own lights instead.