New Age is a general expression to indicate a vast movement that includes numerous alternative psychological, social and spiritual currents that arose at the end of the twentieth century in the western world.
It began to be spread by the US mass media in the late sixties, to describe the forms of spiritual counterculture interested in practices and concepts such as meditation, channeling, reincarnation, crystal therapy and numerous difficult to interpret “mysteries” such as UFOs or circles. in the wheat, or again, indigo children.
This stream of thought has certainly existed since the 1970s, and probably derives at least in part from the counterculture of the 1960s. Previous generations had already become interested in some (but not all) of the main elements of the New Age “system of belief systems” (or paradigm), for example in practices such as spiritualism, theosophy, anthroposophy or alternative medicine. In turn, these doctrines have roots in transcendentalism, Mesmerism, Swedenborgianism (currents of the “New Church” influenced by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg), the Rosicrucian tradition and other Western esoteric traditions (for example astrology, magic, alchemy and cabal ).
The expression New Age could derive from the writings of the neo British theosophist Alice Bailey. The Findhorn Foundation, founded in Northern Scotland in 1962, was one of the first explicitly New Age communities. Some scholars, including Cecilia Gatto Trocchi, have identified the first New Age center founded in the seventies in the sanctuary of Esalen, located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The numerous and different conceptions attributable to this denomination are united by the ideal of the advent of a “new world” or a “new era”, often indicated astrologically as the age of Aquarius. Under the definition of New Age many realities of different nature fall – simple lifestyles, philosophies, religions, organizations, companies and so on, characterized by an eclectic and individual approach to the exploration of spirituality. The term New Age is also widely and officially used to refer to the vast market segment in which books, goods and services related to these world views are sold.
New Age can be defined as a loosely connected network of researchers and spiritual groups (or schools), teachers and therapists (sometimes called gurus, healers or simply “facilitators”) and other similar figures (sometimes called new agers).
Distinctive feature of today’s New Age is that each individual, being of divine origin, is called to build his own spiritual path of awakening (or “returning home”), possibly referring to the universal heritage coming from every mystical and religious tradition, including shamanism, neo-paganism, cabalism and occultism, but above all based on one’s inner experience and one’s discernment and intuition. Even the help that can be provided by spiritual guides, angels or gurus, is subject to this restriction, which has therefore become over time a real golden rule for sifting messages and messengers of any origin.
We also organize yoga seminars, occult courses and tantric practices to activate, or rather, unlock, latent energies in order to improve the efficiency of all participants; members belong to any socio-economic group.
The question of which contemporary cultural elements should be included in the New Age is controversial. Channeling evidently has many points in common with spiritualistic mediumistic practices. Magical movements such as neo-paganism and spiritual movements such as transpersonal psychology are partially superimposed with the New Age. Some groups prefer to distance themselves from the possible negative connotations of the “New Age” label, such as the marketing of products and services.
The New Thought movement has its own and independent origins that date back to the mid-19th century, however some of its teachings have analogies with those of the New Age and the independent life enjoyed today by the part of the New Thought doctrine that goes under the denomination of positive thinkingand the wide use that is made in New Thought churches (both Christian and non-Christian) of New Age materials such as a course in miracles, mean that this religious / spiritual movement is now often considered as partly overlapping or in any case connected to the New Age.
Even scientists and thinkers like Fritjof Capra have tried to create the cultural preconditions for a paradigm shift in science by assimilating concepts such as holistic medicine, the ecology of Gregory Bateson’s mind, or the relationship between Taoism and quantum mechanics, avoiding but carefully to be somehow assimilated to the real New Age.
There have also been attempts to present New Age as a socio-political movement; for example, we can mention Mark Satin’s “New Age Politics” (second half of the seventies), Theodore Roszak’s thought and Marilyn Ferguson’s “Conspiracy of the Aquarium”.
Some of the harshest criticisms of New Age eclecticism have come from American Indian writers and communities. The Declaration of War against the exploiters of Lakota spirituality is one of the strongest claims of aversion to the New Age by the North American tribal leaders …
Cultural trend that, vaguely referring to millennial traditions, tries to interpret the current historical phase “of passage” as an occasion of spiritual rebirth, of rediscovered balance between man and nature, through a series of proposals in which they merge religious beliefs, expectations of regeneration, ideas of oriental philosophy and magic-esoteric practices. This phenomenon arises precisely from the confusion of cultures and from the sense of emptiness that the second half of the twentieth century seems to have left in many, especially in those who live in the richest and most advanced countries on the planet. The date of birth of the new age can be placed around the sixties, when the hippy movement spreads the idea of liberation from the body and materiality of life in favor of mystical experiences that should lead to universal harmony. It starts naturally from drugs and in fact in the seventies, one of the new age gurus became T. Leary, the one who preached the use of LSD as an experience of separation of mind from body. The theme of escape – from materiality, from the body, from society, from conventions – becomes one of the recurring motifs of this movement with ill-defined contours, to which will be added that of the search for inner strength, in a mixture of egolatry and transcendence. The transformation takes place around the eighties, when the contours of the movement merge into an impressive mass of different ideas: from oriental wisdom to shamanic therapies, from the rediscovery of religion, including Christianity, to environmentalism and ufology. The main reason however remains the rediscovery of the uniqueness of life through nature and the renewal of human consciousness, “alienated” from contemporary society. Due to its enormous diffusion, however, the new age also becomes, and fundamentally, a commercial phenomenon, with a well-respected book, record and food supply chain. So a journey in search of well-being, widespread especially among the upper-middle classes, which in recent years has also caused great tragedies. If in fact the new age has become a matter of costume, even chased by Hollywood stars, it has also given birth to a series of “sects”, proliferated above all in the United States.
They taught us to repress and hide the inconvenient aspects, ignoring that in doing so they increase.
If they are part of us, it means that they are signaling us an internal discomfort and asking to be listened to, not repressed.
We are here to shine, but to do it we need to see clearly and honestly everything that prevents us.
Covering with a golden patina what is rotting, will not diminish its stench.
New Age was born as a kind of “epochal” sensitivity, especially in the countries of the so-called First World, because when you have a full stomach, you must also fill your mind and heart!
Why is New Age also called “Aquarian Age”? Because we would be almost at the end of one astronomical cycle (Pisces) and at the beginning of another (Aquarius). There was a time when people lived under the sign of Taurus and the empires and religions of Mesopotamia appeared. Then Aries came and the Jewish religion flourished. The sign of Pisces, which began its reign on March 21 of the first year of our era, has been called “Christic” (IXCIS). Towards 2016 the sun enters the sign of Aquarius and this sign will bring with it a new world religiosity capable of reconciling all religions. Aquarius will presuppose a new world order, a new humanity and a new religion.
There is no place for a personal God, creator and distinct from his creatures. The concept of creature is not clear either, since it merges into divinity, or is valued only for its levels of consciousness, as if it did not have its own consistency. There is no place to account before a Personal God, since man is not a sinner or guilty, but imperfect, and this imperfection is disappearing to the extent that higher levels of consciousness are reached, or through subsequent reincarnations …
It has been written: “ We are not sinners by nature, nor an eternal punishment awaits us, nor do we arrive in this world with some sin, nor do we need someone to save us or redeem us, because we have never been on sale. In reality our essence is immortal, and we have an unimaginable future ahead of us ”.