The term “New Age” came into existence during the 70s and 80s. As much as you would think of it as a recent expression, the idea of the New Age isn’t a recent one. In basic definition, New Age is defined as a mindset and a way of life that is contemporary in its own form. It’s the belief that is counterfeit to what traditional religion is. The New Age movement is monism. It’s believing that all is God, and God is all. God isn’t a “He” but rather, is an “It.” It’s the belief that we have control over our own lives and that we are God. It’s the belief that our surroundings; the ground, the trees, the plants, the ocean and ourselves all consist of a divine being. It’s the opposite of what we’ve been accustomed to and having the realization that our lives aren’t in control by another divine essence, but rather, of ourselves.
New Age generally supports the theory of organic evolution but it’s the evolution of a spiritual evolution rather than that of a physical evolution- otherwise known as the concept of “Evolutionary Godhood.” This is where the concept of unified enlightenment takes place where man and reality collide, the concept of Evolutionary Godhood is one of the two doctrines that the New Age movement support. The second doctrine is “Global Unity” which consists of three parts (Man unified with man, man unified with nature and man unified with God.) With Man unified with man, we achieve perfect harmony by having proper relationships with other individuals. Man unified with nature since a New Age principle is that God is everything, that includes our surrounding and our environment. This includes nature, and we must be in harmony with nature and be at peace with them. Lastly, there’s man unified with God which states that it is our responsibility to reach the peak of our divinity on our own. This is where the idea that there is no moral conduct observed in the New Age movement.
There is a huge significance of this movement in our society today. We’re so used to a world of structure and tradition that we think anything outside that box is frowned upon. The New Age movement focuses not on something outside of our being, but it focuses on us entirely. However, it’s also not just about ourselves. It’s both the balance of ourselves and something much greater than us, The significance of this is that we don’t just put our control in the hands of just one divine being since we and everything around us is all part of one divine being. This being said, we have all the control. When something negative occurs in our life, we can’t just blame the stars failing to align or God’s will not be in our favour. When we say New Age, this means that we have the power to think beyond ourselves. This is the belief of high consciousness that we are God and therefore, our actions must align with that belief. By changing what we believe in, we change reality. Our thoughts, more than we realize, have a great impact and significance on how our lives turn out to be. With this, if we truly believe we are God, we must plan that in our thoughts and this is the basic step to the New Age movement.
If we truly want to reach the utmost potential for ourselves, we need to reach a place of enlightenment, We need to reach a place that we are bigger than ourselves; our thoughts, our actions, everything. We live in a world where everyone has accepted that things happen that are beyond our control, and that may be true, but only to a certain extent. When you try to integrate the New Age movement in this aspect, since we act like God, we then have control. We may not have control of certain outcomes, but we have control over the entirety of our thinking and our behaviour. When suffering happens, you may not have control on the outcome but as part of a whole divine essence, you could be convinced that it was intended to happen for a much deeper purpose. Enlightenment and the New Age movement are very much connected for both are all about being aware of one’s self. Buddha once defined enlightenment as “the end of suffering” and in the same way, New Age has a similar definition. When you integrate the New Age movement in your life, it shifts the amount of suffering that you endure. To reach a higher version of ourselves, we must regain our thinking. When we depend on a higher being, our morality is highly dependent on that being. Every ounce of our values, our principles, and our beliefs are based on that belief system and our relationship with that divine being based on our perspective.
However, in New Age thinking, if you choose not to have a constructed and structural set of beliefs but rather just highly focus on the belief that we are our own God, everything in our lives shift. Instead of trying to do good for the sole purpose of salvation that is purely a religion concept, when we choose to do good, it’s purely out of our selfless desire. When we say New Age, it’s being in a state of complete and utter awareness of every action in our lives. The hard part isn’t taking control but realizing that we should take complete accountability of the actions in our lives, both the good and bad.
In the end, New Age thinking isn’t supposed to focus on the fact that it counters religion. Rather, it’s the root of how we get to achieve the highest form of ourselves. It’s not a form of detachment but rather, by evolving into something spiritual. We don’t depend on a divine essence to control our lives but rather, we take complete accountability and control for everything in our lives.