Ah I’ve been going around and around on this New Age idea a bit today and am quickly coming to the point of view that its semantics.. People have a need to connect on a spiritual level with the universe in a way that is meaningful to them. Centuries of corruption and hypocrisy have made it all but impossible to do that with the religions that many of us were born into. To many of us, our families’ religious observances consisted of words, ceremonies and rituals that were empty of either meaning or feeling. A lot of new age thought distils what is good about ancient thought and makes it relevant.
Emphasis is often on both the practical and the positive. Connecting in love with our inner selves, each other and our planet. Advancing and growing oneself spiritually. Using ritual not in a traditional sense of repeating words (often in foreign languages, many of them not used in the modern day) and movements that one has memorized but in a living meaningful sense, using symbolism that has meaning for the person doing the ritual towards a goal that matches the aspirant’s intent.
Unfortunately way too often New Age thought can become as rule-bound and dogmatic as anything you can hear in a church, mosque or synagogue. While we can help, inspire and expose each other to cool things that work for us, if there is no inner spark or connection with what we are doing then it quickly becomes meaningless, no matter how cool the message is delivered and how obscure the jargon.
(To be continued, revised and expanded