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 New Age Metaphysics

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Posts : 261
Join date : 2013-04-26
Age : 31
Location : Everywhere and Nowhere

PostSubject: New Age Metaphysics   5/1/2013, 4:59 pm

This is a definition of Metaphysics defined within the terms of New Age and seems mostly applicable to many practitioners of the art nowadays, at least in some respect.

The term “New Age”, in use in Metaphysical circles since the late 19th Century, came to be applied as a label for a major paradigm shift that occurred in our culture beginning in the 1970’s. About the only generalization that one can make about the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of different groups, practices and belief systems lumped together under the label “New Age”, is that they are all involved in what is typically referred to as a “new consciousness revolution”.

In the early years of this new facet of the culture, I saw a potential for those who were fully engaged to accrue the same benefits as those commonly attained by followers of the teachings of the early Oriental Occultism Schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, in the face of the many vicissitudes that life can throw at one, individuals who faithfully adhered to these early practices and exercises often displayed a level of serenity not typically displayed by the general population. It became apparent to me within just a few years though, that the potential was, for the most part, to remain unrealized.

While beneficial practices such as meditation became so widespread as part of the movement as to become mainstream, I was surprised to observe in many of the individuals who frequented our shoppe, an increase in intensity rather than serenity. Tolerance for alternative spiritual paths, other than the one chosen by that specific individual seemed to decrease, often to the point of expressed hostility (what I came to refer to as the “my guru can whip your guru” attitude). And, aggression justified as “activism” became the norm for many. It got to the point that all one had to do to disrupt “my sense of serenity” was to utter two words, “SAVE THE”. It didn’t matter what was to be saved, if you were not in complete agreement with the call to action (activism) then you must be at the very least unspiritual, and most likely, even evil.

How and why did a movement based on spiritual practices, many of which have been around for millennia, come to create such a shift in attitude, in such a large segment of our population, in so short a time?

In the study and practice of Metaphysics, or Oriental Occultism, as it was identified during the turn of the last century (19th to 20th), it was thought that the advancement of mankind as a whole, socially and spiritually, could be hastened through the efforts of individuals who worked first and foremost on their own personal advancement. Or, to put it another way, the overall culture would advance if there were enough individuals who became accomplished at the use of tools and skills acquired through personal study and meditative practices that changed for the better the way the individual lived their lives, the way they interfaced with their fellow-man, etc.

A major component of this path was the acceptance of personal responsibility. Even when outside forces resulted in a negative impact on the individual, they were held to be totally responsible, not for the event, but for how they responded to it. The emphasis was on a life lived by doing what was perceived as spiritually right, not on what was considered as either socially acceptable or desirable. It was believed that by providing a real world example to follow, the practitioner of Oriental Occultism would surely inspire others to engage in similar work, plus they would incrementally help raise the level of consciousness of the entire race.

There were shared spiritual objectives to aspire to, to be sure, but the act of reaching them was strictly a personal quest. There were advantages to working within groups that shared common goals, but the attainment of personal advancement was held to be only possible as the result of individual effort. The raising of consciousness of the human race was not expected to be a short-term process, but rather required a lifetime commitment, and any significant influence on the culture might require generations to take effect. The study of Metaphysics, or Oriental Occultism, took a tremendous amount of personal commitment and was viewed as anything but a part-time occupation.

During the Twentieth Century both the stated goals and the means of reaching those goals evolved, producing a significantly different approach. The overall emphasis of the current Twenty First Century form of the New Age Movement focuses on pretty much the same goals of cultural, social, and spiritual advancement, and share the same concerns for the welfare of our fellow-man as did the earlier Oriental Occultism Movements, but the goals are now most often presented in the context of humanity as a whole. The individual’s personal growth and development of Occult abilities, (as they were defined in the late 1800’s) receives less emphasis than the goal of bringing about global change for the “greater good” through group effort and group thought.

People are still expected to work on themselves, but the methods employed are frequently not intended to develop people as individuals, but seem designed instead to bring about a diminishing of their individuality in such as way as to bring them into alignment with the overall philosophy of the movement. In other words, to de-emphasize the individual aspects of the personality, molding the person in such a way that they become a synergistic component of a “Consciousness of Oneness” [1].

A recurring theme, the Consciousness of Oneness is usually portrayed in terms indicating that we are all interrelated, that what affects one affects all. Personal responsibility no longer refers to responsibility for one’s own actions and choices, but to a responsibility for the events and conditions that affect the welfare of others, producing a shared responsibility for all that happens in the world at large and placing upon the individual an obligation to help those who are perceived to be in need of economic and social assistance.

The justification for advancing the development of a Consciousness of Oneness is that if enough individuals hold the same view (think the same way) with respect to “spirituality”, and now “social systems”, a critical mass will eventually be reached and suddenly, the whole world will experience a significant positive shift in consciousness that will solve many of the world’s problems. There are several assumptions that go with using this approach that, in my opinion, are not based in reality and can result in negative consequences for the race as a whole.

A big one is the assumption that all humans are the same. That human consciousness differs only because of the influence of the cultural environment the person grew up in. There is both a certain arrogance and a level of naivety involved in believing that everyone else’s view of what constitutes spirituality would be the same as that embraced by the Consciousness of Oneness Movement, if only they could be brought to understand just how much they are really loved. This hypothesis assumes that the only stumbling block to the development of a worldwide Consciousness of Oneness is that less spiritual beings and organizations in the world are resisting it for their own greedy purposes.

The reality is that there are people in the world today that, no matter how much you express your love for them, still will want to terminate your existence just because you don’t fit the mold for what they consider to be the correct form of spirituality, or the correct social system to live within. It is their understanding of reality and their chosen path, and they believe it just as strongly as those who seek to bring about a Consciousness of Oneness. Not a criticism or an endorsement, just an observed fact.
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