New Age, literally new era. The name evokes relaxing music, uncontaminated landscapes, pleasant sensations: a kind of inner paradise. In itself, it is not a “religion”. Under its name fall different areas which refer to other philosophies, religions, alternative medicine, and life styles. It has the ambition to “heal the spirit” of human beings, and provides an individual approach to the exploration of the Self.
Those who practice it, are interested in experiences and concepts such as meditation, channelling, reincarnation, crystal therapy, holistic medicine, environmentalism and many “mysteries” that are not easy to interpret, such as UFOs or crop circles, or even indigo children; everything to reach enchantment, harmony, and health.
In a frenzy world such as ours, in which relativism has become a dogma, reliance on Mother Earth may appear as the most “natural” solution to many people. It is not a chance, that this movement can be considered a part of the wider context of esoterism, fascination with which continues to grow. Indeed, people find this complex movement fascinating, a fact that points to the deep and heartfelt need to find a spiritual dimension in our lives; it is widespread even among Christians who are not aware of how a complete reformulation of life implies questioning the very figure of Jesus.
In fact, there are several unclear details in New Age. Health, for instance, in which New Age combines official medicine and self-healing with interactions (or simulations of such interactions) between science, mysticism, and ecology. There are cases in the bibliography of New Age, in which illness and even death are explained with the person’s inability to think positive; put otherwise, it says that their mind has failed to dominate matter, although this drama is not considered to be irreversible thanks to reincarnation.
Yet, this theory leaves little room for personal responsibility in one’s own life. After all, if everything really depended on Man, Evil would not exist. But without Evil there would be no Good, its contrary. No need to exorcise demons. Who feels a part of the New Age movement rejects the idea that evil nature can be intrinsic to human beings; yet it is obvious that Man is capable of bad thoughts and deeds; the sin itself, from the point of view of Christian religion, is nothing but admission of our own imperfection. This is precisely what the New Era ignores, defining imperfection merely as a stage one can overcome. A slap in the face of separation between the created and the Creator.
Among the traditions which merged in New Age there are ancient Egyptian occult practices, kabbalah, initial Christian Gnosticism, Sufism, the wisdom of the druids, medieval alchemy, renaissance eremitism, Zen Buddhism, and yoga. A mixture of ideas whose sole common denominator is belief that the world is made of energy and that at the center of it there is Man.
Theosis, becoming divine, is different in the eyes of Christianity and in those of New Age. In Christian tradition it means becoming more and more similar to God rather than taking His place. Serene Christianity is not a struggle for power between human beings and the Creator, but a process of coexistence. In New Age, God is Man.
Its true danger consists in the fact that New Age is not proposed as a religion, it is not recognizable nor practiced in a sect. As a consequence, it is not detectable. We talk about spirituality, a suction that dwells inside each one of us; but beware, behind relaxing music we find spiritualism, Gnosticism, environmentalism, and reincarnation.
Despite the fact that history has shown all of the pitfalls of New Age, the movement does not surrender. The new danger is called Next age and it does not promise a Golden Age anymore. Instead, it proclaims that, even if the world falls prey to degradation and is plagued by various problems, the members of Next age still have the possibility to reach a higher level of awareness, happiness, health, and wellbeing. No longer as “humanity” but as “individuals”. Cosmic relativism is served.