Concepts Underlying The New Age Culture Shift - From A Christian Perspective
- By Willy Peterson
These are among the multitudes of concepts that are important in the development of a New Age culture shift. Here is an explanation (or an excuse for such) of some of the post-modernist spin-offs of New Age philosophy. First understand that New Age is far too extensive in a comprehensive undertaking to do it justice in under a few thousand pages. So we are left with crass generalizations. Hopefully we do it adequately so as not to incorrectly characterize any particular facets of the movement. If you are already familiar with the terms, you can save time by glossing over the definitions.
I like to think of new agers in two camps; social new agers who simply go along with the drift of social change, and true disciples of  the New Age Proper, or students of the "Ageless Wisdom"  taught by Alice Bailey. Yes, there are other students of arcana that are not initiates of Baileyism, but they mysteriously agree at a fundamental level, on the compatibility of their common "light". Oftentimes, all that is necessary to sympathize divergent occultists is to simply alter their focus slightly, and voila, it is the same stuff in a different package.
Without trying to trace the teleology of these multitudinous beliefs, let's for now just identify the general facets of New Age belief.
Social New Agers can generally be identified by some kind of adherence to the following doctrines:
1. Monism
A concept of the universe that all is one. The universe is composed of a common essence, which also connects and binds all things together. All truth becomes relative to your frame of reference and God is relegated to a mere conceptual expression of matter/energy or time/space. Monism provides the philosophical framework for the agnostic religions of the East, such as Buddhism and Taoism, but is also shared by the neopaganism of the West. Two of the most popular implications of Monism are Nihilism (all is nothing) and Universalism (all paths lead to "God").
2. Relativism
A belief that all truth, knowledge, and laws are relative to particular perceptions or situations and do not carry universal authority.Claims William Hurt, in the movie AlteredStates, "I have seen the other side and I have found that the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth."  One of the offshoots of relativism is the Hindu concept of maya which holds that all matter is ultimately illusory - a trick of the imagination. As the Beatles line goes, "Strawberry fields, nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about; Strawberry fields forever."
3. Pantheism
The concept that all is one, expressed as deity. Each element of that one is as much a part of god and therefore as inherently divine as the whole. As Shirley MacLaine put it, "Im God! I'm God!" Polytheism is often a natural outgrowth of pantheism as this deity is expressed in various elemental manifestations. Pantheism is most often associated with Hinduism, but is also found in many other earth-based pagan religions.
4. Enlightenment
The moment of self-awareness when an individual fully  "recognizes" personal identification with the universe; that he/she is indeed fully divine. Also known as self-realization or actualization, this experience of personal infinity often follows a process of indoctrination, mind-altering drugs and/ or psychic techniques that are designed to dismantle the rationale and foster a working dependence on intuition. LSD probably did more for the spread of this phenomenon in the 60s than all of the gurus put together, but not without their influence.
5. Gnosticism
An ancient heresy denounced by the early church that has re-emerged and now heavily influences the New Age Movement. Simply stated, Gnosticism is the Serpent's lie. Prominent features today are the spark of divinity within all living creatures; a mystical fall from the tree of life and gradual re-ascension through the mastery of special knowledge; initiation and guidance to that inner truth through the serpent's wisdom; periodic appearance of messianic guidance; and the vilification of the Creator. The Gnostic Institute of Anthropology advertises:  "Man know thyself, and thou wilt know the Gods of the Universe."   Contemporary examples are Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Sufism, and Cabalism. (For an extensive Christian critique of post-modernist gnosticism in the New Age Movement, please see Spirit Wars, by Dr. Peter Jones.)
6. Gaia
A modern concept of the Earth as a single, living, sentient being, named in honor of the ancient Greek goddess. This idea holds that the earth has evolved a into fully functioning, self-regulating organism, complete with consciousness and personal awareness. All natural cycles, ecosystems and organisms are part of her life support systems, just as our blood cells, lungs and hormones are part of us. Gaia has been elevated to a goddess, replacing our transcendent God as the creator, savior and ultimate source of life to the New Age Movement. One of the spin-offs of this concept is the view that humanity has become a parasite on the earth and thus human civilization needs to be severely cut back and restructured, to ensure the survival of our great host organism. Neopagans, environmentalists, and many scientists now identify themselves as Gaians.
7. Reincarnation
The wheel of life or transmigration of the soul. All matter evolves through various natural cycles, through death into life and ultimately "back" to divine consciousness. Human reincarnation involves a series of birth to rebirth cycles, which provides opportunities to fulfill karmic debt through devotion, right action and the development of psychic abilities. This belief which was largely introduced to the West through Eastern philosophy has also been championed by spiritualism and witchcraft, among others.
9. Paganism
Pre-Christian or non-Christian religions that are based on the earth, it's elements and the natural cycles. Paganism can be most simply understood as a primitive explanation of natural phenomenon in terms of supernatural forces. Modern Neopaganism has been championed primarily by witchcraft and has seen a great revival in the New Age Movement. Examples of paganism are the Ancient religions of Greece, Egypt, and the Celts. Modern forms include Hinduism and Native American religions.
10. Occult
Literally "things hidden" occultism usually refers to the manipulation of hidden energies. Benjamin Creme, who calls it the science of energy, makes the following interesting distinction: "Once manipulated or channeled, this energy becomes force".
11. Animism
A pagan view of nature that inanimate objects contain the spark of divine consciousness and are therefore worthy of our devotion.Also, the practice of worshiping a superior intelligence within simple animate or inanimate objects. Example - the Druidic worship of oak trees.
12. Spiritualism
The doctrine or practice of communion with the dead, or necromancy.Spiritism is similar except that the spirit forces need not be human, but can be entities emanating from nature or the host's own consciousness. Today, a popular form of spiritualism is channeling, whereby hosts learn to empty themselves of their own consciousness, contact willing spirits and invite them into their bodies to transmit knowledge through various forms of communication.
13. Divination
Practice of obtaining special knowledge about past, current or future events through metaphysical powers or skills. Cabalism is one of many traditions that holds that the universe is constructed on a code of mystical wisdom. Various rituals, cryptic models or random processes enable the inquirer to break the code and discover hidden meanings. True "adepts" often admit that cooperative spirit guides are the key to successful divination. Examples include Tarot cards, Ouija, astrology and casting bones.
14. Astral Projection
A form of psychic travel where the soul or astral body projects outside of the physical body to explore "alternate realities," dimensions, or physical locations. These experiences can be induced through hallucinogenic drugs, hypnotic rituals, or occult techniques such as Yoga and Transcendental Meditation. Techniques, such as the dream body and awareness shifting, were heavily promoted through the 70's by the prolific writings of Carlos Castaneda.
15. Astrology
A form of divination whereby through the use of metaphysical maps of the solar system and dates significant to the recipient, cosmic forces are anticipated in the determination of daily actions, significant events and personal destiny. Astrology is also used to predict cosmic shifts in metaphysical energies, along with their effects on planetary consciousness, and is thus an important prophetic vehicle for the Aquarian movement.
16. Sorcery
The use of magic to manipulate the natural or human environments.Aleister Crowley, who called himself "The Beast" and was known by his peers as "the bad boy of witchcraft," coined the now popular definition for magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."  Probably his most concise definition for sorcery is "Every force in the universe is capable of being transformed into any other kind of force, by using suitable means."   Many sorcerers have felt that thoughts are tangible energies and when properly channeled through the will, have the power to conform the visible and invisible world around them. Though championed largely through the witches, contemporary sorcery is finding vast expression through our increasingly paganized society.
17. Circle of Life
A pagan world view that all life is related, interconnected and interdependent. This view typically assumes evolution and reincarnation as the driving force behind the cycle of existence -life, death and rebirth. The concept can be seen as the totality of all ecosystems, engaging in a constant process of consumption, reproduction and death. All organisms are feeding on each other and in turn contributing themselves to that great natural struggle for survival. It is a naturalistic view of the biosphere that implicitly denies any outside supernatural influence. It also implies that all life is equally sacred, although proponents of this view seem to forget this status with regards to certain sectors of humanity. Though taught in natural science, it appears to have also been the basis for the pagan mystery rites of the ancient world. More recent adherents include Neopaganism, Joseph Campbell, and New Age psychologists.
18. Aquarian Age
The ruling constellations progress on a 2100 year cycle. We are on the verge of a changing of the guard from Pisces (the fish) to Aquarius (the water bearer). This event accompanies a current paradigm shift in world consciousness from the age of monotheism, characterized by male-centered imperialism and Christian dominion, to the New Age movement, characterized by a monistic one-world religious, political and social order of peace, cooperation and respect for the sacred unity of all life. (Leavening, Ch. 2)
In addition to these concepts, the New Age Proper, composed of a dense Theosophical tradition, promotes a naturalistic universal  "Plan" of the unfolding of divine consciousness, through the evolving multi-dimensional material world. The kingdoms of life progress in a hierarchy from minerals to plants to animals to man to masters, devas, angels and pure spirit. So, you see, animism, or the divine spark in all things, is infused in the ageless wisdom of Alice Bailey. So is immanent divinity, or personal godhood. But these concepts didn't begin and end with Bailey. They go back thousands of years. Theosophists just systematized them into a cosmology that is antithetical to the Bible. Those who are eager to escape from the face of our God often run into the waiting jaws of Theosophists. But I digress.
Important to Theosophy are two other concepts that often seem shocking to Christians and "normal" thinking Americans. The idea of hierarchy in nature, from minerals to divine bliss, gives credence to the hidden Masters, who are supposedly working throughout history to nurture our collective evolution, toward the outworking of this grand Plan of the Ages, the collective self-realization of nature, where spirit and matter are bridged and all life becomes one. Through evolution, the acquisition of knowledge and many lives of occult training, the Masters have supposedly achieved mastery over the physical and spiritual dimensions of nature and now run around like the "Q," helping "enlightened" humans who have begun to discover their own latent divinity and are willing to give themselves to the higher beings, in service to the Plan. This is supposed to lead to the establishment of a world-wide brotherhood of disciples who are completely sold out to the masters, in service to humanity and ultimately to all life. Key words in this scenario are service, goodwill, and world-brotherhood, which has always been the agenda of the New Age Proper, Freemasonry, which founded it, and Rosicrucianism, which founded it. Tolerance, which is the middle name of Freemasonry, is another reference to universalism.
One of the scarier doctrines of both camps of new agers is called "integration" or the RainbowBridge to Antahkarana. Under the guise of psychology, integration amounts to finding the real person within the vanier of those various influences that make up our personalities. Supposedly, the true person or identity for each person is a genius, pure and all-powerful, omniscient, who can help us to find our particular trail or path in life and in such, work out karmaic debt that inhibits evolutionary progress. In other words, if we find this true person and learn to follow it, we can master our lives, clean up the karma that traps us into the reincarnation cycle, and get on with evolutionary progress to become a full-blown master in short order. (Who is this original person who is supposedly the fundamental construct of collective identity? Well I think his initial is L. and he loves to be the center of EVERYBODY'S being.) The psychologist who founded the most direct form of this discovery "process" was Dr. Roberto Assagioli, the father of Transpersonal Psychology, and he was a personal emissary of Alice Bailey in Europe. Abraham Maslow, the father of Psychosynthesis, was influenced by Assagioli and Swami Rama, one of the missionaries of collective consciousness to America and Europe. This school of thought is classic psychology in Hinduism. I believe that the eyes on the cover of Maslow's main book on psychosynthesis belong to Swami Rama. Now transpersonal psychologists are running around everywhere and they have their sites set on public education. Today the teachers, tomorrow....
In order to reach their aims of world unity and thus engage the whole world in service to The Plan, "enlightened" Freemasons and New Agers have been pushing for collectivist motifs that promote monistic pantheism and unity. This is why the chief instigators to the globalistic League of Nations and United Nations have been Theosophists, trying to work out the Plan. This is why the verbiage and aims of the UN is for world peace and brotherhood. It is a "spiritual" undertaking in a secular world.  Lucis Trust has had three think-tanks located at the UN Plaza in New York for around fifty years. No wonder the former Assistant Secretary General to the UN, Robert Muller, is a devoted disciple of Alice Bailey, whose book, A Treatise on White Magic, forms the basis for the Robert Muller schools. Remember, this is the guy who developed the highly touted World Core Curriculum. His mentors included the Buddhist and Secretary General U-Thant, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, an apostle of New Age collectivism and the friend of UNESCO founder and grandson of Thomas Huxley, Sir Julian Huxley. Other loud noteworthies are savant musician Pablo Cassals, resident swami and meditation leader, Sri Chimnoy, and his own boss, Secretary General DagHammarskjold.
But in addition to the stars of the early days at the UN, the associations and unseen think tanks are alarming. Lucis Trust has an educational curricula dedicated to training students in the ageless wisdom, primarily through correspondence. By 1954(?) Bailey had boasted 20,000 graduates from the ArcaneSchool, or as it may fairly be referred to, Occult University. Muller himself was likely an alumnus as he spoke to their graduation ceremony on more than one occasion. (See A Planned Deception by Constance Cumbey).
Now, I'm a little fuzzy on the following material, but the general concepts should be adequate. Among a number of frightening tenets of hard core new agers is the notion of the universal "Christ Consciousness"  which supposedly incarnates on the earth periodically to enlighten mankind with a new flavor from the Seven Rays of universal wisdom. The vehicles for this message are the avatars, like Buddha, Jesus and Krishna, each one bringing the earth family up to speed to the current level of universal revelation and psychic mastery. The previous stage of consciousness was the fish or Pisces, characterized by certain necessary qualities. The next stage we are about to embark on will be Aquarius, the Water-Bearer, bringing it's own consciousness-perfecting qualities as well.
According to Benjamin Creme, the Masters live in a dimension that hovers over the Gopi Desert, and are led by Sanat Kumara, which Theosophist Dane Rudyar referred to as "King Satan."   (Blavatsky explained that Satan is just as necessary as Lucifer in a dualistic universe and thus we needn't be ashamed of the image.) The world has been continually infiltrated by Theosophists, with what they believe to be consciousness-altering "light" in order to prepare us for the unity necessary to receive Sanat Kumara as our world leader and true spiritual identity. The next expected avatar who will bridge the gap between western rationalism and eastern mysticism will supposedly be Maitreya, who is one of the higher Kumaras, who will usher in the wide reception of Sanat Kumara. (Did somebody say, Delusion?)
So, in summary to this section, we see the motive of New Age Disciples to leaven (change) the world in preparation for the coming of their Christ, Maitreya, in preparation for the final stage of the earth's evolution, to become one divine being. Our beliefs, social structure, politics, religion and self-concept and mastery of magic are all very important steps to the fulfillment of the "Aquarian Conspiracy" (Marilyn Ferguson's words, not mine)
Now here is a smattering of disciplines and beliefs that I see are important elements to this "universal conspiracy" (Barbara Marx Hubbard's words, not mine). I am not sure how it is to be organized, because I am not that familiar with world history and contemporary knowledge. In many cases they have multiple trails that link to other trans-disciplines, so it is a messy chart to attempt to illustrate completely. These may not all directly relate to each other, but they do seem to be important enough to the New Age Movement for us to at least be familiar with:
Mind, Body, Spirit
Sacred Sex
Sex Magic
   old and new
Social Activism
   (like Teilhard)
Deep Ecology
Martial Arts
The Force
Western Mystical
Remember, at the top levels, it is a spiritual recruitment of the world to mass-possession and discipleship to their demons and their demonic "Plan."   But the bait can be transformed into secularized gimmicks that pull anti-religious people and organizations into their game plan, as well. Often the bigger pictures are identical but focus out into the different sub-plots, whether religious, atheistic, sensual, philosophical, training, team-building or whatever. Habitat for Humanity, for example, comes in the guise of Evangelical Christianity, helping poor people. How nice! How can anyone badmouth charity? But when the facilitators come in and train the workers at the initial session, it is made very clear, leave your doctrines, Bibles, and denominations at home. This is the place for unity and tolerance, not strife. As soon as someone stands for truth to the point of dissension, he will be asked to leave. The point of the activity is not housing the poor, but team-building interdenominationally, or ecumenical unity, a hallmark of Jimmy Carter's career and new age psycho-salvation faith. Remember, he was a convert of his sister, the inner healer, Ruth Carter Stapleton, who could as easily reach Buddhists, Hindis and Muslims with her avatar-based visualization into a watered-down humanistic kingdom. Jimmy is a disciple of the Plan, whether he is a hard-core Baileyite or not. And he is now successfully ram-rodding fundamentalists into a radical "spiritual" movement that they would never have considered joining if it were so identified. And he is leading them into it voluntarily, another unique hallmark of the Plan.
Excerpts Based On "The Leavening"  By Willy Peterson
Copyright 1995
Willy Peterson, Linwood, KS
Permission is granted for non-commercial use with the exception of textual alterations
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Extended Informal Commentary on New Age Paradigm concept formations.
"Paradigm Shift" is New Age terminology and should be recoginzed as such.