There's a lot of controversy about what constitutes New Age ideas. In actuality, the teachings of the New Age movement are ancient teachings, but the presentation is often new or unconventional. Channelling, which involves a spirit from the spirit world occupying the physical body of "the host", with the host's permission, is one such phenomenon. While it has a new name, it is very akin to speaking in tongues or the "divine possession" that some of the writers of the Bible spoke of. The use of crystals to channel different energies is also something associated with the New Age movement. That crystals have the ability to channel energy is something that has been known for a long time. How many of us built one of those crystal radios from an electronics store for some school project? What is new about this is not the fact that crystals are being used to channel energy but that the specific energies they channel are being more accurately specified. The use of runes, tarot cards, angel cards and other divination tools has been ongoing for millenia. They are not New Age except that the interpretation of the information they transmit has been modernized. Speaking with angels is also something being categorized as New Age, although there are many references to this same behavior in not only the Bible but other sacred texts as well. Reincarnation and karma are also considered to be New Age ideas, but these too have been part of ancient spiritual beliefs that many in this predominantly Judeo-Christian society are not familiar with. The ankh is once now a symbol people tend to associate with New Age, but that too is an ancient symbol meaning life or fertility. So what exactly is New Age?
That is something that cannot really be defined since it depends on the individual involved. The teachings themselves don't really change and involve the premise that this universe we live in is one big interconnected entity and that the damage inflicted on one part of the universe, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, is in the long run inflicted on every part of the universe. There is the belief that this universe is a physical manifestation of the Creator of the Universe, much like our building of a home is our manifestation of what we envision our home to be. For me, the entire philosophy of the New Age movement can be summed up in the statement "God is Love". It is a very simple statement yet attempting to implement all that it implies into one's daily life is very difficult. There is an easy to say rule in order to do this: "Treat others the way you want to be treated." But even this is difficult to do at many times in our lives.
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