THE NEW AGE: AN EXERCISE IN LINEAR THOUGHT
by Don Wildgrube
ECA 1988 rev. 1992
What is the "New Age"? We read about it in sensationalist newspapers for sale in grocery stores. Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo and others talk about it on the tube. The term is even bandied about in polite circles. Psychic Fairs are now New Age Festivals. Preachers and preacheresses, who couldn't sell their message at wholesale prices, are raking in the dough when they add "New", or "New Age"
to their church's names. Even our dollar bill reflect it by declaring: "Novus Ordo Seclorum": A new order of the Ages. It seems that the dollar bill and the New Age go hand in hand.
Let us check the dictionary to see if this throws any light on the subject.
NEW 1. Not old; recent; modern
2. Different from the former
3. Recently discovered or learned about, etc.
AGE 1. A period of life
2. A great and distinct time in the history of Man; an epoch Well, that defines the obvious, the skin. What about the mat of the subject.
There are many ideas: There are those who look for the second caning of Christ.
They literally believe Jesus will soon establish his theocracy here on Earth.
Sane believe in the coming of "Christ Consciousness", the realization of the
"God within" or some are taking to heart the teachings of Cayce, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, David Spangler, Ram Das, etc or are becoming involved in channeling, psychic readings or spiritual study groups.
Others say that it is taking personal responsibility in life decisions, being in responsible relationships, practicing ecology, integrating body, mind and soul in the concepts of holistic health, becoming more spiritual (translated as be nice, read nice stuff, practice Yoga Asanas, give up red meat and control your animal nature), and be consciously aware of our stewardship of the planet.
All of this seems to fall perfectly in line with the New Age as would be described in traditional Patriarchal Western thought. This Western thought teaches us that everything moves linearly, in a straight line, from old (out of date) to new (up to date), from low (our old base ideas) to high ( toward spiritual heights). There is a real problem here, to quote scripture: "...there is no new thing under the sun" (Eccl 1:9). Mlle. Bertin, milliner to Marie Antoinette, put it even better, "There is nothing new except what is forgotten".
While the New Age may be new in the Patriarchal system, is it really new? Or is it old ancient ideas, layered over with a heaping helping of Patriarchy?
What are the cornerstones of Patriarchy? 1. Male dominance, 2. Hierarchal structure, 3. Power (over), 4. Control, 5. Separation.
When we study New Age ideas, do we see gurus, priests, teachers, ministers, prophets or spirits to be followed? Even though we might be told that "you can do it yourself!", what in fact is done? Rantha and Seth speaks, Shirley McLain writes books. Sun Mung Moon gives other clergy free trips to Korea to see how the reincarnated Jesus does things. Classes are formed to teach people how to channel. (Mediumship out, channeling in) Large fees are paid to learn this and other form of psychic divination. Classes are even formed to introduce people to the New Age, and to be "wise consumers of New Age goods and services. 2 hours for $17." To quote Dooreen Valiente, "The Pipes of Pan can scarcely be heard for the rustle of the dollar bills and the clang of the cash register." (ABCs of Witchcraft, page 374)
People are taught to "Do-it-yourself", but there must be an authority figure to do the teaching. A few years ago, quite a few groups held awareness sessions, psychic development classes, etc, for free or for a nominal sum. Today these sessions are being done less thoroughly, without a firm basis, for lotsa money by semi-competent people with letters behind their names.
Holistic health is touted as a new idea in healing. It is essentially the integration of body-mind-spirit or soul. if you accept this premise, then you must also accept that there is such a division that needs integration.
Dividing people up into smaller pieces such as body, mind and spirit, then reassembling them is not integration--it's repair. 1, as well as all beings, exist as a whole being. I cannot be separated and exist. Without body is death, without mind is coma.
How does your thought process work?, along the Patriarchal lines of separateness, or along the ideas of holism? Do you think of yourself as whole, or as the sun of your parts? Is your thinking possessive (my head, my finger) or non-attached (the head, the finger)? We are! We exist! We are not the sum total of parts that were assembled on a production line. We are whole.
Now what about ecology? The same argument holds true. We are not separate. We are our environment. We cannot exist without these surroundings. This is the reason that our Astronauts and Cosmonauts must be in space suits or capsules. We cannot be separate from our environment.
About 15 years ago, Akwasasne Notes, newspaper for the Mohawk Nation, had an article entitled, "Why the Indians were not Environmentalists". The jist of the article was the they could not separate themselves from the environment, because they were one and the same. They realized that whatever was done to a part affected the whole. Every action has a consequence and affects everything else.
Further it is Patriarchal thought that says that we need to take care of our environment. it is a ploy for separation (us vs. them) and dominance (we...take care of). We cannot be separated.
To carry this further, we don't need to take care of our planet. We are the planet. We need to be aware of this, become responsible for our actions, accept our divinity as well as all divinity. It is not our job to be stewards, to be masters over the "lesser beings". We need rather, to learn cooperation. We as humans share this planet with other life forms and non life forms, one being no more or no less important than the other. A change in one affects all.
So what is the New Age? The New Age does not exist. it is figment of Patriarchal linear imagination. it is using new words, new phrases to try to breathe new life into a worn out philosophy. The outward signs, channeling, inspiration, holistic health, reverence for self-planet-others, etc, have been around since the first mother nurtured her child. Patriarchy is fighting for his life, and like the automobile industry is putting out a shiny new model of the sane old thing.
So now what do we do? THINK. Think clearly. Change the way that we've been taught to perceive ourselves and all around us. Trash the Patriarchal, linear model. Confront the dividers. Do not give authority to those who don't deserve it. Don't believe, know. Speak up. Realize that all things move in cycles and spirals. Realize that we are whole. Be wary of teachers who sell their knowledge for big bucks, rather than a fair price. Trust in yourself and continue to study.
Article Source [wicca.com]