Tag: new age

The New Age Movement

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New Age – A Paradigm Shift to Divine Consciousness & a Universal Philosophy The New Age Movement (NAM) is a revival of spiritual and divine values and can be called as a Divine Regeneration Movement. New Age Philosophy has conquered the West intellectually and Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal shift – sociological, spiritual & ideological. It’s a secular, multi-cultural, multi-religious synthesis, of the Oriental mystical philosophies, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism & Western Occultism, emphasizing Holism, the doctrine that Reality is organically One ( now taught in American Universities after Einstein’s Theory of Relativity ).

Behind the evolution of the species, there is an evolution of Consciousness. The aim of Life is Self-Actualization, to evolve to the level of Unity Consciousness, defined as the 7th state of Consciousness in Transcendental Philosophy.

The social disturbance caused by the Vietnam War, the threat posed by AIDS, the disillusionment with materialistic ideas and the erosion of faith in Morality & Ethics brought a sense of futility & meaninglessness in the Western psyche. The limitations of the Western system of Chemotherapy & adverse side-effects of antibiotics, sedatives and certain other drugs and the disillusionment with the promises of science & technology made millions turn to Oriental philosophies, occult practices & systems of therapy.( Interest in Alternative Medicine developed to such an extent that there are now more than 180 systems of Alternative Medicine.

Exponents of New Age Philosophy in Europe and America include Transcendentalists like Thoreau, Emerson & Walt Whitman, Wordsworth, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), , & Theosophy introduced by Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831- 1891) & Col Olcott & the philosopher, Annie Besant. As the world witnessed a Consciousness Revolution, Transcendental Meditation, Yoga ,Zen, Carlos Castañada, the Beatles, Holistic Medicine ( both Western and Ayurveda ), Tantra, Astrology ( both Western & Vedic ) all became popular .

There are 6 million New Age sites on the Web and the NAM consists of a massive & well organised network consisting of thousands of groups, trusts, foundations, clubs, lodges, and spiritual groups whose goal and purpose is to prepare the world to enter the coming Aquarian Age. ( The Age of Aquarius ). In astrological symbolism, Aquarius represents Spirituality and Pisces Rationality. The Piscean Age, an age of Computer and Cybernetics revolution, will be followed by an Age of Consciousness Revolution or a Spiritual Revolution, the Aquarian Age.

Some New Age Organizations are : California New Age Caucus, New World Alliance, World Goodwill, The Church Universal and Triumphant, The Theosophical Society, Amnesty International, Zero Population Growth, the Forum, Planetary Initiative for the World We Choose, the Club of Rome, Church Universal & Triumphant, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity.

New Age believes in the essential goodness of Man and the Divine Spark in Man and the New Age movement is not a unified cult system of beliefs and practices, even though its roots derive from Vedic Philosophy. There is no central authority, no official leader, no headquarters, nor membership list, but instead is a network of groups working toward World Peace and Universal Love. There are millions of worldwide followers of various New Age practices and the world is moving from Chaos ( Disorder ) to Cosmos ( Order ) ! This is a Phase Transition from Entropy ( Disorder ) to Order !

Significant influence has been gained by NAM affecting almost every area of Occidental culture — Sociology, Psychology, Medicine, the Government, Ecology, Science, Arts, Education, the Business Community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the Church. Organised spiritual forms such as Christian Science, Unity and even forms of Witchcraft ( from the German ‘ Wicca’ meaning the Wise; Witchcraft means the Craft of the Wise ) are all its expressions. Various Human Potential Seminars, Transcendental Meditation, Zen Meditation and some Alternative Holistic Medicine practices are also its manifold manifestations.

Some popular New Age publications and journals are New Age Journal, the Z Files, Clarity, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, the Millennium Being and Omega. The new tendency of people now is to view everything from a New Age perspective The major goal of the New Age Movement is to prepare Man for entering the Aquarian Age and to bring world peace in an already bruised world. “All is wrong with the world” said Shaw & some of the other goals of the NAM are to establish an entirely New World Order in the fields of Economy & Government. The idea of a World Government was proposed by Bernard Shaw earlier and was implemented by Mahesh Yogi and occurs in the writings of the foundational apostle of the New Age Movement, Alice Bailey.

The word ‘Initiation” is derived from the Latin “In ire” to go within and Initiates were termed by the Great Master as the salt of the Earth. The mystic Ward defined Reality as “Within and within and within and within” . Another mystic described it as “It is hidden, it is hidden and it is hidden”. To the mystic, self evolution is the means and only by changing and correcting ourselves can we change others . The primary goals of the movement then, are to prepare the world to receive the Divine Consciousness and to enter the Age of Aquarius, thus establishing the New World Order.

New Age Philosophy believes that human evolution can be accelerated, if not in he entire mass of humanity, at least in suitable individuals. Human nature is perfectible, through an intensive process of purification and Initiation.

The New Age Movement is secular & universally diffused over the earth’s surface & its basic underlying philosophy emphasizes Gnosticism and Occultism. (Gnosticism is an ancient philosophy stating that Divine essence is the highest reality, and that the Self of man is actually this Essence. Behind the phenomenal world is the Transcendent Reality which Intuition alone can see ). It bears a remarkable resemblance to the Universal Religion that H.G. Wells predicted would one day take over the world.

The six main characteristics of New Age thinking are: (1) All is Unity; (2) All is Divine (3) Humanity is divine (4) A change in Consciousness; (5) All religions are One; and (6) Cosmic Evolutionary optimism. Basically Dialectical Integralism, New Age Philosophy unites both Matter and Spirit.

Spirit shall see through Matter’s gaze
Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face!

The 13 main principles of New Age Philosophy are:

  1. One Global Order – One World Government, One Currency, One Universal Being
  2. Universal Energy, Universal Matter, Universal Life, Universal Soul As God
  3. An Eternal Universe – Uniform in Space and Unending in Time
  4. Divine practices (Astrology Yoga & other esoteric arts)
  5. Syncretism (Unity of all Religions)
  6. The need for Meditation (for generating altered states of Consciousness)
  7. Life is Cyclical- Everything is cyclical, subject to the cyclical upheavals of Time
  8. Holistic Medicine & Vegetarianism (the patient is more important than the Doctor & Alkaline diet)
  9. Pacifism (Anti-war activities)
  10. Reincarnation (the Law of Conservation of Soul)
  11. The Evolution of Man into Divinity (the latent Life Force evolving naturally to the Divine)
  12. The Union of Man with the Divine (Merger of man into the Infinite)
  13. Matter’s Illusoriness; – Esse est percipii – Perception is Essence; Mind is Substance

The practices of the New Age are psychic practices like: Astrology, Reiki, Bioenergy, Chi energy, Chakras, Nirvana, Christ- Consciousness,Spiritualism, Native American Spirituality, Prajna, Out-of-body/near- death experiences, Reincarnation, Yoga, Meditation and the occult disciplines, as well as psychotherapeutic techniques and scientific applications of the healing powers of crystals and pyramids.

Some commonly used New Age terms are: Quantum Healing, Transmutation, Transfiguration, Guided Imagery, Reincarnation; Positive Thinking; Human Potential; Holistic; Holographic; Synergistic; Unity; Oneness; Transformation; Awakening; Zetworking; Communal Sharing; One-world/globalism/new world order (i.e., One language, One Government, One currency, One religion); Cosmic Consciousness; Zodiac, etc.

Some New Age practices are: Transcendental Meditation, Parapsychology, Inner healing; Biofeedback; Yoga; I Ching; Reflexology; Therapeutic Touch; Transpersonal Psychology; Witchcraft; ; Magick; Tai Chi; Shamanism; Hypnotherapy; Acupuncture/Acupressure; Martial arts; Zen; Relaxation; Silva Method (formerly Silva Mind Control); Visualization; etc.

Some prominent New Agers are: Jeremy Rifkin, Norman Cousins, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, John Denver, George Lucas, Norman Lear, Alice Bailey, Alvin Toffler, Dr. Barbara Ray, Benjamin Creme, Levi Dowling, George Trevelyan, Fritjof Capra, Abraham Maslow, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ruth Montgomery, Shirley MacLaine, J.Z. Knight, Marilyn Ferguson and David Spangler.

Soothing audio environments are created by New Age musicians and they believe rightly that Music has psycho-therapeutic properties. ( This concept is derived from the Vedic Philosophy that All music is Samaveda, the 4th Veda of the Indians ). Born of an interest in spirituality and healing in the late 1970s, it is often used as an aid in meditation.

Essentially meditative, New Age Music is soothing to the Soul. Isnt Music defined as the food for the Soul ? Harmonic consonance, uplifting themes, contemplative melodies & nonlinear song forms are the characteristics of New Age music. Even natural sounds or sounds from Nature and traditional electronic instruments are used by New Age musicians. With roots in classical music or Eastern Music, New Age music is often meditative. Prominent New Age musicians include vocalist Liz Story; harpist Andreas Vollenweider, electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty , electronic-music pioneer Brian Eno, multi-instrumentalist Kitaro & solo-piano artist George Winston.

New Age practices have almost conquered the world. Athletes are using guided imagery. Graduate schools of business are invoking T M, Yoga, and Tarot cards in teaching courses on creativity in business (e.g., Stanford Graduate School of Business). Based upon Astrology, the Science of Time, stock market gurus employ Fibonacci numbers and “Wave Theory” in their forecasting. We can summarize that the term New Age is an innovative term derived from the mother of all sciences, Astrology, indicating that this earth is undergoing an evolutionary transitional phase from the Piscean Age of Scientism to the Aquarian Age of Divine Wisdom, Cosmic Consciousness , Knowledge and Love.

Since the New Age is a conglomeration of spiritual practices, let us analyze the basic principles of N A M

  1. The Divine Source of Authority. New Agers do not claim any source of authority — Only Inspiration by the Divine. By the Divine we mean a principle within, the Divine Spark or the Self and many are there who receive the revelations of the Self within or the intuitive insights of the Self.
  2. The Lord. – Since Matter and Energy can neither be created or destroyed and the sum total energy in the Universe is an absolute constant ( Universal Being ), the Lord did not create the world, He became the world. Monism –( “All is Unity” ) averrs that there is only One Essence in the universe, everyone and everything being a part of that essence. The Self is an utter Being and all these are its Becomings. New Agers view God as an Impersonal Life force, Consciousness, or Energy (e.g., the “Star Wars Force”) mainly but they also believe in His personal aspect, as the Ocean ( which is Formless ) can take the form of an iceberg! They aver that every human has a divine spark within him because all created beings are reflections of the Divine Idea. The eternal state is called by various terms among different New Age groups, i.e., God-consciousness, Universal Love, Self-Realization, the I AM, Higher Self, Brahman, Nirvana, etc.
  3. The Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Christ Consciousness or the Divine Consciousness is what the New Age advocates mean by Christ. . In other words, Christ is a Divine Principle rather than an individual, such as Jesus. This idea of Christ Consciousness asserts that Jesus was only one of the Christs, but that He equipped Himself to receive the Christ Consciousness (i.e., He was a great Master who attained Christ Consciousness), as did other prophets like Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed. New Agers believe Dr Paul Brunton who stated the Jesus spent 18 years in India absorbing Indian Mysticism and that he was initiated into the highest esoteric doctrine.
  4. Human Destiny. Man is the measure of all things and is more divine than the animals & hence the salvation of the world depends upon Man. Cleansing the negative elements from the collective subconscious should be the aim of humanity. Once Negativity is cleaned from the collective subconscious, the human positive energy will shine forth and the noble ideals of the New Age will be actualized in an era of Enlightenment. Since man is intrinsically divine and perfect, his only real problem is ignorance of that fact. Gnosis means experiential knowledge and Salvation in the New Age is for man to become enlightened through this Divine Gnosis. New Age groups offer various spiritual techniques to enable individuals, and ultimately the world, to evolve into this Unitive Consciousness . These techniques may include psychotechnologies for attaining altered states of consciousness – Transcendental Meditation, Yoga, Zen, Attunement , Channelling (Spirit guides), Psychics, Acupuncture, etc.
  5. The Ethical Opposites, Good & Evil – Believing in the Oriental philosophies, New Agers make the distinction between good and evil. All wickedness is weakness and Evil is imperfection. By the method of Trial and Error, we come to know what is good and what is bad for the world and we have to transcend the dualities.
  6. Reincarnation. New Agers believe in the ancient Vedic philosophic concept of Reincarnation — that through a long process of rebirths, man can eventually attain Divine perfection. They also teach the Universal Law of Karma –(( The Law of Cause and Effect ( Every effect has a cause ), the Law of Action and Reaction, the Law of Retribution ))- that what a person sows , he shall reap. This is also the doctrine of God’s non-responsibility, that the Self is not responsible and it is the Ego which experiences bitter & sweet mental experiences due to its own Karma.
  7. Salvation is Self-Actualization and Sin is Ignorance – Some theoreticians taught the concept of Man’s Original Sin. New Age exponents teach the concept of man’s essential goodness. Instead of systems which emphasized the human negative aspect and sin, New Age highlights that every man is essentially divine and it is a sin to call man a sinner ! However, New Agers speak of troublesome desires which are natural impulses which retard human evolution and make the Ego move away from the Self. Sin is merely ignorance of man’s essential divinity. The atrophied spiritual consciousness of the normal man who lives in ignorance of his Divine Self is Sin. Like the Law of Conservation of Energy which states that Energy cannot be created or destroyed, the Law of Conservation of Soul states that the Soul can neither be created nor destroyed. Matter exists in 3 states, liquid, gaseous and solid and matter cannot be created or destroyed. Nothing ever begins to be. Similarly Life does not at physical birth begin to be. It merely enters physical conditions and assumes physical guise. It merely undergoes a parallel transformation into conditions which preexisted in other conditions. The Soul is reincarnated in different bodies in a continuous succession of lives. The good or bad Karma earned in the present lifetime determines one’s subsequent incarnation. Attaining higher states of Consciousness should be our aim.There are many different paths to the goal of Divine perfection and we should be tolerant of other paths.
  8. The divine Aurobindo predicted that spiritual influences from India will trigger off a global spiritual movement.There will be Mass Incarnations ( many people divinely inspired ) who will work for World Peace and Universal Love !

I saw them cross the twilight of the Age
The massive barrier breakers of this world
The sun-eyed children of a marvellous dawn
The architects of immortality
Carrying the magic Word, the mystic Fire
Carrying the Dionysian Cup of Joy !

The four systems of Philosophy which triggered the N A M are Hinduism, a product of 5,000 years of development, Buddhism, circa 560 B.C., Taoism, circa 500 B.C & Druidism, circa 300 B.C, the religion of the Celts, which extended up to the Middle Ages.

Article by G Kumar, Astrologer & Epistemologist of www.astrologiavedica.com www.eastrovedica.com & www.astrognosis.com Recently he was awarded a Certificate by the Planetary Gemologists Association ( www.p-g-a.org ) as a Planetary Gem Advisor. He has 25 years psychic research experience in the esoteric arts. He is contactable at zodiac20@vsnl.com. Address of his physical shop is Zodiac Computers, 3/528 Tkss Bldgs, East Nada, Guruvayur Kerala, India 680101. Office Phone +91 0487-552851. Home Phone +91 0487-422060. He has compiled Free Ebooks on AstroNumerology, Vedic Astrology & Pranic Therapy.

Review: Earth Magic, by Marion Weinstein

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Earth Magic, by Marion Weinstein
New Page Books, 1564146383, 209 pp. (+ notes, bibliography & index), 2003

People have been complaining for years that there is no new information being published on the Craft. This book is a good example of both the down-side of that statement (it is a revision of a much earlier work) and the up-side (it brings one of the classics of Craft literature to the notice of new generations). The original edition was a much slimmer volume, but all of that (and more) is contained in this current (5th) edition.

So much for the positive statements.

I am not a “white lighter,” and so I have a bunch of issues with many of Ms. Weinstein’s statements, such as “…all Witches are Positive – all real Witches.” That doesn’t mean that I disagree with everything she says. I simply feel that she tends to see the universe as a simple dichotomy, whereas I don’t.

The statement on the back cover of the book that she is “Known as “The Ethics Witch,” she is one of the founders of the modern Witchcraft movement,” is a bit strong for my taste. I will grant that she has been around for quite a while, and she has lectured extensively. She is certainly familiar to many from her attendance at gatherings, but “… one of the founders of the modern Witchcraft movement”? I think not.

Since this book is one person’s perception of religion, it is not open to debate on the details of her beliefs. However, the dogmatism contained herein is another matter. There are far too many instances where it is assumed and/or stated that “all (fill in the blank) believe that…” when that just isn’t true. Such broad statements hurt Ms. Weinstein’s credibility, in my opinion. As has been stated in many times and places, “If you get ten Witches in the same room, you’ll get at least twelve opinions.” Getting a group of Witches to agree on anything is like trying to herd cats.

Her approach is way too New Age, white-light, fluff-bunny for me. I was trained in the Alexandrian tradition and find her all-inclusive super-positive, and ultra-qualified approach to be too “strained baby foods” for me. Every working she describes includes a disclaimer of “for the good of all” or “or its equivalent,” both of which (again in my opinion) are attempts to disclaim responsibility for the outcome of the workings. I know lots of people who use this same formula, but it is not one I see a need for. Oh, credit would certainly be accepted, but failure is sloughed off unto “the Universal good.” Sorry! Sometimes Witches have selfish desires and act on them. We aren’t all altruistic all the time.

At least she acknowledges that the Athame should be sharp. So many current authors insist it should be dull (to prevent …accidents). On the other hand, a sharp blade is a more potent reminder to be careful of your actions. She still trumpets the belief, however, that it should never be used for anything outside of the ritual circle. I was trained (as were many of my generation) that all our ritual tools should be “…as those any may have.” Based on that, I have used my Athame to cut up veggies for the stew at Gatherings, occasionally cutting a cord when my bolline wasn’t handy, etc.

Her statement in reference to observing the holidays, that “Of course, this must not inconvenience you nor can it interfere with the rest of your life,” (page 69) is a perfect example, once again in my opinion, of what is wrong with the modern-day Craft. Goddess forbid our devotions should be inconvenient. After all, the individual is all that matters. I’m sorry … I was expected to attend coven functions unless I had a really valid reason for not making it. If you want to work solitary, that is one thing, but a Coven is an entity and needs to be cared for and fed with regular attendance.

This entire book is composed, in my opinion, of white-light, fluff-bunny platitudes. Everything is easily accomplished, no one ever lets a negative thought or action escape without immediately transforming into a positive. It was so much sweetness and light that I felt a need to check my blood sugar level frequently (and I’m not even diabetic).

I have reviewed a lot of books over the years (including Positive Magic by the same author and publisher – which I recommended). There have been very few that I flat out refused to recommend. Unfortunately, this one falls into that small group. Had it been a simple re-issue of the original book, this review would have been very different one. There are only a couple of points which make this book worth having, and they don’t overcome the problems.

While discussing this book with my daughter, she commented that it sounded like it would be good for the “Buffy Witches” out there. Nope. Even they would reject a lot of this stuff. If you are interested in “New Age,” “White-Light” items, you may enjoy this book. Otherwise, save your money.

Review: Spirits of the Earth, by Jaq D. Hawkins

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Spirits of the Earth, by Jaq D. Hawkins
Capall Bann Publishing, 1861630026, 133 (+1) pp. (incl. appendix and index), 1998

Jaq D. Hawkins, noted author on chaos magick came out a few years ago with a series on the spirits, broken down by the elements they were represented by (or, depending on how you think about it, themselves represent); the first being this book, The Spirits of the Earth.

Many different ‘types’ of Earth spirits are briefly covered, as well as several tables of correspondences covering different colours, stones, crystals, planets, etc. and how they relate and can be used to gain the favour of the Earth spirits and elementals.

Several methods of meeting garden and Earth spirits are discussed, in their natural habitat and connecting with Nature as a whole. How to obtain and observe spontaneous sightings, and even attune to them from your own home using potted plants and Earth.

Hawkins presents some unique and thought provoking ideas about ‘computer gremlins’, robotic elementals, combining Earth energies to form newer, more modern spirit models. She notes a difference between these and ‘thought-forms’ which I find questionable, but she explains her position well.

Hawkins has advice for newbies as well as suggestions for more experienced practitioners. She warns against novices trying more advanced operations, but doesn’t give any details or specifics that would likely cause any serious threat, and so are somewhat unnecessary.

This book covers ground that’s been covered before, but I’ve not come across one that’s contained all this information specific to Earth spirits in a single volume. Overall, not a bad book for a beginner interested in getting closer to Nature and experimenting with various methods of contact with natural Earth elementals.

New age or chaos magick

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Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 08:28:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Abadon23[at]aol[dot]com
To: zee-list
Subject: New Age or Chaos Magick

In a message dated 97-09-05 08:44:06 EDT, Gentle writes:

<< Ooooh..just outta curiosity (and the overwhelming desire to start a heated debate on my favorite list), what is the difference between NewAgers and normal freaks like us?! I mean, where is the line that turns someone from a pagan (or whatever title) to a NewAger? >>

Oh, i’ve played the “lurking newbie” long enough. This is one i feel compelled to comment on.

I’m loath to try to offer any absolute definitions (no offense, but these arguments on “denotative issues” don’t really thrill me), but i would like to offer a few distinctions i’ve discovered between New Age-ism (NA) and Chaos Magick (CM).

For one, most NAers subscribe to an “absolute” theory of meta-reality, particularly in regards to reincarnation and past-lives. They tend to see this system of repeating lives as premiere, the centerpiece of all their other beliefs. Indeed, i once had a NAer tell me, after i indulged his wishes to do a numerology chart on me, that ALL numerology and astrology was founded on reincarnation… that without a foundation of the ‘absoluteness’ of reincarnation, numerology and astrology “made no sense at all.” As i’m still sceptical on the notion of reincarnation, i’ve foreverafter had a bad taste in my mouth about these two sister-systems (just as well, considering how they tend to degenerate into fatalism and determinism).

NAers tend to see their particular system as universal: “Everybody has seven chakras, whether they know it or not.” “Everyone is reincarnated, whether they know it or not.” “Everyone is subject to karma, whether they know it or not.” They’ve even tried to assimilate all the other “big name” prophets of all the major religions. “Oh, Jesus was a mystic proponent of reincarnation… Really! But it all got edited out of the Gospels by various unenlightened sods, after the fact.” This has actually been a strong selling point to NA dogma, that it can absorb other doctrines, keep what they can use, and dismiss what doesn’t fit as a ‘pollution’ to the original espoused belief, regardless of whether they have any historical evidence to back it up. But this also fosters a blithe arrogance towards “traditionalists,” who just aren’t ‘cool’ enough to ‘see the whole picture.’ To paraphrase Yabro’s “Messages From Micheal,” “A plant needn’t understand photosynthesis to turn green in the spring.” That pretty much sums up the NA attitude, in a nutshell. Which, if i’m not mistaken, elevates it to the level of “religion.”

CM, of course, doesn’t promote any kind of absolute theory of the afterlife, or any ‘cosmic’ code-of-conduct (karmic or otherwise). This alone draws a wide distinction between it and NA.

Secondly, most of the popular mockery that the NAers have been subject to is the caricature that they’re basically “pollyannish,” that they have a skewed, unrealistic perception of the gritty “real world.” But i find this image fairly accurate. They don’t really want to acknowledge the ugliness and brutality of the world they find themselves in. And their strategies, their pastel-gilded “everything is love” attitude towards every scenario, every situation, seems naive at best. In a world where rightist death squads kill school teachers in the middle of the night, where transnational corporations irradiate our water table for the sake of fiscal expediency, where one out of every five children are officially malnourished and one out of every three women have been raped at least once before their 18th birthday, the general attitude and strategies of the NA community seem woefully ineffectual and outright ludicrous. In fact, it doesn’t even LOOK like a strategy for change… its looks more like a complex system of denial.

This may be why so many NAers lapse into a state of paralysis and impotence, having to rely on their divinatory tools, their rune stones or their tarot cards, to make the simplest life decisions. Or perhaps they’ll wind up meditating for 5 or 6 hours a day, every day… searching for some revelation, some conceptual ‘grail,’ that will give their lives some purpose, to fill some vacuum that they can’t otherwise fill. (This doesn’t look like ‘results magick’ to me.) Rather than offering them useful techniques to “take charge” of their own lives, it often winds up offering them intoxicating avenues to help FLEE personal responsibility, to avoid having to make the tough decisions that everyday life demands. These are the fruits of the New Age, as i’ve seen them.

Murray Bookchin, an eco-anarchist out of Vermont, once wrote of the NAers, calling them ‘lotus eaters,’ comparing them to those characters that Odysseus bumped into in Homer’s “Odyssey;” an island of stagnant, apathetic addicts, chewing on flowers all day, largely unaware of their ‘outside’ world. Not an altogether inappropriate description.

The CMs are (or seem to be) far more open to the full range of human experience, good and bad. They can see the world both for what it IS, and what it COULD BE. They don’t rely on celestial determinism, and they don’t pretend things are prettier then they are. In this regard, i’d say that CM has a far more practical relationship to this “default reality” then NA, and many other paradigms. It offers a wider range of pragmatic options for dealing with the genuine problems of our world. It says, up front, that an individual has to have the strength of will, the resolve, to take command of their own lives, to steer the course of their own personal evolution, regardless of how acary that might seem. As opposed to the NAers, the Chaotes don’t shirk from the responsibility of commanding their own destinies. They welcome it, because they have the vision to recognize this dizzying spectrum of options. CM doesn’t make a very good ‘escapist’ paradigm… but NA seems pretty well suited to escapism.

The efficacy of NA as a magickal belief system is as potentially viable as any other belief system, i suppose. Why wouldn’t it be? And they use several techniques that many chaotes have found value in. (I, for one, can still carry on a conversation with a ‘lotus-eater,’ and walk away with some valuable insights.) But frankly, the ‘religious baggage’ that tends to come with a full-blown acceptence of the NA ideology seems no more liberating (to me) than a full-blown acceptence of orthodox christianity.

Or so i’ve seen. Just an opinion.

Amor Vincit Omnia
Rev Abaddon

NAFTI – A New Threat

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Subject: [Z(enseider)Z] You’ve probably read this elsewhere…
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:59:31 -0000
From: “Victor” < baphomet257[at]yahoo[dot]com >
To: zenseiderz

I’ve identified a unique form of hypocrisy in the New Age community. I’m calling it “NAFTI” which is short for “New Age Fluffy Tolerant Intolerance.”

Yes, it seems to be a contradiction in terms but think about and you’ll probably realize that you’ve experienced the same a time or three.

Ever been talking to someone who claims to be “very tolerant” of other religions, primarily because their religion is the target of much malicious gossip and vile rumours? Have you ever met someone like this and then discovered that their “tolerance” really only extends to main-stream religions and their own little minority religion but to no other religions? Such a person is practicing “New Age Fluffy Tolerant Intolerance” or “NAFTI.”

Consider this: You’re at a meeting of pagans, maybe at your local college, maybe at a Rainbow Gathering (where NAFTI seems to be the rule.) You’re happily chatting away with a group of people who practice a very popular form of neo-Paganism when you say, “Well, I practice Voudon.” Suddenly the conversation stops, people near you shrink back, and someone says in a low voice, “That’s not cool…. Those people kill animals…. Animals have rights, too!” That’s NAFTI in action: “My religion is cool because it doesn’t violate my beliefs but yours is not cool because it kills animals.”

Or for that matter when you meet up with some New Age Fluffy who preaches tolerance and then takes umbrage at something that you say or do. They often respond with, “If you don’t try to break the cycle of karma, you’ll keep coming back to relearn these important lessons.” Well, dip-shit, for your information I don’t believe in reincarnation or even a fucking after-life. When I die, I intend to turn to dust. Yup, I’ll be worm fodder upon my demise– no coming back, no returning, no picking up “life lessons” where I left off. Life isn’t about “lessons” for all of us– for some of us it’s a hobby between restful periods of oblivion.

Similarly, you can be talking to someone in your local Barnes & Nobles Booksellers’ Occult Section and you grab a copy of Crowley’s “777” to illustrate a point you’re making. The person you’re talking to chimes up, “That’s from Crowley and he was a liar and a thief of other people’s work. I don’t trust anything he says.” Now, this person has probably never actually read any Crowley in all his life, just what other writers have had to say about him and so he’s based his opinion on something other than the observable facts. Yup– NAFTI. Without investigating the issue for himself, this Crowley-bashing twit has (in a closed-minded fashion) branded Crowley a liar and a thief! And yet this person doubtless consider himself “very tolerant of the beliefs, practices, and religions of others.”

Also, have you ever met one of those fucktards who likes to babble about “finding the path?” “I’ve found my path, have you found your path, yet?” What the fuck is that shit about, anyway? “Find your path…. Find your path…. I’ve found MY path, have YOU found YOUR path?” Well, honey, mine ain’t no fuckin’ path– it’s brambles and it’s briars and it’s rocks and small waterfalls and poisonous snakes and wild boars and vicious dogs because ain’t nobody been here ever before except ME, BABY! For that matter, I can see beyond all this “path” analogy crap to realize that I am the goer, the way of the going, and the goal of the quest! This “path” crap is pure NAFTI because it assumes that everyone has to follow in the foot-steps of another. It assumes, “I’m not spiritually evolved enough to forge my own way through life so nobody else it, either. I’m on a pre-determined path so being on a path must be the way!”

So on this Eve of All Saint’s Day, please take a moment to reflect on tolerance– and then bash anyone who says they practice it. Ain’t nobody tolerant of nuffin’.

Review: Healing with Crystals, by Pamela Louise Chase and Jonathan Pawlik

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Healing With Crystals, by Pamela Louise Chase and Jonathan Pawlik
Page Books, 2001

My major problem, and indeed my only problem, dealt with the authors’ assertions relating to the function of crystals in the ancient land of Atlantis. Personally, I lean towards agreeing with them, but I feel that their assertions should have been a little less dogmatic. We don’t KNOW for sure that crystals were used in the manner they assert (just as we don’t KNOW much about any prehistoric or early historic events). A simple “Some people believe…” would have made me feel better about this section.

This book is what a lot of folks would call “white light and fluff bunny,” and that is all right. It is intended as a beginning introduction to working with quartz crystal. The affirmations and techniques described should not offend anyone, and they will encourage people to experiment on their own.

The authors are careful to point out (which many authors today do not) that the assumptions used in working with crystal, and which they describe, are ones which have worked FOR THEM. The reader is encouraged to find what works for them.

Throughout this book, the reader is reminded that it is only a starting point, and is not intended to be a definitive work. Over and over, the authors encourage their reader to try things; to experiment; to refine that which has worked for others.

Do I do a lot of crystal work? No, not particularly. Did I learn from this book? Certainly. Would I recommend it? Without hesitation. Most people probably won’t even notice that minor hitch about Atlantis while reading this book. I probably wouldn’t have if Atlantis wasn’t a personal area of interest for me.

Read it and enjoy it.

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