Providence it seems to me, leads me again and again to confront the New Age movement. I cannot seem to escape it and it seems to me there is meaning in this fact.
As has been indicated, this weblog has been born in Spain, in something of a New Age “colony” where personal, family and again, ultimately providential reasons appear to have led us.
Here in Spain, I confront those who know my New Age past. Who know, for example, that once I lived in the Findhorn Community in Northern Scotland, which has worldwide renown in New Age circles.
And I confront continuously people who can scarcely accept – despite all the evidence – that I have turned my back on all of this.
Yes despite the fact that I evidently prefer the Sacraments of the Holy Church to the New Age rituals here, despite the fact that I try to write a weblog dedicated as best I can to the Tradition of the Holy Church, it still seems to be assumed in these circles that somehow I must still be New Age. Or something like it …
Surely, I cannot have rejected so much …
Thus it happened recently that I was in conversation with a dear one that I have known for more than two decades. And in our midst was a British New Age magazine, The Cygnus Review.
And in that edition there were quoted five sentences – and I remarked to the effect that in these simple five sentences, one found a near-perfect antithesis of Christianity.
The response: disbelief.
Disbelief – for surely I must be in accord with so much – at least – of these five sentences.
Disbelief – denial. Surely I cannot reject this …!
For surely these five sentences contain the perennial philosophy – that one great truth behind all religions. Christianity cannot be different from this! You cannot be different from this, dear Roger!
Now my interlocuter did not say these things exactly. But from long and dear association with her, and with the New Age milieu in general, this is what I deduced from her words.
This is what I deduce from so much of the New Age disbelief and denial I experience that I am no longer a New Ager. I am a Catholic.
The essential New Age positions are seen as a universal philosophy – the great truth behind all religions – and thus someone as “clued-up” as me must surely give assent.
Perhaps I must confess to being very non-“clued-up” and simple minded, for I confess these five sentences in The Cygnus Review say almost nothing of one great perennial truth to me:
You have squeezed yourself into the span of a lifetime and the volume of a body, and thus created the innumerable conflicts of life and death.
Have your being outside this body of birth and death, and all your problems will be solved.
They exist because you believe yourself born to die.
Undeceive yourself and be free.
You are not a person. – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
You are not a person …!!
This, my Christian friends, is the great truth that will liberate you.
I began to explain to my old and dear friend of more than twenty years, how nearly all of this opposed Christianity.
Not only is the Creation seen here as DECEIT, but there is no indication here at all of morality and heart.
What is advised here for example is not about LOVE. It is neither about the first or second great commandments. To love the Lord thy God with all thy heart … To love thy neighbour as thyself …
Instead the spiritual path is viewed simply as problem solving.
Do this … and “all your problems will be solved.”
And were not the temptations in the wilderness all to do with “problem-solving”?
Do this – and your hunger will be ceased, said the tempter to the One who was famished.
Do that – and you will have all POWER …
So much, so very much of the New Age literature I see here in this New Age colony reminds me of the temptations in the wilderness.
The goal is so often seen as a naked egocentric attempt to liberate oneself from one’s problems. To find power and joy …
And the goal is not to unite oneself with the Heart of HIM who did not turn away from the problems of this fallen world, but took them on to the greatest degree imaginable …
But there is no mention of the Fall here. Rather Creation itself is seen as deceit and the source of all problems.
Indeed, personhood itself is seen as the problem.
And what of the Person of our Lord, who became a human person to honour and redeem all that which is personal …
This weblog entry is being written hurriedly while I travel.
And as much as I would like to expand, for now, I will limit myself to noting that the above quote came from an article by one Timothy Freke, who is also the author of The Laughing Jesus – whose thesis is that Jesus did not suffer on the Cross – but laughed instead.
An earlier issue of The Cygnus Review gave an extract from this book with approving recommendation.
For those concerned with the grave world problems represented here, more information is available at: