New Age Religion

Today, I want to continue with the question of what kind of values tend to flow from the New Age Religion and Catholicism. Now I post under pressure today, dear Reader. And rather than write a new entry, I thought I would mainly share material taken from the first rough draft of the book I am writing: Cor Jesu Sacratissimum.

This is material reflecting on the ex-patriate “New Age colony” in Spain to which I referred previously – and where I lived in the past. It is also where I find myself living at present.

What are these posts of mine? Are they nothing but the rantings of a Traditional Catholic wailing in the New Age desert, in which he finds himself again?

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I believe they are more than that. As I have said, I believe Providence has led me here again to confront the New Age Religion and the values that spring from it. And as I will be developing further, as we proceed, this religion and these values have significant global cultural impact.

Now recently, I was shocked, very deeply shocked by a certain act of callousness here – the callousness of two individuals who have been immersed in this New Age system for decades.

I am not at liberty to say much at all – except that it involved callous action indeed, and one of the perpetrators may have received “guidance” of a sort – perhaps “channelling” – to the effect that there was “no need to feel guilt”.

“Guilt” is often a bad word in the New Age scene. And what kind of scene develops when people “channel”- frequently perhaps – that there is “no need to feel guilt”?

Be that as it may, I will not comment further now. Instead, I will leave you with this rough extract taken from my book’s first draft:

“Now many years after Findhorn, I lived a while within a loose expatriate British community of sorts within Southern Spain. This very loose community if so it can be called, was filled with a certain idealism and goodness.

These were often people who had rejected the idols of materialism in search of something better. And very often had found it too. These people grew organic vegetables, employed alternative technology, sought to live more simply on this overburdened planet and sometimes displayed significant psychological sensitivity to each other.

And as I define New Age in this book, this was New Age culture indeed. These people it seemed to me read the same kind of books, shared the same kind of ideas, and had the same kind of prejudices as well. Kim and I once displayed some two or three postcard sized Christian images on the front of our abode. The local reaction? “Whoa! … That’s a bit much and hard to handle!”

Yes whatever genuine idealism was present there in Southern Spain, another New Age tendency was very marked as well. Once I heard there of a man who had been brutally assaulted by several men and anally violated with a pickaxe.

And then I heard the incident reported in detached words like this: “The victim of the assault … well, I shouldn’t say victim really, because there are no such things as victims …”

Perhaps the man who spoke these words had not registered the full brutality of this assault. Or perhaps indeed he had. Whatever the case, his words strike me as consistent with a certain New Age tendency.

I do not know from whence exactly the New Age doctrine comes: “There are no such things as victims”, but I associate it with many New Age tendencies I have been reporting. The tendency to believe in magically making one’s own reality, the tendency to Pelagianism, the tendency to joy, joy, joy.

For if life is held to be all about joy and one is suffering, and if indeed we make our own reality, then we are ourselves are responsible for our predicaments. We are not victims … No I cannot trace an exact provenance for this New Age doctrine, but I think it has much to do with this.

In any event, it is heartless. Although the man who said it to me, did not lack heart. Still I think he often found suffering hard to bear, his own and that of others.

And of course, suffering IS hard to bear. What we do with that fact is another matter. Whether we acknowledge it is there, let ourselves feel it, and perhaps pray for grace to help us bear it. Or whether we pretend it isn’t there and “go for joy”.

Another disturbing scene from this community of people. A woman is in tears, and they strike me as tears of real suffering. They are not whinging, snivelling or self pity. She is carrying burdens courageously, I feel. But there is another woman listening there and she clearly finds it hard to bear. Abruptly she declared – as far as I recall – “I think we need more joy here!” or words to that effect. And soon, when more joy was not forthcoming, she bolted from the scene, in search of happier pastures perhaps.

Yes this is but one example of a tendency I have noted repeatedly in New Age circles. A tendency – again it is not universal. Still the tendency exists in so many forms: we need more joy here!

And why do we need? Because we are fallen, broken and weak perhaps? And cannot easily bear suffering.

Yes I feel much, if not all of the drive for joy in the New Age culture is rooted in such denial of our weakness.

And the Christian alternative is not so palatable. For the truly Christian alternative goes something like this: “I confess I am weak, Lord. At this moment, I feel my weakness – I cannot easily bear this suffering. But I would very much like to try, Lord and thus honestly confessing my weakness and my shame, I pray for your Grace to help me bear it …”

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserere nobis.

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