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Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Age Phonies

News flash: I didn't just fall off a turnip truck yesterday. In addition to the weeping and wailing from the believing camp and the snooty disregard from the non-believing camp comes the nose-in-the-air pretensions of the New Age crowd - all of these factions are united in their attempts to dismiss my opinions. The Christians, of course, are quite convinced that they have got the true and correct belief system, while the atheists believe the same thing, and the New Agers are certain that they are the chosen people. All have one thing in common, and that is the conceit that they each know it all.

My opinions are vexing to the Christian because I'm perceived as an "atheist," while the atheists get up in arms because I'm "too mystical," but the New Agers are sure that I haven't experienced enough satoris or samadhi. (You see, you need to have a fancy Indian name as a pedigree for your mystical experiences, or they don't count.) In order to garner respect from the New Age snoozers, who seriously believe that they can think themselves into and out of any situation, you must park your cushion and spew a bunch of meaningless platitudes about "love,"
"God," "the universe," "spiritual union," etc. I got news for you, been there, done that. I've had just about every mystical experience in the books, which is why I don't entirely dismiss them - a fact that gets me into trouble with the atheists. I've read the best and worst of 'em, meditated upon my navel for hours on end, experienced countless satoris - including the "Cosmic Orgasm" or "Oneness with the universe," which is widely perceived as "enlightenment." It is this reality I have experienced that has allowed me to see what I see.

The conceited New Ager who believes that he or she is residing in pristine reality is no less deluded and no more enlightened than the average religious fanatic. The New Age goal seems to be to accumulate enough wealth to be able to live in hot tubs on Maui. I have rarely encountered a hardcore New Ager who wasn't completely self-absorbed in his or her attempt at becoming egoless. The most fanatical of these almost have less respect for other people than the members of the tribes to whom New Agers arrogantly pretend to have become superior. They are always talking about "self-help" and "processing," and they assume that everyone else is as messed up as they are. "She needs this and that," they smugly pronounce as they pettily psychoanalyze each other. If you haven't done their favorite group, you're nowhere, man.

Meanwhile, with their heads in the clouds, life passes by the prancing New Agers, so superior and smug in their mystical beliefs. The truth is that the plateau that these individuals are stuck on is called "spiritual arrogance," not enlightenment. Enlightenment is x-ray vision that allows you to see through the crap, not a billowing balloon of hot air that blocks the view.

16 comments:

skullnboner said...

Spot on Acharya! That is really all I can say in complete agreement with this blog. However, I must admit never to have done the serious meditation, reached enlightened states or anything of that nature. Hope one day you will tell us what your experiences were like. (I have done some navel-gazing now and then--not my own of course..lol!)

Daniel D. Ziegler said...

Very well said!!!

Acharya S said...

I wrote that piece in response to some mealy-mouthed New Agers who attacked me personally after my blog entry "Good God!" was sent to them. Naturally, they were not indignant about the subject matter therein, which was that human beings are a mess, constantly killing each other, but they decided I needed help! "She's got this problem and that," they responded. No concern for their fellow man who's suffering in religious warfare worldwide - nope, they were much more interested in knocking me down and setting themselves up higher than me. And, there was undoubtedly a sexist element to it that I have observed within the New Age community as well. I can't tell you how many times I was cornered by some tall white male who decided he wanted to make a "disciple" out of me! (Yeah, baby, let's practice Tantra together - ooooh, I see God!)

Pffft. Freaking phonies, the lot of 'em. They wouldn't know truth if it bit them in the arse.

Anonymous said...

As much as you researched all of these things I'm surprised you haven't come to the same conclusion I have. It seems that everyone I know begins their sentences with either "I" or "my" and includes frequent references to "Me" and "mine". Every "searcher out there believes they have found "truth" and the rest of us are too dumb to see it. As for myself I find the teachings of Zen are as about as close as one can get, but they too aren't the total truth or "path". So I think I will just stick with the fact that life is an illusion, and let it go at that. Keep up the work, maybe you'll get some to understand.

Harrell Rhome said...

I loved it! You pegged the New Age nonsense for exactly what it is. Must of these self-deluded ones know nothing of the real history of their movement or actual theology and philosophy out of which it came. This is not to say that it is all invalid, but if you were to judge New Ageism by its participants, most rational thinkers would rightfully reject it. Keep up your good work!

Harrell Rhome, Ph.D.
Writer and Researcher in History and Religion

Anonymous said...

These are the most inadvertently funny words I have ever read:

"In addition to the weeping and wailing from the believing camp and the snooty disregard from the non-believing camp comes the nose-in-the-air pretensions of the New Age crowd - all of these factions are united in their attempts to dismiss my opinions."

Can this really be a co-ordinated effort by these three groups? Or does this set of opinions look different to all who come to them from outside the author's blogosphere?

Acharya S said...

Are you sure those are the "most inadvertently funny words" you've ever read? How do you know they are inadvertently funny?

No one is suggesting that there is a concerted effort between these factions. It's a tongue-in-cheek observation that I have managed to unite them.

Anonymous said...

They're not funny if they aren't inadvertent. If you intended to lampoon yourself, you might have picked a better place to do it than in an attack on what is probably a big chunk of your audience there at opinionbeknown, although both you and they are loathe to admit it.

Acharya S said...

I suppose they wouldn't be funny if you don't have a sense of humor. Frankly, you're making little sense, and you apparently do not have much sense either of my demographics. I wouldn't know why "they" would be "loathe to admit it," unless "they" are exactly of the mindset that I am "attacking." Perhaps you should not be so concerned about my tiny little island in this big world. If you insist on being involved, please read my earlier comments about me being attacked personally by some New Agers. I can assure you that few of them are ready to give up their Ascended Mattress, Jesus.

Jas Pierce said...

I agree with you 100%. The funniest part about people and their arrogance is that they can't see the forest for the trees. There are literally millions of points of view, but just because they haven't read it before, or heard it before, they dismiss the ideas because of their intellectual pride. It is a shame that everyone isn't on the same page. Fortunately Acharya S helped me proceed through a few chapters in the book of life. Once again, thanks acharya. You are the Elliot Ness of this New Millenia.

Larry Snipes said...

Acharya,

Wow, that was very powerful. You expressed what I have been thinking
about for quite some time and have never been able to put it into words. I especailly like your description of New Age arrogance.

Keep up the good works. You have lots of supporters who appreciate your insight and willingness to reveal truth.

Thanks for the great commentary.

Anonymous said...

Having just spent a weekend with a raging New Ager, I agree heartily, though I tend toward the non-mystical camp, because most of these mystical experiences (I've had a number myself) are utterly self-induced and require a level of belief - or submission - I don't care to indulge in too often. But every New Ager I've met has been completely screwed up in their childhood and for some reason this nonsense makes them feel empowered. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Well Acharya, I'm sure in your studies of the validity of Christs' existence, you were able to uncover many of the esoteric messages of the Christ story. One is that all "truth" seekers who are compelled to share that truth or truths with the general population will be brought down by any means necessary. The establishment will always find ways to turn that person, who by "divine" right, thinks for themselves, into a raving lunatic. It's clever tricks like this that makes the Bible such an enigma. We are given a story which defines how one should "actually" act, but then it gets turned on it's head and shows what happens when one acts in that manner.The entire meaning gets lost. It's a clever technique that few can see through. But I know you do!!!!

As far as the New agers go, I'm sure that you have directed them in their research of the movements beginnings or at least one of them, which was Madam Blavatsky in the 19th century. She was heavily funded by the "dominant" minorty (Freemasonry, which her father was one) to establish the movement that was to gain momentum in the 20th century. Maybe the "newbies" should read "Isis Unveiled" written in 1877 and then proceed to "The Secret Doctrine" written 1888. They will see a striking similarity between her work and the rise to power of Adolph Hilter who incorporated much of her work in his movement(Blavatsky leans heavily on the "aryan" concept, and it being a superior race, just as a reference to her work). In essence, the "new age" movement is not really new. But I'm sure if you told them that, they would have the same reaction.

In conclusion, your work is refreshing, original, insightful and relevant. It's comforting to know that we still have "sentient" beings willing to "bear witness to the truth".

Anonymous said...

Well said! I really admire individuals like you who bloom as lone flowers of truth over endless fields of human confusion. I find the New Age movement just as troublesome as Christianity and other organized religions. The worst off are the New Agers who fall victim to kundalini sickness and psychic tricks played by certain trumpeted "gurus". Ancient mysteries are a wonder onto themselves, but when you put that knowledge to practice you open yourself to realms that may be beyond your capacity to handle. Much of the new age movement might appear innocuous and appealing with that whole Mother Earth Gaia thing and all. But taken to the level of sayances, group chanting, astral projection, trancedental meditation and the like - it can present a potentially toxic side to an individual caught up in that sort of thing. Any true teacher of the ancient practices (mediation, yoga, tai chi, shamanism, sufis, etc) will first off teach you that the mystical realm ain't some "it's all good" thing you can play around with like a child does with a toy. While athiests dismiss mysticism outright and Christians denounce it as Satanic, New Agers embrace it completely. But so many of the bunch seem to be absolutely oblivious to the dark elements of the mystical realm that they are trying to experience. And more rare among the New Agers is the thought that some folks may be deliberately practicing mysticism for sereptitious purposes - if you want an example of such folks, just examine an american one dollar bill or sun worship motifs in corporate logos to for a clue. I can't help but think that the New Age movement is being deliberately set up to be force-fed to humanity the same way the Roman Empire decided to mash up all those mystical Sun worshipping cults into an organized state religion. The reaction of New Agers to your work, Acharya, seems to suggest the New Age movement is transitioning into the "blindly denounce all heretics" stage - in timely preparation for "the coming of our future meitreyas...the indigo children...born to mother gaia...activated by the energy of the photon belt...the new light of the universe...our guru-saviours who will astral project at the 2012 galactic cross and ressurect humanity with infinite conciousness..."

Lord, help us :)

Anonymous said...

How long do you think a New Ager would last in nature with an outhouse?

James said...

"Enlightenment is x-ray vision that allows you to see through the crap..."

Probably one of the best quotes ever.

--James