New Age, also referred to as the New Age movement or New Age Spirituality, is a spiritual movement whose purpose is to seek the Universal Truth, and for each human to reach its highest potential. The term 'New Age' was used as early as 1809, in an epic poem called 'Milton a Poem', written and illustrated by William Blake, while the elements of today's New Age first started appearing in the 1900s in metaphysical spiritual movements such as Theosophy, Spiritualism or New Thought.
In the words of Deepak Chopra, the New Age Supersage*:
"When your truth is aligned with the Truth of universal consciousness,
you are living your dharma...living a blissful existence.
You are "surfing the wave of Truth" - letting it propel you into the next phase of your life
while it delivers the thrill of the present moment."
New Age rejects religious doctrine and dogma. Instead it promotes individual ways of attaining truth by a large variety of means (e.g. astrology, metaphysics, esotericism, alternative medicine, sustainability,...) There are no central scriptures and New Age has no founders either. It is a spiritual movement that has developed little by little and is joined by people with similar beliefs. Some of the major influences were people like Edgar Cayce, Yogananda, Madame Blavatsky, Osho, and Deepak Chopra.
New Age Teachings
Summing up all beliefs and teachings of New Age is close to impossible.
There are simply that many. Here are a few of the major concepts of New Age:
- Age of Aquarius There is a belief in the dawning of a new era in which peace and harmony will rule the world.
Some New Agers believe it to have already began, others
that it will begin soon.
- Thought Creates By seeing the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, the reality of the glass begins to shift. Focusing on the positive thought, humans experience and encounter more positive events.
- Spiritual healing Humans have potential healing powers
- Spiritual Beings There is a belief in spiritual beings, such as angels, ascended masters, ghosts, faeries, and others. Belonging to the New Age movement does not necessarily include the belief in all of these beings.
- Reincarnation New Agers believe in reincarnation as a way of the soul to develop through multiple life times towards a higher consciousness.
- Eastern Practices Practices such as meditation, Yoga, Ayurveda, Reiki, martial arts, and others can help in realizing one's potential.
- Sustainable Living Humans should live in synchronicity with nature, in a simple and sustainable way.
"Truth is exact correspondence with reality."
* - New Age Supersage is a title bestowed upon Deepak Chopra by the Time magazine writer Ptolemy Tompkins in the same-named article: New Age Supersage