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Section 12...The New Age

 

003white Index To   New Age     >      Overview of The New Age     >   Part I

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The New Age... An Overview...
Part I

Carol Brooks

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from
the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”
[1 Timothy 4:1 NASB]


 Also See
The Message of the Bible   and  The Warnng of The Bible
Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, the Kingdom of God Jesus was sent to earth to proclaim (No, His main message wasn’t about ‘love’) is exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of, not some pie-in-the-sky ethereal place the other side of Pluto where everyone exists in a state of disembodied blessedness. However, there is also a warning. The Bible very clearly tells us that we all have a choice to make in this life - the most important decision we will ever make. And, if the Bible is indeed the word of God, as it claims to be, and Jesus is the Son of God as He said He was, the consequences for the individual who chooses to ignore the ample evidence, or counter it with clever arguments, will be fatal.

Choose Life That You Might Live. It is tragically true that few of those who believe 'all spiritual beliefs are valid paths to God" seem to have made an in depth study of various religions to see if their claims are based on fact, or fairy dust. In fact, all too many people seem to be prejudiced against the Bible, but well disposed towards other 'holy books' like the Qur’an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Book of Mormon or the  unsubstantiated gobbledygook spouted by ‘spirit guides’ who do not even present a shred of evidence that they are who they claim to be. This is a rather illogical situation, because there is far a plethora of evidence in favor of the Bible being true, including it's humanly impossible authorship, the scientific, historical and archaeological corroboration, and the many fulfilled prophecies... none of which are seen in the books of other religions/beliefs.

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Index To All Three Sections

YOU ARE HERE 001orange   PAGE I: What The Term New Age Means, To What Extent The Ideology Has Permeated Our Culture, Celebrity Endorsements, New Age Spirituality... Narcissistic Spiritual Entertainment or More Sinister? Common Themes. Varied, Mutated, and Disguised Forms, Hybridization & Expansion, Roots of The New Age, General Beliefs, The Higher or 'Divine' Self, We Are All Christs, The Biblical Warning About False Christs, Source of The Teachings, An Ancient Con

PAGE II: The Coming Age of Aquarius and The Reappearance of "The Christ", The "Shift" or Planetary Pentecost, Implementing 'The Plan,' As It Was In The Days of Noah, A "Messiah" or The Antichrist?, The Global Alliance... Much More than A Few Crazies.

PAGE III: Christians Are Not Only Rocking Themselves To Sleep On The Porch... But, In Many Cases Have Totally Sold Out, Is it Really That Easy To Infiltrate The Body of Christ? Unfortunately ...Yes! Christians and The New Age Anti-christ... Lambs to the Slaughter, A Final Word, Our Extreme Credulity and Gullibility, "Quality" of The Messages? Dismissing The Bible As Being Untrustworthy (in spite of much evidence to the contrary), Intellectual Dishonesty, The Reliability of The Scriptures, Summary and Conclusion.

 

Page I... Roots, Spread, Popularity, and Beliefs
Introduction
The Spread and Celebrity Endorsements of The New Age

New Age Spirituality
 Narcissistic Spiritual Entertainment or More Sinister?

Common Themes
Various Combinations of Gnosticism and Occultism
Common Concepts include Inner Harmony and Divinity, Collective Consciousness, New Thought etc.

Varied, Mutated, and Disguised Forms
Hybridization & Expansion
Roots of The New Age

General Beliefs
The Higher or 'Divine' Self
We Are All Christs

Source of The Teachings
An Ancient Con

 


Introduction
:
The term "New Age" is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, if not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age of rationality to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things. [00]. The song Aquarius by The 5th Dimension from the musical Hair, which refers to the coming "Age of Aquarius", sounds, to most people, like wishful thinking or an imaginary utopia. However it exemplifies the basic ideology and aspirations of the Movement, .

    When the moon is in the 7th house
    And Jupiter aligns with Mars,
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And love will fill your heart;
    This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.

The New Age Movement (NAM) first appeared as an entity in the 1960s and 1970s, with widespread use of the term "New Age" starting in the mid 70s. However, with roots that stretch back into antiquity, the New Age Movement is anything but new. It is, instead, a modern revival of various ancient religious traditions and practices that have come together in a decentralized Western social and spiritual movement. It is an "emerging world view... a way of thinking that is being subtly introduced to multitudes in Western civilization. [It] weds the humanism of the West with the spirituality of Eastern occult mysticism. The union of these two unlikely bedfellows inflates former concepts of human potential in the West to unlimited proportions, generating a belief in the deification of man." [01]

Spread: While you may not be altogether familiar with the term "new Age", it has, over the last several decades, gradually been gathering momentum on the face of this earth, and has so permeated our culture that, whether we realize it or not, virtually every single person, both in and out of the church, has been exposed to it. There is no leader, no official creed, no centralized headquarters, no membership. Nevertheless, it is estimated that, worldwide, there are millions of followers of various New Age practices and beliefs. Diverse facets of NAM have affected almost every area of western culture, including

    sociology, psychology, medicine, the government, ecology, science, arts, education, the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the church. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent and various mutated forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. It is expressed in organized religious forms such as Christian Science, Unity, and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, in various human potential seminars, and much in between, i.e., transcendental meditation, some alternative holistic health practices, and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools... ... There is hardly any area of human interest that does not have some people somewhere exploring it from a New Age point of view. [02]

In fact, New Age teachings have even found their way into the prison system. The book Letters from the Dhamma Brothers by Jenny Phillips documents

    "...the profound changes experienced by inmates in the four years after completing a 10-day Vipassana meditation course taught in the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama... The course has now become a regular treatment program at two Alabama prisons". [03]

(Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation, taught by Gautama Buddha as a universal remedy for universal ills. The word Dhamma, or Dharma in Sanskrit, is the collective teachings of the Buddha which lead to enlightenment).


Celebrity Endorsements
This meteoric growth in popularity has been helped in no small part by the Internet (which has helped spawn a New Age 'Golden Age'), and celebrity endorsements, such as when (in the 80's) "actress Shirley MacLaine chronicled her conversion to New Age thought in several best-selling autobiographies and multiple media appearances, which helped bring the New Age perspective into the limelight". [04]

Much of the popularity of self-help style New Age topics can be laid squarely at the door of the self styled guru of the New Age... Oprah Winfrey, who's influence on the genre can hardly be understated.

    "Diana Baroni, editorial director at Grand Central's Wellness Central imprint, contends that Oprah has been the key to the genre's recent accomplishments. "With Oprah's recommendation of Eckhart Tolle," Baroni says, "consumers now seem to be seeking information on mind/body philosophies that merge with the self-help category... Grubbauer at DeVorss echoes Baroni's view on Oprah's influence on the genre. "The recent buzz surrounding the phenomenal success of The Secret and Tolle's A New Earth has led to... a more mainstream audience expressing interest in classic gems." [03]

Similarly, a recent (summer of 2013) Dr. Oz show which featured crystal sonic therapy, in which Dr. Mitch Gaynor demonstrated how this ancient form of healing can help "curb cravings, improve memory, sleep better and tame migraines". [05]


New Age Spirituality

Despite its popularity, the New Age concept is impossible to fit into a tidy package, simply because it is an umbrella term used to group wide and varied practices under one simple heading. It is a fusion of differing systems of beliefs with no central organization, no common set of beliefs, and no absolute authority. Because New Agers combine elements that appeal to them from a variety of sources, the path each one follows is both subjective and highly individualistic. Different New Age groups will give prominence to different aspects of belief... For example, some are more focused on alternative healing methods, others on the environment etc. However, the common thread that binds these groups to the movement as a whole, is that a New Age is dawning.

This secular, multi-cultural, multi-religious fusion, usually rejects traditional religious doctrine and dogma, but draws inspiration from Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, plus other ancient religious traditions such as native American spirituality. In fact, the vast majority of New Age beliefs and practices are modern (Read western) re-interpretations of ancient teachings and practices. This includes common New Age beliefs and practices such as elements of Astrology, Shamanism, Chakras, Complementary and Alternative medicine, Meditation, Energy Healing, Aromatherapy and Visualisation, the Gaia hypothesis, etc. 


Narcissistic Spiritual Entertainment or ... ?
The planet today is ridiculously out of balance... dedication to self being the hallmark of the current era.

We are obsessed with our appearance and define ourselves by how we look, what we wear, and what we own... rather than who we are. Since, owning or wearing recognized and, preferably, expensive name brands sends out a message of achievement, doing so bolsters our egos and sense of self worth. This has, obviously, led to unrestrained greed and consumerism... an unending pursuit of material goods, especially those with perceived status-symbolism appeal... . luxury cars, designer clothing, expensive jewelry (the “ultimate” golf shirt or iPhone cover anyone?). Or we have become totally wrapped up in what we call "self improvement"... personal development, personal enlightenment, personal achievement, etc. 

Which makes me wonder how much of the current absorption with the 'spiritual' is also part of the never ending quest to find something new and stimulating that, however temporarily, takes us on diverting 'highs' that lift us from the commonplace, the mundane, and the boring.

It certainly helps that New Age topics are considered very much the in thing. The more you can jabber on about Chakras, Aromatherapy, Energy Healing, Reflexology, Reiki, Visualization, the Gaia hypothesis, Tibetan singing bowls etc. the more knowledgeable, informed, and 'spiritual' you appear to be. And who, in this day and age, doesn't want to be those things? And, of course, there is always the added bonus of not only being able to gab about the latest in Yoga trends (seriously), but also the latest yoga attire. Apparently, we have forgotten that, historically, those that pursued 'wisdom' and 'enlightenment', shunned materialism and financial gain. They were ascetics who usually retired from the world. We have taken the spirituality of other cultures and turned their ideology and practices into something trendy. Although a Zen Buddhist Priest and I will see eye to eye on few spiritual matters, this statement made by Kobutsu Malone hits the nail on the head...

    There is no escape in the New Age, it is a mere product of the culture of materialism, a fantasy woven to cater to our neurotic obsession with ourselves and our personal angst. New Age is for those who have money, idle time and nothing better to do. Check it out -- How many poor people struggling to put food on their tables, living lives far more uncomfortable that our own are in the New Age stores seeking answers to their problems? [06]

In our typically Western way, we are rushing in where angels fear to tread. With little regard to the deeper issues behind them, terms and practices that were previously both obscure and esoteric now roll off people's tongues, and find a prominent place in people's daily routines. For example, ads and online courses for awakening one's kundalini abound, but there seems to be little, if any, awareness of the extreme danger posed by doing so. [Details]


Common Themes

Gnosticism and Occultism:
Although New Age beliefs stem from a wide range of different religions and schools of thought, there are some common themes which remain the same. The most central and commonly shared beliefs are various combinations of Gnosticism and Occultism.

    Gnosticism: Although you will find as many definitions of Gnosticism as there are dictionaries, in a religious context a gnostic spiritual path is one which seeks to attain divine knowledge, while a quest for gnosis can be seen as a quest for enlightenment. To be 'Gnostic' is understood as being reliant, not on knowledge in a general sense, but as being specially receptive to mystical, or esoteric experiences of direct participation with the divine. In fact 'salvation' is this knowledge of the divine, commonly associated with a process of inward 'knowing' or self-exploration.

    (In Scripture salvation is simple.. you are no longer under a death sentence, but get to live for eternity, not in some vague and nebulous place out there, but right here on earth. This, of course, only after God has purged this world of human evil doers and opposing spiritual forces. Since it is unlikely that much will be left of this earth after this, He will completely rebuild it (what the Bible calls a "New Earth") an return it to it's original pristine condition.

See Salvation The Message of The Bible (All too many people picking out a random phrase or two, think 'love' was Jesus' core message. Unfortunately, they are terribly wrong... the kingdom of God, a phrase used over 50 times in the four Gospels alone, was at the heart of Jesus' ministry) and  What and Where is Heaven?)

    Occultism is the study of occult or hidden wisdom. To the occultist it is the study of "Truth", a deeper truth that exists beneath the surface: It can involve such subjects as magic (magick), alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism and numerology. Forms of the occult can include mediums, channelers, clairvoyants, psychics, spiritists, diviners, mystics, gurus, shamans, psychical researchers, Yogis, psychic and holistic healers, astral travel, astrology, mysticism, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, contact with the dead, UFOs, and thousands of other practices which almost defy cataloging. [For Information on Most of These Topics See Section The Occult]


A Central Concept... Inner Harmony and Divinity

Perhaps the most common factor that runs through most New Age beliefs is that human beings, the Earth, and all that grows and lives on it... in fact, the universe itself, are all part of one primordial energy. Collectively, all these components make up a unique entity called "god". Therefore, everyone and everything in the universe can be identified with the Divine ... "god" is immanent... present in every person and everything

In other words, you are God or, at least, a part of god.

Although every individual is part of the divine, the higher a person's level of consciousness, and the more inner harmony they can achieve... the closer they are to enlightenment or full realization of their own divinity. (Note: This concept of ultimate liberation achieved through the efforts of the individual alone, without the benefit of grace, or an external saviour, has largely been borrowed from Buddhism and Hinduism). 

However, man's problem as a whole, is that he is usually unenlightened ie. he is either unaware of this great fact, or has not experienced it. Therefore, what man needs, perhaps more than anything else, is to become conscious of his "inner divinity."

This fact alone makes the entire New Age belief system extremely narcissistic and self centered. Everything revolves around me, me, and more me. What I can achieve, what I can gain, how can pad my ego under the pretense of getting in touch with inner divinity. and, most alarmingly it teaches that since we are all gods capable of self-redemption, we have no need the salvation Christ offered us.


Collective Consciousness

When humanity collectively accepts and experiences itself as being divine, we will not only save ourselves, we will save our world. It is little wonder then, that the basic goal of most New Agers is to enter the Age of Aquarius by raising their level of consciousness by whatever methods appeals to, and works for, them, which is why New Age beliefs are usually centered around three categories... mental and physical health, spiritual growth and ecology.

Since they believe that every person's spirit is a part of the cosmic spirit, and a component of what makes up "god", most New Agers stress that intuition, and feelings, must play a primary role in our decision making.

    All those who espouse New Age principles stress the importance of personal experience. The fact that something is meaningful and good for one person does not necessarily mean that it is right for another. Personal experience is a reliable point of reference. We have to experiment and find out what is good for us, "what works." Intuition and emotion take precedence over rationality. In the eyes of adherents, the major moral and religious institutions, associated with rationality and dogmatism, have failed. As people gradually learn to achieve self-realization, they no longer need these institutions to find the truth. [07]

Because New Agers understand mind, body, and soul to be one, they believe that it is possible for people to cure emotional and physical ailments by getting in touch with their inner selves, thus achieving inner harmony.. this often done through meditation, yoga etc. Vegetarianism and natural organic foods are also often touted as aids to this process.


New Thought

One can be certain that positive thinking (in terms of optimism) or a positive attitude are key factors in effective stress management which, in turn is associated with many health benefits, this is not exactly what is touted by New Age proponents.

Instead, because New Age spirituality seeks the attainment of the highest individual human potential it is, more often than not, strongly influenced by New Thought, thought to be the basis of most of the formulas for happy and successful living. Reduced to it's essentials, it very simply teaches that your thoughts play a crucial role in the kind of life you experience. In other words, since nothing exists outside of the mind, problems can be virtually eliminated by simply viewing and handling them from a different perspective. The human mind has a unique ability to transform negative situations into positive ones, therefore everyone can, without outside assistance, find happiness, and prosperity.

Rather than teaching people to try and focus on the positive, practitioners endeavor to take control of the events in their lives through the power of positive thinking, or by visualization, which entails using mental concentration and directed imagery to achieve particular goals, be they physical, psychological, spiritual, or a combination thereof.

And this is often introduced in very subtle ways...

    A Southern California Ph.D., director of a successful hypnosis center, is also employed by two of California's largest publicly held companies to teach 'success and positive thinking' to their employees. She never mentions the words 'metaphysics' or 'New Age', but the ideas are nothing else. And we all know the ideas work. Because the individuals will experience positive changes in their lives, they will be open to additional New Age concepts as they surface.

    "Once she helps them, they comeback and also tell others. 'Do they go on to become involved in metaphysics?' I asked hopefully. 'Of course they do,' she replied, smiling. [08]


Ecology

Because everything is part of God, New Agers usually show a great respect for the environment and are usually interested in ecological issues of all kinds. In fact, some believe that the Earth is a living organism called Gaia... a goddess with maternal (thus feminine) attributes. (In Greek mythology, Gaia was the primal Greek Mother Goddess; creator and giver of birth to the Earth and all the Universe).

The site Spiritual Ecology is self described as an "exploration of the spiritual dimension of our present ecological crisis". Their About Spiritual Ecology page opens with a the words of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, a British born Sufi mystic and lineage successor in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order...

    "If we are to restore the balance in our world, we need to go beneath the surface to heal the split between spirit and matter and help to bring the sacred back into life.” [09]

And go on to say

    "Some in the field note that our patriarchal world-view, and a monotheistic religious orientation towards a transcendent divinity, is largely responsible for destructive attitudes about the earth, body, and the sacred nature of creation" [10]

They go on to quote Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh who, in Beyond Environment: Falling Back in Love with Mother Earth "speaks of the importance of mindfulness in taking care of our Mother Earth, and how the highest form of prayer is real communion with the Earth". [11]

Note: While I have absolutely no idea how a "patriarchal world-view" has anything to do with destruction of the earth, it is unfortunately true that environmental issues receive very little attention in Christian circles. On the contrary their belief of a transcendent God who created this world should cause Christians to realize that they have a sacred responsibility to the earth and the creatures within it. [See Christian Environmentalism by Dr. Ray Bohlin]


Spiritual 'Helps'
Additionally, in their quest for inner harmony, many New Agers use a large array of 'spiritual helps' to contact with the source of divine energy. These can take the form of Tibetan bells and bowls, Runes, Peace Poles, Talismans, Amulets, Tarot Cards, Pyramids, Incense, Pendants, Charms, Statues, Crystal Balls, Healing Crystals, Dream Catchers etc. many of which are marketed as Native American Sacred Objects.

    (Note that various crystals are supposed to be able to do pretty much everything except cook your dinner. It is claimed that they can stimulate the sex drive, stimulate the third-eye, switch off psychic attack, and connect with the wisdom of your Higher Self).

Along the same lines, the common feature of the relatively new term "New Age music" is its aim to promote relaxation and inner harmony. This type of music, which is often used as an aid to meditation, is "... applied to the works of various composers and musicians who strive to create soothing audio environments rather than follow song structures". [02].


An Active Niche Market

It is simplicity itself to obtain very detailed knowledge about any of these subjects. A "Spiritual Supermarket" on the internet carries a wide array of literature, New Age music, crafts, magazines etc. A plethora of occult New Age books cover every topic imaginable... from mind/body philosophies, to instructions on how to communicate with both your guardian angels and spirit guides or improve the energy in your home with Feng Shui, based on the ancient oracle of I Ching. There are literally hundreds of publications including some very popular ones like The New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega

Services in alternative medicine and various other New Age therapies are available almost everywhere you look. They range from acupressure, astrological readings, aromatherapy, drumming workshops, herbology, hypnotherapy massages, meditation and/or yoga classes, nutrition counseling, psychic channeling, palmistry, past life regression, reflexology, iridology, kinesiology, magnotherapy, shamanism, Tai Chi classes, Tarot and Rune reading, and color therapy also called chromotherapy. (According to Ayurvedic medicine, certain colors are associated with the seven main chakras, or spiritual centers, in our bodies located along the spine).

Also easy to find is an assortment of New Age symbolism including rainbows, rays of light, the yin-yang, swastikas, unicorns, angelic figures, etc. etc. etc.

Very popular shows like Dr Oz also often endorse New Age alternative medicine and relaxation techniques. As previously mentioned, a recent one  featured crystal sonic therapy, in which Dr. Mitch Gaynor demonstrated how this ancient form of healing can help "curb cravings, improve memory, sleep better and tame migraines" [05]. While I am sure that listening to different sound frequencies can, and does, have an effect on the brain, my concern is that these are Tibetan singing bowls are often touted as "Chakra meditation", accompaniments to deep meditation or yoga etc.  The sound of these bowls may not, in themselves, be harmful, but one has to remember that they were originally used in religious ceremonies in Tibet, China, Japan and Vietnam. The pre-Buddhism shamans in Tibet used them to invoke benevolent spirits for healing, plentiful harvests, and to disperse negative energies.


Varied, Mutated, and Disguised Forms

The Watchman Fellowship briefly outlines of the various expressions of the movement, rightly saying that it is important for Christians to recognize even the most disguised forms of the New Age Movement, which often appears "... in widely divergent and various mutated forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. It appears in organized religious forms such as Christian Science, Unity and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, i.e., Transcendental Meditation, some alternative holistic health practices,  and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools. [11].

Some beliefs and practices associated with the New Age are:

    astrology, auras, black and white magic, bioenergy, chakras, chi energy, Christ-consciousness, Christian Science, Church Universal & Triumphant, crystals, Eastern mysticism, ESP, Gaia, gnosticism, higher consciousness, human potential movement, Kaballah, Magick (this spelling was chosen by British occultist Aleister Crowley to differentiate the occult from stage magic), Mind Science, Native American spirituality, neo-paganism, parapsychology, prana, psi, reflexology, reiki, reincarnation, Religious Science, shamanism, Silva Mind Control, spiritism, tarot cards, Theosophy, therapeutic touch, trance-channeling, Transcendental Meditation, transpersonal psychology, Unity School of Christianity, Witchcraft, yin-yang, Yoga, and Zen. [00]

    [For More Information On Some Of These Topics... See Sections on The Occult and Alternative Medicine]      

However, by branching out from crystals and tarot cards, much of the New Age is now appealing to a far more mainstream consumer...


Hybridization & Expansion
A 9/22/2008 article in Publishers Weekly, called New Age Pragmatism.. Crystals And Tarots Give Way To More Practical And Mainstream Subject Matter, focuses on how the "New Age is continuing to expand into other categories"

    "Today the genre gratifies a more mainstream consumer. Fading is the era of crystals and tarots. Nowadays, readers seek science-based titles that will help them become healthier and more spiritually aware. As New Age is continuing to expand into other categories, many titles that were once the provinces of health, psychology, self-help and spirituality (to name a few) have now assumed the New Age mantle".

According to the article, Llewellyn publisher Bill Krause says...

    "The public is looking at a wide range of spiritual practices to find solace," he says. "Things that were once looked upon as niche or fringe are now looked upon as interesting solutions worthy of exploration."

    Traditionally, the New Age category has catered to aficionados of the esoteric and the occult. Today the genre gratifies a more mainstream consumer. Fading is the era of crystals and tarots. Nowadays, readers seek science-based titles that will help them become healthier and more spiritually aware. As New Age is continuing to expand into other categories, many titles that were once the provinces of health, psychology, self-help and spirituality (to name a few) have now assumed the New Age mantle. [03]"

One side of the coin may actually be interesting. While, for example, there are now studies or "scientific analysis" on topics such as how "evoking love can counteract the effects of fear and stress", "the science that supports intuitive thought" and books "that explores the curative benefits of sound", the other side is a road strewn with pitfalls, since "the amalgam of the New Age genre with mind/body/self-help" is even more popular than the scientific analysis category.

Coming books that exemplify this New Age fusion provide various links between a wide variety of topics, such as yoga, astrology, diet, physical health, positive karma etc. etc.. You can take an Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness, Use writing as a Sacred Path, Reclaim Virtue or take part in Enlightened Activism.

However not all New Age titles espouse new principles. There is...

    "an extraordinary market for well-conceived, well-packaged reissue books — including titles that have existed for years in multiple editions." These books include the hundred-year-old The Kybalion... #1 in the occultism category on Amazon Kindle, "new editions of Napoleon Hill's first book, The Law of Success, and a new edition of The Hermetica, a collection of Greek-Egyptian magical writings".  [03]

    For more information on The Hermetica, see Footnote I. Also see Napolean Hill

See The Christian and Yoga
For many in the West, yoga is simply a system of physical exercise, a means of strengthening the body, improving flexibility, and even healing or preventing a variety of bodily ailments. But if we inquire into the history and philosophy of yoga we discover that, much more than a system of physical exercise for health, Yoga is an ancient path to spiritual growth.

And Two articles on Astrology... Astrology and The Christian And An Overview of Astrology


Roots of The New Age:
So how did all these beliefs and practices become so widespread? While there is no doubt that there were a number of factors that contributed towards the increasing popularity of New Age beliefs, the church has to shoulder it's burden of responsibility. It had become, and to a very large extent continues to be, a hierarchal organization largely focused on self preservation and feathering it's own nest. In fact, somewhere along the way, with and more fiction than fact in it's teachings (pie in the sky teachings about heaven, Calvinist predestination, Gory unbiblical versions of "hell" etc.), the church had (and has) almost completely lost the essentials (and simplicity) of the Gospel, and were (are) thus unable to provide people with the answers they were (are) looking for.

See What and Where is Heaven?, Calvinism, and The Message of the Bible

With no answers from the church, and little or no peace in the world, it is little wonder then that the vacuum was quickly filled with an influx of alternative ideas about the human spirit and the cosmos. The 'holy books' of eastern cultures were discovered, translated, published and became widely available. Highly educated people like Emerson "began to read Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, and examine their own religious assumptions against these scriptures". [12] As far as they were concerned a loving God would not let so many millions of people go astray, so there had to be truth in their scriptures as well. 

Besides which, while the basic reasons for the popularity of New Age teaching is that it professes to answer people's desires for meaning and fulfillment, extend spiritual experiences and guidance, put forward answers to Earth's difficult questions, and offers hope for peace among people (a utopian tomorrow), the acquisition of power and/or knowledge that is spiritual and supernatural is much of the lure. People seem to crave knowledge that is not ordinarily available to everyone.

[Also See What's The Appeal Of The New Age Movement]

It would take a book length article to trace all the various streams of thought that poured into the New Age river, but some of the figures who strongly influenced, or contributed to, many modern beliefs were

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772)
was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic, and theologian who, at the age of fifty-six, entered into a spiritual phase in which he experienced dreams and visions. This culminated in a 'spiritual awakening', after which he claimed he was appointed by the Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity. He maintained that the Lord had opened his eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons, and other spirits. For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote and published 18 theological works, of which the best known was Heaven and Hell (1758), and several unpublished theological works.

Franz Mesmer (1734–1815), from whose name we get the term 'mesmerism', developed a form of healing using magnets. He believed that there was a force known as "animal magnetism" that affected humans.

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802– 1866)
was a 19th century unschooled Maine clockmaker and inventor who believed that he had rediscovered the lost healing methods of Jesus. He was the earliest identifiable proponent of what came to be known as New Thought. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore... founders of the Unity School of Christianity were Quimby's students, while Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was likewise influenced by him.  Additionally Phineas Quimby's metaphysical teachings influenced E.W. Kenyon, and it was E.W. Kenyon's teachings that in turn influenced Kenneth Hagin, known as the father of the Word/Faith movement. The loosely organized movement that began with Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, stretched it's tentacles to an unbelievable extent.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 -1882)
a one-time Unitarian clergyman, was known as a Transcendentalist and considered a major forerunner to the New Thought Movement. He was described as a "pioneer New World diffuser of metaphysical and transcendental thought and Oriental philosophy". He was an enthusiastic supporter of Swedenborg and greatly taken with the Bhagavad Gita, which is said to have appealed to him with "compelling power". Emerson's writings fused the metaphysical thought of India, Greece, and modern transcendentalism. [13]

    Note: Transcendentalism was a literary and philosophical movement which asserted the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific, and is knowable through intuition. [More About Swedenborg and Emerson HERE]

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831 – 1891)
was cofounder of the Theosophical Society. The word 'theosophy' is derived from the Greek Theos (god) and Sophia (wisdom), can be translated as Divine Wisdom, or the recently popular term... Ageless Wisdom. The "Spiritual Hierarchy" or masters of Theosophy who "preserve and extend this ancient wisdom" [14] are, supposedly, enlightened spiritual beings who once lived on earth and are often seen to be 'headquartered" in Tibet

Theosophy holds that all religions are attempts by the "Spiritual Hierarchy", to help humanity evolve to greater perfection however, each religion has but a portion of the truth. They, therefore,  periodically go into the world (or send a messenger) to "help spread this teaching to all of humanity" [14]. These being are reported to have said that that, in the 19th century, after a hundred years of searching, they found Helena Blavatsky, who met the "master" in Hyde Park in London when she was 20. She managed to enter Tibet and was trained by said masters for a period of about two years (from 1868 to 1870). She claimed to have written Isis Unveiled and her three-volume magnum opus The Secret Doctrine under the direction of the Masters of Wisdom, who communicated telepathically with her from the Himalayas

    Note: "Theosophy itself sprang up during a surge of occult interest. During the 1800's, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Mormonism, Hermetic Orders such as the Golden Dawn, the blossoming of reincarnation teachings, and the writings of occultists such as Eliphas Levi and Aleister Crowley, had cut deep grooves into the spiritual fabric of society. Borrowing from these demonic sources, Helena Blavatsky and her organization became fertile ground for spiritual seekers and experimenters. Theosophy, boiling out of this cauldron of mysticism, not only spawned the New Age Movement, but a host of other mystical orders and schools of thought, including Nazism". [15]

Annie Besant (1847 – 1933)
was Helena Blavatsky's successor. As a member and later leader of the Theosophical Society, Besant helped to spread Theosophical beliefs around the world, notably in India. She believed her protégé and adopted son, Jiddu Krishnamurti, to be the incarnation of Buddha and the new Messiah.

Alice Bailey (1880 – 1949)
Approached, as a fifteen year old, by a mysterious stranger in a turban, Alice Bailey eventually co-operated with this entity who called himself Kuthumi, and told her that he had previously been in contact with Helen Blavatsky. Alice Bailey moved to the US and got involved with Theosophy (which she later parted ways from), then encountered Djwhal Khul, also called The Tibetan who was another non-human "master". Over the next 30 years Djwhal Khul dictated nineteen books to Bailey, and she wrote five of her own. Bailey started the Lucifer publishing company to publish her books, eventually changing the name of the company to Lucis Trust, which was the first step in their road to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the international community. Lucis Trust a powerful institution that enjoys "consultative status" with the United Nations, also provides worldwide financial support for the Arcane School, Triangles, World Goodwill, Lucis Publishing, Lucis Productions, Lucis Trust Libraries, the New Group of World Servers etc. Most of these organizations were formed so that Djwhal Khul could find a nucleus of people through whom he could work.

    Note: In her book Discipleship in the New Age written in the 1950's, Alice Bailey used the term New Age in reference to the transition from the Astrological Age of Pisces to Aquarius. [See Alice Bailey and The Lucis Trust]

Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970)
Hill, one of the early pioneers of "new Thought" was, reportedly, not seeking contact with spirit beings when he was suddenly confronted in his study by an unexpected and uninvited intruder who informed him that he had been "under the guidance of the Great School" for years and had been chosen by them to give the formula of success, the "Supreme Secret," to the world. Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, at the end of the Great Depression, is still popular after 60 years. Hill later co-authored Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude with Clement Stone. [See Roots of Evil]

The Indian Swamis (notably Vivekananda (1863 – 1902), an adherent of Vedanta), who first brought Hinduism to the West in the late 19th century, were also influential. Note that, according to the Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, DC... "Vedanta represents the philosophical portion of the ancient scriptures of India, the Vedas... The basic teaching concerns the ultimate identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. The goal of Vedanta is for the seeker to have the direct experience of his or her true nature, and it is held that each and every one of us is qualified to have that highest illumination, if we are willing to put forth sincere and intense effort. [16]

Jane Roberts and J.Z. Knight
Also influential were the claims of channelers Jane Roberts and J.Z. Knight (Judy Zebra Knight).

Jane Roberts would go into a trance, during which 'Seth' would assume control of her body and speak through her, while her husband wrote down the words she spoke. The results were known as the Seth Material and were published in eleven volumes from 1963 to 1984.

J.Z. Knight channeled Ramtha, who claimed to be 35,000-year-old warrior spirit who once conquered Atlantis, and who's message was "You are God, and therefore capable of creating any reality you desire, if not now, then in a later incarnation." In 1988 J. Z. Knight established Ramtha's School of Enlightenment (RSE), an American-based spiritual school near the rural town of Yelm, Washington. The school has been criticized for cult like tendences, but former students and  which has often been accused of cult like activities. [17]

Also See The SecretA Course In Miracles   and   Channeling
 

Other Stepping Stones

The New Age Journal
Widespread use of the term New Age, which began in the mid 1970s, was reflected in the title of a new monthly periodical, the New Age Journal, created in 1974 "to help each of us rethink the way we live". It was said to be remarkably ahead of its time publishing works by mythologist Joseph Campbell; spiritual teacher Ram Dass; integrative medicine proponent Andrew Weil, MD; women's health pioneer Christiane Northrup, MD; renowned author Deepak Chopra, MD; and life coach Cheryl Richardson long before their ideas became popular with the general public". [18] (Incidentally the New Age Journal was renamed Body + Soul in 2001, then sold in 2004 to Martha Stewart Living).

The Harmonic Convergence
The highly publicized Harmonic Convergence brought the New Age movement into the public eye. It was a worldwide esoteric-religious event, which took place on two consecutive days in August 1987. It was centered on a number of "sacred" places throughout the world from Stonehenge and Mount Shasta, to the Golden Gate Bridge and Crestone, Colorado, where individuals gathered to usher in a new era. Many of these people referred to themselves as "light beings" who claimed to have received divine guidance from the astral realms about the current state of Earth and the necessity of transformation. From that time on any number of small metaphysical book and gift stores increasingly defined themselves as "New Age bookstores".

Sun Signs Linda Goodman's best selling astrology books Sun Signs (1968) and Love Signs (1978) went a long way towards raising public awareness of the New Age subculture

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical (1967) with the opening song "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In", and its memorable line "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius".


General Beliefs
It has to be emphasized that, although the New Age Movement professes a broad-minded openness to all religions, its basic underlying philosophy is completely at odds with Christianity. Listed below is an short summary of some of the more common beliefs...

God, The very title "God" is a misnomer, since 'he' is usually considered to be an impersonal life force, consciousness or energy, present in all creation, including man. God does not actually "do" anything, He just is.

Because "God" is an abstract concept simply referring to a power or force within one's self, 'He' is often referred to as God-consciousness, Self-Realization, The I AM, Higher Self etc. Therefore, whether one sees 'god' as mother or father, god or goddess is a matter of personal preference. Eventually man will become part of this energy. [Also See Is The God of the Bible Really God?]

Jesus was not and is not the only Christ, nor is he God, but a man who evolved spiritually to the state of being "the Christ".. In other words, He was more in touch with his godhood than most humans are.  After illustrating the divine principle of "God within us all," Jesus ascended to a place of distinction to live among the Masters of the Spiritual Hierarchy. He is one of many ascended masters - a way-shower, whose function is to awaken humanity and illumine the path.

The Bible: Is just another holy book but, on the whole, cannot be trusted since it has been tampered with over the centuries, the victim of innumerable additions and deletions.

    I wonder how they know this when, as Apologetics Press says... "men who have literally spent their lives poring over ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, devoting their lives to meticulous, tedious analysis of the evidence, conversant with the original languages, without peer in their expertise and qualifications, have concluded that the Bible has been transmitted accurately". [See Academia’s Asinine Assault on the Bible]

    Besides which the very authorship of the Bible makes it impossible to account for upon ordinary principles. [See Authorship of the Bible] Both articles are in the section A Remarkable Book Called the Bible]

Some believe the apostles got Jesus' message wrong and/or deliberately added teachings and requirements not endorsed by God. (Again... I have to wonder how anyone could possibly know this, especially considering how reliable the Bible is an all areas).

Sin And Evil: Because there is no transcendent God who has set the standard, there is no absolute good or evil and no rules or absolute moral imperatives. This effectively does away with the Biblical concept of sin. Because sin does not exist, there is no need for repentance or forgiveness, and Jesus did not die for our sins. Man's problem is that he is lacking in enlightenment, and needs to become conscious of his "inner divinity." This directly contradicts Biblical teachings that men are sinners who need a savior and must be disciples of Christ in order to inherit eternal life. [Also See Sin and Evil].

Religion All religions and religious teachings lead to the same goal. All are equally of merit. There are many different paths to the goal of spiritual perfection. No one path is the only correct path. Again, this does not make logical sense. Virtually all religions contradict each other on major points. [See Religious Pluralism]

Man: The soul is part of the universe and never dies, but is reborn or reincarnated in different physical bodies in a succession of future lives. Some believe that after death the soul, or essence of the person comes back in another form to continue spiritual evolvement, and that good or bad "karma" earned in the present lifetime determines one's subsequent incarnation. Humans should seek to progress to higher states of consciousness and higher planes of existence. [See Section on Reincarnation]

The Higher Self: A person is, in essence, spiritual. [See Below]

Satan: There are different views on satan in the New Age world. Many believe him to be a mighty being of light who has made tremendous sacrifices for the good of mankind... specifically, to help us evolve and reach our full potential.

    In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky said "Lucifer was really the first Archangel who was transformed by the church into Lucifer or Satan because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma. [19]

    Alice Bailey, trailblazing apostle and leading writer of the New Age Movement, described him as a mighty being of light and the "Ruler of Humanity" [20]

    Benjamin Creme, a leading lecturer and proponent of the New Age literally equates him with God, and says we are all a part of the "divine" Lucifer. He says “Lucifer is seen by Christian groups as the devil. It is nothing of the kind! Lucifer is realy the name of the great angel Who ensouls the human kingdom. Every human soul is an individualized part of one great oversoul. The name of that great oversoul, which is divine, is Lucifer.” [21] and

      “Lucifer is the name of a great Angel, not an upstart in heaven who revolted against God and was put down into the nether regions as the Devil. That is a complete misinterpretation. Lucifer means light, and comes from the Latin lux, lucis, meaning light. It is the name of the Angel Who ensouls the human kingdom; every person, therefore, is a fragment of Lucifer.” [22]

    David Spangler: In his book Reflections on the Christ David Spangler, a new age philosopher and author tells his followers that, "Lucifer, like Christ, stands at the door... and knocks." Also "Lucifer comes to give to us the final gift of wholeness. If we accept it then he is free and we are free. This is the Luciferic initiation. It is one that many people now, and in the days ahead, will be facing, for it is an initiation in the New Age." [23]

    In Lucifer Rising - Part 2, Carl Teichrib writes

    "For a time the Theosophical Society published Lucifer magazine, a monthly periodical which proclaimed the inverted doctrine of Lucifer coming to redeem humanity. In the February, 1917 issue of Theosophy, the publication of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Los Angeles, an article reprinted from an early edition of Lucifer magazine gives a detailed account of Theosophical creation:

      "And, when God said: 'Let there be light,' Intelligence was made and light appeared. "Then, the Intelligence which God had breathed forth, like a planet detached from the Sun, took the form of a splendid Angel and the heavens saluted him with the name Lucifer.” [24]

A Saviour As said by the Jeremiah Project.. "Depending on which branch of the New Age movement you encounter, there may or may not be a great world leader who will emerge to lead us all to enlightenment". [25] Some New Agers await the advent of the Lord Maitreya, contending that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius, Jesus, and many others were "Christs" but one greater than all of them will soon come to usher in the New Age.

Note: In today's world the very concept of God is ambiguous. While the Christian knows as much about God as He Himself has chosen to reveal, opinions abound in the New Age, which begs the question... Who was the last New Ager who has 'met' God and is therefore qualified to tell the rest of us what He is like?

Regardless of that 'minor' omission, there are no end of 'god' descriptions. "God" can be an impersonal life force, consciousness or energy; immanent in all things (including man) and (just to keep us peasants thoroughly confused) can be referred to either as she or he, mother or father, god or goddess.

Oh wait a moment! I forgot. You choose both your god and path to him/her/it.

But to many New Agers you wont have very far to go, since they believe "the Divine" is within you...


The Higher or 'Divine' Self
Our preoccupation with self also has played right into the hands of those that would further their own cause. We are easily persuaded us that, with the right instruction, training and effort, we can realize our own divinity. 

New Age theology is predicated on a series of degrees, or levels, of spiritual evolution. The primary doctrine of the New Age is that a person is, in essence, spiritual. The 'Divine' or 'Higher' self is also called the 'god within', the 'indwelling Divine Presence', the 'Divine principle' etc. In other words.. man is a spiritual being and God, as an energy force, is inherently within all mankind. Man and God are one... all of life is connected and a part of the whole, however man has gradually become so absorbed in the material world that he has forgotten his very innate nature.. his divinity. He only has to re-discover it to become god and accomplish whatever his little heart desires.

In the words of Nick Arrizza, M.D. Energy Psychiatrist, Healer, Researcher, Speaker, Developer of the Powerful Mind Resonance Process™, and Author of the new e-book: Esteem for the Self: A Manual for Personal Transformation [All Emphasis Added]

    "By invoking an external God to whom we look for help we often lose sight of the fact that we have within us the very power that we seek in such an external force. Now of course I don't just expect you to believe this in the way that religions of the world expect you to believe the converse. Instead I hope to convey here a short but simple exercise that you can do at your leisure to find this very power within yourself. This power emerges from what I call the Divine Self. What is this Self? Well, it's You! Yes, You! [26]

And more about this 'Higher Self'... [Emphasis Added]

    "our Higher Self will communicate with us in various ways: through intuition, hunches, sudden unexpected life changes, etc. We may or may not choose to listen or act on those communications. But in essence, it is our physical self that is the "receiver" of these messages, just like a fax machine or a telephone. If one chooses to receive and follow that guidance, the potential is that one would become the physical manifestation of his or her Divine Self. If not, then the opposite is true to the varying degree at which one chooses to accept and follow the divine guidance brought through from the Higher Self. And because our Divine or Higher Self is an infinite being, our own potential is also infinite. [27]

Note: The fact that New Agers have little or no time for Christianity, does not prevent them from borrowing words, phrases and concepts from the Bible, which could, to the uninitiated or gullible, make some of them appear to be "Christian". Note the words underlined in some of the quotes below.

Ernest Holmes, founder of the worldwide Religious Science Movement wrote The Science of Mind, sometimes called as one of the greatest New Thought books ever written. In it he tells us that Divinity is hidden in the "Innermost Nature Of Man Himself"

    There is an interesting myth in regard to the creating of man which may serve to point out this fact. It is said that when the gods decided to make man, and make him a Divine Being, they held a long discussion as to where would be the best place to hide his Divinity... After a long discussion it was finally agreed that the best place to hide man's Divinity would be in the innermost nature of man himself--this being the last place he would look to find it!...Of course, this is a fable, but how clearly it sets forth the reality of the case! The word is really in our own mouths, and every time we say "I am" we are repeating it; for "I am is the secret of nature and the emblem of Eternity. [28]

The following quotes are from an article entitled Voices of the New Age: Thoughts on God by Carl Teichrib... a Canadian based researcher on the occult and globalization. [29]

    "Take now your stand at My side, and let us together prove that Man is God, that there is nothing which is other than God."  - channeled through Benjamin Crème, Messages from Maitreya the Christ (Tara Press, 1980), p. 59.

    "In the name of the beloved mighty victorious Presence of God, I AM in me, Holy Christ Selves of all mankind, all great powers and legions of light…" - Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Great White Brotherhood  (Summit University Press, 1987), p. 205.

    "To be or not to be a Christ; that is the decision each soul on this planet must make."  - John Davis and Naomi Rice, Messiah and the Second Coming (Coptic Press, 1982), p. 36.

    "Man is not to be compelled; he is to be free. He is not a slave, but a God in the making…" - Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity (The Theosophical Publishing House, 1901/1982), p. 220.

    "... in order to become a divine, fully conscious god, - aye, even the highest - the Spiritual primeval INTELLIGENCES must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world…" - Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume 1 (Theosophical University Press, 1988), p. 106.

    "The universal God is one, yet he is more than one; all things are God; all things are one." - The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ (De Vorss, 1907/1982), ch. 28:4.

See More about the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ in the third section of this article.


We Are All Christs
In a slight variation of vocabulary, many New Agers today maintain that we are Christ, have a Christ nature, a Christ within, or a Christ essence, to demonstrate that we are divine. According to Emerson, and many countless others since then, we are all Christs whose limitations are only the result of our failures to have achieved proper perception.  Again, here is some of what is being taught, and believed.

    In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. We may call it presence, awareness, the unconditioned consciousness. In the ancient teachings, it is the Christ within, or your Buddha nature." [Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speak. Pg. 13. Emphasis added] [More About Tolle]

    "Christ is your God-essence or the Self, as it is sometimes called in the East. The only difference between Christ and presence is that Christ refers to your indwelling divinity regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not, whereas presence means your awakened divinity or God-essence." [Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Pg. 104]

    "As we flew home on Cathay Pacific Airlines I began to think to myself, "We are all like the clay Buddha covered with a shell of hardness created out of fear, and yet underneath each of us is a 'golden Buddha,' a 'golden Christ' or a 'golden essence,' which is our real self." [Jack Canfield's story "The Golden Buddha," Chicken Soup for the Soul 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit. P. 71. [More About Chicken Soup]

    ...if I sent Jesus, then I would send Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, and all of my great revolutionaries. Then what would happen? Is Jesus really my son, any more than the others - or for that matter, any more than every guy and gal is my son and daughter? You are all my children. And "Christ" means Universal Consciousness. You are all the Christ for whom you seek." channeled through Allen Michael, GOD - Unlimited Ultimate Mind Speaks (Starmast Publications, 1982), p. 15. [29]

More about Eckhart Tolle.  Also read Oprah's New Earth for a critique of Tolle's basic premises that are, in one form or the other, the mainstay of the New Age movement. It is a book based on obscure, indefinable and totally ridiculous premises that do not have a shred of evidence to support them. Yet, people, in their endless search for 'spirituality', very wisely nod their heads over them without, I am sure, a clue as to what it all means.

Millions of people now believe that we are all 'gods' or christs', and have to get in touch with our own divinity, which leads yet again to a question I have asked before... What makes people think they are unrealized gods. As far as I can see they are subject to the same foibles and failures as the rest of us, the same needs and desires, even the same diseases. I am reasonably sure they bleed the same colour, and can be killed by the same well aimed bullet that would fell the rest of us mere mortals. In other words.. what exactly is it that makes them gods? Can they fly, read thoughts, travel to distant planets, create something out of nothing, lay an egg?

So what is all this about 'being god'? What exactly constitutes a 'god'?

It seems that, provided it is wrapped up in unintelligible jargon/fancy phrases, any amount of horse manure will be swallowed.

Scripture tells us that there is only one God..

    Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. [Isaiah 43:10]

    Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God. [Isaiah 44:6]

And chillingly

    "therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because thou hast set thy heart as the heart of God, therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit; and thou shalt die the death of them that are slain, in the heart of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou art man, and not God, in the hand of him that woundeth thee. Thou shalt die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah. [Ezekiel 28:6-10]

[Also See The Deification Of Man]


The Warning About False Christs
Fascinatingly, the Bible warned centuries ago that this day would come, which is just one more bit of evidence of the Divine inspiration of the Bible.

Jesus' warning is very clear in Scripture for those that have ears to hear... He said false Christs would arise, who would deceive many.

    "Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead many. [Mark 13:6 NASB]

    And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. [Matthew 24:4-5 NASB]

Some Scripture versions say "I am Christ". However the word "Christ" or "He" was not in all the original texts, but added to some, possibly for clarification. While the additions do not change the meaning of the sentence, without them, the text would read "Many shall come in My name saying I AM", which is exactly what thousands in the New Age Movement are claiming.... I AM (god).

In the words of Warren Smith

    Had Oprah read and believed Matthew 24:4-5 instead of Eric Butterworth, she would have seen Butterworth's New Age teaching that we are all "Christ" to be part of the very deception the real Jesus warned would precede His coming and the coming of His Kingdom.

    "And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:4-5)

    But if we are all "Christ" as Eric Butterworth, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle and the New Age teach, then what is Jesus warning about in the Bible when he says:

    "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." (Matthew 24:23-26)

    If we are all "Christ" then how can there even be false Christs? It makes no sense for Jesus to warn of false Christs if everyone is "Christ." It is very clear that Jesus is not telling everyone to "awake" and "shift" to the "Christ within," but to beware of those who tell you to do that – to beware of Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson and anyone else who teaches that we are all "Christ." [30]

[More About Oprah, Eckhart Tolle and A New Earth on THIS Page]


Source of The Teachings
It is more than interesting to note that the rather wide spread belief in the "divinity of man" has it's origins in one or two sources... the sub continent of India (i.e. Hinduism/Buddhism) and/or channeled works (straight from the horses mouth).

While a mere drop in the ocean, several instances of the belief in the divinity of man, prevalent in, and taught by, Hinduism are in Footnote II.

An example of the "I AM" teaching given man by the "Spiritual Hierarchy" is gleaned from the Saint Germain foundation. According to their site... In 1930 Guy W. Ballard, hiking in northern California, met the Ascended Master Saint Germain on the side of Mount Shasta. This introduction was followed by more than 3000 Discourses by the Ascended Masters. Mr. Ballard's experiences are recorded in the book,  Unveiled Mysteries, written under the pen name of Godfre Ray King. First published in 1934, the books are said to have never been out of print. What follows are a few excerpts from a page on their site...

    "The purpose of this Book is to reveal to the individual the whereabouts of his own Divine Self - God, the 'Mighty I AM Presence,’ that all who desire may return to their Source, receive their Eternal Inheritance; and feel once again their Divine Self."

    The "I AM" Discourses (Volume Three) is a series of thirty-three Discourses, dictated over a Visible Light and Sound Ray in the Ballard's home by the Ascended Master Saint Germain. The sound of His Voice was physically audible to everyone in the room. At times, His Visible, Tangible Presence also stood within the room.

    This Work was followed by more than 3000 Discourses by the Ascended Masters. Out of this dynamic and practical instruction the "I AM" Activity was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Ballard, under the daily direction of Saint Germain. [31]

Incidentally the Count of St. Germain is supposed to be Master of the Seventh Ray.. The Lord of Ceremonial Order or Magic and, interestingly, a lay brother of the Benedictine order. [See The Seven Rays of Energy.. the Spiritual Hierarchy

In other words the source of much of New Age belief is the same..

The myriad of so called gods and goddesses worshipped in India and some other countries are either the same very powerful beings who show up on people's doorsteps, masquerading as friendly 'Ascended Masters', or are in the same camp. As said by Thomas Horn

    "Much of what is currently taught under the guise of New Age "enlightenment", is nothing less than Old Age doctrines of nefarious invisible hosts".... Since the Bible clearly defines idolatry as the worship of demons,

    What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. [1 Corinthians 10:19-21 NASB]

    The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; [Revelation 9:20 NASB]

    .... and since demons are eternal personalities which desire the worship of men, it is fair to conclude the characterization of such deities as "Zeus," "Amun-Ra," "Demeter," and "Isis," were simply the classical names attributed to specific fallen spirits. In other words, Apollo was a real personality; Osiris was a genuine underworld fiend; Hecate actually lived, and still does! [Read Article The New Age & Devil Worship]

Also See Idol Worship... The Spirits Behind The Idols.

Similarly, virtually ALL the spiritual apostasy that has reared its head in the church in recent years (Word of faith, Contemplative Prayer, Slain in the Spirit, etc. etc. etc.) comes from the same demonic sources. In fact, we have lost all rights to call ourselves Christians by virtue of our Counterfeit Revivals and our wholesale adoption of doctrines and practices DIRECTLY derived from the occult...Tongues, The Word of Faith Movement, Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer, Slain In The Spirit and Santa Claus. [See Section The Modern Church's Literal Doctrines and Practices of Demons]

All of which serves to uphold the fact that the man of sin isn't far behind. See The Antichrist


An Ancient Con
Repackaged with glossy new covers and modern terminology the teachings remain the same. Teachings which have reverberated up and down the corridors of time for centuries, always with the same bottom line ... You are God. It is interesting that one or another variant of that ancient theme is not only a prominent feature of the New Age movement, but a common thread among many religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, and phony Christian teaching. Either they teach that you will be god, will be as god, can get in touch with the divine, become one with the divine, recognize the divine within yourself, or some other slight variation.

These teachings considered "spiritual" in today's day and age are nothing but the ancient con... "ye shall be as gods", which Satan has been feeding man ever since he showed up with a snow job in the garden. Nothing has changed in the last 6000 years... Satan still spouts the same line, and man still falls for it... hook, line, and sinker.

The Scriptures, however, are clear that there are no gods beside God the Father...

    "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. [Isaiah 43:10 NASB]

    "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; [Isaiah 46:9-10 NASB]

.... And over and over describe God's characteristics that only a living being can possess. For example...

    He Loves:
    "The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. [Deuteronomy 7:7-8 NASB]

    "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. [John 3:16 NASB]

    'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. [Revelation 3:19 NASB]

    He Leads:
    "I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone." [Isaiah 42:16 NASB]

     He Communicates:
    Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. [Exodus 3:13-15 NASB]

    He Has A Will:
    (which will be accomplished on earth) 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. [Matthew 6:10 NASB]
    The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. [1 John 2:17 NASB]

    He Knows:
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. [Psalms 139:2-6 NASB]

    Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness." [2 Timothy 2:19 NASB]

    "But I know your sitting down And your going out and your coming in And your raging against Me. "Because of your raging against Me And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back by the way which you came. [Isaiah 37:28-29 NASB]

Not only is He is a living being, distinct from His creation, but is actively involved with it.

    For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [Colossians 1:16-17 NASB]

Finally,

    He Controls The Destiny of The World:
    There are no end of examples of God telling people what His future purpose and intentions are, and what He plans to bring about [foreordination]. The most outstanding example being, of course, the birth, life and death of Jesus. Acts 2:23 tells us that Jesus was "delivered up by the determinate counsel [purpose] and foreknowledge of God...".

    In Isaiah 46:9-10, distinguishing Himself from false and dead idols, God tells us that, unlike them, He will not fail to carry out all His plan.

    "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; [Isaiah 46:9-10 NASB]

 001orange CONTINUE ON TO PART II The Coming Age of Aquarius and The Reappearance of "The Christ", The "Shift" or Planetary Pentecost, Implementing 'The Plan', As It Was In The Days of Noah, The Warning About False Christs, A "Messiah" or The Antichrist? The Global Alliance... Much More than A Few Kooks

 

Bible1-Bar

 

Footnote I... Hermetica
The forty-two sacred books of wisdom allegedly written by Hermes Trismegistus or "thrice great Hermes." The books combine the mythological wisdom and attributes attributed to the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes.

The dating of the books is somewhere between the third century BC and the first century AD. Their influence has been tremendous on the development of Western occultism and magic.

Most of the Hermetic books along with others were lost during the burning of the royal libraries in Alexandria. The surviving books were secretly buried in the desert where they are presently located. A few initiates of the mystery schools, ancient secret cults, supposedly know their location.

What remains of the surviving Hermetic lore has been passed down through generation and published in many languages. Most important of all are three works, the third of which is known as The Emerald Tablet, or the Emerald Table. [http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/h/hermetica.html] [PLACE IN TEXT]

 

Footnote II ... Human "Divinity" in Hinduism:
From Sri Chinmoy, Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher who spent twenty years in spiritual practice at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in South India before emigrating to the U.S. in 1964... [Emphasis Added]

    "...man has to learn that he has only one thing to do, and that is to discover and uncover. He has to discover the Divinity within, and uncover the veil of ignorance without. Likewise, man has only one thing to be: God. He has to be God the Infinite, God the Eternal and God the Immortal". [14]

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought TM to the West in 1959 said.. [Emphasis Added]

Maharishi has taught others to "be still and know that you are God and when you know that you are God you will begin to live Godhood..."

As it has been observed, "According to Maharishi, man has forgotten his inner divinity through the loss of the simple technique of experiencing it. The lost technique is TM" [TM Wants You, A Christian Response to Transcendental Meditation. Pgs. 150-151. As quoted in Transcendental Meditation by Marty Butz. http://www.watchman.org/profile/tmpro.htm ].

And from the introduction to the book Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot by N.S. Karandikar

    "Man is an aspect of god Himself in essence. Utilizing the faculty of discrimination man has to discover and become aware of his inner divinity; he has to manifest it in his thought into a superman and into the image of god himself". [Excerpt from N.S. Karandikar's Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot. Paperback (Edition: 2007) Sterling Publishershttp://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/IDK654/]

Sathya Sai Baba says in Man's Divine Destiny that it is to remind man of the "grievous error" of failing to realize his own true nature, that the 18th chapter of the Gita (verse 61) declares.. [Emphasis Added]

"Easwarah-sarvabhoothaanam hriddeseh Arjuna thishtathi" (The Lord resides, oh Arjuna, in the heart region of all beings) and went on to adjure in the 62nd sloka: "Thamevasaranam gachcha sarvabhaavena Bhaarata" (Take refuge in Him alone with all thy heart, oh Bhaarata). This means that if the Lord dwells in the heart of all beings, He must be residing in Arjuna's heart also! Hence the injunction, "Thameva saranam gachcha" means: "Seek refuge in yourself". [Man's Divine Destiny. http://yogaagoy.org/?page_id=271 ].

 

EndNotes.
All URLs were accessed in July 2013.

[00] Craig Branch. The New Age Movement. http://www.watchman.org/profiles/new-age-movement/

[01] Kerry D. McRoberts. As quoted in Who Bewitched Carlos Santana by Thomas Horn.
http://www.worthynews.com/2862-who-bewitched-carlos-santana

[02] New Age or Old Occult? Bible Discernment Ministries. http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm

[03] Juan Martinez. New Age Pragmatism. Publishers Weekly, 9/22/2008.
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20080922/10447-new-age-pragmatism.html

[04] Douglas Groothuis, “New Age Spiritualities”
http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2006/07/new-age-spiritualities-published-in.html

[05] Sonic Therapy: The Future of Medicine? Pt 1. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/sonic-therapy-future-medicine-pt-1

[06] The New Age : Finding One’s Bearings. Direction de l’enseignement catholique, MEQ 1994
http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca/dgfj/dp/programme_de_formation/primaire/pdf/docsupport/sar/newage.pdf

[07] Excerpt from "Infiltrating the New Age Into Society" by Dick Sutphen (Summer 1986 issue of "What Is." As Quoted in The "New Age" Religion: In General by Jim Baumgaertel

[08] Spiritual Ecology. THE CRy of the EARTH. About Spiritual Ecology. http://www.spiritualecology.org/about-spiritual-ecology. © 2013 The Golden Sufi Center, a California nonprofit corporation.

[09] ibid.

[10] ibid.

[11] List compiled from The New Age Movement by Craig Branch. http://www.watchman.org/profile/nwagmpro.htm

[12] What is Transcendentalism?. http://www.transcendentalists.com/what.htm

[13] Ralph Waldo Emerson. http://ralphwaldoemerson.wwwhubs.com/

[14] Blavatsky Net - Theosophy. http://blavatsky.net/

[15] Lucifer Rising by Carl Teichrib. http://ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFArchives/new-age/NA2W1100.pdf

[16] Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, DC. What is Vedanta? http://vedantadc.org/what-is-vedanta

[17] Disillusioned former students target Ramtha. Critics claim they were 'brainwashed'
http://www.rickross.com/reference/ramtha/ramtha26.html

[18] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age_Journal#cite_note-rename-8

[18b] Narcissism and Spiritual Materialism: The New Age Legacy by Kobutsu Malone
http://www.engaged-zen.org/articles/Kobutsu-New_Age_Legacy.html

[19] Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.The Secret Doctrine Paperback. Publisher: Tarcher; abridged edition annotated edition edition (July 23, 2009) Pg. 71

[20] Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, 1957, Lucis Publishing Company, Pg. 107. As quoted in False Dawn - Chapter 11: Alice A. Bailey and the Lucis Trust By Lee Penn. http://www.mgr.org/FalseDawn-CH11.html

[21] Benjamin Creme. Share International Foundation. The Ageless Wisdom Teachings. An Introduction to humanity's spiritual legacy. http://www.share-international.org/books/PDFs/BCreme_TheAgelessWisdomTeaching_May07.pdf

[22] Ageless Wisdom teachings and spirituality. Basic tenets FAQ. http://www.share-international.org/archives/agelesswisdom/faq_basic.htm

[23] David Spangler. Reflections on the Christ, p. 45 As quoted in Lucifer Rising - Part 2:  by Carl Teichrib.
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/carl-teichrib/lucifer2.htm

[24] ibid.

[25] Seven Major Teachings of the New Age by The Jeremiah Project. http://www.jeremiahproject.com/prophecy/newage01.html

[26] Nick Arrizza, M.D. A Short Journey to Your Divine Self. http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Short-Journey-to-Your-Divine-Self&id=27803

[27] Candice Creelman. Partnering With Your Divine Self.. What is the Higher Self?
http://healing.about.com/od/higherself/a/whohigherself.htm

[28] The Science of Mind, by Ernest Shurtleff Holmes [1926], at sacred-texts.com. http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/som/som10.htm. Also on Page 71 of the Complete and Unabridged paperback version of The Science of Mind. Wilder Publications (February 19, 2010). Emphasis in Book

[29] As quoted in Voices of the New Age: Thoughts on God By Carl Teichrib.
http://www.jashow.org/Articles/_PDFArchives/new-age/NA4W0403.pdf

[30] ibid.

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Overview of The New Age Index To All Three Sections

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