According to Wikipedia “The New Age is a term applied to a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices that developed in Western nations during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the New Age differ in their emphasis, largely as a result of its highly eclectic structure. Although analytically often considered to be religious, those involved in it typically prefer the designation of “spiritual” and rarely use the term “New Age” themselves. Many scholars of the subject refer to it as the New Age movement, although others contest this term and suggest that it is better seen as a milieu or zeitgeist.”
That definition doesn’t exactly say much; however, New Agers of my acquaintance consider it a combination of Christianity and Eastern Philosophy. Take the best of each, eliminate the undesirable aspects and create an inevitable spiritual movement. The result is a mixed bag that displays some positive attributes such as beauty; for instance the music of Enya and the connection to the many wondrous colors of nature. In addition, it reveals some effective motivational techniques.
Dogmatic Marxism predicts the ultimate coming of pure socialism once all the capitalistic forces play out. The New Age movement believes the “Age of Aquarius” guarantees the consciousness of men and women rising to a heightened spiritual awareness. As you can see both systems smack of mysticism. Intuitive forces will overpower reason. We will experience a harmonious existence of oneness.
An interesting, but flawed science fiction book covering the ultimate New Age society is “2150 AD” by Thea Alexander. Here’s what you can expect. “The book is centered on Macro Philosophy and concepts such as reincarnation, karma, twin souls and soul mates, as well as macro and micro limitations. Thea Alexander started a workshop for studying Macro Philosophy shortly before the book was published; this information is on the back cover of the book.”
Two major problems with Thea Alexander’s philosophy of life is:
- People no longer desire their privacy.
- It displays a highly prosperous socialist society.
The lack of privacy in a socialistic society seems like an evil, unrewarding existence. Of course, once we experience oneness with each other and all there is…we will no longer desire private property or privacy. Imagine reaching the ultimate bliss of selflessness. We will be as happy as bees in hive. Who needs individualism and reason…when you can live happily ever after in the Hive Mind Mentality.
Does Evil Exist?
In the Patheos Library Benjamin E Zeller states “Groups and subcultures within the New Age exhibit the belief differently that evil exists only as an illusion propagated by unthinking minds. A Course in Miracles, one of the most popular channeled texts of the New Age, insists that the physical world itself represents merely a shadowy projection of the power of thought. Evil, good, suffering, and pleasure do not really exist in this worldview, at least not in the bodily physical way that most people assume.”
We can assume unthinking minds cause much of the evil we see on earth. When people abandon the rationality of reason you can expect undesirable consequences. However, does that make evil an illusion?
Maybe you noticed reference to a “shadowing projection of the power of thought.” That’s enough to make you think reason doesn’t possess much validity. As I write this article, I just think I’m using my reasoning ability. Maybe I’m just accessing the dark part of the ether.
I have a copy of “A Course in Miracles” in front of me. Yeah…I read it. It was supposed to inspire me…but I remember experiencing a feeling of melancholy while I turned the pages of a mystical excursion. Let’s look at few of the lessons.
Part 1 Lesson Nine – Workbook for Students “I see nothing as it is now.” Now that might be true if you’ve abandoned reason. Your “thought” process in the morning might resemble the White Queen in the famous book “Through the Looking Glass” “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Hey, the Queen reminds me of an altruist or collectivist.
Here’s three practice sentences for you.
‘I do not see this typewriter as it is now.’
‘I do not see this telephone as it is now.’
‘I do not see this arm as it is now.’
Now extend your range outward.
‘I do not see that coat rack as it is now.’
‘I do not see that door as it is now.’
‘I do not see that face as it is now.’
I guess you can make a case that these exercises help the juices of creativity to flow…or we can accept these as a complete denial of reality. You probably realize what happens to men and women who allow mysticism to take over their lives.
Let’s add one more sentence.
‘I do not see evil as it is now.’
Lesson 10 in the same section states “My thoughts do not mean anything.” Well, that’s just wonderful. Makes me wonder why I’m writing a meaningless article. On second thought, maybe we can apply that statement to altruists.
Let’s apply that statement to evil.
‘My thoughts about evil do not mean anything.’
In Lesson 74 of the same section. “There is no will but God’s.’ And you thought you were using your reasoning ability to express your self-interest.
The Truth about Evil
Calling the social systems of Nazism, fascism and communism evil shows you live in a world of limited consciousness. After all, isn’t everything perfect…just the way it is? The slaughter of millions of innocent people caused by the above anti-life philosophies doesn’t mean anything because evil doesn’t exist. Anyway, it all had to do with karma and reincarnation. We learn our lessons to prepare us for the next lifetime. That’s the way of New Age mysticism.
Ludwig von Mises believed “How one carries on in the face of unavoidable catastrophe is a matter of temperament. In high school, as was custom, I had chosen a verse by Virgil to be my motto: Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. I recalled these words during the darkest hours of the war. Again and again I had met with situations from which rational deliberation found no means of escape; but then the unexpected intervened, and with it came salvation. I would not lose courage even now. I wanted to do everything an economist could do. I would not tire in saying what I knew to be true.”
Can you imagine Mises giving into mysticism and denying evil exists? It’s absurd to think it could have happened. As the greatest economist ever, he believed in the power of reason. He fought evil with every intellectual tool at his disposal. Do you think the New Age denial of evil has led to more personal liberty and economic freedom? The answer is unquestionably no.
Let’s allow Ayn Rand to sum it up. “Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict “It is.”
The New Age denial of evil only encourages altruists and collectivists to increase their power…to enslave as many men and women as possible. We oppose evil whenever we witness it…and expose the anti-life philosophies that cause it.
RA Meyer – The Objectivist Masters the Social Maze
P.S. Lesson 93, Workbook for Students “A Course in Miracles.”
‘Light and joy and peace abide in me.’ Yes, since I discovered Objectivism, the power of reason and the joy of my existence.