A Conversation for New Age

new age religions

Post 1


Just a question (or two) really -
What about Buddhism?
What are the so-called new age religions? Paganism certainly couldn't be classified as new age as it is one of if not the most ancient religion. And of course one would have to be clear about the definition of 'religion'. Would I be right in thinking that if it involves worship of any kind it would be called a religion?

Love and light, Cristal

new age religions

Post 2

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

I am certainly no expert, certainly not on this subject, but I think "new age" doesn't necesarily mean that it has to be "new" as in recent. I think it is more the application of the "religioon" or massage, or whatever is being discussed in terms of "new Age" that is important. So, if I am write which I may or may not be, which of course depends on your definition of "right" and weather you believe in "absolute", then any religion theoretically, as long as it it not in widespread practice, can be taken and described as "New Age" as long as it is performed (Worship/practising/however religion is adhered to) in the principles of "New Age", so long as there are any underlaying principles of "New Age" which extend beyond the absolute (which is something they should necessarily deny exists by the very nature of "absolute"), requirement for "new Age" and all associated with "New Age" to basically, not be "Main Stream" (whatever "Main Stream" means in the current age).

Well, that is how I view it, as no expert, no "new Age" type of person, who, naturally of course recommends you get at least a second, if not a third opinion on this topic.

new age religions

Post 3


Buddhism would fall under the category of Westerner's choosing alternative religion. Which I believe I mentioned.

Paganism is far more slippery. The term, like New Age, is applied to a plethora of practices, both old and new. The point of most modern "pagans" is to attempt to follow ancient teachings. Unfortunately, the reality is that this knowledge was mostly oral and an attempt to follow such a tradition is necessarily based on a lot of supposition.

Some pagans recognize the problem and refer to their practices as Neo-Pagan. However, the terms Pagan and Neo-Pagan are thrown about interchangeably for the most part.

And yes, new age often means old stuff that people in our society are "rediscovering".

Haven't visited here in a long time, used to be too slow. However, I may put up some more post as time permits.

new age religions

Post 4

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

First welcome back if you haven't been here for a while.
that is about it for now.::
Agree with what you said, put better than I could have put it..

new age religions

Post 5


I didn't realise lucid dreaming could be classed as a new age practice. I lucid dream but I've never consciously decided to do it, it just happens. Is it possible to be accidently new age?

new age religions

Post 6


Being accidently new age? A curious idea. I like it. smiley - smiley

Intent is everything. If you simply lucid dream, without any attempt to get there, lucky you. If you actively engage in practices to attain this state, then you are setting a new age goal.

Another way. I light a candle and place it in a window after someone has died. My intent is to offer a beacon to the passed soul. If I do this because "we've always done it", I'm probably not thinking new age. If I do this because I sincerely believe it is helpful according to my spiritualist belief system, well, that's new age.

Again, it must be understood that tons of traditional practices get the new age stamp of approval. That doesn't necessarily mean that all practitioners are "new ager's" or even would know what that means.

new age religions

Post 7


I very much like your idea of getting clear about the meaning of "Religion" first, before engaging in a discussion about it. It is a crux of these times that, under the phrase "No Discrimination", the discriminating qualities of mind underwent such a weakening. Out of this, a general confusion seemed to have emerged.

It should be very clear that "religion" has a very literal meaning, coming out of ancient Latin, meaning something like "relating back" or so. It seems to describe whatever means are taken in several cultures/living-together-communities to uphold the connection to the knowledge and wisdom of the ancestors, or "Elders", whoever might be meant by that....since I am not native english speaking, it would be a good Idea to look it up in a Dictionary.

Actually, religion as a phenomenon can be closely related to reincarnation, if understood the way described above, if one understands that reincarnation, in a way, can mean the rebirth of some kind of mindaspect(s) of earlier person(s). So, if this is accepted, it might be interesting for the actual Individual to try to investigate whether their-chosen or inherited-religion helps them to remember back into past lives, to see what happened there. Might be really helpfull for severe psychological problems, as showed in various Studies, i.e. Netherton or Stevenson (just quoting here).

Anyway, the whole "NewAge" thing is just a marketing trend, as the movement openly exploits practices and knowledge which have been here for quite a time allready, and all the confusion generated can not really help to elevate mankinds consciousness. It will only bring up more confusion.

There is the Idea of putting in an Article titled "ReIncarnation" in this person´s mind...if this discussion gets interesting, it might be a helpfull motivation for this.

Health and peace,

new age religions

Post 8


I would not say the reincarnation is synonymous with religion. Certainly it plays a defining role in the style a religion takes. In a broad sense, belief systems can seen as rural or city based.

The Judeo-Christian system is very urban oriented, with the need to construct a temple before one can properly observe. The classical Greek beliefs are also influenced by urban life, with Pan as a figure of mystery or danger. Both these systems are urban and neither have the concept of reincarnation. Although, it should noted that the idea of reincarnation is observed here, just not for the individual.

The systems that have reincarnation as a central percept are generally old or rural. The idea of life, death, and rebirth is not abstract to a farmer. Every agricultural culture witnesses the cycle of life up close, and generally supports the idea of reincarnation. The idea of reincarnation is not simply that souls recycle. It usually holds that there is a goal that the soul is striving for and it will take many lifetimes to achieve.

Imho, belief in reincarnation is a more low stress theology than not. If you do not believe in reincarnation, but you do believe something beyond death, then you're forced to conclude that this is your only chance to get it right. No pressure. smiley - smiley

new age religions

Post 9


I really did not mean to take "religion" and reincarnation" as synonyms, this seems to be a misunderstanding. Pls. read carefully. Also, I disagree with your general point of Greek religion/history, as reincarnation was a theme for i.e. Platon. Anyway, you seem to know much more about this than I do, and I found your message very informative.

I find it a problem of these times that so many people do believe that this is their only life, wich puts them, as you worte, under so much stress...this also carries the pressure on into other peoples Lifes...when we go down to elementary physics (hope this is the right word), it can be found that certain particles forming any material body will no doubt survive its "destruction" as an entity, and, after that, will join together with other particles of a similar capability to form a new physical structure/body. Particles unable to find matches quickly seem to "flow back" to the source, waiting there for "mates" to build up a new physical structure later.
Accepting this, it might be understandable why some Buddhist teachers insist that the Westerners belief in a personal reincarnation is not correct in the literal sense. This is about as deep as I got yet, and I have to thank many people for their work, since none of this understanding grew out of "myself".

new age religions

Post 10


Platon?!? The French for the fellow commonly referred to in English as Plato? As I only have one language, this threw me for a bit. smiley - smiley

Plato and reincarnation is an interesting place to go. However, Plato's views were by no means the views of his society. Aristotle, a scientific kind of fellow, did not have a view of the soul that even admitted reincarnation.

The traditional Greek "religion" was polytheistic. In funeral rites, a body was buried with the wealth accumulated in during this life for use in the next. This would not be typical of a culture with a wide spread belief in reincarnation.

Still, as with any culture, religious beliefs are defined by the time period you choose to focus on. Ancient Roman beliefs were altered radically when they assimilated the Greeks. They changed dramatically again when Constantine embraced Christianity.

new age religions

Post 11


Isn´t it always a mistake to generalize about matters we haven´t actually experienced ourselves... ? Who can really tell which have been the views of Platons Society...? Actually, the historical facts about "Ancient Greece" brought over into our time might have as much in common with the actual reality at that time as Media covering about "Desert Storm" did with the actual happenigs in Irak/Kuweit.

It seems to be a waste of time and effort to try to verify information, or even compare it, in a general discussion like this, since there is so much of it around. Plus, as already stated, who can really verify it? Of course, there´s one such thing as the truth, but it changes all the time.

"Greece" only is an entity we can use for discussion since historians made it this. Over certain Periods, there might have been as much diversity in the different social/political systems developed and used in that Area as there are in most of the socalled "civilized world" by now. Just trying to cope with Sparta & Athens, looking at their sytems and changes they underwent, really takes me too far. I am inclined to say, the same counts for the belief systems used...no doubt, there was this polytheistic view, as it was in many cultures/civilizations for long time...but who can say people in general did not believe in reincarnation (just because it was, in an afterwards Analysis, found to be so) ?

There is this world called "Anthropocentric". It is combined from greek "Anthropos" (human) and Latin "centrum" (the middle)...
Might be interesting to ponder whether ones mind, sub- or consciously, puts oneself in the middle of everything or not. No doubt, sensual perception puts us into this position, we are the middle of the world our five senses let us experience. But is that all? I would say no. There is the ability to reflect, to analyze, to observe, to listen (and many more)...Plus, believe it or not, there is Telepathy. When we let our understanding grow, we can understand that we´re always only part of something bigger. And one is never only "one" in the literal meaning of the word. We are always in interchange ("communication") with the goings-on around us...to put ourselves too much into the center of this automatically endangers the whole system, as a certain part of humankind so perfectly demonstrates these days.

Thanks for giving motivation to put this in writing. Sorry if I might sound too serious.

Why not coming back to where we started, and try to form a understanding of the word "religion", or let it be "reincarnation", that can be used as a base for further discussion. We all know we might have different understandings of these words, but that´s the point! We can either enlarge our differences, or start putting our minds together to work! Think about Vulcanian "mindmeld".

new age religions

Post 12

DA ; Simply Vicky: Don't get pithy with me!

I find what you have to say very interesting, NewRotic. Yes, so much depends on our different understanding of terms such as religionand reincarnation... I would like to know more about your experiences - please come to my space, if you wish... smiley - magic

I am a Christian, who also believes in reincarnation.smiley - cat

new age religions

Post 13


As far as the title 'new age' reaches i'm not sure that any religion practiced today is new at all. I think that it's somewhere in all the catholic and whatever teaching that anything besides their own religion which they assume is the oldest and most 'right' around cannot be new age, but anything that people practice whom have broken away from the church are called New Age practicioners. It's a debate my friends and i have had quite alot as to what is new age and what the hell it all means. It may seem like an ordinary conversation but this is my group of friends. Two of us are Wiccan, one buddhist, my boyfriend is Catholic, a friend is Christian, and another atheist. Religion as a topic for us tends to get a bit goofy and radical sometimes.smiley - cool

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