Although the so-called New Age movement is largely considered to be a part of spirituality, I’d like to make a clear distinction between New Age and true spirituality. The main difference lies in authenticity, because the former is about escaping reality, while the latter is about discovering reality. What do I mean by that?
First, you have to understand the motivation of those who start to believe in new age theories like palmistry, astrology, conspiracies, ley lines, portals, tarot, numerology, hollow earth, Atlantis, etc, and supernatural beings like ascended masters, angels, spirits, ghosts and aliens. These people are either immensely bored with their lives or dissatisfied with it in some other way.
We have to admit that most people have a boring life, because they value security more than anything else. That’s why they need entertainment, and some people find it in movies, while others in spirituality. No matter which form of entertainment you select, in all cases, the goal is the same: to distract yourself from the mundane reality.
The simple mind is always looking for sensations and miracles, because it’s blind to the sensational and miraculous nature of life. Instead, it sees life as a monotonous ordeal, full of hardships and problems, that ends meaninglessly with death. The mind wants to deny this harsh reality, to suppress this ambiguous feeling of meaninglessness, to escape this inconvenient truth. And what could be a better coping strategy than to see life as more than what it is?
Even the name New Age suggests that you don’t want your old boring life, you want something totally new. Instead of trying to make this world better, you want an entirely different world, you want to be done with the old altogether. Waiting for the New Age is like waiting for a savior: it will never come, but at least until then you can distract yourself from your real problems.
You create an imaginary world in your mind, full of supernatural beings and phenomena, and give it a made-up meaning you can believe in. You can make karma, destiny or God responsible for your problems, and you can entertain yourself by creating all kinds of fake theories to make sense of something you don’t really understand.
In the end, believing in New Age ideas is just another kind of death denial. Your inability to face death creates your boring life in the first place, and then it strengthens your need to believe in some kind of afterlife, or at least a New Age that will somehow save you from a meaningless death.
I strongly urge you to drop this kind of fake New Age spirituality, because not only that it leads you nowhere, it’s also keeping you away from the truth. This way you’ll never find out who you truly are, because by its nature it’s about avoiding the truth.
Instead of searching for the extraordinary beyond the ordinary, find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Instead of searching for meaning beyond this life, find the meaning in this life. Instead of searching for yourself beyond yourself, find yourself inside yourself.
In my vocabulary, true spirituality is all about acknowledging, understanding and exploring this reality. It’s about relying only on your own direct experience instead of believing in anything. It’s about living in the now instead of waiting for a New Age. Don’t try to make yourself better, just find yourself, and you’ll be truly renewed.
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