As we previously learned, the New Age philosophy involves the belief that mankind must realize that he is a part of the "Universal All" or the "Universal Consciousness". Now we will discuss the various methods that are employed by New Age believers to achieve their goal of "becoming one with the Universal Consciousness", which involves altering their own consciousness.
SEPARATION FROM GOD
As Christians, we believe that mankind is separated from God because of sin, and that in order to get back into union with God, we must repent of sin. The New Age follower does not believe in a personal God who requires obedience to any Law, and thus, "sin" is not even an issue with them. Instead, the New Ager believes God to be a Universal Consciousness, and that mankind has a false sense of separation from this Universal Consciousness. This is his or her sense of what it means to be separated from God. The supposed solution then, is to overcome the blindness which hinders him from seeing the "True Reality" that of which involves the fact that he himself has always been a part of the Universal Consciousness, but just hadn't formerly realized it.
In other words, according to the New Age train of thought, we are separated from God because of our Consciousness not being in tune with the Universal Consciousness. Our behaviour has nothing whatsoever to do with any of it. Sin, in their eyes, is not the issue, when it comes to being separated from God. Therefore, there is no need for humility or repentance, but rather- one only needs to recognize his elevated state as a part of God, or the Universal All. One therefore needs to foster an attitude of self-esteem, rather than an attitude of self-humiliation to get back to God.
In the New Age Religion, one need only to get their consciousness attuned to the same frequency as that of the Universal Consciousness. Thus, salvation comes by doing all manner of things to alter the normal state of consciousness, such as Eastern Meditation, Drug use, Hypnosis, chanting, doing ecstatic dance movements, and so forth. So, making man whole becomes merely a matter of Spiritual Technology or of doing 'Scientific Procedures,'causing one to achieve an altered state of consciousness, enabling the participant to consciously or 'mystically' experience a union with the Universal Consciousness.
When this union is achieved, it is referred to as Illumination or enlightenment. But this is a false illumination, because true illumination or Enlightenment comes only when one consciously chooses to obey God's Word! The so-called 'rebirth' experience that New Agers have, has absolutely nothing to do with any giving up of sin, or obedience to God's will.
NEW AGE MYSTICISM
The New Age Mystic lives a life that is in direct contrast with that of a Christian. While the Christian seeks to know God through the medium of God's revealed will in the Scriptures, the Mystic, on the other hand- seeks to actually 'experience' God by altering his normal state of consciousness, thereby experiencing the Universal All as part of his very self! During one of these so-called 'mystical experiences,' the New Age Disciple sees the Universe as if it were part of his own body and the expression of his own mind.
While in this altered state, the Mystic supposedly gains insight into the actual reality which underlies the Universe meaning that he sees that nothing is really separate, but rather, 'all is God', which is not ordinarily recognized while in a normal state of consciousness because our normal perception of things is supposedly flawed. These altered states are thought to give a person a sense of freedom and feelings of ecstatic joy, love and peace, over the fact that one has finally discovered his oneness with the Universe and with every other living thing as a part of God.
That is the same temporary feeling of ecstatic joy that Eve felt when accepting the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil from the serpent in the Garden of Eden! Everything seemed wonderful at first, when she decided to go against God's will, but the final results were anything but ecstatic!
This feeling of ecstasy is short-lived, however, and the New Age Participant finds the need to get a "fix" once again, inducing the altered states over and over again. This of course, is due to the fact that the altered state of consciousness is merely the induction of a trance-like state of mind, which quickly wears off, and it gives no long-lasting sense of peace and joy that only comes from repentance towards God and the doing of His will.
THE UNIVERSAL POOL
Eastern Religion is a large part of New Age Thinking. In Buddhism, it is believed that when someone dies, his or her consciousness enters once again and merges into the Pool of Universal Consciousness, otherwise known as "The World Soul". Likewise, in Hinduism, there is a belief in Reincarnation. The person's identity that was taken on in this life, is supposedly the source of all misery and suffering, because he has been separated from the Universal All for a time. This misery must be retained throughout countless reincarnations, countless lifetimes.
The only escape from this misery that comes from an individual human being separated from the Great All of the Universe comes when an individual soul realizes that this 'appearance' of separation from the All is merely an illusion, and that he is, in reality, a part of the Universal Soul, or Brahman. And this realization is achieved through the inducing of altered states of consciousness, achieved through practices such as Eastern Meditation or Yoga.
During these mystical experiences, all sense of time and space and earthliness are lost sight of, and the Mystic sees himself as being 'one' with the Universal Soul, or with the entire Universe, along with every individual soul who has ever lived, every individual soul who is now living, and every individual soul who will ever live in the future! The souls of those who lived in the past, present, and future, together constitute the 'Universal Pool', whose consciousnesses together are referred to as 'God', who is THE GREAT CONSCIOUSNESS.
The Consciousnesses of all these individual souls provide the New Age Believer with a source from which to seek wisdom. It is supposed that the Consciousnesses of these souls do not die, and that therefore, their wisdom is to be highly prized. This of course, in reality, is SPIRITUALISM or communion with the dead, and even communion with those who will exist in the future! And of course, we as Christians should know that the spirits with which they commune are in actuality spirits of demons; servants of Satan!
During these states of altered consciousness, one communes with the souls of past, present and future beings, and thus, all sense of 'now', all sense of time, is temporarily lost. Your consciousness is supposedly tuned to the Great Universal Consciousness that knows no such thing as time or death. One may even experience a sense of weightlessness, due to the fact that earthliness and matter has been transcended for a time.
Reports of levitation occur among some New Agers. The truth however, is that Satan has the ability to produce false physical 'miracles' -such as levitation, and also feelings of elation and ecstasy as long as God allows him to do this. But sadly, adherants of the New Age Religion do not recognize that there is a Devil in this World, which leaves them wide open for deceptions and to the accepting of anything that happens to feel good for the moment.
METHODS OF INDUCING ALTERED STATES
Mysticism, Occultism and New Ageism are synonymous with each other, for all involve the use of techniques to alter the mind, body and spirit. In other words, some of the techniques are mainly used to work on the body, such as ecstatic dance movements and the use of body flotation therapy, while others are designed to work on the mind, such as Meditation and hypnosis.
The New Age Adherant truly believes that these Altered States of Consciousness are a positive means of opening oneself to beneficial psychological and spiritual influences. They really do believe that by inducing these trance-like states that their spirituality is being aided by helping them to progress into their full potential to become 'gods!'
Some reasons why those involved in the New Age endeavor to put themselves into Altered States are:
1. To contact Spirit Guides
2. To contact Higher Sources of Universal Wisdom
3. To contact their own "Higher God-Selves, or the intuitive and creative Self within
4. To develop their own psychic and magical powers
Top New Ager, Marilyn Ferguson lists some of the methods of inducing altered states, in her book Aquarian Conspiracy, such as:
3. Guided Imagery
4. Mood- altering music
5. Hypnosis and self- hypnosis
6. Martial Arts
8. Stress Management
9. Fantasy and Imagining
10. Body Movement (dance, etc)
11. Chanting repetitive phrases
12. Balance and alignment of energies (acupuncture, etc)
13. Mechanical devices that measure and alter body processes such as Biofeedback
14. Mental programs, ranging from psychotherapies to radical Seminars, which are specifically designed to obliterate former beliefs and values and replace them with the New Age mind set.
The list doesn't stop here! Additional methods of inducing Altered States of Consciousness are:
1. The use of New Age slogans
2. Gazing at geometric figures and symbols
3. Clapping repetitiously
4. Repetitious drum-beating
5. Occult breathing techniques
6. Swaying back and forth, and other repetitious body movements
There are a multitude of other techniques used to bring about Altered States, but I have merely given some of the major ones that are even being practiced in Christian Churches today!
All of these various procedures are utilized for the purpose of keeping the 'intuitive pathways' open so that the participant can make use of their 'Whole Brain', which involves the use of both the logical and intuitive (psychic) sides of the brain! In other words, the goal is to facilitate one's 'psychic' powers, which means to become 'sensitive' to the Spirit World of demonic presences so that you can receive messages from them!