The New Age was supposed to be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Aquarius is one of the twelve astrological symbols of the zodiac. The symbol is one of a man who has taken up the 'waters of the wisdom throughout the history of mankind', blended them all together and poured it all back out upon humanity during the New Age period of peace and brotherhood. One of the big reasons it is presumed to be an age of brotherhood is that all will have the same religion, the New Age Religion!
THE SECRET DOCTRINE
Because the New Age Religion believes in gathering up wisdom about God from all Religions, it takes much of its substance from the ancient writings of Hermes Trismegistus, otherwise known as Hermes the thrice (three times) Great (shown at right). This was the later name given to the Egyptian god named Thoth (pronounced Toe-th). Thoth was well known for being Guardian of all Knowledge.
The primary purpose of these 'Hermetic Writings' was the elevation of mankind to the position of godhood, through initiation into 'Secret Doctrine' or 'Gnosis'. Gnosticism comes from the Greek word 'Gnosis,' which means 'knowledge'. And the word 'Gnostic' means 'one who knows,' as opposed to an 'Ag-nostic', which is one who doesn't believe that he can know whether or not there really is a God. Gnosticism appeared in the latter part of the First Century of the Christian Era. Its influence upon New Age thought is undeniable, as New Agers freely admit.
The Gnostics tried to interpret Christianity in terms of pagan philosophies, which came from Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian metaphysics. They took the various teachings from these Occult Mystery Schools, and then attempted to fit the teachings into a new 'Christian' setting, claiming that Gnosticism was the true form of Christianity.
The Gnostics became a sect that claimed to possess a 'Secret Knowledge' that made them superior to the 'common Christians,' who were not privileged to have the same information that they themselves had. They asserted that Christ had allowed them to inherit the Secret Doctrines or esoteric (hidden) teachings of God's Word. And by combining pagan philosophies with the apostolic doctrines of Christianity, Gnosticism became a very strong influence in the ancient Church. But the true Christians labeled it as 'heresy' and fought vigorously against it!
One important question we want to ask then is, What is this so-called 'Secret Knowledge' that these Gnostics claimed to possess? The big secret is that supposedly, salvation comes through intuitive 'Gnosis' -or the 'knowing' of one's own divinity. In other words, we are supposed to just know, by listening to our inner being that has passed through incarnation after incarnation that we are God!
It is a primary teaching of New Age Religion that we, as humans, had our beginning as part of the 'Source' or 'Universal All'. This refers to the pantheistic idea that all that is- is 'God'. We used to be part of this Great All, but then something happened to upset the balance of the Universe and everything became broken off into fragments, such as humans, trees, rocks and so on. And what's more, our time here on Earth is now to be spent striving to reconnect with this 'Universal All'.
This inherent 'inner divinity' and connecting back with the Universal All of Nature is the 'Secret Gnosis' or special knowledge that was taught by the Gnostics. Having this knowledge supposedly helped one obtain salvation. Simply put: the Gnostics wanted to by-pass the traditional Christian view that says we need a Savior who has shed His blood for our sin and our salvation, and to replace that with a philosophy that says we just need to be 'in the know' about our so-called 'divinity'. In other words, we are God and do not need a Savior!
Now, what we all need to realize is that New Age philosophy is based upon Theosophy, a Religion which has its origin in Gnosticism. What this comes down to is that the follower's of New Age thinking try to put on a veneer of being accepting of all religions, including Christianity, while at the same time attempting to obliterate the blood of Christ and our need of a Savior from sin. They in reality, undermine the very foundation block of Christianity while professing to uphold its teachings!
DISSOLVING INTO THE UNIVERSE
According to New Age Religion, man is destined to dissolve back into the Universe and to thus become one with the 'Universal All' once again. To comprehend this strange idea a little better, we must first take a look at the doctrine of Monism.
Monism is the philosophical doctrine which alleges that there is only one reality in existence, which is the 'All of the Universe' as a complete whole, and that all things that we see around us are composed of this 'one reality'. And according to this same doctrine, to view things as separate is to live under an illusion! The idea of monism naturally leads to pantheism, which is the belief that God is an Ultimate Principle that is identified with the entire Universe. 'God is all and all is God' -is their motto.
To further define monism: all things that we normally think of as 'reality' are mere projections, modes, or appearances of the true 'Ultimate Reality'. This 'Ultimate Reality' is seen as a 'Force' which is neither dead matter nor unconscious energy. Other names for this Force are Awareness, Bliss, Principle, Being, Energy, Essence, Vibration, and Universal Consciousness. Or any other of the many capitalized verbs of which they like to refer to as 'God'. In the mind of a New Ager, God is not a personal Being, but rather- God is the 'Great It', which is the same concept that is found in Hinduism.
One prominent New Age figure, Joseph Campbell, said, 'the whole world is consciousness'. He added that some plants automatically turn toward the sun-, which is a form of consciousness -and that we humans also share in this consciousness. This 'Universal Consciousness' to them, is God!
EVOLVING INTO GODHOOD
Joseph Campbell went on to explain his New Age philosophy by stating that the entire planet is a living conscious organism, and that it is evolving and advancing into full consciousness. He said that we need to view ourselves as not having been 'created by some personal God and thrown onto the Earth', but rather as having been 'evolved from out of the Earth'. Of course, if this is true then the Earth becomes our 'Mother', and we too are just as much of a God as it is!
If it is true that God is merely a Force that pervades throughout all of Nature, then it is only logical to assume that man too is God. Theosophists believe that all of Humanity possesses an inherent potential to evolve or to progress into godhood. Each person is said to be evolving towards the godhood through successive planes, which- when finally achieved is called Union with the Absolute.
New Age Religion asserts that the deity or manifestation of divinity lies within each soul, which is referred to as the divine spark or divine fire; also known as the inner Buddha or inner Christ. The Theosophist believes man to be a part of the universal pervasiveness of God that runs throughout the entire Universe and that thus- man contains within himself an inherent 'spark of divinity' or 'a part of God'.
Shirley MacLaine, actress and prominent believer in New Ageism said:
'You are everything. Everything you want to know is inside of you. You are the Universe. Maybe the tragedy of the human race was that we had forgotten that we were each divine. You must never worship anyone or anything other than self. For you are God. To love self is to love God. I exist- therefore I am. I know that the God Source exists- therefore it is. Since I am part of that Source, then I AM that I AM.' -Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb, 1983 Bantam Books, New York
THE IMBALANCE OF THE UNIVERSE
According to the Hindu belief system, what happens in this lifetime is determined by the 'karma' of the previous life, which in turn was determined by the karma that was built up by the former lives before that, and so on.
According to this same doctrine, if we were to trace back the path of karma to its ultimate origin we would arrive, finally, at the state where the three qualities of the godhead were in a state of perfect balance in the void the nothingness from which all comes and to which all returns. This sums up the New Age idea of 'evolving back to the godhead; it means to arrive again at the perfect balance of Nature.
Hindu doctrine, which New Age Theosophists ascribe to, asserts that something happened to cause an imbalance in the godhead, which in turn caused the 'manifestation' or 'prakriti' to begin, bringing about the illusion which we experience as the Universe today. And what we see now is in reality just fragments of the Great All.
Another version of this same story is that the Universe voluntarily fragmented or divided itself into rocks, trees, humans, etc for the purpose of experiencing itself on different levels. We humans, along with animals and other living things are merely the manifestation of the fragments of the once whole Universal All. In other words, we are the way that the Universe has chosen to individuate itself, in order to explore its creative possibilities. Because all of this took place, we humans had a need of going into the cycle of reincarnation till we once again could balance with the Universal Nothingness, of which we are all a part!
In the eyes of a Theosophist, man is a microcosm or miniature replica of the Universe, since supposedly the Universal Force pervades all of Nature, including man. Because of this, man contains all of the elements of the Universe, including the darkness (symbolized by the Moon) and the light (symbolized by the Sun), within his own nature.
This same idea termed the Yin and Yang, or negative and positive qualities of the Universe. The Yin or 'dark side' refers also to man's lower more earthly nature, while the Yang or light side refers to man's higher Christ nature. It is also believed by the Theosophists that man, from birth, already possesses within himself the dark and light nature; both the evil and the good. (This comes from that pantheistic idea of the Force being in all things, including man). The goal then is to balance both the good and the evil in man, so that Nature may get itself into perfect equilibrium, or back to its original state. If this is done, man will no longer have to reincarnate over and over again and he can once and for all dissolve back into the Universal All of Nature. Man thus finally rids himself of the 'self-centered' desire to be a separate spark of the divine, rids himself of ego and surrenders to the idea of becoming nothingness once again with the Universe.
Supposedly, the Universe has 'descended into matter' and has fragmented itself into what we know as the Universe today, with its individual humans, trees, rocks, plants etc., and now mankind, along with the entire rest of the Universe has evolved into its proper New Age state when together, it is awakening and realizing its need to unite back together with the Universal All once again.
Humanity then, is to aspire to reach a state of 'Cosmic Consciousness' which basically means to have a supernaturally expanded frame of mind that embraces a grander understanding of Universal Truth and that transcends all rational thought. Gnosticism also teaches that man achieves perfection and salvation through having a mystical experience of the 'Immanent Deity' (the God that pervades all Nature), of which mankind is but an extension.
The New Ager will tell us that the normal state of consciousness that we experience from day to day is not real, but a mere illusion. The normal feeling of being separate from Nature is not normal! Things are all turned around, and a feeling of being in unity with all of Nature and with the Great All is regarded by them as being the 'normal' state of existence. Thus, they wish for us to have a Spiritual Awakening into 'True Reality':
'True reality is the natural state of all beingness. It is the experience of the I AM, the God presence in all of life. True Reality is something we have all experienced in momentary glimpses of the pure Divine Presence. It is something we know beyond the illusion of separation. We carry within us the longing to return to a consistent experience of True Reality, which is our natural state.'
'Enlightenment involves realizing (the) illusory state of our daily entranced experience, and awakening to the oneness of all.' -Jon Klimo, Channeling, pg. 150,151
In the mind of a New Age Believer, you and I are in an 'entranced' state, while they are in a 'normal' state of mind!
They all agree
Channeled Entities agree:
Channeled entities (in reality, demons), New Agers, Hindus and Buddhists, even Witches, all agree on one thing, and that's that we need to get back to the Universal All. Let's see what they each have to say:
'Virtually all of the sources above the lower astral levels tell us that we are evolving toward an eventual reunion with the one God, which is the underlying identity of All That Is. The various occult, esoteric, and mystery school teachings repeat the theme.' -Jon Klimo, Channeling, pg. 151,151
New Agers agree:
'God is experienced as flow, wholeness, the infinite kaleidoscope of life and death, Ultimate Cause, the Ground of all Being... (these ideas) are part of all traditions of direct knowing (gnosis); the glimpse of the true nature of reality connection with the source that generates the world of appearances, reunion with all living things.' Marilyn Ferguson, Top New Age Spokesperson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s, (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1980) pg. 382, 378,379
'The appeal of Zen, as of other Eastern philosophy, is that it unveils a vast region where at last the self is indistinguishable from God.'-Alan Watts, Zen Buddhist Master, 'This is It', pg. 90
'We are the Goddess. We are each a part of the inter penetrating, inter connecting reality that is all. The Goddess, the Divine, is immanent in the world, manifest in nature, in human beings, in human community. The All That Is One is not now and never has been separate from the existing physical world. She is here now, is each of us in the eternal changing present; is no one but you-and yet is everyone.' -Starhawk, (a witch), The Spiral Dance, pg. 28,195
Now, here are some additional examples that have been related, concerning actual 'experiences' of mystical oneness with the Universal All:
John Lennon, of the Beatles relates:
'I used to literally trance out into alpha seeing these hallucinatory images of my face changing, becoming cosmic and complete.' -John Lennon, Playboy Interviews (Berkeley, 1982, pg. 169)
New Ager Chris Griscom relates:
'It was an odyssey we had made before going down to the gentle desert around Tucson, it seemed perfect to sleep out under the stars. I don't know how long I slept, but I awakened to pulsating electrical spasms shattering the confines of my cells, my body, my consciousness! All borders -all awareness of where I began and ended was gone. After indescribable, timeless moments, it quieted into a sensation of undulating sea and I realized that I had literally levitated more than a foot above the ground. I felt a sensation of floating down, and for the rest of the night I listened to a wonderful humming within my body. My cells were singing. My mind never stirred itself throughout, I was so engulfed in the experience.' -Chris Griscom, Ecstasy is a new frequency, pg. 95,96
New Ager Christopher Maier relates:
'...this led to an experience of illumination, a mystical experience of oneness and unity and light. I was out walking one morning and felt suddenly uplifted. I remember I knew timelessness, spacelessness and lightness; every flower, every bush, every tree seemed to wear a halo. There was a light emanation around everything and flecks of gold fell like slanted rain through the air. The important part of it was the realization of the oneness of all creation a oneness with that which permeates all and binds all together and gives life to all. I had received the first glimpse of what the life of inner peace was like it was a point of no return. I found I could never again feel separate.' -Christopher Maier, Peace Pilgrim, Meditation Magazine, Fall 1989, pg. 16
New Age Apostle, Fritjof Capra relates:
'Five years ago, I had a beautiful experience. I was sitting by the ocean one late summer afternoon when suddenly I became aware of my whole environment as being engaged in a gigantic cosmic dance. I 'saw' the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy, I felt its rhythm and 'heard' its sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers worshipped by the Hindus.' -Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, pg. 11
Some of the experiences related here seem beautiful at first glance. Many are at first enchanted by the seemingly beneficial aspects of the New Age Movement, but then find themselves entangled in far more than they had bargained for! Some are fortunate enough to have a friend or a concerned Christian who will help them to discover the spiritual dangers behind the many enticing promises of the New Age and finally find their way to freedom through Jesus Christ.