The New Age has been reported to be an exemplary religion of modernity, that emphasizes the importance of autonomy and selfdevelopment. Attempts to establish whether NewAge ideas and practices wereorientedtoward self-transcendence or if, instead, they reinforced secular individualistic values and behaviors have become a centralpointofdebateamongresearchers. InordertobringsomenewlighttothisdebatewecomparedNewAgewith RomanCatholicandatheist/agnosticparticipantsonabatteryofsocial-psychologicalmeasures,includingvalues, self-concepts,andindividualism/collectivism. ResultsindicatethatNewAgeindividualsadoptanindividualistoutlooksimilartothatofnonreligiouspeople,butalsodefinethemselvesusingasetofabstractholistic self-concepts, show avoidance of competitive goals, and stress values of universalism. We call this pattern "holistic individualism" for its fusion of an individualistic value orientation with highly abstract holistic perceptions of the self.
Farias and Lalljee compared New Age followers to Catholics and non-religious
Social psychology research, a battery of such tests
Values, self-concept, ind/coll
The results indicate that new age individuals have an individualistic attitude similar to the non-religious, while identifying themselves with a set of abstract self-images, showing a disinterest in competing, and emphasizing things like universalism.
The researchers coin the term "holistic individualism" for this blend of individualistic orientation with very abstract perceptions of themselves.
Selflessness, benevolence and compassion
Moral individualism =rejection of authority and traditional values of family, etc., sexuality, postmaterialist values
Holism is a cosmic belief, which is contrary to mind/body dualism and directed against cosmic processes
Holistic individualism is a contradiction.
Individualism with a focus on personal development and finding oneself, realizing oneself
At the same time as a vision of a world kingdom, a great community
Collectivism: I'm a son, I'm Catholic
Individualism = I'm honest, I'm intelligent, to prioritize my own goals over any group goals, competition
The main results of this study suggest that the New Age is clearly distinct on self-concepts, values, and structure of social goals from a more traditionally oriented form of religion, such as Catholicism. Furthermore, it also shows features, that differentiate New Age from a secularized nonreligious orientation. The results for the self-concepts show that New Age individuals used more abstract self-concepts, particularly of a universal-holistic (e.g., "I'm a drop in the ocean") and a metaphoric (e.g., "I'm a bridge") character than Catholics and nonreligious people.
The New Age is a holistic religion, but where adherents have very individualitical goals and motives.
Magical thinking is associated with a holistic view of the world, where things are united in ways that defy reason.
Holism is something to be lived and experienced, not necessarily as a social phenomenon.