The New Spirituality
This newer spirituality, "the New Age" and "the New Age Movement", have interested religious scholars since the 1980s. The term first appeared in a scientific article written by NN (yy, referenced in Sutcliffe, yy?)
Social criticism, a psycho-religious phenomenon, both postmodern and not, similarities with previous religions, not coherent as it shares with, for example, feminism, simple answers to complex questions, love of hate for science, Scientologistism, even religion in relation to the Church, conspiracy thinking
Why is it considered fuzzy?
Perceives the differences as greater than they are (Hammer)
Why the difference between new and Christian "supernatural" beliefs? It has something to do with what you get used to. Although not Christian, one has grown up in such a cultural circle (Hammer, ref?)
Theosophy, Christianity, Eastern religion, Gnosticism, occultism, certain branches of Nazism, not as old as one might think, return to romanticism, enlightenment and its counter-movement: Romanticism, mesmerism, spiritism
Not as old as the supporters themselves claim. The roots go back to x… (Healthy, 2007?)
The New Age has its historical roots in the splice between the Enlightenment and the counter-movement, romance, according to Hammer. In the early 19th century, s37(Hammer 2004). Mesmerism, romantic pantheism, transcendentalism, spiritism, occultism. Movements in the 19th century with ties to the new age of our time, s41(Hammer 2004)
The term was coined by the English Theosophist Alice A. Bailey in the 1930s.
Sutcliffe, Steven J.; Saelid Gilhus, Ingvild (2014-09-11). New Age Spirituality: Rethinking Religion (Kindle Location 133) Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
Theosophy came in and synthesized a multitude of these currents, ideas, and hopes. Blavatsky, p44. Karma and reincarnation are taken or channeled through Theosophy, and not directly from Hinduism, Hammer points out in 2004
The Theosophical movement at the turn of the 19th-20th century is usually mentioned (ref). This drew inspiration, such as the idea of reincarnation, from Eastern philosophy. Which then underwent a kind of purification process and was exported again to, for example, India where it came to have many followers (ref).
One might think new age/newness is contrary to Christianity, but that is only partially true. Månsus (ref?) argues that followers often speak more about Christ than they do in the Church. Every serious New AE doctrine has a "Christianology," he argues.
Yoga and meditation. But in terms of reincarnation and karma, the forms found within new age/newness are typically Western phenomena, according to Hammer (ref?) Direct import in the 60-70s, by mediation technicians, gurus
Others want to go even further back, arguing that the New Age has its origins in ancient Gnosticism, a spiritual doctrine that was alive at the time of the rise of Christianity. And as this Bloom argues, infiltrated much of the United States, both Christians and other spiritualities (Bloom, ref in Sutcliffe?).
Hammer briefly mentions something from Western occultism. That it was believed that God in His wisdom laid out as a sign in nature for us to discover. For example, the special shape of walnut was an indication that it contained things that were useful to the brain, etc., s35. This thinking is very similar to the New Age. (Hammer 2004)
According to Hammer, the New Age is one of two tracks, the other of which has inspired Nazi groups and racial thinking, s76 (Hammer 2004). (I also have a public about the subject!)
"A Revival of Early 19th Century Romanticism", (Sjödin, 2002, p. 75) See also Ward &voas (2011)
Humanistic psychology was a counterforce to behaviourism and psychoananlysis (ref). One should be more interested in the healthy side of man than his pathology. Maslow. (Today has evolved further in Transpesonal psychology, where fix star Ken Wilber has moved on, one more step, and founded Integral Psychology? Ref?)
Jung contributed. (Jones, 1991) Jung is an important inspiration for NA. "Jungian theory, like its creator, is profoundly introverted and individualistic – each person his or her own church, synagogue, or ashram. One has no need of others; everyone has within the self the collective wisdom of the human race."
The "human potential movement" The second root of the new age, according to Hammer, p53. Things that many people think sound obvious, common sense. Americans often feel that "it is a person's thoughts and will that make him who he is: if you decide and invest wholeheartedly, you can realize your dreams. They perceive themselves as personalities with certain characteristics, an authentic, inner self that it is important to be true to", s53 Hammer 2004 (is this ex on the Hum Pot movement?)
"New Thought" was a movement that emerged in the United States in the 1930s. (ref?)
The Vietnam War, the Cold War, criticism of the nuclear family, the rights of blacks, the hippie movement, a spearhead.
Reincarnation and karma are taken from the Indian religions. One can recall Kipling's words about how East and West should never meet. But in the case of the New Age, they actually did! It took reincarnation and karma, the most "camerala" aspects of the Indian religion, but left the great fascinating god doctrine behind. What are the consequences for the spiritual system known as the "new age"?
"The reincarnation belief of our time is a distinct product of the modern: optimistic, individualistic, trend-sensitive and formulated in a language that fits hand in glove in a world of science and rationality" (Hammer, 1998), p53
"Half a century ago, the doctrine of migration was reserved for a subculture of esoterics. Today, it has become one of the most extensive religious doctrines in the West. […] From being a rather unusual post-Theosophical belief, faith in soul migration from the 1950s thus becomes a more accepted part of Western popular culture" (Hammer, 1998)p.78-79
In many teachings, rebirth is seen as a curse – samsara – and something one would rather avoid. There are perhaps some taboo rules that need to be observed, etc. and if you succeed in doing so, it can succeed.
"This is what modern reincarnation faith does not look like. In New Age books, a doctrine emerges according to which we are rather on a constant escalator upwards. In the long run, we are all becoming more and more enlightened, even if progress is taking place at different rates. Adversity in life is not punishment, but lessons the soul needs to advance further. By the end of time, we must all have become spiritual beings" (Hammer, 1998), p54
The reincarnation doctrine, as we know it from NA, is a relatively modern creation. It appears in the West in the late 18th century after which it has been modified and developed further (Hammer, 1998)
History. India, but not so old show (see his essay). How did we get to the West? Already in the 18th century, via various pre-1990s? Theosophy in the 19th century. The first books did not exist. (Hammer?). New age imports from many directions. The very idea of survival central to most spirituality. A little special in some Buddhism, where the urgency gets ready in this life. The New Age claimed that the idea existed in the Bible, among the first Christians, but was covered up (the church). However, it is contradicted by (read, Hammer?) There are basically two arrangements: changing gender, or same sex over long periods of time. Different emphasis on how much the individual himself controls the timing etc for reincarnation, or automaticity.
The question of the existence and role of reincarnation in both Hinduism and Buddhism are not simple questions. Hammer (1998) briefly comments that for Buddhism, the variations are even more numerous than in Hinduism:
"Buddhist orthodoxy teaches that there is no unified soul that can be reincarnated, but that man is rather a collection of temporarily assembled elements that at death dissolve and then form part of new combinations. The continuity that exists and that makes it meaningful to talk about reincarnation is a cause of cause and effect that goes beyond the physical death of the individual. It is he who constantly reproduces the state of suffering that is said to be the fundamental characteristic of existence. But there is no immutable 'I' that could be said to be the same in life after life" (Hammer, 1998, p.88)
In the oldest Vedas there was no concept of rebirth (Hammer, 1998). It appeared later, and was then subject to a very complicated system of what relatives needed to make of ceremonies, etc. in order for the deceased's existence and rebirth to be as favorable as possible (Hammer, 1998). So already there you have a collectivist element that is very foreign to NA.
In fact, many Indians of the late 19th century, repatriated by the age-old, rank-fixated doctrine of rebirth, instead took the impression of the more Western variant of reincarnation taught by Theosophy (Hammer, 1998)!
Not just individualism. In these rebirths, "we meet relatives, friends, and acquaintances time and time again over the course of the eons. The idea is close to the popular Christian that we should meet our loved ones in the kingdom of heaven" (Hammer, 1998). S84.
Hammer jokes that in this execution, the reincarnation idea has been given a narrative structure with a "happy end". "Life companions meet again, twin souls recognize each other over the centuries" (Hammer, 1998), p84
Is it possible to research reincarnation? For many decades, Ian Stevenson has collected hundreds of stories from children who claim to remember past lives. Sometimes it can be a deformed body part that resembles a traumatic event in a previous life. Hammer points out that
"The material is statistically strange. Indians usually remember being Indians even in their previous lives. Westerners, on the other hand, seem to move much more in time and space from one life to the next. Moreover, today little-known peoples do not seem to be reincarnated: remarkably few modern Westerners remember being hotts, scythians, sogdians or hurrites" (Hammer, 1998), p83
When new age or newness is debated, the objection is often heard that there is nothing "new" about this spirituality, that it is essentially similar, for example, to ancient Indian filsofi. But some suggest that the way newness embraces these notions has, after all, something unmistakably modern about it.
"Several surveys in recent years show that just over a fifth of Sweden's population believes in reincarnation. When we die, they say, it's just a worn-out body we leave behind. Our true 100s live on and are born again, and again and again. And everything we didn't have time to experience and do on this occasion, we'll get another chance, next time we come back.
Surveys in other countries in Europe and North America provide similar figures. Some kind of reincarnation belief seems to be shared by tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people. Does this mean [and here it will be interesting!] that crowds of Westerners have imperceptibly and in just one generation embraced Hindu beliefs? Not at all. The reincarnation belief of our time is a distinct product of the modern: optimistic, individualistic, trend-sensitive and formulated in a language that fits hand in glove in a world of science and rationality."
("Born again… and again, and again" by Olav Hammer, from Res Publica 40, 2/98.
Reincarnation, every incarnation has its meaning and one has to learn certain lessons
Reincarnation is established thought. Supported by part regression experiences, and research by Stevenson, etc.
Theosophy came in and synthesized a multitude of these currents, ideas, and hopes. Blavatsky, p44. Karma and reincarnation are taken or channeled through Theosophy, and not directly from Hinduism, Hammer points out in 2004
Reincatnation is a relatively new idea in Hinduism, p108 Hammer 2004
"In just forty years, reincarnation has gone from being a view spread among the members of some Theosophical and occult circles to becoming one of the most widely embraced religious beliefs of our time," p203
Reincarnation was "removed" from Christianity at the Council of Constantinople? 551? Write something about this scattered performance (is in interview material? think so)
Reincarnation Memories: One of the first reported in modern times, Allen Kardec 1857, p203 Hammer 2004
Something similar should apply to both the karma idea, as well as the meaning and purpose of development: it is largely individualistic, excludes family, compatriots and fellow species.
Similar to reincarnation, which has been modernized and seen as the guarantor of the individual's ascension to perfection, regardless of the environment, relatives, etc.
"Concepts like those of karma and synchronicity are employed as a common belief system, which allows the individual to establish a virtually unending network of connections. Thus, it is possible to explain practically any trivial event as if filled with rare significance. This hign frequency of magical attributions suggests that New Age people, more than just sharing a set of beliefs, possess a personality and cognitive disposition, which makes them particularly prone to search for meaningful connections between seemingly distant and unrelated objects and events." (Farias, Claridge & Lalljee, 2005, p980)
Karma is no longer used to any great extent in India to explain a person's fate.
"When one finally comes to the Hinduism that is actually practiced in today's India, one can see that the concept of karma has lost its meaning again. There are a number of religious models of explanation that will explain why one is doing well and the other badly. Modern popular Hinduism usually invokes violations of taboo rules, evil spirits, witchcraft, obsession, or planetary influences. Karma remains as a theoretical concept, but is rarely used when explaining people's lot in life in practice", p110. (with ref to Fuller, C. J. The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India
"Hinduism is presented in school books and popular representations most often as if learned writings from the first centuries of our era apply to Hindus today. The difference between then and now and between elite and popular religion is in fact enormous.", s357 (referring to the concept of karma) Hammer 2004
This is relevant to when using my three criteria.
And someone objects that aren't there billions that resonate just like that, i.e. the Hindus, etc.? "The concept of karma raised in the neo-religious language is essentially a Theosophical view," p110 Hammer 2004
(Hammer, 2004) Is the idea of karma not very widespread in other religious thought systems, i.e. something that has only been borrowed?"The concept of karma raised in the neo-religious language is essentially a Theosophical view," p110
(Hammer, 2004) "Hinduism [and specifically the idea of karma] is presented in school books and popular representations most often as if learned writings from the first centuries of our era apply to Hindus today. The difference between then and now and between elite and popular religion is in fact enormous."
This is also an import from the East. Although similar thoughts seem to exist in the Bible and are part of our own cultural heritage. As you sow, you will reap. He who takes to the sword shall perish with the sword, etc. (Bible report). Interpreted differently here. Mercy and deed. With God as an intermediary. Karma as understood in the new age is more automatic, relentless. Problematize. Not so general thought among Indians or "Hindus" today. The concept of karma that the New Age encompasses belongs in advanced theological literature, a religious elite. The context is also another: in the East there is also a god world that possibly outweighs some of the harshness.
The perfection of the individual.
Several who have come up with much the same: pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional: Kohlberg, Fowler, Loevinger, Wilber, Kegan, Erikson?
See Loevinger during Ackommodera, Assimilate!
Anthony Giddens talks about how today we are referred to creating our own lives. Life has become a personal project, s313 Hammer 2004
Not unlike the "development ladder" described by Erik Erikson (year), for example, in various stages, with the difference that this development is taking place here across several incarnations. The idea of development in new age/newness also has clear parallels to Darwin's (ref) theory of evolution, with the difference that based on new age/newness it is partly a question of individual development, and partly development is targeted (ref).
– – –
"One of the components of Theosophy is an alternative history, a broad panorama of races and sub-races that replace each other over the years of millions," hammer says.
The idea of development in Theosophy, that the whole cosmos,
"from our individual souls to planetary systems, are undergoing constant evolution," p23. In this there is also a natural connection to Darwin, something that is most often lacking in the usual religions and creation stories. However, developments in Theosophy and NA are targeted. s23 Hammer
Hammer connects to Hegel's philosophy of history, a prescient evolutionary approach directly derived from pre-romanticism. S23 Hammer." But the development goes like a big U: we have passed a fall into the material and have just passed the bottom of the curve. Slowly we will now rise up to spiritual forms of existence", p23 Hammer2004. More and more people are becoming interested as we develop on a spiritual level, s302 Hammer 2004
The focus on enlightenment and perfection that exists within the New Age is different from similar ambitions in other traditions? Within NA, this vision has a very individualistic character. Things such as relatives, etc., have a subordinate if one's importance, while Hinduism has its caste system. Again, it's probably misleading if you think Indians in general have a new age-like view of karma (Brill, etc).
"If everything really has a meaning and no radical evil exists for real, why does the ordinary, unlit man still seem to see an abyss of senseless suffering? Some New Age writers say they have the answer. The seemingly difficult is only an experience that the soul has chosen to expose itself to, because in its wisdom it knows what it needs in this incarnation. Even the most difficult living conditions are a burden that is voluntarily accepted" (Hammer, 1998) p.85
Arlebrand questions this highest, perfected state.
"If it is now possible for man to see occult realities in higher states of consciousness, one should expect the depictions of these higher cosmic planes to be consistent with each other, at least broadly speaking. A study of the leading esoterics of our time shows that their descriptions of reality differ considerably" (Arlebrand, 1992, p202)
"Occultism holds that man's fundamental problem is that he normally has too limited consciousness. When man receives an elevated consciousness, he will be able to overcome all his limitations and weaknesses. The redeeming is the realization, gnosis, that everything deep down is identical to the All, the divine. This insight is intuitive and only accessible through direct experience" (Arlebrand, 1992, p199)
In both Theosophy and American positive thinking, there were notions of
"Amazing dormant forces in the human mind. The enlightened man, Blavatsky said, could read directly in the Akashak chronicle, a kind of universe's own memory bank, where all the events in the entire history of the cosmos were stored. Within man's reach lay nothing less than omniscience", s55 (Hammer 2004)
(Hammer, 2000 el 2004?) The idea of development in Theosophy, that the whole cosmos,
"from our individual souls to planetary systems, are undergoing constant evolution," p23. In this there is also a natural connection to Darwin, something that is most often lacking in the usual religions and creation stories. However, developments in Theosophy and NA are targeted. s23
(Hammer, 2000 el 2004?) The idea of development in Theosophy, that the whole cosmos, "from our individual souls to the planetary systems, is undergoing constant evolution", p23. In this there is also a natural connection to Darwin, something that is most often lacking in the usual religions and creation stories. However, developments in Theosophy and NA are targeted. s23
Images of God, pantheism.
In 1994-95, Liselott Frisk conducted a survey in which one of the questions was whether the person believed in God? 97% said yes to this. But in the new environment where these people moved, the word was used very rarely (Frisk, 1998; referenced in Frisk & Åkerbäck, 2013)
Frisk och Åkerbäck (2013) tells about a priest in Borlänge, Anders Litborn, who has been very involved in going into dialogue with other religions and faiths, inventing joint activities, etc: "Litborn means that if you know where the center is, you don't have to be so sharp at the edges." (p. 172)
"I'm confident in everything. It is only when it comes to God that I am sure that you should not be too clear. My critics say I'm very untitled but I've been incredibly clear that God is beyond our language, our images and concepts…
Many people walk around with the notion that Christian faith is a package of a ready-made God, that He exists in the same way that a lamp exists. That's nonsense. God is a relationship, a dimension, a subject in all that is. That is why we can only sense with a poetic or mystic approach the truth that lies more between the letters than in them" (Archbishop KG Hammar interviewed in SvD, http://www.svd.se/kultur/bara-kg-igen_334618.svd, page visited 2014-12-19)
Almost everyone who is engaged in the New Age believes in God in some form. The survey has two options – Spirit/Vitality or Personal – and the former is overweight. 63% and 20%, respectively. Frisk comments that although this possibility was not pronounced, 14% ticked in both!, s64 (Healthy 2000)
That God is "some kind of no closer to defined power or intelligence […] An intelligence, a force, the foundation of all things, love, life force, a thought…", p137 Hammer2004
The New Age perceives God as Theosophy does/did, as "a universal and impersonal creative force, an eternal, formless foundation from which the created arises", p52 Hammer 2004
Geels and Wikström refer to Forman and his colleagues who estimated that "between 19 and 32% of Americans profess a spiritual, non-personal image of God". The authors estimate that this would mean about 50-80 million people. (p.399)
(Hammer, 2004) That God is "some kind of no closer to defined power or intelligence […] An intelligence, a power, the foundation of everything, love, life force, a thought…" Hammer, 2004, p137
(Simon Shama, tv-doc, possibly find another ref!) The Jews, who are said to be the longest-lost religion in creating an abstract god. It's unclear if it's someone you can communicate with, at most a "warm force," just like the new age. (I think Judaism, like the New Age, is very much a "belief in deeds." You can't hope for mercy, you have to do the right thing.)
That God is "some kind of no closer to defined power or intelligence […] An intelligence, a force, the foundation of everything, love, life force, a thought…", p137(Hammer 2004)
A power or energy that permeates all things (rarely called God; "God" is something that is in ourselves. The divine is not trancendent, but "immanent", inherent in everything and everyone. (Hammer, 2004)
The author's suggestion: It has an optimistic view of the individual himself, to the point of seeing the individual as God, God inside. (Chryssides, 2007)
Check it out! (Kärfve, 1998) The New Self-Deification, from Res Publica
Anne-Christine Hornborg, professor of religious studies at Lund University, writes about coaching and new age-inspired lay therapy in a chronicle: "Quick solutions to rebirth". In the past, she has investigated the importance of rites in Canadian mi'kmaq indians. She sees both similarities and differences with today's offerings in Sweden:
"The activity is legitimized by the fact that the latest research is invoked (the connection is sometimes more science-like than scientific, e.g. ill health should be combated with unprocessed cell memories being reprogrammed) …. Religion has always been used for healing purposes and as comfort in adversity. But the new entrepreneurs don't want to be defined as religious: some highlight spirituality as a universal strengthening force and laid off the dress of religion, others are more likely to use a science-like language suit in the presentations.
(http://www.fokusforskning.lu.se/2014/10/15/snabba-losningar-av-panyttfodelse/,page visited 2014-12-20).
The meaning of suffering.
Unlike secular worldviews, it is believed that even difficult experiences serve a purpose, that they have meaning in the light of one's spiritual development", p17. Hammer2004
The view of good and evil, ethics, can probably be perceived as offensive, p143. There is a strong tendency "to radically de-dramatize evil and suffering. Since it is often explained that we ourselves create the world we live in, we ourselves bear the ultimate responsibility for the suffering that can befall us. Basically, however, there is nothing that is unambiguously evil: the problems we face are rather challenges, opportunities for the human soul to absorb important experiences", p143 Hammer2004
Supporters claim no faith.
The power of thought
There is one direction, namely that "it is man's consciousness that creates his external circumstances, not the other way around", p22 Hammer 2004
Magical performances. Hammer on Shakti Gawain, author of books such as Living in the Light, that she
"Explains that the physical world is our creation. The world is a giant mirror that reflects our own state of mind. This statement should be interpreted literally. If I have the idea that I should settle for a little, the cosmos will be organized in such a way that my life will also be full of financial worries", p213 Hammer2004
We create our own reality, popular in the new age, s54 Hammer 2004
One of the central figures of the New Age in Sweden, Tomas Frankell (quoted in Hammer, 1998) says about reincarnation memories: "Our unconscious speaks to us in pictures and what are unhealed sides of our psyche can also be easily interpreted as incarnations" (p87)
Hammer (1998) points out an interesting anomaly with these regressions, which have psychodynamic relevance. He writes that
"Precisely in reincarnation therapy, there is an interesting anomaly. The New Age is rightly portrayed as a rosy vision in which no radical evil seems to exist. With a little positive thinking and a belief that the cosmos wants us well, everything will be fine. It is therefore particularly striking that so many experiences during regression are extraordinarily violent. Here there are psychic reserves where you can live out all the night black in your interior" (Hammer, 1998)s81.
Male and female
"The informants express a polarized view of gender. Male and female are seen as fixed categories and are associated with traditional assumptions about logic and rationality and feeling and intuition." (Löwendahl, 2002)
Lowendahl (2004) notes that the view of gender is polarized in her material – men are perceived as logical and rational, the female as sensitive and intuitive. The informants emphasize female over male, that the former is more central to the spiritual search.
(Lowendahl, 2004) The author notes that the view of gender is polarized in her material – men are perceived as logical and rational, the female as sensitive and intuitive. The informants emphasize female over male, that the former is more central to the spiritual search.
The "funktonaries" of the deity?
That there is something, or perhaps someone, that exists beyond the empirical. God, Ascended Master, or whatever it is. It's something or someone you can be in contact with. Channeled or led.
(Chryssides, 2007) Advanced spiritual beings who are now free from the cycle of reincarnation and who continue to guide humans on Earth from their celestial abodes, p6
The Christ Figure
"Every serious New Age movement has a Christian ideology; sometimes they talk more about Christ than we do in the Church," writes Harry Månsus, founder of the so-called Bromma Dialogue, priest in the Baptist Church and longtime evangelist and debater, networker in new-age contexts (ref)
Christ, "perhaps the greatest example of a being who has stood on a higher spiritual plane than ordinary people," p140. That he taught the doctrine of reincarnation, p141 Hammer2004
(Hammer, 2004) Christ, "perhaps the greatest example of a being who has stood on a higher spiritual plane than ordinary people," p140. That he taught the doctrine of reincarnation, p141
(Moonus, 1997) All new age directions have a "Christianology". Månsus, who is a priest with extensive experience from conversations with followers of the New Age, reflects that these people often talk more about Jesus than they do in the Church.
Who's in the new age and who's not? And to what extent. And partly, but deep in some respects. What should be a minimum criterion?,s114 Healthy 2007
(Healthy, 2000) Based on the kind of employment of the respondents, Frisk concludes that the new age is a kind of popular religion, p60. Compared to other religiosity, it is also a women's phenomenon, s62. Frisk suggests, with ref to the sociologist of religion Meredith B. McGuire, that one can "see institutionalized religiosity as male-dominated, and the 'modern religiosity' as a kind of female protest," p62
(Hammer, 2004) Two large groups, according to Hammer, namely young people and women in middle age. What unites these two groups is their "intense search for meaning, their own identity, and an independent inner voice," p.
(Hammer, 2004) Women who have long subordinated themselves to the needs and desires of others. First the parents, then the partner's, later the children's. "Only in the middle of life did a process of emancipation began, which could involve both greater trust in one's own inner voice but also a lot of pain," p29. "Their desire to replace external authority with an inner compass is matched by the New Age environment's emphasis on intuition and subjectivity," p29
Women practiced typical NA activities (such as healing, yoga, astrology, etc.) more and had a greater interest in NA, its beliefs and teachings (Farias, Claridge &. Lalljee, 2005).
Another study (Rose, 1996; ref in Farias, Claridge & Lalljee, 2005) showed that there were about 70% of women who were interested in NA, of whom the majority were in middle age.
Women who have long subordinated themselves to the needs and desires of others. First the parents, then the partner's, later the children's. "Only in the middle of life did a process of emancipation began, which could involve both greater trust in one's own inner voice but also a lot of pain," p29. "Their desire to replace external authority with an inner compass is matched by the new age environment's emphasis on intuition and subjectivity," p29. (Hammer 2004)
Why overweight by adolescents at large and middle-aged women in the results? Hammar refers to American investigations. Young people are confronted with the realization that experts can contradict each other. Then there is room to think for yourself. Another driving force is to define one's own from parents and the adult world. For women a more existential driving force, part of a process of emancipation. They have long been subordinate to society, men, parents. A desire to replace external authorities with an inner compass. (Hammer, 2004)
Recent surveys do not seem to support the fact that it is a typical youth movement? Support for typical new-age performances is equally strong right up to middle age (Dagen?, Centre for Contemporary Research, etc.)
Producer/consumer (Frisk & Åkerbäck)
Can it be difficult to determine? Producers may have a new age/new-age outlook on life, but their clients, customers, or students don't. For example, yoga and meditation, mindfulness, waldorf schools, etc. (Frisk och Åkerbäck, 2013).
(So the activity itself is not crucial to this study, but it is how the person thinks, what "over-empiric" assumptions he or she makes about existence. – about my essay.)
Core squad/supporters (Geels &Wikström)
What is shared is the conviction that humanity is on the threshold of a "new age." Furthermore, this heterogeneous group can be divided into levels of engagement, from "core squad" (the most dedicated) to "customers" (those who only consume). Another possible division would be in degree or combination of an occult, a spiritual and a social dimension. (p391) Wikström and Geels
Functional perspective etc. (Frisk & Åkerbäck)
A functional perspective. The new age is healing. But Frisk mentions respondents who are doing healing but don't look at themselves or what they do as spiritual, p115, 2007
Frisk suggests that one should perhaps start from scratch, with statistical means, researching one's way to suitable divisions of what today fits more or less under the new age, p119 Frisk 2007
Something she continues to work on in Frisk och Åkerbäck (2013)
There are organizations, sects, Russian quote!, and disorganized. What is common to "newness"? Enlightenment that the leader may be the reborn or reincarnated Christ. That this leader can be perfectly loving, fully developed, superior to all others. This is not a "Christian" idea. Some "holism", the notion of control, communication across time and space boundaries…
"Rose of the World."
Ruslana Korshunova, 20, had it all: she made a rocket career as a model, graced the world's biggest fashion magazine and was loved by her friends. Everyone was shocked when she died suddenly on a street in downtown New York in 2008.
Peter Pomerantsev has published a new theory in his book Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible. According to him, both Ruslan Korshunova and her friend Anastasia Drozdova were involved in a moscow sect called the Rose of the World and that the sect indirectly led the two young women to death.
The sect bases its way of thinking on the Russian mystic Daniil Andreev (1906-1959) who predicted in his book "Roza Mira" that the world's major religions will in the future merge into an "interreligion". He also believed in reincarnation and karma – two fairly common concepts among modern, quasi-religious sects.
'Dismantled' members' self-esteem
Peter Pomerantsev wallraffed into the sect in Moscow and began taking lessons for so-called "life coaches" to study it and find out more about Ruslana Korshunova's time in the Rose of the World.
He found that she had sought it after having her heart broken by an older, wealthy man she had fallen in love with. The sect's leaders, according to Pomerantsev, had a habit of humiliating and "dismantling" members' self-esteem. Among the "lessons" that Korshunova paid over SEK 2,000 a day to take part in was that a person always has himself to blame for his problems; For example, a rape victim was told that it was her own fault that she had been raped.
Peter Pomerantsev told the New York Daily News that one of the sect's "life coaches" was asked if he remembered Ruslana. The coach replied that he remembered her as "a classic victim" and that "sometimes it's better to kill yourself than not be able to change."
It seems that within the "new spirituality", which may nevertheless share certain conceptions (reincarnation, karma, "destiny", development towards perfection, etc.), there may be an immense breadth in organizational appearance. From the person who buys books and goes home and reads on his own, possibly visiting a lecture from time to time, to the one who, like Ruslana Korhunova, engages in an organization that slowly breaks her down and finally causes her to take her own life.
New age, NRM, NSM, etc.
Chryssides (2007, p. 5) points out that it is important to distinguish the new age from things like "alternative spirituality", "NRM's" and "NSM's": "What belongs to the field of New Age studies and what lies outside" (p. 5).
The new age after nrm's
Researcher Liselott Frisk is interviewed in Dagens Nyheter (Utterström, 2014) about the state of new age in Sweden. Her view is that the phenomenon evolved in an unexpected direction:
"Hare Krishna, the Church of Scientology, and the other neo-religious movements that Frisk studied in his dissertation did not continue to grow in the way many predicted in the 1990s. But the New Age did. Liselotte Frisk believes that the offer of a spiritual smorgasbord was just right on time. In addition, secularization and individualism continued, globalization created a sense of togetherness, and the internet contributed to the spread of information like never before."
Change over time
Constantly changing, for society but now the individual, 3rd phase
Stricto vs Lato new age (Sutcliffe, 2013)
Sutcliffe (referring to ?, 2013) speaks of an original and a contemporary new age. The former had more focus on society, today more on the well-being of the individual. "Stricto" and "lato" respectively.
"3rd Phase" (Hammer)
Hammer makes an analysis of the fact that the amount of interested affects a phenomenon's status. As long as there are only a few hundred sympathizers, it is an eccentric phenomenon. A few tens of thousands embraced then it's about interest group or subculture. When many millions accepted, it becomes part of a general collective behavior -c. In the US and Sweden, Hammer believes that the new age has come to such a third stage, s95 Hammer 2004
Hammer points out an interesting slippage, which may have to do with the larger social development. In the beginning, it was more common to talk about how humanity was facing a "spiritual and social revolution", even a "new age". "This show has become increasingly rare. Instead, much of today's new age thinking is about the individual's spiritual advancement", p23 Hammer 2004
Society vs. Individual
Hammer on that in the beginning it is more like a socially changing movement, today more the individual.
(Hammer, 2004) Hammer points out an interesting slippage, possibly having to do with the larger social development. In the beginning, it was more common to talk about how humanity was facing a "spiritual and social revolution", even a "new age".
"This show has become increasingly rare. Instead, much of today's new age thinking is about the spiritual advancement of the individual," Hammer, 2004, p23
Characteristic of the New Age to Change
Jmfr Frisk on data being too old after ten years, 2000
That the new age is changing is perhaps not so strange, if it is a spirituality that is explicitly about "applicants". And that it's not coherent. Many movements contain great tensions and differences, feminism for example, perhaps still greater differences, p16 (Chryssides, 2007??)
"Characteristic of the New Age is that the content changes over time", s52 (Healthy 2000)
Dear child has many names
Spirituality, non-confessional spirituality, spirituality, "Christianity light"Holistic religion, Spirituality, Popular Religion, NRM, New Religious Movements, Non-Confessional Spirituality, Alternative Spirituality, Western Esoterism, Neo-Religion, Occultism, Esoteric, Esoteric Spirituality, Grassroot Spirituality, Spirituality, Self-Spirituality (Heelas), Private Religion, New Age, NewNess, etc. Liselotte Frisk (Dagen, 2008a, July 16), referring to a survey in Enköping, speaks of "mild Christians" or "Christian light". These are people who mix a Christian faith with certain new beliefs and practices.
Pyramis (Månsus), organized vs disorganized, experiential vs theoretical, individualistic vs collectivist, Wikström & Geels
Harry Månsus has proposed a pyramid with three levels. At the top level, he places the more organized newness, sects, "cults". At the lower end of the top layer he places the newly organized newness to some extent, like the anthroposophists, the martinus cosmology. These movements have in common that they emphasize a "holistic system" (Månsus, 1997). At the intermediate level there is the more loosely composed new age, which is expressed "in the weekly newspapers and in literature" (Månsus). Phenomena crystals, tarot, astrology, etc. On the lower level, what Månsus calls the "depth level", we find, for example, the widely spread notion of reincarnation today. A great interest in healing and mediumism, for example. Here, the individuals have not yet "settled on a "New Age ideology." They're seekers. They are moving." (Moonus)
Moonsus pyramid in three steps ("unit philosophies" in the lower part of the third level)
Experiential vs theoretical
Wikström's 4 categories?
Similar and different
New age as "a smorgasbord" where the followers pick up the dishes they want to be part of their personal spirituality is a popular metaphor (Wikström, et al). Many descriptions of the new spirituality include an enumeration of various practices and beliefs.
A hierarchy of beliefs?
It should be possible to arrange the performances hiearchically: A conviction that the world is "holistic" should end up high, i.e. that things like telepathy and various paranormal phenomena are possible. The fact that the individual survives death and reincarnates should also end up high. That the individual and humanity are involved in a development forward to something brighter, higher, even. Some kind of karma principle is required. Perhaps to this should be added an individualitical context, that it is not the clan or the family that should survive, but the focus is on the individual's growth and growth.
"The construct of holistic individualism has been identified in relation to the New Age but it is plausible to find it applied elsewhere. An obvious example is the growing interest in spirituality within modern societies, a concept that overlaps in many ways with New Age ideas in the way it emphasizes non-ordinary experiences at the individual level and distances itself from communal forms of religion. It may be the case that holistic individualism is a social-cultural phenomenon of which the New Age is merely a precursor" (Farias &Lalljee, 2008)
This condition was already predicted by the sociologist Émile Durkhem (1858-1917) who imagined a future society that will be so heterogeneous that the only thing that ultimately unites people is the fact that everyone perceives themselves and others as autonomous individuals, life will be perceived as "an open project" (Hammer, 2004, pp. 312-313, or 312ff).
Unwillingness to be categorized, or difficult?
A Danish study, which wanted to examine newage sympathies in the population, sent out a survey to 385 therapists, as these were assumed to include typical New Age notions. 170 responses came back. Among other things, the researchers wanted to find out to what extent these people considered themselves religious or spiritual. The answers showed that they viewed themselves that way much more than the population.
Five answer options were provided. Christian/religious/spiritual search/has reached spiritual clarity, as well as a fifth option, which was no to all designations. A fifth ticked all options. One-fifth, all but one option. The author suggests that this may have been because respondents didn't think any of the response options suited them. (Lars Ahlin, 2007, referenced in Frisk & Åkerbäck, 2013)
Frisk talks about similar experiences, from another study, where respondents would respond to personal or impersonal god, and many ticked both boxes, or in between! (ref?)
"A New Person"
Hammer on the self-image of New Age followers: "One belongs to a spearhead in society, a group of people with higher knowledge, greater insight, who have progressed further in their spiritual development", p333 Hammer 2004
Is it a group that stands out for special psychological traits?
Cognitive psychology perspectives
In order to fully understand the changes in religious engagement, it is probably not possible to count out the major social upheavals of the 20th century, the migration to the big cities and which often involved a break-up from communities and traditions, secularization, two world wars, globalization, etc. However, this goes far beyond the ambition of this study to try to answer.
Are new age and new age a group of their own?
Granqvist and Hagekull (2001) have, with their research based on the New Age Spirituality Scale, been able to show that within holistic spirituality there is a consensus on central issues, a theology, if you will.
One question asked is whether people who embrace or are "drawn to" new age/newness also psychologically constitute their own group? Is it the same psychological processes that lead to an interest in age/newness that, let's say, that the person becomes a Christian? Is it the same "gains" that keep the person interested?
There is research, in cognitive psychology and based on attachment theory, that indicates that followers of new age/newness excel in certain psychological aspects.