WHAT IS THE NEW AGE?
It is not a new religion or a change in existing religions. It is a new time period – a Golden Age of peace and plenty for humanity. It will be achieved with a new mindset. Think of it this way: if we continue on our current unsustainable path, we will suffer on an ever-greater scale from war, pollution, widening inequality, global warming, and the collapse of our ecosystems. If, on the other hand, we make the right choices over the next few years, we have a unique chance to remake the world for the better. We can achieve world peace, put an end to poverty, and begin to live in balance with nature. We can give our descendants a planet that is less like a nightmare and more like a utopian dream come true. This is the New Age to which I refer: a coming Golden Age of Peace that we must create ourselves in the here and now.
The term “New Age” does not refer to a weird fixation on Atlantis, channeling, and crystals. New Age ideas should not be sequestered from logic and empiricism but should instead encourage scientific inquiry and point out why it is perfectly rational to have a belief in metaphysics. Simply put, New Age refers here to the following basic beliefs:
Four-dimensional chemistry and physics cannot explain everything in the universe. Quantum mechanics has made this abundantly clear.
Wisdom is what we need to save the planet; science and technology are not enough.
All religions of goodness and light are at their core very similar.
People of all faiths need to live together in peace.
We need to begin living in sustainability with nature as quickly as possible.
Humanity needs to recognize these truths and alter our culture accordingly.
We will succeed in reforming our culture, and a Spiritual Renaissance will result.
Anyone who is paying any attention to the news and is the least bit thoughtful must be aware that our current way of life simply cannot continue without doing irreparable harm to the environment. Our modern economy is based on materialism and convenience, assumes that infinite growth is possible, and is leading to the destruction of the very ecosystems that support all life on Earth. This is our most pressing problem, but solving it is not so simple. We cannot just buy a bumper sticker or switch to an electric car. To really solve this problem, we need to radically rethink and re-engineer how we do almost everything. Our priorities need to shift, and to accomplish this we need to develop wisdom. Wisdom is different from intelligence or knowledge. Intelligence and knowledge can increase exponentially, but if people’s excessive desires and mistaken assumptions are not dealt with, they will continue to make unwise choices. Only wisdom can direct us to use good judgment. Wisdom is not something that can be generated in any simple, straightforward way, like programming a computer. It is a unique quality that requires a deep understanding of the world and of oneself.
Spirituality is the key to developing wisdom and achieving world peace. Just as chemistry and physics cannot fully explain all the phenomena in the universe, knowledge and intelligence cannot fully define wisdom. Spiritual teachings evolved to explain otherwise-inexplicable phenomena and to cultivate the elusive quality we call wisdom. These teachings, while aiming to achieve the same basic goals, evolved into very different traditions. The disagreements between adherents of these different religions have been one of the main driving forces behind human conflict over the ages. We can no longer afford to fight wars because our nuclear technology could destroy all of civilization. We must have peace, and the only way to do this is to emphasize the common ground between major world religions (and all those that focus on goodness and light). Fortunately for us, the beliefs and practices at the heart of these religions are very similar, making it entirely possible to live together in harmony.
We need to face the enormity of our challenges. We are told by scientists that up to a billion species are on the edge of extinction, that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is higher now than it has been for millions of years, and that our window of opportunity to prevent runaway global warming is rapidly closing. We are an enigmatic species: able to achieve miracles, yet usually our own worst enemy. Now we find ourselves painted into a corner like never before. The fabric of Mother Earth is literally coming undone because of our behavior, and we need to find a new mode of existing on this planet – peacefully, sustainably, wisely – in very short order. There are those who hear all this and deny it, those who accept it yet still refuse to alter their thoughts and behavior (perhaps thinking there is no hope, and therefore no point in changing), and those willing to commit themselves to save the world for future generations. These are the leaders who matter: the ones who see our problems with clarity, care deeply about their children’s future, and have the guts to keep trying no matter what. Not only can we succeed in saving the world; it is inevitable that we will succeed. Scores of prophecies from around the world have clearly predicted our current crisis, and they unanimously confirm that humanity will emerge in an entirely different state: having achieved world peace, and a spiritual culture where miracles are commonplace.
All of this is what is meant here by the term “New Age.” We are, after a very difficult trial period, on the verge of entering a Golden Age unlike anything ever experienced before: a Spiritual Renaissance. Scientific and technological breakthroughs will be coupled with advances in the understanding of human consciousness. This will revolutionize how we live and how we conceive of everything. Human culture will be remade in its entirety. Those born a century from now will live in a veritable utopia as compared to our present status quo.