What Does The ‘New Age’ Spiritual Movement Mean?

Something is regularly written or done with the overarching theme of “new age”. ‘New age’ is now an established name for a spiritual movement that originated towards the end of the 20th century. That does not alter the fact that it is explained broadly and is sometimes applied inappropriately. With that in mind, there is no harm in explaining what we actually mean by “new age” and why the movement is growing in the early 21st century.

New age, where did it originate and what is it?

First and foremost it is a spiritual movement that originated in the West. They became really active in this way towards the end of the 20th century, but in fact, the foundation was laid in the hippie era. The hippie era starts in the mid-sixties, we call it the Aquarian age. The hippies had as a starting point to want to distinguish themselves, especially in the “against”. With that, they unleashed small revolutions. The “being against” was mainly due to the bourgeoisie prevailing at that time, the many rules and the restriction of freedom. The hippies called it “spiritual emptiness” and resisted it. A new age also includes increased self-awareness and a more intuitive approach to business. Materialism plays a less important role in life and people go more for society. The philosophy is holism.

First and foremost it is a spiritual movement that originated in the West. They became really active in this way towards the end of the 20th century, but in fact, the foundation was laid in the hippie era. The hippie era starts in the mid-sixties, we call it the Aquarian age. The hippies had as a starting point to want to distinguish themselves, especially in the “against”. With that, they unleashed small revolutions. The “being against” was mainly due to the bourgeoisie prevailing at that time, the many rules and the restriction of freedom. The hippies called it “spiritual emptiness” and resisted it. A new age also includes increased self-awareness and a more intuitive approach to business. Materialism plays a less important role in life and people go more for society.

The philosophy is holism.

For many, the most famous is the flower power movement. Here sexual, musical and social revolutions were fought with the established order. This movement was the first to take shape in the United States of America on the campus of the University of California and in particular the San Francisco branch.

Where does the name “new age” come from?

Strangely enough, the term “new age” dates back to the end of the 19th century. The Russian noble lady Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who had been to Tibet several times, was the founder of the Theosophical Society. She announced the “new age,” in which theosophists * had a major role to play, namely to guide the evolution of the human race.

“New Age” then stood still for a considerable period, as it were. Two world wars have raged until the mid-1940s. In addition to the war years, you also have reconstruction after such a war. There is hardly any room for things that fall within the “new age” movement. The American theosophist David Spangler is subsequently seen as the founder of the contemporary “new age”.

“Theosophy is a metaphysical religious philosophy that states that all religions are attempts of a divine power to bring humanity to greater perfection. Therefore, theosophy states that every religion has a part of the truth,”

Wikipedia said.

Has “new age” become a repository of dissenters?

Because it is about a different way of thinking, feeling, believing, communicating and relationships, there is sometimes more under “new age” than “new age”. For example, if something is off the beaten track, it is soon called “new age.” The reason may be that people still like to put things in a box, but on summer fairs, for example, it can also be done from a commercial point of view (greater diversity attracts a wider audience). Some examples that are vaguely related, but not specifically “new age” are:

  • Bohemian style, simply ‘boho’. This is related to Bohemia in the Czech Republic and the French gypsies indicated that they originally came from there. This is then linked to the free lifestyle of gypsies and, as such, to ‘new age’.
  • The music of the English Kate Bush, directly from the first album The kick inside. The lady is dressed differently, moves differently and uses her voice differently and “fits” with the movement.
  • Everything that tends to the baroque style also called rococo. A style that actually developed in Italy in the 17th century and lasted until the first half of the 18th century. A style that deviates quite a bit from the “norm”.

What do we group under ‘New Age’ movement?

In the current “new age” you cannot find a single movement, it is a package of esoteric philosophy and is, therefore, an umbrella concept for different Western movements. Currents that originate in part from existing religions, but as a whole now stands outside the current religions.

In addition to the result from the hippie period where people thought and expressed differently on sexual, musical and social levels, “new age” includes belief in personal development. By that, we mean the development of self-awareness and identity. But also nurture your talents and increase the quality of life. Dreams and aspirations may be expressed and pursued, but you apply it in the “we society”. People are averse to “everyone for themselves”.

Furthermore, there is the fact that humanity is entering a new era and a more intuitive approach to things is being taken, as well as a less materialistic and individualistic society. People have a holistic view of people and the world, or everything is interrelated.

The ups and downs of a movement such as “new age”

“New age” owes its first popularity to the fact that improved access to higher education came in the sixties of the 20th century and prosperity took off. This has given mankind the opportunity to delve into a wide range of (exotic) views based on a different philosophy. That does not mean that where popularity increases, it can also decrease. Think of a sharply shrinking economy or conflict situations such as the aforementioned wars. People then have less eye for these aspects and focus on sustaining themselves.

A movement must continue to move, literally and figuratively, in order to maintain the right to exist. “New Age” therefore continues to renew itself. For a larger group of people, there are aspects that they identify with. Think of:

Conclusion

“New age” movement as we know it now, seems to be a collective term for all sorts of things that we cannot immediately explain and do not fit in with the established order. This, while “new age” is in fact a clear trend with the aforementioned basic principles.

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