What is "New Age"?

Rick Knight (rknight@platinum.com)
Thu, 05 Jun 97 14:20:43 CST

There is at least a modicum of interest in deriding those on which we
slap the label "New Age" or "Fundamentalist". Both have their whacko
extremes. But as we can often observe, things are not quite so black
and white (I have to constantly resist the urge to stridently classify
things tidily). What about a New Age Rationalist? Sound far-fetched.
If I were to label myself, it might be something to that effect. I
need/desire proof but don't demand it to form an opinion. Facts get
me more intrigued and bought into a prospect. Is my "self" existent
beyond my present physicality. I don't *know*. I can believe but
belief is merely a choice. I have reached the point, past years of
religious indoctrination and trying to find the "right path" that it's
folly to try to argue/prove a "belief" system.

My belief system on that which cannot be currently/rationally proven
is kind of like "I wonder what Greece is like this time of year?" I
entertain the notions but don't get plagued by them and constantly
embellish them.

Rationalism taken to its extreme could ostensibly be as myopic and
therefore, potentially limited as the belief-bound fundie/new age'r.

I consider things such as scientific thought on the dimensions of the
Earth prior to Columbus, the nature of light prior to scientific study
in this and part of the last century. Things ubiquitous are often
accepted at face value or without need of compelling evidence. It may
yet be discovered that consciousness isn't just a wonderfully evolved
network of chemically activated neuron firings but a self-contained
spectrum of energy utilizing the biology of the brain. An energy
domain existing above/beyond the spectrum of light (a domain on which
we are no doubt still getting volumes of new information).

While some things are "known" as to their possible or impossible
nature, others still reside in the speculative realm. The "New Age"
(whatever that means) belief may not be substantive but it may yet
carry something intuitive, archetypal or as Sheldrake expressed
"morphogenic". These ideas/thoughts/beliefs may not appear rational
and may never be proven as such and can thus, be easily dismissed.
Conversely, wives waited dutifully on the shore so that their husbands
would have an assurance that if they went out of sight, they wouldn't
fall off the world. Scientific knowledge, as large as it looms in our
age of information, may yet be scratching the surface of what is
known. And who knows, as some New Age types have been known to
express (also me under the influence of psychedelics), maybe we're
just making it up as we go along...

Keeps things interesting I'd suspect.


Rick Knight