Friday, November 30, 2012

New Age meditators

The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics". (from Wikipedia).

I have an internet blogging friend who is a New Age meditator. And he believed himself to be a chosen one who has a direct and private line with the Divine. Recently he wrote on his blog that he was affected by some genetic disease, and he believed it to be a kind of karma oil-spill. I wish him good health here. And I hope his medical doctor can take care of his physical side, and I'm sure he can take care of his spiritual side by himself. He is a nice and kind fella.

Some New Age meditators, like my internet friend, read extensively and patch up theory after theory to substantiate their approach and their belief system. Some believe in the deterministic influence of traumatic events happened in previous lives. Some have a commendable humanistic mission like the Green Peace guys. Some are Gnostic. Some are martial arts interested in mythical chi practices (and a few believed in non-contact combat). Some like to play with auras. Some like to do recreational out-of-body astral travel (that reminds me of recreational LSD space travelers). Some advocate their own definition of Evidence based spirituality making claims such as revamping the Tibetan concept of reincarnation through scientific research! Most are positive thinkers, and some more aggressive than others. Some look like psychopaths or at least warrant some good attention of our clinical psychologists, whereas some, perhaps spotting a commercial opportunity here, act like psychologists or are actual psychologists targeting this niche market (perhaps rather big, I don't know). Some would get into trouble with law enforcement, when they misuse their power over their followers with dependency tendency.  Mystification the a rule rather than an exception, and much revered by many New Age meditators.

Mystification is not a bad thing per se, our big reputable major religious are clouded with Divine revelations and miracles. It is a necessary part of any belief system that includes the mass market as its audience. Everything is fine until one enters the arena of superstition, or worse black magic. But even superstition or black magic is acceptable as long as they only serve as stepping stones for healing with the eventual objective of leading the person onto the right path of religious enlightenment. These are acceptable by our major religions too, as far as my interpretation goes. Though conscientious religious leaders have to walk a very thin line. For example, the Dalai Lama often complained about Tibetan Buddhists paying more respect to the guardian deities that promise to deliver worldly redress and benefits.

Like the practice of chi-kung, New Age meditation is unregulated, which has it flip and flop side. And in our modern society, for good or for bad, many areas of our lives are being left to our own choice. Sometimes people made good choices and sometimes they made bad choices. Still, it is better to have a choice than none at all. Let the buyers beware....

New Age meditation

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