The reason why New Age approaches never really work

johnd's picture

Average: 5 (6 votes)

New Age claims that personal development is achievable through happiness. That happiness is not only the goal but the means.

New Agers expect meditation to be blissful. If they were agitated during meditation, if anger, desire, fears and nervousness dominated their meditation, they use to say they had a "bad meditation".

New Agers equate awareness with peacefulness. If you are restless then you are probably doing something wrong.

Spirituality admits the opposite. Spiritualists claim that if you are aware then you will be aware of whatever is, whether it is pleasant or painful. In other words, be prepared that the path will include many hardships and pains as well.

Most spiritualists agree that happiness is indeed the goal but they will warn you, in the same breath, that the path is not happy at all otherwise you have already achieved the goal. They will say that if you want to be happy you must remove all existing pains until nothing left except of peacefulness, and that the only way to remove a pain is by looking at the pain face to face while remaining indifferent.

Spiritualist expect meditation to be agitated sometimes. They will not view such a meditation as a bad one at all, they will not get frustrated by nervousness, on the contrary.

We can compare our situation to that of a heavy smoker. If he wishes to get rid of his addiction, he is prone to a rehabilitation process full of great pains. Any ex-smoker can testify how hard is the process of quiting smoking.

You can force yourself to think positively and be happy, you can force yourself to be peaceful in meditation, you can convince yourself that you don't want a cigarette and that everything is OK. But at some point you will explode. And exploding creates a trauma leading to the smoking of increased quantities of cigarettes, to a greater desire, to increased and traumatic fears and, worse of all, to the abandonment of awareness.

Our situation is not much different than that of a heavy smoker. They are just different types of addiction.

Quantum's picture

Mind work, vs Beyond the Mind.

New Age is mind stuff. Positive thoughts. Positive emotions. These are mind activities.

Spirituality goes beyond the mind. Abiding in Peace. Communing with the Soul.

Quantum | Sat, 01/23/2010 - 19:10
ciaran_mcn's picture

I have to say, very well

I have to say, very well put! You do a good job of allowing the reader to see the wood from the trees.



ciaran_mcn | Sun, 01/24/2010 - 22:48
gurusloth's picture


Guru Sloth

gurusloth | Wed, 09/14/2011 - 06:06