My Thoughts on the New Age, and How It Differs from Mysticism

6 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the New Age, and How It Differs from Mysticism”

    1. I think that channeling is not what many think it is. I don’t think mediums communicate with disembodied spirits. I think what may be happening, in cases that are not fraudulent, is that they are entering into a trance state of consciousness from which they may access depths of their own subconscious mind to communicate messages of meaning.

      I don’t think Jesus was a channel/medium. I think he was a profound mystic, preacher, healer, reformer.

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  1. So, mysticism is science. It is nature. The scientific method is great – logical, repeatable, predictable, dependable – and slow. It requires belief (the hypothesis), which by the S.M. adds trust. Belief + trust = knowledge. Mysticism is knowledge. That includes scientific knowledge, or knowledge gained by the scientific method, plus knowledge gained by “the spirit” – which is my definition of knowledge that cannot be proven by the scientific method. Mysticism does not reject knowledge gained by the scientific method, but it include knowledge gained by the spirit.

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    1. In my mind, mysticism is not science, per se, but is complementary to science. Science investigates the outside world, mysticism investigates the inside world. But it is all one world, one reality, and we are One with it, and are It. I like what you said that mysticism includes knowledge gained by the spirit, which is an understanding or intuition that goes beyond what science is capable of investigating, perhaps even beyond the capacities of the rational logical human mind and perceptions. It is a “knowing” that is different than all other knowledge. It is not intellectual, but experiential, intuitive, felt, sensed in a way that cannot be expressed in words.

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  2. Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. I must say that they are well timed as we move toward Halloween.
    I have often found Ken Wilber’s typology of mystical states to be useful in orienting toward my own experience and the experiences of others. He sets out four basic types – nature mysticism, psychic/subtle mysticism, causal mysticism, and nondual mysticism. These correspond roughly to experience in the third person, second person, and first person – and then integral experience (without trying to overstate this comparison).
    The psychic/subtle realms are not that present in my experience. When we speak of the New Age, I am reminded of the difference between spirituality and spiritualism in Emerson’s time – the Transcendentalists were drawn to a perennial type of spirituality but were also intrigued by spiritualism. I certainly feel that there are subtle levels of energy and information that are most often outside of my experience, but appear as powerful states for others.
    When I think of mystical community, I recognize that different people dwell in different parts of the mystical typology. Just as there are different types of personalities, so there are different types of experience and we each find our own way along, hopefully guided more and more by our own experience, while also recognizing that much experience is true but partial.
    I lingered over your powerful closing statements, while also recognizing some differences in my own experience. I accept reality as it is in the present so that I can be more deeply at one with it. Whether all that leads to a better future for all is something that I can be hopeful of, but I tend to “let go and let god” as they say and let the future be as it will, while I keep my focus in my experience of and response to the moment.

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