Written by Wes Annac, The Culture of Awareness
Recently, an article was posted by Era Denmark entitled ‘The New Age Maze – Fantastic Beasts and How to Lose Them’.
Even though it was very critical of a lot of ‘new age’ concepts that I and plenty of others have advocated, I was deeply intrigued by it.
I’m always interested in finding out what other conscious individuals have to say about some of the things that are advocated in the ‘new age’ movement, and it seems that some are pretty against the idea of higher-dimensional entities who communicate with humanity.
The author has studied Theosophy, which is one of many belief systems that empower the awakening human as opposed to higher-dimensional entities. I’ve never studied Theosophy, but it seems to endorse the idea that we’re our own teachers and following the advice or guidance of a supposed higher-dimensional soul will lead us astray.
As quoted in the article from H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, “Those who fall off from our living human Mahatmas to fall into the Saptarishi – the Star Rishis [higher-dimensional entities], are no Theosophists.” (1)
The author goes on to tell us, “Throughout her writings, Blavatsky repeatedly emphasized that the ‘Masters of Wisdom’ with whom she communicated were Tibetan and living human beings (she called them Mahatmas) and not the so-called ‘Ascended Masters’ that the New Age movement champions.” (2)
Again, I’m no expert on Theosophy or any given belief system, but it seems to empower living, human teachers while encouraging us not to give our power away to any higher-dimensional messenger or any belief system that leads us to put our faith in anyone but ourselves.
This quote from the song ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ by Bob Marley (who wasn’t a Theosophist by any means), runs along the same lines.
“Most people think great God will come from the sky
“Take away everything, and make everybody feel high
“But if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on Earth” (3)
A lot of things the article’s author said resonated with me, but there were some things that seemed a little coldhearted toward fellow seekers who, like her and everyone else, are simply finding their way back to the higher realms in the ways that work best for them.
I’ve said before that I think every belief system, even if it’s inherently distorted, can lead us back to the higher realms as long as we, the people who advocate them, have a good head on our shoulders and a clear, discerning mind.
The author seemed concerned that so many seekers line up at the door of belief systems that could mislead them into giving their power away, but if we genuinely seek spirit and our intentions are good, I don’t think we’ll be misled by any belief system.
Quite a few seekers have been, however, which is why some aspects of the article resonated with me. This, for example, makes perfect sense:
“Spiritual development requires ongoing effort. It’s an artisanal work of creation and refinement. Beliefs, inasmuch as they’re convictions, have very little to do with it. If anything, the less you believe the more you grow. But examination of our belief system requires work and clear thinking.
“Lucid examination of concepts and their implications combined with a healthy dose of skepticism are two of the most important traits a seeker can develop at the beginning of his or her journey. Self-transformation and mastery takes years at the least and multiple lifetimes at the most.” (4)
Couldn’t agree more! To successfully traverse the path, we’ve been told by various spiritual teachers that we’ll want to empty our minds of any beliefs or concepts that could hinder our growth and evolution. If we’re stuck on certain beliefs, we won’t make any clear or discernable inner progress.
There were other aspects of the article that made perfect sense, but what I want to address here is the tone with which it was written.
Certain aspects of the article were very critical and condemning of ‘new age’ concepts, such as this snippet.
“Humans have an almost innate tendency towards fantasy. Our ability to imagine is a wonderful tool when used correctly but most will never learn this skill or even attempt to. Imagination combined with a lack of willingness to work towards spiritual attainment makes one prone to fantasy.
“Believing in ascended masters, ascension, extra-terrestrial baddies and their Pleiadian counterparts is so much easier, especially when there is no shortage of other believers to support the delusion.” (5)
I can definitely agree that a ‘lack of willingness to work towards spiritual attainment’ has caused some seekers to embrace beliefs and concepts instead of the inner work that’s required to find a higher state of consciousness.
The last thing we want to do is distort our spiritual evolution by putting all of our faith and energy in beliefs, and a lot of seekers have unknowingly done this.
Beliefs, no matter what they are, can liberate us or trap us. They can set us free and encourage us to embrace the spiritual path, or they can cause us to halt our growth in the name of supporting, advocating or attempting to expand them.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with belief systems – it’s what we do with them that counts.
Respectfully, I think this is what the author has failed to realize. Even the ‘new age’ beliefs that have to do with channeling, extraterrestrials, ascended masters, etc. can liberate the seekers who resonate with them if these seekers recognize the importance of doing the inner work that’s required to find enlightenment.
Any belief system can cause us to give our power away, and beyond its more sensationalistic aspects, I don’t think there’s anything about the ‘new age’ movement that sets it apart from other belief systems or disempowers the seekers who resonate with it.
Every belief system has empowered and disempowered its followers at times, and this is because we determine the progress we make, no matter what beliefs or concepts we advocate.
Yes, the ‘new age’ movement (and everything that comes with it) could coerce a seeker to give their power away to apparent higher-dimensional entities, but so can any other belief system.
Certain belief systems encourage us to give our power away to living gurus – people who claim to have a greater link with spirit and should be followed by their ‘disciples’.
The article’s author encourages us to put our faith in each other as humans with a growing spiritual link instead of entities who already claim higher-dimensional status, but many of our living, human gurus have claimed Godly status and advised us to see them as embodiments of God.
These quotes from Paramahansa Ramakrishna attest to this.
“One must not look on one’s guru as a mere human being: it is Satchidananda Himself who appears as the guru. When the disciple has the vision of the Ishta, through the guru’s grace, he finds the guru merging in Him.” (6)
“It is Satchidananda that comes to us in the form of the guru. If a man is initiated by a human guru, he will not achieve anything if he regards his guru as a mere man. The guru should be regarded as the direct manifestation of God. Only then can the disciple have faith in the mantra given by the guru. Once a man has faith he achieves all.” (7)
What’s the difference between this and the idea that higher-dimensional entities exist and can be followed by seekers who want/require a little extra assistance along the spiritual path? There’s very little difference in my opinion, except for the idea that, again, these teachers have already done the inner work that’s required to become exalted.
These teachers tell us that faith – in ourselves and them – is necessary to get the most out of their assistance, and anyone who advocates ‘new age’ concepts will tell you that this is exactly what a lot of channeled sources encourage.
Yes, there are a lot of obvious fallacies in the ‘new age’/channeling movement that shouldn’t be overlooked, but this doesn’t have to discredit the potentially genuine work that’s been done by various ‘channelers’ in connecting with entities who could potentially be from the higher realms.
In regards to eastern spirituality, there are plenty of false gurus out there who only want to gain followers or make a quick buck. Should this invalidate the teachings of Ramakrishna, Bodhidharma, Krishnamurti or any others?
Only if we let it.
The point I want to make is that we’ve all embraced different beliefs that, if we’re diligent enough to do the necessary inner work, will lead us back into the higher realms.
We don’t gain anything by rebelling against beliefs that don’t resonate with us but could very well help others, and all we do is feed the same old religious/spiritual division that’s caused strife and war for centuries.
I’ve said before that I think the conscious community should come together in love and respect for our diverse beliefs instead of fighting over them or claiming certain beliefs are incorrect. Love and respect are more important than a lot of seekers seem to realize.
We won’t make any progress if we continue to fight over our beliefs, and instead, we can recognize that even though our beliefs can assist, they aren’t inherently necessary or required to help us along our spiritual growth – our awareness is. No matter what beliefs we empower, we can either make progress or remain stagnant.
Our beliefs don’t determine the progress we make – only we do.
For example, I’m sure some followers of eastern spirituality have given their power away to gurus and stalled their spiritual growth for years, whereas some followers of certain ‘new age’ beliefs have quickly recognized that it’s up to them to find a higher state of consciousness.
The situation could be reversed – eastern spiritual followers could quickly excel while followers of ‘new age’ material could remain stagnant or continue to give their power away to channeled sources. So we see, it isn’t the beliefs themselves that determine our spiritual growth, but what we do with them.
I didn’t write this to rebel against what the article’s author said, however, and I noticed some startling similarities between what she said and what I’ve noticed in my few years observing the ‘new age’ corner of the conscious community.
“Over the years many have encountered various New Age gurus and others who fancied themselves, ‘star seeds’, ‘guardians’ and the like. They all seem to have two things in common:
“Very few (if any) of them had undertaken the study of existing philosophical and spiritual texts available to mankind written before the New Age movement began. Neither had they taken up a sincere practice of self mastery and development. They accept concepts without ever researching where the concept or idea originated.
“All of them believed they were special somehow. Not like the rest of humanity and yet were full of insecurities and fears.” (8)
I’ve noticed a lot of this flying around the ‘new age’ corner of our community – people who’ve discovered certain ideas (or were told certain things by a medium) and suddenly emerged as apparent exalted spiritual figures, even though they, like everyone else, still had a lot of growing to do and a lot of issues to resolve.
If any of you read my work when I first started out, you’d think I was the biggest ‘new age’ fanatic around. I fell into the very trap this author mentions here, because I discovered various concepts and quickly embraced them without doing my homework or learning their history or anything that could’ve changed my perspective on them.
I started channeling the Pleiadians, Ascended Masters, Hathors, etc. and I wholeheartedly felt that I was doing the right thing.
Those of you who read my material today might be surprised to learn that I was as deep into these beliefs as the biggest ‘fanatics’ out there, but I soon realized that inner work is far more important than leaning on the advice and guidance of anyone who exists outside of me – even a higher-dimensional entity.
Yes, a lot of seekers who resonate with ‘new age’ concepts are probably still trapped in certain limited beliefs or mindsets, but I found my way out of the apparent ‘new age maze’ pretty easily. I did this with the intuitive assistance of my higher self, who I think we should all connect with before we try to connect with any other entity.
The article’s author may not realize that even the craziest ‘new age’ beliefs have still helped a lot of seekers liberate themselves. It isn’t because these beliefs are somehow ‘better’ or ‘realer’ than others – it’s because we’re all searching for spirit and with determination, we will find a higher state of consciousness, regardless of the beliefs that lead us there.
Most seekers who criticize the ‘new age’ movement seem worried that it can cause others to give their power away instead of recognizing that the task of spiritual evolution is up to us. They’re right to be worried about this in a sense, because some are more interested in waiting for channeled predictions to manifest than doing the necessary inner work.
You can’t paint everyone in the ‘new age’ crowd with the same brush, however. Many ‘new agers’ (as the article’s author referred to them) have transcended the limited beliefs that once held them back and embraced the idea that spiritual evolution is their responsibility and no higher-dimensional entity can change this world for them.
We’re all experiencing spiritual evolution, and it starts off shallow for any seeker but eventually grows deeper and more refined.
Many ‘new agers’ first start out with the idea that higher dimensions exist which boast entities who want to help us along our spiritual growth. Some will follow the words of these channeled entities without question, and they might even wait around for predictions to manifest or something bold to happen before they inevitably start their inner work.
There’s a next step in their spiritual evolution, however. They don’t just stay at the shallow perceptual level they initially occupy, and even if it takes years, everyone eventually finds their way to the deeper, more liberating and empowering concepts that encourage them to take responsibility for their own evolution.
I honestly think the intention of channeling is to get us to connect with our intuition; our higher self; whatever you want to call the innate Christ consciousness we can all access and communicate with.
Yes, some seekers start out on this path with airy, almost fictional concepts that are hard to take seriously, but the idea that these beliefs somehow trap them or coerce them to give their power away for eternity is a little insulting and disempowering.
I think we should have more faith in the conscious community – even those among us who advocate concepts that run the potential of discrediting spirituality in the eyes of the rest of the world.
I think these beliefs are catalysts that are intended to lead us to connect with our intuition; our Christ consciousness. Instead of rebelling against them or judgmentally crying foul at the seekers they resonate with, we can recognize that they, like every belief system, are necessary to get us where we’re intended to be.
To rebel or express judgment against beliefs that we think are outlandish (but that actually help others) is to feed the division that’s held us back for centuries. Instead of fighting each other, let’s recognize that we’ve all come here with different philosophies and respect our differences in belief.
After having advocated a wealth of sensationalistic ‘new age’ concepts myself, I’m ready to lay all of it to rest and, to quote Ziggy Marley (Bob’s son), embrace love as my religion.
This simplistic outlook on spirituality is so much easier to manage than any claims of an exalted higher-dimensional status. Until we can all see that our beliefs are intended to lead us to embrace love and our intuition, we’ll remain stuck on limiting beliefs and we’ll continue to fight against other beliefs in the name of our own self-righteousness.
I started out as one of the biggest ‘new agers’ you’d ever see, and this path led me to embrace love and my intuition. I don’t regret any of it – not one channeled message from an ‘Ascended Master’; not one ‘new agey’ article about walk-ins or anything else; none of it.
I recognize that it was all necessary for me to reach the place I’ve now reached – a place where I don’t wholeheartedly embrace any concept or idea, but simply observe it all. I think this is a great way to live, learn and grow, because it doesn’t entail attachment to any limiting or confining belief system.
It doesn’t lead me to give my power away – to a medium, channeler or their higher-dimensional ‘source’; to a spiritual teacher; or to any figure whose put on a pedestal. It’s love, unity and acceptance, plain and simple, and I’m happy to say that embodying the archetype of the annoying ‘new ager’ is what led me here. I couldn’t feel more liberated.
No matter what belief system you advocate right now, I hope it helps you reach the place I’ve reached – a place where strife, disharmony and the desire to argue over my spiritual philosophy have dissolved into dust.
I can read articles like Era Denmark’s without descending into hurt feelings or thinking I should ‘fight’ the ideas she presented. I can simply observe all of it, taking what resonates with me and letting the rest fall away with the knowledge that what doesn’t resonate with me will resonate with others.
I used to fight about my beliefs, but now, it doesn’t really matter to me whether or not others believe or feel what I do. I recognize that nobody has the full picture, because none of us are in the higher realms.
We could grow into these realms and find that any Ascended Masters, Pleiadians/Sirians/Andromedans etc. were completely fabricated from the beginning, and it wouldn’t bother me one bit because I have no beliefs or philosophies to protect or hold close.
We could reach the higher realms and find that all of these entities are real and genuinely wanted to assist us, and if this happened, I wouldn’t stick my tongue out at those who didn’t believe in them or say ‘na-na-na-boo-boo!’ I’d simply think ‘oh, neat’, and be on my merry way up to more and purer dimensions.
We really don’t know – even those of us who are convinced we do – and we’ll only know when we’re back in the higher realms. For now, let’s recognize the importance of unity and transcend the perceived need to rebel against beliefs that might seem fantastical to us.
Beliefs we think are crazy have helped others find a significant degree of liberation, and nobody here on earth has the one, perfect truth that could never be opposed. There are flaws in every belief system, and yet, any given belief will lead us home as long as we recognize the importance of doing our inner work and refusing to give our power away.
The best things we can empower are love and unity, and they’re realer and more graspable than any belief system. When we rebel against beliefs that don’t resonate with us, we fall short of our loving and unitive potential and we hold the entire world back from the very things we seek to help them find – unity and spiritual liberation.
Let’s think about this the next time we want to descend into judgment over the beliefs of another – even if the beliefs seem particularly airy, vanilla coated or sensationalistic.
- “Fantastic Beasts and How to Lose Them” Written by Era Denmark, Era-Denmark.org, September 15, 2014 – http://era-denmark.org/2014/09/15/fantasticbeast/
- Loc. cit.
- The lyrics for ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, can be found at Metrolyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/get-up-stand-up-lyrics-bob-marley.html
- “Fantastic Beasts and How to Lose Them” Ibid.
- Loc. cit.
- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 1016.
- Ibid., 292.
- “Fantastic Beasts and How to Lose Them” Ibid.
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