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What is New Age Spirituality?

By Jacob Queen
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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New Age spirituality is a blanket term covering several different belief systems. There are a few general beliefs that are commonly shared among these systems, but there isn't really a single thread of New Age belief. Many people who identify with the New Age movement also identify themselves as practitioners of other religions, like Hinduism or Christianity. Sometimes the New Age movement is associated with certain self-help programs, while in other situations, it may be associated with psychic abilities or reincarnation.

There is no particular holy text associated with the New Age spirituality. Many people who fall into the New Age category do believe in a god, but don't have a specific faith they ascribe to. Some New Age believers are also disaffected people from other faiths who have turned away from their former beliefs for a variety of reasons. Overall, the New Age movement is generally growing in popularity despite suffering some fierce criticism during the early stages of its development.

The sources for New Age spirituality are often rooted in very old religious practices, but the actual movement became popular in the 1970s. It was generally seen as a reaction against the dominant religions of the day, and most New Age believers are opposed to the singular exclusive natures of many religions, because they believe that these kinds of beliefs can be divisive and hurtful. Most New Age belief systems allow their users to incorporate religious ideas from many different sources, and they generally don't believe in exclusionary practices.

Some of the common beliefs in New Age spirituality include reincarnation, spiritual evolution, karma, and pantheism, which is the belief that all things in the universe are aspects of god. Many New Age practitioners also believe in things like aura's and channeling. Crystals are sometimes considered as sacred items, and some kinds of New Age spirituality hold a belief in astrology.

New Age belief systems often have close associations with unconventional healing methods, like homeopathy and acupuncture. It is also fairly common to see a mix of spiritual beliefs with psychology as a way to heal the mind along with the soul. In fact, the mix of science with spirituality is a common theme in the New Age movement. For example, many New Age practitioners have very strong spiritual beliefs associated with the natural world, and they are often very heavily involved in the fight against global warming.

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Discussion Comments

By Mor — On Jan 04, 2015

@pastanaga - I think a lot of people in modern culture are searching for some kind of spiritual journey that they can't find in the modern world and they latch onto what seems to be exotic in other people's beliefs in order to get what they need.

I'm not a big fan of new age spirituality, to be honest. I think it's just people playing dress-ups instead of just getting down to the real root of their own inner selves, which is naturally going to be found in exploration of their own culture, not someone elses'.

By pastanaga — On Jan 03, 2015

@clintflint - People should be allowed to believe whatever they want to believe as long as it's not hurting anyone. I truly think that should be a human right.

However, I do think that a lot of new age spiritualism needs to be examined carefully for it's true purpose and origin. There are a lot of so-called religions out there that basically were just recently invented in order to sell stuff and exploit people.

And that's not even getting into the corruption of indigenous beliefs from all over the world. New age spiritual enlightenment shouldn't need to arrive at the expense of others.

By clintflint — On Jan 03, 2015

I have gone through a few different attitudes towards new age spirituality. For a while I was very much into it and would go to meditation classes and try healing crystals and all of that stuff. But the meditation classes became very weird after a while (the teacher seemed to be fairly preoccupied with aliens and the apocalypse) and there is only so much I could believe without actual empirical proof rather than just people saying something was true.

So, for a while I was quite scornful about it. But now I'm drifting the other way again. Not that I believe in crystal healing necessarily, but I do think it's generally a good thing that people are tending to be more focused on an exploration of individual spirituality rather than established dogma imposed by organized religion.

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