This is a recovered post from a botched website transfer in 2014. It was originally written and published on 04/16/2013.
The definition of New Age on Bing states, “of modern movement, emphasizing spirituality: relating to a cultural movement dating from the 1980s that emphasizes spiritual consciousness, and often involves belief in reincarnation and astrology and the practice of meditation, vegetarianism, and holistic medicine.”
It took little exploration to debunk that stated timeframe.
Words that could be translated into “spirituality” first appeared in the 5th century.
Common usage began at the end of the Middle Ages. The definition of spirituality has undergone several changes, including in the 11th, 13th, 17th and 18th centuries.
What was, perhaps, the biggest change occurred after World War II, when spirituality became separated from religion. The distinction became amplified late in the 20th century.
Consciousness, the awareness of something present either internally or externally, has been a hot topic since the 1600s.
The word reincarnation dates back to between 1855 and 1860, but the concept dates back to the Iron Age, which began in 1200 B.C.
It was part of the Druid culture, which dates back to 200 B.C., which falls in the middle of the Iron Age. It appears in both India’s and Greece’s philosophical traditions as early as 6 B.C.
According to Wikipedia, astrology is the belief “that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world.”
In the Western hemisphere, astrology relates to horoscopes that are used to explain personality traits, and to predict future life events. Astrology dates back to the 3rd millennium B.C. That’s 5,000 years ago.
A vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat meat or meat byproducts, like eggs and milk. A vegan is a strict vegetarian who also won’t consume honey and beeswax.
An ethical vegan won’t wear leather, or use products containing animal fats. If not for the fact that I’m still wearing my leather coat to ward off New Hampshire’s chill, I’d be an ethical vegan. Right now, practicality and budget trump ethics.
Vegetarianism dates back to ancient India, and ancient Greece and Italy.
On Dictionary.com, holistic is defined as “identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, especially one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and often involving nutritional measures…”
That which is deemed holistic, or alternative (CAM: complementary alternative medicine), here in the West boasts 4,000 years of history in China, where it is traditional medicine.
Osteopathy and chiropractic came into being here in the United States in the late 19th century. Reiki, a CAM which I practice, developed in the early 20th century.
New Age Isn’t New
New Age, which is predominantly comprised of the facets mentioned above, isn’t new.
What’s new is that it has stepped into the spotlight, and continues to approach center stage as more people make choices that exclude traditional patriarchal religious practices, and conventional, newfangled medical practices.
The New Age page on Wikipedia is a wealth of information. Kudos to its curators.
Do you subscribe to any “New Age” practices?