Monday, January 1, 2018
back away from the future
I suppose yesterday, or should I say, last year, was more the time for looking back than today. But this afternoon when all is quiet here and it's still far too cold to go out for a walk I found myself thinking about decades ago when the world was a different place.
What came to be known as the New Age movement was still in its early days and generally unknown outside the occult and metaphysical religious communities in the 1970s and ʾ80s. It looked forward to a 'New Age' of love and light and offered a foretaste of the coming era through personal transformation and healing, a religious perspective that is based on the acquisition of mystical knowledge. Many people, particularly young people, gathered together to live in urban and country communes where they made an effort to practice more Earth friendly lifestyles than the ones offered by the larger society. Some worked better than others, true, but the longing for a return to the 'Garden' was real enough even though the trappings were easy for the fashionable to latch on to - which they did and 'New Age' became a pastime for bored suburbanites.
While there are any number of web sites and periodicals that still advance the goals one very important aspect, its saving grace really, seems to have fallen by the wayside. Transcendence: the sense that entering into relationship with the spiritual realm is about stepping into a wider world, waking up to the things that really matter - walking through the walls and into the Fire.
Now it's all about soothing your nerves, boosting your health, managing your career and your love life, making your life bland and safe and predictable. Take up meditation, so you can lower your blood pressure and smooth out your wrinkles. Practice t'ai chi or hot yoga - it's so very relaxing, and it makes your bowels regular! Go listen to a trance channeler to get advice on your relationships. Here are some tasty vegetarian recipes you can share with all your friends...
Back in the 70s it wasn't like that. There was plenty of nonsense and plenty of deception and a ton of babble, but in there with all of that you found a lot of people who wanted to tear open the sky and step into the luminous Beyond. People meditated and did rituals and practiced martial arts and did all sorts of other things to become something more than they were.
That's still a worthy goal -
even for someone like me whose resolutions generally add up to a list of things
I'll never accomplish. Where's that mandolin I never learned to play?
Happy New Year.