EXPERIENTIAL SPIRITUALITY AND CONTEMPORARY GNOSIS

by Diane Brandon

Many of us into metaphysics are frequently called upon by our “non-New Age” friends and acquaintances to explain ourselves and our metaphysical orientation to them.  “What is metaphysics”  “What is the ‘New Age?’”  “What do you believe in?”  “What makes your spirituality different?”

 

 As those of us hard-core metaphysical types know, you can’t really say that there is any one set of beliefs that all “New Agers” are into.  (As a matter of fact, the term “New Age” or “New Ager” is somewhat distasteful to many into metaphysics.)  The New Age “movement” is a widely diversified conglomerate of subsets of ideas and explorations – so truly diversified that one could hardly ascribe the term “movement” to it, as this term connotes a cohesive, unified organization.  One person into crystals and spirit guides, for example, may not be into UFO abduction phenomena.  And those into paganism or magick may not necessarily break bread together well with those into angels or Christed energy.

 

 So, what is it that links those of us into metaphysics and the New Age together?  What are the common threads?

 

 First of all, let’s look at the terms themselves, so that we may gain some insight into what we are identifying ourselves with.

 

 “Metaphysics” is a term derived from the Greek:  “meta” is a prefix meaning beyond or greater than and “physics” refers to that which is physical (or at least what we as a culture understand at the present time to be our physical reality).  Thus, we can thank Greek for our term metaphysics – the realm of that which transcends physical reality.

 

 The term “New Age,” on the other hand, does not have such a lengthy history or tradition.  Ostensibly coined during the 60’s (1960’s, not the 19th or any other century prior to this one), the term “New Age” referred to the new astrological age we Earthlings were on the cusp of entering:  the Age of Aquarius.  (We had been in the Age of Pisces, we were told, for about 2000 years.)

 

 On the face of it, it might appear that metaphysics and the New Age might not have anything intrinsically in common.  However, one common link would appear to be that of spirituality.  For example, little would seem to light up the eyes of those into metaphysics more than a discussion of those things spiritual.  What transcends our so-called physical reality more than spirit?

 

 With regard to the New Age, one hallmark of the transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age is the anticipated shift in consciousness, whether it is defined as a vibrational frequency shift precipitated by our approach to and entrance into the Photon Belt or is defined as an awakening and concurrent “raising of awareness” brought about by astrological influences and energies.  Consciousness is also the stuff that dreams – and matters spiritual – are made of.

 

 Thus, one link between metaphysics and the New Age “movement” would appear to be spirituality and consciousness – those topics deemed insubstantial and ephemeral, at least to the minds of those more pragmatic, empirical, and skeptical among us.

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