4th Quarter 2013 Adventures with Jesus

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The Movement in Acts. Understanding the Gift in Your Pastor. The Rule of Love. Adult Christian Life 1st Quarter Senior High Bible Teacher. Command the Morning Spirit Power Volume I. None Grace Dola Balogun None. The Love of the Truth; American Babylon, the price of freedom. Walking In The Anointing Are You Living in the Spirit?

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Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 10 December , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. List of albums released. Electro house , future garage , moombahton , deep house. The Story of the Wild Ones. Glam metal , hard rock , heavy metal. Lava , Republic , Universal. Signed and Sealed in Blood. Notes from the Underground. Rap rock , alternative rock , alternative hip hop. Electropop , indie pop , indie rock , pop. Greg Wells , Tyler Joseph. Art rock , indie pop , indie rock. Alternative dance , pop rock. Straight Out of Hell.

Rock , pop rock , post-punk. Post-hardcore , alternative rock , hard rock. Craig Potter , Guy Garvey. Alternative rock , indie rock. Don Was , Keith Richards. Punk rock , melodic hardcore , hardcore punk. Brett Gurewitz , Joe Barresi. Acid rock , psychedelic folk , psychedelic pop. Electronic music , instrumental hip hop. Alternative metal , nu metal. Indie rock , indie pop , electronica , synth-pop. Hard rock , alternative metal , post-grunge. Progressive metal , thrash metal.

Post-hardcore , hardcore punk. Americana , neotraditional country , Tex-Mex , Western swing. Niko Bolas , Raul Malo. Pop , traditional pop , vocal , Latin. Verve , Decca , Sugar. Hip hop , rock. Indie pop , new wave , synth-pop. The Very Best of Yanni. All the Lights in the Sky. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. Indie rock , blues rock. Indie rock , alternative rock. Alternative rock , garage rock , punk rock , hard rock.

Hardcore punk , hard rock. Progressive rock , alternative rock. Regions of Light and Sound of God. Operatic pop , classical. This Is How the Wind Shifts. Two Lanes of Freedom. Indie rock , psychedelic rock , lo-fi. Indie rock , math rock. Bullet for My Valentine.

Metalcore , heavy metal. Alternative rock , dream pop , folk rock. Hip hop soul , indie rock. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Indie rock , indie pop. Atlas Genius , Michael H. Century Media , Eleven Seven Music. Donkey Punch the Night. Alternative rock , industrial rock. Heavy metal , power metal. Experimental rock , electronica. Alternative rock , rock. The Psychic World of Walter Reed. Neoclassical metal , instrumental , ambient. Erased Tapes , Mercury Classics. Steven Wilson , Alan Parsons. Eyrth, Wynd and Fyre. Electronic dance music , electropop , Eurodance , house.

Roton , UMG , Ultra. Biff Byford , Andy Sneap. Indie pop , indie rock , alternative rock.

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In the ancient Vedic period it referred to the ritual action, especially sacrifice, by means of which a person gained access to the happiness or blessedness of the afterlife. The symbol of Aquarius was borrowed from astrological mythology, but later came to signify the desire for a radically new world. The New Age Movement is seen as an invitation to Christians to bring the message of the cathedrals to the fair which now covers the whole world. Godfried Danneels, Christ or Aquarius? OK… so, Carol says I have a man-crush on him.

Post-industrial , experimental , electronica. Columbia , The Null. Indie rock , neo-psychedelia. Alternative rock , post-hardcore. Country , pop rock. Synth-pop , electronic rock. Christian contemporary , Christian alternative rock. Indie folk , folk , alternative.

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Surfdog , Duck Records, Polydor. Synth-pop , soft rock. Hard rock , blues rock , country rock.

Adventures With God - Episode 01 - Desperation

Synth-pop , acoustic , electronic. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Specter at the Feast. Indie rock , alternative rock , pop rock. Neofolk , indie folk. Alternative , indie rock. Latin rock , latin pop , alternative , indie rock. Heavy metal , hard rock. Megaforce , Nuclear Blast. Stoner rock , blues rock. Progressive metal , Symphonic metal. Habitual Levitations Instilling Words with Tones. Progressive metal , experimental metal. Electronic dance , pop. Indie rock , slowcore. Jung emphasized the transcendent character of consciousness and introduced the idea of the collective unconscious, a kind of store for symbols and memories shared with people from various different ages and cultures.

The result was a body of theories which enabled people to talk about God while really meaning their own psyche, and about their own psyche while really meaning the divine. A central element in his thought is the cult of the sun, where God is the vital energy libido within a person. The path to the inner universe is through the unconscious.

The inner world's correspondence to the outer one is in the collective unconscious. The tendency to interchange psychology and spirituality was firmly embedded in the Human Potential Movement as it developed towards the end of the s at the Esalen Institute in California. Transpersonal psychology, strongly influenced by Eastern religions and by Jung, offers a contemplative journey where science meets mysticism. To realise one's potential, one had to go beyond one's ego in order to become the god that one is, deep down. The symbol of Aquarius was borrowed from astrological mythology, but later came to signify the desire for a radically new world.

The two centres which were the initial power-houses of the New Age, and to a certain extent still are, were the Garden community at Findhorn in North-East Scotland, and the Centre for the development of human potential at Esalen in Big Sur, California, in the United States of America. What feeds New Age consistently is a growing global consciousness and increasing awareness of a looming ecological crisis.

Central themes of the New Age. The essence of New Age is the loose association of the various activities, ideas and people who might validly attract the term. So there is no single articulation of anything like the doctrines of mainstream religions. Despite this, and despite the immense variety within New Age, there are some common points:. New Age involves a fundamental belief in the perfectibility of the human person by means of a wide variety of techniques and therapies as opposed to the Christian view of co-operation with divine grace.

There is a general accord with Nietzsche's idea that Christianity has prevented the full manifestation of genuine humanity. Perfection, in this context, means achieving self-fulfilment, according to an order of values which we ourselves create and which we achieve by our own strength: On this view, there is more difference between humans as they now are and as they will be when they have fully realised their potential, than there is between humans and anthropoids.

It is useful to distinguish between esotericism , a search for knowledge, and magic , or the occult: Some groups are both esoteric and occult. At the centre of occultism is a will to power based on the dream of becoming divine. Mind-expanding techniques are meant to reveal to people their divine power; by using this power, people prepare the way for the Age of Enlightenment.

This exaltation of humanity overturns the correct relationship between Creator and creature, and one of its extreme forms is Satanism. Satan becomes the symbol of a rebellion against conventions and rules, a symbol that often takes aggressive, selfish and violent forms. Some evangelical groups have expressed concern at the subliminal presence of what they claim is Satanic symbolism in some varieties of rock music, which have a powerful influence on young people.

This is all far removed from the message of peace and harmony which is to be found in the New Testament; it is often one of the consequences of the exaltation of humanity when that involves the negation of a transcendent God. But it is not only something which affects young people; the basic themes of esoteric culture are also present in the realms of politics, education and legislation. Deep ecology's emphasis on bio-centrism denies the anthropological vision of the Bible, in which human beings are at the centre of the world, since they are considered to be qualitatively superior to other natural forms.

It is very prominent in legislation and education today, despite the fact that it underrates humanity in this way.. The same esoteric cultural matrix can be found in the ideological theory underlying population control policies and experiments in genetic engineering, which seem to express a dream human beings have of creating themselves afresh. How do people hope to do this? By deciphering the genetic code, altering the natural rules of sexuality, defying the limits of death.

In what might be termed a classical New Age account, people are born with a divine spark, in a sense which is reminiscent of ancient gnosticism; this links them into the unity of the Whole. So they are seen as essentially divine, although they participate in this cosmic divinity at different levels of consciousness. We are co- creators, and we create our own reality. Many New Age authors maintain that we choose the circumstances of our lives even our own illness and health , in a vision where every individual is considered the creative source of the universe.

But we need to make a journey in order fully to understand where we fit into the unity of the cosmos. The journey is psychotherapy, and the recognition of universal consciousness is salvation. There is no sin; there is only imperfect knowledge. The identity of every human being is diluted in the universal being and in the process of successive incarnations. People are subject to the determining influences of the stars, but can be opened to the divinity which lives within them, in their continual search by means of appropriate techniques for an ever greater harmony between the self and divine cosmic energy.

There is no need for Revelation or Salvation which would come to people from outside themselves, but simply a need to experience the salvation hidden within themselves self-salvation , by mastering psycho- physical techniques which lead to definitive enlightenment. Some stages on the way to self-redemption are preparatory meditation, body harmony, releasing self-healing energies.

The destiny of the human person is a series of successive reincarnations of the soul in different bodies. This is understood not as the cycle of samsara, in the sense of purification as punishment, but as a gradual ascent towards the perfect development of one's potential.

Yoga, zen, transcendental meditation and tantric exercises lead to an experience of self-fulfilment or enlightenment. Since there is only one Mind, some people can be channels for higher beings. Every part of this single universal being has contact with every other part. The classic approach in New Age is transpersonal psychology, whose main concepts are the Universal Mind, the Higher Self, the collective and personal unconscious and the individual ego.

The Higher Self is our real identity, a bridge between God as divine Mind and humanity. Spiritual development is contact with the Higher Self, which overcomes all forms of dualism between subject and object, life and death, psyche and soma, the self and the fragmentary aspects of the self. Our limited personality is like a shadow or a dream created by the real self.

The Higher Self contains the memories of earlier re- incarnations. New Age has a marked preference for Eastern or pre-Christian religions, which are reckoned to be uncontaminated by Judaeo-Christian distorsions. Hence great respect is given to ancient agricultural rites and to fertility cults. There is talk of God, but it is not a personal God; the God of which New Age speaks is neither personal nor transcendent. This unity is monistic, pantheistic or, more precisely, panentheistic. In a sense, everything is God. There is also talk of Christ, but this does not mean Jesus of Nazareth.

Every historical realisation of the Christ shows clearly that all human beings are heavenly and divine, and leads them towards this realisation. The universe is an ocean of energy, which is a single whole or a network of links. There is no alterity between God and the world. The world is uncreated, eternal and self-sufficient The future of the world is based on an inner dynamism which is necessarily positive and leads to the reconciled divine unity of all that exists.

God and the world, soul and body, intelligence and feeling, heaven and earth are one immense vibration of energy. The global brain needs institutions with which to rule, in other words, a world government. Everything in the universe is interelated; in fact every part is in itself an image of the totality; the whole is in every thing and every thing is in the whole.

Every human person is a hologram, an image of the whole of creation, in which every thing vibrates on its own frequency. Every human being is a neurone in earth's central nervous system, and all individual entities are in a relationship of complementarity with others. In fact, there is an inner complementarity or androgyny in the whole of creation. We are learning to read tendencies, to recognise the early signs of another, more promising, paradigm.

We create alternative scenarios of the future. The question is whether thought and real change are commensurate, and how effective in the external world an inner transformation can be proved to be. One is forced to ask, even without expressing a negative judgement, how scientific a thought-process can be when it involves affirmations like this: Such reasoning is really gnostic, in the sense of giving too much power to knowledge and consciousness. This is not to deny the fundamental and crucial role of developing consciousness in scientific discovery and creative development, but simply to caution against imposing upon external reality what is as yet still only in the mind.

Whereas traditionalised religiosity, with its hierarchical organization, is well-suited for the community, detraditionalized spirituality is well-suited for the individual. The rejection of tradition in the form of patriarchal, hierarchical social or ecclesial organisation implies the search for an alternative form of society, one that is clearly inspired by the modern notion of the self.

Many New Age writings argue that one can do nothing directly to change the world, but everything to change oneself; changing individual consciousness is understood to be the indirect way to change the world. The most important instrument for social change is personal example. Worldwide recognition of these personal examples will steadily lead to the transformation of the collective mind and such a transformation will be the major achievement of our time.

This is clearly part of the holistic paradigm, and a re-statement of the classical philosophical question of the one and the many. It is also linked to Jung's espousal of the theory of correspondence and his rejection of causality. Individuals are fragmentary representations of the planetary hologram; by looking within one not only knows the universe, but also changes it.

But the more one looks within, the smaller the political arena becomes. Does this really fit in with the rhetoric of democratic participation in a new planetary order, or is it an unconscious and subtle disempowerment of people, which could leave them open to manipulation? Does the current preoccupation with planetary problems ecological issues, depletion of resources, over-population, the economic gap between north and south, the huge nuclear arsenal and political instability enable or disable engagement in other, equally real, political and social questions?

Some observers of New Age detect a sinister authoritarianism behind apparent indifference to politics. Even though it would hardly be correct to suggest that quietism is universal in New Age attitudes, one of the chief criticisms of the New Age Movement is that its privatistic quest for self-fulfilment may actually work against the possibility of a sound religious culture.

Three points bring this into focus:. The Western universe is seen as a divided one based on monotheism, transcendence, alterity and separateness. This is portrayed as something tragic. The response from New Age is unity through fusion: There is, thus, no more alterity; what is left in human terms is transpersonality. The New Age world is unproblematic: But the metaphysical question of the one and the many remains unanswered, perhaps even unasked, in that there is a great deal of regret at the effects of disunity and division, but the response is a description of how things would appear in another vision.

Furthermore, it is hardly a genuine dialogue; in a context where Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian influences are suspect, oriental influences are used precisely because they are alternatives to Western culture. Traditional science and medicine are felt to be inferior to holistic approaches, as are patriarchal and particular structures in politics and religion.

All of these will be obstacles to the coming of the Age of Aquarius; once again, it is clear that what is implied when people opt for New Age alternatives is a complete break with the tradition that formed them. Is this as mature and liberated as it is often thought or presumed to be? New Age echoes society's deep, ineradicable yearning for an integral religious culture, and for something more generic and enlightened than what politicians generally offer, but it is not clear whether the benefits of a vision based on the ever-expanding self are for individuals or for societies.

The ideas have to do with the workplace as a 'learning environment', 'bringing life back to work', 'humanizing work', 'fulfilling the manager', 'people come first' or 'unlocking potential'. Presented by New Age trainers, they are likely to appeal to those businesspeople who have already been involved with more secular humanistic trainings and who want to take things further: Christianity always seeks to measure human endeavours by their openness to the Creator and to all other creatures, a respect based firmly on love.

Whatever questions and criticisms it may attract, New Age is an attempt by people who experience the world as harsh and heartless to bring warmth to that world. As a reaction to modernity, it operates more often than not on the level of feelings, instincts and emotions. Anxiety about an apocalyptic future of economic instability, political uncertainty and climatic change plays a large part in causing people to look for an alternative, resolutely optimistic relationship to the cosmos.

There is a search for wholeness and happiness, often on an explicitly spiritual level.

But it is significant that New Age has enjoyed enormous success in an era which can be characterised by the almost universal exaltation of diversity. Normality is presented as a morally loaded concept, linked necessarily with absolute norms. For a growing number of people, absolute beliefs or norms indicate nothing but an inability to tolerate other people's views and convictions. In this atmosphere alternative life-styles and theories have really taken off: It is essential to bear in mind that people are involved with New Age in very different ways and on many levels.

This fits perfectly into the patterns of consumption in societies where amusement and leisure play such an important part. New Age has been seen, in some cultures at least, as the label for a product created by the application of marketing principles to a religious phenomenon. Like many other things in contemporary economics, New Age is a global phenomenon held together and fed with information by the mass media. Like the cybercommunities created by the Internet, it is a domain where relationships between people can be either very impersonal or interpersonal in only a very selective sense.

New Age has become immensely popular as a loose set of beliefs, therapies and practices, which are often selected and combined at will, irrespective of the incompatibilities and inconsistencies this may imply. And that is precisely why it is important to discover and recognise the fundamental characteristics of New Age ideas.

It is worth saying a brief word about concerted promotion of New Age as an ideology, but this is a very complex issue. Some groups have reacted to New Age with sweeping accusations about conspiracies, but the answer would generally be that we are witnessing a spontaneous cultural change whose course is fairly determined by influences beyond human control.

However, it is enough to point out that New Age shares with a number of internationally influential groups the goal of superseding or transcending particular religions in order to create space for a universal religion which could unite humanity. Closely related to this is a very concerted effort on the part of many institutions to invent a Global Ethic, an ethical framework which would reflect the global nature of contemporary culture, economics and politics.

Further, the politicisation of ecological questions certainly colours the whole question of the Gaia hypothesis or worship of mother earth. New Age as spirituality. But what really is new is that New Age is a conscious search for an alternative to Western culture and its Judaeo-Christian religious roots.

People discover their profound connectedness with the sacred universal force or energy which is the nucleus of all life. When they have made this discovery, men and women can set out on a path to perfection, which will enable them to sort out their personal lives and their relationship to the world, and to take their place in the universal process of becoming and in the New Genesis of a world in constant evolution. The result is a cosmic mysticism 51 based on people's awareness of a universe burgeoning with dynamic energies.

This spirituality consists of two distinct elements, one metaphysical, the other psychological. The metaphysical component comes from New Age's esoteric and theosophical roots, and is basically a new form of gnosis. It is evident when the children of Aquarius search for the Transcendent Unity of religions.

They tend to pick out of the historical religions only the esoteric nucleus, whose guardians they claim to be. They somehow deny history and will not accept that spirituality can be rooted in time or in any institution. The psychological component of this kind of spirituality comes from the encounter between esoteric culture and psychology cf. New Age thus becomes an experience of personal psycho- spiritual transformation, seen as analogous to religious experience. For some people this transformation takes the form of a deep mystical experience, after a personal crisis or a lengthy spiritual search.

For others it comes from the use of meditation or some sort of therapy, or from paranormal experiences which alter states of consciousness and provide insight into the unity of reality. Several authors see New Age spirituality as a kind of spiritual narcissism or pseudo-mysticism. It is interesting to note that this criticism was put forward even by an important exponent of New Age, David Spangler, who, in his later works, distanced himself from the more esoteric aspects of this current of thought.

The principal characteristic of this level is attachment to a private world of ego-fulfilment and a consequent though not always apparent withdrawal from the world. The commercial aspect of many products and therapies which bear the New Age label is brought out by David Toolan, an American Jesuit who spent several years in the New Age milieu.

He observes that new-agers have discovered the inner life and are fascinated by the prospect of being responsible for the world, but that they are also easily overcome by a tendency to individualism and to viewing everything as an object of consumption. In this sense, while it is not Christian, New Age spirituality is not Buddhist either, inasmuch as it does not involve self-denial. The dream of mystical union seems to lead, in practice, to a merely virtual union, which, in the end, leaves people more alone and unsatisfied. In the early days of Christianity, believers in Jesus Christ were forced to face up to the gnostic religions.

They did not ignore them, but took the challenge positively and applied the terms used of cosmic deities to Christ himself. The clearest example of this is in the famous hymn to Christ in Saint Paul's letter to the Christians at Colossae:. Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.

Now the Church is his body, he is its head. For these early Christians, there was no new cosmic age to come; what they were celebrating with this hymn was the Fulfilment of all things which had begun in Christ. Eternity entered into time: What other 'fulfilment' would be possible? For Christians, the real cosmic Christ is the one who is present actively in the various members of his body, which is the Church. They do not look to impersonal cosmic powers, but to the loving care of a personal God; for them cosmic bio-centrism has to be transposed into a set of social relationships in the Church ; and they are not locked into a cyclical pattern of cosmic events, but focus on the historical Jesus, in particular on his crucifixion and resurrection.

Properly understood, this means that authentic spirituality is not so much our search for God but God 's search for us. Another, completely different, view of the cosmic significance of Christ has become current in New Age circles. The divine pattern of connectivity was made flesh and set up its tent among us John 1: The Cosmic Christ is local and historical, indeed intimate to human history. For New Age the Cosmic Christ is seen as a pattern which can be repeated in many people, places and times; it is the bearer of an enormous paradigm shift; it is ultimately a potential within us.

According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ is not a pattern, but a divine person whose human-divine figure reveals the mystery of the Father's love for every person throughout history Jn 3: Christian mysticism and New Age mysticism. For Christians, the spiritual life is a relationship with God which gradually through his grace becomes deeper, and in the process also sheds light on our relationship with our fellow men and women, and with the universe.

Spirituality in New Age terms means experiencing states of consciousness dominated by a sense of harmony and fusion with the Whole. This fundamental distinction is evident at all levels of comparison between Christian mysticism and New Age mysticism. The New Age way of purification is based on awareness of unease or alienation, which is to be overcome by immersion into the Whole. In order to be converted, a person needs to make use of techniques which lead to the experience of illumination. This transforms a person's consciousness and opens him or her to contact with the divinity, which is understood as the deepest essence of reality.

The techniques and methods offered in this immanentist religious system, which has no concept of God as person, proceed 'from below'. Although they involve a descent into the depths of one's own heart or soul, they constitute an essentially human enterprise on the part of a person who seeks to rise towards divinity by his or her own efforts.

Not everyone has access to these techniques, whose benefits are restricted to a privileged spiritual 'aristocracy'. There are spiritual techniques which it is useful to learn, but God is able to by-pass them or do without them. That would contradict the spirit of childhood called for by the Gospel. The heart of genuine Christian mysticism is not technique: For Christians, conversion is turning back to the Father, through the Son, in docility to the power of the Holy Spirit. All meditation techniques need to be purged of presumption and pretentiousness.

Here is a key point of contrast between New Age and Christianity. Our problem, in a New Age perspective, is our inability to recognise our own divinity, an inability which can be overcome with the help of guidance and the use of a whole variety of techniques for unlocking our hidden divine potential.

The fundamental idea is that 'God' is deep within ourselves. We are gods, and we discover the unlimited power within us by peeling off layers of inauthenticity.

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Here theosis, the Christian understanding of divinisation, comes about not through our own efforts alone, but with the assistance of God's grace working in and through us. It inevitably involves an initial awareness of incompleteness and even sinfulness, in no way an exaltation of the self. Furthermore, it unfolds as an introduction into the life of the Trinity, a perfect case of distinction at the heart of unity; it is synergy rather than fusion.

This all comes about as the result of a personal encounter, an offer of a new kind of life. Life in Christ is not something so personal and private that it is restricted to the realm of consciousness. Nor is it merely a new level of awareness. It involves being transformed in our soul and in our body by participation in the sacramental life of the Church.

The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others. In a cultural environment, marked by religious relativism, it is necessary to signal a warning against the attempt to place New Age religiosity on the same level as Christian faith, making the difference between faith and belief seem relative, thus creating greater confusion for the unwary. In this regard, it is useful to remember the exhortation of St.

Some practices are incorrectly labeled as New Age simply as a marketing strategy to make them sell better, but are not truly associated with its worldview. This only adds to the confusion. It is therefore necessary to accurately identify those elements which belong to the New Age movement, and which cannot be accepted by those who are faithful to Christ and his Church. The following questions may be the easiest key to evaluating some of the central elements of New Age thought and practice from a Christian standpoint. Some of these questions applied to people and ideas not explicitly labelled New Age would reveal further unnamed or unacknowledged links with the whole New Age atmosphere.

The New Age concept of God is rather diffuse, whereas the Christian concept is a very clear one. The New Age god is an impersonal energy, really a particular extension or component of the cosmos; god in this sense is the life-force or soul of the world. God is no longer to be sought beyond the world, but deep within myself. This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life.

God is in himself personal, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created the universe in order to share the communion of his life with creaturely persons. Jesus Christ is often presented in New Age literature as one among many wise men, or initiates, or avatars, whereas in Christian tradition He is the Son of God.

Here are some common points in New Age approaches:. Other revelations about Jesus, made available by entities, spirit guides and ascended masters, or even through the Akasha Chronicles, are basic for New Age christology;. In the Christian Tradition Jesus Christ is the Jesus of Nazareth about which the gospels speak, the son of Mary and the only Son of God, true man and true God, the full revelation of divine truth, unique Saviour of the world: Isolated individual personalities would be pathological in terms of New Age in particular transpersonal psychology.

New Age is thinking based on totalitarian unity and that is why it is a danger The Christian approach grows out of the Scriptural teachings about human nature; men and women are created in God's image and likeness Gen 1. The human person is a mystery fully revealed only in Jesus Christ cf.

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GS 22 ,and in fact becomes authentically human properly in his relationship with Christ through the gift of the Spirit. The key is to discover by what or by whom we believe we are saved. Do we save ourselves by our own actions, as is often the case in New Age explanations, or are we saved by God's love?

Key words are self-fulfilment and self-realisation , self-redemption. New Age is essentially Pelagian in its understanding of about human nature. For Christians, salvation depends on a participation in the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, and on a direct personal relationship with God rather than on any technique. The human situation, affected as it is by original sin and by personal sin, can only be rectified by God's action: In the divine plan of salvation, human beings have been saved by Jesus Christ who, as God and man, is the one mediator of redemption. In Christianity salvation is not an experience of self, a meditative and intuitive dwelling within oneself, but much more the forgiveness of sin, being lifted out of profound ambivalences in oneself and the calming of nature by the gift of communion with a loving God.

The way to salvation is not found simply in a self-induced transformation of consciousness, but in a liberation from sin and its consequences which then leads us to struggle against sin in ourselves and in the society around us. It necessarily moves us toward loving solidarity with our neighbour in need. New Age truth is about good vibrations, cosmic correspondences, harmony and ecstasy, in general pleasant experiences. It is a matter of finding one's own truth in accordance with the feel- good factor.

Evaluating religion and ethical questions is obviously relative to one's own feelings and experiences. His followers are asked to open their whole lives to him and to his values, in other words to an objective set of requirements which are part of an objective reality ultimately knowable by all. The tendency to confuse psychology and spirituality makes it hard not to insist that many of the meditation techniques now used are not prayer.

They are often a good preparation for prayer, but no more, even if they lead to a more pleasant state of mind or bodily comfort. The experiences involved are genuinely intense, but to remain at this level is to remain alone, not yet in the presence of the other. The achievement of silence can confront us with emptiness, rather than the silence of contemplating the beloved. It is also true that techniques for going deeper into one's own soul are ultimately an appeal to one's own ability to reach the divine, or even to become divine: New Age practices are not really prayer, in that they are generally a question of introspection or fusion with cosmic energy, as opposed to the double orientation of Christian prayer, which involves introspection but is essentially also a meeting with God.

In New Age there is no real concept of sin, but rather one of imperfect knowledge; what is needed is enlightenment, which can be reached through particular psycho-physical techniques. Those who take part in New Age activities will not be told what to believe, what to do or what not to do, but: Go where your intelligence and intuition lead you. The most serious problem perceived in New Age thinking is alienation from the whole cosmos, rather than personal failure or sin. The remedy is to become more and more immersed in the whole of being. In some New Age writings and practices, it is clear that one life is not enough, so there have to be reincarnations to allow people to realise their full potential.

Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a development flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity Some New Age writers view suffering as self-imposed, or as bad karma, or at least as a failure to harness one's own resources.

Others concentrate on methods of achieving success and wealth e. In New Age, reincarnation is often seen as a necessary element in spiritual growth, a stage in progressive spiritual evolution which began before we were born and will continue after we die.