virus: New Age

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 18:53:38 -0400


quotes from:
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 17:09:10 -0500
From: Brett Lane Robertson <>
Subject: Re: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)

> (a) spirituality is not taught in a school 6 hours a day 5
> days per week for 12+ years and (b) developmentally, spirituality is a
> difficult concept to grasp than addition.

I've often thought about this. Someone here mentioned a while back
about the seeming double standard we apply to shamen. We are quite
content to spend all of our life up to the twentieth+ year learning
science (including those early years when we are most capable of
learning)... but if some shamen tells us that it would take twenty
*years* of training for us to learn about his way of life, we laugh long
and hard.

Nothing can possibly take that long to understand, we say.

Double Standard.

> I also implied that "The Era of Spirituality" is a more recent
> than the "Age of Industrialization"; and if you look at
industrialization in
> its youth you might note that it also had it's problems. But, the
signs are
> all around that, today, there is a new method of reasoning (which has
> mislabeled "faith" and compared to religious fanaticism). I think
that it is
> a developmental stage. Like a child matures to the point that he
> "conservation of measure"--that is, that the amount of liquid in a
tall thin
> glass doesn't increase when it's poured into a short fat glass like it
> appear to--humanity is maturing to the point where they can understand
> more relativistic reality. My own maturation through the stage of
> logic to one of abstract thinking supports this observation; as does
> historical development of society in the societal stages I pointed out
in my
> original post.

I think their is another theory that explains the development of
"spirituality" just a well, Brett: it's a backlash. The New Age
Spiritual people are not happy with the way science has taken us... it's
valueless culture of consumption. So rather than try to fix the system,
they are lashing back out in the only way they know how -- *un*reason.
I read a long essay (I think it was at the Agnostic Church) about
"cycles" of cultures. (the essay was a summation of a much longer book,
if I recall correctly) Anyway, it said that near the end of ever major
civilization, when it is declining, there is a sudden resurgence in
religion -- called a "second religiousness" -- it is marked by
fundamentalism and it's opposite, which I think could reasonably be
called "New Age". This resurgence comes because people begin to see
that the old world view -- the one that has held for a thousand years
(this is a common length of time for a civilization to last) -- is
finally crumbling, to be replaced by the New View.

In our case, science is that view, and the New Age/Fundamentalism is the
"backlash". They are products of fear -- the fear of people who are
unwilling to embrace the collapse of the current civilization.

Extropian ideas fit in really well with this theory.

... of course, I consider myself a member of the "New Age"!