Re: virus: New Age

Sodom (
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 13:49:42 -0400

Eric Boyd wrote:

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

I had never heard of this theory of religious resurgance at the end of a
civilization. I had often considered religion to be to inflexible to
hold up against new discoveries, so that as a society developes,
religion finds itself more and more at odds with the state, or other
states and attemts to stop progress - causing a "resurgence". Now that
it is put in a different light, I am going to spend some time thinking
about it. Thanks