The New Age Movement has done a great deal to reinvigorate interest in ancient wisdom, mysticism, and spirituality in general. New Age seekers have travelled to the far flung corners of the earth in search of lost secrets known only by the secluded few. Some returned teachers, messengers and New Age gurus in their own right. Others studied various religious traditions to become learned scholars of those philosophies. Some simply experienced fantastic awakenings born of incredible adversity, and emerged as teachers of profound insight into the nature of the human psyche. Yet others found a kind of enlightened approach to manifesting the life they desire and the success they seek, mastering “the law of attraction,” and becoming hybrid gurus of both the New Age and Self-Help Movements.
The New Age doesn’t advocate the practice of “religion” as such; especially not those “unpalatable” religions whose traditions historically included suppression, oppression, dominance, violence, persecution, hierarchical patriarchies—all the things which strike at the heart of New Age values. In fact, it could be said that the New Age is in many ways a reaction to organized religion.
So what are New Age values?
New Age values include total freedom, personal development and spiritual growth, collective harmony, unlimited love of self and others, boundless exploration of the universe and our place in it, the preservation of nature, accumulation of spiritual powers and mystical experiences, integrated health and wellness—mind, body, spirit—and the feeling of oneness with the universal Source of all creation (what has been called “God” in times past). There are, of course, many more values explored and expounded by the New Age, including the accumulation of followers (a desire of the aforementioned New Age gurus), but for the sake of brevity, we’re going to assume that our distinguished reader is more than familiar with the New Age and requires no further elaboration on our part at this time. If not, we are certain our beloved reader has it within their capacity to do more research on their own.
Likewise, we are not going to dwell too much on creating a comprehensive list of New Age practices, if such a list were even possible. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are probably the most common, as are mindfulness, mantras, crystals, cleanses, retreats, psychedelics, and the list goes on.
The purpose of all these practices is to help the New Age practitioner achieve spiritual growth, higher levels of consciousness, healing of mind/body, better integration of mind-body-spirit, manifestation of personal goals and dreams, and many other similarly-themed goals.
Those in the New Age tend to be very sensitive, empathetic, compassionate individuals who are drawn to one another—at best by some magical attraction and at worst by a common set of interests and passions, usually revolving around the aforementioned activities and goals—but always with an interest in universal peace, harmony and happiness.
This is probably the underlying foundation of the New Age Movement, and its most beautiful aspect: those drawn to it well and truly care deeply and passionately for the well-being of others and the planet. They are at once outraged by the crimes against humanity and The Great Mother (Mother Nature) being committed today, and feel their suffering on—or very nearly on—a personal level. In spite of this, and the intensification of factors responsible for the persecution of the planet and its most helpless residents, most New Agers believe that our humanity is fast approaching a “mass worldwide awakening” when the whole of humanity shall wake-up from its collective unconsciousness, embrace one another in peace and harmony, and usher in a new era of enlightenment simply called The Golden Age.
Sounds Beautiful…and a bit too good to be True, perhaps?
Before we continue may we share with you, illustrious reader, these words from Salman Rushdie? They are a pre-emptive move on our part to defend our intention to illustrate ways in which the New Age Movement may be seen as somewhat problematic and not entirely ingenuous. But, depending on your reaction to our analysis of the facts and subsequent criticisms of the New Age, Rushdie’s words also serve as a clue to the true nature of the New Age Movement in relation to other religious traditions and sectarian modalities of mental conditioning.
Image: Salman Rusdie Quote
Until this very moment, we have had nothing but nice things about the New Age Movement. Its teachers, members, practitioners and admirers are by and large all very honest and soulful individuals, well-intentioned, sensitive, and truly caring people. They honestly want what’s best for themselves and others and generally speaking do not seek to impose their beliefs or ideas on others. In a sense, we may say theirs is a very soft, gentle, peaceful, and harmonious approach to spiritual development and awakening. Really, what’s not to like? Exactly. There’s very little—practically NOTHING, in fact—to identify as particularly unpleasant or difficult; and even less visibly requiring any sacrifice on our part.
Everything is a gentle, mostly painless, meaningful “shift” from our current state of consciousness, whatever that may be, to a higher state of consciousness. As a point of interest, recently we heard a talk by a New Age teacher who said that the New Age was all about a “new paradigm,” of spiritual awakening and that the telltale sign of a true teaching in this new paradigm was that it would FEEL GOOD. He emphatically pronounced that the “old paradigm” was all about feeling bad, driving ourselves crazy trying to identify and eliminate the causes of our suffering (which is a highly misinformed and subjective view of esotericism and ancient mysticism). And of course, in that most rational of New Age platitudes: “energy flows where attention goes,” by paying attention to—and heaven forbid focusing on—the causes of suffering, we will invariably attract/manifest/create MORE SUFFERING! It makes perfect sense from a “new paradigm” perspective; especially given the doctrine surrounding the Law of Attraction and manifesting your desires.
Yes, everything in the New Age has its own distinct brand of logic…its own particular flavour. And since it all ties together so very nicely and harmoniously, it must be true, right? Every practice, every belief, every experience and every explanation has been cherry-picked from the whole of the world’s spiritual, mythical, mystical, astrological, religious, cultural, artistic, musical, philosophical, historical, psychological, psychedelic, and scientific traditions.
THOUSANDS of New Age authors, speakers, guides, and gurus have interpreted, reinterpreted, rephrased, reworded, repackaged, and represented ancient and contemporary beliefs alike, redressed in new forms with new features which are not only believable to the minds of today, but desirable and pleasurable to the heart and body. So the teachings and doctrines spread by the New Age “feel good” alright, but are they true to the essence of the timeless spiritual principles on which they are based?
Well, they do talk a fair bit about “Christ Consciousness,” so let us begin there.
“Christ Consciousness” as a clue about of the nature of the New Age Movement
First off, Christ is not a person. This is one of many facts the New Age Movement cherry-picked from ancient esotericism. Krishna is also incarnated the Christ as Jesus did; as did Moses, Quetzalcoatl, Buddha Shakyamuni, Zoroaster, and many others. Christ is a FORCE in the universe. In Kabbalah it is known as Chokmah, or the Second Logos. As the First Emanation of Kether, the Father, the Christ is the Son of God. Gurdieff referred to it as an expression of The Omnipresent Ray of Okidanokh.
In short, the Christ is the Ray of Creation, descended from the Creator Source of the Universe on-high, and deposited as a SEED, an Essence, at the heart of every atom, in the nucleus of every cell, and in the heart of every living being in the universe. It is this Essence, this SEED which, if it is nurtured and incubated in fertile psychological soil over many lifetimes, can one day be born inside a human being. Not just any human being: an awakened Master, a Buddha, who eliminates the lion’s share of their karma in one lifetime, lays down on their death-bed, passes away, enters into hell where they cleanse the last remnants of their ego and that of others suffering in hell, and awaken from death three days later a Resurrected Master…a Bodhisattva.
Now, let us take a moment to comprehend the efforts and sacrifice such a being has made, and talk for a moment about the Consciousness such a being possesses. Right: IMPOSSIBLE.
But the New Age loves to throw around the term “Christ Consciousness” (and “enlightenment,” “samadhi,” “tantra,” and countless other sacred terms/words/concepts) as if they were mere trifles for the mind to conceptualize, instead of profound truths for the consciousness to experience—profound truths which can only be known through direct conscious experience.
Just how “off” is the New Age when it comes to its understanding and teaching of these profoundly sacred, ageless, and universal truths knowable only through direct conscious experience? Well, let’s just say it is possible to be “touched” by the Christ.
Yes, on our path to awakening we receive infinite blessings, may experience serendipity countless times, and benefit from many boons. Some of these come in the form of spiritual experiences—moments of clarity, inspiration, insight, ecstasy—and sometimes in a form which is so completely and utterly beyond all form, that it is incapable of describing in any form which the mind will understand or appreciate. But the heart? The heart, maybe…MAYBE…can feel a glimmer of the truth of it. But that is all…just a glimmer.
We have had such an experience of the Cosmic Christ; the Chrestos Force. We cannot claim to know what true “Christ Consciousness” is, only that we were touched by it, in an instant, only for a moment, a moment which broke all boundaries of time and space and lasted for a good five to 10 minutes.
In an earnest effort to share our experiential knowledge of the Chrestos Force, we humbly pray for the inspiration and guidance to find the words and poetic expression so that you, our beloved reader, may hear, feel, experience and share in some small way in one of the most important boons of our life.
* * *
Touched by the Christ
The time matters not.
Nor the day, nor date, nor weather outside.
Neither the catalyst.
There was one
From Ancient Egypt.
Sitting on the couch surfing the web
We Googled the edicts of Luxor:
Commandments of the Hermetic Mystery Schools.
This was our catalyst,
Not a catalyst…
Not a reminder even…
A WAKE-UP CALL from the Absolute.
Heart chakra swells
Eight, no—Eighty times
Eight thousand times
Is it a heart attack?
Love enters us.
Love, as we have never known it.
A tsunami bursts forth from within
We slip from the couch to the floor,
This feeble animated corpse helpless and powerless
In the Light of this Love,
Love of loves,
Light of lights,
Would our body temple were made of stone
Great blocks would be bursting from our sides
Such is this wellspring, no—
Exploding yet sustaining,
Imploding yet enduring,
No eternal fountain…
A star has gone supernova!
A Sun is in our chest.
The Son is in our heart.
The Christ has come to visit.
And It burns with the Fire of fires,
Shines with the Light of lights
From behind my cold eyes I see it beaming
Brought forth from the Great Treasury of the Light
And I am blinded to all but its Glory.
Heart wells up
Throat chokes up,
Eyes wide shut,
We are a fetus curled up in the womb,
Welled up ready to burst
Walled up in our tiny apartment
Any moment now it too will burst
Just as sure as we will
And we do
Tears pour from beneath sealed eyelids
And we cry out in wailing agony of pure joy.
“Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!
We thank Thee!
We thank Thee!
We thank Thee!
Oh Divine Mother!
No halt in the torrent.
No pause in the fusion.
And our gut is Love-punched drunk into exhaustion.
Heart beats our max into dust.
Body registering on the Richter scale.
Skin soaked in a soup of sweat and tears.
And still the Love is there.
Swelling and collapsing;
Erupting and imploding.
Boiling magma plumes in our chest,
Burns us with the Fire of the fire,
Illuminates us with the Light of lights,
And we are completely helpless to resist;
Pathetically incapable of containing
Let alone hosting even the Essence of the presence of our Guest,
The Most High,
The Chrestos Force
He who comes in the name of the Lord…
“Hosanna in the Highest!
Hosanna in the Highest!
Hosanna in the Highest!
Thy Kingdom Come!
Thy Kingdom Come!
Thy Kingdom Come!
Thy Will be Done!
Thy Will be Done!
Thy Will be Done!
So be it!
So be it!
So be it!
Oh God, We thank You!”
It goes on like this.
An eternity passes
With an Infinite Ball of Burning Love in our chest.
And We observe ourselves,
Filthy and unworthy of this Guest in our house!
We have no Three Kings to greet our Saviour Cometh
Among the barnyard cubby of our animal mind!
What gifts can we offer but the filth of our minds,
The pain in our hearts,
And the stress in our body?
What precious offerings can we make to Christ our Lord Cometh?
Yet still all we feel is eternal Love and gratitude,
There is no shame to speak of
Here and now
We are incapable of that shadowy pride,
Our egos have fled to the darkest corners of our mind,
Those wasps flew from the Flame of flames,
And our heart cries out only with the Joy of joys.
“It is what it is, and that is all!
It is what it is, and that is all!
It is what it is, and that is all!
I Am that I Am!
I Am that I Am!
I Am that I Am!
Aheyeh asher Aheyeh!
Aheyeh asher Aheyeh!
Aheyeh asher Aheyeh!
Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!
Thy Will be Done!
Thy Will be Done!
Thy Will be Done!
The Ode to Joy
Played by a thousand orchestras,
Sung by a million angels,
Blaring in our heart-mind;
Resonating through our Being.
Rings forth the Truth of truths no mortal man can describe,
The Love of loves no mortal man can know.
How could he?
When here we are but touched by It,
Overcome by the Glory of Glories,
Crumpled in an ecstatic heap by the Joy of joys
And the Bliss of bliss?
With naught but a drop of Its Limitless Light,
We are balling our eyes out,
Crying our heart out,
Wailing with the agony of eternal happiness!
We are reduced to a blithering child,
So weak are we in the wake of
The Resplendence of Resplendence.
God is Great!
God is Great!
God is Great!
We Thank You!
We Thank You!
We Thank You!
It goes on like this some more.
Gloria in Excelsior,
Rejuvenation in Resplendence
Give way to Mercy and Freedom,
And we are released in Mercy and Love.
Our visit is at an end.
Our exhausted and spent self lies helpless on the floor.
And still we can only pray
The residual Heat and Light and Love from our Cosmic Visitation,
Our Heavenly House Guest.
Who came forth from the boundless nothingness of our hearts,
To touch us,
Give us but a taste,
And let us drink from the Fountain of Sweet Ambrosia,
Dip our toe into the Ocean of Love that glows with His Golden Blue Light,
The Light of Lights,
The Light of Christ.
Who was in the beginning,
And shall Be.
May he come again to judge the living,
These wretched “I’s” who pollute our temple,
And the dead,
Those wretched Souls suffering in hell itself.
So be it.
So be it.
So be it.
* * *
It is typically not “kosher” to share such experiences openly and publically. But we do so to illustrate the facts. Rather than simply stating outright in a judgmental or condemning sort of way, the simple point we are trying to make, we attempted here to express as best we could with our limited poetic abilities, our experience of Christ so that you, dear reader, may decide for yourself, the next time you hear an esteemed New Age guru express their teachings in that signature soft, gentle, soothing way that is so mild-mannered and appealing to our overly-sensitive selves, if that is indeed the nature of “Christ Consciousness.”
From this and other experiences we’ve had, we daresay we know a thing or two about the messengers of The Light of lights: the Christified Masters, Avatars, and the FIERCE GRACE which radiated through them. There is a definite tone, a vitality, an intensity in the words of those who have experienced that Fierce Grace directly, consciously, and feel charged by that burning fire in their hearts to reveal to others the keys to know such Light for themselves.
“The sun with loving light makes bright for me each day, the soul with spirit power gives strength unto my limbs. In sunlight shining clear I revere, Oh God, the strength of humankind, which thou has planted in my soul, that I may with all my might, may love to work and learn. From thee stream light and strength to thee rise love and thanks.”
(Author of 50+ books, including How to Know Higher Worlds – A Modern Path to Initiation)
Are we saying that softness, kindness, peace, relaxation, and gentleness don’t have their place? Of course not! They absolutely do have their place and purpose! But whereas these outward signs are easily feigned, the Christic Force cannot be faked (not even by highly skilled and very powerful practitioners of the Black Arts who abound in number in this age…but that is a topic for another day). But if the Christic Force can be misrepresented; if it can be painted in a more mundane light—since so few alive today have actually been in its presence or have been touched by it personal—now even the most mundane personalities, experiences, parlour tricks, and charlatans can profess to possess it.
And many do.
What is really at work in the New Age?
All religions under the sun are born, degenerate, divide into many sects, and die. It’s the Law of Entropy. No practiced religion or expressed spiritual tradition is immune to this law. The mind is a vehicle of entropy. It can only understand through the comparison and contrast of the dialectic: “this, not that; us or them; right and wrong; good and evil; me versus you; what I want and what I don’t want; cravings and aversions.” When mind is ruled by ego (which in this humanity is almost always the case), whose modus operandi is “divide and conquer,” the Law of Entropy becomes a very powerful force of degeneration.
What that practically means is any spiritual discourse is merely a shadow, a reflection, an entropic and imperfect representation of the underlying universal spiritual principles being expressed, so long as it is interpreted literally and superficially by ego-mind. As soon as that expression is interpreted by the ego-mind, the process of subjective interpretation, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation takes place. That is because the underlying knowledge attempting to be conveyed by any authentic spiritual discourse is ESOTERIC—the words only point the way to the Truth; they do not profess to be the Truth in and of themselves. They are but the outward FORMS of the inner esoteric Truths the forms intimate.
Video: Religious Principles
Source: YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ruMDp2L9w
The ego-mind cannot know. The ego-mind can only THINK it knows. Real knowledge, gnosis, is EXPERIENTIAL. Experiential knowledge cannot be expressed directly in words; it can only be conveyed, implied, pointed to—intimated. But in order that the words may convey the essence of gnosis, they must be imbued with the essence of an experience, or knowledge which comes directly from our Essence (our Innermost Being—our Higher, individuated, Intimate Self).
An experienced pilot, surgeon, or craftsperson cannot transfer their experiential knowledge to others through language. At best, they can write words which point the way for others to go acquire their own experience—with guidance about opportunities to take advantage of and pitfalls to avoid. Be honest, dear reader: would you trust a neophyte who has no practical experience with your flight, operation, or custom craftwork, even if they had just finished reading a “how-to-guide” by a master in their field?
Poetry, art, music, opera, stories, fables, myths, parables, dreams, and SCRIPTURE…their symbols and allegories…are much better suited to convey essential spiritual teachings than is the dry intellectual explanations and rationalizations of prose. Figurative expressions born of the HEART are capable of stimulating, opening, and being received by the HEART-MIND. But if they are received merely with the ego-mind, it is more than likely their figurative meaning will be lost as the mind focuses on the literal meaning and superficial details.
Anything written by ego-mind, read with ego-mind, and retold with ego-mind will BE ALL BUT DEVOID OF ESSENTIAL TRUTHS. They will be shadowy representations of the Truth. Intellectual discourse results in ego-minds which THINK they know…ego-minds which BELIEVE they know.
This is how experiential knowledge (gnosis: consciousness which actually knows) degenerates into beliefs (hypnosis and ignorance: ego-mind which thinks it knows). As the video above describes, the ego-mind becomes obsessed with the FORMS and misses the actual Truths those forms are attempting to communicate. Now extrapolate that over generations of telling and retellings by, for, and with ego-minds…and add endless debates, arguments, revisions, alterations, misinterpretations, misconceptions, misappropriations for an unlimited number of egotistical purposes (politics, greed, pride, etc.)…Entropy.
No wonder religions end up as shadowy reflections of their original mystical selves, replete with superficial literal interpretations of scripture, outlandish superstitions, manipulative and controlling dogmas, patriarchal hierarchies, and everything else that the New Age and Atheists alike tend to dislike about most religions as we know them.
But what if the New Age (and Atheism) are no different?
We like beliefs. Beliefs comfort us. Believing we know things gives us a false sense of security that is all too tempting and a universal experience among all peoples, cultures, eras, etc. The ego-mind wants to feel like God (it wants to know what the consciousness knows). Knowledge is power. And in the absence of authentic power—actual knowledge: gnosis—the ego-mind will take what it can get…the illusion of power; the delusion of knowledge: beliefs.
In that light, consider the following, dear reader…
New Age Movement: Same Old, Same Old – The New Age still focuses on comfort and beliefs, just like all other belief systems before it, including degenerated religions and atheism.
The traditional spiritual journey (mysticism, esotericism) can be frustrating and seemingly unnecessarily complicated to contemporary seekers. Our minds (and mystic pride) jump straight to “we are all one,” and the erroneous beliefs around “thinking” positive, “feeling” love, “doing” yoga, acting “intentionally,” “manifesting” our desires, living “our truth,” etc. The New Age (like all religions throughout history) has buried the keys to authentic experiential knowledge under simplistic, superficial BELIEF SYSTEMS: nice stories and feel good practices which allow us to look n’ feel “spiritual” but do relatively little to support an actual spiritual evolution.
The reality is, evolution unfolds itself in layers. Just as there are the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms on earth, so too are there similar “levels of being” in the superior worlds. These are like the rungs of a ladder (Jacob’s Ladder; Dante’s Ladder). And while it is possible to “Fall” from the very top of the ladder to the very bottom, it is IMPOSSIBLE to jump from the bottom to the very top of the ladder.
That is not to say we cannot be AWARE of the top of the ladder. We can temporarily experience the top, in meditation or in the moment, with awakened consciousness in samadhi or a moment of clarity (or even in a Glorious gift of being touched by the Christ as previously described). But to actually get to the top? To actually complete the journey, we must actually undertake the journey…ONE STEP AT A TIME.
The problem is, each time we take a step up, the mind, the clever and seductive ego of mystic pride, leaps to the forefront and announces “I’ve MADE IT! I’m AWAKE! I’m CONSCIOUS! I’m ENLIGHTENED!” (or whatever). We may start unlocking powers of clairvoyance, or telepathy, or astral projections, and we think “I see pure energy! I can speak like the gods! I can travel the heavens!” And we believe we’re at the TOP OF THE LADDER. New Age book stores are FULL of books written by gurus and self-styled “Masters.” And yet, they know nothing about the Initiations of our Innermost Being in the superior worlds. They lack some of the most fundamental universal keys to awakening, and clearly lack the experiential knowledge—gnosis—of having actually walked the path of Mastery…yet they think of themselves (and sell themselves) as Masters. Doesn’t that strike you as dubious, dear reader?
At our “level” (the human kingdom) Spiritual growth is a GRADUAL PROCESS OF EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN SOUL, as the caterpillar of our false self (our mechanical lunar bodies) is consumed by the chrysalis of our conscious psychological self-analysis, each and every ego comprehended and fully digested in our consciousness (not merely understood in the mind), so that the energy/consciousness bottled up inside those egos can be used to produce the body of the butterfly (our solar bodies…our human soul).
It’s not complicated. But it is a process. And it requires effort, humility, courage, patience, and surrender. These, sadly, our ego-minds and mystical pride fight tooth and nail against. Our ego wants simple, easy, comfortable instant gratification. And the New Age feeds it to us, like every other religion/spiritual tradition which replaced the realities of mystical transformation of the self into the Self (the uphill climb, rung by rung) with superstitions, communal identification, and belief systems.
Image: Our ego wants simple, easy, comfortable instant gratification. It wants to “FEEL GOOD.”
And, we are sorry to say, the New Age is MASTERFUL at feeding us what we want to hear (just like every other degenerating religion/spiritual tradition was masterful at manipulating their followers). In the past, ego replaced the realities of the uphill climb out of the false self back to our True Self, rung by rung, with literal understanding of the bible, hierarchical patriarchies, faith as belief, even Catholic shame and guilt. Conscious experience of reality is a threat to the ego, and so the ego-mind always makes efforts to supplant Truth with false egoism. In the case of the New Age, that false egoism is “just do what feels good.” But, unlike religions of old, many of the other trappings have been done away with, making it much harder to spot the deception/manipulation.
New Age religiosity is FAR MORE SUBTLE, far more clever, and ultimately much more devious in its power over humanity than any religion before it. Why? As in the past, many of its guides and gurus are COMPLETELY COMMITTED. They BELIEVE TOTALLY in what they profess to their followers. And, and as in the past, they actively and consciously “DIVIDE AND CONQUER” by subtlety attacking ancient religions and esotericism. They cherry pick from “the old paradigm” whatever concepts, practices, beliefs are attractive and serve “the new paradigm” (the doctrine of “just feel good”). What makes the New Age so insidious is that it has no organization, no church, no hierarchical patriarchy, nothing to identify as “the culprit” behind its false promises and erroneous teachings. It has many teachings, books, gurus, groups, practices, communities, and—let’s not forget this one—it has the Internet. Where is “the villain” in the disorganized chaos of the New Age movement? It is so hard to identify as a degenerating, devolving religion enslaving minds is because “the villain” at the heart of all degeneration of authentic spiritual traditions is the ego-mind itself, and the New Age has none of the overarching organizational trappings, no “official canon” of scripture, no single Avatar or collection of Masters upon whose teachings it is based. It is literally just a mash-up of what a bunch of people like to believe and profess as the truth. It is almost entirely the work of ego—particularly mystic pride.
In the New Age, the corrupt entities raised to the positions of cardinals, bishops, etc. are our egos themselves. The church of the New Age controlling and enslaving us is our own mind. And we LEAP at the chance to feel and be seen as “spiritual” amongst the community—our “congregation” of peers. We love the feeling of being in control of our own spiritual journey. We love feeling as though we’ve reached the top of the ladder because we are at the head of our own church. Yeah, that feels good alright! And even if we admit to not being at the top of the ladder, we’re still the bishop of our own church, and we get to say what passes as spiritual in the holiest of holies of our temple.
The trouble is, like any other degenerated religion, this actually leaves very little room in our church life for God (our Higher Self, our Innermost Being). The fact is God and the ego cannot mix. And, in the New Age we have yet another religious movement in a long line of religions which professes to agree with that statement, but fails to practice what it preaches. Like so many religions before it, the New Age is riddled with hypocrisy.
The ego’s modus operandi may be divide and conquer, but its tactics are corruption by temptation, deception, evasion, illusion, misdirection, misinterpretation, etc. And it is so masterful at convincing us how comfort and security are our friends—of course, because the fear of death is healthy, right? Meanwhile, the death egos really fear are their own, the only self-preservation they care about is their own, and that means there is no authentic spiritual path which the ego will embrace, since the path to liberation and self-realization constitutes the death of the ego. So the egos find and/or create beliefs (be they religion, atheism, or New Age) which comfort us and lead us away from awakening. It’s really that simple.
This is how subtle, clever, and devious the ego-mind and mystic pride are.
The truth hurts (the ego). But the Truth will set you free (from the prison of the ego).
What is the ego? Contemporary psychology and colloquialisms refer to the ego as a singular entity, that “I” of the ego-personality. In this sense, the ego is that “self” we identify as. In ancient spiritual traditions the ego is a collection and amalgamation of a legion of individual psychological aggregates known by many names by many cultures: nafs, sins, egos, “demons,” memes (mind viruses), desires, etc.
The egos are directly responsible for the cacophony of voices in our head, that so-called “busy mind” which we work to quiet. Each and every one of those voices tell us they are “us”…each one wants us to satisfy it, and there is no better strategy to achieve that end than convince us that what it wants / wants to avoid is what’s best for us. That is where words like temptation and rationalization come from; as do psychological states like addictions, compulsions, obsessions, etc. What power do these psychological aggregates have over us? The most basic, primal, and potent of manipulations…
Yes, “feeling good” is how many egos get their way with us. Just observe yourself moment by moment to verify this fact. And of course, some egos get off on feeling “bad.” These subtle and crafty egos are behind such phenomenon as shame, the victim mentality, blaming, judgment, condemnation, including hatred of others, frustration with the world, and self-loathing.
What we end up with, then, is that same old story we remember from childhood cartoons:
You must be familiar with this archetype: the proverbial “angel” and “devil” whispering into our ear, each one trying to get us to do what it wants us to do. Originally, this metaphor was an expression of conscience (the angel, intuition, the Still Soft Voice of our True Self, Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio) and ego-mind (the devil, thinking, the cacophony of voices of our false self, entities manipulating Pinocchio’s mechanical existence). The New Age has taken this allegory, repurposed and redressed it with new concepts, and truly run with it.
Especially in New Age and Self-Help circles, “angel” has been replaced with “positive thinking” and “devil” with “negative thinking.” In other words, thinking positive, focusing on the positive and feeling good (pursuit of and attachment to pleasure, comfort, and security) are associated with being spiritual, empowered, enlightened, etc. In contrast, negative thinking is the new source of all evil. After all, doesn’t negative thinking make us feel bad? By avoiding the negative, refusing to feel bad (avoiding and evading suffering out of attachment to pleasure, comfort, and security), are we not aligned with our True Selves? After all, God is Love, and Love can’t feel bad nor can it possibly want us to feel bad, right?
Have you noticed that the New Age revisionism, just as degenerated intellectual religious teachings of the past, make spirituality a case of “a mind at war with itself?” A dialectic of “good” versus “evil” which is played out in the mind…egos against egos. Cravings for pleasure, comforts, security against aversions to pain, discomfort, and insecurity.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER. With the ego playing BOTH SIDES of this internal struggle, it is all too easy for it to hypnotize us with its endless machinations, mechanical reactions, manipulations, internal monologues and meta-dialogues. We become very much like machines, or zombies, acting out programs in the mind written, rewritten, and overwritten by egos.
So, we end up with “think positive thoughts” and “avoid negative thoughts.” On top of these, we are fed lines like “you are God having a human experience” and that we have the right to use our creative imagination and positive thinking to “manifest all our desires through the Law of Attraction by focusing on limitless abundance.” And it is all, 100% ego-mind. Nothing remotely conscious about any of it.
We remain ignorant of our True Self. That is, with all the ego-activity, our consciousness is completely bottled up in desires and unable to relax, focus, and concentrate on the Stillness of Who we actually are. We remain hypnotized and ignorant. These two words together constitute the antithesis of gnosis. Beliefs are the antithesis of experiential knowledge. Beliefs divide and conquer us psychologically; and, as above, so below…as within, so without.
The collective unconsciousness we see in the world today—the mass hypnosis and manipulation in everything from the mainstream media, to governments, consumerism, educational systems, big pharma, junk food, junk entertainments, video and computer games, the Internet, fanatical religions and belief systems, materialist science and all superficial intellectual modalities of belief—is symbolized in “the zombie apocalypse.” On the surface the term seems quite ironic, since the term “apocalypse” is synonymous with revelation and means “to reveal, unveil, awaken.”
And again, awakening is something that is very much top of mind in the New Age. So they argue to stay positive, stay conscious, avoid the sources of hypnosis and ignorance “out there” in the world, and rid yourself of all false, harmful, negative thoughts.
But can we really fight the mind with the mind? Can we really fight back against the forces of zombification by empowering the very forces responsible?
What the New Age doesn’t know—what it doesn’t want anyone to know—is that it is possible to awaken as something worse than a zombie. There are other entities featured in world myth, scripture, art, and literature symbolizing states of consciousness far more insidious than that of the zombie-state. Again, how these archetypes are practically realized in the world is a topic for another discussion. But one thing is certain: just as sure as the evolutionary path toward the Light requires us to ascend Dante’s Ladder rung by rung, its antithesis along the devolutionary path of conscious pursuit of dark powers and the desires they serve, we can descend Dante’s Ladder into our own Inferno.
What is most insidious about such dark powers and entities is that they are very subtle, very clever, charmingly debonair, stylishly seductive, and masters at convincing us that they want what’s best for us…they are looking out for us; they have a care for our comfort, safety, and security. They are our best friends…these voices in our head. They’ll protect us from everyone and everything “out to get us out there,” and if only we focus on the positive voices, they’ll drown out and silence the negative ones inside our head. “Just feel good,” they’ll tell us…”listen to us and we’ll show you the way.”
This is not how the Still Soft Voice of our True Self speaks to us. Anyone with any experience with intuition, inspiration, insight, and esoteric imagination know the difference between ego-mind and heart-mind. Still, the egos are clever and subtle and masterful at convincing us they are one thing when they are precisely its antithesis.
And the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain are not the primary concerns of our Innermost Being. There is nothing particularly wrong with pleasure. It becomes problematic when we become identified with it. It’s when we become attached to pleasure, comfort, security that we lose ourselves to the corresponding egos convincing us not only of “what we want and don’t want” but “what we NEED and don’t need.” But can the false self possibly know better than our True Self what it is we need and don’t need? Oh but it convinces us that it does…and how it comes out as is…
“I am in control of my own life!”
This above quote is the kind of sentiment used by New Agers and Atheists alike to attack Christians and others who “blindly follow” their faith. Well, that may be so. But I don’t see any Atheists performing experiments to verify what XYZ scientists tell them is fact. Nor do I see any New Agers questioning much of anything their favourite New Age gurus tell them…nor do I hear those gurus providing them the keys to perform their own conscious experiments for themselves to verify that all they have said is true.
Oh, but they are in control of their own life. Who or what is making the decision to “like” a particular teaching and “dislike” another? Who or what is deciding to believe without actually doing any work to verify that which is being stated? Let us remember, dear reader, that beliefs give us comfort. And there is no particular reason why our ego gravitates to any particular form of comfort, except that it knows us, our weaknesses, and what we are most likely to identify with. And so it makes us question, fear, creates in us apprehension to follow the course of action whispered to us from the Still Soft Voice within…our Being.
To Be or not to Be…
If we are not being ruled by our Innermost Being, we are being ruled by our egos. Simple as that. Thing is, we have our free will to decide: to be (be one with our Being) or not to be (be ruled by our egos). What is “nobler in the mind?” To suffer because of “a sea of troubles” (egos) or to “take up arms against” them and “by opposing end them”… to die (psychologically); to sleep no more. Read the following with your heart in light of all that has been shared with you here, dear reader, and see if the Truth of the following words reaches out and touches your consciousness…
To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.
To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia!- Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins rememb’red.
Hamlet, Act III, Sc. 1 by William Shakespeare
This most famous of all Shakespearean soliloquys outlines everything we have been discussing in this article. That we are asleep, dreaming. That to be one with our Being (self-realized), we must die to that sleep. To die to sleep is to die in the ego and thus awaken. Remember, at the time this was written, esotericism was heretical and punishable by death. But in the context of this article, even the average reader may glean the brilliantly veiled Truth at the heart of Hamlet’s speech.
There is so much in here we could write an entire article about it alone—and one day perhaps we will. But for now, it’s time to wrap up and provide for you, our dear reader, a visual summary of all we have discussed, and a practical checklist against which you can gauge future teachings.
The VISUAL AID, below, includes a diagram of the Tree of Life from Kabbalah, and more information on that and its usefulness as a spiritual guide can be found here: http://gnosticteachings.org/the-teachings-of-gnosis/introductory-information/43-kabbalah-the-universal-tree-of-life.html