What became known as the New Age Movement made its mark in the 1970’s and it’s as vibrant and alive today as it was 45 years ago. It still has no membership, no set rules or structure. You can study it and experience it as part of a group or as an individual. I wouldn’t describe it as a dogma because it has far too many shifting sides, it’s formless and shapeless. You can approach it physically, mentally and spiritually deeply, or you can go New Age Lite. It can be misleading, a total rip-off – attract the conjurer and the charlatan. Conversely, it can, inspire, educate, foster creativity and promote wellbeing.
During the 70‘s, the Movement promised the individual heart so much with all its chanting about peace and love, its non-attachment, its dizzy anticipation of pleasure, its perfumed dreams and its spiritual rebirth. Yet all the flower power and free-love in the world didn’t dismiss my bouts of youthful anxiety about the uncertainty of the times – the proliferation of Nuclear weapons, the conscription lottery draw that could put you in the jungles of Vietnam, girls, romance and all the messy emotional stuff associated with that.
At times I wondered whether it really had a heart, this flowery “if it feels good do it” form of transcendence. Would it bring about the great-awakening it promised from stuffy conservatism and conformity? While some young people lived to revel and rebel in its Dionysiac orgiastic rhythms and drug culture, others flourished and discovered individual transcendence through New Age spirituality with its many esoteric practises and different branches of new tribalism. While I believe it was a positive influence it didn’t stop many shrivelling in the after-burn of its excesses and experimentation. The search for meaning and freedom the 70‘s was a magic carpet ride through a world of possibilities and self-realisation to act and do whatever came knocking positively but there were causalities.
New Agers still hold they are holistic adventurers on the cosmic highway in the ensuing Age of Aquarius, with a strong individual approach to spirituality and focus on healing by employing many alternative therapies.