Unmasking the New Age Term Paper

Pages: 9 (2526 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Unmasking the New Age

The opening line of the Foreword to Douglas R. Groothuis' Unmasking the New Age reads, "Advertising that it can transform people and society worldwide, the New Age movement is spearheading a comprehensive attack on many of the highest values of both the Christian church and Western culture," (9). In this book, Groothuis illustrates the basic manifestations of the New Age movement, such as holistic healing and transpersonal psychology, and shows why they run counter to a Christian worldview. He urges his readers to think critically about New Age tenets such as monism and challenge their validity and supremacy. With unmasked scorn for the collection of varied beliefs categorized as New Age, the author concludes that any "faithful Christian community dedicated to loving God and neighbor...must attempt to reverse this trend," (175).

What are the four tenets of Shirley MacLaine's beliefs?

Shirley MacLaine helped usher in the New Age with her immensely popular self-help books. The four basic tenets of her books such as Out on a Limb include: one, human beings are gods, whether we know it or not; two, we have lived before and will again, or reincarnation is a reality; three, that death is unreal; and four, we create our own reality and therefore an infinite number of possible realities exist in the universe at one time.

2. Who inspired MacLaine's book Out on a Limb?

MacLaine claims that her book Out on a Limb was "indirectly inspired by an extraterrestrial named 'the Mayan,'" (24).

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3. What is one of the contradictions being taught among New Age teachers?

One of the main contradictions taught by New Age teachers, according to the author, is that humanity is God. In fact, as Groothuis states, "we are not infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing or everywhere present. We are finite and personal," (22).

4. What are the six tenets of the New Age according to the author?

TOPIC: Term Paper on Unmasking the New Age Assignment

According to Groothuis, the six tenets of the New Age include: 1) All is one; 2) All is God; 3) Humanity is God; 4) A Change in Consciousness; 5) All religions are one; and 6) Cosmic Evolutionary Optimism.

5. Is the New Age movement part of a conspiracy?

While it may be tempting to conclude that the New Age is a conspiracy, Groothuis asserts that "conspiratorial speculations should be tempered by several cautions," (33). Because the New Age movement consists of diverse groups of people and because there is no objective proof of the matter, it is highly unlikely that the New Age is a conspiracy.

6. What according to the author is the environment necessary for a new social movement?

The environment necessary for a new social movement consists of four things: a strong sense of doom and dread prompting the desire for change; a sense that the tools of the present are inadequate to meet the needs of modern society; the appeal of a long-lost tradition; and intense hope and optimism for the future (46).

7. What is the relationship between secular humanism and the New Age cosmic humanism?

On page 52, Groothuis states: "The New Age and secular humanism are more like cousins than strangers." Both put immense faith and trust in the inherent power of humanity and the individual; both assert the oneness of reality. However, cosmic humanism infuses secular humanism with spirituality: "all is god," (53).

8. Who, according to the New Agers, is responsible for a person's health?

According to New Agers, we alone are responsible for our own health..

9. What "almost universally" is holistic health's answer to well-being?

Holistic health "almost universally" stresses the need for "psychological peace," (61). This can be achieved by practicing some form of Eastern-style meditation, or other practices such as self-hypnosis or martial arts.

10. Since it is not matter, what is the key to health according to the New Agers?

The key to health lies not in the material world but rather in the psychic world; energy is the key to health (63).

11. What, according to McMillen in None of These Diseases is an overlooked Christian prerequisite for health?

According to S.I. McMillen in his book None of These Diseases, a key but neglected element of health is rest, or the observation of the Sabbath (69). Christianity agrees with the New Age ideas about health somewhat. For instance, the Bible asserts that mental attitude and state of consciousness can affect health, and that God is ultimately responsible for health regardless of the treatment modality (69-70).

12. What, according to the author, is replacing theology to the West as "the center of human concern"? According to the author, psychology has replaced theology as the center of human concern (71).

13. What, according to Frankl, is the central problem of modern man?

Frankl believes that the central problem of modern man is loss of meaning, what he calls "the existential vacuum," (75).

14. What is the Human Potential Movement?

One of the main components of the New Age, the Human Potential Movement combines pop psychology with Eastern religion, sexuality, behavior modification and other techniques to teach that we are in complete control of our lives (79).

15. What is transpersonal psychology?

Transpersonal psychology is an extension of humanism, but acknowledges the need for the transcendent in the human experience. Transpersonal psychology combines New Age and Eastern spiritual beliefs with a practical application and includes "consciousness expansion" and the occult (81).

16. How does David Myers' concept of self conflict with that of Maslow?

Myers and Maslow differ in their concept of self. For Maslow the self represents untapped and infinite potential. In essence, Maslow has an inflated perception of the self. On the other hand, Myers believes that problems arise with an inflated self-concept. For Myers, we are too self-aggrandizing and conceited and we consequently practice self-deception.

17. What, according to the author, is sin?

According to the author, sin is basically the over-inflated ego, the belief that we are more than we really are. This attitude constitutes sin because it distances humanity from God. Because this is Groothuis' fundamental definition of sin, he must automatically reject the New Age because the New Age is rooted in the belief that humanity is divine and that the self is greater than we think.

18. What do Einstein's "law of relativity" and Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle" have to do with the New Age?

The New Age embraces modern science and quantum physics. Einstein's theory of relativity and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle tie in with the new age because the movement represents a union between spirituality and science. Also, many New Agers see similarities between Eastern religions and Western science. Max Plank's quantum theory also affects the new age, as it his insights into the behavior of light ties into the uncertainty principle: our universe is no longer mechanical and predictable but rather, it is mystical. Moreover, the effect of the observer on the particle that is being observed offered a scientific basis for many New Age philosophical tenets such as the interconnectedness of all things.

19. What does Christian philosopher George Clark have to add to the discussion of science?

Christian philosopher Gordon Clark notes that many scientific theories today are short-lived, soon to be replaced by a new theory. Therefore, science does not necessarily offer the truth.

20. What, according to James Sire, has the modern generation done in essence?

James Sire believes that the modern generation has in essence returned to the darkness of times past, in which the focus was placed on "gothic horrors," (109). Essentially he believes that the New Age represents a backwards step in human evolution.

21. What is the New Age replacement for the metaphor of the planet as machine?

Replacing the notion of our planet as a machine, the New Age movement proposes that the planet is "an interrelated system," an organism rather than a machine (115).

22. What are the two main planks of the New Age political agenda?

The two main planks of the New Age political agenda include environmentalism and feminism.

23. What major political figure is named as a New Age adherent on page 122?

Jerry Brown, an ex-governor of California, is cited as being one of the most notable politicians who is a New Age adherent on page 122. According to the author, this indicates that that not only is the Democratic Party itself New Age, but that the New Age is infiltrating modern political thought (122).

24. What is the problem with New Agers leading us politically, according to the author?

According to Goothuis, the problem with the New Age leading us politically is that the future will be "built on the sands of spiritual error," (125). Not only will the New Age infiltrate political and economic institutions; it will also, according to the author, lead our society astray in terms of its spiritual values. The New Age is reckless, "morally unfit to lead us politically," (126). It lacks moral standards and refuses to look toward the Bible for ethical… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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