New Age beliefs (Part 2)

This is the second part of a series on New Age belief.  The first part examined the starting assumption that God is all things in the universe.  Since God is all things, the philosophy of New Agers is called Non-naturalism. It rejects naturalism (everything is matter).  This New Age theology assumes that God is, so there is a supernatural realm. But it is tied into the natural realm as well, so the two do not exist separately. Both the natural and supernatural realms are one. All reality is spiritual, not material. Berit Kjos explains, “A universal, spiritual, force infuses all things with spiritual life.” New Ager Gary Zukav gives this illustration:

All that is can form itself into individual droplets of consciousness. Because you are a part of all that is, you have literally always been, yet there was the instant when that individual energy current that is you was formed. Consider that the ocean is God. It has always been. Now reach in and grab a cup of water full of water. In that instant, the cup becomes individual, but it has always been, has it not? This is the case of your soul. There was an instant when you became a cup of energy, but it was of an immortal original Being. You have always been because what it is that you are is God, or Divine Intelligence, but God takes individual form…As that little form grows in power, in selfhood, in its own consciousness of self, it became larger and more Godlike. Then it becomes God.

The “cup of ocean” analogy helps us see reality according to New Age thinking. “God” didn’t create the universe; God is the Universe. From the Big Bang, all matter has formed into planets, plants and people. Eventually you were born, but you were always there: “There was an instant when you became a cup of energy, but it was of an immortal original Being.” All reality is spiritual, or “God,” whether it is the sun or moon, hippos or humans. Matter is just a manifestation of the spiritual reality. Therefore, we should respectfully view all things as manifestations of “God.”

According to this worldview, we are no more important than any of our “cousins”: animals, fish, or birds. We must live in harmony with them, as well as understand and learn from them. Treating all things with respect as manifestations of God is part of New Age ethics.

This is a far cry from the Genesis account of creation: God creates the heavens and earth in the beginning; He is not part of it.  And Adam and Eve are given dominion over the earth and its creatures accordinf to Genesis 1:26-31.  It says,

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and  over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.  God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

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