Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Age

By the mid 1970s I was married and working full time. I still read extensively and delved into the spiritual and psychic side of the universe, but not with the frequency and passion I had in my teen years. I was comfortable in my belief system, which included a benevolent God who rewarded good behaviour, occasional Sundays in the Christian Science Church and a continued interest in reincarnation, tarot cards and precognition. I was satisfied that all of these things were compatible, even if I couldn't exactly explain how. I guess I was building my own little 'religion'.

I've always had a healthy respect for the spiritual world and firmly believed that there are malevolent entities on other planes that can be unintentionally 'invited' to join us in our physical universe. These include poltergeists, disembodied entities and other types of base creatures that can wreak havoc if unleashed on this plane. Once on this side or plane, the creatures often become trapped and this results in hauntings, 'demonic' possessions, or just the plain bleak chilliness and mischief that are sometimes experienced in certain places or buildings. So when my children were born in 1979 and 1981, I simply stopped experimenting with the psychic or spiritual, as I was very aware that one could easily attract an unwanted entity by dabbling in the 'black' arts without the protection of an experienced teacher. I was quite content to raise my babies without worrying that they might be affected or exposed to any unwanted spiritual influences.

As the 1970s closed and the 1980s began, I noticed a great shift in religious beliefs and thinking. The rebellious and nonconforming hippies of the 1960s were now seeking spriritual enlightenment to an extent that had not been experienced before. With the prevalence of television and cheap, fast air travel, people were able to experience more ideas, images and lifestyles in rapid succession than had ever been thought possible. Organized religion could no longer hold their congregations solely by blind faith and implied or real threats of punishment in the afterlife - other options were available and easily accessible. Suddenly the western world was exposed to influences from religions other Christianity and it was no longer taboo to discuss ideas like reincarnation and karmic retribution.

In 1983 a famous actress named Shirley MacLaine stunned the conservative western world by publishing a book called Out on a Limb. It was an autobiographical account of her personal search for spirituality, which was quickly followed by two more books recounting her experiences. She appeared on a number of popular talk shows, promoting her books and steadfastly defending her unconventional beliefs. Suddenly, all of the things that I had long studied and believed in had become 'sexy' and fashionable.

Reading Shirley's books reignited my interest in what is now commonly called New Age thinking. I followed Shirley's spiritual journey with rapt interest and not a little envy. I wished that I had her resources so that I could share her experiences and study first hand with the spiritual gurus of the day. She said a lot of things that I agreed with and a few things that I didn't, but thanks to her, once again I was back on my own spiritual journey.

2 comments:

  1. Great Post, you may be interested in reading some of Elizabeth Mahlou's blogs. She left a comment near the end of my post on potty training where you will find a direct link to her. She seems to be more on the Christian side but still thought you might find her interesting enough to check out.

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  2. Thanks Deb, I'll take a look.

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