I’ve lived in a no-man’s land for many years, a twilight zone between subcultures. To a great extent I share the worldview of the broad swath of neo-spirituality generally referred to as the New Age. Like millions of other people, I’m familiar with the basic teachings of all the major religions, and find inspiration in self-selected aspects of many of them. I fly by my own inner compass, and find guidance from beacons shining from the hearts of many different traditional paths.Are there other awakened people out there who share this perspective to any extent? This is what I’d love to find out, and if there are, perhaps we can talk about ways to implement a new Dharma in the world, one which specifically addresses the spiritual needs of people in the challenging situation we find ourselves in today.
But I see the New Age mainstream as very self-centered. The self-indulgent spirituality it practices does not rescue it from the degeneracy of the secular culture; in some cases it even exacerbates it, like the tendency to turn the ancient discipline of Tantra into a hedonistic cult. Even people who are truer to the authentic traditions usually buy into the postmodern Zeitgeist, and uncritically accept the high-tech global lifestyle. Enlightened individuals often project their personal experiences of divine love and Oneness onto the sociopolitical situation, and wish for world unification in what they imagine will be a regime of global peace and brotherhood.
By my lights, this is not only impossible but undesirable. I see it as a mass delusion which unwittingly supports the evil forces seeking the centralization of power in their own interests. The outcome would be a New World Order of dehumanized people in a hive-like Electrotopia ~ not a victory for the human spirit, but a route to its possible extinction.
A real-life example of this is all those millions of nice liberal people, of both the spiritual and secular humanist varieties, who support globalization. They wanted a world democracy where people in every country would vote for enlightened, compassionate leaders. What they got instead was George W. Bush and the evil cabal behind him, who initiated a new regime of permanent large-scale global war. And to my mind, this was the inevitable result of their idealistic false belief.
In my awakening from the Matrix, I saw the degenerate nature of life as it’s lived in postmodern times. I radically changed my own lifestyle from free-wheeling hedonism to tech-free asceticism. I began to see the value of the traditional forms of virtue and self-restraint. A traumatic Catholic upbringing made me critically aware of the crippling effects of dogma and indoctrination on the human spirit; but now I realized that there was a balancing benefit of these religious models in providing an inspirational framework for people to lead positive lives centered on service to others and to Higher Power, rather than narcissistic indulgence of their own egos.