The New Age movement will expand in the future because of its strong holistic health thrust, but the amorphous movement also needs to move toward greater social action to have more impact.
Those are two of the forecasts made by New Age veterans in the 25th anniversary issue of New Age magazine (November/December). The magazine asked 25 New Age “visionaries” to share their predictions about the future. Most of the forecasts are optimistic while registering some dissatisfaction with how American culture has fastened on to the more superficial aspects of the New Age. The majority of the respondents cited as the most important development to be the mainstreaming of holistic health practices, as the medical establishment seeks to incorporate practices such as yoga, meditation and Eastern healing techniques into their practices.
Holistic medicine specialist Rachel Naomi Remen writes that the “New Age has offered medicine . . . a greater understanding of the difference between curing and healing…Curing has to do with the repair of the body, while healing has to do with the movement toward wholeness in every human being.” Holistic author Jean Houston sees communication technologies making New Age ideas more global and accessible to all, thus speeding up the evolutionary process.
In fact, the original New Age (and the term New Age is used by most of the respondents, even though it was written off as passé more than a decade ago) message that mankind is evolving toward a higher plane and the world will be transformed is still evident in most of the predictions. Most echo the view of Riane Eisler that more attention needs to be paid to “social and cultural healing” rather than individual healing. The strongest cautionary note about the New Age is struck by Caroline Myss and Robert Thurman, who write that
New Agers have allowed themselves to experience abuse at the hands of authoritarian leaders, often Eastern gurus, and that more sophistication and depth is needed.
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