Sunday, 8 February 2015

New Age energies or Christian love?

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New Age spirituality mostly boils down to some concept of energy - this is a terms that comes up as the bottom-line explanatory concept in many of the alternative therapies,and in much of the speculation about the future of humankind - the evolutionary future is seen in terms of new energies, higher frequency vibrations or energies, a new high frequency consciousness.

This stands in contrast to the bottom line personal God of Christianity, especially the evangelical Jesus centred Christianity and Mormonism; which sees the bottom line as Love, and Love as (not an energy) a personal relationship.

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New Age spirituality is generally animistic, in the sense that everything is seen as having the same kind of energy - but of different frequencies or types; however this style of animism makes the whole universe im-personal, abstractly spiritual, physics-like types of energy. Thus New Age 'holism' is a holism which obliterates persons - which is a very Eastern kind of perspective; therefore even Christian New Age people have a highly abstract, impersonal, physics-like, Buddhist-like underlying explanation.

Christian love, by contrast, pushes in the opposite direction - towards explaining everything that happens in terms of personality, of selves, and Love - or Love's negation.

When Christianity becomes animistic and holistic (includes everything), instead of explaining things in terms of energies and vibrations and frequencies and the like - Christianity would tend to explain everything in terms of aware, purposive, person-like entities engaged in relationships. Instead of energies there is relationship - and relationship is considered as ultimately Love (and Love is considered as a matter of personages of different levels).

Love is necessarily, at some level, a matter of agency and choice; of embrace or rejection, of harmony or breakdown - with these metaphors seen like societies (not like physical energies) - the network or web of everything is ultimately seen by Christianity as a network of voluntary loving relationships - and Christianity is not like a network of electric circuits and attractive energies.

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The fact that Christianity is based on Love, and for Love to be comprehensible implies persons, has always been difficult for intellectuals to accept: it seems too childish, too simple minded - it is (frankly) an embarrassment.

Thus intellectuals have always tended (as a class) to pull Christianity away from Love between people and personages; and push Christianity towards abstraction: to the use of 'physics' metaphors akin to energy, frequency, vibration...

And the more holistic, animistic types of Christianity that get written about tend to be of the very abstract and impersonal types.Even when people talk about being 'at home' in the universe, the depiction is seldom at all home-like - because an ideal home is a place of loving people, not of abstract forces.

However, my sense is that the true tendency and distinction of Christianity is in the opposite direction - that the template for metaphors of how the universe works should be taken from human relations, human society, human Love.

The primary metaphors of Christianity should be like actual love as we have all (without exception) experienced it - and taken to a visioned perfection: family love, married love, the love of true friends, of a church or club, guild, village.



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