The New Age Spiritualist

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The New Age Spiritualist

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:26 am

This is taken from http://www.professorbainbridge.com/professorbainbridgecom/2009/07/the-best-trend-ever.html

"The New Age Spiritualist
This could very easily be the official religious doctrine of Portland. All Portlanders fall into one of two groups when it comes to God. They are either atheists or they are new age spiritualists. You can hear them espousing their creed everywhere, "I'm spiritual but not religious", as if this automatically put them on the moral high ground. This belief system can best be described as spirituality without obligation. The new age spiritualist lives in a moral temperate zone where he picks and chooses tenants from all faiths that suit his lifestyle of the moment. Anything self sacrificing or too stringent is discarded and deemed "dogmatic" or "too religious". This way he can have the best of both worlds. In reality he gets little more than a set of watered down moral concepts that do nothing more than validate the liberal sensibilities that may be in fashion at the moment. For example, the New Age Spiritualist eschews judgmetalism. Particularly judgementalism that conflicts with their desires but he will embrace judgementalism when it comes to condemning cigarette smoking or individuals that don't have the right perception on the three R's which are racial sensitivity, recycling and reproductive rights. The new age spiritualist's home will be adorned with religious objects of oppressed people. Amazonian figures, Native American totems, Egyptian deities, animistic shells, or Shinto statuettes abound. The rules is that it's OK to display religious articles as long as you have no real association or knowledge of the said religion. A Crucifix would be seen as something a little too extreme."


Hmm interesting blog, I do not think he is very enamoured with Portland Oregon but why he picked on it I do not know. What he describes is what too many "Spiritualists" believe in and what is appearing in too many centres. Indeed some well meaning "Spiritual" so called "Spiritualists" proclaim that this is how it should be (even if they never bother to test the reality behind the improbable "truths" that get incorporated by this method). I think he also underestimates the ability to include Jesus Christ and his angels in the Pantheon of Gods that are built by these groups.

There is an SNU affiliate church in Portland http://www.churchofalice.org/index.htm I have looked at their site several times and often it appears to veer a little towards the above description. However, I doubt whether many places maintain a focus purely upon the truth, philosophy, science and belief of pure Spiritualism these days. I sense that those that do maintain this standard lose many new age seekers to the all inclusive centres whilst these centres help to keep thinking seekers, who regard these fringe elements as "whacky", away from all centres as they presume that these are representative of true Spiritualism.

In the end I believe that on this downtrend we all end up tending to recycle amongst the centres the "New Age Seekers" group (depending upon the current flavours, preferred personalities or personal likes and dislikes) whilst failing to attract or retain the more serious thinkers who are so important to our movement. Indeed even the most dedicated centres can feel pressurised to compromise their ideals to attaract this category as numbers drop off. An example could even be seen in the attractions that the NSAC's Lily Dale Centre have tacked onto their summer events. Much as I can understand a desire to provide activities to draw people I truly believe that there should be two criteria
  • That the events represent something which has a proven basis in reality or another provably valid Spiritual approach (mandala's may be a good example as a focus).

  • That there is a strong emphasis in other activities representing the very best in Spiritualist Mediumship, teaching and philosophy.

Sad isn't it we do need to bring back the thinkers and intelligent people if we wish to restore the movement to anything like its standard in the days of Oaten, Lodge and Findlay.

Regards

Jim
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Re: The New Age Spiritualist

Post by zerdini on Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:52 am

Very sad indeed, Jim. Crying or Very sad

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Re: The New Age Spiritualist

Post by obiwan on Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:12 am

I still have no idea why Spiritualists feel the need to "veer" in any religious direction. Why are they so desperate to be a religion? If communication is true I can see no more reason for it to be a religion than BBC1.

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Re: The New Age Spiritualist

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:05 am

Hmm this requires a rather complex reply Obi which draws the strands on from our history and then to the modern day. I suppose my own approach reflects the views of Arthur Findlay in his excellent book "The Rock of Truth".

The reality is in the early days almost everybody was drawn in from a variety of strands of conventional/unconventional religion. Quakers, Protestants, Universalists, followers of Swedenborg etc etc. they saw the phenomena of communication as evidence of survival which was a n expression of the reality of God/Spirit. Many merely wanted the conventional churches to accept this as a truth thereby allowing them to integrate this new reality with the old teachings.

I doubt there were many rational atheist survivalists in those days whereas now there is a strong strand of them which may be seen most clearly in much of the work by Michael Roll and his Campaign for Philisophical Freedom.

The definition of Spiritualism as a movement, generally accepted by both the SNU in Britain and the NSAC in the USA is A Philosophy, Science, Truth and a belief. The views of these bodies come closest to my philisophical position. I cannot come to terms with the conflicts that are created by the concept of Christian Spiritualist Churches such as the Greater World where the role and position of Jesus often remains as a saviour and the Bible remains too important given our real understanding now of the lack of reality in much that is writen in it through the deliberate re interpretation of the story or manipulation like the adoption of the pagan December for Christmas not the more real birth date (if there was one) in August..

On top of that, well before accepting Spiritualism I had rejected the idea of Atheism for and Agnostic position believing in a God but rejecting the established religions because they appeared to fall over at the very first hurdle..the ability to express any common humanity. Philosophically I also accepted concepts such as the Golden Rule and the simple love one another of jesus so I placed myself as a Humanist then.

With this background, reached by contemplation and experience when I encountered the Truth of Spiritualism its philosophy was easy to accept.
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Re: The New Age Spiritualist

Post by obiwan on Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:01 am

Thanks Jim. To my perhaps simplistic agnostic eye the need to be recognised as a religion appears contradictory too. Almost as though people have not really understood the nature of the evidence they cite to support to cite their beliefs in survival. Perhaps it is just a case of 'old habits die hard' or the need to cling on to religious forms.

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