New Age is a term applied to a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices that developed in Western nations during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the New Age differ in their emphasis as a result of its eclectic structure. Although analytically considered to be religious, those involved in it prefer the designation of spiritual or Mind, Body and use the term "New Age" themselves. Many scholars of the subject refer to it as the New Age movement, although others contest this term and suggest that it is better seen as a milieu or zeitgeist; as a form of Western esotericism, the New Age drew upon a number of older esoteric traditions, in particular those that emerged from the occultist current that developed in the eighteenth century. Such prominent occult influences include the work of Emanuel Swedenborg and Franz Mesmer, as well as the ideas of Spiritualism, New Thought, Theosophy and the European Lebensreform movement. A number of mid-twentieth century influences, such as the UFO religions of the 1950s, the Counterculture of the 1960s, the Human Potential Movement exerted a strong influence on the early development of the New Age.
The exact origins of the phenomenon remain contested, but there is general agreement that it developed in the 1970s, at which time it was centred in the United Kingdom. It expanded and grew in the 1980s and 1990s, in particular within the United States. By the start of the 21st century, the term "New Age" was rejected within this milieu, with some scholars arguing that the New Age phenomenon had ended. Despite its eclectic nature, a number of beliefs found within the New Age have been identified. Theologically, the New Age adopts a belief in a holistic form of divinity that imbues all of the universe, including human beings themselves. There is thus a strong emphasis on the spiritual authority of the self; this is accompanied by a common belief in a wide variety of semi-divine non-human entities, such as angels and masters, with whom humans can communicate through the form of channeling. Viewing human history as being divided into a series of distinct ages, a common New Age belief is that whereas once humanity lived in an age of great technological advancement and spiritual wisdom, it has entered a period of spiritual degeneracy, which will be remedied through the establishment of a coming Age of Aquarius, from which the milieu gets its name.
There is a strong focus on healing using forms of alternative medicine, an emphasis on a New Age approach to science that seeks to unite science and spirituality. Centred in Western countries, those involved in the New Age have been from middle and upper-middle-class backgrounds; the degree to which New Agers are involved in the milieu varied from those who adopted a number of New Age ideas and practices to those who embraced and dedicated their lives to it. The New Age has generated criticism from established Christian organisations as well as modern Pagan and indigenous communities. From the 1990s onward, the New Age became the subject of research by academic scholars of religious studies; the New Age phenomenon has proved difficult to define, with much scholarly disagreement as to its scope. The scholars Steven J. Sutcliffe and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus have suggested that it remains "among the most disputed of categories in the study of religion"; the scholar of religion Paul Heelas characterised the New Age as "an eclectic hotch-potch of beliefs and ways of life" that can be identified as a singular phenomenon through their use of "the same lingua franca to do with the human condition and how it can be transformed."
The historian of religion Olav Hammer termed it "a common denominator for a variety of quite divergent contemporary popular practices and beliefs" that have emerged since the late 1970s and are "largely united by historical links, a shared discourse and an air de famille". According to Hammer, this New Age was a "fluid and fuzzy cultic milieu"; the sociologist of religion Michael York described the New Age as "an umbrella term that includes a great variety of groups and identities" that are united by their "expectation of a major and universal change being founded on the individual and collective development of human potential."The scholar of religion Wouter Hanegraaff adopted a different approach by asserting that "New Age" was "a label attached indiscriminately to whatever seems to fit it" and that as a result it "means different things to different people". He thus argued against the idea that the New Age could be considered "a unified ideology or Weltanschauung", although he believed that it could be considered a "more or less unified'movement'."
Other scholars have suggested. The scholar of religion George D. Chryssides called it "a counter-cultural Zeitgeist", while the sociologist of religion Steven Bruce suggested that New Age was a milieu. There is no central authority within the New Age phenomenon that can determine what counts as New Age and what does not. Many of those groups and individuals who could analytically be categorised as part of the New Age reject the term "New Age" in reference to themselves; some express active hostility to the term. Rather than terming themselves "New Agers", those involved in this milieu describe themselves as spiritual "seekers", some self-identify as a member of a different religious group, such as Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism. In 2003 Sutcliffe observed that the use of the term "New Age" was "op
The term ecofeminism is used to describe a feminist approach to understanding ecology. Ecofeminist thinkers draw on the concept of gender to theorize on the relationship between humans and the natural world; the term was coined by the French writer Françoise d'Eaubonne in her book Le Féminisme ou la Mort. Today, there are many interpretations of ecofeminism and how it might be applied to social thought, including: ecofeminist art, ecofeminist theory, social justice and political philosophy, contemporary feminism and poetry; as there are several different types of feminism and different beliefs held by feminists, there are different versions of ecofeminism. Ecofeminism is referred to as the third wave of feminism, it adds to the former feminist theory that an environmental perspective is a necessary part of feminism. Ecofeminism uses the parallels between the oppression of nature and the oppression of women as a way to highlight the idea that both must be understood in order to properly recognize how they are connected.
These parallels include but are not limited to seeing women and nature as property, seeing men as the curators of culture and women as the curators of nature, how men dominate women and humans dominate nature. Charlene Spretnak has offered one way of categorizing ecofeminist work: 1) through the study of political theory as well as history. According to Françoise d'Eaubonne in her book Le Féminisme ou la Mort, ecofeminism relates to the oppression and domination of all subordinate groups to the oppression and domination of nature. In the book, the author argues that oppression, domination and colonization from the Western patriarchal society has directly caused irreversible environmental damage. Françoise d'Eaubonne was an activist and organizer, her writing encouraged the eradication of all social injustice, not just injustice against women and the environment; this tradition includes a number of influential texts including: Women and Nature, The Death of Nature and Gyn/Ecology. These texts helped to propel the association between domination by man on women and the domination of culture on nature.
From these texts feminist activism of the 1980s linked ideas of the environment. For example, conferences for women devoted to living on the earth and protests against nuclear testing and other militarism that oppresses femininity. Writing in this circle discussed ecofeminism drawing from Green Party politics, peace movements, direct action movements. Modern ecofeminism, or feminist eco-criticism, eschews such essentialism and instead focuses more on intersectional questions, such as how the nature-culture split enables the oppression of female and nonhuman bodies, it is an activist and academic movement that sees critical connections between the exploitation of nature and the domination over women both caused by men. One ecofeminist theory is that capitalist values reflect gendered values. In this interpretation effects of capitalism has led to a harmful split between culture. In the 1970s, early ecofeminists discussed that the split can only be healed by the feminine instinct for nurture and holistic knowledge of nature's processes.
Several feminists make the distinction that it is not because women are female or "feminine" that they relate to nature, but because of their similar states of oppression by the same male-dominant forces. The marginalization is evident in the gendered language used to describe nature and the animalized language used to describe women; some discourses link women to the environment because of their traditional social role as a nurturer and caregiver. Ecofeminists following in this line of thought believe that these connections are illustrated through the coherence of socially-labeled values associated with'femininity' such as nurturing, which are present both among women and in nature. Vandana Shiva says that women have a special connection to the environment through their daily interactions and this connection has been ignored, she says that women in subsistence economies who produce "wealth in partnership with nature, have been experts in their own right of holistic and ecological knowledge of nature's processes".
She makes the point that "these alternative modes of knowing, which are oriented to the social benefits and sustenance needs are not recognized by the capitalist reductionist paradigm, because it fails to perceive the interconnectedness of nature, or the connection of women's lives and knowledge with the creation of wealth". Shiva blames this failure on the West's patriarchy, the patriarchal idea of what development is. According to Shiva, patriarchy has labeled women and other groups not growing the economy as "unproductive". In the 1993 essay entitled "Ecofeminism: Toward Global Justice and Planetary Health" authors Greta Gaard and Lori Gruen outline what they call the "ecofeminist framework"; the essay provides a wealth of data and statistics in addition to laying out the theoretical aspects of the ecofeminist critique. The framework described is intended to establish ways of viewing and understanding our current global situations so that we are better able to understand how we arrived at this point and what may be done to ameliorate the ills.
Gaard and Gruen argue that there are four sides to this framework: The mechanistic materialist model of the universe that resulted from the scientific revolution and the subsequent reduction of all things into mere resources to be optimized, dead inert matter to be used The rise of patriarchal religions and their establishment of gen
An aura or human energy field is, according to New Age beliefs, a colored emanation said to enclose a human body or any animal or object. In some esoteric positions, the aura is described as a subtle body. Psychics and holistic medicine practitioners claim to have the ability to see the size and type of vibration of an aura. In New Age alternative medicine, the human aura is seen as a hidden anatomy that affect the health of a client, is understood to comprise centers of vital force called chakra; such claims are pseudoscience. When tested under controlled experiments, the ability to see auras has not been shown to exist. In Latin and Ancient Greek, aura means breeze or breath, it was used in Middle English to mean "gentle breeze". By the end of the 19th century, the word was used in some spiritualist circles to describe a speculated subtle emanation around the body; the concept of auras was first popularized by Charles Webster Leadbeater, a former priest of the Church of England and a member of the mystic Theosophical Society.
Leadbeater had studied theosophy in India, believed he had the capacity to use his clairvoyant powers to make scientific investigations. He claimed that he had discovered that most men come from Mars but the more advanced men come from the Moon, that hydrogen atoms are made of six bodies contained in an egg-like form. In his book Man Visible and Invisible published in 1903, Leadbeater illustrated the aura of man at various stages of his moral evolution, from the "savage" to the saint. In 1910, Leadbeater introduced the modern conception of auras by incorporating the Tantric notion of chakras in his book The Inner Life, but Leadbeater didn’t present the Tantric beliefs to the West, he reconstructed and reinterpreted them by mixing them with his own ideas, without acknowledging the sources of these innovations. Some of Leadbeater’s innovations are describing chakras as energy vortexes, associating each of them with a gland, an organ and other body parts. In the following years, Leadbeater’s ideas on the aura and chakras where adopted and reinterpreted by other Theosophists such as Rudolf Steiner and Edgar Cayce, but his occult anatomy remained of minor interest within the esoteric counterculture until the 1980s, when it was picked up by the New Age movement.
In 1977, American esotericist Christopher Hills published the book Nuclear Evolution: The Rainbow Body, which presented a modified version of Leadbeater’s occult anatomy. Whereas Leadbeater had drawn each chakras with intricately detailed shapes and multiple colors, Hills presented them as a sequence of centers, each one being associated with a color of the rainbow. Most of the subsequent New Age writers will base their representations of the aura on Hill’s interpretation of Leadbeater’s ideas. Chakras became a part of mainstream esoteric speculations in the 1990s. Many New Age techniques that aim to clear blockages of the chakras were developed during those years, such as crystal healing and aura-soma. Chakras were, by the late 1990s, less connected with their theosophical and Hinduist root, more infused with New Age ideas. A variety of New Age books proposed different links between each chakras and colors, personality traits, Christian sacraments, etc. Various type of holistic healing within the New Age movement claim to use aura reading techniques, such as bioenergetic analysis, spiritual energy and energy medicine.
There have been numerous attempts to capture an energy field around the human body, going as far back as photographs by a French army officer in the 1890s. Supernatural interpretations of these images have been the result of a lack of understanding of the simple natural phenomena behind them, such as heat emanating from a human body producing aura-like images under infrared photography. In 1939, Semyon Davidovich Kirlian discovered that by placing an object or body part directly on photographic paper, passing a high voltage across the object, he would obtain the image of a glowing contour surrounding the object; this process became known as Kirlian photography. Some parapsychologists, such as Thelma Moss of UCLA, have proposed that these images show levels of psychic powers and bioenergies. However, studies have found that the Kirlian effect is caused by the presence of moisture on the object being photographed. Electricity produces an area of gas ionization around the object if it is moist, the case for living things.
This causes an alternation of the electric charge pattern on the film. After rigorous experimentations, no mysterious process has been discovered in relation to the Kirlian photography. More recent attempts at capturing auras include the Aura Imaging cameras and software introduced by Guy Coggins in 1992. Coggins claims; the technique has failed to yield reproducible results. Tests of psychic abilities to observe alleged aura emanations have been met with failure. One test involved placing people in a dark room and asking the psychic to state how many auras she could observe. Only chance results were obtained. Recognition of auras has been tested on television. One test involved an aura reader standing on one side of a room with an opaque partition separating her from a number of slots which might contain either actual people or mannequins; the aura reader failed to identify the slots containing people, incorrectly stating that all contained people. In another televised test another aura reader was placed before a partition where five people were standing.
He claimed. As each person moved out, the reader was asked to identify where that person was standing behind the slot, he identified 2 out of
Parapsychology is the study of paranormal and psychic phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, near-death experiences, reincarnation, apparitional experiences, other paranormal claims. It is considered to be pseudoscience by a vast majority of mainstream scientists. Parapsychology research is conducted by private institutions in several countries and funded through private donations, the subject never appears in mainstream science journals. Most papers about parapsychology are published in a small number of niche journals. Parapsychology has been criticised for continuing investigation despite being unable to provide convincing evidence for the existence of any psychic phenomena after more than a century of research; the term parapsychology was coined in 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir as the German "parapsychologie." It was adopted by J. B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research in order to indicate a significant shift toward experimental methodology and academic discipline.
The term originates from the Greek: παρά para meaning "alongside", psychology. In parapsychology, psi is the unknown factor in extrasensory perception and psychokinesis experiences, not explained by known physical or biological mechanisms; the term is derived from the Greek ψ psi, 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet and the initial letter of the Greek ψυχή psyche, "mind, soul". The term was coined by biologist Berthold P. Wiesner, first used by psychologist Robert Thouless in a 1942 article published in the British Journal of Psychology; the Parapsychological Association divides psi into two main categories: psi-gamma for extrasensory perception and psi-kappa for psychokinesis. In popular culture, "psi" has become more and more synonymous with special psychic, "psionic" abilities and powers. In 1853, the chemist Robert Hare reported positive results. Other researchers such as Frank Podmore highlighted flaws in his experiments, such as lack of controls to prevent trickery. Agenor de Gasparin conducted early experiments into table-tipping.
Over a period of five months in 1853 he declared the experiments a success being the result of an "ectenic force". Critics noted. For example, the knees of the sitters may have been employed to move the table and no experimenter was watching above and below the table simultaneously; the German astrophysicist Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner tested the medium Henry Slade in 1877. According to Zöllner some of the experiments were a success. However, flaws in the experiments were discovered and critics have suggested that Slade was a fraud who performed trickery in the experiments; the Society for Psychical Research was founded in London in 1882. Its formation was the first systematic effort to organize scientists and scholars to investigate paranormal phenomena. Early membership included philosophers, scientists and politicians, such as Henry Sidgwick, Arthur Balfour, William Crookes, Rufus Osgood Mason and Nobel Laureate Charles Richet. Presidents of the Society included, in addition to Richet, Eleanor Sidgwick and William James, subsequently Nobel Laureates Henri Bergson and Lord Rayleigh, philosopher C. D. Broad.
Areas of study included telepathy, Reichenbach's phenomena, apparitions and the physical aspects of Spiritualism such as table-tilting and apportation. In the 1880s the Society investigated apparitional hallucinations in the sane. Among the first important works was the two-volume publication in 1886, Phantasms of the Living, criticized by scholars. In 1894, the Census of Hallucinations was published which sampled 000 people. Out of these, 1, 684 persons admitted to having experienced a hallucination of an apparition; the SPR became the model for similar societies in other European countries and the United States during the late 19th century. Early clairvoyance experiments were reported in 1884 by Charles Richet. Playing cards were enclosed in envelopes and a subject put under hypnosis attempted to identify them; the subject was reported to have been successful in a series of 133 trials but the results dropped to chance level when performed before a group of scientists in Cambridge. J. M. Peirce and E. C.
Pickering reported a similar experiment in which they tested 36 subjects over 23,384 trials which did not obtain above chance scores. In 1881, Eleanor Sidgwick revealed the fraudulent methods that spirit photographers such as Édouard Isidore Buguet, Frederic Hudson and William H. Mumler had utilized. During the late nineteenth century many fraudulent mediums were exposed by SPR investigators. Due to the support of psychologist William James, the American Society for Psychical Research opened its doors in Boston in 1885, moving to New York City in 1905 under the leadership of James H. Hyslop. Notable cases investigated by Walter Franklin Prince of the ASPR in the early 20th century included Pierre L. O. A. Keeler, the Great Amherst Mystery and Patience Worth. In 1911, Stanford University became the first academic institution in the United States to study extrasensory perception and psychokinesis in a laboratory setting; the effort was headed by psychologist John Edgar Coover, was supported by funds donated by Thomas Welton Stanford, brother of the university's founder.
After conducting 10,000 experiments, Coover concluded "statistical treatments of the data fail to reveal any cause beyond chance."In 1930, Duke University became the second major U. S. academic institution to engage in psychokinesis in the laboratory. Under the guidance of psychologist William McDougall, with the
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired. Different writers give the word "intuition" a great variety of different meanings, ranging from direct access to unconscious knowledge, unconscious cognition, inner sensing, inner insight to unconscious pattern-recognition and the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning; the word intuition comes from the Latin verb intueri translated as "consider" or from the late middle English word intuit, "to contemplate". Both Eastern and Western philosophers have studied the concept in great detail. Philosophy of mind deals with the concept of intuition. In the East intuition is intertwined with religion and spirituality, various meanings exist from different religious texts. In Hinduism various attempts have been made to interpret other esoteric texts. For Sri Aurobindo intuition comes under the realms of knowledge by identity.
The second nature being the action when it seeks to be aware of itself, resulting in humans being aware of their existence or aware of being angry & aware of other emotions. He terms this second nature as knowledge by identity, he finds that at present as the result of evolution the mind has accustomed itself to depend upon certain physiological functioning and their reactions as its normal means of entering into relations with the outer material world. As a result, when we seek to know about the external world the dominant habit is through arriving at truths about things via what our senses convey to us. However, knowledge by identity, which we only give the awareness of human beings' existence, can be extended further to outside of ourselves resulting in intuitive knowledge, he finds this intuitive knowledge was common to older humans and was taken over by reason which organises our perception and actions resulting from Vedic to metaphysical philosophy and to experimental science. He finds that this process, which seems to be decent, is a circle of progress, as a lower faculty is being pushed to take up as much from a higher way of working.
He finds when self-awareness in the mind is applied to one's self and the outer -self, results in luminous self-manifesting identity. Osho believed consciousness of human beings to be in increasing order from basic animal instincts to intelligence and intuition, humans being living in that conscious state moving between these states depending on their affinity, he suggests living in the state of intuition is one of the ultimate aims of humanity. Advaita vedanta takes intuition to be an experience through which one can come in contact with an experience Brahman. Buddhism finds intuition to be a faculty in the mind of immediate knowledge and puts the term intuition beyond the mental process of conscious thinking, as the conscious thought cannot access subconscious information, or render such information into a communicable form. In Zen Buddhism various techniques have been developed to help develop one's intuitive capability, such as koans – the resolving of which leads to states of minor enlightenment.
In parts of Zen Buddhism intuition is deemed a mental state between the Universal mind and one's individual, discriminating mind. In Islam there are various scholars with varied interpretations of intuition, sometimes relating the ability of having intuitive knowledge to prophethood. Siháb al Din-al Suhrawadi, in his book Philosophy Of Illumination, finds that intuition is a knowledge acquired through illumination and is mystical in nature and suggests mystical contemplation on this to bring about correct judgments. While Ibn Sīnā finds the ability of having intuition as a "prophetic capacity" and terms it as a knowledge obtained without intentionally acquiring it, he finds that regular knowledge is based on imitation while intuitive knowledge is based on intellectual certitude. In the West, intuition does not appear as a separate field of study, early mentions and definitions can be traced back to Plato. In his book Republic he tries to define intuition as a fundamental capacity of human reason to comprehend the true nature of reality.
In his works Meno and Phaedo, he describes intuition as a pre-existing knowledge residing in the "soul of eternity", a phenomenon by which one becomes conscious of pre-existing knowledge. He provides an example of mathematical truths, posits that they are not arrived at by reason, he argues that these truths are accessed using a knowledge present in a dormant form and accessible to our intuitive capacity. This concept by Plato is sometimes referred to as anamnesis; the study was continued by his followers. In his book Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes refers to an intuition as a pre-existing knowledge gained through rational reasoning or discovering truth through contemplation; this definition is referred to as rational intuition. Philosophers, such as Hume, have more ambiguous interpretations of intuition. Hume claims intuition is a recognition of relationships while he states that "the resemblance" "will strike the eye" but goes on to stat
Magic is a category in Western culture into which have been placed various beliefs and practices considered separate from both religion and science. The term had pejorative connotations, with things labelled magical perceived as being primitive and Other; the concept has been adopted by scholars in the study of religion and the social sciences, who have proposed various different—and mutually exclusive—definitions of the term. The term magic derives from the Old Persian magu, a word that applied to a form of religious functionary about which little is known. During the late sixth and early fifth centuries BCE, this term was adopted into Ancient Greek, where it was used with negative connotations, to apply to religious rites that were regarded as fraudulent and dangerous; this meaning of the term was adopted by Latin in the first century BCE. Via Latin, the concept was incorporated into Christian theology during the first century CE, where magic was associated with demons and thus defined against religion.
This concept was pervasive throughout the Middle Ages, when Christian authors categorised a diverse range of practices—such as enchantment, incantations, divination and astrology—under the label magic. In early modern Europe, Italian humanists reinterpreted the term in a positive sense to create the idea of natural magic. Both negative and positive understandings of the term were retained in Western culture over the following centuries, with the former influencing early academic usages of the word. Since the nineteenth century, academics in various disciplines have employed the term magic but have defined it in different ways and used it in reference to different things. One approach, associated with the anthropologists Edward Tylor and James G. Frazer, uses the term to describe beliefs in hidden sympathies between objects that allow one to influence the other. Defined in this way, magic is portrayed as the opposite to science. An alternative approach, associated with the sociologists Marcel Mauss and Émile Durkheim, employs the term to describe private rites and ceremonies and contrasts it with religion, which it defines as a communal and organised activity.
Many scholars of religion have rejected the utility of the term magic, arguing that it is arbitrary and ethnocentric. Throughout Western history, there have been examples of individuals who engaged in practices that their societies called magic and who sometimes referred to themselves as magicians. Within modern occultism, there are many self-described magicians and people who practice ritual activities that they term magic. In this environment, the concept of magic has again changed being defined as a technique for bringing about changes in the physical world through the force of one's will; this definition was pioneered by the influential British occultist Aleister Crowley. The historian Owen Davies stated that the word magic was "beyond simple definition"; the historian Michael D. Bailey characterised magic as "a contested category and a fraught label". Scholars have engaged in extensive debates as to how to define magic, with such debates resulting in intense dispute. Throughout such debates, the scholarly community has failed to agree on a definition of magic, in a similar manner to how they have failed to agree on a definition of religion.
Among those throughout history who have described themselves as magicians, there has been no common understanding of what magic is. Concepts of magic serve to demarcate certain practices from other, otherwise similar practices in a given society. According to Bailey: "In many cultures and across various historical periods, categories of magic define and maintain the limits of and culturally acceptable actions in respect to numinous or occult entities or forces. More they serve to delineate arenas of appropriate belief." In this, he noted that "drawing these distinctions is an exercise in power". The scholar of religion Randall Styers noted that attempting to define magic represents "an act of demarcation" by which it is juxtaposed against "other social practices and modes of knowledge" such as "religion" and "science"; the historian Karen Louise Jolly described magic as "a category of exclusion, used to define an unacceptable way of thinking as either the opposite of religion or of science".
Within Western culture, the term "magic" has been linked to ideas of the Other and primitivism. In Styers' words, it has become "a powerful marker of cultural difference", it has been presented as the archetypally non-modern phenomenon. Among Western intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, magic was seen as a defining feature of "primitive" mentalities and was attributed to marginal groups and periods; the concept and term "magic" developed in European society and thus using it when discussing non-Western cultures or pre-modern forms of Western society raises problems, as it may impose Western categories that are alien to them. While "magic" remains an emic term in the history of Western societies, it remains an etic term when applied to non-Western societies. During the twentieth century, many scholars focusing on Asian and African societies rejected the term "magic", as well as related concepts like "witchcraft", in favour of the more precise terms and concepts that existed within these specific societie