The New Age Movement

Essay by FredUniversity, Master'sA+, March 1997

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Although the New Age movement is not technically a religion , eight to nine percent of people that do not believe in organized religion find the New Age as their replacement.        ÂÂ

The New Age movement is very difficult to describe although not impossible. It is a complex sociological phenomenon that can be perceived in many ways. Basically, what another person sees, the other may not. The New Age movement is best understood as a network of networks. A network is an informal, loosely knit organization which is very different in both structure and operation than other types of organizations. Networks are spontaneously created by people to address problems and offer possibilities primarily outside of established institutions. Networks tend to be decentralized, often having no single leader of headquarters and with power and responsibility widely distributed. Networks also see through many perspectives. The New Age movement is an extremely large and structured network of organization and individuals that are bound together by common values.

These values are based on mysticism and monism which is the world view that 'all is one'.        ÂÂ

        The New Age movement is not a cult by any accepted sociological definition. Although there are several cults which could be classified within, such as the Transcendental Meditation and the followers of deported Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Cult membership is by far the exception and not the rule for New Agers. New Agers tend to be eclectic which means that they draw what they think is the best from various sources. Exclusive devotion to a single teacher, teaching or techniques is not long term. They move from one approach to 'wholeness' to another in their spiritual quest.(Miller. 1989. P.18)

        New Agers consider spirituality much more a matter of experience than belief. Some New Agers do not believe...