This article gives a good overview of the New Age movement that continues to plague the world.
I am incredibely weary of this movement for the reasons expressed in the article. It is funny, too, how, in the end, there is nothing new under the sun. It is simply a re-hashing of ancient Greek and neo-platonist ideas. It has fallen under the weight of reality before, it will fall under the weight of reality again.
What worries me, though, is that our world is indeed surrounded by relativism, and thus we live in a culture that is unable to think for itself anymore. When people fall away from the use of reason, then that which is not reasonable becomes reasonable. Look at how much people claim that which is true to be conspiracy theories, or arguments based on a silence of evidence.
I worry because people such as Oprah promote the New Age movement. Many people are spiritually hungry, and even faithful Christians looking for a deeper meaning to their Christian lives. Oprah waxes wisdom, and thus sucks many people into her web which is ultimately an instantiation of the New Age movement (her desire to constantly promote Eckhart Tolle is a great example of this).
I have also encountered it much in my life as well. I encountered last summer in some of the peole I encountered when working at the hospital in Toronto. When I made my reservations known, people said I wasn’t “open minded enough”. They challenged me for daring to claim that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. While, yes, there are different perspectives in the world, it doesn’t negate the claim that there is universal truth. If there is no truth, then talking is pointless. Instead, they asked us to be syncrotistic, saying “everything is ok, everything is true.” If that is true, then I wonder how it is they could criticize me for claiming that there is specific, universal truth.
Anyways, this is just a random gathering of ideas. The New Age movement is scary, and we must be weary about accepting it in our lives. Especially for Christians, there are many books that claim to be Christian, but are really just that on the surface (I think, for example, of people such as Richard Rohr) – in the end, they are New Age spirituality, a surface level mix of eastern spirituality and 14th century German mysticism.
I must end, though, by affirming one thing of the article that I know from experience. Those of the New Age movement tend to be unabel to deal with reality, because they deny reality in their mind: it creates a cognitive dissonance in their life that becomes almost irrepairable.