Higher Consciousness Movement, Occultism, Eastern Mysticism,
Eastern Spirituality, Ancient or Perennial Wisdom,
Age of Aquarius, Holistic Health Movement,
Mind, Body and Spirit
Other names for the Higher Self:Oversoul, True Self, Real Self, Inner Self, Inner Teacher, Inner Guide, Inner Light, Inner Essence, Inner Source, Inner Healer, Soul-Self, Inner Wisdom, Christ Self Superconscious, Divine Center, Divine Spark, Atrnan, Creative Intuitive Self. Any name that smacks of some latent source of inner knowledge and mystical power can be used.
- Craig Branch "The Watchman Exposition"
It is comprised of hundreds of groups and individuals who have gained significant influence, affecting almost every area of the culture - sociology, psychology, medicine, the government, ecology, science, arts, education, the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the church. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent and various mutated forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. It is expressed in organized religious forms such as Christian Science, Unity, and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, in various human potential seminars, and much in between, i.e., transcendental meditation, some alternative holistic health practices, and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools.
The most central and commonly shared beliefs among New Agers are various combinations of gnosticism and occultism.
Occultism is a "general designation for various theories, practices, and rituals based on esoteric knowledge, especially alleged knowledge about the world of spirits and unknown forces of the universe".
The term "New Age" is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, if not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Picean Age (rationality) to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things. Even though it is undergoing a significant revival, the "New Age" is hardly new. In fact, it is very old.
- Randy England in his book "The Unicorn in the Sanctuary"
- Douglas R. Groothuis in his book "Unmasking the New Age. Is there a New Religious Movement Trying to Transform Society ?"talks about a "new world view".
"A new world view is in the offing; a revolution in consciousness beckons. All is one - both good and evil. We are all god (...) the mind controls all.(...) This reality, this "New Consciousness" is hoping to bring about a "New Age" of hope and human fulfillment. New Age advocates argue that the West has been locked in a prison of ordinary and dimensional, separated from the mystical vitality of a universe of harmonious dancing energy. " Groothuis makes a great point about the effect of world view on culture. He quotes a psychologist Erich Fromm outlining that some religion or another will govern society. "As Fromm puts it "The question is not one of religion or not? but which kind of religion?" He goes on to say that the human species need "a map of our natural and social world - a picture of world and of one's place in it". Without it we would be condemned to perpetual indecision and vertigo."