What does New Age Movement really mean ?

Other names for NAM:
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"
The New Age Movement is both a religious and a social movement. In fact, Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal, spiritual, ideological, and sociological shift. It is a religious world-view that is alien and hostile to Christianity. It's a multi-focused, multi-faceted synthesis, in varying degrees, of the Far Eastern, mystical religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Western Occultism, adapted to and influenced by Western, materialistic culture. It sometimes appears in secularized forms.
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.
Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that Divine essence is the only true or highest reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually this essence. It is through intuitional discovery, "visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine" (not the plenary revelation of propositional truth in the Bible), that man becomes conscious of this true Self.
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"
"The New Age Movement is a worldwide phenomenon ostensibly dedicated to the powers of the human mind. In the New Age, knowledge supersedes faith and heralds a break with Western values and thought.(...) The New Age Movement is as old as mankind, and though its beliefs have probably never been without adherents, it needs no human continuity to maintain its ancient tenets, for all its essential elements flow straight from Hell. (...) In every imaginable fashion these ideas are woven into endless patterns, along with enough truth to fool nearly anyone. They are found in doctrines of reincarnation and the divinity of man. In the New Age, the wages of sin is not death, but just another go around in another life. Nothing really matters. There is no personal Creator-God to interfere with the attractions of pride and sensuality - no one to whom we must give account."
  • 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."