Global Resilience Solutions > Category:New Age

Evaluating New Age Histories

As thinking people, it is hard for us to deny that there are great gaps in our understanding of human history, the human present and the nature of human beings in relation to ourselves and the rest of the universe. We are beginning to realise that the mindsets from which we have previously approached these questions often lead us wrong.  We’ve talked before about the Newtonian Worldview for example, and how it warps our understanding of the world.

 

Understanding the Question

There are several things we have to understand about the way we have been taught to see the universe. The first thing we have to know is

Who is telling the story?

Between scientific experiments and the understanding of science that gets transmitted, and between archeological and historical evidence and the histories that we know, is a series of accounts- stories- that are formulated by human beings. These stories don’t occur in a vacuum, but in a context of other stories and a tradition of stories and the stories that the writer personally accepts and wants to validate.

The predominant story of science after more than half a century of quantum physics is still a Newtonian one and a dualistic one. In controlling its own narrative, the scientific community takes great pains therefore to edit out anything that might even hint that science has spiritual or ontological implications for human life. Of course, science also backs its sources of funding, as we see in the endless attempts to contain studies which endanger the profits of large pharmaceutical, agribusiness and chemical firms, to name a few.

History, or rather historiography, the writing of history, likewise has a built-in bias against serious explorations of the spiritual and moral development of the human race. The predominant narrative here is one of progress and development, with our own state of civilisation as the inevitable result of human advancement from lower to higher states of knowledge and culture. The tremendous gaps in history, however, are undeniable, from questions regarding great ancient monuments such as the Pyramids or Stonehenge, to whole civilisations we know very little about. There is also the slight problem that there has never been a consistent upward trajectory in human knowledge or culture. In fact, startlingly impressive cultures appeared at the dawn of our history, only to degenerate.

As we start to realise that our civilisation faces problems both spiritual and material that require us to change in order to survive, we must be open-minded enough to cast a critical eye onto the foundational narratives of this civilisation.

 

Weighing the Answers

Of course, these sorts of questions have been asked for awhile, and there are always people who claim to have the answers, as in the video above. The Newtonian worldview would consign it all to pure fantasy, but for those who follow in the footsteps of the great authentic traditions, who accept that consciousness gives rise to matter, the issue becomes more complicated. We cannot dismiss spiritual answers to the great questions out of hand, but neither can we accept them uncritically.

Spiritual life is a pursuit based on evidence- the evidence for a spiritual practice is the consistent production of transformed human beings. Therefore, we are required to test every spirit that we encounter. But many of the claims in the video are also historical and have physically verifiable (or falsifiable) elements. In the absence of such verification, we can only regard many of these claims with a strong degree of skepticism. The historical elements likewise lend themselves to several thousand questions.

 

Evidence-Based Approaches

There are other, more evidence-based approaches to the great questions of our history that do not require us to accept Atlanteans, Martians or spontaneous apparition of the Great Pyramids without any more evidence than the word of someone claiming to channel an Atlantean consciousness. We’ll get to some of these other approaches in a future post.

~Dr. Symeon Rodger




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