New Age Versus Old Time Religion or Old-Time Religion

New Age Versus Old-Time Religion

What is “old-time” religion, and how does it differ from the New Age philosophy?  Perhaps they are not as far apart as our culture would have us believe?

Let’s start by breaking down some terms.  The term Age is a period of history defined by significant historical markers.  The Bronze Age is the period in the 3rd Century BC characterized by bronze casting development.

The term “age” can also apply to religious or philosophical movements.  The dark ages began in the mid-1300s to the mid-1600s; it’s this period when the Church exerted its force, creating the Holy Inquisition and solidifying its power in society.

The Human Potential Movement

The term “the new-age” is from the 1970s, which describes an eclectic combination of spiritual self-development practices.  The primary focus of this philosophy is self-development or consciousness exploration and development.

But is the strategy behind this movement a new idea?  No.  The design behind this philosophy isn’t new at all.  There’s a well-known strategy at its core.  It’s combining ideas with a common theme to create something new.  You can find evidence of this strategy in several ancient religions.  It’s reflected in the stories of Zoroaster (1), Mithra (2), and even Jesus (3), to modern-day Sages like George Gurdjieff (4).

For example, Gurdjieff traveled extensively in Europe, researching spiritual systems.  He combined them into a unique structure, renaming and rebranding as he saw fit.  Then he set up schools to test and teach his processes.  This type of rebranding effort isn’t new.  Modern religions use a similar strategy but with a different goal and focus.  The new Age or human potential movement focuses on self-development, not mythology.

What is Old-Time Religion?

the new age movement, human potential movement

The term comes from a traditional gospel song by the same name dating from 1873.  Today people in the Fundamentalist Christian Church use this term to describe their beliefs.

Three religions dominate our cultural narrative.  These are the Abrahamic or Semitic religions.  These belief systems include Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  Together they boast a membership of 4 billion.  That’s about half the population of the world.  Because they control half of the cultural narrative, they influence the governments where they take root.

“Every religion has demons… Nothing like a real, live demon to give you some of hat old-time religion”. — Laurell K. Hamilton

“For nearly a century, the moral relativism of science has given faith-based religion — that great engine of ignorance and bigotry — a nearly uncontested claim to being the only universal framework for moral wisdom.  As a result, the most powerful societies on early spend their time debating issues like gay marriage when they should be focused on problems like nuclear proliferation, genocide, energy security, climate change, poverty, and failing schools.” — Sam Harris

Judaism is the eldest, dating back perhaps 4000 years to Mesopotamian sects in Babylon.  (5) Specific pages from The Cod of Hammurabi (or Hammurapi, 1750 BCE) are found in the Tanakh or later labeled by Christianity as the Old Testament.  Hammurabi was the sixth and best-known ruler of Babylon’s 1st (Amorite) dynasty.  Judaism is a belief system grounded in ethnic heritage.

Sometime in around 80–100 CE, Christianity began compiling the texts known as the New Testament; there is evidence that it was still being substantially revised well into the 2nd century.  Christianity is the rebranding of all belief systems in the Medditraian religion, including Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions.  So, the core of Christianity is the assimilation of religions.  Nevertheless, it is still a cost-effective cash flow pipeline as flawed and illogical as it is.

Islam is the latter of the three Abrahamic religions beginning around 600 CE.  Here the prophet Mohammad is to have received divine inspiration for writing the Quoran.  This text mirrors much of the philosophy of the Tanakh.

The strategy of combining several mythologies into one provides vast cultural reach.  It’s an intelligent way to get the greatest return on investment—no need to keep an army in place.  Western religion uses fear as its primary tool for recruiting and retaining members.  It is self-policing using peer pressure to create a cost-effective cash flow system.  It has nothing to do with developing human potential.

Their followers consider all three Abrahamic religions an “old-time religion.”  That is, they believe their interpretation is authoritative because of its Age.  Each of the 20,000 sects claims to have the correct interpretation.

“I think there’s an awful lot of noise about the Church being persecuted, but there is a more real issue that the conventional churches face —that the people who are really driving their revival and success believe in an old-time religion which, in my view, is incompatible with a modern, multi-ethnic, multicultural society.” — Trevor Phillips

Western religion’s primary focus is on selling the afterlife, an intangible commodity with no unsatisfied customers.  It provides massive wealth streams, making organized religion resilient to war, pestilence, or social change.  And they readily admit to assimilating their doctrine from earlier traditions.  Although this admission is not a public one, here’s a short reference from the Catholic Encyclopedia 1907.  Notice the content hidden within the following poetic language.

“Symbolism in a greater or lesser degree is essential to every kind of external worship, and we need not shrink from the conclusion that in the matter of baptisms and washings, of genuflection’s and other acts of reverence, of lights and sweet-smelling incense, of flowers and white vestitures, of spiritual unction’s and the imposing of hands, of sacrifice and the rite of the Communion banquet, the Church has borrowed without hesitation from the common stock of significant actions known to all periods and all nations.  In such matters as these, Christianity claims no monopoly or originality.” — The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907) (6)

So, what is the meaning of old-time religion?  It is a rebranding of the ancient mystery religions of the Mediterranean region from Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia.  It is an ingenious way to create a cost-effective cash-flow system.  The Vatican is the wealthiest entity state in the world.

The difference between the two is the focus.  Western organized religion’s focus is on creating a scalable cash flow system.  In comparison, the direction of the New Age or human potential movement is on self-development.  It’s the same strategy but a different goal and focus.

What happens when you threaten the customer base of those in control of the cultural narrative?  When this happened in the dark ages, the Church went on a global cleansing campaign.  The Inquisition is the organized persecution of everyone who had ideas that threatened their customer base.  They couldn’t do this in the 1970s.  So, they used the only tools they had, demonizing the competition.

Demonizing New Age

The attempt to demonize practices of the “human potential movement” is born out of religious prejudice.  It’s a ploy to disparage anything that does not align with the Western theological construct.

This strategy is effective because the Church controls the cultural narrative in many countries.  So, they demonize the practice of self-development because it threatens their customer base.  Above all, it’s a strategy to keep their paying customers, and the New Age movement is a threat to this cash flow.

Other researchers of the early 18th like Kersey Graves (7), thought that the light of the origins would be the end of Western Organized Religion.  But, they underestimated the power of religious indoctrination.  Of course, all the Abrahamic sects borrowed from what they later demonized as Pagan or Occult heresy.

“The present custom of orthodox Christendom, in packing their sins upon the back of a God, is just the same substantially as that of various heathen nations who were anciently in the habit of packing them upon the backs of various dumb animals.” —  Kersey Graves

Religion the Most Powerful Social Institution

my new age religion

Religion is the most influential social institution.  The Abrahamic tree influences through its religious channels and politics.  Here is where the authentic flavor of these paradigms is reflected in laws and regulations which segregate and discriminate.

Religious ideologies run on a continuum.  On one side are those that are harmful.  On the other hand, those that positively affect the individual and society.  You can distinguish those with harmful prejudicial agendas from those who do not.

Harmful prejudice and basis appear as boundaries and restrictions.  They promote sectarian iron-age values and thought.  Each of the Abrahamic religions does precisely that; they breed extremist ideologies because these ideas are a part of their holy texts and routine teachings.

At the positive end of the spectrum are those which promote freethinking and personal development over the belief in mythology and superstition.  You’ll find this kind of latitude in systems Western religion labels Paganism.   The new age movement or human potential movement would be considered a Pagan approach.  These systems encourage the exploration using processes and methods to develop your path.

The approach to developing human potential is a philosophy that pre-dates all organized religions.  You do not need to join a religion to engage in spiritual exploration.  All you need to do is practice the processes.  There’s a vast difference between religion and spiritual exploration.

In Conclusion

The strategy of the human potential movement of the 1970s isn’t new.  It’s a strategy that pre-dates all organized regions.  Most certainly, the designers of the Abrahamic traditions used this tactic when they pieced together the mythologies and superstitions to create their cash-flow machines.

What is the meaning of old-time religion?  It is the belief that the Christian Fundamentalist view is superior to all mythologies.  Today these mythologies are the bedrock of Western organized religion.  Their primary purpose is the creation of a cost-effective cash-flow system.  It is very different from New Age philosophy, which focuses on developing human potential.

Do you have a different view of the subject?  Please send us your comments and recommendations for research.

References

(1) Zoroaster, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroaster 
(2) Mithra, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithra 
(3) Jesus, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus
(4) George Gurdjieff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/george_gurdjieff</
(5) Judaism: www.history.com/topics/religion/judaism
(6) The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907)
(7) Kersey Graves, The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors 1881: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World%27s_Sixteen_Crucified_Saviors
(8) Joseph Campbell; Joseph Campbell’s book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell#The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces

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