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Airy-Fairy? Woo-Woo? .... What is new age, anyway?

Do you get images of hippies stoned out and lying on bean bags, if you think of the words new age movement?

I can only speak for myself but, for me, new age is not related to those images. For me, the new age movement is a coming back around of ancient truth.

Some dismiss new age thought as wishful thinking; others are afraid of the term because they connect new age thought with cults or other negative religous expression; still others condemn anyone who believe in metaphysical principales as being of the devil. What's the truth?

Question on spiritual healing: Does "new age" practice mean that man is his own god and that there is no "higher" God that created us or dwells in us? What is new age though, really?

Healing Facilitation response: I was brought up in a fundamental Christian faith, to believe that there was only one way, and one church. To me, even as a young girl, this seemed to limit my perception of Godsource.

When I went to the West Indies on missionary trips and I met these beautiful people with such big hearts and obvious spiritual connection, I struggled with having to tell them they were lost unless they converted to my church.

In fact, it felt truly outrageous to me, to think that any one person or church knew the whole of God's plan for this world and the people in it.

However, it was years before I could find my own way spiritually into the broader view of God that was inherent in me then.

Over the years, I've enjoyed participating in a very wide range of spiritual experiences, with those of all types of different faiths. What I discovered is that most of them, either overtly or tacitly, believed their way was somehow better, or right, or special.

Eventually, I came to see the wisdom in such thinking. Only by believing that a person's path of faith had something precious in it that had to be preserved for posterity would a person be certain to preserve the teachings as originally set down.

I believe it was part of the divine plan that each piece of the puzzle of truth be carried and protected until such a time as the religions of the world could dissolve and we could all, as John Lennon put it, live as One.

It is to be expected that some will not be willing to embrace other truth. Religous wars have been fought since antiquity and we still see them raging today. Yet, inevitably, we are One and we somehow must integrate that in our spiritual lives if the planet is to heal and if we are to reach our highest level as spiritual beings.

What new age is not: A lot of people have the idea that Wicca defines new age. Although the Wiccan Path may be classified as a new age spiritual practice, there is no particular spiritual group of church that represents the teachings of new age believers in the way the Catholic church holds the teachings for Catholicism, for example.

There are those of new age thinking in all types of spiritual paths, from Christian to Native American to Catholic to Jewish to Daoist.

What new age is: New Age may have a different meaning for each person you ask. A person with new age beliefs is one that sees beyond the five senses to the supernatural world, believes in metaphysical cause and effect, and has a direct connection with God Force energies.

For me, the newage path has been about embracing the truth in other paths, and breaking down the religious boundaries and intolerance that have kept me away from other people's truth because of the fundamental teachings of my own religious upbringing. It is literally about a new age of sprituality.

When I read something pertaining to spiritual beliefs, or meet with someone and hear their spiritual truth, I take what resonates with me, and let the rest go.

If someone seeks guidance, I share what is true for me. If it helps, great. If it doesn't, that's ok too.

I believe when Jesus said that the kingdon was within, he meant it. We are all divine sparks of the one God, so in that sense, yes, we are all God energy. How well we are living in that energy varies, according to our human experience at any point in time.

I believe every living thing has the spark of Divinity in it and the more we call forth that Light Within, the more we honor the God within.

Native American Teachings: The teachings of the Native American peoples of this planet, at least in my limited exposure to them, appear to be more in alignment with what I instinctively believe than have been the fundamental Christian doctrines of my youth.

In the Native paths that I've walked, all life is considered sacred and inter-related. It is the meaning of "Mitakuye Oyasin", a prayer that means we are all related.

To me, every time I am able to embrace the truth in the path of my brother or sister (even when that truth is different than the path I walk) is one more step closer to Christ Consciousness.

No desire for debate: I am very well aware of some fundamental Christian responses to the above. I have no desire to, and no intention of, debating the issue.

I think it was Terri Cole Whitaker who said that what other people think of us is none of our business. I agree. What anyone thinks of me is none of my business! I'm just sharing information, that's all.

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Spiritual Statement of Intent: The information contained in this article on new age, or metaphysical principles, is not intended to take the place of any deeply held convictions you may have as a spiritual being. Each person's spiritual journey is uniquely their own, though I recognize and value connection and sharing of truth wherever we may find it.