I must say we are in an age of mass conversion to New Age thinking which might not exactly be the truth.
A new age movement involves a growing personal enlightenment and a religious, social and political unity that will transcend the individual, personal and nation-state differences which have created our current problems. Sounds great, doesn’t it.
After some reading, and some questionable experiences stemming from sheer curiosity, I realise that I harbour some new age thoughts that aren’t quite my own. I suppose I don’t live in a vacuum, nor do I spend time sieving thoughts all day. New age thinking is now very much considered common consciousness and knowledge, and I have found some of those ideas planted in my head, growing in tufts here and there.
Lets continue to set some things straight.
Jesus according to New Age is a man who attained enlightenment and oneness with the source. However in Christian scripture Jesus was born the Christ (Lk. 2:11) from the start.
New age view on religious truths: There are many and all lead to one place. Christian view is that there is ONE TRUTH.
New age view on the nature of man: Man is spirit only and go through trillions of incarnations into various bodies. Christian theology contains truths that help us discover what it is to be human. For example, man was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), and as such is a finite creation who will never become God. (Isa. 43:10; Ezek. 28:1-2, 9). Man is composed of spirit, mind and body (1 Thess. 5:23). Man was created innocent but is now morally fallen and evil in his true nature (Gen. 1:26-31; Rom. 3:23; 5:10-12).
New age faith is trust in what one’s divine mind can produce in the world, e.g., in the sense of creating personal reality and ushering in the New Age millennium. Faith, i.e., mental affirmation, visualization, occult knowledge, etc., can produce “miracles” (psychic powers) done at man’s command through allegedly divine power but which are ultimately achieved through demonic power and associated with evil.
vs. Catholic faith is personal trust in God—in His mercy, wisdom, power and love; the goal of faith is to glorify God through one’s trust in Him and is objectively realized in history (Heb. 11:3, passim). Based on God’s will and power, faith can lead to genuine supernatural miracles which are good by definition and glorify God (Heb. Ch. 11).
New age salvation and enlightenment occurs through occult practice and human works such as yoga, meditation, altered states of consciousness, etc. The stress is upon a change of consciousness, not faith and in obedience to Christ. Transformation and enlightenment are produced by a large number of techniques that can be applied to either mind-body and/or spirit— visualization, hypnosis, channeling, etc. No forgiveness from God is needed because sin is only ignorance, not a moral violation of God’s law. Salvation is earned, not a free gift.
vs. Christian salvation where men are saved from their sins only by personal faith or trust in Jesus Christ. Christ’s death on the cross was a propitiatory atonement, i.e., it satisfied God’s wrath against sin so that God could freely forgive those who trust His son (1 Jn. 2:2; Jn. 3:16). In other words, salvation is from moral guilt by grace through faith leading to victory over sin and death (Ephesians 2:8-9).
And read this long one on reincarnation. And this one which is terribly important in our understanding of our human natures, that we are body and soul (mind) attached and unsplittable from each other. In short, the Bible states clearly in Hebrews 9:27 that ‘it is appointed for men to die once’.
What is so dangerous about belief in reincarnation?
The supposed evidence for reincarnation, rememberings from past lives that come out under “past life regression” can be explained, if they truly occur at all, as mental telepathy from other living beings, or from demons. The real possibility of the latter should make us seriously reconsider the alleged harmlessness of opening our souls to “past life regressions”. In nearly all cases of “past life regressions” the memories are from history books, stories, novels and films.
Getting clear on the Catholic relationship between body, soul and spirit.
We are essentually an individable composite of body and soul (mind), and the spiritual element in man was put there by the grace of God. This means, we are human (Body and soul) and if we have been granted the grace of being spiritual and we indeed spiritually seek God, in doing this we please God.
The natural (flesh) or the soulish man(he who resides in his intellect and will) does not understand the things of the spirit. For St. Paul, the “spiritual” element in man represents the God-consciousness that is introduced into the life of a man through grace.
The “spiritual man” (pneumatikos’)is one who is allowing himself to be led by the Spirit of God.
What constitutes man in his essence? Jesus said it plainly in Matt. 10:28:
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul: rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
And the [body] returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.