In my spiritual quest, I have been fumbling for years about how to explain to my friends and family what I am trying to do.
In explaining, I almost always end up trying to cover up or sugar-coat, afraid of how they quickly jump to the words spiritual and esoteric, relating them in their minds in a way I don’t now, but I know I did before.
The unknown usually generates two natural reactions in people. The first is the survival instinct takes over and completely rejects what you see because you cannot understand it. The second one is for the mind to try and understand the strange phenomenon—delving into reasons, letting the mind be more at ease with the unknown.
The esoteric, by definition, is something hidden or difficult to understand by the mind.
For most people—and for the mainstream media—the esoteric means a set of strange phenomena and teachings that are unknown. They attract people’s curiosity because of how and why these phenomena work. But, it is something very difficult to penetrate, and the greater truth is hard to find.
There is certainly a big confusion as to what is what, that is spread across all the sectors of this type of knowledge. This doesn’t allow us to grow. Therefore, I would like to separate them in groups in order to understand this mix, and then go beyond them. Especially because there are groups and individuals seeking to develop forward with understandings and material, which actually contribute to the evolution of society and the empowerment of each person that gets lost in the mumbo-jumbo.
Throughout the history of Western society, a great deal of knowledge on various topics was hidden and censored by the powers that be at different times.
Religions seized the concept of spirituality and offered a unique and exclusive form of practice to connect with the divine. While, since the period of enlightenment, science became the way of understanding how the physical works.
This is why groups of secret societies decided to continue studying about this prohibited ancient knowledge in parallel to what was deemed as “correct,” allowing entry only to certain persons selected by family ties or certain skills.
Of course, in all that time, humans have not stopped having questions about phenomena that are beyond the understanding of the mind, or what had been ruled as true by a religion, especially since neither science nor religion have managed to answer all those questions they have promised to.
Since the mid-20th century—after the Second World War—the emergence of revolutions based on the use of love as a tool of social transformation in the world, things began to change, and a need arose to explore the inner parts of ourselves and our society. Most of which is supported by the influence of Eastern cultural traditions that began to arrive into the West.
It was the beginning of what we might call a counterculture that was born out of the radar of the media, and made its way through those who felt ready to question further how we were living. The name that is commonly given to this group is: New Age. It came from the concept that this is the beginning of a new era, which intersects the entry of the sun in the zodiacal house of Aquarius with the awakening of spiritual people. This intersection would help us to get rid of all the evil in the world.
However, the amount of information that is going around on the subject has a level of diversity so great that it is difficult to distinguish the lessons and knowledge that were truly preserved by the secret societies and from plain quackery. Basically, for those not involved in this counter culture, it is almost impossible to distinguish between paranormal healers, tarot readers, religious and spiritual movements and from people who really seek to understand life and how to live better. To provide tools for a more empowered human being through the connection to spirituality, is to take the next step in evolution.
The big bag of confusion
Inside the big bag, which is known as New Age are four groups that differ greatly from each other, but have some common terminologies or concepts, making it difficult to understand the differences if someone does not known about them. You see, it is the language what connects us through the meaning of words.
The group most covered in media is perhaps the one furthest from what the real quest of development for people actually is. It focuses on the strange phenomena that occur—that we cannot explain with our mind or with science or religion. Therefore, it becomes attractive to the media. People are looking for answers, and with this media, their attention is called, but not given an explanation.
For example, here you can find all kinds of paranormal phenomena, apparitions, movement of objects, haunted houses, spells, witchcraft and even in some cases, theories of extraterrestrial contact. At the same time, practices like tarot, psychics and seers get as much attention from the media.
Many of them work with ancient knowledge, which has not been updated to what now is known by society, and deal with the idea of polarity, where there is a war between good and evil (light and dark) and it is difficult to know who or what to believe.
Some time ago, a seer who was made famous in Chile for allegedly predicting the February 2010 8.8 magnitude earthquake, attempted to give the numbers of a lottery draw, live on television. None of those he chose, were drawn.
It is worth noting that within this group of phenomena and techniques, there are some people who know what they are doing, and are able to see the potential of the future. I am not going to negate that many of these things do happen, as many of these I have personally lived through—but always in the understanding that the future is unwritten, and decisions can be taken differently in order to mold our lives.
Are we able to self-heal?
Tired and discouraged from trying to find a disease through expensive tests and various and discordant opinions from doctors, there are people who seek healing through other avenues.
Oriental medicine has become one of the alternatives to find the healing, alone with acupuncture and floral therapies. The interest here is so high in Chile, for example, that the Colegio Médico (an association of doctors that sanctions their practices) was determined to push through a law allowing the practice of these therapies, only by persons who have completed four thousand hours of learning about Western medicine.
Certainly the implementation of these procedures and techniques in Eastern cultures is very successful. But science on this side of the world is still not able to explain why. Nevertheless, as much they tend to be good complementary practices to allopathic medicine, their efforts are hampered by unscrupulous others who pose as healers and shamans, which is more food for the media—thus again, not making the exposure of these ideas the best representation of this type of knowledge.
Personally, I think we are able to self-heal ourselves if we can tune in, without judgments, to the warnings that are given by the body at the time the discomfort or illness triggers itself. What the great healers who use myriad techniques such as Reiki, Quantum touch, and other systems, do is invite the patient to resonate at a level of self-knowledge and expertise, where self-healing is possible.
This would only work depending on the patient’s willingness to heal, live and get better. I have seen amazing recoveries from people who understand what is happening, and dead ends from those where the disease is only one way to get attention, and there is no real and pure intention to heal.
Spirituality beyond the system
One day I began to realize that after years in meditation classes, years of learning various techniques, and listening to many people in the alternative therapies center where I worked, there was no real change nor growth by those entering into this counter culture. Then I noticed.
Mass had been replaced by meditation; the priest for a guru; the Lord’s Prayer for the Great Invocation; the Holy Trinity for the archangels; saints for the ascended masters, along with the prayer for protecting rays of light; God and the Devil of light and darkness; the apocalypse and the final judgment for 2012 and the Mayan prophecy.
It’s hard for us to understand the idea of spirituality beyond a system.
Some practices, based on Eastern cultures, have become, in recent years, widely accepted by most of society as a way to keep the body and mind in balance. Somehow yoga and meditation have been the most visible of the expansion of these to this part of the world, which many have joined and practiced.
However, without wanting to take the merits away from them, and with the risk of generalizing too much, many people get involved without understanding the background of what is sought, and go to yoga classes as a way to “work out,” or to meditation looking for relaxation—forgetting the spiritual aspects, while falling in love with the idea of saying: I do yoga. I meditate.
Something happens that make people stand around the idea of spirituality, but never really embrace it. To me spirituality is the intrinsic capacity of every human being to know that we are being before a human. This allows empowerment for us, through wisdom located beyond this space-time, and this incarnation.
Science vs. Spirituality
Since the beginning of the scientific thought and reasoning as a way to enlightenment, the path of spirituality has been distanced. Therefore, it was impossible that both could meet at any level.
However, esoteric thinking is usually pioneering knowledge in certain areas, and that later science catches up on, then checks. In fact, many scientific discoveries were received by inspirations, dreams or little logic involved.
A few years ago, a group of physicists came up with the mad idea of super strings in quantum physics. This is something that can take us closer toward an understanding of the movement of energy, and how the universe works—explaining much of the metaphysical ideas used by the New Age.
But the teaching of physics and science is not going as fast, and concepts of quantum physics are taught mainly to doctoral student. Little is known about the subject in society.
The emergence of the film What the Bleep Do We Know?, which is based on knowledge channeled and supported by scientists, is one of the few attempts to introduce this notion in the mainstream media. The film wasn’t shown in theaters in Latin America, except for a few special functions where spectators were mostly people associated with the New Age.
Part of the result has been an indiscriminate use of quantum physics by virtually anyone interested in starting a path in the field, without further study or attention to detail—except in regard to the specific personal beliefs, or to somehow support their sayings and techniques.
Something similar happened to information some recognized mystics have gotten about DNA. While some are working seriously to achieve more ways of knowing, others simply use the term as a good way to attract members of this counter culture.
These are the four groups I have identified as what people usually think the New Age is. The amount of information is so big and the vocabulary so similar, it is difficult to understand it from outside. In fact, I am sure many of you have gone through the process of trying to explain to a friend or a family member what are you into these days, and have seen how their ideas and prejudices goes into the big bag of confusion.
This is a problem. Another one is people are looking for a way to develop and empower themselves to take responsibility for their lives as individuals, but don’t know where to begin and confuse one thing with the other.
My final issue—probably the biggest one—is that none of the groups I mentioned before hardly work on their spirituality, at all, at any level while using the word as a catch phrase. Thus, impending the growth of the ones that are really looking to explore that sides of themselves.
I think it is time to make public the esoteric, but to do so seriously. Beyond the paranormal, fake healers, limiting beliefs and physics we don’t really understand. Only by opening ourselves to society with the idea of empowering every human being from the divine, we can start making a difference towards integrating ourselves as spiritual beings and contribute more to society.
Pablo Morano is a Cookie Monster student of life and spiritual coach that believes in intuition, and likes to ask the hard difficult questions to himself. He studied journalism, and likes to teach people to look at things from different angles. You can reach him at [email protected]
Editor: Nikki Di Virgilio