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As a mighty flood sweeps away the sleeping village, so death carries away the person of distracted mind who only plucks the flowers (of pleasure). ~Gautama Buddha
Disinformation is nothing new, even in the new age. Due to the fact that many of us hold the ancient masters in high regard, it is natural for us, as new-agers, to want to portray or believe that our ancient teachers would support the new-age movement. After all, we founded this movement, in part, based on the wisdom of their teachings. We’ve done this through taking a little of one masters teachings, a little of another’s, and we’ve packaged it all together as a philosophy that we feel is good to live by. Yes, there are huge differences; but, we circumvent around these differences through rationalizing that we live in different times.
Because we have taken pieces of wisdom from different places, it does not always offer us a complete picture of the masters involved. What many new-agers may not even know is that numerous quotes that are floating around the internet, and which we believe are the words of our masters, are fake, misworded, or taken out of context (e.g. see FakeBuddhaQuotes.com). While people may see this as a relatively trivial matter, it really isn’t. After all, how would we feel if we saw a Facebook banner which displayed an image of Jesus with the quote, “Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! – Jesus Christ?”
Many of us, having not studied the works of many of our masters, only see collectively chosen quotes from a small portion of a master’s work. These portions may be framed in a way that the master appears to support our new-age sentiments. What we never see is the remainder that would have been in direct conflict or might appear “negative.” Unfortunately, this promotes disinformation and misunderstanding as to who our masters really were and what they really taught. To prove this, I even posted a real Buddha quote (from the Dhammapada) on Facebook and I was later confronted that the quote must be fake because Buddha would “have never said that.”
So, keeping this all in mind, it is fair to say, yes, there is disinformation in the new-age and it is safe to wake up to it; as well as to where disinformation exists outside of the new-age. It is safe to realize that the new-age has an agenda just like every other religion, cult, faction, institution, etc. Even I have my own agenda. So, you must find the Truth for yourself.
The new-age agenda appears to be with distraction, denial, and the repression of “negative” emotions and thoughts, while encouraging individuals to keep up with a consumerist mentality that is destructive both internally and externally. This is not passing judgment here; I’m just dispassionately stating a perception which seems, to me, a fact.
What I’ve learned through having been part of the new-age for most of my life is that there is something inherent in the path that creates a no-win situation. On the one hand, we are taught to deny “negative” illusions as unreal. On the other hand, we are taught to exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of “positive” illusions (which many masters have discouraged this kind of approach, and excess materialism, though we may not have understood why). Some of us are starting to catch on that living in this way leaves us subtly feeling that we never have or are enough. For, this is another illusion: that we can attain a feeling of completeness if we can manifest this-or-that. However, fulfillment rarely is forthcoming, as once we complete a goal we immediately seek to attain something else.
While not suggesting we live entirely without external striving or material “abundance,” what may be labelled as more problematic is our collective approach. Because we live in a world which we perceive as ‘normal,’ we do not always understand the ways in which we become conditioned, as individuals within a larger society, to have things defined for us; i.e. such as success, failure, abundance, loss, etc. We have so much information coming at us that, “you can shine,” “you can succeed,” or “you can have unlimited this or that.” But, notice how this leaves the subtle impression that we are lacking. So, repeating these kinds of mantras naturally serves as an inspiration that keep us driven. But, toward what end? More illusion and potential suffering?
I am not implying this is right or wrong, merely that many of us may not always be aware of how we are being conditioned, or the effects of such conditioning. After all, how many of us could live a simple unaffected life without worrying what people would think? How many of us get called “lazy” for not being productive enough? How are we conditioned out of taking care of our minds and bodies through being encouraged that we need quick-fixes-because there is not enough time for rest? Many of us are terrified to slow down in ways lest we miss an opportunity for advancement, or let ourselves or others down in some way.
I find it no wonder that so many people end up with “ascension symptoms.” Seen from a rational perspective of cause and effect, these symptoms likely arise from the living split between our minds (which tell us to be “love n light”) and our contradictory lifestyles (which ask us to be aggressive, striving, competitive, and to not truly care about anything beyond our personal outcomes). Many of the idealistic concepts that we espouse, don’t even add up with how we live our lives. For, how can we truly end up manifesting peace, love, and oneness while being taught to be self-entitled, self-oriented, and to climb various hierarchical ladders to “success”?
Looking at how innately aggressive the world is, and how we keep marching and banging our drums like little energizer bunnies trying to get ahead, to me, it makes sense that new-agers feel sped up–ADHD; anxious, repressed emotions surfacing; sleep-disturbed; and intolerant to food, chemicals and geopathic stress (aka “dirty energy”). We seem to lack the wisdom of our masters which was by-passed and which could have advised us on how to bridge the various splits we created in our minds and lives. In fact, it seems many of our present-day gurus can only instruct us on how not to deal with negative realities and emotions as they come up, which come to be treated with distaste and dissociation.
We end up being taught conflicting messages regarding how to find our “off switch.” On the one hand, we are taught to practice meditation and to be “in the now;” finding our divine self-worth internally. On the other hand, we are taught that we can have it all, be special, be a “star seed, blue ray, etc.,” or can “succeed” or “manifest;” finding approval and self-worth externally.
On top of this, we are taught to withhold judgment. Taken out of context, we come to lose the discriminating ability to identify and address disharmonies or untruths within the world; except those truths we deem “positive.” We forget that if we want to manifest things that are “good,” there must exist an opposite polarity where things become “judged” as “not so good.” We also have to be careful not to forget that judgment also implies “karma,” which can incur from collectively self-destructive behavior that is continually enabled. Though, there are more and more people waking up to this now.
The main fear seems to be one of being unloving. Though, enabling one another’s bad behavior or addictions is not something I would consider loving. The main addiction of this age appears to be one of consumerism and self-indulgence. And, lacking a standard of ethics to follow, we can end up inadvertently and unconsciously acting impulsively, with no restraints and little care for how our addictions affect the younger generations, the environment, etc.
Through the Law of Attraction, we are taught accountability, but primarily when it comes to our personal lives and not the bigger picture. When it comes to the bigger picture we are taught a completely different approach: “Don’t think about it or it will manifest.”
The biggest truths we miss through the misquoting of our masters are their own realizations that the path to ascension comes through what we release rather than gain. However, we all fear loss and in trying to avoid it, we spin out in the opposite direction of trying to manifest gain (at a cost of loss of resources and vitality of our bodies and environment).
If we can come to understand the true wisdom of Buddha and other masters we will realize that if we wish to deny all negatives based on their being “illusion,” this must be matched with denying all positives too, based on the same argument. For, the pursuit of only pleasure brings as much harm, egotism, greed, self-entitlement, addiction, compulsion, destruction and suffering (as evident within Nature) as does the pursuit of negatives.
While the answer is not likely not to be found in any kind of extreme, the dis-informed new-age appears to be split between two ends of the spectrum: an “all spirit” focus on one end (with ideals of love and light) and a hedonistic “all material” focus on the other (with ideals of manifesting “unlimited” abundance, fame, etc.). There is one path we have yet to collectively try yet: the middle path that Buddha was known to speak of. The middle path leads us to a simple path; one not found in remaining dis-informed, but in becoming enlightened.