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New Age

The “New Age” lifestyle (or movement) grew during the second half of the 20th century to focus on spiritual awareness. The term “new age” encompasses a broad range of activities, practices and views, in general not dependant on traditional religious practices or dogma. The term is one of convenience in general conversation and the media. New age has a strong association with the American notion of self-help and personal improvement. It borrows aspects of both eastern and western mysticism, encompassing Hindu and Buddhist meditation, and the many American variations that have arisen. An important part of new age revolves around the field of psychology, and its many schools and varieties. Holistic health and non-traditional medicine also fit in under the new age umbrella. New age people are often interested in health disciplines like yoga, Tai-Chi, Reiki, and vegetarianism. One of the best serious descriptors of new age is the focus on the interrelation of mind, body, and spirit as one indivisible whole.

A holistic health newspaper in one American city publishes advertisements for practitioners that give a good cross section of some new age pursuits and concerns: “Advanced Healing,” “Alternative Wellness,” “Angelic Guidance,” “Ascended Masters Meditation,” “Channeling,” “Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing,” “Energy Psychology,” “Integrative Medicine,” “Past Life Revelations,” “Shamanic Self-Mastery,” to name but a few.

Beyond the mind, body, spirit connection, a certain new age element also exists that focuses on reincarnation and past lives, auras, channeling, speaking with the dead, UFO’s (unidentified flying objects), astrology, tarot cards, palm reading, numerology or any of an assortment of belief systems.

Note that Life In The USA has a section on New Age Music in the chapter on American culture as well as a section on New Age Beliefs in the religion chapter.

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