Why New Age failed

I was wondering why the New Age spirituality wave collapsed quite rapidly in the early-2000s.

Sure, part of it must have been the fact that it over-promised and under-delivered. What it promised was rapid spiritual evolution, ascension, positive transformation of life on Earth into a more spiritual octave. What it delivered was, basically, some ego-pampering, feel-good emotions that wore out after a while, and the basic New Age philosophy contained so many easily exposable weak points that the exponential growth of the Internet made most of it sound silly. But surely that couldn’t have been all, because I didn’t need Wikipedia and Google to find it silly even in the mid-1990s. Some of the theories that circulated included “spiritual people having 12-strand DNA instead of ordinary 2-strand”, and you need only the basic understanding of biochemistry to know that this is total horseshit. Also, if you listened to the New Age bullshitters, you’d think that everybody is full of alien implants, being abducted by aliens or at least having their dreams invaded by aliens, and that Jesus was an alien starfleet commander whose real name is Sananda Kumara and what not. I mean, it’s such horrid crap that it attracted only two main population groups: people who are total fucking idiots, gullible and uncritical to the point of serious mental illness, and people who had genuine spiritual experiences and reasons to believe in strange shit, and who somehow got stuck in this shitpile. To be sure, I was never popular in the New Age circles. In fact, I was very critical of things they considered certain beyond any possible doubt, and my approach of exhausting all reasonable explanations before trying all sorts of crazy shit seems to be the opposite of the New Age approach, which is to try all the crazy shit first and perceive reasonable explanations as some kind of a ballast weight that prevents you in your ascent to great spiritual heights. I don’t know, I’m the kind of guy who sees a rainbow and thinks of Newton and the angle at which sunlight hits those water droplets in the air; I don’t think of unicorn farts. I don’t think being crazy is a sign of spirituality. Spirituality is a difficult and treacherous enough subject without getting lost in bullshitful nonsense.

One of the most dangerous things I encountered in the New Age circles was insistence that they were using “cosmic energy” in their healing and spiritual practices, which went completely against my experience. In my experience, the entire concept of “channeling energy” is impossible. You always use your personal spiritual energy for all kinds of interventions, if it’s in fact something that actually works and has consequences. If it’s make-believe, you can pretend it’s unicorn tears for all the effect that it has. The stuff I did was always very taxing and I needed at least a full day to recover the depleted energy reserves. It’s not fun and games, by any means, and, having consulted other authentic spiritual people, it seems to be as taxing to them as it is to me. They usually pretend it’s nothing or it’s cosmic energy or channeling from this or that fictional source, but they do it because they want to lessen the sense of obligation and guilt in the recipient. This, however, is a horrible strategy, because it has a twofold result: the recipient doesn’t take the intervention as seriously as he should, and the force-wielder is chronically drained and can actually be profoundly spiritually harmed by the practice, to the point that requires another force-wielder’s love in order to recover. I pulled the term “force-wielder” from my ass just now because it strikes me as the most appropriate description of what’s going on; shaktipat-master or something similar is used, but it doesn’t really fit. You have a spiritually powerful being, whose soul is simply bigger, stronger, and wields greater influence over spiritual energies of a lesser magnitude. This being can influence others, but this comes at an expense to the wielder, it has negative karmic consequences if the recipient is undeserving or ungrateful, and the greater the power differential between the two, the less benefit there actually is to the receiver, and at a greater cost to the force-wielder.

As for the “cosmic energy” or “divine energy”, it sure sounds better and more poetic than what’s actually going on, and which would sound more like a kind wealthy person paying for someone’s debts and saying it was Santa Claus. The problem is, the recipient then figures he’s on good terms with Santa and gets into more trouble, since getting out of it appeared to be simple and free. The wealthy person can laugh it away and appear to have suffered no ill effects, but if this repeats long enough, eventually he or she ends up seriously drained and hurt, and the worst part is, at this point the force-wielder already painted himself into a corner, because his narrative was that it’s all God doing things, it’s a cosmic divine energy; he’s only a channel.

No, he’s not “only” a channel. He or she is a presence of God in the world. Being a Divine presence is expensive, it requires constant investment of effort and diligence, and praising God while dismissing the “conduit” actually turns the actual situation upside-down. The force-wielder is able to manifest God because, well, he or she is simply a spiritual being of higher magnitude. You can say that God is everywhere but God is everywhere in a form useless to anyone but those great souls who are able to feel God directly, and then perform spiritual transfusion of this higher spiritual energy into the lesser beings. This effect is expensive, taxing and temporary, and in the long-term, the force-wielder feels the negative consequences of the lack of recognition, feels used, exploited and unloved. The aggravating circumstance of all this in the New Age circles is when everybody and their dog are claiming to be doing some form of divine energy channeling, so the apparent value of the process goes to the basement, and 99.99% of the practitioners are total charlatans. As a result, those few who are actually wielding force are perceived not as Gods, but as run-of-the-mill bullshitters. And don’t get me wrong, in all that steaming pile that was New Age there were some very genuine spiritual powerhouses, who didn’t necessarily know what they were doing and how it’s all working, but they could do real things that have real consequences. From what I can see, the greatest evil of the New Age movement is that it exploited those people’s empathy and their genuine desire to spiritually uplift people at their own expense, and left them exhausted, drained and abused in all ways, essentially replacing them with some other toy after it stopped being interesting.

I’m not saying that those force-wielders who ended up wrecked didn’t participate in the entire process that was inherently harmful to both sides. They were often misguided, deluded and sometimes actually ignored the warning signs, because they didn’t like what the reality was telling them. What reality was telling them is that this shit isn’t working, and it’s not because they are doing something wrong on a good path, it’s not working because the entire approach of taking from the spiritually wealthy in order to give to the spiritually poor has the same chance of working as socialism, which is to say, none. The irony is, socialist rationalizations about what “should” be happening, and pretending that the state budget that pays for it all is some kind of an inexhaustible cosmic resource that is supposed to be tapped into for free, that it’s not blood, sweat and tears of actual living people that is being used to finance the whole thing, it all sounds exactly the same. We want free goodies, and we want it to be paid by pixie dust and divine cosmic energy because we are assholes.

Why the New Age collapsed? Well, it consisted of two main groups, those who were actually the genuine spiritual people (all five of them), and the stupid, unworthy parasites who were in it for the promise of free goodies. When Internet and social media provided a cheap and accessible source of ego-stimulation from buying shiny new gadgets and having your worthless shit liked on Facefuck, they simply followed this abundant new source of getting liked for free and being just as valuable as anyone else without having to actually do anything. In the meantime, they left the genuine New Age gurus drained and fucked over, wondering what the hell actually happened.

The reason why I’m untouched by all that is simple: I’m quite good at figuring out patterns, and I woke up and smelled the coffee early on. The desire to be of help to others and be a bodhisattva is a tempting side-road, and it would actually make some sense if those whom we wish to help actually needed us or benefitted from our efforts, but the sad truth is, the only one who actually needs great souls are other great souls. What small souls say they need is great souls, but what they actually need is a lot of small souls exactly their size, who will like them on Facebook. The only use they have for great souls is to screw them over and show them they aren’t either all that great or all that necessary. Essentially, great souls want the small souls to become great, and small souls want to shit and piss on the great souls, to humiliate them, exploit them for resources and show them there’s nothing so great that they couldn’t make it small.

An instruction manual for great souls: if you want small souls to become great, put your trust in the greatest, most efficient way for becoming a great soul, the one that created the likes of you. It’s called natural evolution. It’s an efficient vehicle, and you don’t need to get out and push in order for it to work. If you think you need to get out and push, you’re not being compassionate, you’re being an idiot.