New-Age spirituality, likely Native-American inspired, clearly has a common-core with much older indigenous polytheistic religions. It is fascinating how many have begun to adopt these far more “traditional” belief systems, despite the dogged efforts of newer monotheistic religions that have arisen only within the last 2000 years or so to indoctrinate and assimilate them into nonexistence. However, the counter-cultural movement arising from the “baby-boomers” adoption of Beat Movement ideals, Eastern philosophy, environmental preservation, vegetarianism, etc. and the perpetuation of these ideals (albeit via a new form of commercialization and profiteering from the “fad” followers and their progeny) has led to an increase in “non-traditional” religious persons, or completely secular non-religious individuals as well.
Likewise, more primitive decorative body ornaments and artistic tattoo designs once only worn by pirates, sailors to the South Pacific, and other social untouchables, have become the new norm for today’s youth. Which should make one wonder, what is the primary cause of a return (or perhaps a yearning for a return) of the technological capitalistic man to the primitive communal one of old? Why is the refined and intelligent modern-man so often now searching for his unkempt, primitive, cave-man nature? After all, is this not what “keeping it real” in the hip-hop culture has been all about?
Modern monotheistic religious notions coupled with more modern political ideals justify the conquering over of nature for our own colonial or capitalistic use. Sir Francis Bacon taught us God wanted us to trim and prune the wild places into nonexistence, so as to gain control over something our species has always secretly feared since Adam ate the apple. The church has long utilized both heavy-handed and paternal-like influences to systematically and simultaneously conquer over the inner-nature of all indigenous peoples. Ancient remedies, knowledge, and practices have gone extinct, due to the inquisitional tactics of monotheistic church organizations trying to erase the past, to build a brighter future. But in the process, what is natural, has been turned into something that is unnatural and perhaps even evil. These illogical and counter-productive religious conclusions have served to alienate us from our mammalian ancestral roots based on hunting and gathering or agrarian lifestyles. Perhaps this Is why so many today are seeking answers to their questions about the meaning of life in non-traditional ways, and in less formal settings. Many now see God everywhere and in everything, so why would they need to go to a church to appreciate the wonders that such a creator had created not for them, but including them, to be part of the experience, part of the fabric of life, to enjoy and appreciate outside? For that matter, why would they want to participate or perpetuate an economic and political system that contributed if not orchestrated the destruction of everything that was most heavenly to them? Why can’t sitting around the campfire, engaging in fellowship with your fellow man, and appreciating all the beauty and wonders that have arisen from the artist creator of many names not suffice as worship in the modern age?
Why must I enter a house of judgment, and be looked-down upon by those who see me as a sinner, unless I look like them, talk like them, and share their “cookie-cutter” religious views to the letter? My apologies, but I am not a self-diluted, religious robot zombie whose only programing for understanding the world comes from one book, and who is unwilling to recognize when they are being manipulated by profiteers, politicians, and would-be “snake-oil” salesmen performing “miracles.” For me, a sunrise or a sunset is a miracle, each breath I take is a miracle, the smile my newborn daughter makes when she sees my face is a miracle. I believe most of the activities that go on inside a church are more spectacle than miracle.
The best church I ever visited was at the base of a large waterfall in Alaska, the light shimmering through the water vapor created rainbows everywhere, and the edges of the stream were surrounded by wild-flowers, King salmon fought their way up the stream struggling to create the next generation of salmon fry before they died. I had many revelations meditating there on a large rock in the center of the stream, considering the lessons of life around me. I understood that the rock was strong, but that the water and time were stronger. I recognized that if I could be like the water, and less like the rock, I would be stronger and happier as well. So now I try to go with the flow, and try to avoid being too rigid or uncompromising. This is counter-intuitive to the lessons being taught in our modern churches. Despite that, there are many lessons within nature that we have lost by avoiding nature, but we must conserve enough of the wild places in this world, so that we will be able to find those lessons again and again. For that is why modern man seeks spirituality by communing with nature, he or she is trying to relearn the old wisdom, they recognize their connection with nature and it’s connection with them, and they wish to learn from that connection. It is why we fish, it is why we hunt, it is why we climb, why we hike, why we kayak, off-road bike, cross-country run, ski, surf, and camp, we do these things, because we are mammalian animals who hear the call of the wild and must roam free! We must not let them kill the animal within us with their white, sterile, ammonia-smelling cages, or their lily-white notions of Christian civility.
If I eat with my hands, cook my dinner over an open fire, and live in a hut, I am still a man, and should not be judged lacking, simply because I’ve been unable to climb a materialistic ladder bejeweled with modern conveniences I will never be able to afford since I was born a “savage” in a “developing Nation.” Likewise, how can you have the arrogance to assume your newer monotheistic religious beliefs are superior to the older polytheistic beliefs of me and my ancestors? Thus, in the final analysis, the hypocritical nature of combining technology, manufacturing, capitalization, colonialism, and Christianity to establish a new world order (a false idol) to be worshiped by all global consumers, may yet serve to disenfranchise a sufficient number of people to cause the greatest impetus of religious, political, and economic change to ever have occurred in the last 20 centuries across the globe. Or, a natural or man-made disaster will arise due to political or economic conflicts inflamed by religious tensions, and a cataclysmic event will occur that will provide mankind with the opportunity to arise from the ashes of his own virtual self-destruction, and we will learn the old lessons and spirituality anew. The fact that people are learning these lessons now only proves a desire among some to try to make the transition less devastating to the evolution of the species.