In the Conclusion of my book Sacred Sites in North Star Country: Places in Greater New York State (PA,OH,NJ,CT,MA,VT, ONT) That Changed the World I noted on how, what we call the "New Age" Movement, was born in North Star Country in the nineteenth century. The New Age Movement traces its roots back to Spiritualism and Theosophy, both of which were born in North Star Country. Many of you are part of the New Age Movement if you consider yourself as being "spiritual" and not "religious."
As I noted the New Age Movement has major issues, one of which is that many see it as a business opportunity and not as a path to Enlightenment; very similarly early Spiritualists were divided between those that saw it as a vehicle to make a better world (Braude, Radical Spirits; Bushier, The Other Side of Salvation) and mediums that played on grief-stricken people looking to communicate with deceased family members.
A Pew Research Report (If the U.S. had 100 people: Charting Americans’ religious affiliations) found rapid and continued growth of the New Age, or Spirituality, and how traditional religions are fading on a relative basis. I also noted that the New Age Movement is still exploring itself and encompasses a broad spectrum of practices and beliefs. I mention this because NPR had a segment this evening on the Millenials and a New Spirituality.
The NPR segment is an interesting look at how technology and the quest for community is creating a new form of Spirituality among millennials. While I believe technology is a negative force in the world (see my Technology Kills posts), it interesting to see how what we call the New Age, or Spiritual, is exploring and going in various directions. A QUEST.
Click to hear the audio of the NPR segment: