On the "New Age" in Ireland

Discussion in 'Ireland' started by Roger Buck, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    I just wrote in the thread about the Voris video that whilst I remain troubled by that video in certain ways, I still feel there are some legitimate issues there.

    One of those is the spread of New Age ideas and ideology throughout Ireland - and English speaking society in general. (Having lived in Spain and France, I can say that there is not the same problem in those countries. The New Age movement, despite its claims to being "universal", is mainly an English-speaking phenomenon.)

    I would really be very interested to hear Irish people's perceptions about this - including how it has grown over the last years, etc.

    Also, if anyone knows any good links or articles about this, I would be most grateful.

    Thanks for any help/insights you can give me ...
  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    It is true what they say, people who do not believe in God will believe in anything. I hear the Dublin Newspapers are full of ads for psychics.
  3. Indy

    Indy Praying

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  4. Torrentum

    Torrentum Guest

    Fr Barron talks here about one of Eckhart Tolle's books.
    Tolle is probably the most famous New Ager thanks to Oprah.

    Hard to take anything Tolle says seriously after he admitted to taking LSD.
    Tolle always reminds me of a modern day Timothy Leary, and somone to avoid at all costs.
    Roger Buck likes this.
  5. Torrentum

    Torrentum Guest

    Roger, here is my unfortunate stumble with New age that happened years ago. Even though it wasnt exactly profitable for me, I see now why God allowed me to be led astray a little.


    I remember my priest seemed to be familiar with the books of Tolle, hes heard a lot of people coming to him in confusion.

    I agree strongly with your concerns on New Age in the South, which is where I live and therefore where my opinion is well formed by experience.
    Id guess upwards of 80% of young people believe in New Age practices/beliefs. "Universe", Conciousness" have become very popular words. Books on "Angels" and stuff like that litter the shops. Theres even a shop in Wexford dedicated to selling weird gems/crystals/birthstones and books on contacting your "Angel", a large selecton of incense to burn etc, I went into the shop to see for myself what was on sale, otherwise Id not have believed it.
    My opinion on the bottom line is this: the growth in new age parallels the decline in the attendance at Church. the spiritual void is being filled by whatever nonsence they best like the sound of, and since the new age is nondivisive and treats the earth like a god (gaia), the eco-nuts love it. I often wonder if the push for enviromentalism and the push for gender neutralitiy, same sex marriage has its roots in, or is a result of, new age rubbish, I cant decide which.
    One thing for sure, for absolute certain, without a shadow of doubt - New Age is demonic.
    Roger Buck likes this.
  6. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    Thanks everyone - particularly for the links, Indy and Torrentum.

    First Indy, this is horrifying. That it is even explicitly named "The Dark Side" instead of dressed up as something harmless and light - and people don't seem to care! I haven't got a TV or TV license - so I see nothing on RTE. Horrifying as this is, I am grateful to you for bringing my attention to it.

    Thanks too, Torrentum. You may be interested to know I've written a piece about Tolle myself.

    The link to my Tolle piece is here: A Brief Catholic Response to Eckhart Tolle

    Indy, Torrentum, I think between you both, you point to different sides of the New Age movement.

    One side that does draw - even explicitly! - from "the dark side" ...

    And another side that is not evil in that sense but profoundly leading people away from Christianity.

    What you say on that other thread is true ...

    In Ireland, the transition to the New Age is so marked and disturbing, because until recently Ireland was so profoundly Christian.

    Whereas because England, I think, lapsed into a kind of vague agnosticism/paganism long ago, it isn't quite so shocking.

    Indeed, I believe New Age-ism originates from England above all ...

    This is counter to its claim of being a "universal" spirituality, free of time and culture. Instead, the New Age is very, very bound to post-1960s English-speaking culture.

    As I mentioned before, you really don't find it in anything like the same way in France and Spain, countries of Catholic culture.

    Ireland suffers, in my view, because unlike France and Spain, she (mostly) shares the same language with England and America. So it is much easier to be over-run by things from California and, yes, Britain where the New Age really started a hundred years ago - partly because of the British Empire and Britain's relation to INDIA ...

    I myself became a New Ager in 1980 when I was 16 and went to Findhorn in Scotland, one of the leading New Age centres in the world.

    I remained that way for nearly 20 years, till, by the grace of God, I was confirmed in the Catholic Church in the year 2000.

    So I know a lot about the New Age.

    What I don't know so much about is how the New Age has grown in Ireland.

    As I said, I haven't got a TV and I've only lived in Ireland for something like three years (both in the South and the North).

    So I don't see what's going on in Ireland so clearly as I do in the UK and America, where I was born.

    Thus, I am very grateful for all these links and observations from Irish people.

    I would really like to hear more from others about the New Age movement in Ireland. Thank you ...
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  7. Torrentum

    Torrentum Guest

    Thanks for the link to the great article you wrote Roger. If I may ask - how did you find your way back to the Faith after 20 years?
  8. Adoremus

    Adoremus Powers

  9. SteveD

    SteveD Guest

    The rural Irish went in for what are now called 'new age' beliefs throughout the Christian era and I think that they have always been more open to 'the other' in both good and bad meanings than most other races.

    My grandmother, born in the 1880's in Ireland, had absolutely no doubt that 'the little people' were a reality and swore that she once saw a 'banshee' among other 'manifestations' (headless men coming to take the dead etc). She used to terrify us as children and the old ladies of her English neighbourhood with her stories (which I am convinced she believed). She was also a very devout Catholic and two of my cousins say they have seen her since her death and that she looked very happy.
    Make of that what you will.

    (One of the old ladies who used to hear the 'ghost' stories was my wife's grandmother. I met my wife years after my granny died and am always amazed at this coincidence - perhaps she did some matchmaking after her death).
  10. andree

    andree Archangels

    Roger, I don't know about Ireland, but the Vatican actually published an interesting document over 20 years ago now, about New Age called "Jesus Christ The Bearer of the Water of Life - Christian Reflections on New Age", which you can read here :

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html#1. WHAT SORT OF REFLECTION

    It’s meant to help Christians understand New Age so that they can talk about this with others influenced by it and it explains some of the factors that make it appealing to many. It’s a good document to read to understand what makes New Age different from Christian faith.

    I didn’t think that I had done much that was considered New Age until I read more about the subject and found to my horror that many practices or products that I thought were “natural” were either occult or part of New Age (eg acupuncture, yoga, homeopathy, some herbal tinctures and other natural products…).

    What has come to horrify me even more is how pervasive the occult and New Age are today, even infiltrating religious orders. If you know Marino Restrepo, he has talked about this and has said that religious orders that start dabbling in esoteric practices (like the Enneagram which is popular in certain Catholic circles) slowly start to decline and can fall apart (something he says he has seen happen often).

    I agree that stripping our faith of all its mystical dimension has helped the spread of New Age and the occult, I mean we’re spiritual creatures are seeking God so take Him away and people will look in the wrong places!

    I’d also like to know what brought you back to the Church Roger. Do you know Moira Noonan? She’s now a devout Catholic who came back to the faith after 30 years as a New Ager. She’s given several interviews, like this one which is very good:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  11. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Unfortunately, New Age is prominent even in our monasteries:

    Scroll down and you will see a mixed bag - some traditional catholic stuff but also some new agey sounding stuff such as - focusing weekend/Dreams; Centring prayer; awakening soul retreat; Wellbeing ministry; Your Journey with Focusing;

    Granted all of this is couched in 'spiritual language' but actually much of this is really psychology rather than spirituality. It is not really Catholic spirituality at all but modern mumbo jumbo, maybe even dangerous, who really knows but I would avoid some of this stuff like the plague!

  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Many, many years ago my Spiritual Director to my surprise recommended the Enneagram to me. I was surprised as he would have been a very, very tradional orthodox kind of priest. I tired it loved it and found it very helpful , I have been using it now off and on for about forty years and have recommended it to many others who too have been delighted with it.

    Aside from its esoteric ring and the spin that is put on it sometimes it is simply a personality typology, the best I have ever seen and I use it as such as a psychological tool, no spookey stuff.

    Aside from anything else I have found it delightful, insightful and amusing. It has helped me gain insight into both myself and other people.

    But best of all ,as I say it is just plain old simple fun.

  13. andree

    andree Archangels

    Padraig, I’ve used the Enneagram in the past too, as it was recommended by a few priests involved in a former prayer group. I never caught on with it though, probably because it bothered me to hear everyone refer to themselves as a number as a reason for acting a certain way. Or worse, point out to me my number, which I didn't like being reduced to! When I look back on my spiritual life, I see that everyone in that prayer group drifted away from the church several months after the group spent more time on the Enneagram than on prayer. I’ve wondered about the connexion for all of us since reading more about New Age.

    To explain where I’m coming from: in the past few years, I’ve experienced the presence of evil in our surroundings, and this is something that just completely opened my eyes to the invisible world and put a flame to my faith and prayer life. Before experiencing this, I never saw or felt anything wrong with any of those things New Age which I thought were harmless but now avoid like the plague. What changed is that now I recognize spiritual oppression when I’m in contact with anything remotely occult.

    I like to compare this domain to say eating foods with toxins, which we can’t see, smell or taste. Everyone including doctors can tell us that tuna, to pick one example, is a great food with many health benefits, but eat it daily and eventually the mercury in that fish will accumulate and cause health problems. Not the same ones in each person because some people clear it better than others and can go for years without issues, some have genetic dispositions to harm, others have underlying unseen health issues which this toxin will cause to manifest etc. End result is that a lot of people can end up with a wide array of health problems from the same source and not know what caused it until something opens their eyes about the poison in that food. Until someone opens their eyes, their health can deteriorate without them necessarily feeling it. Unfortunately, many people can die from disease without ever asking themselves questions about where it came from – they don’t want to know.

    I see spiritual realities in a similar way. I’ve come to see that in these evil times, we should stick with pure unadulterated sources of spiritual nourishment, or risk contamination which can affect us down the road. And we know the pure sources: the rosary, the Eucharist, adoration, the Sacraments, devotions, the Saints, etc.

    I have loved ones still involved with the Enneagram under the guidance of priests too. And I’m not saying that it's good or not good, but putting this information out there for everyone’s discernment. I was impressed to see that the Vatican has a document on New Age to help Christians be aware of the spiritual issues.

    God Bless.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    You are correct, Andre that the Enneagram has nothing to do with religion and I don't think it should be taught in Retreat Centres . It is a simply psych tool.

    There is a lot of pseudo mumbo jumbo connected with it which folks put in the prefaces of books about it. No one really knows where it originated originally.

    But stripped of the nonsense it is a great tool and a fun toy. I have been using it for over 40 years now and lived to tell the tale. :)

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  15. padraig

    padraig New Member

  16. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    First, thanks to everyone for all of this - very helpful indeed. Plan to say more in the next days.

    But for now, only a partial response to Torrentum and Andree who both asked me how I found my way "back to the Church."

    Truth is - I didn't. I discovered the faith for the first time in 1997. Before that, I wasn't even baptised. I came from a completely secular background, born in America of English parents and raised in both the US and UK.

    This indicates a little of why the New Age is so strong in the US and UK. A lot of people are like I was - completely secular, but thirsting for something spiritual. And so they turn to the New Age ...

    Because when I was growing up, the ONLY form of Christianity I saw was American fundamentalist televangelists - who struck me as superficial and barmy. I had hardly any idea any other form of Christianity existed. I would have had NO idea what a Sacrament was, what the Mass was and I probably thought of a priest as some kind of celibate preacher.

    So I had no idea of a mystical Christianity. The only Christianity I saw was completely fundamentalist. In that context, I turned to the New Age, seeking the mystical ...

    I think this is true for many secular British and Americans today - and it helps explains the US and UK are so New Age and - conversely - why Catholic countries are generally far, far less New Age than England and America (Again, Ireland suffers because she is deluged with Anglo-American media now. I fault my own two cultural backgrounds for infecting Ireland, where I now live ...)

    But to come to my conversion. The short version is that in 1997, after 17 years in the New Age, I had a life-changing inner experience that connected me to the Catholic Church for the first time in my life. That and a very unusual Catholic book helped me burn away 17 years of New Age ideology and enter the Church at Easter 2000.

    The long version is at my site here: From Findhorn to Catholicism: On Leaving the New Age for the Church

    Lastly and again, I appreciate everything else people have said in this thread and want to say more as I find time in the next days ...
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  17. Torrentum

    Torrentum Guest

    You hit the nail on the head there Roger, this is the problem exactly.

    Thanks for the response to my question.
  18. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    Belated thanks to everyone for all of this. I am a bit slow responding, but I appreciate all of it.

    Whilst I knew of some of it already, for example that very important Vatican document, there is much that was new to me - including the Moira Noonan video which I very much appreciated.

    I will just respond to Steve D saying this for now ...

    I think there is real truth here. And yes as you indicate - for good and bad.

    Having lived in a number of different countries now, one thing that so stands out to me about the Irish - and so moves my heart - is the devotion to their departed families.

    I am in a little village in the north and it is so beautiful to see how very much people come and pray at the graves. You don't see that in other countries!

    Obviously,necromancy, trying to contact the dead is the road to evil. But I do wonder if God has long given the Irish a certain limited capacity to sense the other world and so stay united with the dead in purgatory and in heaven ...

    That is, I ask if God has given the Irish certain graces here which once manifested in deep Christian piety, but increasingly show up in pagan and neo-pagan (New Age) ways.

    What can be done, I also ask myself, that this special grace is again directed in a Christian and pious way?

    Any thoughts?
  19. Scolaire Bocht

    Scolaire Bocht Archangels

    Personally I think I would be a bit more relaxed about New Age in Ireland than maybe some here. The vast majority of people who touch in some way the New Age in Ireland I think don't look upon it as an alternative religion but just hope to get health benefits or whatever from it. For example yoga has proliferated enormously across Ireland now but I think most people - nearly all women - who go to those sessions are just doing it for some exercise and a bit of a chat and are not doing it as some new religion type thing.

    On the otherhand I heard Dom Mark Patrick Hederman, OSB, Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, once say that 'what the Catholic Church calls' (or words to that effect) the Holy Spirit is in fact a Hindu God, and that this is 'well established'. So yes I think at that point they have lost the plot completely...
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Angels

    Hi Andree, not sure if the problems with evil in your surroundings has been solved or not but you might try getting your home blessed by a Catholic priest, sprinkle Holy water around your home once per week, keep Bibles in plain view around your home, etc.

    I agree with your analogy, BTW. Makes a lot of sense. You are what you eat!! :)

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