Systemically? Not by a long shot, as it doesn’t have enough numbers or influence to be a problem, like Christianity is in the US gov’t or like Islam is in Muslim countries. Even if the new agers did have that kind of powerful majority, the danger would be in ignoring medicine for pseudoscience and antivax type shit more so than enslaving the working class and proactively killing people who are different. I’d rather live in a world run by their type of nut if I only have the two options, but it would be nicer to let neutral reasoning loose on our governance for a change.
On an individual basis, yeah it probably does a similar amount of both good and ill for the person practicing it. Mostly just a delusional circle of confirmation bias, placebo effects, with some real ill being caused occasionally. The reasoning is just as flawed, but with the exception of the antivax shit they’re mostly not doing any real harm to anything besides their own critical thinking skills. I think organized religion is still the most real danger on either scale. Both types of lunacy can and should be equally mocked but it’s way more important systemically to take down organized religion’s influence right now. It’s like when atheists feel the need to rail against Hinduism instead of the abrahamic death cults. Sure, just as silly, but are they really our biggest problem right now?
The only positive I see in “new age spirituality” is that the focus is on finding inner peace, so they’re not militantly banding together to oppose groups of people (they’re not anti gay, anti reproductive choice, etc.). If they leave me alone, I’m A-OK with whatever they believe.
I totally echo @Wurlitzer comments. On a micro level, I have a good friend that is a hard core adherent to the Course & Miracles dogma taught at these Temples of the Living God. The crap he espouses is so far off the reservation, I have a hard time keeping up. The teachings on relationships are so bizarre. On a personal level, the NA stuff is so "flaky" but not as dangerous on a macro level. He has really become strange over the last 7 years, but he is still my friend.
Yes, but in a different way. First it is fiscally exploitive, your not tithing but and entire industry of books, and crystal and candles and so on has grown out of its growth.
Second it does not encourage critical thought, but belief, which is a detriment overall to human society.
You have forced me to channel my inner Tim . . .
Not really. Not a lot of it, which is vague mysticism, a restless search for meaning and purpose. I've largely abandoned most of my New Age beliefs, but not all. I still think some things about it are not bogus, in my opinion.
Plus it's SO disorganized it hardly is a threat, politically, culturally, etc., and is benign.
I think the "spiritual but not religious community" is about the fastest growing quasi-religious group in the West. Like religion, it promotes community which I think is good. And it fortunately foregoes all of the old superstitious claptrap and associated dogma. However, it also brings in its own brand of nonsense: chakras, astrology, mysticism, gurus and all the rest, many of which appear to be designed to separate the gullible from their money.
People want easy answers -- simple ideas that appeal to our sense of right and wrong, good and evil, beneficial and harmful. E.g. yoga is a wonderful, healthy practice, but the yoga commercial industry is one rip-off after another with special clothes, equipment. lifestyle practices, schools, phone apps, and on and on. Similarly with New Age religions, alternative medicine, and the ever-increasing craploads of books and videos that provide simple and comforting answers to the hard questions about love, life and death.
A divided enemy is easy pickin'
Most new age religious persons have their own personal beliefs, which means they are easy to persuade with no central authority to dictate what they are supposed to believe, you can convince them of whatever you want by parroting their language to push your own agenda.
No I think it's great. Variety is the spice of life and we must let people believe what they will, needing only to temper their actions.
The more beliefs there are around, the more likely people will assess they are all full of shit.
To know belief is an oxymoron anyway, so wouldn't worry too much about some sprouting bollocks claiming to know. Makes life interesting.