3 feb. 2015

Cave canem! Key New Age places

«Videte canes, videte malos operarios, videte concisionem! Nos enim sumus circumcisio». Epistula ad Philippenses 3, 2-3 

[en] «Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh (katatom)! For it is we who are the circumcision (peritom)». 

[sp] «Atención a los perros; atención a los obreros malos; atención a la mutilación (katatomê); pues nosotros somos la circuncisión (peritomê)».

Key ‘New Age’ places

Esalen: a community founded in Big Sur, California, in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, whose main aim was to arrive at a self-realisation of being through nudism and visions, as well as “bland medicines”. It has become one of the most important centres of the Human Potential Movement, and has spread ideas about holistic medicine in the worlds of education, politics and economics. This has been done through courses in comparative religion, mythology, mysticism, meditation, psychotherapy, expansion of consciousness and so on. Along with Findhorn, it is seen as a key place in the growth of Aquarian consciousness. The Esalen Soviet-American Institute co-operated with Soviet officials on the Health Promotion Project.

Findhorn: this holistic farming community started by Peter and Eileen Caddy achieved the growth of enormous plants by unorthodox methods. The founding of the Findhorn community in Scotland in 1965 was an important milestone in the movement which bears the label of the ‘New Age’. In fact, Findhorn was seen as embodying its principal ideals of transformation. The quest for a universal consciousness, the goal of harmony with nature, the vision of a transformed world, and the practice of ‘channeling’, all of which have become hallmarks of the ‘New Age’ Movement, were present at Findhorn from its foundation. The success of this community led to its becoming a model for, and/or an inspiration to, other groups, such as Alternatives in London, Esalen in Big Sur, California, and the Open Center and Omega Institute in New York” (cf. John Saliba, ‘Christian Responses to the New Age Movement. A Critical Assessment’, London, [Geoffrey Chapman] 1999, p. 1).

Monte Verità: a utopian community near Ascona in Switzerland. Since the end of the 19th century it was a meeting point for European and American exponents of the counter-culture in the fields of politics, psychology, art and ecology. TheEranos conferences have been held there every year since 1933, gathering some of the great luminaries of the ‘New Age’. The yearbooks make clear the intention to create an integrated world religion (cf. M. Fuss, “New Age and Europe – A Challenge for Theology”, in ‘Mission Studies’ Vol. VIII-2, 16, 1991, pp. 195-196). It is fascinating to see the list of those who have gathered over the years at Monte Verità.