Most helpful critical review
What research shows about New Agers....true??,
on July 2, 2008
Recent research (Aird, University of Queensland) found that those who practiced New Age spirituality had 50% "higher rates of anxiety, depression, and anti-social behavior" than those who believe in traditional religion, such as Christianity. And further research in Psychol Rep. 2002 Apr;90(2):405-11 showed a higher degree of narcissism in those who believed in such things.
I was curious enough to read this book.
Many things disturbed me. His beliefs about evil especially so. If you notice something evil, say, the mass murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis, and "if you are repulsed and frightened, you are judging what you encounter" (p 157). Zukav insists you are "joining" evil if you judge it. Worse, "if you react self-righteiously to evil, look inside for the very thing that so agitates you, and you will find it" (p 157).
Nonsense. If I am repulsed and frightened by mass murder I am not joining it. Nor is the evil somehow inside me because I react this way.
He claims that "Judgment has an emotional charge to it. It makes one person a victim and another a villain" (p 192). Why, of course, how stupid of humanity to think that the murdered Jews were victims and the Nazis villains.
His winter and summer solstices reminded me forcibly of Druidism, whose reliance on human sacrifice so horrified the ancient Romans that they banned the religion and chased down and killed every Druid priest they could find.
The author talks about an "Earth School" (p 91) as if there was evidence of such a thing. And reincarnation. And destiny. He borrows from dozens of belief systems, all of which contradict one another, and ends up with a mushy mess that relies on good feelings to solve all problems.
Aird studied 3700 young people and concluded that New Age and self focused religions may undermine a person's mental health. But of course she was just being judgmental.