I have been associated with the New Age movement since the mid-seventies of the last century and the only thing I know at this point is that the whole game was a waste of time, got sabotaged by occult operators in the background and that all the gurus who appeared ended up problematical.
One of the most confusing aspects was the way that the ‘gurus’ so often after preaching some path did their best to destroy anyone who tried. Students of raja yoga end up baffled as they come under attack.
The worst case was that ominous dark side jerk-off guru Da Free John whose connection with Maharsi was unclear, but probably direct, hiding behind his doppelganger (dead of course, but that hardly matters). Da Free John was obsessed with treating someone who had a path as the enemy, and the only option was to worship the holy guru in satsang. And yet he was a complete jerkoff, along with his ‘spiritual cannibalism’ predecessor, Rudrananda. DFJ was a vampire who ripped off spiritual energies. at will and left heartbroken ruins in his wake, well away from his ashram/harem. I passed through many guru scenes but didn’t quite connect Da Free John with Ramana Maharsi in the background.The path becomes a front for the destruction/consumption of unsuspecting seekers who fail to see the coming attack on their ‘search’, the great no-no of the harem master.
The whole generation left me in revulsion but i moved on to other things, although the whole New Age Movement seemed strange. Every guru from TM to Rajneesh was a fake. Rajneesh however was a mystery in some ways and he let loose a lot of strange bits of information, such as that the Buddhists (there are a lot of those, so it couldn’t mean all of them) proto-fascists, and another, that Vivekananda was a fake who was preempted from Enlightenment by Ramakhrishna. That explains a lot of things, even as the Advaita game finally exposes Maharsi himself. Advaita become a parlor game and doesn’t really serve anymore, whatever its reality in the Upanishads. Vivekananda indicated the one core path at its most ancient, and which stands beyond the noise surrounding it. It is so cliched now, perhaps hhowever it could be made to work, if you quitely recast its core in a creative rendering.
Ramana Maharsis shows the cultural vacuum these paths create and are a telling indictment of Indian cultural confusion. Behind this passivty in a cave lies the mood that begrudes man his modern age and freedom/democracy.
This man had no connection with life, history or culture and in the end was an enemy of freedom, free men, and even those with a path. His mantra/teaching ‘who am I’ is mostly, to me, a dead end and betrays the hypocrisy that he preached a path he had never used himself. There gurus pursue a different way from the public junk they preach.
One after another every guru turned out to be a farce in action.
Ramana Maharsis always seemed a special exception but finally this pinnacle has become disillusioning.
I have just reread Back to the Truth by Dennis Waite, an invaluable book but one that suddenly repelled me (no fault of the author’s patient work). The end game era of ‘neo-advaita’ has reached the end of a cycle. The insistence that a yogic tenet is that man has no free will, put bluntly as an absolute, is a warning sign. The issue of free will is dialectical in the realm of science and philosophy, but this advaita stance is something that conceals a dark and malevolent aspect. Its implications are invisible at first, but in the end we see that the disciple is at risk here, and that his right to even exist is under threat. Freedom, democracy, and modern liberty are anathema, in the background, illusions. The whole game is dangerous, and Rajneesh exposed it but he also sowed fascism in his own disciples. But in a way the path question is right out front: the format in yoga and Buddhism of basic versions of raja yoga represent the legacy. Good to work in secret, stay away from gurus, change the labels and find a form of meditation kept out of sight.
Unfortunately dead gurus don’t die and make good hungry ghosts but in any case study Advaita, but don’t get stomach ache with the orgy of those who rush to the desert.
In any case, the advaita, direct path, and neo-advaita material in Waite is revealing: the whole Advaita game is a form of gibberish in which paralysis it the only real outcome.
There is a revealing mistake in all of this: all these people think that yoga sprang from the Upanishads and was all invented by the Aryans after their invasion. That’s bull shit. The real path here is far more ancient and probably forgotten or now distorted. The Aryan period had one innovation: an artificial language from Vedic as the Sanskrit of so many sutras, then abandoned by Buddha for the Pali vernacular.
But the Indic legacy beyond ‘hinduism’ is not a vedic invention. The whole thing was ripped off from some earlier culture/language, before writing, and as an oral legacy no doubt. The Aryan conquerors just may have their own distortions. In any case, the whole basis of the tradition is a falsehood in a history now lost but we can infer more or less what happened. But yoga, tantra, samkhya are reconstructions and archaeology. Making them real is not so simple. Samkhya with its tapas, rajas, sattwas shows that the triadic vision has denerated and become a set cliche, so what the original was is hard to say.
The New Age movement was a phase of historical recollection. What the future holds is unclear but I doubt the legacy can survive much longer.