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An example of a 'New Age' interpretation of the Bible


H Christina Steyn

ABSTRACT

This article sketches the framework in terms of the New Age movement, the Ancient Wisdom tradition and the astrological background in which a `New Age' interpretation of the Bible is made by esotericist Corinne Heline. Her interpretation of the Christ and his mission on earth is explored and attention is given to the concept of salvation in this context. In conclusion, the necessary presuppositions for the validity of this type of exegesis are considered.

INTRODUCTION

Although there are some `New Age' groups that regard the Bible as an important spiritual document, there is no definitive interpretation that can be described as `New Age' and which is accepted by all segments of the New Age movement. This article will explore one example of a New Age interpretation, namely that of esotericist Corinne Heline. Her view of the status of the Bible will be investigated and her interpretation of the Christ and his mission will be explored. The article will close with short evaluatory comments. In order to understand the place of the Bible within the New Age movement, we will look briefly at the movement itself, a definition of the term `esoteric' and a description of the Ancient Wisdom tradition.

Notes on the term `New Age'

The New Age movement is a multifaceted movement of loose-knit component groups that often have very little in common. To suggest that there can be a New Age interpretation of the Bible is therefore to totally misunderstand the phenomenon. To illustrate this statement one can review a number of interests of some of the component groups: for instance Shamanism, Neopaganism, Wicca (witchcraft), the Ancient Wisdom, Eastern philosophies, Astrology, Numerology, Channelling, Psychic Development, ESP, Sacred Dance, Meditation, Mysticism, Yoga, Altered States of Consciousness, New Physics, New Biology, Holistic Health, Homeopathy, Herbalism, Kinesiology, Reflexology, Human potential development, UFOlogy and extraterrestrials, ecology, the Sacred Planet, Goddess spirituality -- to name only some. From this list it is obvious that not all `New Age' groups are necessarily interested in interpreting the Bible.

If viewed holistically, the only cohesive factor among these groupings is the expectation that humanity is entering a new era in which humanity will undergo a transformation which will result in a `paradigm shift' or a new way of looking at the world. Thomas Kuhn [1962] (1970) first described a `paradigm shift' as a change in the conceptual framework within which a group of scientists explores reality. In time the term was broadened and Fritjof Capra (1990:11), who is highly regarded in New Age circles, now defines it as the totality of `the thoughts, perceptions, and values that form a particular vision of reality'. This paradigm shift, it is said, will evolve into a new postmodern worldview that will involve a number of significant changes such as a shift from theism to panentheism; from rationalism to mysticism; from separation to interconnectedness; from patriarchism to feminism; from fragmentation to holism.

The reasons for the birth of the movement are discussed elsewhere (Steyn 1994) but it can safely be stated that one of the major reasons for the growth of the movement is disillusionment with modern materialistic society and a dissatisfaction with the modern churches' insistence on the intellectual acceptance of doctrine and dogma at the expense of the mystical experience of union with God. The interpretations of the Bible that are available from these circles therefore bear this distinction -- that they are esoteric and mystical interpretations.

On the more traditional side, there are some interpretations of the Bible that could be classified as New Age, such as the creation spirituality of Roman Catholic priest Matthew Fox (which is expounded in his works Original blessing and The coming of the cosmic Christ), [1] and on the esoteric side there are the various interpretations in the light of the Ancient Wisdom, such as those by the Liberal Catholic Church, the Arcane School and the various Rosicrucian groups.

Notes on the term `esoteric'

Examining the term `esoteric' will contribute to a deeper understanding of how New Agers in general view the Bible and how it is interpreted in these circles. The term is defined by the Concise Oxford Dictionary as `meant only for the initiated, not generally intelligible'. Galbreath (1983:17) makes no distinction between the terms `occult' and `esoteric' and defines two of the meanings of these terms as `matters such as the teachings of the so-called mystery schools that are kept hidden from the uninitiated and the unworthy', and `matters that are intrinsically hidden from ordinary cognition and understanding but are nonetheless knowable through the awakening of hidden, latent faculties of appropriate sensitivity'.

The term `exoteric' is used as an antonym for the term `esoteric' and refers to the external or dogmatic teachings of a tradition.

The Ancient Wisdom tradition [2]

In this article only one `New Age' interpretation is investigated, namely an interpretation in the light of the Ancient Wisdom. The Ancient Wisdom is seen as a body of wisdom which has reappeared in different forms in all ages. Sir George Trevelyan (1984:27), `father' of the New Age movement in Britain, explains that `it is a stream of esoteric or secret wisdom that has flowed like a clear underground current through every epoch of history, emerging in varying forms to influence minds in each generation able to receive its nourishment'. He maintains that the Upanishads of India, the sacred books of ancient Persia, and the mystery schools of Chaldee, Egypt and Greece were all vehicles for the dispersion of the wisdom. In the Roman epoch it is said to have continued in a debased form in the mysteries, and then with the advent of Christianity it went underground and was subjected to persecution. As a result, these teachings were passed on to Gnostic sects and secret societies such as the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. It is therefore not surprising that it shows the influence of Pythagoreanism, Neoplatonism, numerology, astrology, Mesmerism and Eastern traditions.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century there was a resurgence of the teachings when Madame Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society (TS) and wrote the multi-volumed Isis unveiled and The secret doctrine. The teachings were disseminated by later theosophists and offshoots of the TS such as Annie Besant's theosophy, Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy, and Alice Bailey's Arcane School. (Trevelyan 1984:29--30).

The main tenets of the Ancient Wisdom (as gleaned from the work of Blavatsky, 1885; 1888) can be summarised as follows. The Ancient Wisdom is the essence of all the religions of the world and the source from which all have emanated. There are three fundamental principles: the existence of an omnipresent, eternal, boundless and immutable principle, the one absolute Reality, the infinite and eternal cause; the law of periodicity, the eternity of the universe as a boundless plane, where numberless universes incessantly manifest and disappear; and the fundamental identity of all souls with the universal Over-Soul, and the obligatory pilgrimage every soul must make to pass through the cycle of incarnation, in accordance with cyclic and karmic law (Blavatsky [1888] 1952 vol I:79--83).

In other words, there is an impersonal Absolute that periodically emerges into manifestation as the cosmos and then withdraws again. Within the Absolute there are vast numbers of universes and within each universe many solar systems, all in a process of evolution. Each solar system is an expression of a great Being (the Solar Logos) and in the same manner each planet has a Planetary Regent which controls evolution on that planet. Humans are seen as having emanated from the Solar Logos to which they will eventually return. Reabsorption in the Solar Logos is possible through reincarnation and karma. Karma is seen as the law of retribution which rewards and punishes the soul with impartial justice throughout its many lifetimes.

BIBLICAL EXEGETE: CORINNE HELINE

The following discussion of this particular New Age interpretation of the Bible is based on an extraction from The New Age Bible interpretation by Corinne Heline ([1935] 1950 and 1951, Vol IV, Part I and II). Ms Heline studied with Max Heindel, who was not only a theosophist but also the founder of the Rosicrucian Fellowship (not to be confused with the larger and better known Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis (AMORC)). In 1922 she is said to have received an inner commission to interpret the Bible in the esoteric tradition. The many books that followed are still in print and disseminated by the New Age Bible and Philosophy Center (which she and her husband founded) and the Rosicrucian Fellowship.

Her interpretation of the Bible is an excellent example of how those interested in the Bible within the New Age movement interpret it. Few other esotericists have given as comprehensive an interpretation. On the whole, New Agers use the Bible on an ad hoc basis to prove a point and are not interested in examining it systematically as a whole.

THE KEYS TO THE MYSTERIES OF THE BIBLE

Heline (1950:11), in accord with many other esotericists, claims that the `keys to the deepest mysteries of the Bible have long been lost to the warders of popular Christianity', and that the esoteric values of Christianity 'now lie buried under antiquated dogmas, literal renderings, and formal ceremonialism'.

Max Heindel (1925:317) rejected the very prevalent interpretation of the Bible as the only true and inspired word of God, but nevertheless acknowledged that it contains ``much valuable occult knowledge'', albeit often `hidden beneath interpolations and obscured by the arbitrary withholding of certain parts as being ``apocryphal'' '. He adds:

Many passages [of the Bible] are veiled; others are to be taken verbatim; and no one who has not the occult key is able to find the deep truth hidden in what is often a very hideous garment (Heindel 1925:319).

And also:

The occult scientist who knows the intended meaning can, of course, easily see which portions are original and which have been interpolated (Heindel 1925:317).

Heindel also points out that Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes but then privately elaborated on the deeper meanings to his disciples. This approach does not insist on one definitive interpretation but endorses all the different perspectives as contributing to the truth which is `many sided and multiplex'. Each occult truth requires examination from many different points of view; each viewpoint presents a certain phase of the truth, and all of them are necessary to get a complete, definite conception of whatever is under consideration (Heindel 1925:321).

This hiding of the deep mysteries was so intended since it is claimed that the Bible was never intended to be an `open' book of God (Heindel 1925:322). Heline (1950:12) supports this opinion and points out that this method of hiding special truths is common to all sacred scriptures of the world. The inner meaning was written for the initiated only, although it will become available to those who earn the right to a deeper understanding. In addition, it is maintained that God constantly reveals `wider and larger vistas of His plan for the ultimate destiny' of humankind through the pioneering esotericists of the succeeding ages (Heline 1951:89).

It is claimed that the Bible is the `supreme Textbook of Life' and is above all creeds, dogmas and differences in beliefs (Heline 1950:11). It is seen as both history and prophecy, but ultimately as `the Book of the hour'. The experiences recorded in it are experiences of the soul life of humanity but also of every individual. Heline (1950:12) says; `It is an allegory true of all people, for all times and for all places.' To read this allegory correctly, humanity should regain the `lost language of symbolism' because this is the only manner in which the secrets of the inner life can be regained (Heline 1950:12). `By this device (the symbolic reading of the Bible) the earnest seeker is sooner or later inevitably led on into a non-literal quest, in which direction alone the deeper soul values are to be found.'

An esoteric reading of the Bible is believed to enable humans to penetrate the mysteries of `initiation -- that short and narrow path by which each and every man may arise here and now from out of the tomb of materiality, transcend mortal consciousness, overcome death ... and stand free and triumphant among the liberated sons of man' (Heline 1950:12). This is said to be possible when the Bible is read with `understanding' (Heline 1950:12). The deeper teachings of the Bible are symbolically concealed beneath the literal record which forms the basis for most of the creeds of the present Christian churches (Heline 1951:43), and it depends on one's spiritual progress whether one understands the mystic message or not (Heline 1951:55).

This is a very prevalent assumption among those New Agers who are interested in the Christian tradition. They claim that the true essence of the Christian message has been preserved in alternative organisations. In the new era of illumination these deep mysteries will be restored to the broad population. It is also maintained that when these truths are reinstated to a spiritually starved humanity `a change will be effected in the lives of numberless individuals which will transform the whole of life and lay the foundation for a new civilization and a new age' (Heline 1950:11).

Followers of this approach believe that both Occultism and the Church are in need of revitalising -- and that such an esoteric interpretation will `energise them'.

We turn now to the interpretation of Heline on the Christ and his mission.

THE CHRIST AND HIS MISSION

Without some notion of astrology, a broader understanding of esoteric Christianity, the Christ, and the status of the Bible in these circles are not possible.

Astrological background

In tropical astrology, founded by Claudius Ptolemy (c 100--180 CE), the solar system is said to revolve around a central sun in an orbit which lasts about 26 000 years (called a sidereal year). There are twelve signs in this orbit called the Zodiac and the solar system therefore spends about 2 100 years in each sign, and this is called an age, as in Piscean Age or Aquarian Age. The Christian sidereal year commenced with the Piscean Age and the birth of Jesus, but the Arian Age which preceded it will always play an important role in Christianity since it was during this age that the preparations for the coming of the Christ were made (Heline 1950:26). This represents the time of the Old Testament and starts with Abraham, who is seen as a pioneer of the Aries Dispensation. Aries (the ram) characterised the age when animal sacrifice was prevalent in exoteric religion, but when the esotericist realised that the sacrifice of the lower self was what was required for spiritual advancement.

The Piscean (the fish) Age commenced with the birth of Jesus, who came to teach that initiation is possible for all through cleansing and purification. `Thus conceived, the Christ within is destined to be born to each and all' (Heline 1950:27). In the Aquarian Age which is now dawning, `everyone will be anointed with the power of the Christ' and the power of love will dominate the world (ibid). [3]

An intimation of things to come during the Age of Capricorn is found in the book of Revelation. John is said to have seen the `wonders and glories' of this age `as they will appear to all, when the Christ shall have returned unto His own, and when there shall be no more sorrow, pain, nor death, for the former things shall have passed away' (ibid). The Christ Heline (1950:29) maintains that the words `I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me' bear a deep significance for the mystic Christian who realises that it is through the incarnation of the Christ Spirit that humanity's spiritual progress is made possible.

She explains:

The Old Testament Dispensation was under the guidance of the Race Spirit, Jehovah. He gave to man the law, the Ten Commandments, and sought to win obedience to those laws through fear of God and the bestowal of rewards and punishments. Throughout the Old Testament, man is admonished to fear God. Under Jehovah's regime crystallization was inevitable but the coming of Christ ushered in a new dispensation wherein man learned to awaken the Christ within himself. Love becomes the motive force of the new day; it becomes the fulfilling of the law, and its chief tenets are contained in the Sermon on the Mount.

From the above it is clear that Heline taught (as did Heindel (1947:244)) that Jehovah ruled the earth with an iron hand until about 2 000 years ago. Then the Christ manifested through the body of the man, Jesus, in order to teach humanity the way to the Kingdom of God. With his crucifixion `a new spiritual impulse began its work at the heart of the planet' (Heline 1950:29). When he died (and the veil of the Temple was torn and the earth quaked), a change in the atomic vibration of the earth took place. The vibration rate of all particles was accelerated and its substance was lightened in order that the conditions for humanity to make contact with the Christ became more favourable (Heline 1950:29; 1951:186).

She contends that `the coming of the Christ marks the most important and momentous event in the entire evolution of the human race' and that it forms the very essence of the Christian mysteries (Heline 1950:30). It is, however, important to realise that in esoteric Christianity a distinction is made between the Cosmic Christ, the Planetary Christ and the historical Christ. Despite this differentiation `the Three are in One and the One in Three'. It is through this `great composite Being' that the redemption of the planet and its people is made possible (ibid).

According to Heline (1950:30) the Cosmic Christ is represented by John as the Word without which nothing came into existence. A ray from the Cosmic Christ ensouls every planet of the solar system and constitutes the life of the planets and all life on them. `The Word was made flesh in all humanity.' This realisation, she claims, and the consequent awakening of the latent divinity into manifestation `comprises the principal work of all the Aquarian or New Age religions'.

With regard to the Cosmic Christ, Heline (1950:34) explains the cosmic pattern of renewal as follows:

The inflow of the Cosmic Christ life into the earth at the Winter Solstice has been celebrated as a Sun Festival. This great force permeates the physical earth and its psychical envelopes, lifting and purifying them, and imbuing all manifestations of life with vitality and energy. At the Spring Equinox this great energy is released and passes into the higher spiritual realms, reaching the highest of these superphysical planes at the time of the Summer Solstice. The downpouring of this Cosmic Life stream turns again towards the earth in the early autumn as the Sun passes into Virgo when the cosmic Immaculate Conception takes place, and at the Autumn Equinox the World Soul is annually crucified upon the cross of matter as this spiritual force is again concentrate in and upon the earth.

`The Planetary Christ,' writes Heline (1950:30), is `the highest Initiate of the archangelic Host,' who ensouled the body of the man Jesus during his three years ministry, starting with his baptism and concluding with his crucifixion. By entering the earth in this manner, the Planetary Christ became the regent of the planet. This sacrifice, however, was not enacted once and for all, but is an annual occurrence which must continue until humanity has awakened the powers of the Christ and thereby wins its own redemption.

The historical Christ, who according to Heline (1950:30--31) is `the Christ of the churches', represents the power which anointed the man Jesus at the time of his Baptism. Thus, he became the most perfect man and the highest initiate of earth-humanity. She points out that the life of Jesus is in `perfect harmony' with the cosmic pattern as expounded in the above quotation.

He was born at the Winter Solstice at the time when all the earth is celebrating the return of the Christed Light. He is resurrected at the Spring Equinox, the gladsome Easter season, when all nature rejoices in the beauty of a new effulgent life and love. He ascends to the throne of God, the Father, at the Summer Solstice, there to begin the preparation of the new Spirit body which He brings into the earth when He is born again for man's salvation at the Winter Solstice, or Christmas season. This body is immaculately conceived in the earth as the Sun passes into Virgo, the sign of the virgin, the symbol of service and chastity.

The Crucifixion is symbolized by the Autumn Equinox when the earth passes under the sway of darkness and the cold of winter. As we meditate upon this yearly sacrifice of the great Christ Spirit for man, we turn with a renewed reverence and a more devout understanding to Paul's words: `In Him we live and move and have our being.'

Every human being must go through the same initiation, death and resurrection in order to become Christed. `We are all Christs in the making' (Heline 1950:33). Salvation Heline (1950:33) writes that esoteric Christianity agrees with orthodox churches which teach that Christ came to save that which was lost. However, not all are in need of salvation. Most people, it is said, will reach perfection and salvation through the twin laws of reincarnation and karma, although this too is made possible because of the spiritual power that the Christ makes available through his continued sacrifice as the indwelling Spirit of the earth. Christ, however, is said to have realised that there are `sinners' and `stragglers' who had fallen too far behind to regain their lost position and were now in need of assistance. `Christ therefore truly came to seek and to save that which was lost' (Heline 1950:33; Heindel 1925:402). With the coming of the Christ the harsh laws of the Old Dispensation (an eye for an eye) were superseded by the law of love which made it possible for the karmic slate to be wiped clean. In this way the evolution of humanity is speeded up.

In contrast with the Old Dispensation, where only a chosen few were permitted to `enter into the Temples of Initiation', the coming of the Christ has now opened the doors to Initiation to all. Heline (1950:32) writes that `the veil which hung before the Temple was rent ... The truths which it reveals are acquired only by individual worthiness and merit.' `Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.' Heline (1950:33) sums up:

... Christ came to aid man to save himself. We are all Christs in the making. Christ's sacrifice upon Golgotha will continue to be an annual occurrence until release is gained through a Christed humanity, able to perform the work which is now done by Him, namely, to guide the planet in its orbit about the Sun and care for the evolution of all life waves upon it. This can be done only through the development of the power of love. For this reason love becomes, as the Bible reiterates again and again, the most important thing in the world.

These teachings hold that the Christ did not die for humanity but rather lives for humanity, `infusing the entire earth with His Life, Light and Love. He came that man might have life and have it more abundantly.'

It is contended that the position of the earth and the status of humanity cannot be altered in any other way but through the power of love which was made manifest in the life of humanity. The Christ, however, is doomed to continue his annual sacrifice until this is achieved. This perspective involves that the development of the power of love will be promoted by the esotericists who will assist in the liberation of the Christ. Heline (1950:35) writes:

That most wonderful Textbook of LIFE, the Bible, contains definite information relative to the second coming of the Christ Spirit and also teaches man how to prepare himself for His arrival. The mystic Christian does not agree with the exoteric religionist in the belief that man must die in the physical sense in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven. At the same time he agrees with Paul that flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom. The mystery to which Paul refers when he says we shall not all sleep (in death) but that we shall be changed, pertains to transformations effected through the powers of Initiation. The crux of the teaching of the New Age centers in the building of the soul body. This physical vesture of the soul is indestructible. Clothed in it, man may serve as an Invisible Helper passing unharmed through fire, air, water and earth on missions of love and mercy. This soul body can be built only through love, purity and service -- selfless service to all that lives. The life of the Christ is the supreme ideal given to man. Only those who follow in His steps can become the elect who will meet Him when He comes again.

The uniqueness of the Christ

Heline (1950:37) concludes her exposition on the Christ and his mission by saying that Christ is the supreme World Saviour and that all other teachers, including Jesus, were human beings, however exalted. The Christ, however, comes from the archangelic Hosts as the Saviour of the world so that all might be Christed and rise above limitations of race, nationality, and creed and so enter into a new Brotherhood that will reign with Christ in the New Day.

According to Max Heindel (1925:17) the Western world is the vanguard of the human race and `true Esoteric Christianity' will become the future world religion. He writes:

... Christ will yet be acknowledged the `Light of the World'. As the sun outshines the brightest star in the heavens, dispels every vestige of darkness and gives life and light to all beings, so, in a not too distant future, will the true religion of Christ supersede and obliterate all other religions, to the eternal benefit of mankind (Heindel 1925:17).

Likewise, Heline (1950:37) maintains that all religions have been inspired by the Cosmic Christ, which accounts for the similarities in the teachings of all the great religious teachers. [4] `The love power of the Cosmic Christ,' claims Heline, `has united them even as pearls are strung on a golden thread into a single chain.' She points out that all religions have been preparing the way for the coming of the Christ to this world. Which does not mean, however, that other religions can now be dispensed with. According to Heline they are still important to the people to whom they were given, and the Christian religion will have to grow in beauty, influence and power before it will be universally adopted.

Heline (1951:224) points out that initiations in all pre-Christian traditions have taught `the triumph of life over death, of spirit over matter'. In all these traditions the coming of the World Teacher was taught and the way prepared for the deeper Christian mysteries. `The Bible throughout bears the impress of these various schools and their mystic ceremonials.'

Heline concludes that the New Age will be characterised as follows:

Its keynote is Brotherhood
Its slogan is Equality
Its ideal is Fellowship

and she adds:

`If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another' (Heline 1950:37).

EVALUATION

Seeking for a deeper meaning to the literal words of the Bible is of course nothing new. This type of allegorical interpretation of the Bible in which the meaning is spiritualised was first used by the Jewish scholar Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE--40 CE) and was later extensively used by the famous church father Origen (185--251 CE). For instance, when Origen interprets Psalms 137:8 and 9 as meaning that evil thoughts should be crushed on the rock that is Christ while they are still small, he is employing an allegorical interpretation.

What is unique in Heline's writing is that her interpretation is `an exposition of the inner significance of the Holy Scriptures in the light of the Ancient Wisdom'. This highlights the important issue of the relationship between the Bible and the Ancient Wisdom. Heline (1950:13) writes:

The interpretation contained in this volume is obviously not based on personal, speculative opinion but is a methodical exposition of the Bible text in accordance with a clearly defined system of spiritual science. In its production, academic knowledge has been illumined not only by an inner perception, but also by the fruits of first-hand research in the higher archives of wisdom.

The `clearly defined system of spiritual science' is not expounded upon, but it is clear from the reference to the `higher archives of wisdom' that a deeper and hidden meaning in the Bible is presumed which will eventually confirm the tenets of the Ancient Wisdom. The Bible is therefore interpreted to serve as proof, in a different form, of the previously accepted wisdom.

In the process of interpreting, guidance is also presumed from other sources, such as `an inner perception'. Heline (1950:12) refers to the ultimate guide in interpretation as the `Guide within', a reference to the presence of the divine in all humans. She, however, because of her advanced spirituality is said to have received `an inner commission' to reinterpret the Bible.

This interpretation is therefore only valid if the presuppositions of a deeper and hidden meaning in the Bible, the truth of the Ancient Wisdom, and the trustworthiness of the inner Guide, are first accepted.

Notes

[1] Matthew Fox was ordained a priest in 1967. In 1977 he founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality (ICCS), which later became affiliated with Holy Names College in Oakland, California. His interest in other religions, Native American shamanism and Nature religion (for example some forms of Neopaganism) led the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate his teachings. After three theologians studied his teachings for a year they declared that they could find no heresy. Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation, however, had his office undertake their own investigation and punitive action -- in the form of a year's silence -- was then taken against Fox in 1989.

[2] See Ashe (1977).

[3] New Agers often quote Luke 22:10 as an example of how Jesus predicted the Aquarian Age. In this passage Jesus instructs his disciples to go into the city where they will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. They are to follow him to the upper room and there prepare for the communion feast which he will share with them. This is interpreted as follows: the man with the water pitcher signifies the Age of Aquarius; the upper room refers to a higher state of consciousness and the sharing of food refers to spiritual nourishment which is received from the Christ and shared with all humanity.

[4] This tendency to see the similarities among the various religions but to neglect or ignore the differences is very prevalent among New Agers. The intuitive belief that there is a common core in all religions, despite the many and varied differences, however, is not restricted to New Agers and finds expression in the `perennial philosophy'.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ashe, G 1977.
The Ancient Wisdom. London: Macmillan.
Capra, F 1990.
The turning point: science, society and the rising culture. London: Flamingo.
Galbreath, R 1983.
Explaining modern occultism. In 1983. H Kerr & C L Crow (eds) The occult in America: new historical perspectives, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Heindel, M 1925.
The Rosicrucian cosmo-conception or mystic Christianity: an elementary treatise upon man's past evolution, present constitution and future development. 10th edition. Oceanside, California: The Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Heindel, M 1947.
The Rosicrucian philosophy in questions and answers, Vol II. Oceanside, California: The Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Heline, C 1950.
The New Age Bible interpretation: an exposition of the inner significance of the Holy Scriptures in the light of the Ancient Wisdom. Vol IV, Part I. Los Angeles: New Age Press.
Heline, C 1951.
The New Age Bible interpretation: an exposition of the inner significance of the Holy Scriptures in the light of the Ancient Wisdom. Vol IV, Part II. Los Angeles: New Age Press.
Kerr, H & Crow, C L 1983.
The occult in America: new historical perspectives. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Kuhn, T [1962] 1970.
The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Steyn, C 1994.
Worldviews in transition: an investigation into the New Age movement in South Africa. Pretoria: Unisa.
Trevelyan, G 1984.
A vision of the Aquarian age: the emerging spiritual world view. Walpole, New Hampshire: Stillpoint.

Dr H C Steyn
Department of Religious Studies
University of South Africa
PO Box 392
PRETORIA  0003
Republic of South Africa

E-mail: steynhc@alpha.unisa.ac.za

 

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