Cosmic Humanism, also known as the New Age Movement, is a worldview in which god exists in the form of every object and living being that dwells within the universe. The core of Cosmic Humanist theology and philosophy claims that there is only the supernatural, rather than the natural, and everything that is visible is simply a manifestation of spirit. With this concept, the ultimate aim of Cosmic Humanists is to get in touch with their inner spirit in order to access the full godhood that supposedly prevails within each person. Humans have not yet accessed this godhood, but believe they are slowly growing closer to it as they experience different lives through reincarnation. When asked how an individual should live their lives morally, Cosmic Humanists declare that they have no set rules for ethical behavior. Instead, people must seek their own truth from within themselves and live according to how they see fit. This worldview first appeared in the 1800s, but was not well established until the 1970s when it became international.
The worldview consists of a number of separate but interrelated ideologies and the individuals who follow them. They often follow eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism as well as various Pagan practices and forms of witchcraft -- often referred to by its followers as "Wicca". They also reject the nature of sin and their need for salvation and instead choose to believe in some form of reincarnation or salvation through works.
Theology and Philosophy
The Cosmic Humanist worldview is based off of the fundamental belief that all of reality and the universe is spiritual. Rather than viewing nature as particles of matter, its philosophy claims that all of nature is only an expression of a supernatural dimension. Cosmic Humanism seeks the objective of attaining absolute perfection, believing that this is possible for humans if they first get in touch with their spiritual state. Many Cosmic Humanists believe that humans possess auras, which are described as flows of energy that surround people. Auras are supposedly a manifestation of a persons spirit. In order to get more in touch with their aura and find spiritual balance, many people often practice meditation. Unlike Secular Humanism, Christianity, and other worldviews, Cosmic Humanists deny the concepts of both atheism and theism. They do not believe in any particular god that is associated with a religious system. Instead, they embrace pantheism, the belief that everything is god. Their theology perceives all objects, living beings, and the universe itself as manifestations of divine entities. However, people, according to Cosmic Humanists, have not yet fully accessed their godhood. While other religions most commonly provide a general doctrine and perspective of the spiritual, Cosmic Humanists encourage people to look inward to their own conscience to find spiritual truth. They believe that finding this spiritual truth will unlock a higher understanding in which a person will be able to come into his or her full godhood. One of the core components of this belief is the need for humanity to be united. Because they view all people as god, all people must strive to come together as one.
Cosmic Humanism incorporates reincarnation, the assumption that a soul will continue to live on in another body after death, into its philosophy. It concludes that there is no ultimate end to life, but rather a transformation from one being to another after death. According to this belief, each life that the soul moves through reaches a higher spiritual level than the previous one. In this way, humans are continually growing closer to reaching their full potential as gods. Some Cosmic Humanists believe that a human can only be reincarnated as another human in their next life, while others believe that a human can be reincarnated as any organism or object within the universe.
Rather than accepting an absolute standard for ethical behavior, Cosmic Humanists believe that morality is to be determined by each individual. Stemming from the idea that every person is god, they conclude that a person's own consciousness is permitted to decide what is morally acceptable. With no external authority providing guidance for ethics, each person may act according to their own inward convictions. While there are no outward regulations on ethics themselves, Cosmic Humanists do prohibit people from being able to judge others for their moral decisions. An individual may only decide what is acceptable for themselves according to their own absolute truth, but they may not decide what is acceptable for others. Therefore, since everyone's perceptions of morality differ, there is not set distinction between good and evil. Each person may justify their actions by claiming that it is right to them personally, even if it brings harm to others.
Some theories conclude that a person is responsible for what they are reincarnated as after death based upon how they live their previous life. If a person lives a morally good life and refrains from judging others, they will be reincarnated into a living being that is pleasing to them in their next life. And likewise, if they live an immoral life, their next life will be lowly. An important term used to describe this is karma. Karma is the notion that for every action a person takes, consequences will later come back to affect that person according to that action. Therefore, Cosmic Humanists believe that if they possess good karma, they will be rewarded for it in their next life, and if they possess poor karma, they will suffer punishment. However, this concept often brings about confusion regarding morality. Because morality is determined by each individual, there is no judge to resolve whether or not a person carries good or bad karma.
Cosmic Humanism stems from the influence of practices from several different religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Astrology, Channeling, and Spiritualism. Its initial roots began in 1842 when a student known as Phineas Parkhurst Quimby first speculated that diseases were simply a result of peoples thought processes and could be cured simply by one accessing the correct state of mind. From Quimby's idea, the foundations of the new age beliefs began to develop. However, Cosmic Humanism, also referred to as the New Age Movement, did not begin to significantly grow until the 1970s when people started seeking spiritual understanding outside of what Secular Humanism and Christianity offered. Since then, it has spread among people and communities throughout the world with the help of small groups and the publishing of various writings. Cosmic Humanism relies on evolution today to support its progression towards godhood. Because it claims that people are continually improving with each life that they enter through reincarnation, evolution's theory of evolving into a more advanced being provides the science behind these claims.
- Healing: Cosmic humanists (New-agers) often believe they can be healed through a number of unconventional practices such as the possession of "magic" crystals, strict adherence to specific diets, or prayer to various idols and false gods.
- Extraterrestrials: New age beliefs may include extraterrestrials -- although this is not always the case. Some may believe that humanity evolved from or was created by aliens, that specific new age leaders have made contact with aliens, or that humanity will make contact with aliens in the future.
- Salvation: often believe that all "good" people will go to heaven (although they may use other terms like Nirvana) or be reincarnated. Others believe they can receive salvation through "saving knowledge" or through participating in new age rituals.
- Non-human life: often believe that animals have spirits and that they are equal -- or even superior -- to human life. For this reason many are vegetarians or vegans; however, this does not mean all are vegetarians or that vegetarianism is necessarily wrong. (see Romans 14:1-3)
- Environmentalism: often also subscribe to various environmentalist ideologies such as Global warming or Gaia.
Video describing the theology of pantheism and human beings relation to godhood.
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