New Perspectives: A Journal of Conscious Living has been concerned, from its inception, with the idea of a stream of consciousness sometimes thought of as a thread of "ancient wisdom teachings" that can be traced back thousands of years to the mystery schools and individuals engaged in the alignment with nature and their own true unfoldment.
This continuous thread, much of the time unknown to the mainstream society, has in recent times shown fragments of itself and have been known as the "counter culture."
Although thought of by the mainstream society as counter to it, when seen historically it has been continuous, whereas society really is what is fluctuating, changing and counter to this steady hidden stream.
Sometimes known as esoteric and at other times accepted by large numbers of people, the last twenty years has seen the emerging of various movements considered alternative--ideas up till then looked upon with disfavor.
A good example is vegetarianism, once thought to be only practiced by "health nuts," etc. Now it is promoted by the medical establishment as the healthiest of diets. The established society looked at those who thought there might be something to extra sensory perception and even communication with a more spiritual realm as oddities.
But now millions watch TV shows about "mediums" and witches and people who communicate with the dead. And over the last fifty years we have been inundated with Yoga, and Zen and Tibetan philosophy so that it is fashionable to do Hatha yoga, zazen, and even chant.
There are many more examples of the tip of this esoteric consciousness coming to the light of day.
From the standpoint of observing and reporting it is interesting to see what form all this takes when it is accepted by the Westerner. For instance, it appears to improve life and wellbeing while on the other hand when the Westerner gets hold of these practices they distort them so that the true meaning is lost and the Westerner practices a watered down form.
So far what is seen is a veneer of materialism (which includes consumerism--getting and using) and the aggrandizing of the self in much of this.
It is interesting to look at the motivation for this. New Perspectives is concerned with observing both this hidden stream of consciousness and how it is manifested in mainstream society.
New Perspectives is also looking at the idea of consciousness raising. Here again it is interesting to note the people trying to change their futures and the problems that come from that. It is like the scientist putting herself in the experiment.
It will be interesting to see if we put to much effort on "imagining ourselves and our lives. This becomes almost a virtual world. Bruno Barnhardt, in his book, Second Simplicity , talks about "believing in belief" in which we want to go along with certain thinking so we convince ourselves to believe in it. But won't this imagined world unravel in time."
It is going to be interesting to observe how people will be using these formerly esoteric ideas, and the various awareness techniques, transformational tools, so-called spiritual methods, and self-help modalities to the best motivation for themselves and society.
What are of special interest now that wasn't here before are the computer technology and the internet. It is going to be very exciting to watch and report where this takes us. It has already taken us from the hierarchical structure in many respects to one that is more horizontal.
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