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Experiential Spirituality and Contemporary Gnosis

Many of us into metaphysics are frequently called upon by our “non-New Age” friends and acquaintances to explain ourselves and our metaphysical orientation to them. “What is metaphysics” “What is the ‘New Age?’” “What do you believe in?” “What makes your spirituality different?”

As those of us hard-core metaphysical types know, you can’t really say that there is any one set of beliefs that all “New Agers” are into. (As a matter of fact, the term “New Age” or “New Ager” is somewhat distasteful to many into metaphysics.) The New Age “movement” is a widely diversified conglomerate of subsets of ideas and explorations – so truly diversified that one could hardly ascribe the term “movement” to it, as this term connotes a cohesive, unified organization. One person into crystals and spirit guides, for example, may not be into UFO abduction phenomena. And those into paganism or magick may not necessarily break bread together well with those into angels or Christed energy.

So, what is it that links those of us into metaphysics and the New Age together? What are the common threads?

First of all, let’s look at the terms themselves, so that we may gain some insight into what we are identifying ourselves with.

“Metaphysics” is a term derived from the Greek: “meta” is a prefix meaning beyond or greater than and “physics” refers to that which is physical (or at least what we as a culture understand at the present time to be our physical reality). Thus, we can thank Greek for our term metaphysics – the realm of that which transcends physical reality.

The term “New Age,” on

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