Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why we call my working place "New Age"?

A patient asked my dentists yesterday why your clinic called “New Age”. My dentists trying to say that he is still young? No, it was Ris Low asking, but the term “New Age” is not well understood by the majority in Singapore. Does it represent youth? Modernity? Not quite.

In fact, a lot of New Age concepts are rather ancient from an Asian point of view. It’s only from the Western point of view that religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, philosophies like Cosmology, Gaia Theory, Yin-Yang Theory, Five Element Theory and practices like yoga, meditation, qigong, various forms of traditional healing are all considered “new age”.

Derived from the rebellious hippy mentality of the 1960s, the New Age Movement represents a rejection of traditional or conventional religious dogma as well as rigid social structures and protocols. In recent years, this rejection extends to the fields of conventional medicine and scientific theories. Unlike the hippies, modern New Age Movement “activists” tend to embrace a more moderate, down-to-earth lifestyle.

The New Age Movement includes elements of older spiritual and religious traditions ranging from atheism and monotheism through classical pantheism, naturalistic pantheism, and panentheism to polytheism combined with science and Gaia philosophy: particularly archaeoastronomy, astronomy, ecology, environmentalism, the Gaia hypothesis, psychology, and physics. New Age practices and philosophies sometimes draw inspiration from major world religions: Buddhism, Chinese folk religion, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism; with particularly strong influences from East Asian religions, Gnosticism, Neopaganism, New Thought, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Universalism, and Western esotericism.

Calling his clinic “new age” has something to do with his interest (He is not an extremist) in the New Age Movement, he inclination towards Eastern religions/philosophies, his belief in TCM, qigong and fondness for New Age music which often include sounds from scorching deserts to the freezing Himalayas.

While our youngsters celebrate Halloween like it’s the coolest thing to do, many young Western professionals in the New Age Movement actually find our Taiji symbol to be the coolest thing on earth.

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