From one perspective, the new age is not really different to all the other ages, because what works, what brings happiness, is eternal. It is the same today as it was a thousand years ago, and it will be the same a thousand years from now. If you doubt this, open up a book of poetry by Hafiz, the Sufi master, and you’ll see that the poems he wrote 800 years ago still apply today. What works, what makes us happy, the real cause of suffering, and the way to stop suffering, always remain the same. But let’s take a look at what the new age movement is really about.
In essence, the new age is about breaking away from old patterns of conditioning that have told us we are born to survive at all costs, and that in order to be happy we have to be something, achieve something, prove something. The outcome of that conditioned way of living is the ‘rat race’. There’s not enough time in the day to complete the tasks we need to complete, there’s no room for a breather, there’s no space to just relax and feel our heart, the spirit deep inside of us. So the new age movement is about learning the art to cut through all those conditionings that tell us to be who we are not.
When we are able to see through, or realise, those ideas and conditionings as false, then what remains is love itself. And love just wants to flow, like a river. A river doesn’t try to flow, it just naturally flows. So when we realise that we are love, love will just flow. That means every person we meet in our life, we treat them with love. When others are in need, naturally love will express. It will flow towards them, uplift them and help them, like the love of a mother when her child is sad. She will run towards the child and pick up the child in her arms and shower love on the child, who will immediately feel relieved. So the new age movement calls upon every man and every woman to treat others and see others as if you’re not separate from them. It’s about seeing others as if they are your own child, or your own brother or sister.
What the new age needs is not really talk and theories about love and oneness, but for the courageous to live this truth every day of their life.
The new age is really a time where more and more people have realised that living with the perspective of “survival at all costs, us versus them, might is right, survival of the fittest”, has not worked. But living as if you are separate from no-one, is a practical thing. One cannot live it through discussions or theories. For example, let’s take a father, telling his ten year old son not to touch the gun inside the cupboard, but then the son sees the father take the gun out every weekend to go shooting. It doesn’t matter how much the father tells the son in words, “Don’t touch that gun, it’s dangerous,” when the father leaves and there’s nobody home, the son will go to the cupboard and take out that gun and take a look at it. So what the new age needs is not really talk and theories about love and oneness, but for the courageous to live this truth every day of their life. The new age is about living by example. Like Ghandi said, be the change you wish to see in the world.
What does that mean in practice?
Well, when someone is rude to you, when you face someone’s anger, how do you respond towards them? Do you compose yourself and try to remain calm and peaceful and relaxed, and from that place respond to them in peace and love? Or do we start reacting, either outwardly or silently, with anger and hatred towards the person? If a person is in need, do we say, “I don’t know that person, that person’s a stranger”? Or do we run towards them to offer our help, our kindness, our compassion? I am sure in the new age many of us are striving to let go of old patterns and have the intention for love and harmony. But the gap between theory and practice can be vast. One can be teaching others of love and oneness, but that doesn’t mean they live it in their everyday life.
And yet, if a person lives that every day, the impact they have on the people they come across in their life is immense, immeasurable. What I’m sharing is what I lived. And when I began to live as if people are not separate from me, when I began to put others first and myself last, to live with kindness and compassion and to strive with all my willpower to live that way, it surprised me how few people lived their lives that way. I witnessed that a lot of people talk about it, but when they are alone they feel lonely, they don’t feel they are love. They feel sad, they feel depressed.
The new age, then, calls upon sincerity and self honesty, for a person to experiment and work out what it is that’s causing them not to feel that love in their heart. Because it takes great courage and effort and experimentation to really put it into practice. I’ll tell you right now, if someone screams at you and wants to punch you in the face, it takes great practice and great courage to remain relaxed and composed and be kind to the person. That’s not easy. If our partner confront us, or makes us feel guilty, it takes great courage to remain calm and composed, and to not get caught up in the emotions or enter an emotional war. It’s easy to have ideas about love and oneness, but to live it takes sincerity, self honesty and inspiration.
Can you feel Love when there is no Peace?
The next question is, can a person feel love when there’s no peace? Love and peace are like twins – they come together. Where there’s no peace there’ll be no love. If you cannot feel peace inside, you will not be able to feel love inside you. So to really live it, we need to understand what causes emotional suffering, and to stop what leads to that. It’s about understanding how thoughts create emotions, how emotions follow thoughts like a shadow, and how feeling trapped in emotions for long periods is what creates suffering. Take the emotion of sadness, for example. It’s a beautiful emotion. I always say, if sadness was not a beautiful emotion, all the theatres in the world would close down. But when we’re trapped in that emotion for hours, weeks or months, that leads to emotional suffering. So when a sincere seeker understands how that works, how constant chains of thoughts create suffering, they will search for and learn the art to cut the chain of thoughts, so that the emotions can dissipate and we can just be in that peace. That’s what spiritual practices in every tradition are trying to do.
Be the Change
So to be the change, you’ve got to practice. The new age calls upon great courage to break through the old idea that we’re separate from each other, and begin to live that. When we live it, we start to become peaceful and happy, and love will just naturally flow through us. Then others will be inspired by your kindness. A person will be mesmerised by the way you respond to their anger, and they’ll be curious, “how are you doing this?” Their heart opens and in turn they will start experimenting with this. So they too will become happy, peaceful and loving. And it goes on and on. So that is how happiness comes at the mass level. That is how the golden age will come. It will not come by studies and discussions, it will come by living it. And that’s not easy to do. Which brings us back to what works, what brings results, and what doesn’t bring results. What makes you happy, what doesn’t make you happy? Every 3 to 6 months, are you noticing that you feel more joy, more happiness, more love, less trauma and less disturbance in your life?
I have experimented with and lived everything I have shared here, and it did not take long for me to shift from being someone who spent 4 hours crying at a time, with massive anger issues, to feeling beautiful and joyful in every moment, every second. I’ve done the experimentation, I’ve walked the path and I saw nothing but love and beauty in the end. But it comes back to what our heart sincerely chooses. Do we want to live beautifully, joyfully and happily, or do we want to live always on edge, like a walking time bomb? Every individual is free to choose what their heart wants to experience and wants to feel.
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Soul Love had an earlier interview with the author, you can find it here.
Author: Avinash Do
Vietnamese refugee to Australia at the age of 10. Aussie school student and sportsman. University student and part-time personal trainer. Accountant. Career drop-out and taxi driver. Spiritual seeker, hungry for happiness so that he could understand how to uplift others. Student and volunteer of Amma, the hugging saint, for 4 years. Attained enlightenment in 2009 at the age of 36. Avinash now lives with joy and lightness in every moment, and teaches how we can achieve peace and happiness while living ordinary lives. Avinash holds regular classes, courses, workshops and retreats and his work is not-for-profit. More info at www.themeditationfarm.com