A couple of long-time regular customers of our bookstore recently told me the story of how they met. Ten or so years ago one of them, Barbara in her 50’s at that time, in a love-the earth and God-is-in-all-things sort of mood was in Victoria Park in Regina one afternoon and approached this other person whom she did not know.
She said, “Have you ever hugged a tree?”
The other person, Dorothea, in her 50’s at that time as well, said “ummm, well, nooooo.” Barbara suggested to her, “Why don’t you try it.” So, Dorothea, an open and experimental person found herself hugging a few trees and feeling their energy and laughing and giggling with her new friend.
New Like Minded Friends
Unfortunately she didn’t notice the goo wraps for Dutch Elm disease and went home with gooey dirty clothes but she had a happy afternoon and met someone of like-mind with whom she has been friends ever since. Besides being a tree-hugger, Dorothea is a psychic, a Tarot card reader, Reiki practitioner and she clears haunted houses when the need arises.
Barbara, besides being wise about trees, is an avid reader of channeled material and books about the Ascended masters, and she enjoys carrying her crystals with her. They both meditate. I guess they are older New Agers. These are the kind of people that frequent my establishment. Flaky? Not really. There is much evidence as to the healing power of nature and the Buddha himself achieved enlightenment sitting under a tree.
New Age Varieties 101
We have a bulletin board in the store where people put up posters for yoga workshops, massage therapy, Tarot readings and the like. One ad reads: “Counseling for Walk-ins.” What’s a Walk-in? Well, it is an entity who was in the astral realms and wanted down here on earth without being born and so made an agreement with someone who was in a body to leave it – without dying – so the astral being could borrow the body for awhile. I guess they get in it and can’t cope and so need counseling. Flaky? Who’s to know for sure?
We sell a lot of crystals and semi-precious stones in our store to a lot of different kinds of people. All the kids instinctively love these stones. Healers and massage therapists use them in their work. Not only are they beautiful to look at, hold, and display in your environment but crystals have healing properties and are aids to many different things. This is one thing a lot of people really pshaw at. However, different crystals are made of different minerals and have electromagnetic energy which when held in the auric field affect the organs and the psyche.
People have studied these minerals and their effects and recorded, like in any other scientific study, just how to use them. A physicist will tell you that everything is connected and everything affects everything else. So why not crystals and stones influencing your health and well-being? Flaky? Or science?
A few weeks ago someone came in who had never been in the store before and with a strange combination of fear and fascination was gingerly looking at just about everything. I asked if I could help her and she said, (direct quote) “No, uh, no, no, I have to go now, my friend is waiting for me in the car as she refused to come in here because she said it was foo “flaky.” Hmmm….who, what and why and how could she know if she’s never been in to see?
Nice Smells, Exercise & Peace
Among our best selling authors is the Dalai Lama, respected world leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Among our best selling books are works on Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism, some of the oldest religions in the world with practical methods for attaining peace in life and in death.
Many people seek out books from our health section including books on herbs, vegetarian and macrobiotic cooking, yoga exercise, stress reduction, therapeutic touch (many nurses take training in this) and such titles as “A Cure for All Diseases,” a book by a Saskatchewan scientist whose methods have helped thousands recover from cancer and other serious illnesses.
Troubled people find books on recovery from sexual abuse, recovery from alcohol abuse, bad parenting, harmful relationships. Grieving people find solace in books with information about life after life. People find peace from using brain-synch tapes, relaxation subliminals (proven effective) or learning to meditate and relax using divine smelling essential oils and incense. The Dalai Lama, a New Age Flake? Nice smells, exercise and peace are flaky?
New Age, Old Age?
Five hundred years ago if I would have picked up a tubular instrument and declared I could talk to someone across town and proceeded to demonstrate this I would have been burned at the stake for practicing “magic” – (by what would have been uninformed, fearful people). Today New Age “magic” is merely flaky. Tomorrow it will be understood, just like the telephone.
From my perspective the so-called “New Age” just has not as yet been discovered by most of the world. When more people study some of these things and as it infiltrates mainstream culture everyone will become a “New Age Flake.” Most of the New Age consists of ancient healing and spiritual techniques being tried and proven by modern, educated, sensible people tired of what mainstream doctors, pharmaceutical companies, dogmatic right-wing religions, politicians and corporate advertisers have been telling us about the meaning of life, the nature of the universe and how to take care of ourselves.
The New Age is a grass roots, organic movement to freedom and wholeness, health and natural living which begins with the acceptance of the fact we are spirit, as well as knowledge of the mind/body/universe connection. All is One. And much of this movement comes from ancient roots.
Thanks in part to the tobacco companies, my mother was addicted to cigarettes and she died eleven years ago from lung cancer. She was a really good Mom. I loved her and I miss her. She was a great baker of pies – rhubarb in the spring, apple and pumpkin in the fall, you name it, pies with the best crusts you ever tasted. Now, they were flaky.