The New Age Lexicon
I am conversant with these terms. That’s what makes this book so delightful. But because most of the entries are cleverly written and sometimes so ironic, that unless you know what the original purpose of the words were, you will be totally confused.
Here’s a sample of one longer passage, which calls to mind mediumship and séances.
(a) Quality that is of limited popularity in New Age circles.
(b) Spirit guide: source of guidance for mediums or channelers.
It goes without saying, of course, that the quality of guidance depends totally on the quality and validity of the control. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way of checking this objectively, other than by attempting to assess the quality of the guidance itself.
By which time it may be too late.
A story from an entirely unrelated field may help to illustrate the point.
A fellow student-pilot was being trained to do instrument flying in Harvards — noisy single-engine monoplanes dating from the 1930s, and seating two pilots fore and aft. For instrument flying the student sat under a hood at the back so that he could not see out. The instructor sat at the front to take off, land, and tell the student what sort of a tree he was going to hit.
Shortly after take-off on this occasion the instructor, as usual, called out “You have control.”
“I have control,” responded my friend, following the familiar patter.
Then he realized that there was no stick.
The explanation was simple. The previous flight had been a solo “mission” (as the Americans and Canadians, with their highly-developed sense of the dramatic, love to call an ordinary run-of-the-mill trip or sortie). During solo flight, with the sole pilot sitting in the front cockpit, the rear control-column would normally be removed to prevent it from getting caught in the rear seat-harness. But nobody had thought to put it back.
My friend was faced with the inevitable consequence. There was nothing but an empty hole.
Nothing daunted, he decided that he had better fill it. Having nothing better to fill it with, he used his finger. He then attempted to fly the aircraft with it while he groped for the stick in its rack with the other hand. The bewildered instructor found himself careering all over the sky. He was about to write off his pupil totally as an instrument-pilot when the stick finally clicked home.
It was at that moment that, for my friend, the stick truly became the “joystick” of popular mythology.
Though I should explain that the term’s original connotation, which referred to its angle and position relative to the pilot, had nothing to do with flying, and everything to do with matters that are not suitable for mentioning in polite society such as yours. Nor, indeed, anything to do with control.
Nevertheless, the point is made. Submitting yourself to an unknown and dubious “control” is a risky business. Actually placing yourself in its power may endanger your very consciousness.
Not least because that control (whatever you may care to believe about higher intelligences and spirit guides) is actually located (by definition) within your own unconscious.
True, once you have handed over control, you may prefer to think that the celestial Air Traffic Controller is in charge. But you may simply have assigned control to whoever is in the other cockpit of your own brain. And whether there is anybody there or not, or whether that somebody has the wherewithal to accept the responsibility, is something that you cannot possibly determine.
For all you know, they may simply be wrapping you around their little finger.