There's nothing new about "the new age" except the attitude of the souls participating in it. I bet every soul who chose to incarnate into this particular historical era shook their little energy heads and said, "Oh, no! Not again!"
Spiritual enlightenment is the very purpose of life as thinking, feeling human beings here on the planet Earth. The path to spiritual enlightenment is different for every soul, in every lifetime, depending on what lessons they've already learned in other lifetimes and what lessons they hope to accomplish by being alive in this one.
In some lifetimes, for some souls, enlightenment is a very quiet and personal process - so quiet and so personal that hardly anyone (including the soul in question) realizes that spiritual growth is taking place at all. We choose lifetimes in certain historical eras or within certain cultures where spiritual truth is not an obvious issue so that we can focus our learning energies on the more subtle aspects of truth.
When we choose lifetimes in which we are comfortable with the spiritual or religious beliefs of the culture that we are born into, and we have no inner drive to question or go against that truth, we know that confirming the 'dogma' of our spiritual truth is not on our learning agenda.
When we choose lifetimes and/or cultures that put us right in the middle of religious (or spiritual) dissent, we know that confirming our denying our inner truth is a priority in that lifetime, since we are forced to choose between expressing what we really think and feel and/or going against the majority, which is usually not a healthy thing to do. Participation in these cultural learning experiences is a major aspect of soul level planning for spiritual growth.
Just as we might decide, on a conscious level, that we want to take a pottery class, so our soul might decide that we want to be a part of The Inquisition, or The Crusades, or The Salem Witch Hunts, for the experience and life lessons inherent to it. Sometimes we're looking for something new to believe in; sometimes we're looking for confirmation of what we already believe is truth. Always, we are seeking to find God's truth within us. We've all lived enough lifetimes to know that a new New Age begins each time Man as a species finds something, or someone, new to worship.
I don't imagine that early Man (Flintstone era) worshipped much of anything. Every ounce of his energy was required just to survive in his animal-level world. He probably wasn't very aware of what he was feeling at any given point, and - even if he was - he probably didn't have the brain power to give it a name or think about what it meant to his life to be feeling that way. Early Man wasn't much of a thinking, feeling human being at all, but he was certainly an important step in the right direction.
The right direction, of course, is the one that takes us ever closer to reaching our full potential as what we intended to be on this particular level of existence: thinking, feeling human beings. We choose life on this level to experience the power of thought and emotions; karmic repercussions ensure that, by the time we're done, we are fully aware that we create our own reality by the way we respond to the people, and events and situations that make up our day-to-day lives. The way we think determines what we feel, and the way we feel determines how we respond. How we respond determines our present-moment reality.
This New Age is definitively different from the New Ages that have come before. Modern technology has made the world a smaller place than it used to be. In a lifetime in medieval England , we might never have traveled more than five miles from home, or known more than two hundred people in our lifetime. Our opportunities for enlightenment were definitely limited to the present moment here and now. With modern technology, our opportunities for enlightenment become as infinite as life itself; our generation has more opportunities for spiritual awareness on all levels than any other generation before us.
What makes this New Age different is the high-tech, fast-paced environment that offers each soul unprecedented opportunity for spiritual growth. Lifetimes of accumulated karmic debt can be brought into balance by the high volume of personal interactions we experience every day; in fact, if we're a telemarketer, we may talk to more people in a single day in this lifetime than we've talked to in an entire lifetime in a quieter lifetime in a quieter era.
Our high-tech, fast paced world offers us easy access to everything we need to come in touch the purpose of our existence: we are here to live our lives as spiritual beings in physical bodies, with the potential to create our own "Heaven on Earth" through the way we think and the way we feel.
And there's nothing new about that.
Lois Grant-Holland is a Life Path Focus Counselor offering Life Path Focus Sessions, Karmic Astrology Charts, Channeled Guidance, Intuitive Readings and Classes and Workshops to spiritual seekers on all positive paths, and is the site facilitator at The A.N.S.W.E.R. - (The Seeker's Resource Guide to Alternative, New Thought, Spiritual Growth, Wellness and Enlightenment Resources.) You can visit her website at http://www.loisgrantholland.com