New Age is full of old ideas, but the construct surrounding these ideas and the way followers link them are novel compared to conventional understandings of religion. Scholars identify the birth of New Age in ‘60s and ‘70s counterculture. Some scholars stop here, dubbing New Age nothing more than rebellion against organized religion. New Age ideas had to be already present in individuals prior to its supposed birth in the ‘60s. At that time only scattered seeds. I am of the opinion that the activism and social movements that characterize these decades, gave movement to New Age ideas. These ideas became increasingly common and then became a distinctive institution, taking on a life of their own. (Whether New Age can be defined as a movement however is still debated by scholars.)
While the ‘60s and ‘70s decades may have provided the spark that graduated New Age from a set of ideas to a distinguishable field of thought, other factors such as globalization and secularism create an environment where New Age is desirable and can grow and thrive. The advancement of technology and the resultant shrinking of our world brings more diversity into people’s daily lives. The pluralist outlook New Age materials often encourage is conducive to our diverse world. Where organized religions today are commandeered for power driven agendas and building boundaries, pluralism works to make peaceful connections across boundaries. Similarly, what I feel is an increasing dissatisfaction with a purely secular life pushes many to seek the divine in their daily lives. They look beyond a secular life to something more. Our present circumstances, especially those in Western secular society, are conducive to New Age phenomena. The continuing and increasingly prevalent factors discussed here have given New Age ideas a foothold in society. These ideas no longer exist solely in individual followers but have a life of their own.