The Persistence of Consciousness is one of the major beliefs of the New Age and other strands of modern metaphysics. This belief proposes that consciousness continues to exist after death. In Ancient Greece over 2500 years ago in the West and centuries earlier in the East under emergent Brahmanism, the idea arose that a single principle was behind and supported reality. The Divine Mind. A Celestial Consciousness so vast and encompassing, all objects, including you and me, move through its endless halls as its thoughts.
The Divine Mind
The history and metaphysics of the Divine Mind has given being who have heard of it, a foundation to rest upon the myth of consciousness, and the parade of philosophers going back to Xenophanes, complained that gods were not necessary to explain the natural world and that men merely fashioned gods after their own image. He remarked that if horses or oxen possessed hands, they would create gods after their own image as well. Against the Pythagoreans, Xenophanes said the doctrine of reincarnation could not be verified since no man had ever proven such a process to exist and thus was just an opinion based on hearsay to be rejected.
What Xenophanes wanted was a God without human qualities. A god that was perfection and singular. But what other qualities could Xenophanes God would possess?
For one, this God would have Perfect Knowledge of all things. Another attribute would be that this God was immovable and within this motionless state and without any effort, caused all other things to move with It’s Mind. Xenophanes’ God was a God of Supreme Consciousness, much like the deity Brahman which had long been worshipped in post-aryan India and very similar to the rational and organizing knowledge of the Logos of Heraclitus or the divine intellect of the Nous of Anaxagoras. There was never any direct experiences of the Divine Mind. The philosophers presented it as a theory.
If a theory sounds reasonable enough, people tend to believe in the theory as truth. For example. many proponents of the Theory of Evolution miss the theory part and wholeheartedly embrace Darwin’s idea as fact. This essentially human talent of confusing fact with fancy was even known to philosophers like Xenophanes who, ironically, just went along and did the same thing of producing a theory of the Divine Mind that sounded logical enough to later influence Plato, Aristotle in constructing their own imaginary systems along the same lines, repeated and modified and elaborated upon up to the present day.
The reflexive nature of consciousness would seem to be limited by its own mechanics and properties. projecting itself into infinite space, magnified into titanic proportions and reflected back to self as an image of what some have called “God,” who would then be the mind looking at itself from the void.
Over the centuries, various philosophers have tried to take seriously the conception of a Divine Mind and map out its attributes and powers. But they had one, little problem. They were just making it up as they went along! That is, essentially, the problem with the philosophy of the mind (and the Abrahamic religions) within its metaphysical aspect. Doomed ideas floating about within the infinite oceans of consciousness, unprovable abstractions taken as truths by generation after generation, given life through texts and academic traditions.
New Age Beliefs
The New Age has been taken in by this myth of the persistence of consciousness. The idea of the Divine Mind comes directly from New Thought tenets formed in the middle of the 19th century by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby and later by his former patient and student, Mary Baker Eddy, who went on to found the Christian Science movement. But it was the Indian sage Swami Vivekananda, Rudolph Steiner, Helena Blavatsky’s and Alice Bailey’s channeled material and others who provided the foundation of the myth of the Divine Mind for the modern New Age Movement. Figures such as Jane Roberts and JZ Knight became famous and 1987′s Harmonic Convergence burst onto America’s media landscape to such an effect, that be the end of the 20th century, the New Age was America’s third largest religion.
In the 21st century, the New Age has become known for its cheesy commoditization of spirituality. The New Age belief that Indigo Children are special, exceptional children with ‘spiritually-evolved” natures, has made lots of money off of books and videos despite the absence of any empirical evidence that such children actually exist. The term, Indigo Child, was first coined in 1982, by Nancy Ann Tappe in her book, Understanding Your Life Through Color.  How did Tappe come to write her book? On the”belief that color influences every aspect of life”  From this belief, a whole market was formed that is unnecessarily affecting the lives of an untold amount of children who are going to grow up thinking that they are some master from a planet that’s going to deliver World Peace. Hey, that would be nice, but it’s just another way beliefs can fuck things up for everybody.
An older belief that nobody can ever prove (Thanks, Xenophanes), is that once we die, we will enter a spiritual plane filled with enlightened beings and angels and masters and whatnot. In the New Age movement, this idea comes chiefly from channeled material. The problem the New Agers don’t seem to have noticed, is that the positive-sounding, mystically – delivered words such as, “Love is the greatest force in the universe,” come from a place where we cannot verify the truth of such claims. These “beings” also claim (among other things) that Ascension of beings from the physical to the supernatural actually happens. But we have never seen this take place with our own eyes. The channeled messages propose a belief of a spiritual realm that cannot be proven, especially by the channels themselves, who have no recollection what the being channeling said. No recollection and no verification. When one realizes that most channelers receive training for years (like Abraham’s Ester Hicks), one can’t help being suspicious. Maybe what’s channeling is the result of a split personality. Maybe what they’re saying is what the channeler wants to believe. Maybe none of it is real. Maybe we create myths to believe in and amuse us so we don’t have to take responsibility for the world. Maybe what we are talking to is our own reflected consciousness. How unfortunate for the believers; they were deceived by belief.