Sunday, May 29, 2016

The New New Age

Were he to examine some of Facebook's users, Freud would have a field day.

The good doctor said children, primitives and neurotics all shared an "animistic" view of the universe. Every object has a will that "magical thoughts" can command.

This self-loving "omnipotence" forms the very root of narcissism, Freud believed.

So it's no surprise today's selfie-obsessed customers are embracing magical thinking, as a new report from JWT Intelligence asserts.

New-age accoutrements like crystals, gongs, incense and magic creams are hot, the report says.

"As we navigate through the stress and mundanity of our everyday existence and parallel online lives, we are increasingly turning to unreality as a form of escape and a way to search for other kinds of freedom, truth and meaning.

"What emerges is an appreciation for magic and spirituality, the knowingly unreal, and the intangible aspects of our lives that defy big data and the ultratransparency of the web."

And it's not just Trustafarians who are into magical thinking.

According to Pew Research Center, while the percentage of Americans who attend church declined between 2007 and 2014, the percentage who say they routinely "feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being” increased.

"This is being played out via a third-wave New Age for a post-digital generation, which is seeking spirituality through crystals, astrology, sound baths, tarot and tapping. What differentiates this new New Age from its previous incarnations is that the alternative beliefs and practices are now considered serious, irony-free, credible, millennial friendly and cool."
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