New Age Nonsense: The Rise of Spirit Science

This is a toroidal flow, sound science-y enough?
This is a toroidal flow, sound science-y enough? | Source


For those rebellious free-thinkers out there who wish to leave behind the confines of the stuffy and often disagreeable confines of organized religion there are a surprising number of alternatives. One of these is the recent off-shoot of New Age beliefs known as Spirit Science. As its name suggests Spirit Science hopes to marry the scientific understanding we human beings have gained over the centuries with various claims of the paranormal and spiritual.

In this article I want to talk about how laughably ridiculous the claims of Spirit Science believers are and how most of the things they say are a combination of buzzword word-salad and meaningless twaddle occasionally sprinkled with scientific terms. The point is not to insult believers who have been taken in by this woo. The point is to show the beliefs for what they are: contrived platitudes, misinterpretations of real science, and wishful thinking (occasionally with some conspiracy theories mixed in for good measure).

Things Spirit Scientists Say

For this article there are going to be multiple sources including websites, forums, and probably youtube videos. First off, however, I want to give the reader a general idea of the kind of things proponents of Spirit Science say. Here is an excerpt from an article at The article is by Ray Kamille but he's quoting a friend of his from Facebook named Kevin (clearly an expert in the spirit-science field!).

“When we place our focus on our desires and the outcome we desire, its exactly, and I mean, EXACTLY what the Universe will deliver.”

What we see demonstrated in this platitude is something called the Law of Attraction, which is basically that if you focus your mind entirely on a thing you have a better chance of getting that thing in reality. It is not merely a matter of those who try to get something and focus their efforts on getting it have a better chance. No, no. What the Law of Attraction is about is literal "mind over matter." Before even acting differently, apparently just thinking differently somehow influences actual objective reality and you can bend the universe to your will by the power of thought.

This sort of wishful thinking is, of course, a conman's greatest wet dream. Imagine how much money one can make as a motivational speaker if all one has to say is, “think it, dream it, get it!” or some other slogan and people who believe in this Law will lap it up. And indeed there are plenty of New Age Spirit Science enthusiasts who make a living trying to convince people that thoughts have the power to change reality.

So you'd think, naturally, given it's name is Spirit Science, that believers have some sort of objectively verifiable scientific evidence right? They have research showing that the Law of Attraction works or at least that thinking and focusing on a thing (and focus and thought alone, without action) increases the odds of obtaining it above that of chance, right? Well actually no. I mean the platitude I quoted above is true in-so-far as if you focus on obtaining a thing through actions (and your actions are a result of your thoughts) you probably stand a better chance of getting it (though this vastly depends on the goal you are trying to obtain).

In this worldview the Universe is entitled to give you what your heart most desires as long as you maintain focus and bend the Universe to your will.

Here's another quote from the same article:

“You are the MOTION of light, the presence of it. There is no need to return to source, you are the result of it.”

Here we see how Spirit Science disregards the actual meanings of words and the actual understanding that science gives us to make shit up and sound incredibly stupid. Here were are seeing that human beings are the motion of light, and the presence of it. Not only are neither of these remotely accurate but they are also two very different things. The motion of light is just what it sounds like: photons bouncing around, moving from the place to place. I'm not remotely sure what the author means by human beings being the “presence of light” unless he's conflating two meanings of the word light.

Either way human beings are not made up of light in any sense. I think—and I'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt here—that they're referring to the fact that human beings are made of stardust—that the elements we are composed of were cooked in stars that then exploded to form the sun, our earth, and eventually our bodies. If human beings were made of photons (light) we would be massless particles.

When they mention the Source they are referring to a New Agey sort of idea of Heaven. The Source being the place from which both consciousness and the Universe itself and all of reality stem. In essence what this person is saying is akin to, “We are not separate from the Universe. We are whole. We are not missing anything,” or at least that's how I tend to interpret it.

The Universe isn't on your side your self-important airhead. It gives 0 fucks about you.
The Universe isn't on your side your self-important airhead. It gives 0 fucks about you.

Spirit Science Makes You Special

Spirit Science relies on making the person reading them feel as if they've got it all figured out, are ahead of the curve, and everyone else is a drooling zombie joylessly going through the motions of life with no real autonomy. They brush off things like school, government, TV, cell phones, and the internet as tools the powers that be use to keep us all slaves in the dark. Meanwhile the bright folks who subscribe to Spirit Science have all this stuff about psychically controlling the Universe with mere thoughts figured out.

Some New Agers and Spirit Science believers even see themselves as special, labeling themselves Indigo children, claiming to be in contact with aliens or spirit beings or higher consciousness levels. Of course they offer no evidence for any of this. They spout off absolutely meaningless gobbledygook and then stand back and pretend the mouth-turd they've just vomited is made of gold.

From our same article:

“You are princes and princesses of light, woven so tightly together by thought they often weave together into long fabrics and intricate patterns we sometimes call human beings.”

There is a meaningless reference to a power structure (princes and princesses) while the rest of the article denounces such systems of authority. There is this assertion that people are made of light, which is horse shit of the dumbest kind. There is the unsubstantiated and scientifically unfounded assertion that people are woven together (how does one weave light together?) by the power of thought.

The implication is that we're all special and you know what that means: that none of us really are. But hey, it makes for a good selling point, compared to other religions telling us we're all fallen sinners or that all life is suffering.

Bro, Do You Even Science?

So where does the science in Spirit Science even come in? Well from my research into the subject there are two main sources where science enters in. First off there is quantum physics, which is endlessly misunderstood by the general public and thus manipulated and misinterpreted by Spirit Science users (and woo peddlers like Deepak Chopra). Secondly there's bunk science, such as research done by the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

It is not that the goals of folks like Institute of Noetic Sciences aren't laudable. Proving that consciousness can interact with the physical world in some unforeseen and perhaps even “paranormal” way would be an astounding find that would change the way we look at the brain forever. The issue comes from the lack of true scientific rigor and proper experimental controls/analysis. If a genuine link could be shown that suggested thoughts could really effect reality in some way we would see a lot of genuine scientists jumping on the bandwagon each trying to be the first or among the first to genuinely prove psychokinesis or telepathy.

But the lack of rigorous vetted science in their favor won't stop Spirit Science advocates from posting articles in which they cite a study that they do not link to and which I could not find. Searching the Consciousness Project brings up IONS which is just the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

The Spirit Science Match Game

I encourage everyone reading this to research New Age beliefs and Spirit Science if you think I have been too harsh or too dismissive. Nearly all of their claims rely on misunderstanding some principle of science and the blatant and often hilarious misuse of scientific terminology. To prove my point I'm going to put you through a little bit of a quiz.

The purpose of the quiz is to see if you can match a quote from a real proponent of Spirit Science with the made-up nonsense I'm going to conjure up for the purpose of the quiz.

Which of these are real Spirit Science quotes?


Spirit Science, almost more so than the New Age beliefs it grew out of, relies on meaningless buzzwords, gobbledygook and a willingness to selectively reinterpret or misinterpret scientific findings. Often times it involves saying things that are patently false and obviously stupid like saying that human beings are made of light. Frequently words like "frequency," "resonate," "quantum," and "vibration" are misused and sloppily thrown in to make things sound science-y or sophisticated when they are utterly meaningless or ill-defined.

It is not out of malice that I poke fun at these beliefs but as a public service to those who have not encountered them yet. Don't be taken in by science-y jargon paired with lovely self-help platitudes. When an article says that science or a new study has proved or suggested something actually try to find the study and determine if the source is a reputable scientific source or not. If indeed there is a proper scientific source see if the source actually supports the article's stipulations and make sure that you're not dealing with a lone crackpot scientists. Remember that science is a collaborative process, one single study does not prove anything.

Sure it'd be nice to believe that I can wish things into my life: a new car, a Korean popstar for a wife, and a better career. But such thought, without action, is just wishful thinking and the belief that your wishes are going to supernaturally come true is a delusion. There is absolutely no empirical scientific evidence that the Universe gives a single solitary fuck about your thoughts or that you are a special snowflake of light woven through the quantum crystalline chakra of vibrational out of body dream power.

Spirit Science is New Age nonsense but don't take my word for it truth-seekers. Investigate it for yourselves.

Martymer's Excellent Debunking series

Spirit Science Youtube Channel's latest video

Comments 19 comments

Pathway22 profile image

Pathway22 11 months ago from Maryland

Interesting article. Are you an atheist?

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I am now yes, but wasn't always.

I was raised Christian. After I found my way out of Christianity there was a time when New Age beliefs were quite tempting to me and I spent a portion of my life believing in reincarnation, ancient aliens and all sorts of weird stuff. Eventually I realized that I no longer believed in a God of any kind and that's when I really started applying skepticism to my other beliefs to see if I really had good reason to believe them.

Pathway22 profile image

Pathway22 11 months ago from Maryland

I like that you challenged this because often we can get complacent in our beliefs and stop applying skepticism to our beliefs. You opened my mind up to that again when I read this. I have an deep interest in some New Age beliefs but articles like this remind me to still question everything so I can come up with a solid truth (if there is one). The other side of that fence being that I was an Atheist for about eight years and I started to do research in the other direction when my friend opened my mind up a bit. I try not to sound to far fetched but to be as honest as possible being introduced to it was like indescribable love. I was on a natural high for days after I (for lack of a better phrase) "woke up". It was more than a word explanation it was a feeling. I know words like "feelings" don't cut it and I don't really expect it to but that's me being honest about my experience. Have you ever studied near-death experiences? In your spare time I think you should defiantly study them. I felt like my fastest way to finding the truth would be to study people who were pronounced dead and see their stories. Judging by your article I think this might be interesting for you to look up. You will find an alignment even though the stories are vastly different. A lot of them I read talked about this same feeling of love indescribable. I'm still learning so I cant say I know all the answers and it's still more to look into but I also read a quote saying as a skeptic its important to study both sides in-depth not just one. It means if you want a full picture study all things both abstract and non. Again, thank you for your article. It reminded me to keep questioning.

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I am always challenging my beliefs. If there is some spiritual aspect to the world and to life I want to know what it is. An important part of that is being skeptical, and not allowing myself to be swayed by wishful thinking or what I want to believe is true. Spiritual claims do not get a special pass, and the more I WANT TO BELIEVE the more I have to crank up the skepticism to avoid self-deception.

When I first moved away from a belief in a God and the afterlife I was afraid, I didn't want to accept the possibility that this life might be all there is. In the end though there's just no solid evidence of an afterlife. The best we have are NDEs which are really little more than lucid dreams of a dying brain. One of the more interesting aspects of NDEs is that they typically reflect the religious beliefs of the person who has them. A Hindu will have an NDE that corresponds with the Hindu beliefs. A Christian will have an NDE that corresponds with Christian beliefs... and so on. We all live immersed in a culture that gives us ideas of what to expect when we die.

NDE and Out of Body events can even be induced artificially and have been reported by people spun in a centrifuge (the thing they use to test the effects of G-forces on pilots and astronauts).

I don't think there's any good evidence yet that human beings survive death, be it as conscious energy or some kind of spiritual non-physical stuff. As much as I don't look forward to my consciousness simply ending one day that is the conclusion that the medical and scientific evidence suggests, at least currently.

A good place to start for those who wish to prove the paranormal is in proving dualism, that is to say proving there is some spiritual or non-physical STUFF that can interact with the physical. We would need some kind of evidence, at the very least we would need an EFFECT, a demonstrable way in which this immaterial/spiritual realm interacts with physical reality. Without establishing an EFFECT there is no way to establish that the cause is supernatural and no reason to even move forward with research scientifically speaking.

" I was on a natural high for days after I (for lack of a better phrase) "woke up"."

I had similar experiences when I was younger and can still induce them today through the use of music and a sort of meditation. I first noticed this when I was a teenager. I was raised Pentecostal and in that sect of Christianity emphasis is put on learning to speak in tongues, a phenomenon called Glossolalia that exists in multiple religions. Basically it's a trance-like state. I found that this feeling would come over me when praying and my lips would move to what was essentially gibberish but it brings with it a sense of euphoria and being one with God/the Universe. Everything seems like its that much more clear, as you describe it's like "waking up". I found that not just prayer but music, the sight of a beautiful woman, and other beautiful sights, sounds and thoughts could set off my "tongues".

Of course this may just be whatever mental defects I inherited from my admittedly mentally troubled family tree but whatever is the cause it seems benign and doesn't interrupt my everyday life. My personal theory though is that such experiences are nearly Universal to human beings though their evolutionary function is anyone's guess.

I also had at least one instance in which I thought the Universe was communicating with me... and I also tried to remember my past lives by putting myself into a trance and doing automatic writing. In the end though the results were completely within the confines of my own head, there was no evidence that any of it was real or true. Eventually after more research I came to the realization that I was fooling myself. I was the victim of my own self-deception. The beliefs I'd come into were not much different than the Christianity I had "escaped" from and relied on the same emotional manipulation: fear of death, wanting to believe I was somehow special, wanting to think the Universe cared about human life, wanting to believe that there HAD TO BE "something more".

"Spiritual" experiences had while in a trance or experiences that open the perception are not necessarily indicative of something actually supernatural, they may be but we just don't have any real evidence one way or the other. And that's one of the problems the paranormal has, because science operates under methodological naturalism it's hard to prove the paranormal. Another problem is that these phenomenon and the way they operate are often ill-defined or even unfalsifiable.

I'm glad my hub served as food for thought Pathway22 and I hope you treat the search for truth as a search that has no final destination and is definitely more about the journey.

Pathway22 profile image

Pathway22 11 months ago from Maryland

That's crazy about speaking in tongues! I never thought it was real. I recently saw it watching The Hobbit but I didn't think people could really do it. That's very interesting. Even more interesting to hear an Atheist say they did it. That just shows your resolve for finding truth.

I can see your point about near-death experiences because most of them did all reflect a person belief but I was more so intrigued with the feeling of euphoria some say they felt when they died. I also can see your point on how that feeling isn't enough to draw a conclusion about life.

I have to ask you have you ever heard of the Jim Twins? The direction of their lives is remarkable and I think leaves big questions about the direction of our lives and our purpose.

I would love to hear your take on vibration. I learned that everything is made up of atoms and all atoms are in a constant state of motion. There are some colors vibrating too fast for us to see because our eye can only pick up certain frequencies. I researched a bit and took this from a site to explain:

"We call the energy we can see visible light (we discuss it in detail in our main article on light) and, like radio waves, microwaves, and all the rest, it's made up of electromagnetic waves. These are up-and-down, wave-shaped patterns of electricity and magnetism that race along at right angles to one another, at the speed of light (300,000 km per second or 186,000 miles per second, which is fast enough to go 400 times round the world in a minute!). The light we can see stretches in a spectrum from red (the lowest frequency and longest wavelength of light our eyes can register) through orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo to violet (the highest frequency and shortest wavelength we can see)"

Here is the site:

There are colors vibrating too fast for us to see. All our senses have this limitation. Also there are certain sounds that are vibrating too high for our ears to hear, like dog whistles. Even the sense touch is confined to a certain rate of vibration. What that means to me is that we cant base all there is to know about life on only what we can see and hear because our senses have limitations. Just because you cant see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I don't think that in itself explains ghost or paranormal activity but I think it opens the doorway to broaden our mind about the infinite possibilities of it all.

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"There are some colors vibrating too fast for us to see because our eye can only pick up certain frequencies"

A large branch of the electromagnetic spectrum is invisible to the human eye but we have ways to detect the other parts of the spectrum be they radio waves, gamma rays, ELF, etc. It is not that they are "colors" though, they are just electromagnetic energy, it is just that our eyes cannot visually detect the energy at those wavelengths.

"Also there are certain sounds that are vibrating too high for our ears to hear, like dog whistles."

Indeed, and just like the high pitch we cannot hear of a dog whistle there are things like infrasound which are ultra low frequency sounds.

"What that means to me is that we cant base all there is to know about life on only what we can see and hear because our senses have limitations"

Indeed. Luckily however science has developed ways to detect all sorts of things, from anti-matter particles to radiation of various types. We can even see gravitational lensing (that is where objects in space BEND space to distort our view of the stars around/behind them). There are even experiments that prove quantum entanglement, something Einsten referred to as "spooky action at a distance". We can take two electrons and entangle them so that if we measure one of them, the other's position changes accordingly. And the cool thing is entanglement works FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT, it is instantaneous.

"I don't think that in itself explains ghost or paranormal activity but I think it opens the doorway to broaden our mind about the infinite possibilities of it all."

Human beings have a lot more left to learn but the fact that our senses and minds are limited is actually a reason to be more careful about what sorts of things we accept. The Universe could be teeming with life, could have gods and ghosts and angels and who knows what else but we won't know until we can actually detect these things.

Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 11 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Do you believe New Age itself is a cult? My first exposure to it was negative (obnoxious people who had taken Erhard Seminar Training), but I have since met some really cool people, like my current landlord and a former roommate Spiritual Shawn, who overcame PTSD from fighting in Kosovo and the army neglecting him afterwards. He overcame it through Yoga.

I know New Age is largely based on the Hindu religion (hence, reincarnation and chakras). I believe the Law of Attraction has validity - as long as it is followed by the Law of Action.

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I don't think New Age is specific enough to be called a cult, it includes a little bit of anything and everything. It's sort of the ultimate cherry-picked set of beliefs. Someone can be a pantheist who believes in Heaven but not in any kind of Hell. Someone can be a neo-pagan occultist. Someone can be a crystal healer. Someone can be all of those things combined and still fall under the umbrella of New Age.

"I believe the Law of Attraction has validity - as long as it is followed by the Law of Action."

And even then it depends on what the goal is. If my goal is to win 100 million in the lottery even WITH the action of buying 10 tickets everyday my odds are still gonna be absolute crap and I could easily bankrupt myself in pursuit of that goal and never see a return in winnings.

The Universe is under no obligation to give us what we want.

Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 11 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

"The universe is under no obligation to give us what we want."

Amen to that!

Life doesn't owe me a living (but a Lear and a Limo ain't bad).


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 11 months ago from Australia

Hey wise guy where's my comment? It was pertinent and inoffensive.

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Oz, the last time we had an exchange you tried to play the victim and repeatedly threatened to report my commenters and I (when we had done nothing that could even remotely be construed as against hubpages rules). Then when I tried to email you to reason with you you wrote back saying you had reported that email as harassment.

So I banned you from commenting. Hope this jogs your memory of that.

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 11 months ago from Jamaica

I came here because the title was very catchy and boy did my head spin at some of the things you mention. I did see where they try to blend science and spiritual beliefs, but I think they haven't quite understood both.

I do believe there is a link between science and spirituality, however, this New Age stuff is hogwash.

I like the way you presented it.

BTW, I am a Christian, still on the path of finding the truth. I will not give up being a Christian until I find that greater truth, but I believe that what we are taught as Christians is just a fraction of what we should know. In some cases, we are led on the wrong path or not being led at all but rather, kept away from the truth.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Titen I knew I would find this interesting and most enlightening. Suffice it to say, I did. I'm also pleased to have come upon you and your site. Your profile name sounds only slightly familiar so I can't be sure you and I have interacted in the past 4 and half years (as long as I've been here).....

Reading this brought back so many of my prior journeys and experiences. Many decades ago, my entire being was slashed wide open and left to fend for itself, trying desperately to find a way to exist again. I think that's a complex way to admit how desperate I was to find reason to live.

Anyway....I've been here and there and all over the damned place. ....and back again, only to venture further and deeper. Funny thing is I

never actually moved an inch.

Now, in my old age, with all my massive wisdom, more "experience" than I care to discuss & an incredibly healthy, firm grasp of reality, I'm content to say I'm ME . ME means I'm a human with all that makes up a living creature, including that we are self-contained to be, do, learn, investigate, solve, cure, question, answer, change fix and break every last thing. It's all have yours and I have mine and right on down the line.

That pretty much sums up where I am. I fully intend to remain.....unless of course I fall and hit my head beyond repair.

I thoroughly enjoyed your article. I am sure I'll read more. Thanks for the 101......I'm always happy to listen and learn. Peace, Paula.....

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thank you for your comment Cardisa, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

The way I see it the search for truth is more about the journey than the destination. We may never get to the all encompassing truth in our lifetime and our species may never even figure out all there is to know about the reality we inhabit and that's okay.

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for your comment Paula!

Socrates is credited with saying: "A wise man knows only that he knows nothing". No matter how much older and wiser we grow we are still, as you point out, only human and we have all the potential for greatness and all the flaws that come with that. It is amazing that our species of hunter gatherer hominids has come as far as we have and we can go farther still if we search out the truth together.

Jewels profile image

Jewels 11 months ago from Australia

You remind me of me in many ways. I was not interested in teachings that did not give me experiences because without them I was believing what someone was telling me was the truth. I too am skeptical which I find healthy in order to navigate the world. I haven't thrown the baby out with the bathwater though. I don't believe in an arms and legs God, never have. I have a lot of trouble with The Laws of Attraction because they seem to skip over the most important element - Will. You actually have to do something!

Anyway, repeated experiences are my form of empirical proof. I long ago placed logic in the box it needs to be in. It's restricting to the intelligent mind. And many experiences are not rational, at least not to the closed minded. Awe is an amazing feeling.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Very profound statements Titen. I am quite inclined to believe we all would do well to search outward a whole less, but "inward" much more often and deeply.....I also think we all know what we're most comfortable with and attuned to. Intuition plays a really strong role in my life. Have a great week-end.

Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Hi Jewels,

Logic and emotion are not enemies, far from it. For me the two most important things to remember are logic and empathy. Logic helps us think clearly and reasonably and empathy helps us show compassion and understanding to our fellow human beings.

"I have a lot of trouble with The Laws of Attraction because they seem to skip over the most important element - Will. You actually have to do something!"

Exactly. Making a wish and hoping real hard are not going to get you the results you desire without also actively pursuing your goals. The idea that the Universe has to bend itself to your desire is ridiculous.

Jewels profile image

Jewels 11 months ago from Australia

Perhaps I should have said common sense instead of logic. Many experiences don't make sense. Emotions and feelings - definitely keepers!

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