As a cultural phenomenon, the consciousness movement feeds on the romantic notion that inner experience alone can transform reality and that anyone can knead his life into a perfect work of art. As a religious movement, it signals a return to Gnosticism, which always disparages common humanity in the name of higher truths. At its best, it offers an antidote to both false piety and complacent materialism. But at its worst, by ignoring the demonic side of man and smothering tragedy in a cloud of consciousness, it offers a sentimental journey for those who cannot stand too much reality.
Newsweek September 6, 1976