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New-age Wisdom

February 21, 1988

You are to be commended for printing Jeremy Tarcher's thoughtful article about the media coverage of the New Age topics (The Book Review, Feb. 7). He really articulated the problem--ill-informed reporting--and provides a concise overview which should be required reading for any future reportage.

Tarcher correctly states that New Age wisdom is essentially a revival of ancient wisdom, from an age when wisdom itself was a religion and not institutionalized dogma which dictated thought.

Let us remember that early churches taught the concepts of reincarnation and karma up to the year AD 553 when, at a conference of cardinals in Constantinople, those concepts (Origen's doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul) were declared anathema by a vote of 3-2 (see Encyclopedia Britannica under "Councils").

That vote resulted in the interjection of the priesthood between God and humankind and laid the groundwork for the enormous doctrinal, not to mention political, power of all churches today.

It's very tough for a reporter--or an editor--to risk ridicule from peers who are influenced by centuries-old prejudices and honestly print a New Age view without trivializing it.

BURT WILSON

THOUSAND OAKS, CALIF.

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