Spangler, David (1945– )
David Spangler, prominent architect and theoretician of the
New Age movement, was born in Columbus, Ohio, on January
7, 1945. He was raised in a family open to the psychic realm,
and as a boy of seven he had his first mystical experience. As
a teenager he affiliated with several theosophical groups, and
through the writings of Alice A. Bailey, Spangler first learned
of the coming New Age at the end of the twentieth century. In
1964 he settled in Los Angeles, where he and Myrtle Glines
opened a counseling service. He began to channel an entity
named ‘‘John,’’ who would periodically emerge over the next
decades, and in 1967 he authored the booklet The Christ Experience
and the New Age.
In 1970, Glines and Spangler traveled to Great Britain,
where Spangler decided to pay a brief visit to the Findhorn
Community in northern Scotland, an early New Age center. He
then canceled his travel plans and joined the 15-member community
for three years. Here Spangler began to articulate an
idea that the coming New Age would be a cooperative venture
between humans and cosmic forces. He disagreed with Findhorn
leader Peter Caddy, who believed that the New Age would
be brought in by a cataclysmic event.
In 1973 Spangler returned to the United States as an apostle
of the New Age movement and founded the Lorian Association
in Belmont, California, based on the Findhorn model. He lectured
widely and wrote a series of books about the New Age.
Major titles include Revelation The Birth of a New Age (1976), Towards
a Planetary Vision (1977), Explorations Emerging Aspects of
the New Culture (1980), and his autobiography Emergence The
Rebirth of the Sacred (1980).
By the 1980s, the New Age idea had become a mass movement.
Spangler, who had worked so hard on popularizing the
idea, now found himself in the role of critic of the more dubious
aspects of the New Age. He vilified the interest in crystals, psychic
phenomena, and even channeling, as taking people away
from a focus on self-transformation and upon developing a
compassionate and creative life. In 1988, after several years of
silence, Spangler published a series of articles in which he professed
to have given up on the idea of the New Age as a social
event. He now described the New Age as a metaphor for personal
transformation and said that its essence would be found
in the change and growth of individuals. He called upon such
people to work for real change in the social order.
Sources
Spangler, David. The Call. New York Putnam, 1997.
———. Emergence The Rebirth of the Sacred. New York Delta,
1980.
———. Everyday Miracles The Inner Art of Manifestation. New
York BantamDoubledayDell, 1996.
———. Explorations Emerging Aspects of the New Culture. Forres,
Scotland Findhorn Publications, 1980.
———. Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent. New York Berkeley
Publishing Group, 2000.
———. Revelation The Birth of a New Age. San Francisco
Rainbow Bridge, 1976.
———. Towards a Planetary Vision. Forres, Scotland Findhorn
Publications, 1977.