Spangler, David (1945-)

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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 Find-horn 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.


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: Bantam/Doubleday/Dell, 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: Find-horn Publications, 1977.