Well there’s all sorts and their black cat out there, we all know that, and #spiritualnoreligion is just another in a long line of mostly harmless fluff that leads nowhere in particular except to give the follower a sense of belonging and a chance to get laid. It’s great, there is no accountability or structure, it’s mostly just the weak indulging themselves in themselves, unless things go haywire and develop in a cultish Charles Mansonesque direction.
Might as well let it all hang out at a music festival or concert if you ask me, where the majority jostle and compete for their identity. You can show off your Corbyn or Che Guevara social revolutionary T-shirt, and listen to an artist like Eminem you once admired open with a cliché-laden anti-Trump tirade, followed by a one-off ‘I say fuck …… you say Trump’ rapper crowd duet at the 2017 Leeds Festival. As someone said, if the 20-year-old Eminem met the 40-year-old Eminem, he’d punch the progressive tosser in the face!
Most common sensible souls would say he’d be better off using his music as a personal anger management run-off, rather than stirring up racial hatred and division to prove his honorary black rapper status. What’s with the white man’s guilt, Eminem? I thought you were bigger than that, you giant, crowd pleasing cock. And since you insist, I choose Trump!
Well, he’s not the only celebrity caught in that effect, is he?
For the rest of us, it’s mostly a TS Elliot landscape of mental devastation out there, everyone has to find mechanisms to cope with anger and stress; finding a cure tailor-made to your personality and circumstances is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, so most just hit the meds, and hope for the best, with the quacks getting prescriptions right a whopping 10% of the time.
At least there’s some research that’s gone into it, a pharmaceutical company has likely invested time and money in the development of a drug that can alleviate some problem or other, according to strict guidelines. Kind of unlike shamans and druids, who were nothing if not experts in the natural medicines available to them in their day. There’s always a trade-off between one size fits all and case by case prescriptions, and then there is freestyle, which involves a healthy dose of self-administering. And that’s when the wheels come off.
And moving on to mind body spirit matters there is a lot of self-suggestion sold as self-help perfection, especially when it comes to the spiritual dimension. In some respects it has become a free for all with so many different unregulated opportunities to explore, a bit like prescription drugs and social media. Even to the extent that the seemingly endless possibilities of social media find a natural ally in the seemingly endless possibilities of new age spiritualism, which in turn find comfortable fraternity in the seemingly endless possibilities of prescription medication mixtures. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were three legs on the same needy stool, pain notwithstanding.
And any idea that the way is narrow and long, and that repetition of the right exercises is part of that way, go out the window, along with qualified professional guidance. And that is the perfect feeding ground for one of humankind’s oldest practitioners, the charlatan, more often than not a self-styled self-appointed guru who leads people astray to further his or her own agenda, with, in Manson’s case, tragic consequences.
There are charlatans, there are foxes, and there is Carlos Castaneda. He is way out there on his own as a charlatan of prodigious talent and success, who dominated a whole student generation in the 1990’s with a fantastic fantasy mystery spiritual business model based on a complete fabrication; that he was inducted by some shaman who never existed into a narcotics themed journey to enlightenment that he made up, as he went along.
With these often entertaining, always crafty and sometimes quite evil mind manipulators and control freaks, it is always buzzwords like journey, and ego, and purity and follow me that hide a multitude of sins, and by sins we need look no further than such inconvenient obstacles to healthy living as the seven deadly sins – gluttony, lust, greed, pride, despair, wrath, vanity, and sloth – and we aren’t talking take a little of what you fancy here, we’re exposing excess!
Sometimes a good understanding of the mainstream, whether it’s religion or music or medicine or movement, is the best place from which to sniff out unholy mixes that seek to deceive the gullible and impressionable, who stick to their false beliefs and gurus like limpets stick to a shipwreck, the wreck being the guru in this metaphor and about as conscious, with the whole selfish and deluded ensemble telling themselves how wonderfully enlightened and conscious they are. And one of the most self deluded sectors of the superficial subjective world under discussion, occupied by selfish types who consider themselves selfless and enlightened beings on a higher plane, is the one dominated by an endless outpouring of a clichéd love and light and beauty, with props like crystals and candles and josh sticks, which these extra sensitive super souls claim to sense so deeply.
And like with so much in the sham spiritualistic domain, it’s hard to know where self-suggestion ends and subtle forms of brainwashing begin. It should come as no surprise to those who know where to look that this outpouring of sticky sentimentality finds its natural home on social media, where what the ancients they claim to venerate would identify as vanity runs amok.
While this is mostly the blind leading the blind around in self-congratulatory circles, occasionally someone finds an eye from somewhere, and begins to lead whoever is prepared to follow in counter productive directions. As is said, in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king, and as is observed, that little kingdom built by any one eyed animal, even one with a rat’s intelligence, always draws an increasing number of the impressionable into its orbit, with increasingly destructive consequences for those on the fringes with everyday responsibilities. And no surprise that denial plays a big part in proceedings.
Undeliverable promises are made, big life changing decisions are taken, normal rules of conduct are stretched then broken, and existing loyalties and commitments are undermined by shared adventures that start as dirty little secrets and end as tools for blackmail in the hands of the leader who emerges from the shadows to create the climate of fear that often ends in a full on, self-indulgent, free for all fuck fest that is about as far from healthy secular values as it’s possible to be. And maybe that’s the intention, if not the aim.
And at that point these days, the vacuous language and imagery of sham spiritualism is reinforced by the lightweight ‘likes’ of an ever growing circle of social media followers, some of them self-absorbed, insecure wankers, others just normal I guess, who empower leaders who’ve never done the hard mental or spiritual yards that allow for a solid appraisal of what might be true or lead somewhere, and what is patently false. At least those on prescription medications are modern value for money mind-altering realists, sticking to the letter of the law, with the odd Manson amongst them to keep us on our toes.
Clearly we aren’t referring to a search for the closest McDonalds or Starbucks here, or a new job, or even the way around a spaghetti junction; and what’s wrong with creating a social media account with content that generates some source of revenue to complement or replace other forms of revenue? All this new technology and much more besides, is to be admired and utilised to make a hard life a little easier. It’s the New Age Spiritualism that leaves a lot to be desired, when it takes itself seriously. Especially as it seems to blend happily with dangerous ideologies like Progressive Socialism, which together drive laws and lives onto the road to hell paved with good intentions.
Could it be that both are largely unaccountable, in thrall to intentions rather than outcomes, and virtually unchallenged in any meaningful, coordinated way? Each take turns in covering for the other, and as you’d expect both claim to venerate nature and nature is under attack from climate change, and anyone who doesn’t float around in this happy virtue signalling hippy bubble, saving the world with other people’s money, is an out of touch heretic. It’s a definite feature of human nature that the false is more attractive than the true, it has and always will be like that, but that doesn’t mean that truth can’t at least have its down to earth say, in a chicken and egg sort of way. Stick to the road lads and lasses, stay clear of new age spiritualism mixed with meds!