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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Wednesday, September 28

akma comments

This one means a lot to me, as I have great respect for AKMA.
Connect the Dots

Chris is cooking with propane these days, laying out the background for his tour de force dissection of New Age “spirituality”; once he fills in the details, the lurid story will set straight one side of the complex story of theological pornography of which The da Vinci Code (still selling in hardcover!) and Left Behind (of which the debunker nonpareil is the Slacktivist) [are examples].

When people substitute wish-fulfillment for critical thinking, fantasy for imagination, self-validation for disciplined inquiry, you get the sort of tissue-paper-thin spiritual expression that ornaments current best-seller lists, talk-show platitudes, and church mediocracy. “Wouldn’t it be cool if?” modulates into, “As we all know. . .” without argument or examination.

Rock on, Chris and Fred, let ’er rip.

Well said. That modulation from fantasy to widespread buy-in without benefit of intervening critical intelligence is a core dynamic in the hockey-stick spike of the NewAge++ phenomenon. By far the majority of individuals who have taken the resulting unfiltered hearsay as their personal savior would vehemently argue that they have no connection to New Age ideas. Yet many of the "principles" they just as vehemently believe in, defend, live by and proselytize derive directly from some of the flakiest theories ever cooked up by New Age precursors such as Blavatsky, Eliade, Campbell and Jung -- all of whom had at least an "uncomfortable" affinity for racial and ultranationalist axioms. I have coined the term NewAge++ as a hypothetical category that might embrace this fast growing but so far ill-defined (to the point of invisibility) "spiritual" demographic, and to some extent explain its rapid expansion in contemporary society.

It is worth noting here -- and underlining -- that many similarly unexamined core beliefs form the shaky foundation of much that passes today for "psychotherapy," which is too often no more than a form of bourgeois pop-mysticism taken as what used to be called "gospel truth." Typified by media all-stars such as the virtual combine of Oprah, Chopra, Tolle & Dyer, this numinous lunacy has become a lucrative growth industry.

deconstruction, ideological criticism, postmodern feminism, "transgressive" postmodernism, and other postmodern approaches to biblical interpretation