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

Monday, July 10

unfit to print

Oh crap. I have to post something here quick. I just now left a comment on Chris Anderson's Long Tail blog responding to Malcolm Gladwell's charge that if bloggers didn't have The New York Times to comment on, they wouldn't have anything to write. And I just realized that my previous post here -- duh! -- is a gratuitous comment on a NY Times story! Can't have the clickers-through thinking that's the sum and substance of Mystic Bourgeoisie.

As to what that sum and substance might actually be, I continue to tear my hair out wondering how to make it clear -- to myself, for starters, and later, maybe even to you, gentle readers. While this quandary has brought on crippling writer's block more than once, that isn't (exactly) the reason I haven't posted here for a while. Did you ever hit a place, while passionately exploring some subject, where the connections start coming so thick and fast you can't keep up? Well, that's what's been happening here. I've been collecting and collating source material for several years now, and suddenly links are sprouting up between books that would seem, on the surface, entirely unrelated. While this is certainly encouraging and makes me feel I'm definitely onto something, it's also making it harder to determine precisely what it is I'm onto -- and mostly, how to get my authorial arms around such a vast and sprawling collection of unsuspected (or at least little known) cross-cultural linkages...

  • manifest destiny, spiritualism, Mesmer and his prolific New Thought progeny, social Darwinism, eugenics, "scientific" racism, fascism of every stripe, Madame B's discorporated Masters and Theosophy, Rudy Steiner's Anthroposophy and Buddha's landing on Mars, Carl Jung and the rarified Ascona/Eranos crowd, Stefan George and his adoring circle of girlyman intellectual Nazis, orientalism out the yin-yang, Rene Guenon's sourpuss perennial "Tradition" and it's flowering in Julius Evola's jackboot mysticism, grumpy old Oswald Spengler and the Beats, California dreaming, the transpersonal quantum hoo-hah cascading in a torrent out of Esalen, sillyputty-fueled entheogenic technoshamanism, New Age fakirs and posers beyond number, and somehow... somehow... back to where all this got started: lovely, lilly-white Boulder, Colorado.
Try that on for a Long Tail! Body, mind and spirit, kids. Or, as Boulder's far-famed boomeritic filosofer Ken Wilber puts it: AQAL -- for "All Quadrants, All Levels." You laugh -- and so do I -- but there's even a Wikipedia entry for it. I'm thinking it's already too late.

But I'm workin' on it anyway. As Ginsberg said 50 years ago -- in a very different context -- America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.



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