Naturally, this requires further explication -- as does my absence here since May 22, but we'll get to that.
Twitter just recently implemented these lists, and it took me a day or two to figure out what they were for and how they worked. Then the penny dropped. Oh! I immediately flashed on the Mystic B Rogues Gallery I put together back in January. With a Twitter list, I could update that, expand on it, plus make it more interactive and, you know, modern. For instance, let's listen in on what some of these jokers are saying right this very minute!
Deepak Chopra: You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?As you can see, metaphor is big with these folks. That is, unless they actually think people fly and acorns dream. Or that "this difficult time" is an appropriate euphemism to use in reference to three people you just killed. However, given their many other strange beliefs -- such as, oh let's see... "universal supply" and "UFO’s full of ET's" -- I suppose dreaming acorns are entirely possible. In fact, all these people are all about "the possible."
At this point I should probably recap why I started writing Mystic Bourgeoisie. Stop me if you've heard this before. My inspiration, if you could call it that, was the painful death of an important relationship. She always protested that she was not New Age. You've heard that one before, for sure. "Who me? Oh, I'm not New Age!" We've all heard it. Only terminal cases ever admit to the proclivity. Maybe the last gasp of those people who recently died in James Arthur Ray's Sedona sweat lodge was "Oh fuck, I guess I am New Age!" But of course, we'll never know if, even then, the denial was finally overcome. When you get right down to it, nobody wants to be seen as New Age because nobody wants to be seen as irreparably stupid.
Long story short, I took her at her word. Until after it was over, anyway, and I started asking myself what had happened, what had gone so terribly, irreparably wrong. "I'm spiritual but not religious," she once told me, and I was actually impressed. It sounded so smart. At the time. In the context. It's embarrassing to admit what a chump I was. But I was. A tool. A fool. An unwitting enabler of this grandiose self-absorbed bullshit. It wasn't until I encountered the book, Spiritual, but not Religious: Understanding Unchurched America, that I -- suddenly, thunderstruck -- understood it was a context-free cultural meme, a buzzword, a badge of membership in some amorphous faux-community held together only by the vague belief of its members that they are "not New Age."
So I started Mystic Bourgeoisie to explore what else might be hidden under the hood of nicey-nice sentiments and trendy affirmations of the type that are common as dirt here in Boulder, Colorado. Of course, I quickly came to realize that Boulder and Sedona and Big Sur had long ago lost whatever lock they once may have had on the market for mystically rationalized narcissistic personality disorders. Such spiritual-but-not-religious not-really-New-Age notions and nostrums had been packaged, marketed and widely exported, such that -- thanks to middleware mediums such as Hay House, The Secret, and The Oprah Winfrey Show --- they now constitute many of the unexamined "core values" of middle-class, middle-of-the-road America: a.k.a. the Mystic Bourgeoisie.
But of course, it didn't stop there. The phenomenon has gone gibberingly, grandiosely global -- and "established religions" have hardly been immune. Take Hinduism. Please.
Some of you will recognize many of my Crackpotz. Others will recognize only a handful. But I'm betting damn few will be familiar with these denizens of the Hindu Right. That's right: as in what some would call spiritually fascist. In no particular order...
And this brings us back to why Mystic B has been virtually moribund since last Spring. The history of Hindutva and related right-wing racialism goes back two centuries, connecting German Romanticism, American Transcendentalism, Indian Nationalist terrorism, Esalen Institute, Transpersonal Psychology, and Ken Wilber's Integral-Everything-on-a-Stick. When I began to explore these connections and cross-pollinations, I had no idea what I was wading into. The links are deep, real, and ultimately mind-blowing. However, trying to unpack how this whole morass evolved -- not to mention how it has shaped the contemporary self-delusions of the Spiritual-But-Not-Religious set -- proved more of a challenge than I was prepared to deal with. It was daunting. I am daunted still.
But I have gritted my teeth, girded my loins, and decided to press on: ever deeper into the heart of darkness.
For "personal reasons." Sure, why not?
(an example of Gurjarat "defamation")