Spirituality on the Half-Shell: Social Medium, Neither Rare nor Well-Done

I just joined a ‘Spiritualism’ group on Facebook last week, hoping for something more than the usual cat videos and pictures of everybody’s good ol’ granddad. It was pretty disturbing, frankly. First of all, ‘Spiritualism’ apparently not only does not include religion, but religion is outright forbidden, in fact. So I thought maybe my definition of ‘Spiritualism’ was imprecise, skewed if not screwed, but if it is, then so is theirs. They even use the term ‘ Spirituality’ interchangeably, so I definitely know what that means. Am I the only one who sees a clear connection between religion and spirituality? Duh…

Second, the leader of the group (“We are all one”) is apparently so paranoid and back-biting, that not only will he talk trash against a competing  (!?) FB group (“they talk about religion—even politics”), that he will kick you out of his group if he sees that you are on theirs, too. Now that’s truly weird. That makes Scientology look positively Unitarian, if not Universalist. He makes it repeatedly clear that he can and will control the flow of info on his page in his group. If no religion is allowed, then I guess that leaves only New Age (fill-in-the-blank)…

Next in line to the throne of that FB page is apparently a wannabe Aztec princess, complete with name in the Nahuatl language, no doubt meaning something very nurturing yet powerful, who apparently imagines herself a spiritualistic DJ, spinning out all the big hits from New Age headlines, in order to make us would-be disciples ‘think more deeply’. Example: ‘Are babies born pure?’ Now that’s deep—free will vs. determinism. But somehow I don’t think Descartes, Kant and Schopenhauer will toss and turn in their graves wondering if they missed out on the pinnacles of Western thought.

From there the group is apparently arrayed in a hierarchy of sycophancy, competing for favors, kissing up and knocking down, jockeying for position while positioning their jockeys, bragging about the age they started their ‘path’ and looking for online confirmation that they are indeed an ’empath’, a word and concept apparently borrowed from science fiction and denoting the unconscious borrowing of other people’s emotions, the better to heal them with, I suppose.

I’m not as cynical about all this as it sounds. I really think there is plenty of good stuff embedded in the overarching field of New Age metaphysics, but I hope it doesn’t exclude religion—or physics—or philosophy. So out of curiosity, I myself took the online test to see if I am an ’empath’ by any chance. Turns out I am, with flying colors, 100% in fact.

But I’m not sure but what I wanted to ace the test, and so was thereby saying what I thought they wanted to hear, not hard to figure out, as any psychic knows. It WAS multiple choice, after all. Wait a minute; I get it! That’s all part of being an ’empath’ (I even lied outright about the need to be close to water. I live in the desert).  Let me state clearly that I try to be open to all philosophical possibilities, with a distinct nod toward hard science, and absolutely no rejection of established religions.

In fact if you read my sh*t here very often, then you already know that my favorite themes include #1) the unity of all religions, quasi-Bhai-ish in that regard, #2) preparation for the coming semi-apocalyptic bust (think Dark-ish Age) that follows any boom, a concept that probably best characterizes our capitalist culture of the last few hundred years; #3) our survival of that coming Darkish Age, and #4) civilization without the cities, i.e. high-tech rural life—hopefully.

These points are all connected, and largely comprise my philosophic mission here. I’m not motivated by money or ego, not much anyway. I envision a future of gardens and bicycles, diverse peoples, arts and crafts, self-sufficient villages, and cities where beauty reigns supreme. There’s no reason for violence or greed, since (most) everything is shared; sounds good to me. Let’s get started.  And yes, there will be Internet, and FaceBook, and Toto, too.  Toto, too?  Yes, Toto, too…

That’s a pipe dream, of course, and light years away, but not impossible. The idea is for the ‘good guys’ to run things, even though they’re not necessarily the most aggressive or physically impressive, but hopefully they’re the smartest, and socially enlightened. Bad guys can populate the fringes in the post-Apocalyptic nightmare that will await all of us if we don’t cooperate and learn to get along with each other. ASAP.  Whad’ya’ think, God? Can we do it?  The countdown begins…

p.s. Regarding the proliferation of ‘anti-social’ media, you should see what happens in a FB discussion group where there is no moderator to control the flow of info; YEOW! Better wear protection…

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