Snake oil spirituality
Hokey so I had a fun conversation with roommates today. It was about "snake oil" spirituality. Her boss wrote a forward to a book regarding some "the secret" knockoff thing. The idea is that positive thinking and intention can magically get you what you want. My roommate argues that you can't just think something into reality, you have to act. I agree, but at the same time, when she called intentionality "snake oil," it got to me.
I personally experience a world every day where my perception and positive attitude bring many great things into my life. I would go so far as to say that everything that I want and need come to me. I have wants and I am working towards them always with action, but my positivity and faith have a huge part in what comes to me. From random encounters on the train home to things like working at Freshii and hopefully being able to move to my dream land due to it, my heart emanates a field that helps allow these things to happen. I don't believe in this, it is fact. I'm not sitting in a box waiting for shit to happen and thinking really hard, I am out being, but there is more than my will involved in the events of my life.
Now to her, this is total poppycock. She compares it to many religious dogmas that involve promises of grandeur and eternal joy in exchange for mortal goods invented by man-- that greed and materialism are the primary objective of these many religions and philosophies. Worse, that the existence of these religions is holding us back as a race.
Taking my normal stance of moderation, I don't think we should be overly spiritual, but I don't think we should be unspiritual either. Too much spirituality risks allowing others to take advantage of us as well as risks losing sight of our connection to the Earth and our affect on it. Too little disconnects us from that which is truly important and leaves us with nothing but beautiful chaos. Don't get me wrong, neither fate is awful or even bad. Yet, as with many things, go far enough in one direction and you end up on the other side-- both of these ends seem to me the same fate: a convenient disconnection from the truth which allows us to forget what Ishmael taught us.
Maybe this is just me, but I find all extreme views very dangerous. While a deeply religious person is dangerous in their own ways, someone vehemently against religion is as well just as dangerous in their lack of the things that spirituality does bring.
Balance in all things.