Talk of Pop Spir­i­tu­al­ity

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas -

In the be­gin­ning, a dis­ci­ple in search of mean­ing­ful in­sight looked for a teacher to help him awaken the flame. To gain strength and a will more mas­ter­ful than his own required that he make a con­scious sacri­fice to the au­thor­ity of those ahead of him. This en­treaty, once con­sum­mated, be­came the pre­sump­tive devo­tee’s first act of “con­scious” will and the be­gin­ning of a life­time of eq­ui­table ser­vice and study.

The mod­ernist world of pop­spir­i­tu­al­ity re­futes this premise. Pop-spir­i­tu­al­ists cel­e­brate self-help, self-po­ten­tial, self-ful­fil­ment, self-praise, selfish­ness, a ma­raud­ing cor­po­ral ego­ism at labour to gain pop­u­lar ac­cep­tance by se­man­tic ma­nip­u­la­tion and pro­gres­sive mar­ket­ing. Rather than con­trib­ute per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards the well-be­ing of the whole, pop­spir­i­tu­al­ists pro­mul­gate an “I-I-I”, “me-me-me” canon.

Pop-spir­i­tu­al­ity is a trend cre­ated by mar­ket forces…but pop-spir­i­tu­al­ists mis­tak­enly be­lieve that an in­di­vid­ual, if he is truly in­di­vid­ual, can­not mis­lead him­self. But there is a dif­fer­ence be­tween hon­est and dis­hon­est spir­i­tu­al­ity, be­tween real and imag­ined rev­e­la­tion. Be­cause pop-spir­i­tu­al­ity is fash­ion­able and fol­low­ers of fash­ion must follow, pop-spir­i­tu­al­ity can­not cre­ate a ma­ture lead­er­ship; it can­not en­lighten our lone mo­ment of death.

Hav­ing scant re­course to the mys­ter­ies, tra­di­tions of proven knowl­edge or self-sacri­fice, pop-spir­i­tu­al­ity is paradig­matic of har­bin­gers fore­cast­ing an in­evitable ren­dezvous with the last dis­ci­ple.

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