To All Of My New-Age-y Friends: With All Due Respect, Please Wake Up

via Deconstructing the Manifest. June 14:

For example, this is stupid.


I once noted, to a friend, that those of the New-Age persuasion are friends of the Earth, and therefore are certainly friends of mine. However…

The Archdruid makes a point this week, and I wish to amplify it, because that’s what blogs are for after all. (Ignore the fact that I have hundreds of readers to his tens of thousands. It’s rather rude to point that out, isn’t it?)

…My fellow peak oil blogger Jan Lundberg, an activist well over on the leftward side of things, recently posted a thoughtful critique of the ideas on display at a San Francisco alternative culture expo. In there with the alternative healers and pop mysticism was a pervasive and contemptuous rejection of the idea that there might be limits to material abundance. That habit’s been popular in the New Age scene for decades—Rhonda Byrne’s meretricious The Secret, with its insistence that focusing on your sense of personal entitlement will browbeat the universe into giving you all the goodies you want, has a long pedigree—but as Lundberg pointed out, it’s become tangled up with frankly paranoid conspiracy theories and frankly delusional notions about the human mind’s alleged ability to repeal the laws of thermodynamics. Lundberg suggests that what’s emerging here is a New Age equivalent to the Tea Party, and he’s quite correct: there’s really not much to choose between “visualize, baby, visualize” and “drill, baby, drill.”

From Lundberg’s “thoughtful critique”:

I’m gaga for Gaia, which I don’t expect many modern consumers to relate to. So it’s harder for me to point a finger at anyone believing in scientifically unproven ideas…

(While in my case, I would balk at applying “belief” to my feelings in this area, I will confess to being sympathetic to the “Gaian perspective”…)

…But I draw a line between spiritual experiences and claims such as “aliens are among us and are here to raise humanity’s consciousness because it’s 2012.”

Oooh, pretty, but… No.

It’s worth going over to read the whole thing (both of them) – especially if you’re not particularly immersed in this “we create our own reality, it’s your negative thinking that’s melting the polar ice, so I’m off to my own probability branch, thank you very much” mind-set.

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