Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Get the Lead Out of Your Ascent: All That New Age Glitterati Isn't Gold

We are still amongst the hypocrites who labor under heavy cloaks that are gold without and lead within. Appearances notwithstanding, those new age spiritual glitterati aren't gold beneath the surface.

Which brings to mind one of Don Colacho's Aphorisms: Nothing is more irritating than the certainty with which a man who has had success in one thing gives his opinion on everything.

Speaking of which, I'm thinking of another DC, who, just because he has had success in marketing himself to morons and in pleasing the state-controlled media, believes himself fit to opine on matters of ultimate significance. (Chopra reminds us that that beacon of banality, Time magazine, literally worships him as "one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.")

Chopra accomplishes the difficult task of being simultaneously not even wrong about both science and religion -- which is a little like being given two choices in a coin toss, but losing anyway:

The "theory of evolution has proved victorious over the Book of Genesis and its story of God creating the universe in seven days. Since then, God has been found wanting when measured against facts and data. With no data to support the existence of God, there is also no reason for religion and science to close the gap between them."

As wrong as Chopra is, only a floridly psychotic person has no part of the truth, for in the absence of truth we couldn't survive. Even animals understand the laws of physics in their own way. It is very hard to be completely wrong about subjects as vast as "science" and "spirit" -- which is why charlatans proliferate in both. The hard part is to appreciate their unity without facilely distorting either.

Upton notes that the gold-plated hypocrites "have a certain ability to manifest the Spirit," but that "the whole import of the Spirit is for them materialistic; they only value the Spirit in materialistic terms."

Thus, for Chopra to suggest that "The real goal of a new science will be to expand our reality so that spiritual truths are acceptable," is precisely backward. The goal of science is science. To pretend otherwise is to elevate it to an idol. But Nothing is rarer than someone who affirms, or denies, but does not exaggerate in order to flatter or to injure (Don Colacho).

The hypocrites have a glamorous surface appearance which may appear "light," but this is only because they are actually weightless. I think all readers with rudimentary spiritual attunement will agree with me that a single aphorism of the unglamorous Don Colacho has more spiritual "heft" than the complete works of Tony Robbins, or Wayne Dyer, or any other new age guru.

Thus, "in the afterlife" the hypocrites "are weighted down by the very glittering surface that once seemed so light" (Upton). Unlike here, bullshit doesn't float in hell. Rather, like the Sheen on Charlie, it plunges to the bottom, where it belongs.

It is not surprising that the WindyHindi continues to be one of the most intransigent supporters of perhaps our most outwardly glittering president ever (at least Kennedy had some real lead in his pencil).

Nor is it surprising to us that Obama has turned out to be simultaneously leaden and yet so light in the loafers. But in the teeth of reality, Chopra maintains just the opposite, and that Americans are just too stupid to grasp it:

"Bad faith, it would seem, isn't something Americans care about as long as image works. Obama is a good-faith President who is being punished for speaking maturely and soberly about our complex problems, trying to cobble together a master plan for the future that, frankly, the majority of Americans cannot grasp."

Ho! I think he meant that "Americans cannot afford." And that he has a plan for the state to be our master.

Upton notes that the hypocrite has certain advantages over the virtuous, since he is not constrained by truth: "The con artist will commonly look more sincere than the honest man," since "he can put all his psychic energy into appearing sincere." Conversely, the honest man "will often manifest an entirely appropriate reticence -- which the hypocrite will then attempt to portray as shiftiness or dishonesty."

Inappropriate confidence is a plague of our time -- partly a reflection of the new cultural ideal of "self esteem." No one is permitted to know that they are a genuine imbecile when the imbeciles are running the show.

Upton makes the subtle point that both hypocrisy and its seeming opposite -- cynicism -- are diverse expressions of the same underlying pride. Thus, as much as, say, Bill Maher may attack Christian hypocrisy, he is psychically attracted to it in order to manage his own spiritual affairs.

For "Cynics believe that sincerity consists in exhibiting shortcomings and that to hide them is to be a hypocrite; they do not master themselves, and still less do they seek to transcend themselves" (Upton). Through this sleight of hand they are able to convert shameful failings into virtues like "authenticity." Thus, it is also an act "of theft by which the passional and egotistic soul appropriates what belongs to the spiritual soul" (ibid.).

Which reminds me of another timelessly timely aphorism of Don Colacho: The bourgeoisie is any group of individuals dissatisfied with what they have and satisfied with what they are.

In his spiritual narcissism, Chopra insists that God and truth are not to be found "in the church" but in his "personal experience." If so, then Upton has it all wrong in maintaining that he who has no Guide has Satan for a guide.

34 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

Wow. Powerful piece. And a great ending.

I can't believe that first Chopra quote. Nobody is that stupid. He actually sounds anti-religious/spiritual. Like the mask leaked a little there.

3/08/2011 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

And this..
"I'm thinking... of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution has proved victorious over the Book of Genesis and its story of God creating the universe in seven days."

Victorious? Number 1, "that theory" is practically a word-for-word rip-off of Genesis.

And funny I was just thinking yesterday how much less value Genesis would have, how disappointing and certainly not as perennially beautiful if God had said, "... and on the 14,005,898,563,(etc).7833rd day God created humans.

3/08/2011 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'll second Rick, both times.

Reading the linked article, I'm almost at a loss for words. If all you look at is the surface of what he says, it appears to have meaning and depth, enough so that anyone who just want to feel good might get the warm fuzzies (little realizing that's not the light of heaven warming the cockles of their ego). But on even the most cursory examination it all becomes nonsense. Kind of like the inverted reflected image on a soap bubble, and it vanishes with just as little provocation.

I wonder if he believes what he's shoveling? Because he basically just said "don't believe religion, science is religion, there is no god but me and you." Or something along those lines. It's so self-contradictory and topsy turvy!

3/08/2011 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Which reminds me of another timelessly timely aphorism of Don Colacho: The bourgeoisie is any group of individuals dissatisfied with what they have and satisfied with what they are.

All Those Glitterati Are Not Gold

3/08/2011 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Like all bad poets, all bad theologians are sincere.

3/08/2011 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

"Fortunately, God protects the sincere individual who has purity of intent from being fundamentally damaged by corrupted teachings." -GB

3/08/2011 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

I could hardly believe my reading eyes! How low will Great Britian go?

3/08/2011 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Schuon said something almost identical. God indeed "knows his own."

3/08/2011 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow. From Mizze's link:

“In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives.”

Well, he got the "educated" part right. Only the extra-educated could hold such a bigoted view of Middle Americans in general and Tea Partiers in particular.

3/08/2011 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

That was in reference to Mizze's first link. The second is just asstounding.

***

Ha - I think wv has Bob pegged: "Quipsych"

3/08/2011 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Nothing is more irritating than the certainty with which a man who has had success in one thing gives his opinion on everything.<<

The list would be endless, but one name leaps to mind: Noam Chomsky.

3/08/2011 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to the post, re. Obama's master plan, not only can Americans not afford it, that was always the plan. When he was campaigning, how often did we hear him intoning that energy would have to become more expensive so that we'd use less, and (for instance) be forced to depend on public and alternative transportation? We're seeing the fruits of that brilliant idea already, but I notice that the MSM is soft pedaling it as though there's nothing to be concerned about in skyrocketing gas prices.

On Yahoo this morning, there's a link to an article about the rising gas prices. The description of the article is as follows:

Mystery of fluctuating gas prices explained
The price of crude oil is just one factor in how station owners set their rates each day. Why costs rise in warm weather

The article itself is headlined:

Gas prices are about more than just oil

And there's a nice wobbly fairy tale about how nobody really knows why gas prices rise and fall, complete with an info bit featuring the processing of American oil. No mention of how we get what we get from other parts of the world, nor what effect those foreign resources have on the price of gas.

I seem to recall a few years ago, in the halcyon days on "no blood for oil," that administrative policies and world affairs apparently had a much different effect on the price of gas, and that when average prices neared or exceeded $3 a gallon, people were crying bloody murder. But for some reason this time, it's all just a natural process, nothing to be concerned about.

Of course we shouldn't be worried. This is the Hope and Change "we" were waiting for.

3/08/2011 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I'd already have ordered the Upton book, except I fear that if I buy into more traditionalists now, I'll end up one of them. Amazon is already pushing Rene Guenon.

Curiously, I recently had a sermon from the voice in my heart about the fundamental difference between seeing the physical as a tool for the spirit (which is the natural way) and seeing the spiritual as a tool for the body (which is the inverted way). That should be obvious to anyone, but that is not the case in practice.

3/08/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

Firecrackers, that was good!

We have the makings of a new DC comic series: DC vs. DC. Imagine the cartoon bubbles...

3/08/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Magnus:

I would ignore Guenon -- he's all geometry and no music, plus he strikes me as a frankly paranoid personality at times. Moreover, there is nothing in Guenon that Schuon doesn't express in a more poetic, luminous, and balanced way.

3/08/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

The peddlers of cultural objects would not be annoying if they did not sell them with the rhetoric of an apostle.

And

The heresy that threatens the Church, in our time, is “worldliness.”

3/08/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Me, I'm just trying to figure out if Julie or Mizz E has the sunniest smile on the Intertunnel.

I've never found enough energy to even ignore Deeppacked Okra. It's exhausting being me, I guess.

I've never looked at Don Colacho's whoopdedo before, though I've seen it mentioned here and there, especially from that Vanderleun fellow. What a blast that page is to read.

3/08/2011 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

That's him in those Dos Equis commercials -- "the most interesting man in the world."

3/08/2011 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Inappropriate confidence is a plague of our time -- partly a reflection of the new cultural ideal of "self esteem." No one is permitted to know that they are a genuine imbecile when the imbeciles are running the show.


Along these lines, I added the quote below to my sidebar a few days ago, attributed to "anonymous" because I can't figure out where I found it. I'm thinking it may be somebody like Spurgeon, but whatever:

Humility is often a function of effort. Pride can arise from accomplishment, it is true, yet there is in such pride a hope of health. The one who has accomplished much can usually be made to recall the arduous, trying path to the pinnacle. All too often arrogance is born a twin of ignorance. We may have a high opinion of ourselves only because we are untested.

3/08/2011 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Dupree, I always think the same thing, the Dos Equis guy must be based on Don Colacho.

As far as Sippican's dilemma, that's too much like trying to pick between Diana Prince and Wonder Woman.

3/08/2011 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Charlie says said...

WINNING!

3/08/2011 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

I've been to Bogota a few times and have several Colombian friends I'm in touch with still. Never heard of don Colacho until GB starting posting his aphorisms (by way of comparison, numerous Indians of my acquaintance knew all about Sri Aurobindo).

Colombia is an amazing place once you get past all the drug and violence craziness -- sort of like Detroit. There's a magical quality that leads one to understand how a don Colacho could live and flourish there.

3/08/2011 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous SAAS said...

You all are unwise to rely on the aphorisms of Colombian cartel mascots.

They are as comfortable with an AKM as they are with a word processor.

But: "No one is permitted to know that they are a genuine imbecile when the imbeciles are running the show."

Why do you people allow imbeciles to run the show? Have you no control over your people?

Feminists, deconstructionists, imbeciles and evil snake oil Deepaks are at the helm of your ship. Shouldn't you do something besides stand there gaping at the spectacle?

Not that I care I don't have to live with it.

3/08/2011 02:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Kip said...

Like anyone would even read that.

3/08/2011 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

The improvised idea shines and then goes out.

3/08/2011 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

*Sigh*

Because of course to leftists, "Good Christian" is actually an oxymoron.

3/08/2011 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Sipp, I'm sure it is exhausting being you, because you really do work for a living.

Also, thank you, and Mushroom, too. If the smile on my face puts a smile on your face, then I'm happy to share it :)

3/08/2011 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Chaminlal G. said...

I visit a cousin in Milwaukee.

I get there, no power or running water. We have to go out and pay money to get these things going at his house.

I'm thinking "What kind of a country is this?"

Cousin shows me a pay record. The government has snatched fully a quarter of it before he even got it. He told me once a year they take even more.

(!!!)

His street has some bad guys on the corner. The local police officer comes to the house. I tell her "clean that scum up please." She stated she can't do it.

She has only a pistol. I say "where is your rifle?" She says she is not given a rifle.

I say "how cheap can you get? Government takes all that money can't even buy police weapons."

Cousin's garbage is overflowing. The stench is unbelievable. You guessed it--we have to go pay someone. Sure enough, next morning the garbage is gone.

I tell you this: your nation is in a disgraceful state. You had better tell me what plans you have to fix things.

Next morning I leave for the airport I see two girls holding hands on the street. I think "How nice." Then they kiss each other on the lips.

Ok, that's it, take me home. This place is a horror.

So what do you American men say about this?

3/08/2011 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Charlie "Afro" Sheen said...

My wives are Detroit?

3/08/2011 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Upton notes that the hypocrite has certain advantages over the virtuous, since he is not constrained by truth: "The con artist will commonly look more sincere than the honest man," since "he can put all his psychic energy into appearing sincere." Conversely, the honest man "will often manifest an entirely appropriate reticence -- which the hypocrite will then attempt to portray as shiftiness or dishonesty."

Yes indeed. Furthermore, the more cunning hypocrites (particularly lefties, jihadists, commies) will often devise ways to preemptedly do so.

As we have seen, there truly is no depths the unprincipled leftists won't go to to maintain their lies and the appearance of sincerity.

In truth, even their "good intentions" canard is a lie when it comes down to it, at least when it comes to the wolves and jackals among them.

3/09/2011 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In his spiritual narcissism, Chopra insists that God and truth are not to be found "in the church" but in his "personal experience." If so, then Upton has it all wrong in maintaining that he who has no Guide has Satan for a guide."

Chopra is the expert in quantum Beezleblabbery.

3/09/2011 02:05:00 AM  
OpenID Rick said...

Don't mind me...just testing this Wordpress thing..

Hiya Ben!
How you feeling, partner? Saw you were under the weather..

3/09/2011 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/09/2011 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Inappropriate confidence is a plague of our time -- partly a reflection of the new cultural ideal of "self esteem."...Upton makes the subtle point that both hypocrisy and its seeming opposite -- cynicism -- are diverse expressions of the same underlying pride. "

Definitely, and interesting to note, not surprisingly, that the self-esteem movement and the anti-establishment movements, began their public rise together.

wv:vesspers
Couldn't hurt.

3/09/2011 05:26:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home