Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The following is from a new book (August 2003) by the same guy I quoted in the previous post, Walter Truett Anderson. The book is titled The Next Enlightenment: Integrating East and West in a New Vision of Human Evolution. As he says below [p. 180], and in the previous pages, he's largely a fan of the New Age. However...
"On the negative side, it has been a vast fountain of trivialization, commercialization, sloppy thinking, and general smarminess.

I am inclined to think its contributions are more positive than negative, but in this chapter I plan to deal chiefly with the shortcomings because each is a problem to be understood by the person who undertakes a serious exploration of consciousness. Among the main ones:

  • A tendency toward narcissism, logically resulting from the popularity of the romantic notion of an idealized inner "true self"
  • A bias against rationality, especially unfortunate when coupled with an affection for Big Ideas
  • A kitsch constructivism that fails to respect the limits of our ability to create reality and degenerates into little more than a belief that wishing will make it so
  • A lack of ability -- or even desire -- to evaluate critically the various beliefs, practices, and ideas imported wholesale from other cultures and other ages
  • A chronic susceptibility to cults and cult leaders

The last shortcoming -- the tendency of so many people to swoon in the presence of anybody who claims to be the keeper of spiritual insight -- has led to some of the darkest moments of the New Age. There is a grim record of economic, sexual, and psychological exploitations of the followers of celebrities such as the California promoter Werner Erhard, who built his est teachings into an international business empire that was prodigiously successful until it collapsed under the weight of its founder's ego. The est sage offers an excellent example not only of how such movements go wrong but also the really remarkable willingness of otherwise intelligent people to turn off their shit detectors."

Despite the author's fair-mindedness on the overall
subject (more than I'm inclined to muster), there will
inevitably be those who resent what he says above.

2:33 PM | link |

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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

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Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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