Friday, April 11, 2008

Talking about spirituality...

Even with my staunchly agnostic outlook, I sometimes go for the esoteric. The other day I went into that East/West store on lower Fifth Ave. I had never set foot in there. I was looking for a book on the school of Tai Chi I am attempting to practice. I went into this emporium of spirituality in search of peace, and I came out feeling as frazzled as if I had just stepped into Mall of America on Thanksgiving weekend. I will tell you why. Everything, including spirituality, is marketed to death. Used to be only my aunt Clara and my Aunt Dora were doing yoga, back in the day when people thought yoga was exclusively for old ladies and/or hippies. My aunts used towels as their mats. Now you can buy a yoga foam brick for 16 bucks and a mandala patterned cover for your ergonomic, non-slip yoga mat. It's an industry. But this is not all. This amply stocked store has everything you could want to soothe your mind to distraction: new age, Buddhism, Kabbalah, stones, Wiccan, gnostic, Eastern philosophies, CDs that will help you cure your cancer and lose weight, ayurvedic deodorants, aromatherapy. Everything. Some of the stuff is serious, most is mumbo jumbo of PT Barnum quality. It is very hard, if not impossible, to distinguish between the two. But every single item is marketed with the zeal of a crusader.
One item that just blew my mind: a set of transparent stickers with the words "peace", "serenity", "mindfulness", "love", "self-acceptance", "bliss", etc, etched in script type. You take one of these stickers and affix it to the glass in which you are drinking water, so the stickers turn your tap water into a fountain of self-healing and you into instant Buddha. I'm going to buy a set for my tequila shot glasses. One good tequila can help you achieve all of the above, if you think about it.

1 comment:

  1. I'll provide the tequila since I'm living in Mexico and just discovered your it!