Tiens

Iets in deze zin was ik nog nooit tegengekomen: een dame die (zeer) diep in de New Age-dingen zat, maar er nu niet meer in zit.

Niet zomaar iemand die ooit eens een aromatherapiecursus gevolgd heeft, of die infinitesimaal verdund krijt slikt tegen allergieën of voetreflexologie doet of dergelijke, nee:

I’m not really sure how to introduce myself, except perhaps with this paraphrase: “I have seen the enemy, and she is me.” I’m an author and healer (or I was, actually) in the metaphysical culture. I wrote about energy and chakras, auras, healing, the different kinds of psychic skills . . . the whole shebang. I’ve traveled throughout the states doing book tours, seminars, and workshops. I’ve appeared at all the top New Age venues […] My books have been translated into five languages, and I’ve even had a title in the One Spirit Book Club. Understanding the metaphysical/New Age community and culture has been a central focus of my life and my career.

I’m not just a member of the New Age community – I’ve also been a purveyor of the very things the skeptical community is so concerned about. I’ve been involved in metaphysics and the New Age for over thirty years, I’ve written four books and recorded five audio learning sets in the genre, and I was considered one of the leaders in the field.

Niet gedutst dus.

Enfin, het artikel spreekt voor zich.

Ik begrijp helemaal wat ze zegt over James Randi:

I know he would not like to hear this, but it’s still true: James Randi’s behavior and demeanor were so culturally insensitive that he actually created a gigantic backlash against skepticism, and a gigantic surge toward the New Age that still rages unabated.

I certainly understand and support James Randi’s anger, frustration, and even vitriol now (especially after having lived through the New Age for so many decades), but all I could see then was a very sarcastic man who seemed to attack [Uri] Geller personally. Now, after having been a regular visitor to Randi’s Web site (www.randi.org), I can see him as a deeply caring man who works tirelessly for an important cause. I also see that he is very concerned about some of the unbalanced New Agers who write to him in barely legible missives. I empathize with Randi, because people like that write to me, too (though I take on the role of hero in their fevered fantasy lives, while Randi is treated as a villain). Now that I can see him as an individual and understand his culture, I can see James Randi as the excellent (and intense) man he is-but it took me a while.

Ik ben naar een lezing van Randi geweest toen hij hier in Gent passeerde. Sceptisch, ook in de zin van aura’ en chakra’s en Von Däniken en andere nonsens was ik al een tijdkje, maar als ik erover nadenk, was dat de dag dat ik definitief besefte dat ik eigenlijk 100% ongelovig was.

Eigenlijk wel een ontroerend en goed artikel van mevrouw McLaren. En zo had ik het eigenlijk ook nog nooit bekeken:

One of the biggest falsehoods I’ve encountered is that skeptics can’t tolerate mystery, while New Age people can. This is completely wrong, because it is actually the people in my culture who can’t handle mystery – not even a tiny bit of it. Everything in my New Age culture comes complete with an answer, a reason, and a source. Every action, emotion, health symptom, dream, accident, birth, death, or idea here has a direct link to the influence of the stars, chi, past lives, ancestors, energy fields, interdimensional beings, enneagrams, devas, fairies, spirit guides, angels, aliens, karma, God, or the Goddess.

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<insert standard disclaimer>

Alles wat hier staat is mijn eigen opinie. Het wordt niet nagelezen of goedgekeurd door mijn werkgever voor het on-line komt, en ik bied geen enkele garantie voor kwaliteit of correctheid.

Mijn werkgever is het niet noodzakelijk eens met wat ik schrijf, en het spreekt vanzelf dat hij dan ook op geen enkele wijze aansprakelijk kan zijn voor wat ik hier publiceer.