Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

If we only had a brain…

I had originally planned to post Losing my religion, Part 2 as a serious follow-up to the (only slightly) satirical Part 1 that I posted the other day. But it was not to be. That post will have to wait. These days I’m not losing my religion; instead I’m constantly losing my train of thought – thanks, as always, to Tony Michalski. A couple of days ago he sent me a link that confirmed what I had suspected when I first found out Time magazine had come out with its special issue on the 100 most influential people shaping our world today.

Yes, Rhonda Byrne, keeper of The Secret, made the cut.

"I'm at a complete loss," Tony wrote. "Somewhere, there's an engineer or a doctor doing something understated but ultimately MASSIVELY beneficial to humanity, [who] won’t be mentioned. Ever. Anywhere. And then this."

I feel your pain, Tony, for it is mine too, and it is America’s as well. Or at least the thinking part of America. It’s not that Time is exactly endorsing Rhonda or The Secret. After all, they did run a critical piece about The Secret last December. Time is simply recognizing Rhonda and her franchise as a huge influence on contemporary pop culture, if not on the actual progress of the human race.

Yet the very fact that Ronda made the top 100 says a lot about the general intelligence level of our culture.

And Time did manage to recruit a Rhonda-friendly writer to pen the profile, Chicken Soup For The Soul co-perpetrator Jack Canfield, who, of course, was featured in The Secret. Waxing poetic about Rhonda’s constant state of bliss and childlike wonder (without even mentioning the possibility that her attitude might have been due to the prescription antidepressants finally kicking in*), Canfield goes on to say:

I am often asked why The Secret has been such a phenomenon—more than 2 million DVDs sold in a year and almost 4 million books in less than six months. It is primarily because Byrne’s love and joy permeate every frame and every page.

Yep, Rhonda’s advising people who want to lose weight to refuse to look at or have anything to do with fat people…or her claim that African genocide victims, Holocaust victims and the like are responsible for their woes…that’s love and joy, all right. You tell ’em, Jack! Then again, I guess it wouldn’t have been appropriate to have someone like Jeffrey Ressner write the piece.

Of course, all is not bliss and wonder for Rhonda these days. Not only was there that short-lived Tilak affair, which could have turned into a huge embarrassment, and not only is she fielding all sorts of criticism about her infomercial and book, but now she is also having to swat away all of those annoying little insects that are buzzing around her, trying to suck some profit from The Secret. Some of the wannabes are now feeling the wrath of Rhonda’s intellectual property attorneys. I guess you could say she is sending her winged monkeys out over the Internet...

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think for a moment that Rhonda shouldn’t protect her creative endeavors. And I for one am pretty annoyed by all of the major hustledorks, as well as the hundreds upon hundreds of minor ones, who are exploiting the hell out of Rhonda’s brainchild, and constantly sending me emails to let me in on their scams. At the very least, they should have a disclaimer on their sites that explicitly states they are not part of Rhonda’s organization. Many of the hucksters do have this disclaimer. But Warrior Boy doesn’t, plus he was using the Secret logo on his site without permission, so the attorneys are rattling their sabers now.

And if anyone ever thought that The Secret was all about spreading love and joy, and lifting up humanity – and that profits and greed were secondary – they only have to listen to Esther Hicks, who is using her imaginary pal(s) Abraham to vent about Rhonda and her greed. (And I thought I was passive-aggressive...) Not that Esther and Jerry weren’t within their rights to protect their intellectual property – though I have to say that in this case, the word "intellectual" is strictly a legal description and nothing more. Anyway, there’s a thread about this topic now on The Secret official discussion forum (thanks again to Mr. T. for bringing it to my attention).

Do play the video clip. And then remind yourself that the people in Esther/Abe’s audience are all adults – presumably competent, functioning adults, people with jobs and children and grandchildren, people who are allowed to roam loose in our streets.

And they really seem to believe that the phony accent Esther is spouting comes from a group of disembodied wise beings. Furthermore, they more than likely paid real money for the privilege of sitting in a room and hearing her spout.

By comparison, the Scarecrow is beginning to look brainier and brainier all the time.

* Hey, I’m just speculating. She did have sort of a breakdown not so very long before she discovered The Secret...and I'm just saying: Never underestimate the power of pharmaceuticals.

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Anonymous TOTALLY disgusted said...

How dare you criticize someone publicly for taking prescription medication? I can't imagine what sort of ignorant, arrogant person would consider this acceptable behavior. This no longer has anything to do with literary criticism. You have crossed over a line here, and I suspect that you are too puffed-up to ever feel some sense of shame.

It's time to pack up your knives and go home. There is no defense for this -- NONE.

Saturday, May 05, 2007 7:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for your input, t.g. but...
1. I was not criticizing ANYONE for taking prescription meds. I was only facetiously suggesting that perhaps Rhonda's ebullience had something to do with her taking an Rx medication. Of course I may have been wrong. I honestly have no idea whether she takes meds or not.
2. This blog has never been even remotely about literary criticism.
3. I am not sure exactly what you mean by "puffed-up." That's from the Bible, isn't it? If it has something to do with water retention, though, that is sometimes the case but I don't see what that has to do with shame or lack thereof.
4. I do not normally carry knives but I believe the Rev does.
5. I *am* home.
6. You need to lighten up.

Saturday, May 05, 2007 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Connie, you were criticizing someone for taking prescription meds. It was a cheap shot and you were called on your bullshit, end of story.

Sunday, May 06, 2007 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Maybe you need to go back and read the post, Anon. Cheap shot? It was gratuitous, perhaps; I'll own up to that. On the other hand, it may not have been all that inaccurate.

Even so, I was not criticizing Rhonda for taking prescription meds. I'm a big believer in meds if they're needed -- including antidepressants and antianxiety meds. In fact, I wish I had a Xanax right now. :-)

However, as I explained to "totally disgusted," I have no idea whether Rhonda is or was on meds of any kind. What I was doing was facetiously suggesting that perhaps the "bliss" and "childlike wonder" that she exhibited during the filming of "The Secret" could have been due to meds.

Of course I realize that her joy could also have been due to her being all delirious about the wonderful "Secret" she had discovered. I am sure that's what Jack Canfield was implying, and that's what "Secret" fans would love to believe. Maybe Rhonda was truly excited about the prospect of spreading joy to humanity. And maybe she was giddy over the prospect of making a bundle of money.

Or perhaps her mood was the result of a combination of meds and her joy over "The Secret."

But the truth is, nobody can remain in a state of "bliss" and "childlike wonder" forever. Sooner or later, you gotta come down. And, cheap shot or not, there are actually a couple of serious points here. For instance...does that "Secret"-inspired joy have any basis in reality, or is it just a result of a slick combination of clever marketing, special effects and mystical music? And once that initial "Secret"-induced high wears off, what does one do with the rest of one's life? What to do when the disillusionment sets in, when the logistical fallacies, scientific inaccuracies and morally repugnant aspects of Rhonda's brain child become too apparent to ignore?

You can go on believing that this post was all about criticizing someone for taking Rx meds, but if so, you have completely missed the larger message.

Sunday, May 06, 2007 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Paulette said...

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.
~Kurt Vonnegut ~

I've always wondered why people frequently view something they find distasteful or disagreeable & then persistently insist on expressing their dissatisfaction or anger or whatever with extreme seriousness?

From their uninspired unintelligent harping & spineless (& again totally uninspired) pseudonyms I smell a peck of Secretards & Secretrons. I find tds's phrase, 'too puffed-up' interesting. The ONLY people I know who use it are 2 friends of mine. One is from Australia & the other from New Zealand.

I also find that in customary (and utterly boring) fashion the Secretrons responding here have ultra-sensitive knees - as do loa'ers (which makes me wonder what they are doing all day to have caused such sensitivity to their knees especially since they don't believe in serving others or physical exercise) with all their automaton joint-jerking & their pitiful Pollyanna-platitudes & boo-hooing all *feel* to me awfully antithetical to their precious Secret weighs & means regulations & their loa tenets both which preach turning away from anything unlovely, negative or critical (and anyone or anything using critical thinking), less the Secretron or loa'er transmutes into a block of salt, or a vacuum cleaner (whichever item they are most aligned with I guess?)........And if like "like attracts like" then like lions & tigers & bears oh my! You, me, anon, totally disgusted said, Dorothy, Rhonda, flying monkeys, TWWotW are all, like, the same! (I would like to get the ruby slippers on Thursdays if that's like ok with ya' all?)

And this brings me to not only why do the Secretrons permit their pretty little eyes to gaze upon that which is not in agreement with their Rhondabot rules but how did they attract such a traumatic experience to themselves to even be reading your whicked Whirled Musings blog to begin with? Can they neither look away or choose not to visit Whirled Musings if your writing saddens, disturbs &/or angers them so much? Can't they manifest their own blogs? Can't they perform some wootual so as to protect themselves from reading satirical pieces? This way they can better use their time & energy to magnetize themselves so perfectedly that they will exclusively attract The Secret tm approved blogs & only The Secret tm approved blogs now & for evermore?

And if they don't give a fig about the Sudanese & don't believe in discrimination or the abuse of children then why oh why do their shriveled little hearts cry & care so much about a humor piece written about Rhonda? (Unless of course tds is a lame pseudonym for puffy Byrne herself). I would more than agree that if she did get to biblically *know* Tilaka - who in the real reality laka boys a whole lotta more than girlies - well then her transmuting into Blanche DuBois might only be as temporary as her need for Rx's. (Put's a whole new meaning into the brand name: Proctor & Gamble).

And if what The Secret teaches is truth & we are all solely responsible 110% for what we experience & what others think about us then isn't it Rhonbota's errr...I mean, Rhonda's fault that many of us have speculated about her pre-Secret breakdown; her post-Secret spiral into madness aka The Tilak Incident; & then wondered if she has been prescribed western medication(s) of some sort to handle all these intense heady vibrations?

This would certainly explain her kangaroo-caught-in-the-headlights gaze & her post-menopausal manic cheerleader cheeriness (& her severe misjudging of Tilak)....or is that a highly sought after Secretron style? Could it be that Rhonda's obsolete gaydar, blind faith, Barbie math & science skills & other idiotsyncrasies are deemed desirable traits by loa'ers & Secretrons alike?

I digress - doesn't The Secret, Abe-Hicks, Seth, Ramtha & mostly all metaphysical vortexes teach it is the power of our minds which heals & that western doctors & all healing modalities other than those very special ones which employ *energy*, *vibrations*, *magnets* or *light* are all meaningless & this would include western meds as well? After all, it's the mind which created the illness to start with? "Like cures like" has like never made more sense than now!

Isn't Rhonda the woman who made the extraordinary claims that pre-Secret she was fat & didn't she explain the arduous step by step process by which she cured herself of fatness? This process amounted to simply thinking thin thoughts(and by not looking at Oprah of course because one never knows where Oprah's weight is going to be)?

And didn't Rhonda also make extraordinary claims in her fabulous The Secret fairy-tale glittery gumdrop book that 2 people, both with the surname of Goodman (talk about synchronicity!), cured themselves of cancer via the wondrous information she generously & graciously shares with us in The Secret? The 2 Goodman’s, listened to Rhonda & without taking medication or following traditional western med protocol, both miraculously cured themselves of cancer? (Strange that Jerry Adler, senior editor at Newsweek, was unable to find either Goodman to colloborate Byrnes' claims.)
And isn't this the very same Rhonda Byrne, who pooh-poohed, wearing ocular crutches (eye-glasses to us regular folk who cannot seem to unleash the awesome secretive power of The Secret) & she wished & willed her dancing rods & cones into fit-fab 20/20 & glasses be gone?

Why are the Secretrons & Loa'ers getting so upset about making fun of people who take prescription medication? It's all placebo-effect anyway - right? Isn't that a major part of what is shatted & secreted from these ancient secret teachings?

Finally, do these Rhonda-bots & Abers & Bleepers & flakey-fake-named-phonies start off without any senses of humor whatsoever? Or are the humor detectors in the brain sadly destroyed in the Secretron initiation process? A by-process during the decimation......err.... I mean "liberation"..... of their minds from rational thinking, common sense, analytical skills, empathy & their 4th grade math & science lessons?

(If Thursday has been claimed then I would like to reserve the ruby slippers for Fridays.)

Monday, May 07, 2007 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Paulette, all I can say is, it's good to have ya back! :-)

First off, the ruby slippers are reserved until Saturday; after that, they're all yours!

And as for meds... I do remember Rhonda saying she wasn't going to get a flu shot this last flu season, because her happy thoughts made her invulnerable to illness. But that doesn't rule out the possibility that at some point she was taking antidepressants. She may not be on 'em now, but she could have been during the filming of "The Secret." Who knows? Who cares? The point is...the Secretrons missed the point of my blog entirely!

Monday, May 07, 2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one am not a secretron, your offhand comment about prescription medications was weaksauce. Please stick to criticizing people and new age movements based on facts and science as opposed to personal slander.

Nobody is missing your point, puhleaze.

Monday, May 07, 2007 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

The thing is, Anon, this isn't a scientific blog, or even a particularly factual one. It's a combination of (mostly humorous) pop-culture commentary, though sometimes the humor falls flat, as it did in this case.

Yes, the original Rx med comment was gratuitous. But – once again! – it was not the point of the post. The real points of the post were that (1) "The Secret" has had such an influence on our culture that Time Magazine actually named Rhonda Byrne as one of the 100 most influential people today. THAT should be enough to worry anyone; and (2) Otherwise reasonable adults pay good money to listen to Esther Hicks speak in a phony voice that she says is the voice of a group of dead people. That too should be enough to worry anyone.

And once again, I WAS NOT CRITICIZING RHONDA – OR ANYONE – FOR TAKING RX MEDS. However... although Rhonda's med regimen is her own business, the more I think about it, the more I believe that a critical look at "The Secret" would not be complete without considering the circumstances under which it was created – including the frame of mind of its creator. If people are looking to the advice in "The Secret" to provide the key to happiness, maybe they need to consider all possible sources of Rhonda's bliss.

BTW, "slander" is a legal term referring to untruths that are *spoken* about someone, with the intention of defaming them. Not only is my blog not a spoken-word forum, but my remark about the meds was pure speculation -- as I mentioned in footnote to the original post. And, once again, there is nothing wrong with taking prescription meds, so even in speculating about that I was not defaming Rhonda in any way.

So I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about whether or not I was criticizing Rhonda for (POSSIBLY) taking medication. I say I wasn't. A few anonymous and, in my opinion, overly-sensitive, souls say I was. And frankly, this is about the silliest non-issue that's ever been argued about on this blog.

I'm wondering if any of dissenters here would have even commented on this post if I hadn't thrown in the gratuitous remark about the meds...

Monday, May 07, 2007 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie shame on you, how dare you say something as hateful and degrading as “prescription antidepressants”. Who are you to imply, even in jest, that someone may or may not be using prescription antidepressants? Do you have any idea that damage that this may cause? Did you not see what happened to Tom Cruise? It turned him into a couch bouncing buffoon. Do you want us (the readers of this blog) to begin babbling and raving about whether or not we know the real SECRET behind psychology.

I also agree that you should stick to the facts and science. Puhleaze! After all wasn’t Rhonda’s brainchild all about facts and science. I saw the genie with my own eyes (on DVD), I heard these self proclaimed teachers tell me that it is proven science (on DVD), Now that real facts backed by real science! The teachers do not all agree anymore and not one scientist has agreed with them but lets stay on topic here…you never should have written the PA word.

PS: for those readers who may have reason to believe this is a serious comment please rest assured it is not.

PSS Connie, if I end this with “end of story” will it make it sound as if there is no rebuttal? If so please cut and paste it to the end of the second paragraph.

PSS loved the post! (that was for real)

Monday, May 07, 2007 9:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Anon, and thanks! Your comment made me feel so good that I'm going to go bounce up and down on the couch like the buffoon I am! :-)

Monday, May 07, 2007 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Paulette said...

I guess if we add some Rx's to the sauce it won't come out so weak?

Huh.....I never thought of that before. Drugs as a viable culinary ingredient - like a spice - but a bit spicier.

I've cooked with wine, whiskey & beer before & certain herbs have medicinal value - maybe the 21st century is the right time to blend Nigella Lawson & Jacqueline Susann together?

Perhaps Rhonda is drug-free? But I doubt if the editing offices of Time Inc. are so naturally healthy. It is mind-blowing they've chosen her as one of the 100 most influential people out of all the people in the world?

And I do apologize to The Original anonymous for thinking you were a Secretron - Connie did not make this assumption - I did. But I find it very difficult to take anyone seriously who doesn't use their real name & has a stunted humor gene.

PS - The pink dolls are tastiest.

Monday, May 07, 2007 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Maybe we should all sit down together over a good batch of...er...enhanced brownies. :-)

Monday, May 07, 2007 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous SpacePastry said...

To the last Anon - I think mentioning Tom Cruise kinda killed any likelihood of taking your ranting seriously. Nice touch!

To Connie - I think the comments from the disgruntled ones are clues as to why Rhonda was named one of 100 most influencial people. The people who truly are benefitting humanity, with or without the help of prescription drugs, will be glossed over and completely missed. Why, your points were missed, when they were fairly obvious to me.

I think you make another interesting point... what was Rhonda's frame of mind? Just how positive and joyful is she in private? And why is she so secretive? She's not out there like all of the other "hustledorks."

But then, I might be living under a rock. In fact, I must have been, because I've only heard of The Secret about a month or so ago. Oh what a peaceful existence I used to have...

Monday, May 07, 2007 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lucky you, Spacepastry, for having gone so long *without* hearing about "The Secret." But your days of innocence are over, LOL.

Rhonda has indeed been relatively low-key, but she has given a few interviews, and in the ones I've listened to she actually sounds more like she's on a recreational substance -- possibly hallucinogenic -- than a scrip med. She sounds entirely too "oh-wow" for my taste. But no one can maintain that "childlike sense of wonder and bliss" 24/7 for an extended period of time -- even with *very* good drugs.

And it's a pretty sure bet that some of "The Secret" hustledorks...oops, I mean teachers... aren't exactly the bouncy happy souls they play on the DVD.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Wilderbeast said...

Your mood swings amaze (and entertain) me, one monent you want to do the “baffoon couch shuffle” the next its “lets sit down to some fudge-a- licius relaxation”. My fun meter is bouncing around like a Baywatch lifeguard’s …eh… well you know.
Anyway love the post, and the fun comments. Some seem to be a little sensitive about the pharmaceutical issue but I see that Anom properly reprimanded you already.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Wilderbeast! My mood swings entertain me too. I never know what I'll come up with next. :-)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 7:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that CONVENIENT. Someone calls you on your "cheap shot," and instead of just offering an apology (GASP!) and just plain backing off -- you continue to defend your behavior by going on the attack.

Be aware of this -- Even though certain people might be public figures, it does not give you the "free speech" right to cross over certain lines....

Go punch a pillow, go for a run, work out in a gym. For your own good, find another way of venting this seething anger.

And, for God's sake be smart enough to avoid the congratulatory fawning of a "puffed-up" person who clearly foams at the mouth at the mere thought that someone dare possess a different thought. Imagine that anger turned AGAINST you.

That's the truth. It's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon, thank you for your input. It sounds to me like you have more of an issue with one of the other commenters here than with me. I have stated my case and am not going to do so again, nor am I going to apologize when I don't think I did anything wrong. You and your fellow anonymous dissenters have made your cases again and again. (And isn't it CONVENIENT that you choose the cloak of anonymity.)

I have apologized on a few occasions on this blog when someone called me on something that was totally out of line or completely untrue. If you can provide proof that Rhonda was not on mood-altering Rx meds while filming "The Secret," I will apologize. If Rhonda wrote to me herself and said my remarks were hurtful to her (and I had verifiable evidence it was she who was writing to me), I would apologize for hurting her. But she's raking in the dough, presumably living her happy-happy joy-joy life, so what does my one little cheap shot matter to her?

It does seem to matter to you and your fellow anons. But if this blog is so distasteful to you, perhaps you need to focus on things you do like. Take a cue from Rhonda and all of those other successful LOA-ers, and ignore me.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 8:42:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"For your own good, find another way of venting this seething anger."

As someone whose past was a pretty angry place, I think this is wonderful advice. It's too bad that the people who offer it don't seem capable of following it themselves.

For the record, I've lived with Connie for going on 14 years, and have rarely seen anything remotely resembling "seething anger." If anything, she's prone to passivity. Perhaps we have a case of projection here, eh, anonymous (or should I say "anonymi")? Just a thought... :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Ron! I kinda thought maybe some of these Anon folks were projecting too. They seem to have a bigger "anger issue" than I, at any rate. And they certainly do not seem to be taking the LOA crowd's advice and focusing on what they want, while refusing to give energy to what they don't want. Unless, of course, what they want is to continue to stew over a throwaway remark I made on my blog. Hey, if it makes 'em happy...

Thursday, May 10, 2007 2:49:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

More than pharmaceuticals, her giddy state sounds to me like she's been getting too much deeksha. It all seems to be connected, deeksha, the secret, paradigm shifts, the year 2012 etc... When you see one of these new mind expanding goodies, the rest tends to come with the bargain.

Friday, May 11, 2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

You're right, Moi. And don't forget the great galactic shift too. We're all on the verge of experiencing the fourth or fifth dementia... I mean, dimension. It's just one great big enlightened package deal!

Friday, May 11, 2007 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger YogaDawg said...

I have do something on the Secret on the www.YogaDawg.com site. There is no better book for a satire. Lots of material there...

Sunday, May 13, 2007 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I can't wait to see what you do, YogaDawg. I love your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 13, 2007 9:55:00 AM  
Blogger Durga said...

"We're all on the verge of experiencing the fourth or fifth dementia... "

Connie, I think I've posted about this before, but I was the lucky recipient of a previous romantic interest's 10 page email attachment about a channeler's insights into 4th "density" relationships. There are , according to her (can't remember her name), entities somewhere in the cosmos who are able to experience relationships without attachment and they would like to teach this wisdom to humans who are pathetically stuck in the 3rd dimension. It's a nice little apologetic for players, er, spiritually awake men who would like to perpetuate their fantasies of endless sex with no committment.
(bty, I have finally got a google account and am going by durga now instead of moi).

Sunday, May 13, 2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Moi/Durga! It's always good to see you here under any name. :-) Yes, you did mention that fourth-density shtick previously. But it bears mentioning again, because, as you noted, it is the sort of thing that is typical of sexual manipulators who use spiritual terminology to justify their amoral behavior.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous NOT feelin' BLUE said...

Some of us choose to do what you called "cloaking" ourselves by remaining anonymous. The best reason I choose to do so is for protection from nut jobs searching for victims on the Internet. Post my photo? Give my name? Give employment information? ...And then post snarky little adolescent, angry comments? HA!

I'd have to be on TONS of some kind of meds to make a decision like that. Good luck.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Durga said...

"But it bears mentioning again, because, as you noted, it is the sort of thing that is typical of sexual manipulators who use spiritual terminology to justify their amoral behavior."

And the funny thing is, he sent the same article to some other woman he was , um, trying to get to know. I ended up meeting her, which is how I found out. Then I saw the article appear again on his website in response to a question someone asked him about relationships. So, his spiritual shtick was really a combination of deeksha, channeling, and the Secret. A holy triad. I sit the fence when it comes to certain spiritual practices, but channeling is something I cannot tolerate because you can basically justify anything with it, and it borders to much on the psychotic. There may be people who only "channel" things that are emotionally and spiritually helpful, but who gets to draw the line?.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"Not feelin' blue," it kind of sounds like you're really the angry one here. I may be going out on a limb here, but it sounds to me as if you get some pleasure out of being righteously angry. If so, then I am happy to have provided some entertainment for you.

As for "adolescent" remarks, try reading some of the stuff on "The Secret" and "Powerful Intentions" discussion forums. Those people may not be angry, but they certainly aren't thinking like adults. Actually, "adolescent" is giving some of 'em way too much credit, maturity-wise.

I've definitely received my share of comments from the "nut jobs," but I don't publish those and I do forward them to the appropriate parties for investigation. And while it may be foolhardy of me to reveal my true identity, the only meds I'm on are sugar and caffeine, and sometimes Excedrin or Actifed.

OMT: Anyone who is considering me as a potential victim should know that the Rev and I are very well-armed, we are good friends with a few good cops, AND we have a very large dog who would get great pleasure in tearing up an intruder who posed any sort of threat whatsoever. But thank you for your concern.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"There may be people who only 'channel' things that are emotionally and spiritually helpful, but who gets to draw the line?"

Exactly, Durga. Channeling is one of those things that anybody can say they do, and, of course, it's non-falsifiable. You can't prove there's NOT some entity and that the dreadful foreign accent the person is speaking in ISN'T phony. And, of course, there are many folks who are willing to believe it's all real. That's why Jerry and Esther Hicks are raking in the dough.

BTW, when I heard Esther's recent radio interview with Oprah, she was telling Oprah how she came to start "channeling" Abraham. I was listening between the lines as usual, and it sounded to me as if Esther was really sort of reluctant to get into this stuff at first, because she thought it was a bit weird, but Jerry sort of pushed her into it. He saw how successful Jane Roberts was with "Seth," and he knew there was a market for "channeled" wisdom. I guess he'd reached a plateau with his Amway business and was seeking greener pastures. Well, he and Esther certainly found that green!

Sunday, May 13, 2007 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Durga said...

"Exactly, Durga. Channeling is one of those things that anybody can say they do, and, of course, it's non-falsifiable. "

Connie, I found a good book at the library that takes a critical look at new age and channeling. He likes the spirit of free inquiry in new age, but criticizes it for some of its less than desirable qualities (he also criticizes progressive scientism for discouraging free inquiry and considers it to be a type of religion that requires allegiance to its principles- skeptico would be an example). The book was written in 1988 but is still applicable. Here's a blurb:
"Channeled messages are often trite and impractical ( heavy on peace and love and evolution which cannot be experienced except abstractly or enacted except as preached instructions), compared, for instance, to poetry which arises from muses that are not explicitly disembodied. By taking into account the opacity and intrinsic paradox of language, poetry is often much more mysterious and true to the riddle of our existence. The process of submitting one's path to automatic writing or a spirit is not necessarily trivial, but the continuous popularizing of such messages and the overall channeling phenomenon suggest a dangerously literal interpretation of the universe."
The book is "Waiting for the Martian express: Cosmic Visitors, Earyth Warriors, Luminous Dreams'" by Richard Grossinger.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Grossinger's book sounds interesting, Durga. This particular title must be out of print because I couldn't find it on Amazon, though I found several others by the same author.

As for the claim that science (or "progressive scientism") is a religion, or even that it is *like* a religion, many skeptics will tell you that's a false analogy, and they'll be happy to point out all the reasons that science is not at all like religion. Yet sometimes those who defend science do act a bit like religious fundamentalists. So, I hasten to add, do some folks who defend "woo."

As for me...well, I think I have a pretty good understanding of the fundamental (pardon the word) differences between science and religion. Although I don't claim to be a consistent critical thinker, I believe I understand the importance of critical thinking. And, as implied above, I also understand the role that emotion often plays in defending one's point of view, whether one is a rationalist or a "believer." I've seen firsthand how the arguments between skeptics and those who aren't so skeptical (or those who are outright "woos") can quickly turn into name-calling on both sides. Hopefully we won't open that can of worms again. :-)

Anyway, I didn't mean to get off on a tangent. Grossinger's book sounds like it's worth reading, for the writing itself if nothing else. I love this quotation: "By taking into account the opacity and intrinsic paradox of language, poetry is often much more mysterious and true to the riddle of our existence."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Durga said...

"Anyway, I didn't mean to get off on a tangent. Grossinger's book sounds like it's worth reading, for the writing itself if nothing else. "

One more quote to give you sense of where he's coming from: "The actual new age is not at stake here; the world must change according to esoteric principles at its core. But the marketed new age is at best a series of well meaning simplifications and at worst a hustle and a fraud made possible by these simplifications. It is the marketing of the new age, the invention of attractive mirages, the promulgation of cliches, that this book addresses..."
And btw, there is a critique of the secret in the NYT book review of this week in an essay by Jerome Groopman, "Prescribed Reading".

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Sounds like Grossinger really hit it on the head about the new age.

Is there a permalink to the NYT Book Review article (that you don't have to be a subscriber to see)? I'd love to read it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:45:00 PM  
Blogger Durga said...

I think you can access the NYT on the web for free.You may have to register, though. Look up sunday's edition and it should be there. He says recent new age thinking, like the Secret, blurs the lines between magic and empirical medicine, something that a thirteenth century philosopher and physician already tackled. But alas, people forget!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Okay, I'll look it up.

Regarding the 13th century philosopher/physician... Yes, people do forget. They are aided in their amneisa when old ideas are repackaged as new and then marketed aggressively.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH why are you so focused on what other people are doing. and why do you feel the need to tell everyone. you are a good writer, you have a lot to say, pick a topic that makes you lighten up perhaps?!

Friday, September 14, 2007 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Welcome to the party, Anon. I published this post May 5 and received your response September 14. Well, better late than never!

To answer your question: I am so focused on what other people are doing because... well, gee, that's what this blog is about. What other people are doing. And what I think about what other people are doing. And as for lightening up, this already *is* a lighthearted blog.

Friday, September 14, 2007 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie - I very much enjoyed your commetary and couldn't agree with you more. Any moron can see that precription meds were not the point of your blog nor were they criticised. P.S. I'm from Texas too where things are real and not Hokey.

Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:10:00 PM  

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