Is Spiritual Esoterica Bleeding From the Media’s Slit Wrists?

Someway, somehow, real esoteric terms, ideas, or schools become well-known amongst the masses. Cool! The more the merrier, as far as I am concerned. But somehow these things get perverted.

Take the idea of Zen. You will hear many people at many different times use the adjective Zen to describe an activity that’s simple and enjoyable–transcendent in its simplicity allowing for one to just be happy. Wrong. This is not Zen. And yet it’s part of our vocabulary these days.

RealitySandwich’s Richard Smoley makes solid points while instead of bashing, redirects out attention:

“Not only do you get the picture, but in all likelihood you have long since gotten the picture. This kind of commercialism has become so much a part of the American scene that even to rail at it at this point seems like something between a cliché and a cheap shot. So that is not my purpose. My purpose is to look into something a bit subtler: how ideas that are originally mystical or esoteric make their way into mass culture. How do these ideas get out? And what do such ostensibly terrible things as commercialization and vulgarization have to do with this process?”


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