My attention has recently been drawn to an (ex) friend of a friend who sells psychic healing services, hypnotherapy and other spiritual goodies.
Let me start by saying that this lady is (probably) a wonderful human being.
But here’s the thing. Said lady- let’s call her Cleo – claims to be a member of an international society of shamans. I don’t doubt that such a society exists – (actually it even has a Board of Directors!) – BUT, for my money, shamans are people who live in primitive communities, take hallucinogenic drugs, don’t wash or brush their hair, and dance around fires in robes or alternatively loincloths. They don’t live in Canberra, concern themselves with getting exactly the right bra fitting, and rejoice in all the mod cons. Or belong to international societies.
Second, there seems to be a certain disjunct between what she sells (inner peace, benevolence, wisdom, all that kind of thing) and what she, well, is. Which is, naturally, wonderful – but also kind of acquisitive, demanding, and (to the uninitiated) a tiny bit parasitic.
I have a new theory about life. It goes like this. Look at the facts. Yes, chew your nails and bare your heartstrings if you must – but mainly, look at the facts. So if I were my friend, I might look at the facts thus. Cleo has a nice line of work getting paid for dubious psychic services, ie conning people. Cleo also likes to go away for weekends in five star hotels and to live a relaxed and well-off lifestyle. My friend has the means to satisfy these spiritual longings. Cleo took due note of this and acted accordingly. As in work, so in play.
My friend would say no, Cleo believes in the genuineness of her spiritual produce, and though she’s no saint, has brought much good into the world (and got quite a lot of goods out of it).
Not that it matters much. Everybody had fun, Cleo was apparently hot stuff. But it raises a number of interesting questions. One, are there really more things in heaven and earth? And two, is it really possible to live a better life by just looking at the facts?