When Spiritual Traditions Resemble Washed-Up Rock stars: Spiriitual Syphilus infecting the Internet

The INTERNET is a microcosm of the world ; many of the trends we observe outside the narrow rectangle of the computer screen we can expect to find online.  There is one trend -the purposeful commercialization of spiritual traditions- that I am enamored with.

Aside from the expected paraphernalia like calendars, pendants, DVD‘s, there are products that can only be found on the corners of the seedier back-alleyways of the online market. Only $14 – the price of an ounce of distilled essence of ayahuasca – stand between you and a spiritual experience. What a deal!!!! – $14 bypasses all the formalities like character refinement and community service which mean you can continue to be a raging asshole and still experiment guilt-free with your spiritual tendencies, like we all did in college.

Even more Friends on Facebook

Lucifer on his way to bring about the downfall of Adam. Gustave Doré's illustration for Paradise Lost, Book III, lines 739–742 by John Milton.

Though I’d never usually touch anything from the invisible hand of the black market for the same reason I wouldnt trust the bowl of nuts at a strip club, I have to say I have enjoyed all my new Facebook Friends this addiction has corralled together. And that’s why I love this trend, unlike alcohol, crack, cocaine which carries with them guilt and a more ragged appearence, being addicted to constant self-gratification and emotional stimuli carries no guilt, sunken eyes or a jeremiad enumerating in epic poem form all the nasty and depraved acts committed to get ‘mines’.

My new facebook friend constantly remind me how spiritual beautiful I am. I am so high in the sky I no longer smell the stink of my own excrement. They have so sophisticated analogies involving my rapid machine gun firing of spiritual quotes and light. I am a light worker, a light bearer, light reflector, I am pure love without the trips to the clinic. All of which I adore except the light-bearer name which coincidentally was the meaning of name of satan: Lucifer [Lucifer meaning “light-bearer” (from the words lucem ferre)]. But as long as they don’t know I wont tell them.

Spiritual Syphilus

The connection with the KISS paraphernalia of the 70’s and 80’s and all today’s spiritual bargain price paraphernalia is clear in that both are reliable fodder for landfills as well as gift for people we marginally know.But there is a more serious crime here other than the raping of mother Earth to make all this refuse and that is the spreading of spiritual syphilis. Just like regular syphilis, spiritual syphilis attacks the spiritual nervous system, slowly eroding it away till one loses one’s moral compass and the ability to be self-critical.

Stages of Spiritual Syphilis

Stage 1: Self-Entitlement Stage

You find that spiritual quotes make you happy. Your knee, pain upset stomache disappear when you hear/read them, they are like concetrated pills of Ibruprofen  God and his angels are giving you signs that your better than everyone else

Stage 2: Self-Absorption Stage

You start to talk about yourself and your spiritual awakening in every conversation whether or not it is pertinent. You may also share the new powers God himself has granted you like infallability in all subjects because your better than everyone else. Complete exoneration from all wrongdoing because with your newfound levels of spiritual balance it takes only one to tango. Prophetic dreams which are remarkably similar to scene from Gene Roddenberry‘s corpus of works

Stage 3: Self Appointed & Appropriate Title Stage

You appoint yourself to positions of obscurity but demand everyone respect your authority by flooding  stores with merchandise. Now you search for quotes  to solidify your sovereignty

Luckily for all of us any decent calamity can bring us to a point where we chose to adopt a more humble disposition but aside from freak winter storms flooding, earthquakes, market crashes, volcanoes, high unemployment rates I doubt this will happen.


The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin, 1852.

When I think of old rock bands like KISS, and my many automaton friends on Facebook that speak in platitude from the spaces of their broken lives, I’m brought to an idyllic place of irresponsible exchanges of venereal diseases and Rumi Quotes, of self-appointed titles, plastic surgery and appearing as something we aren’t – all held together together by an absence of conscience.

In this fantasy there exist some maverick technology which can transform the excessive paraphernalia into something useful like spools of moral fibers. Maybe we can stitch the disparate and non inclusive experiences of life both virtual and non into quilt that’s not so sad to look at.

But until that dream is realized we can be content with the consequences of our misappropriation of spiritual traditions and discourse. Like seeds from Genetic Modified Food titan and self-professed sodomite of Mother Nature Monsanto, we shouldn’t be surprised that there is no generative or restoring energy in any project we start nothing and how nothing really new can grow from the confines of the spiritual syphilis that infects so much of our day to day actions.

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