Fear and Loathing in New Religious Movements

I find it useful to think with Hunter S. Thompson about a few things, especially fear, loathing, and drugs. This seems instructive for thinking about the status of psychedelics in New Religious Movements (NRMs). I’m interested in thinking about different kinds of fear and loathing that are experienced by practitioners of New Religious Movements who useContinue reading “Fear and Loathing in New Religious Movements”

How Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, Unhappy

“When someone tells me that they are not really religious, but that they are a very spiritual person, I want to punch their face. Hard.” (1) I just finished reading David Webster’s short and fun book Dispirited: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes us Stupid, Selfish and Unhappy (Zero Books, 2012).  I was happy to read aContinue reading “How Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, Unhappy”

Too Much: Excess

I’m very sympathetic to the critique of consumerism and market fundamentalism given by Clive Hamilton and Richard Deniss in their 2005 book Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough.  However, their critique throws the exorbitantly excessive baby out with the consumerist bathwater.  They’re upset about how much people desire more and more and much too much. Continue reading “Too Much: Excess”

Fear and Loathing in the Desert of the Real

Psychedelic drugs have been a widespread part of popular culture since the middle of the twentieth century, influencing artists, musicians, celebrities, environmentalists, surfers, ravers, scholars, etc.  It is fairly well-documented that psychedelics have shaped the development of various spiritualities, including nature spiritualities oriented toward experimentation with intense, boundary-dissolving, sensory experiences, wherein the self and theContinue reading “Fear and Loathing in the Desert of the Real”