So it’s come to this, has it?
We live in an age where we officially have more money than sense. We’ve gotten to the point where we must purchase life experiences.
Victims Participants paid $10,000 to James Arthur Ray, “new age guru”, to engage in a 36-hour “vision quest”. The vision quest required participants to fast alone in the desert. This was followed up by a two-hour “rebirthing” experience, during which participants were sealed into a makeshift dry-cleaning bag sweat lodge.
Three people died. A “channeler” (whatever the hell that is) was called in by Mr. Ray after the incident, and told participants (and presumably, their lawyers), that those who had died during the experience “had left their bodies in the sweat lodge and chosen not to come back because “they were having so much fun””.
I’m not making this up – it was in the New York Times. Mr. Ray has appeared on Oprah. This is not some backwater operation.
Leaving aside the legal issues of civil liability or whether or not this constitutes criminal negligence causing death, I think this brings up a number of other serious questions.
How spiritually and intellectually bereft is our society that some of us feel a need to purchase services such as “soul retrieval, vortex healing and dolphin energy healing“?
Can we manufacture life-altering change? Can someone give it to me for $10,000?
I suppose that in a world where we have turned love into a commodity, anything is possible. Why bother having the journey, when you can purchase a ticket directly to the destination?
When I read articles like this, I fear that North American society’s spiritual account is officially overdrawn.