by A Dervish
The following excerpt is illustrative of a certain confusion among “spiritual seekers” that not-infrequently is exploited by those whose task it is to supply diversionary entertainment:
I was talking…to one of the dancing dervishes who sometimes travel to the West to demonstrate the whirling movement originated by the great mystic Jalaluddin Rumi of Konya. I mentioned to him that Rumi had said that his practices were instituted for the temperament of the people of Asiatic Turkey, not for Europe and America. In accordance with Sufi practice, exercises are devised for specific time and people. Did he not think that it was rather unusual to ‘export’ such things as this?
He told me that, since people in the West automatically associate music and movement with spiritual things, this was bound to arouse in them feelings which they considered to be spirituality, which was, surely, good enough for them? *
In a like manner, more currently, the projected end of the Mayan calendar (and, it is claimed, of the World) in December 2012 at the Winter Solstice is magnetizing the attentions of numbers of Americans with so-called “New Age” interests. This is a circumstance no doubt likely to be profitable to the Mayans as tourist marketeers, all the more so now especially that the foreign “spiritual pilgrimage” market has dried up to places like Morocco. So, we see, that even a careerist made-for-Tee Vee “Terror War” can be of actual benefit to someone besides the administrators!
But, at least after shutting up shop in the evening, some modern day Maya (whose spirituality is stabilized in any case around more up-to-date forms) are inclined to be mildly fed up:
Doubtlessly, just as the fourteen (or is it seventeen now?) American “intelligence” agencies are getting “The Moslems” they deserve, in like fashion the Baby Boom New Agers now in the upper trammels of late-middleage are being sold the tours and souvenirs most appropriate to their situation.
* — Shah, Idries, Special Illumination, Octagon Press (London, 1977), p 30.
[all text-rights reserved & all others revert to holders
[7 Safar 1431/23 January 2010]