January 17, 2019

"The 'spiritual but not religious' of now is not the old New Age."

"What I have been seeing is that this version has much more depth. It has a lot of substance. The conversation I have on the show is really intelligent — we value the life of the mind. It’s not something that is in a category of "This is where my emotions and my spiritual life are" — it shows up in how people do their jobs or the workplaces they want to create or how they think about their life trajectory.... I grew up in an immersive southern world that had all the answers. I do love deep religious conviction, and I really honor that, but I like the idea that we can hold that in a creative tension with a real humility before mystery."

From a long New York Magazine article, "On 'On Being' Krista Tippett tends to her flock in the Church of the Spiritual (but not necessarily religious)" — which is teased on the front page with a phrase that caught my attention: "has made NPR the center of a new New Age":



The phrase "NPR the center of a new New Age" isn't in the article, but there's this:
Th[e] decline in religiosity, particularly among the more educated, urban classes, has meant less community, less ritual gathering, less time for quiet contemplation; that, in turn, has meant more yoga classes with earnest cooldown dharma talks, more meditation studios and acupuncture. It’s meant that SoulCycle and CrossFit and Tough Mudder all have begun to fulfill roles previously occupied by churches and synagogues and mosques.

It has also meant boom times for Krista Tippett and her gentle, quiet, Sunday-morning voice piping through NPR, suggesting a version of spirituality for the cultural one percent, a population fried out on bad news and dire predictions. “On Being” is not about naming the world’s many ills, but it is not about escapism, either — not premium television, or sports, or luxury ecotourism. It’s about imagining a more beautiful, thoughtful, generous way of existing that is neither hopeless nor instrumental but is instead thoughtful and questioning and open.....
ADDED: Phrase in the teaser that I only noticed after publishing this post: "Krista Tippet Is a Religion." Ack!

AND: I notice that NY Mag has 2 different spellings of the name of the person they published a very long article about. Editing!

63 comments:

Phil 314 said...

Can I get a mimosa with that?

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Spiritual but not religious" looks to me like another manifestation of the "weight loss without changing your eating or exercise habits" mentality.

Sebastian said...

"neither hopeless nor instrumental but is instead thoughtful and questioning and open"

What thoughts might it be full of?

Questioning what exactly?

Open to deplorability?

traditionalguy said...

In the beginning was the NPR soft voice. And the spirit of Yoga moved on the airways and there was sound...and on the seventh day Krista Tippet rested and said she was good.

tim in vermont said...

It’s about imagining a more beautiful, thoughtful, generous way of existing that is neither hopeless nor instrumental but is instead thoughtful and questioning and open.....

??????

Profits!

Bob Boyd said...

Krista Tippett doesn't need to fool you.

rehajm said...

If it’s on NPR it means it isn’t inclusive. Polarizing. If you’re satiated with your necessary daily dose of Trump hate you need to balance it with a quality heap of spiritual righteousness.

They’ll update the govt food pyramid next time they’re in office.

Ann Althouse said...

"It’s about imagining a more beautiful, thoughtful, generous way of existing that is neither hopeless nor instrumental but is instead thoughtful and questioning and open....."

Key word: "thoughtful."

So good, NY Mag used it twice.

Why is the article so long? Not taking the trouble to edit.

Notice that they misspelled "Tippett" in the teaser.

iowan2 said...

iowan2 said...
I would need to understand what they mean by spiritual.
Personally I have faith in a power greater than myself.
Faith is the opposite of fear. Not sure what is opposite of spirituality

Religion is man made and comes with all the flaws of man

Shouting Thomas said...

Years ago, I tried online dating. I asked a friend what all that "spiritual but not religious" stuff so women claimed meant.

He replied: "It means they screw around."

David Begley said...

Having just returned from a silent Ignatian retreat at the Cloisters on the Platte, I can tell you that “spiritual, not religious “ is just doublespeak. Either you are religious or you are not.

Google Cloisters. It is free. It is also the greatest piece of art in the world today.

rehajm said...

I used to add an extra foot of tippet because I was wasting- I can’t tie an improved clinch very well. I’ve been monkeying with an Orvis which has really improved my tying speed. I’m not sure how the Orvis will hold up to a big fish though.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Krista Tippett is a Religion

NPR gets federal funding. Doesn't Krista Tippett* violate the separation of church and state?

*Not her show, her very existence

Paco Wové said...

"I can tell you that “spiritual, not religious “ is just doublespeak. Either you are religious or you are not."

I don't agree it's doublespeak. It says right there on the label: "not religious".

Paco Wové said...

Human beings seem prone to having these "spiritual" tendencies – when channeled into a discipline, these can become a force of tremendous, civilization-changing power. When left unconstrained by such discipline they dribble all over the intellectual landscape in a mass orgy of mental wankery.

Ann Althouse said...

I love the photograph of Tippett. It makes her look like the female Conan O'Brien.

tim maguire said...

"Spiritual but not Religious" can be attractive and even rewarding for a while, but it has no staying power. It won't last and it won't be passed to your children.

gilbar said...

rehajm said...
I used to add an extra foot of tippet because I was wasting- I can’t tie an improved clinch very well. I’ve been monkeying with an Orvis which has really improved my tying speed. I’m not sure how the Orvis will hold up to a big fish though.

no! No! NO! NO!!!
you are STILL on the wrong path! The Only TRUE way is the Davy Knot. The 'improved' clinch "knot" is a tool of SATAN! to snag YOU! It is Actually LESS STRONG than a clinch knot. People use it because their clinch 'knot's slip, due to the LACK OF GOODNESS in that 'knot'

TRUE harmony and closeness to GOD (And His fish) comes through the Glory that IS the DAVY knot. It has Over 95% of the strength of unknotted tippet; AND is SUPER EASY to tie: WITH OUT WASTING EXTRA TIPPET

I too, was once an 'improved' clinch knot sinner, filling the Earth up with snips of monofilament. But Now, thanx to the Davy Knot; i am saved (from having to waste tippet)

Learn and LOVE the Davy knot!

iowan2 said...

ADJECTIVE
relating to or believing in a religion.

NOUN
a person bound by monastic vows.

Getting pedantic seldom improves communication but I have to start somewhere. To say I am religious would not be truthful, as I do no practice a religion. I have faith in my defined higher power. So I do practice in my daily living, faith. Your retreat was to affirm your faith, I am guessing not, the Jesuit religion of the Ignation monks you were a guest to. Maybe I'm off, telling others what they mean in their personal faith seldom ends well. No offense is meant.

M Jordan said...

NPR is the religion. OnBeing is the ritual meeting. It’s a religion I despise: self-righteous, smug, hollow, stupid, flatulent, false. IOW, it’s like any other religion. Jesus Christ is not a religion. Believing in him is not a religious act. His words are unique, powerful, populist, cutting, and edible. Jesus took on the NPR of his day. Hence, I call myself a Jesus-follower.

Dave Begley said...

St. Ignatius Loyola invented meditation back in the 1500's.

rehajm said...

I’ve been working with the Double Davy too! Sometimes I can’t get it to lie at the angle it’s supposed to and I’ve found the Orivs to be quicker but I will work with the Davy more based on your recommendation. Thank you.

tcrosse said...

"Spiritual but not religious": the new face of superstition. How thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

“I felt like it was this whole part of life that we didn’t know how to talk about with the same kind of sophistication that we could bring to politics or the arts."

Oh dear. Not a statement that encourages one to read on. One shudders at the thought of the level of "sophistication" that the average NPR listener brings to politics being applied to matters transcendent.

But I did anyway. Consider the vacuous depths of, e.g., "It’s funny because Nietzsche said that a day that doesn’t have dance in it is a lost day, which you wouldn’t expect from somebody like Nietzsche, who was crazy." Chick-lit wit, for the "highly educated".

What goes for the existential "seeking" of the spiritual-but-not-religious goes for their belief that they are educated. It's a global deficiency. I know these types; they are often profoundly ignorant, in both the basic factual knowledge and "liberal" learning that an intelligent high-school graduate once possessed as a matter of course. But they never feel their ignorance. They believe what everybody else in the NPR demographic believes, and are therefore "educated".

Never having been subjected to the discipline of a coherent educational system (which is not the same thing as working very hard at absorbing prog dogma), the idea of submitting themselves to the discipline of a coherent spiritual tradition is alien to them. What's the point? They already know everything, hence no need for any real humility in their "seeking". What is sought is just a nice place to park that "resonates" with the truth they already possess.

Or, what Paco said @7:48.

Sebastian said...

"Key word: "thoughtful." So good, NY Mag used it twice."

Waiting for a little riff on that word.

Virtue signaling by second-rate intellects? Drawing subtle contrast with thoughtless deplorables? Suggesting possession of non-existent ideas? Frequency of use correlated with the subject's vapidity? Just some thoughts that come to mind. What does the OED say?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The 'spiritual but not religious' of now is not the old New Age.

Of course it is not the old New Age. It is the new New Age.

Unknown said...

"Th[e] decline in religiosity, particularly among the more educated, urban classes, has meant less community, less ritual gathering, less time for quiet contemplation; that, in turn, has meant more yoga classes with earnest cooldown dharma talks, more meditation studios and acupuncture. It’s meant that SoulCycle and CrossFit and Tough Mudder all have begun to fulfill roles previously occupied by churches and synagogues and mosques.
"

Yes, just what the majority ( like say 98% ) of americans have time for and do. Man the coastal elites are self-centered.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Most of all, it isn’t hard. Nothing is demanded. So, when push comes to shove, nothing will be given. What a great example of how detached our safe, incredibly affluent, postwar society is from the reality crouching and waiting in the shadow.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It’s funny because Nietzsche said that a day that doesn’t have dance in it is a lost day, which you wouldn’t expect from somebody like Nietzsche, who was crazy.

Nietzsche went crazy due to syphilis, which any southern preacher will tell you, is a direct result of dancing.

iowan2 said...

Dave Begley said...
St. Ignatius Loyola invented meditation back in the 1500's.


I'm sure you dont mean this. Meditation, self reflection, what ever, must be a part of Judaism. Other movements predate even Judaism

tcrosse said...

Thoughtful, mindful, shitful.

Dave Begley said...

iowan2

Let me rephrase it, "St. Ignatius Loyola invented structured and Christian meditation...."

Rick said...

"Spiritual but not religious" looks to me like another manifestation of the "weight loss without changing your eating or exercise habits" mentality.

"Spiritual but not religious means" they don't want anyone to think they are one of those politically suspect religious people.

Anonymous said...

iowan2: I'm sure you dont mean this. Meditation, self reflection, what ever, must be a part of Judaism. Other movements predate even Judaism

I'd be surprised if the spiritual practices of archaic humans didn't incorporate "meditation" in some form. And certainly Asia has contemplative traditions at least as old and developed as any traditions to the west.

Ignation meditation(tm) is just a particular brand/school.

Earnest Prole said...

What’s “editing”?

gilbar said...

the neatest thing about the Davy knot (for me, at least); is that
IF i think about it while tying, it doesn't work* (and slips right out)
IF i do NOT think about it while tying, it works perfectly!
which is sorta mysterious : )

the Even neater thing about the Davy knot, is that if you mistie it, when you check it; it just slips right out, so you can just start over. It either Works! or does NOT!

the Most neatest thing about the Davy knot, is that it takes One Second to tie; it takes me as long (or longer) to thread the eyelet as it does to tie the knot. So, you tie, you check, you fish!


doesn't work* i hadn't thought** about the tag laying at the ninety degree angle part maybe why
thought** i'd check this, but it's way easier just to tie on faith***
faith*** as that sportscaster from Des Moines said: trust but verify! ALWAYS CHECK YOUR KNOTS!

Fernandinande said...

I'd heard the name before, but let me get this straight: a "Krista Tippett" is NOT a Norwegian wheelbarrow.

Jersey Fled said...

Another sign that we are in the end times.

Wince said...

Ann Althouse said...
I love the photograph of Tippett. It makes her look like the female Conan O'Brien.

A creepier coincidence: Tippett looks like Lady Elaine Fairchild from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood if she had rhinoplasty and some dermabrasion (see my previous Fred Rogers comment, above).

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

When one thinks of boomers hitch-hiking around the world, and coming back with odds and ends of Buddhist phrases, it's hard to believe people can't come up with something a bit less superficial. Still, it strikes me as wanting to combine conquering nature in order to have wealth--what may be the main "modern" project--with somehow enjoying the best of nature. Being bourgeois is the main thing, everything else is a hobby?

pacwest said...

Jesus Christ.

Howard said...

Spirituality is just as lame as any other formal religion. You people make fun of them just like atheists make fun of you Christians. Dupes all way round.

rehajm said...

The Conan thing was mean. And accurate.

rehajm said...

the neatest thing about the Davy knot (for me, at least); is that
IF i think about it while tying, it doesn't work* (and slips right out)
IF i do NOT think about it while tying, it works perfectly!
which is sorta mysterious : )


How spiritual but not religious...

YoungHegelian said...

What bugs me about the "spiritual but not religious" is that there is a discipline that studies many of the same "existential" topics that their spirituality does. It's called philosophy. And these sorts avoid it like the plague.

Because philosophy would mean they'd have to come to terms with the history of what other brilliant men have thought before, in all its hard-core detail. They'd have to learn some logic. They'd have to undergo the painful process of having your cherished assumptions shredded by your peers & teachers. It's so much easier to be "spiritual", which really means they pull a turd out of their ass, polish it up, and expect the rest of us to genuflect before it.

I remember listening to an interview on NPR once -- Kojo Nnande, I think -- and guest, in response to a question, said "Well, I think I'd ask him to examine his epistemological assumptions". You could hear the stunned silence. It was as if the guest had said "Well, I'd tell him to suck my enormo honkey cock!". In a fumbled sentence or two, Kojo then changed the topic. Can't have the listeners of "The Mind is Our Medium" actually have to deal with questions of Mind, after all.

tim in vermont said...

It’s good to be in touch with your unconscious, but you shouldn’t count on it to do logic or to anticipate consequences. But it might make you happier if you weren’t at war with it, and your unconscious mind is kinda religious.

hombre said...

“"Th[e] decline in religiosity, particularly among the more educated, urban classes, has meant less community, less ritual gathering, less time for quiet contemplation; that, in turn, has meant more yoga classes with earnest cooldown dharma talks, more meditation studios and acupuncture.”

In biblical terms, in Christianity and Judaism, this is called “winnowing.” It doesn’t matter what the winnowed do with their time.

Christianity is tough. https://www.newsweek.com/christian-persecution-genocide-worse-ever-770462

William said...

Here are some spiritual thoughts that I recently had which I would like to pass on. I recently watched several productions of King Lear. Lear's daughter, Cordelia, is not such a big role in the play. She doesn't have the great lines, and she's only in two of the big scenes. Nonetheless, she's the spiritual center of the play. She represents the grace of God's mercy and the distance of God's justice. In the Ian Mckellan version, she's played by Romola Garai with just the right mixture of hauteur and pity......In the play, nothing comes of nothing. The schemers die. The pure are killed. Those few who survive have gained nothing from the experience but bitter memories.......I do not know if God!s mercy or justice truly exist, but Cordelia's existence is an argument in their favor.

William said...

Most lives are pointless and futile, and then you pass on and are forgetten like the rest. Nonetheless, there will be a few transcendent moments where you can feel the grace and forgiveness in Cordelia's presence before she dies.

Anonymous said...

YoungH: I remember listening to an interview on NPR once -- Kojo Nnande, I think -- and guest, in response to a question, said "Well, I think I'd ask him to examine his epistemological assumptions". You could hear the stunned silence. It was as if the guest had said "Well, I'd tell him to suck my enormo honkey cock!"

1) "I will invalidate an Other's lived experience with my privileged white man's logic and objectivity and dispassionate analysis".

2) "Suck my dick."

Hey, I can see how these would be semantically equivalent statements to the interviewer.

Lol.

Michael said...

Actually, I think I am religious but not spiritual. There's a lot to be said for that.

Fernandinande said...

Spirituality is just as lame as any other formal religion.

I see the NPR characters as inventing their feel-good platitudes on the fly rather than basing them on old ghost stories.

Stepper said...

"Human beings seem prone to having these "spiritual" tendencies – when channeled into a discipline, these can become a force of tremendous, civilization-changing power. When left unconstrained by such discipline they dribble all over the intellectual landscape in a mass orgy of mental wankery."

That comment is so good that I copied & saved it for future reference.

gilbar said...

rehajm said... How spiritual but not religious...

Yes, i sorta meant it that way... BUT!!! (
not to quote chapter and verse; well, TO quote chapter and verse)
Ge 1:20 And GOD said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life,
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind,
1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas and GOD said that was GOOD

Num 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely
Jer 16:16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them;
Eze 29:4 But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.

Mat 17:27 lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up;
John 21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.


What DID Jesus Do As Soon As He got back to Earth? HE WENT FISHING!

PM said...

Marin County is lousy with these Eileen Fisherwomen.

n.n said...

Spiritual with a side of ethics, and a conflation of logical domains, while lacking a moral or absolute frame of reference.

Bill said...

'What people don't realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.'

- Flannery O'Connor

JHapp said...

Michael has it right. Spirituality by itself is just hubris. Religions like Judaism/Catholicism are about worshiping and living exactly as God instructed.

Fernandinande said...

Religions like Judaism/Catholicism are about worshiping and living exactly as God instructed.

There's your super-hubris.

Maillard Reactionary said...

AA said: "I love the photograph of Tippett. It makes her look like the female Conan O'Brien."

Or, Meryl Streep on a really bad hair day.

Kirk Parker said...

Flannary O'Connor is right on the money! "A Good Spirituality Is Hard To Find".

In the same vein is this delightful quote from C. S. Lewis:

"I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity."

[Dirty hippies tried to take over Captcha: the first frame was bicycles! But they had neither strength nor stamina, so it was right back to cars after that.]

Kirk Parker said...

Also, since others only hinted at it: "spiritual but not religious" means, first and foremost, "places no obligations on me."

Maillard Reactionary said...

Kirk nails it.

Like Islam, the "religion" that urges you to do the things you would do anyway, if you were a barbarian.

You got to give it to them, it works.