I find myself wondering just how much the historical Jesus billed Lazarus for his resurrection.
And what about all that water he turned into wine. Must have made a fortune. As for the Gaderene swine – wonder if he flogged them off for a hog roast.
You see, I have been considering Woo recently. Not that I’m suggesting JC was a fake – and anyway, how would we know after two thousand years.
But modern Woo – that really is something that has me scratching my head. There is one particular American Woo salesman who really takes the biscuit. He wears designer shades with diamante adornment and suspect clothes. He jets all around the world spreading the Word and sells save your soul books by the million. He peddles what one could politely call nonsense and gets handsomely rewarded for leading people in search of the end of the rainbow.
The only one who ever finds the pot of gold is the sly salesmen himself. Quite what the suckers who buy his produce end up with is something else. Disillusionment and despair perhaps. At worst, some of them are tipped over into madness and death, when the spiritual riches the wondrous healer promises turn out to be apocryphal.
It does not escape me that I tend to talk in riddles and poetry myself these days. And metaphor and allegory and symbols.
But at least I am not charging you for it. Nor do I wear diamante specs. And I don’t try and look like Gandhi or an Ashram Guru. Or JC for that matter – I never liked Jesus boots anyway. And the locals would think I was a right odd one if I took to wearing flowing desert robes down Deal at the supermarket.
I do not promise to unleash your infinite potential for a fiver. I do not offer you aura therapy or undertake to massage your chakras (even supposing I could find them).
I have not found “peace beyond understanding” (as one asinine salesman claims) and so I am afraid I can’t sell it to you. Nor do I have the resources to have my picture taken in every exotic location from Ulam Bator to Timbuktu, in each of which I peddle my gospel in return for money.
But Old Diamente Specs is just one of thousands of purveyors of faery dust and snake oil – admittedly one of the most successful. Financially I mean – I don’t suppose his flock has benefited much from any miracles .
What I like about my local priest is that he doesn’t always have his hand out, or if he does I feel every comfort that he will be giving it away to the poor. Once the greedy local Bishop has taken his cut. Robin Hood really should do something about the Church hierarchy.
There are good people out there and you can always tell who they are. There is a wonderful old clergyman round here who gave immense comfort to my fearful father. He beams goodness and joy. He fills my day with light, when I chat to him out of one of my rambles. He makes me feel good about the world.
He is not shoving some mumbo jumbo down my throat, and even if he did he would never dream of charging me for it.
Woo salesmen on the other hand are false friends. All they want is my money.
At one stage I followed serious and worthy clinical research from some of the world’s finest institutions on the possibility of a cure offered by psychedelics.
And I believe such cures will come to pass. Shepherded into medical use by hospitals and doctors.
And if you wish to jump the gun, perhaps with intelligent application, you may affect your own cure.
What you should not do is to head to your local Woo salesman who has set up a Mother Mushroom healing church. Or a Sister Ayuhuasca’s Shamanic temple.
Social media and the Internet are awash with videos of the hilarious ceremonies offered by such people. They are mostly crafty westerners who have donned Shamanic robes. They dance around blowing sacred smoke into people’s eyes and fanning them with hocus pocus. Mother Mushroom will heal. Sister Ayuhuasca will speak. Wooooooo! Many of said money grasping fake Messiahs are interviewed speaking in faux-hushed tones, wearing priestly white.
There is nothing wrong with ritual and ceremony in the right hands. I’m all for smells and bells and Gregorian chanting. It lifts the soul and can heal the mind.
What I do not want is “for profit” spirituality. I don’t believe in healing the world for money. I do not like “entreprenooooooooors” like Diamante Specs. Fake priests.
Spirituality and good works belong to genuine priests. Whose motives are, well, godly shall we say. Health, healing, the spirit. Salvation, the Way.
Would you expect to find healing at Mc Donald’s? If not, then why would you buy it from a fake guru whose main interest in you is to empty your wallet?
Jesus never charged for resurrection. If someone seeks to sell it to you, hopefully you will be wise enough to turn away.