Conspiracy Spirituality (Conspirituality)
Is it Covid-19 that raised the temperature and finally made everything break, for people you thought you knew? And that lowered the threshold for all sorts of conspiratorial one is prepared to accept as true or at least “interesting”…
Jules Evans on “conspirituality”:
There are two mood one finds in the history of spirituality, going back to Gnosticism and running through Romanticism. On the one hand, there is the euphoric mood — the universe is conspiring in your favor, you can fulfil your divine potential, you can change the world simply by changing your thoughts. If enough people raise their consciousness, a new age of love will dawn on the planet. This is Oprah’s inspiring gospel.
But then the new age of love doesn’t happen, adversity strikes, the economy tanks, shit goes wrong. And the dreamers start to ask, why hasn’t the age of love dawned? What or who is blocking us? That’s when paranoid conspiracies can arise.
As Isaiah Berlin puts it in his lectures on romanticism:
“There is another, more pessimistic, version [of Romanticism]… Although we individuals seek to liberate ourselves, yet the universe is not to be tamed in this easy fashion. There is something behind, something in the dark depths of the unconscious, or of history, there is something not seized by us which frustrates our dearest wishes…
This paranoia [can] take the form of looking for all kinds of conspiracies in history… Perhaps history is formed by forces over which we have no control. Someone is at the back of it all: perhaps the Jesuits, perhaps the Jews, perhaps the Freemasons… We the enlightened, we the virtuous, we the wise and the kind seek to do this or that, but somehow all our efforts end in nothing, and therefore there must be some fearful hostile fore lying in wait for us.”
Why didn’t the age of love dawn? Because of Them. Why did my business fail? Because of Them. This is the paranoid version of the New Age dream. This is how spirituality curdles into conspirituality.
I want to write more about this conspirituality. For me, it’s mostly a name that fits in with your own observations and feelings. Not so much study. But it’s certainly a concept that seems to be “trending” right now. What a sign of freshness! Podcasts, blogs, books… In the text above, by Jules Evans (who came by e-mail, o therefore could not be linked to) he mentions, among other things, what appears to be the birth of the term.
It was an article in the Journal of Contemporary Religion that came ten years ago: “The Emergence of Conspirituality” (2011), by Charlotte Ward &. David Voas.
“The female-dominated New Age (with its positive focus on self) and the male-dominated realm of conspiracy theory (with its negative focus on global politics) may seem antithetical. There is a synthesis of the two, however, that we call ‘conspirituality’. We define, describe, and analyse this hybrid system of belief; it has been noticed before without receiving much scholarly attention. Conspirituality is a rapidly growing web movement expressing an ideology fuelled by political disillusionment and the popularity of alternative worldviews. It has international celebrities, bestsellers, radio and TV stations. It offers a broad politico-spiritual philosophy based on two core convictions, the first traditional to conspiracy theory, the second rooted in the New Age: 1) a secret group covertly controls, or is trying to control, the political and social order, and 2) humanity is undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ in consciousness. Proponents believe that the best strategy for dealing with the threat of a totalitarian ‘new world order’ is to act in accordance with an awakened ‘new paradigm’ worldview.”
Because, something happened… This thing with circles in cornfields, UFOs (possibly darkened by governments), etc… This has been in “new circles” for a long time. After 9/11? Trump? and now Covid-19?, it has become so aggressive, person-bound… (And, yes, I’m aware I’m not that nice when I get into this topic)…
There are, for example, those who claim that Elvis just faked his death and lives on, still going on in the discounts on Graceland. I don’t have a lot of trouble with that. I give him all the happiness and send grateful thoughts every time I hear (about) him 🙂 I’m more concerned about this whole QAnon-David Icke&Co.-Jewish conspiracy-9/11-Trump cult and all its tentacles. To me, it seems like a single out-of-the-union hallucinatory mumbojumbo, pardon my French.