There’s a lot of negativity to counter
There are crystals on my office mates’ desks, sage in my friend’s apartment. There’s news of the government turning on its heels––against its own laws––and a torrent of arguments about it on my Facebook newsfeed. These observations aren’t quite as unrelated as they seem.
Recently I was in a meeting with a few people from work and we discussed the repercussions caused by an article we had previously published. A walk down the events we faced in the past year of the current president’s administration, the article was both a timeline and an opinion piece. Like any article with a political undercurrent, it divided opinions––even within the people at our meeting. We were tackling page views one minute and the safety of our country’s citizens the next. The light atmosphere had dissipated into something tense and frigid. Gravity suddenly felt much heavier.
Politics tends to do that.
This is why talk about the government––whether it’s the president, the Senate, or Mocha Uson and her issue of the month––is typically swept under the table at work, at the dinner table, at church. At least that used to be the case.
The divide between the spiritual self and the secular self is disappearing.
Given that community is a tenet of organized religion, it’s no wonder that religious leaders are increasingly speaking about and against the current administration in varying volumes. My family goes to different churches every weekend and without fail, the state of our government is mentioned in the priest’s sermon. The message of hope and healing is reinforced weekly. There’s plenty of doubt and skepticism, but faith remains.
New Age alternatives to spiritual healing like smudging, meditation and the possession of crystals are more individualistic approaches. Compared to hearing mass or praying in groups, these practices focus more on the self, on cultivating inner peace and finding clarity independently as opposed to listening to what a priest or leader has to say. While some may be quick to write these off as Instagram-motivated rituals, these practices have helped countless people achieve a little peace in a dubious world. Perhaps the proportionally upscale pattern in the amount of government-related tumult and the number of people turning to New Age spirituality will make us think twice before writing off sage and shards as mere props for the ‘gram.
The bottom line is this: for those who believe it, spiritual healing helps. The society we live in is no longer the same as it was a decade, five years, or even two years ago. Whether it’s prayer, meditation or setting herbs ablaze, there’s likely a method out there to help us cope with the taxing outside world. In essence, matters of spirituality and secularism boil down to the same ethos: believing in what feels honest to you and putting your faith in what you think is right.
Art Alexandra Lara.