The Vacuousness of ‘Being Spiritual’

I have two neighbors who have deserted Christianity in favor of “being spiritual.” At least that’s what they say. When they’re not simply “spiritual,” these jidrools claim to be Buddhists. I doubt they know the difference.

The one volunteers for Hudson River clean-up cruises (we don’t live in New York), then comes home and walks her dog on other people’s property and doesn’t pick up after it. No amount of protest seems to make an impression on her: no Golden Rule here. I guess that’s part of being spiritual. She also goes to art movies at ridiculous prices. She hasn’t worked in donkey’s years.

The other has Buddhist prayer flags hanging all around her property, and an outdoor hot tub, and the mother of all floodlights–which goes on in the middle of the night and wakes me up because it’s aimed right at my bedroom window. When you’re spiritual you don’t have to think about things like that. I don’t know how she affords all these gew-gaws; she doesn’t work, either. Maybe spiritual people don’t have to work.

The both like to get together with friends occasionally and all do yoga on the front lawn, with the cars going by. It’s not a pretty sight.

Mind you, neither of these individuals has ever been within 1,000 miles of a Buddhist culture. I remember an ad I once saw in one of the Jersey shore papers: “The Bugville Buddhists will make their annual trip to the Atlantic City casinos on such-and-such a date.” I think this tells us all we need to know about folks who say they’re “spiritual.”

Their point is, Anything but Christianity. Christianity is not cool. It won’t get you into the whoopee crowd. No one will mistake you for a celebrity. And of course it really isn’t Christian to let your dog poop on someone else’s yard and let your floodlights shine into someone else’s bedroom window in the middle of the night. It ain’t Christian, but it sure is spiritual.

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