Tarot for city types. Numerology for the Women’s Institute. Palmistry for builders and plumbers.
These are the most unlikely combinations, but I have had three successful encounters like this in the last few months. None of the people shared what we might call progressive values, none of them professed interest in community or environmental issues. Very few of them had ever meditated in their life, still fewer could describe what consciousness or awareness was. Yet all of them were extremely open to new experiences and willing to take on board brand new information and insights into themselves and their life.
None of them shopped at the local veggie store, and when we got onto the subject of politics, very few of them had any association with so called left, progressive or green interests.
Yet they consistently asked me ‘What does this card (number or line) mean? What can I do with it?’ I long ago discovered that a reading was going well if I was struggling to bring the session to a close due to the volume of additional questions. It was like this is all these cases.
As a one off this would be meaningless, but it confirms a suspicion that I have nurtured for a time that the marginalised don’t only live on the left, or drop out, or adopt alternative lifestyles. The marginalised are often the regular folk that keep society ticking over, quietly in the background.
There is something very disturbing about the growth of spiritual activism – the evangelical need to convert people to a more conscious lifestyle, the belief that if only everyone read tarot, or everyone meditated then the problems of the world would be solved. But when your pipes burst do you really want your plumber unobtainable in his Yoga class?
Great Illusion of Our Time Number 3 (#GIT) is that all those of spiritual persuasion must sign on to the politics of the left, yet it is good old, silly old, conservative ‘Middle England’ which now offers up fertile and enquiring minds, who wish to know more in order to do more. These people stand in refreshing contrast to so much of my recent experience where the goal is always to know more in order to do less.
But is not Middle England the home of bigotry and prejudice, I hear you ask? Yes, sure, in parts. But have you read Comment is Free on the website of the world’s leading liberal voice, The Guardian? If you can stomach it you will see there lives a monster of hatred and intolerance, alive and unchecked, hiding behind of the facade of fairness and balance. I am beginning to think that we have truly renamed black as white.