Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Commerce of Spirituality

Ojai, California is a place where people, residents and visitors alike are desperate for enlightenment. Flip through the local phone directory or the classified ads at the back of the high-end, regional magazines, whose titles tend to include the words living, style or simply a Zip Code, and you will find an abundance of "caring," "loving," "gentle"  practitioners, spirit guides and mediums who will read your aura, tweak your chakras, boost your qi, and even patch in Jesus in for a phone consultation, all credit cards accepted. This amalgam of the spiritual and the commercial would be cause for ridicule in the East, and elicit downright scorn in New England. But here in the Golden West, it is simply part of the "lifestyle," like cucumber water, Bikram yoga and PABA-free sunscreen.

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