Kabbalah Kopykat

October 15th, 2007

Don’t hate me because I’m shallow. My friend Abby and I fell in love with these red cord bracelets because they look like the red thread bracelets that Kabbalah devotees wear–you know, you’ve seen them on Madonna and Britney in People magazine. Well, we want to be kabbalah-ish too. We want spiritual accessories and symbols and before you can say it…yes, we know we’re idiots. I love mala beads, rosaries, ankhs, and crosses (no hair shirts, please). But a funny thing happened on the way to the mall…once we got the bracelets, we started thinking deepish thoughts. Abby is flirting with being a vegan, and I want/need a spiritual guru. Could it be a case of substance following style? I don’t know, but we never take our bracelets off, and whenever I look at mine, I’m reminded to be mindful. Problem is…I don’t know what to mind. This weekend I went to a reading of Rumi’s poetry by his celebrity translator/interpreter, Coleman Barks. It was sensitive and moving, but at the reception afterwards, I looked around at all the other upper middle class white women just like me and wondered if we haven’t settled for Starbucks music and Whole Foods spirituality. I hate it! I want my music to be unsettling and revolutionary and passionate–not a blanded soundtrack accompanied by blended drinks. And I want the spiritual equivalent of snake handling–not the polyester tv shouters and abundance evangelists, but the Dionysian revelers, the whirling dervishes, the I’ve-got-a-god-giving-me-a-soul orgasm kind of experience. But I’m part of the problem, so what’s the answer?