Woo-woo turns me off

When I say woo-woo, I know it is pejorative. Since I am not trying to make any situation worse, maybe I shouldn’t use the term. Yet, calling something woo-woo gets my opinion across immediately and somewhat humorously (me thinks).

For example, most Catholics believe speaking in tongues and playing with poisonous snakes is woo-woo. Protestants think transubstantiation is woo-woo. To be fair, so do most Catholics these days. But for me, it’s all mystical nonsense and unevidenced claims: woo-woo.

I’ve seen Deepak Chopra lose his shit when the term was used during a discussion/debate with atheists. (Click here to watch the youtube—it’s fun.) His demonstrative demeanor and insistence on his correctness were telling of his deeper persona.

It is in the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Woo-woo means something is “dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific.”

In bar or locker-room talk, I would normally say bullshit. While that is too strong, it also makes my point. I’m not trying to be a polite member of society when I say woo-woo. I am unsarcastically letting society know that I am skeptical but aware.

For years I wrote what are called morning pages (MP). I like them and I agree with Julia Cameron that they are therapeutic, but not therapy. I think they are also fun, considering it’s a morning thing. I don’t accept claims for MPs being mystical or supernatural. I’ve stopped writing them, but I want to begin writing MPs again.

According to Julia’s web page, “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness (SoC) writing, done first thing in the morning.”

She goes on, “There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind – and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize, and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.” (juliacameronlive.com)

All good. I recommend, but.

That kind of SoC involves a lot of letting go and much trust. It is not easy, but doable. I have a stack of notebooks full of morning pages writing. My problem is that I do better when I am more emotional, which can happen any time of day. But mornings are what they are. MPs are (for me) not about politics or religion. They are about me, people, and the things closest to me.

But then here comes the word that makes me step back: spirituality. I am good with discussion of the human spirit. I am not okay with invoking woo-woo. I am not okay with others trying to make spiritual things part of my life even if it is part of theirs.

If they want to believe it, fine. If they want me to accept it, they need to prove it is reality. That does not stop them from using spirits or the forces of woo to explain even scientifically explainable phenomena.

By the way, these woo-woo promoting people make a ton of money selling books, doing personal appearances, and on the lecture circuit. They are promising something. Right? Like a religion? Often, their claims are outlandish (more woo-woo).

All we need to do is believe them.

Bill

18 thoughts on “Woo-woo turns me off

  1. To me, woo-woo and religiousity are very similar … although I tend to categorize woo-woo more towards believing in the power of crystals, wearing certain icons, performing various rituals (MPs?), etc.

    But religiosity has its own set of “tools” to enhance one’s “spiritual” side. Praying, reading one’s bible, attending church. (And for some, arguing with atheists.)

    So bottom line for me is … its all bollocks. I think at my stage of life I tend to identify with Popeye, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And reading Nan’s book. 🙂

      I have always liked that Popeye philosophy. It works no matter what I think.
      During my years of transition (not sure of what to what) I was excited to attend a preachers talk on “spirituality.”

      It sounded promising. It was not. he said read the bible. I quit after one session. I felt like he lied to us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have hated to see “woo” makes its way into some areas of physics, like quantum theory, theory of mind, cosmic consciousness etc. it does science a disservice in my opinion and muddies the waters of pure fact based science.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the bottom line whether it’s religion or woo or spiritually etc. is dread of one day ceasing to exist for all time evermore. I know that really bothers me, but it doesn’t make me find a fantasy to take that dread away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Coincidentally, I just today downloaded a book I hope I get to soon: “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker. 🙂

        Like

      3. Oh wow.Mi saw that very book mentioned on a blog I follow as being good. I follow so many I don’t know where, but I put it in my cart on Amazon. Let us all know how it is…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this. Woo-woo – it’s amazing how much money is made in this “other – er – ‘religion?’.
    I like the idea of morning pages. I shall have to organise my mornings differently. Probably means getting up earlier – ugh. Not so sure now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you love it, Dale. Woo-woo…fun to say, right?
      I would prioritize my mornings as you do. Outside, pics, birds, flowers, etc.
      For me, I am thinking any time of day, but sitting with coffee, pen and pad are my favorite ways to deal with being me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That it is! I keep thinking of a business course where the person stated not to worry, there was nothing woo-woo about her practices!
        Outside, run/walk, pics – pretty good way to start the day, you’re right. And again, you’re right – why limit ourselves to morning?
        I forgot to mention how reading about the snakes thing made me think of a fabulous scene in Justified – dumbass preacher didn’t know his sister milked the snakes before being “bitten but protected by the Lord” so when he was faced with a “fully-loaded” one well… needless to say, it was his last preach…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well o’ course they do… especially when they are unlucky bastards who actually do believe but don’t know the what’s what.
        I could never live in temps like that. Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 101 F as I write this. Just back from the pool.
        I was going to do a post on snake roundups. I know I wrote it, but not sure I posted it.
        Anyway…love my new a/c 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I do love that meme. After all of these years, I still have a little part of me that insists that there “must be something else”. I could be an animist with not that much push, having been quite convinced as a child that everything had feelings. I still have my deck of tarot cards that I occasionally take out. I know they are just cards, though once up on a time I believed they were more. they do help me focus on things, rather like how flipping a coin will tell me what I really want to have happen just by forcing a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is interesting. I like to keep things simple but life keeps being complicated. I see no reason not to flip a coin. Now I need to check my lottery tickets. 🙂

      Like

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