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Idol Chatter

Um, what?
At least that was my reaction when I read this phrase in the recent, very tongue and cheek New York Times article, “Searching for the Soul to Cleanse It” by Ariel Kamner, about the weird rituals that city-dwellers undertake when they are, um, I guess, spiritually confused. In addition to musings about her funny experiences trying out some rather odd “spiritual” practices and touring New York City’s oddest guru’s, Kamner’s piece gives some space to Ken Nunoo, a kabbalah teacher who helps people do some spiritual cleansing to start the new year off right. Of her experience with Nunoo, Kamner writes:
“For $5, I downloaded an article by Mr. Nunoo and took it to the park. It began with a long, rambling reading containing news you can’t use, like “Somehow a woman’s sperm count or her reproductive water can be taken from her spiritually, preventing the woman from generating enough ovaries to reproduce or bear children.” Next came a string of blessings for me to intone. “May the Elohim endow this egg with power to accomplish our desire,” I began, standing by the frozen pond. A large family of tourists gathered to see. “O Gedulahel! O Geburahel! O Tiphereth!” I had no idea what I was saying, but I was having fun giving the visitors such a good show. I touched the egg to various parts of my body, so it could absorb any impurities.”
Kamner’s adventures with other, similar spiritual teachers didn’t fare much better–though she does say that they were all nice and well-meaning. For anyone who has ever laughed (good-naturedly so) at some of the things we/people do in the name of “the spiritual” this essay is a must.

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