'It's a Game Everyone's Already Playing' – The Creating-Our-Reality Motif Between Secularization and Spiritualization in Contemporary Western Popular Spirituality

Marianna Ruah-Midbar Shapiro

Abstract


The Creating-Our-Reality motif is one of the most central in contemporary Western popular spiritual discourse. The article presents and demonstrates three different versions of it – magical, secularized and metaphysical. Nevertheless, despite the clear differentiation between the spiritualization (or re-enchantment) and secularization (or dis-enchantment) trends, there is an obvious tendency not to leave the motif in its “pure” state, but rather to blend the versions together. Apparently, spiritual practitioners in the West do not wish to abandon Modern-scientific discourse, and yet continue to cling to magic. The melding of secular and spiritual/magical discourses is used as a catalyst for their likening, and for the readiness of those who perceive themselves as secular to buy into the legitimacy of magic. Thus, the attractiveness of spiritual discourse keeps growing, as its legitimization is established within the mainstream. 

The article presents the characteristics of the Creating-Our-Reality motif in contemporary spiritual popular culture, while also discussing the theological-ethical-cultural implications embedded in its various designs (including the deification of the individual; the built-in paradoxes of individual and society, passiveness and proactivity; and optimism ethics).


Keywords


popular religion, contemporary alternative spiritualities, New Age spirituality, modern magic, creation myth, cosmology, science and religion, secularization processes, rationalization and disenchantment, spiritualization and re-enchantment

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