I’ve spent the past months checking out apps that promise illumination of various kinds: weight loss, diminishment of anxiety, increased focus, to name a few. I’ve been struck by the strangely diluted feeling I get from them, similar to the slight hollowness that accompanies Zoom meetings, even with dear friends. They are a step removed.
As though she heard my thoughts from her farm in the Pacific Northwest, frequent contributor Susan Dworski threw this compelling little video over my transom, accompanied by her thoughts about the apps she’s been seeing lately selling all manner of salvation, notably The Wisdom App available with an “annual contribution for membership of $99”. Here’s her message:
Transactional spirituality is a booming business today. ‘Wisdom’ and a more satisfying life are available online for a small, monthly fee and executing a few, snappy, ’spiritual and moral calisthenics’. It echoes America’s long history of bottling and selling ‘wisdom’ and other spiritual snake oil. Cults and ‘prophets’ have had a field day milking a public longing for easy answers – Seven Secrets of Success, 30 Days to a Thinner You, Eight Prayers For Salvation.
Exactly what wisdom, and who’s purveying it don’t seem to matter much. Just grab your cell phone, click, and go. Maybe it’s time to stop and reflect on the old mantra:
Traveler, there is no path.
The path is made by walking.
Time to slow down and look within, not without, for answers.
Time to begin once again to trust our own, hard-won experience – not online gurus – as the real source of wisdom.
We’re surrounded by wisdom, if we but stop and look.
Exactly what wisdom, and who’s purveying it?