The Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Spiritual self-help is a parasite adapted to our religious instincts.

James Taylor Foreman
15 min readSep 2, 2023
A real photo I took of Eckhart Tolle reigning in the apocalypse.

I spent thousands to go to a Joe Dispenza meditation retreat.

Part of me thought of it as a fun experiment — a lark. But I also probably believed (hoped) there was a chance that I could unlock something… more.

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Out of the thousands attending, I was randomly chosen to have my brain scanned while meditating.

I was sitting in a small office room the day before the event, getting a baseline brainwave measure. “They called me ‘big head’ when I was a kid,” I explained as the neuroscientist tried to jam the too-small cap over my skull.

“I can see why,” she said. “Must be a big brain in there.”

“Mostly hot air,” I said. She laughed. Her kindness put me at ease.

Then she pulled out a giant, dull syringe and used it to squirt gel to stick the two dozen metal nodes to my head, soaking through my hair. The nodes need to make electrical contact with my skin to measure the brainwaves going on just behind my skull. The process took over half an hour. Like during a good…



James Taylor Foreman

Essays bridging mythic meaning and the modern world. Click here to have them appear in your inbox some Saturday mornings -->