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

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

Taylor Foreman


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 haircut, I nodded off.

I was exhausted from driving from Los Angeles that day. This event was in Aurora, Colorado.

When she finished, she told me to put in headphones and listen to a 30-minute Joe Dispenza voice-guided recorded meditation. I fell into a deep sleep in about 10 seconds.

“You showed a lot of slow theta brainwave patterns,” she told me afterward, impressed. That meant I was very relaxed.

“Nice!” I didn’t mention I was dead asleep.

The next morning, a thousand gathered in a huge ballroom to listen to Dispenza’s first lecture. Exciting stuff.

After he finished speaking, the massive lights dimmed, and we all did a guided meditation together, with Dispenza on the dark stage, speaking softly into the microphone. “Feeeeeeel….. the blackness….”



Taylor Foreman

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