Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Secret

Everybody's on the "Spiritual enlightenment" bandwagon. First was the Celestine Prophecy, then Conversations with God, the Four Agreements, and The Power of Now. I've read all of them, learned something from all of them. Though they're all pretty commonsensical. Today everyone's buzzing about "the Secret" which sounds like a not-so secret re-hash of the abovementioned titles. 2007 version.

In the exercise department, trends have gone from 70's distance running, to Jane Fonda, to jazzercise, step aerobics, yoga, and now...Pilates. I've recently submitted to this cultural phenomenon, just to see what it's all about. I don't think you can call it excercise -that would insinuate you actually sweat. Pilates was invented by some guy who was injured in the hospital and developed a technique for sitting up and asking for the nurse. Rigorous it is not.

Yesterday a fat woman walks in, sets up her mat and a liter of chilled Poland Springs water because nobody these days can breathe in twice before having to rehydrate. Absolutely ridiculous. She's got on these wedge heels which are just not flattering on a heavy set frame, and as she unlaces them and rolls her towel out onto the mat I'm thinking--what am I doing here? In class with overweight women? Anyone can do this.

What's the value of doing something anyone can do? I prefer to race marathons because not everyone can do that. It's like religion. Anyone can belong to a religion. Your average dimwit can believe in whichever brand of organized religion their mother and father raised them to believe in. Why do I want something that I don't have to work for? That puts me on the same level as those dimwits who never thought things out for themselves. I prefer to discover god for myself....that's if i decide to believe in a god at all.

Anyone can lean up out of a hospital bed. I prefer a challenge. Pilates is simple and new age-y: the "excercise" equivalent of "the secret" and next year it will be replaced by some new fangled finger-cymbal pinging trend, but I do notice it works. For all its lowest-common-denominator ease, Pilates works. I wish I could say the same thing of organized religion.


Anonymous said...

You hit it on the nose! As far as organized religion, it has become just "big business" and the "how to make the most in tidings" therefore, telling members what they want to hear... .. duh! People do need to think for themselve... thanks Jesse

stephen memory

Anonymous said...

yes, i have to agree... organized religion does inhibit the "thinking" process... You are told and "do not question".(catholism especially)This can carry on to you life, especially trying to make independent decions (i.e.politically) that may well affect you way into the future. Gay men have to be free thinkers!

Anonymous said...

Jesse, I agree with you completely. I say the best religion is to treat others with respect and kindness. Instead of going to church and mindlessly reciting memorized prayers, why not spend that time helping a homeless person or animal? Perhaps visiting a sick,lonely friend would be more godly.