Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Spirituality, Marketing, and Intelligent Feedback Loops

Last night, I enjoyed a video called "Last of the Dogmen" that I heard about on Netflix in a negative review of a different video. That got me to thinking. (Doesn't take much, I must admit.)
For a long while, I have felt that there was something a bit off in most spiritual advertising, that modern spirituality should not uncritically accept advertising/marketing practices that are so grounded in non-truth. But I did not quite see an alternative, other than to advertise poorly or not at all, which is pure but doesn't spread the teaching. And the sites I have seen that are not 100% adoration are 100% negativity. What is needed is the kind of review system they use on Netflix or Amazon and in many shopping sites.

Review: "I was disappointed in this workshop because it turned out to be all lecture and no workshop. The only thing workshop about it was the higher price".
7 of 8 readers found this review useful.
Review: "Tom is the greatest teacher in all history. We are so blessed to be alive and be able to sit in his presence!"
0 of 15 readers found this review useful.

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Eli Ramana Pamela Adyashanti.

Much of the charge I had held about teachers, the expectation and the disappointment, dissolved recently at a retreat. But the question remains about the role of mystical/esoteric (not exoteric*) teachings in modern societies that are materially prosperous and politically freer but where those very advances are creating the desire and need for spiritual meaning faster than that meaning is being found, created, and spread.

Interesting planet.

* In other words, the role of teachings that focus on changing who you experience yourself as inside rather than on your behavior outside. "Do you belief in God?" is an exoteric question. "Who is the 'you" who believes or doesn't?" is an esoteric question.


At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Kevin Rooney said...

The difference between normal advertising and an Amazon type rating system is that the purpose of advertising is to get you to buy something whether or not you will be satisfied with it. Amazon ratings are designed to raise the probability that you will be satisfied with what you buy. That is why it needs to contain a lot of truth, but advertising needs to keep truth out of the picture.


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