By Lucy Wyndham
If you ride the New York subway regularly, you will have come across the flyers for Keano – the Spiritual Consultant. On the flyer, an all-seeing eye peers out from a pyramid, telling you “The moon and stars can be yours.” There is the offer of a free question by phone. Maybe even you have been tempted to call the number and see if you can gain some insight into the events in your life. Keano has become immensely popular – the flyer has inspired comic strips, memes and even tote bags. Turns out that even in this age of science, we are still looking to mystics for guidance. But why do we need this help?
The quick fix
The vast majority of world religions offer a moral path, spiritual guidance and a set of answers to how we should live our lives. Whether it is Islam, Christianity, Sikhism or Buddhism this foundation is remarkably similar – treat others kindly, tell the truth and help those who need it. There are of course religious books and guidance, packed full of fables, stories and ideas to help us along the way, many of them require interpretation and can have different meanings to different people. This is certainly not as easy as picking up the phone and asking for a psychic reading. You could read 1,200 pages of the Old Testament, or instead you could have a chat with a psychic to get some insight into your life. According to ABC News, the average psychic reading costs $100 — and at $3.99 a minute, this means a 25-minute discussion.
A lack of commitment
The fact is that if you join a religion, it involves commitment. You need to go to the church, the synagogue or the temple. You need to interact with the community that you have chosen, volunteer your time and give without being asked. You should read the books, understand the scriptures, pray, meditate and worship. The reward for this commitment is ultimately the gift of guidance on how to live your life – to help you choose between the right thing or the wrong thing to do. But Americans are a nation that aren’t known for their levels of commitment. For many people it is far easier to take guidance from a stranger on the phone, telling you that this year it is time for a change in work, or to look out for the number seven.
Living the ‘instant’ life
What is better for us – cooking a tasty meal, or eating a burger and chips? We already know the answer, yet 36% of Americans eat fast food every single day. What is more satisfying – having a conversation with a friend on the phone, or sending them a Whatsapp? Even when we know that it’s good to talk, the majority of people still just send a message. It is of little surprise that psychics have become the new wellness gurus in America. In fact, according to a YouGov survey, 22% of people have consulted a psychic for spiritual guidance, which appears to be evidence of wanting knowledge, guidance, and satisfaction instantly that is common in today’s culture.
Anything that has value in life takes time and effort to cultivate, a rainforest, a delicious roast dinner or a relationship with ourselves. If you’re looking for answers and guidance, it is well worth a long term investment.