Why Do Spiritual People Seem So Flaky? It’s very easy to poke fun at people on a New Age spiritual path. They are into whatever: shamanism, astrology, crystals, witches, paganism, rebirthing, past life regressions, drumming, basically anything mainstream culture is not. Further, when you speak with people on one or more of these paths, they often don’t seem to make sense, and they frequently switch from one path to another. They’re counter-cultural, weird, and appear to be out of touch with reality. I’ve been one of these people, I’ve been friends with many, many of these people, and I work with a lot of people on one spiritual path or another in my office. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is that for someone who has the “spiritual gene” (more on this in a moment) growing up in a material culture is a challenge. Imagine you believed in capitalism and individualism but you were born in Communist China of the ‘60s. Where would you see your core self mirrored in the larger society? How would you not feel like a cultural misfit? How could you develop a solid sense of self, when everyone and everywhere around you seemed to march to a different drummer? This is the reality for a lot of people born with a spiritual yearning in the material culture of the United States. I think there is something like a spiritual affinity that people are born with, just as we are born with musical ability, or talent for painting, sculpture, or math. Some people naturally resonate with spiritual teachings and truths, and when all they see around them is the blaring headlines of the latest political infighting, corporate earnings, who’s hot and who’s not in music or movies or books – well, they are just going to feel out of step with this culture. These things just don’t seem to them that important because they aren’t. The vast majority of what we fret over, fight over, and worry about has no lasting importance. Spiritual truths, on the other hand, are timeless, which is why the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita continue to be revered and read by billions of people thousands of years after being written while best-sellers are forgotten within a decade. So it takes decades for someone with the spiritual gene to find his or her footing because for most of them there isn’t a clear path to tread, especially since mainstream religion is so often a corporate version of spirituality so that people looking for a living connection are turned off by it. If you are one of these people, be patient with yourself and don’t let the ridicule of those who don’t understand you divert you from your search. If you are a family member or friend of someone who’s “into something” you don’t comprehend, give them the benefit of the doubt. Just because what they’re looking for isn’t found in a MacDonald’s Happy Meal box doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them. It might mean there’s something right with them.