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The Glamour Problem

The emotional types respond with facility to world glamour and to their own individual inherited and self-induced glamour. The bulk of the people are purely emotional with occasional flashes of real mental understanding – very occasional, my brother, and usually entirely absent. Glamour has been likened to a mist or fog in which the aspirant wanders and which distorts all that he sees and contacts, preventing him from ever seeing life truly or clearly or the conditions surrounding him as they essentially are.  (Glamour: A World Problem by Alice A. Bailey and Djwal Khul)

I recently visited, some would say, a beautiful and posh resort as part of a work assignment I had. It is a place quite famous in Southern California in part due to the astoundingly beautiful physical environment manicured, along with manipulated and socially driven health and New Age trends. While it has not been far from where I’ve lived for the last seven years, driving by its entrance would often bring on a creepy feeling inside of me. Yet the tour and pitch delivered by several well-trained staffers initiated a whole other level of unease. By the time I left the place an hour later, I felt an energy that was dark, sinister, creepy. It reminded of Vegas, Mar-A-Lago, all that is setup to seduce with glamour as its calling card.

Overstated? Perhaps, but not for me. Let’s just say, we have all had the experience of having the hair raised on the back of our necks when something feels off kilter, suggesting if not danger, at least a vague sense of risk. I have ignored that feeling many times throughout my life, seduced myself by what I’ve perceived as a measure of “success”. In these later years, however, I have learned to pay attention to the distractive destruction it operates from, not just in my well-being, but also in my integrity. At it’s core, all that glamour is false and designed to anesthetize us from real beauty and Truth.

It’s Not Just the Gold and Marble

The energy of glamour is murky but can be overlaid on anything physical, from the human body to a home to a guru! Human beings glamorize all kinds of things including people. Glamour is an energy. Even the recent health crazes have become glamorized, from yoga to organics. Add the word ‘organic’ to any food item (whether it’s true or not) and people flock to it like a moth to a flame. Positionalities can also be glamorized, from abortion (pro or con) to the gun laws (pro or con) to drugs (pro or con) to political candidates of every stripe, representing every cause. The list is endless.

One of the biggest problems with glamour is its typically unrecognizable in ourselves, the lack of one’s own ability to see that our perception has been distorted by its energy or influence. What we think we see is a falseness yet one that is unknown to us, a fog as Bailey demonstrates above. When I left that resort the other day I recalled how when I was younger I thought I wanted all that ‘stuff’, that lifestyle, thinking it represented success, with the good life manifested as the manicured lawns, the pools, the languid free time in an opulent and successfully-gilded setting.

It makes me shudder now, how easy I was. And how easy so many people are now on all kinds of things including issues, people, positions, even presidents, and, and, and…. In any case, as a (hopefully) maturing person, its effect has waned, worn thin and I pray to God, dissipated to the point where it has no effect on me, that seduction of glamour. In fact, it is the opposite. I am aware that the energy of glamour takes me off my path, and certainly off the Truth of who and what I am.

As I look around the U.S. and the world, the havoc glamour has wrecked in cultures and political systems is profound. Power and greed are glamour’s calling cards, yet they are always cloaked as an image of success. Even the spiritually manipulated ‘abundance’ preachers are in on the act, suggesting it is a ‘sign’ one has ‘arrived’ spiritually. No amount of stuff can ever move the heart, let alone get one to enlightenment, but of course that part is left out of the New Age  pamphlet.

It’s Not About Poverty or Abundance 

Of course I’m not suggesting poverty is the requirement to enlightenment or salvation. I”m also not suggesting things don’t bring meaning to our lives, that positions are not valuable to who and what we are, how we live our lives and for what purpose. But they have to represent Truth, Beauty, Divinity in some way, at least at their highest levels. What it seems Alice Bailey is saying is that the distortion of a thing’s meaning or value, the illusory presentation of thing or idea, is what seduces one into another place that moves us away from Truth, not towards it. Bailey’s book says it best as she lays much groundwork on the topic, describing how glamour operates resulting with its effects delineated as a consequence. The New Testament and Buddhism also reveal the problem although in less ‘modern’ vernacular. 

At the current time, America (and the world) is at a crossroads. What path we take as a nation will likely be for the next generation to determine although we all must begin now to the degree we are able. I pray the fog thins and dissipates. Most of us understand the concept of the ‘fog of war’ but few have considered the ‘fog of peace’, let alone the ‘fog of success’. We can only pray for vision, ask to see things as they are in Truth, surrendering our ego-driving belief systems we have been suckled by and cleave to, keeping us stuck in what we think we perceive as reality or as ‘the truth’.

 

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