Madonna. A live Masonic ritual? The dark and esoteric side of kabbalah? The all-seeing eye in the center of the stage as part and package of ancient practices mixed with religious rhetoric with Madonna as Dark Star. Does she consume body parts and wash it down with virgin blood? gurgle. gargle. maybe she’s just a vampire that can suck cash from a stone. Madonna has always given rise to the deepest passions of the conspiracy theorist; she seems to incarnate that collision between intuitive transcendental belief, the theory of the interconnected and the empiricists who stake and skate over the evidence, a frozen lake of the random and coincidental.
Madonna’s mysticism: Kabbalah is a broad Hebrew term for every current in Jewish mysticism over a stretch of 2,500 years. It compares to, say, philosophy. Calling yourself a Kabbalist is about as informative as calling yourself a philosopher. Madonna, … has become Esther, as part of her adherence to “the” Kabbalah. The term now appears in media outlets the way “anarchism” did in the anti-globalization phase just before 9/11: widespread, vague and ill-defined.
A Toronto Star piece said its “goal” is “knowledge of the divine” via a “finely shaded approach to experiencing God who conceals and reveals himself, who is both transcendent and immanent in the world.” Something scandalous lurks here since, in the Bible, God relates to the world only through His words. He never inheres in or is part of it. That is a key division between Bible-based religions and all others. When Kabbalists speculated on immanence, they flirted with pantheistic heresy. But you get none of that from the anodyne phrase, “conceals and reveals himself,” without context….
…Yet really, what’s wrong with inserting another version of spirituality into this forlorn world, even if it’s a bit stupid and commercialized (“Kabbalah water from very pure springs”)? Well, calling a thing spiritual doesn’t make it so, any more than using the word Kabbalah means you’ve actually said something. At times, spirituality feels like another word for privatization: the reduction and introjection of the public or social to tiny personal size. Read More:http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/topic_2006.html
Conspiracy theory is itself an industry…
… a business model based on the simultaneous repulsion and attraction of the idea of secret workings, shadowy activities behind every collapse. A secret of drawing virtue , trying to locate meaningful moments in a plotless flow of life, one turns to the art of storytelling as cultural marker with conspiracy as a locus of meaning that mediates our lives and the celebrities at the center of events attributed to unfathomable machinations. There is a desire for a sense of an ending, closure, but with what Walter Benjamin would call “messy antics” , the seed of revelatory emancipation, but somewhat infinite and vague resembling the inconclusiveness of real life, a nice stream of disavowals, good honest lies that contain hints of meaning. As long as it feels true. A sense of a story without too many literal encumbrances.
But as former Nixon aide G. Gordon Liddy once told me (and he should know!), the problem with government conspiracies is that bureaucrats are incompetent and people can’t keep their mouths shut. Complex conspiracies are difficult to pull off, and so many people want their quarter hour of fame that even the Men in Black couldn’t squelch the squealers from spilling the beans. So there’s a good chance that the more elaborate a conspiracy theory is, and the more people that would need to be involved, the less likely it is true.
Why do people believe in highly improbable conspiracies? In previous columns I have provided partial answers, citing patternicity (the tendency to find meaningful patterns in random noise) and agenticity (the bent to believe the world is controlled by invisible intentional agents). Conspiracy theories connect the dots of random events into meaningful patterns and then infuse those patterns with intentional agency. Add to those propensities the confirmation bias (which seeks and finds confirmatory evidence for what we already believe) and the hindsight bias (which tailors after-the-fact explanations to what we already know happened), and we have the foundation for conspiratorial cognition.Read More:http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-people-believe-in-conspiracies