My brief encounter with pseudoscience at the bookstore

05May10

I discovered some interesting books on my travels through the internet last week, so I made a trip to the bookstore.

I drifted to the teaching/education section of the store, and was flipping through John Taylor Gatto’s book “Weapons of Mass Instruction”, a critique of modern compulsory schooling. After reading a few passages, a tiny spark of doubt entered my mind. Is this really what I want to do? Contribute to a system of education that is so unhealthy? (Of course, those were just my first impressions. I ended up buying the book, so I’ll post a review when I am finished).

As I was checking out some books in a different section of the store, I happened to overhear a conversation between two very fashionable, I’m assuming upper-class women in their 30s or 40s. One woman, carrying 4 or 5 books, walked up to the other woman, and the following short dialogue ensued:

“I found this book, which looks pretty interesting”. (The book was”Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason“*)

“I read a book like this recently, which talked about cellular levels”.

” Interesting. I’ve been meaning to look into this”…

And so it went. I had to walk away from that section, as I had the overwhelming urge to enter a conversation which I wasn’t invited to.

As I walked away, that tiny flicker of doubt that entered my mind about working in education was extinguished.

*In case you are wondering about the source of my frustration, here is a brief synopsis of the book from Amazon:
“Integral to this mystical healing approach is the engagement of the soul, which we experience through exploring our seven shadow passions, building an empowered inner self around our seven inherent graces, and learning how to work with the mystical laws that govern it. This knowledge holds the key to understanding what it means to defy gravity and break through the boundaries of ordinary thought.  You can heal any illness. You can channel grace. And you can learn to live fearlessly.”
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