Pragmatic Mysticism

©1988 by Spider Johnson
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I have coined this term, "pragmatic mysticism," to apply towards the large number of artists (which includes musicians and other related visionaries) from West Texas, notably Lubbock, to describe the distinct creative quality they seem to have over their counterparts in other parts of the U. S. There is definitely a unique, mystical, mysterious theme to the art and music produced from this region which has a profound effect on the public; however, it is a down-to-earth mysticism, very practical, devoid of the pie-in-the-sky fluffiness that brands most mystical references and renderings. The West Texas bunch are certainly up on their Tarot and Astrology, but they don't hang their hats on it or feel like they have to smile and be happy all the time. Their gods, in other words, have motorcycle grease under their fingernails, drink beer and fart.

The mystical "New Age" movement which so many conservatives have currently taken issue with is really a beneficial one, perhaps a very important one in the evolution of the human consciousness and psyche. The bad rap has come largely from those disjointed "New Age" individuals who have simply replaced the traditional heroes with new false idols without evolving or changing the basic values and ideologies behind it all. Old, unworkable fluff simply became the same old fluff with new names and guises. While there may certainly be valid sciences and/or technologies behind channelling, crystal power, etc., etc., surrendering one's life to any one of them is as irresponsible as following one of the televangelists without question. The Lubbock mysticism has a good bit of irreverence in it, hence, it becomes pragmatic, practical, and independently self-realized. Insofar as applying numerology to fixing one's car's brakes or a lover's broken heart, fine. Otherwise, leave it be to the New Age Pollyannas.

--Spider Johnson, Oct 1988