September 2, 2018

I’d like to explain why some of the articles on Elephant are…bullshit. ~ Waylon Lewis

I’d like to explain why some of the articles on Elephant are…bullshit.

I’ve called ’em out, before, since they run counter to our mission: to be of benefit.

Magical thinking is not of benefit. It might be fine for Goop, but we’re better than that.

And yet, our mission includes all community—the notion of dialogue. So, as editor, I’m presented with a choice.

Welcome spiritual materialism along with the healthy quality we are honored to offer—and then welcome readers who are fans of said silliness with videos by myself and Elephant wisdom holders, and with an editor’s introduction up top the article gently calling it out. That’s my approach—we can’t ignore that millions of readers would rather read anti-vaxx or astrology, but we can welcome them (you, perhaps). And then, we can offer other points of view in those articles. After all, you’re safer with us than you are with sites just trying to make a buck off of duping you.

And so, we welcome all comers.

If I’ve offended you, welcome to Elephant. We’re not here for good vibes only. We’re here for genuine vibes, only. We’re here to learn, open, grow, heal, celebrate and listen. As am I, myself. So, thank you for being here with me, and more importantly our writers and readers.

This is your community.


Bonus update: A great example of agreeing to disagree, and welcoming dialogue instead of only “belonging” to communities we agree with 100% of the time (you know, cults): Why Magical Thinking is an Essential Part of Human Life.

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Waylon Lewis Sep 2, 2018 11:26pm

well said good sir.

Waylon Lewis Sep 2, 2018 11:26pm

Articles about nonsensical made-up rules that folks believe and base their love-life on have real consequences. They may not be healthy. But if our community can always maintain a sense of humor about itself, and a healthy suspicion of any and all wisdom, we'll be fine.

Waylon Lewis Sep 2, 2018 11:25pm

Thanks! I don't believe my opinion is better than anyone else's. As the quote goes, "you're entitled to your own opinions. You're not entitled to your own facts." I do believe my opinions, if open-minded and simultaneously fact-based, are better than those that are not fact-based. And I believe that your opinion, if open-minded and fact-based, is probably better than my magical thinking. The scientific inquiry model itself is a good model for us--always curious, always learning, based on truth as can best be established.

Thomas Watson Sep 2, 2018 8:49pm

Thanks for the note of caution. I coach and counsel people. I believe in soul- centered work but I see lots of damage when people fail to own their Shadow Sides and buy into the notion that if you're just positive you'll attract the same. Harm comes to all and more comes to those whose eyes are not open to reality as we know it. Good comes to us too.

Amie Hughes Sep 2, 2018 6:46pm

I often find nuggets of wisdom or a thread of connection in the “spiritual materialism”. The openness and inclusiveness to include these articles, along with more pragmatic ideas, is the attraction of Elephant. Thank you for acknowkedging you are not always in agreement with the articles published. But know others may be. That’s hot.

Camilla Sanderson Sep 2, 2018 5:27pm

and who can decide, save for the recipient, what is "of benefit." I love the idea of how we all get to share the truth of our own experience "on the table" and the reader gets to choose what they may pick up, or not. I don't believe there is any one "right" path. Part of living the human exprience as a spiritual being is that I get to choose what may work for me and what may not. I respect your choices, as I ask that you respect mine.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.