New Age experience not for me

Annie Clarkson - Editorial Page Editor

Annie Clarkson – Editorial Page Editor

Before I went to Sedona, Ariz., for spring break, I didn’t really know what the term “New Age” meant. I just knew I didn’t like the music.

Basically, I think the New Age movement is about alternative thinking and the mind-body-spirit connection. It covers a wide range of teachings, beliefs and practices, some based on ancient and mainstream religions and some based on nature, science and mathematics.

Sedona has a thriving New Age tourist industry, mainly due to multiple “energy vortexes” concentrated in the surrounding red rock mountains. In this context, a vortex is like a spiral flow of energy, created by the relative healthiness of the earth as a living organism in those locations.

I didn’t go to Sedona in search of spiritual enlightenment, but the “energy” of the vortexes was as inescapable as the drunken orgies of Cancun in more traditional spring break venues.

There are five major vortex sites in the mountains surrounding Sedona. We visited all five in the first two days. New Agers were everywhere, meditating, channeling, talking to rocks, walking around in circles and doing yoga.

At the last site, Cathedral Rock, in a serene setting on the banks of a clear, rushing stream at the base of the mountain, I suddenly got a queasy feeling which grew stronger all day and ended badly (details omitted).

My friend, who had studied up on the power of the energy vortexes, said I had successfully absorbed the energy and the vortex had cleansed me of all my poisons. This was a positive spin on an ugly situation.

Not being a New Age thinker, I put a negative spin on it. There was only one clear conclusion. I’m allergic to energy. The most spiritually energizing place on earth caused me to get sick and take multiple naps for two days. It never occurred to me that the actual cause could have been food poisoning, carsickness, hangover, or an actual 24-hour flu bug.

So now I have scientific proof that I’m allergic to energy. This explains a lot. I drove more than 2,500 miles, for 4 days, to confirm a diagnosis that was already painfully obvious every day in class.

Now that I’m enlightened about this condition, I’m booking my next spring break in Cancun.