Q: Your identification as a shaman has put you on America's spiritual freelancer circuit, both in the men's movement and new age venues. Yet you are critical of new age spirituality. Why?
A: There's no sustained, demonstrable validity attached to the beliefs that some of these people hold onto. It's just some kind of vague, rather shallow, and sometimes really silly aspiration for something grand, all-encompassing. I see too many people who jump into spirituality as a shelter to hide from reality. It doesn't work that way. The way it works is for the spirit behind you to follow you wherever you go, like a loyal soldier, and show you how to face up to adversity. If you can't face adversity, you will get locked into a new age perception that everything is fine when it isn't. That makes you vulnerable to being exploited by the person who comes along and says, "I am a psychic. I have studied with this guy or that guy, and I know what you should do."
Q: What venues seem to be a better place to learn real spiritual development?
A: The best places are multicultural conferences. You have the opportunity to go through racial tensions and cultural differences; you can acknowledge that we don't trust each other. The next logical step might be a fight, yet, by not fighting and staying with the tension, working through it together, you come to a place where that feeling can be transcended. Unless there has been sweat--people sweating to get through the countless things that keeps them apart--they are probably lying when they say we are all one.
If you believe that just by coming together to the same place you are already awakened, forget it. Because you are living in a culture with a very heavy history behind it, and you are all stained by it. You have to start by looking into that history, realizing where you are as a culture with respect to it. The choice is to do the hard work to transcend your history--or to just pretend that everything is fine in the way of naive spirituality. http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/1995/03/miller.html