“It is unclear if some of the alternative spiritual practices young adults are attracted to can have the same benefits as traditional religious beliefs and practices. For instance, in a new study our lab hopes to publish soon, we find evidence suggesting that these alternative beliefs are not doing a good job of actually providing meaning,”
(Toni Airaksinen – PJ Media) It’s a Monday afternoon in January and in an ironic twist of fate, it’s my boyfriend who’s dragging me to the local shopping mall. While he’s here to find new athletic wear (he teaches tennis), I’m left meandering through gaggles of teens and clearance aisles.
There’s nothing I want here. I’ve seen it all before. Except, as I walk through Urban Outfitters and Francesca’s, I notice an expanding array of seemingly useless objects. Crystals. Gemstones. Astrology guides. Books like “Practical Magic” and “Everyday Tarot.”
And surprisingly, one of these — “The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook” — has even sold enough copies to become a New York Times bestseller. But who’s actually buying these? Not me, not anyone I know, and certainly not most people.
Or maybe I’m wrong.
According to Instagram and Amazon, thousands of millennials are obsessed with these products. But why? North Dakota State University Professor Clay Routledge, who has studied “human quest for meaning” for over 15 years, thinks he has an answer.
According to his new book, Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World, over a third of American millennials are unaffiliated with any religion.