People talk about self-help books and new agey type spiritual movements dismissively. Too easy, too narcissistically gratifying. None of the substance of the graver, more traditional belief systems that have more to do with existential matters and less to do with bank accounts and boyfriends. But the very materiality of the sphere of action subverts this criticism by providing constant physical proof of the higher power’s indifference, making these some of the more taxing spiritual paths to be found. The horribly precarious gratification and the continually disappointed promise of happiness/elevation offers its own mortifications to rival the more obviously and traditionally stern codes and creeds.