Many years ago the idea of pen friends was born. The idea was to create a way by which friendly contacts could be initiated between people worldwide. Photos and profiles of those seeking friendship were published in magazines. Those seeking friends (pen friends or pen pals), could contact people of their choice by writing. If the recipient replies, communications starts between both pen friends.
A former leader in the New Age culture – author of nine titles on auras, chakras, “energy,” and so on – chronicles her difficult and painful transition to skepticism. She thanks the skeptical community and agonizes over how the messages of scientific and critical thinking could be made more effective in communicating with her former New Age colleagues. I’ve been studying the conflict between the skeptical community and the metaphysical/new age community for a few decades now, and I think I’ve finally discovered the central issue that makes communication so difficult. It is not merely, as many surmise, a conflict between fact-based viewpoints and faith-based viewpoints. Nor is it simply a conflict between rationality and credulity. No, it’s a full-on clash of cultures that makes real communication improbable at best.