It’s February 17 and I’m standing in front of a full room at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, CA. Once again, we’ve filled up the seats and people are standing in the back as I deliver my opening line, “If you told me several years, I’d be here talking about Jesus and ayahuasca, I would have laughed my ass off.” But perhaps more incredible than tales of spiritual awakening is that here I am on the final night of my Electric Jesus West Coast book tour, knowing we have shattered the odds.
Enthusiastic crowds have greeted me at almost all of my sixteen stops. This shouldn’t be happening as first-time author in a wilting publishing industry. But I’ve had a secret grassroots weapon, one that a lot of mainstream America doesn’t know about — it’s the flourishing new spiritual counterculture.
The audience in Gatsby Books is dressed in hipster vintage printed tees and American Apparel cotton hoodies with esoteric flares of spiral plug earrings and Peruvian indigenous bracelets. I’ve come to realize this isn’t simply the Whole Foods sustainability crew, Yoga Journal aficionados, or New Age healers. There’s a weird and intricate alchemy of deeper ecological and spiritual activism, where new design systems meet vipassana firmness of mind, plant medicine wisdom engages with Occupy ideologies, permaculture principles with a global festival culture, and a rising planetary awareness with radically practical solutions to address global challenges tidal-waving towards us.