The seeker next door

What drives the ‘spiritual but not religious’?

If you’re asked to imagine a typical “spiritual but not religious” person (SBNR), you might envision a middle-class white woman with time on her hands, wearing a new yoga outfit, sitting in a lotus position and meditating. The television series Enlightened offers such an example: it features a disillusioned corporate manager (played by Laura Dern) who spends $50,000 at a New Age treatment center in Hawaii, where she meditates on the beach, practices yoga and attends support groups. She comes back “enlightened” and tries, fairly unsuccessfully, to live out her new vision of life and communicate it to coworkers, friends and family.


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