My mother used this word all the time when someone would use too many fancy words to explain something that was actually quite simple. This word came to mind when perusing recent magazines focused on spirituality, health and consciousness. I see more goobledy goop than anywhere else when reading about perceptions of modern day spirituality.

How did we become so disconnected from the very fiber of our being and all that supports the soul that we need to call it by something else that does not truly define it? These articles tout ideas such as “Learning How to Use Daily Life as Support for Waking Up.” What exactly does that mean? I read another strange article about the “Practice of Compassionate Unmasking.” This described the process of what appeared to be repentance and the transformation that follows experiencing sins in a past life. That sounds to me like “goobledy goop,” a word that is defined in the dictionary as (being) pompous or unintelligible jargon. I submit to you that we have all gotten lost in the unintelligible phraseology of the 21st century. We have renamed what is most important in life, our spirituality and who we are within the Spirit, into something entirely different because it has become more politically correct and is much more profitable. It is distressing to read these things; it apparently appeals to our new generation and apparently so readily accepted without much thought.

In that very same article, a quick, how-to paragraph revealed a “shortcut to self-compassion.” That article, spelled out prolifically, contained words describing strategies for coping and dealing with painful situations. The anecdote, of course, is to be “compassionate with ourselves.” Wouldn’t it be easier to say that we should forgive ourselves when we have gone astray? It would have been so much easier to say just that. So much of what media portrays and offers us on a daily basis is “goobledy goop,” especially when it comes to the spiritual realm. All the words and strange phraseology make the centuries-old concept sound new and fancier than what the actual idea was trying to convey in the first place.

In an interview written in Conscious Life magazine, Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., says that our genes are changeable and that we can control them with our thought processes. Goobledy goop! Apparently, Lipton, a cell biologist and lecturer who is an internationally-recognized leader in bridging science and the spirit, believes this is the case. What does that mean, to “bridge science and the spirit?” Notice there was no capital in the author’s word, spirit. How does one separate science from Spirit anyway? In that discussion, he goes on to say that our identity is received by its cells because the soul stays there — goobledy goop! I think that he was trying to communicate that we are shaped daily by our own thought processes, but to express that as he did is to give way too much credit to a flawed entity — ourselves. We should instead be relying on the Spirit within us to guide us in love and all human matters, not explaining away our inevitable connection to the Spirit within. He goes on to say that hypnosis and habituation are ways to offset our negative thinking and programming. What is habituation? The only word that I could find in the dictionary spelled that way means “to accustom.” In the next paragraph, Lipton states that the answer to the problem of our negative programming and flawed perceptions that we hold onto about ourselves is found in “energy psychology.” Goobledy goop! When people are afraid to label entities for they really are, not giving God any credit, we get dangerously close to veering off the one path and end up on the never-ending trail of delusion and incongruity instead.

Although I am not a famous author or cell biologist or even any kind of expert, I would like to re-frame his way of thinking (goobledy goop) into something easy to understand. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” God himself defines spirituality as He connects and interacts with His creation on all levels. It is a choice we make to embrace that relationship and then defining what that looks like, and not at a cellular level, either. It is hard to believe that we can actually transform a cell just by thinking about it in a different way. Science is in existence only because He wished it to be.

Experts say that there are many temporary, albeit ineffective, purported cures for negative thinking, indifferent living and bridging science with spirituality. In the end, we need to clarify for ourselves what the spiritual and human experience means and live accordingly. For me, I will maintain my gaze in an upward fashion instead of downward, reading fancy words that mean nothing but goobledy goop.

Roman Betty Schaaf is a volunteer, a writer, a sojourner and a self-described wellness addict. Betty Schaaf’s email is

bettyannschaaf@gmail.com