“Is this for Real?”
From 38 years of questioning, questioning, questioning comes this congruency test for teachings in the human potential, metaphysical, and psycho-spiritual domain. It’s called the “Woo-Woo” test after a popular term given to suspicious metaphysical teachings and would-be gurus. The assumption is that there is real metaphysics out there. There are sober teachings out there. There are sober, helpful, thought leaders and teachers out there. The “test” is to help distinguish these from the pretenders.
Right off, I assure you that the test isn’t meant to judge the morality or righteousness of anyone or anything. The test is only intended as a helpful starting point to foster a caveat emptor attitude and a focus on conscious evaluation of stuff that comes our way. The Woo-Woo Test is shared here in the hopes that you might find it useful in your own evaluations.
So how do we test for “congruency?”
First, we look for harmony/alignment between all the ideas and tenets in the teaching.
Next, we look for harmony and alignment between the teacher/teaching and the intended outcomes of the teaching.
Last but not least, we look for harmony/alignment with the expression of love, the support of freedom, the support of self-empowerment and accountability, and the realization or expansion of joy. If you have appreciation for these values, you will probably also like the test.
It’s a good idea to add to what’s here with your own questions and required answers.
Please try it out when evaluating any teacher, authority figure, or teaching that you are considering giving your valuable time and attention to.
Of course, the test is not fool-proof. It doesn’t guaranty that it will help you identify a waste of your attention. On top of that, it’s worthwhile to note the possibility that within any body of work, SOME material might fail the test, while other material might pass with flying colors. You need to assess for yourself what is meaningful to you. This is a tool that you MAY find useful in that evaluation.
One more thing — and this is a tough one for some — the traditional or venerable nature of a teaching isn’t grounds for an automatic pass on the “right answer” to any of the questions. In fact, with analysis, we may find that current interpretations of some of the ancient teachings don’t completely satisfy contemporary psycho-spiritual capacities and informational needs. We need teachings and teachers that are relevant to the times and the needs of the people living in them.
Of course this doesn’t mean that all traditional teachings are suspect. In fact, it’s even probable there are truths and insights we have yet to receive from (especially the more esoteric of) the teachings. Regardless, we are perhaps best served when we make it a standard practice that we consciously, carefully, consider why we want to believe something, and if that belief will work for us.
You many download a PDF of the list of questions here. You may reproduce this test and distribute freely, as long as you are not using it for your own commercial purposes, and you keep the attribution in the footer visible, clearly identifying the copyright.
You may wish to comment below, after reading the questions. Please feel free to discuss!
Thanks for reading!