A Skeptic in Sedona
Who would have thought that moving to Sedona would turn you into even more of a skeptic? My wife and I moved to Sedona in 2011 from Las Vegas to get away from the city life and be more around nature. I needed to decompress from the stress of city life. Which is partially true and the official story we tell.
What most people don't know is that I thought I was having spiritual experiences while I was in Las Vegas, and I thought that I had to be here in Sedona for the "December 21st, 2012" transition. Yeah, that one. I had been a pretty spiritual person almost all my life. Although I started to give up my beliefs in God and religion in my early 20s, I still considered most New Age and Spiritual stuff to be correct for at least a decade.
In fact when I met my wife, I was deeply convinced that I was on some divine spiritual path, and that I was uncovering truths about reality that were secretly hidden. Many coincidences happened at that time that felt so strange and so bizarre, that I couldn't help but wonder what it all meant. I always had a belief that I somehow understood some deep underlying truth of some "New Earth" or evolution on this planet. That I would awake to an evolved planet that had telepathy and clairvoyance. Hence, I believed that December 21st, 2012 would be the starting point for that.
Now, I was questioning whether this was true around that time as well. I still had seeds of doubt, but my gut told me to be in Sedona, and by a chain of what appeared to be coincidences, I ended up here.
And as you guessed it, the day came and passed.
After nearly four years of being here, I have a lot of doubts about spirituality and the claims that are made here. One of them is the famous "vortexes" that are supposed to be here. I have been to the major spots including Airport Road, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon. Between film school, and filming commercials and productions here in Sedona, I have been to these places many, many times. In fact I live very close to Bell Rock right now.
And you know what? There isn't anything here even close to a vortex. Most people when they get here can't find it, and when they think they do, they are just playing mind tricks with themselves. They'll fork out big bucks to have some guide show it to them, and most leave disappointed. The reality is that Sedona is such a beautiful place, and you can't help but feel overwhelmed by it. It's the reason why I wanted to be here. But after a while, just like anything, you grow used to it. Most people know there is no scientific evidence for it. It's more of a local attraction because many people come here for what they want to believe then what is true. They'll tell you all these grandiose stories of their experience. The reality is that most don't experience anything.
The problem is that throughout time, I started to question even what I believed and others here believed about Sedona. I started to realize that all the psychics and new age stuff here was just money making machines that held no real substance. You start to see a group-think mentality when you try to question it. It makes people feel very uncomfortable.
Same goes with the UFO claims. That is big here. I will tell you what, I have filmed many nights here, time-laspes and video. I am a nighttime person, and have been outside many nights, and not once did I see a UFO anywhere. Most people when they make claims here do not even really know what they are looking at.
You can try and argue the facts, but a lot of people here don't want to hear it. It's like there is this mystic bubble that hovers over the city, and everyone is afraid to break it. I don't know too many skeptics here, although there are a small community of atheists here, which is good.
The sad part is that I really do love it here. I think it is such a beautiful place, and it has such a great art and culture scene. The hiking and scenery is to die for. The restaurants are some of the best food you'll ever eat and Sedona International Film Festival is some of the best people working it with the greatest films.
But I feel the spirituality actually ruins this city. And I am not the only person that feels this way. Most people are afraid to say anything. A lot of people are so caught up in this fairy-tale and making money from this fairy-tale that they don't even see it for themselves. It's like a cult of personality, and if you speak out about it, you are subject to scrutiniy. I once got called a "politician" by someone because I questioned their beliefs about Astrology.
The reality is, the longer I am here, the longer I question these beliefs, and the longer I seek these answers, the less spiritual this place really seems. It actually reminds me of my home town of Las Vegas, where there is an illusion that covers the city in the hopes that suckers will fall for it and buy into it. The deception of illusion. Which is sad, because Sedona has a lot to offer without all this marketed hype of spirituality and dead-end beliefs. I have been a part of this machine, and I am now pulling away from it.
What is worse is that you'll eventually find out that most of this woo-woo wasn't even here before 1980, and that most of it has been fabricated ever since. But don't tell that to the millions of visitors who come here looking for some spiritual thing that doesn't exist. Because that is the elephant in the room. Like Vegas, you can't have an economy without suckers.
I have done my best to be open-minded to this experience, but I think I have reached a point that I no longer believe the things that are being said about spirituality here. I am sure there will be critics that want to argue with me, but they will not provide evidence (which is what always happens) or they will defend their beliefs without looking at the facts.
The facts are Sedona is a beautiful place to visit, but a shitty place to find truth. People here are stuck on The Secret and Oprah and aren't too concerned with scientific facts. They want to live in a bubble, and will do anything to protect it. I hope one day that the city will return to being a great hiking and fishing spot, and that the arts and culture scene will be the thing people will want to see the most. Where filmmakers can showcase their films with a great community and families can enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature and spend time away from our concrete jungles. One can only hope of course. I doubt the law of attraction is going to make that true anytime soon.