The SBNR milieu is impressive right now. A lot of what is being produced is provably useful and Good. Some of the art is great. The best healers are keeping up with the scientific side of things any way they can. Secular kundalini theories constitute the biggest possible news. Meditation and qigong really do something like what they claim.
The hybrid vigour and diversity of SBNR make it hardy. Ever since the Enlightenment the ways to take part in a change of view about experiential spirituality have been growing, and at each step that growth embraced greater numbers. The advents of Mesmer, Swedenborg, Theosophy, yoga, LSD culture, qigong, and a hundred other voices in turn brought new waves of people with particular expectations.
After the sixties such ways transformed themselves from minority pursuits to major cultural categories.
One key to SBNR is that there is no key to it.
It is what Deleuze and Guattari would call a “rhizome” — it has no centre, no-one speaks for all of it, no-one knows everything about it, it can’t be pinpointed or understood in any simple monolithic way, yet it grows and spreads.
Many academics still don’t believe it exists at all.