I apologize, but I have to officially interrupt my little journey through the Rights Of The Chakras (briefly between chakras five and six), in order to comment on something I just discovered today – Watkin’s List Of The 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.
I just can’t resist.
I’m a sucker for lists.
I’m a sucker for contests.
And I’m definitely a sucker for anything “spiritual,” so Watkin’s list is a sort of gawk-at-it trifecta for me.
Watkin’s by the way is the publisher of a regular and online ‘zine called “Mind Body Spirit,” so I think they have the right to claim some authority in the area of listing spiritually influential people — certainly a lot more than me – but that’s not going to stop me from a little post-publication commentary.
One thing I have to commend the magazine for is they don’t just list the top 100, they actually comment on all of them (about a paragraph’s worth) – all 100. But you’ll have to buy the actual magazine for that. The online version only gives you the list and introduces you to the top 10. Nice little marketing tactic, right?
Their list is comprehensive to be sure, including everyone from longterm gurus, like Eckharte Tolle and Deepak Chopra to lesser knowns who are making their way into the spirituality realm, like Comic Book Writer (yes, Comic Book Writer!), Grant Morrison and Tweet Master, Mastin Kipp.
So, with no further ado, here’s the list (reprinted from Mind Body Spirit, Issue #29):
|1. Dalai Lama||34. Marianne Williamson||67. Caroline Myss|
|2. Eckhart Tolle||35. Lisa Williams||68. Michael Newton|
|3. Thich Nhat Hanh||36. Francis Chan||69. Daisaku Ikeda|
|4. Deepak Chopra||37. Don Miguel Ruiz||70. Vadim Zeland|
|5. Paulo Coelho||38. Masaru Emoto||71. John Bradshaw|
|6. Elizabeth Gilbert||39. Gregg Braden||72. Richard Bandler|
|7. Iyanla Vanzant||40. Andrew Weil||73. Jean Houston|
|8. Ken Wilber||41. Erich von Däniken||74. Starhawk|
|9. James Redfield||42. Adyashanti||75. Daniel J. Siegel|
|10. Rhonda Byrne||43. Krishna Das||76. James Lovelock|
|11. Alice Walker||44. Sonia Choquette||77. Judy Hall|
|12. Nelson Mandela||45. Joseph Ratzinger||78. Gary Snyder|
|13. Dr Wayne W Dyer||46. Louise Hay||79. Patrick Holford|
|14. Doreen Virtue||47. Amma||80. Oberto Airaudi|
|15. Michio Kaku||48. Vladimir Megre||81. Dr Azmayesh|
|16. Oprah Winfrey||49. Ervin Laszlo||82. Mother Meera|
|17. Alejandro Jodorowsky||50. Elaine Pagels||83. Rabbi Michael Lerner|
|18. Mantak Chia||51. Jeff Foster||84. Lynne McTaggart|
|19. Desmond Tutu||52. Seyyed Hossein Nasr||85. Michael Beckwith|
|20. Alex Grey||53. Neale Donald Walsch||86. Satya Narayan Goenka|
|21. Peter Russell||54. Drunvalo Melchizedek||87. Satish Kumar|
|22. Byron Katie||55. Pema Chödrön||88. Paramahamsa Nithyananda|
|23. Ram Dass||56. Diana Cooper||89. Rowan Williams|
|24. Esther Hicks||57. Bruce Lipton||90. Prem Rawat|
|25. Bernie Siegel||58. Dan Millman||91. Mooji|
|26. Richard Bach||59. Karen Armstrong||92. Stanislav Grof|
|27. Brian Weiss||60. Graham Hancock||93. Grant Morrison|
|28. Andrew Cohen||61. David R. Hawkins||94. Jon Kabat-Zinn|
|29. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar||62. Jack Canfield||95. Dolores Cannon|
|30. Robin Sharma||63. Clarissa Pinkola Estés||96. Gangaji|
|31. Steve Taylor||64. Sogyal Rinpoche||97. Shakti Gawain|
|32. Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi||65. Swami Ramdev||98. Claudio Naranjo|
|33. Andrew Harvey||66. Philip Berg||99. Mastin Kipp|
|100. Marion Woodman|
The magazine claims they used the following three main criteria to make their list:
1) The person has to be alive
2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale
3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, and is actively talked about throughout the Internet
Number one rules out some really big names, like Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Buddha — just to name a few. Number two rules out people like your grandma or that crazy neighbor of yours who does reiki and gives you oddly specific spiritual advice. And number three rules out all those gurus who meditate in caves and have no clue what Twitter, Facebook or even the “email” is.
Clearly, our spiritual leaders today have to be tech savvy – or at least have the resources to have a staff that is.
First, let me just confess right off, that this list made me realize something — I am way less plugged into the modern-day, spiritual grid than I realized. I didn’t even know half the list! My familiarity score was only 45/100 (that’s an undeniable F – ouch). Check out the list and see what your “score” is and please share — if you feel like it (no cheating).
The list highlights for me are:
– Masaru Emoto at #38, since his research led me to invent Chakra Boosters Healing Tattoos™, and the response of my clients continues to validate the worth of his research regarding the profound way that words and symbols affect water (and also human beings, because we’re mostly water).
– Post-stroke, Ram Dass at #23.
– Bernie Siegel at #25! I was just glad to find out Bernie’s still alive. I’m not sure why I thought he had passed, but it was a joy realizing he hadn’t — even better than finding old coins in the couch. If you want to see what Bernie is up to these days, you can check him out in the newly released film “Heal Your Self.”
– Nelsen Mandela — enough said.
– Dalai Lamai at #1. Can anyone argue with that? Oh, I suppose, most Catholics would rather see the Pope there — or at least find him somewhere on the list. But given the three criteria, I imagine The Pope won’t make the list until he gets a Twitter account and facebook page.
What do you think of the list?
After all, this list is supposed to represent all of us. We’re the ones being spiritually “influenced.”