The view from down here
June 18, 2008
I just finished reading half of The Secret. I got tired of the Ask / Believe / Receive message repeated different ways for different things I'm supposed to want.
It's part of the new trend in applied spiritual thinking. I remember thinking several years ago that the next religion needed to be firmly grounded in our best understanding of physics and psychology. What nonsense to know one thing about the world but believe something else. I saw Stephen Covey and Tony Robbins as early leaders in reshaping our spiritual intent away from Christianity and its related anachronisms and toward a solution to solving the very practical problem of how to get things done.
For some time I have wondered whether ancient religions in general, and Christianity in particular, could adapt to a modern perspective. After reading The Jesus Mysteries I thought that it might be possible for a modern Christian movement to return to some of the original gnostic direction and then introduce some aspects of what might be called visualization-directed, success-oriented methodologies or, as those who Get It call it, magick.
Of the old school beliefs, Taoism seems the closest to what these new gurus are trying to tell us. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When you know that nothing is lacking the whole world belongs to you. But the Tao always left me in an odd balance between wanting to accomplish things and accepting there's nothing that needs accomplishing.
The new Magick of the self-help quantum pseudo-scientific what-the-bleep crowd does have a bit of an old-world eastern mythology feel. But that's still not quite us.
And Christianity, I must say, is simply too utterly broken for repair. I know, if you go back to the gnostic roots and see baptism as a personal transformation of enlightenment, and the resurrection as the archetypal icon of that, then maybe. But there's just too much lost in translation.
I will spare this blog entry the many examples of how Christianity in its modern sense is fundamentally broken, but I will include just one as a demonstration: Heaven and Hell. More to the point, why Hell? To accept the idea of eternal suffering, or if you prefer eternal separation from god, as non-metaphorical, something actual, we must wonder why would a god choose to create a place of suffering, hide from us, and punish us for asking too many questions?
Wait - back it up further. Why even create such a place of suffering for any reason? With the capacity of infinite love and compassion it seems this god could have chosen a better scenario. Think of an abusive father beating his little girl in the face with a belt screaming, "Why do you make me do this to you?" Um, nobody made god invent Hell. Put down the whip and try showing up once in a while.
That sort of thing. It's all just too charged and clogged. So, except for a minor sense of amusement pointing out the insanity of the blood cults of the various Technicolor Jesi, let's just get on with it.
I think the self-help, think-yourself-rich paradigm is the beginning of what could be a real modern replacement for the communal religious experience.
It really matters what you ask the universe for in that Ask / Believe /Receive protocol of The Secret, but only to the extent that it affects your actions.
Getting a grip on your mind is critical, because most of what we think of as reality is just made up in the first place. All I mean is that things like justice, debt, the United States are all things that exist only as shared concepts. If you can stretch your self-image inside this imaginary world, you end up doing things differently with your actual meat.
It's the hero's story. You don't win if you don't play. If you never bother to buy investment properties, then you will never make millions in real estate. If you never tell that pretty girl with the brown eyes that you love her, then just go home alone again.
I'm even willing to consider the possibility of quantum probabilistic wave collapse every time I decide to scratch my ass or imagine a pile of money at my feet. But you don't need to borrow from the supernatural to know that studying, applying yourself, and generally doing things opens doors that open more doors that open more doors.
My favorite money book is Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. He basically says that people have a money bucket in their head, and when that money bucket gets full, no more will go into it.
It really is all about who do you think you are, to be asking people for money in exchange for your time, skill, and services. If you think you're worth it, people will pay you, which is why so many people get rich by telling other people how to get rich. Once you decide that it's okay to be paid, people practically throw money at you.
It all starts in your head, but it has to come out in your hands and your confident voice.
I used to say all the time there are only two steps to getting something done. Step one: Decide what to do. Step two: Do it. The punchline to that was that the first step is the hardest.
It's all about getting your head right.
Some day soon I will have a pay pal account, and I will get rich by telling you all that you can get rich by telling people they can get rich. Just put your hand to your head and say, "I have a Millionaire Mind."
You don't even have to get up early on Sunday.
Copyright 2008 Daniel LaFavers