Thursday, March 15, 2007

Quite an Interesting Conversation

Carrying on quite an interesting conversation with Edward Mills of Evolving Times via his comment section on the "Backlash Has Begun." The topic is The Secret and it's metaphysical underpinning, the Law of Attraction. Here are some snippets of that dialog which might provoke more conversation here (hint hint :-)

Let me preface this by saying that, in general, I affirm the LoA. It seems to me to be a restating of the biblical principle, "You reap what you sow." And I believe we can readily accept this "law" as a tool that God allows us to use for our benefit and his glory. You can read my rationale on why the Secret works here - as well as a neophyte's understanding (mine) of a biological basis for it here.

That being said, what prompted this conversation was Newsweek's article that cast doubts on the motivation behind this marketing phenomenon - The Secret is the #1 best selling book right now with sales eclipsing second place 2 to 1! After all, who wouldn't want to buy a book that tells us we can have anything we want by simply thinking about it! To many, the Secret proffers a magic pill for an already overly self-indulgent society.

In response to Newsweek's skepticism, Ed made this point:
"So the critics who watch the Secret will be able to grab onto to some of the holes in the presentation in order to discredit the entire LoA concept."
I understand, don't throw out the baby with the bath water. But my reaction is that there's a lot of dirty water in the bath tub right now:
"While I agree that a backlash to any concept or movement that has gained popularity necessarily picks at the holes and the extreme or 'straw-man' representatives of that movement, it seems to me that much of the - for lack of a better term - 'wacky' teaching surrounding the LoA opens itself to critique by the main stream populace.

"A noted example is the Teachings of Abraham-Hicks. Instead of denouncing the channeled messages from Esther's spirit guides as a form of demonic possession, many advocates of the Secret (and the main force behind it, Rhonda Byrne) celebrate this as enlightened wisdom.

"My suspicion is that this type of 'teaching' is no longer fringe and that the legitimate and sound principles espoused by the self-help and personal development movement are being co-opted by not only wacky but dangerously destructive practitioners."
Ed confirms my suspicions when he affirms the validity of these spirit-guides (I term them deceiving spirits):
"It seems to me that channeled information, whether from Spirit Guides, Higher Self, or God, has, throughout our history, provided a great source of spiritual knowledge....

And for me, the Law of Attraction and the teachings of Abraham as channeled through Esther Hicks provide a wealth of information that has already dramatically improved my life and continues to make it better on a daily basis."
Although I do not know Mr. Mills and can not judge his standing before God, I felt a burden as a witness to Christ's redeeming power over darkness to share this response:
"Following these demon-inspired teachings leads away from the True God of the universe (not to be confused with the universe itself - which is often capitalized as a nod to transcendence) who wants to have an eternal relationship with us. We are created in his image and so are of inestimable worth. We will either live with God forever or be separated from him forever - there is no middle ground....

"This is a formula for morally relativistic living which can not be judged apart from a divine ruling. We have that ruling already in place - the Scriptures. Without it we have 'teachings' from people like Esther Hicks and Rhonda Byrne who tell us, 'You are the master of the Universe' (p 183 of The Secret). In my book that's blasphemy. Are we incredible creatures? You bet, but we are not demigods. Satan would have us believe this since he believes it himself. Please reject these teachings from this so-called 'Abraham.' "
Ed was gracious in his reply:
"You make several interesting points. Overall, IMO, your positive thoughts are overshadowed by your assertion that the teachings of Abraham are the 'product of deceiving spirits,' and 'blasphemy' and 'demon-inspired.'

"I enjoy your comments and would like to continue this conversation. However, if you continue to mask your insights in such judgmental and closed-minded terms, my interest in continuing this conversation will very quickly diminish."
I can see how that would be the case! Like I said at the beginning, quite an interesting conversation. As I would like the dialog to continue, how should I respond? What might you say in my place? Thanks in advance for your comments.

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