I read stuff. When I’m not reading about the latest organic way to decimate potato bugs, or getting educated by Joel Salatin, quite often I am reading philosophy, theology, and psychology.
I’ve consumed everything from Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation) to Eckhart Tolle (because Oprah said I had to) to the Bible (spoiler alert - the Devil did it) to the modern ‘gurus’ of success like Tony Robbins and Joe Vitale.
I’m not a terribly original thinker, but I am good at seeing patterns and putting disparate pieces together in new and hopefully useful ways. Every book I’ve written has come about that way.
So what is the pattern in all these sources of knowledge? To state it simply, the fundamental truth is that the world we see is not all there is.
In fact, the world we see is not even the most important part of all there is. And we can influence and receive help from this other, unseen world.
70 or so years ago, a fellow named Wallace D. Wattles wrote a book called 'The Science of Getting Rich'. He’s kind of the inspiration for the next generation of self-help guys like Bob Proctor and Tony and Joe and the rest. The focus of that book (and the many imitators that followed) was material success.
But what does that have to do with God? Let me draw the pattern.
In his book, Mr. Wattles proposed that there is a 'thinking stuff' which permeates the universe and that we can impress our thoughts on this 'thinking stuff' to create things we want.
This idea is repeated in The Law of Attraction - a la The Secret; by Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), and (to close the loop) Tony Robbins in ‘Unleash the Power Within’.
A verse of the bible reads ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God’.
Whether you call it an ’affirmation’ or a prayer, you are asking something greater than yourself for help. You are acknowledging that you need help and seeking it outside yourself (one of the steps in many 12-step programs, by the way; another pattern).
Now Mr. Wattles and TR and Joe Vitale et al, were and are focused on wealth and success in this world. And, no question you have to pay the bills and put food on the table.
But if all this we see around us is simply a hallucination in the mind of something far greater than we can understand, it seems a waste to just pile up numbers in a bank account, to the exclusion of other concerns.
I think we’re here to learn stuff that has nothing to do with money. I believe the ‘thinking stuff’ permeates us as well; in fact, I think that’s what we are made of.
We are all living in the mind of God. But I don’t think we as corporeal beings can really comprehend what any of those terms mean.
I guess that’s where faith comes in.
p.s. I've been feeling in need of a little faith this week, hence this. Hope it sparks someting for you as well.