Blood On The Hands of “The Secret.”

Via on Jun 23, 2011

One of the personalities in spiritual movie phenomenon, The Secret, has been found guilty of the negligent homicide of three people on his 2009 “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in Arizona. Due to his high profile as a proponent of the “Law of Attraction,” James Arthur Ray was able to command a fee of around $10,000 per person from the almost 60 participants at his week-long event. Sentencing will happen at a hearing a week from now, and the prosecution will continue to rely heavily on direct quotes from Ray about how participants would have to go beyond the fear of death to become true spiritual warriors.

“The true spiritual warrior has conquered death and therefore has no fear or enemies in this lifetime or the next, because the greatest fear you’ll ever experience is the fear of what? Death,” Ray said in a recording played during the trial. “You will have to get a point to where you surrender and it’s OK to die.”

Read more here. Or stay with me as we go deeper – I’ll come back around to James Arthur Ray at the end, I promise – and show how bad ideas produce bad consequences.

THE SECRET

You remember “The Secret.” It was the mega-selling Oprah-endorsed self-help New Age sensation from 2006 that manifested a bajillion dollars for it’s makers by insisting that everyone who watched it could do the same thing –  though following the brain-numbingly simplistic the “Law of Attraction.”

Simply put: your thoughts create reality, and the universe gives you EXACTLY what you put out there through the power of your intention, every time.

Amongst other well-crafted techniques, the movie used:

* Impassioned interviews with their charismatic expert “teachers”

* Images that suggested some kind of scientific basis for their claims, and

* Emotionally persuasive montages to sell their idea and make stars out of their personalities.

Evocative mini-narratives featured:

A woman staring really sincerely at diamond necklace in jewelry shop window – and suddenly a strange and handsome man magically places the necklace around her neck!

A young boy meditating intently on a picture of rad red bike – and hey it appears outside his bedroom door!

Another woman laughs her way out of cancerous tumors!

A man walking down to his mailbox who visualizes a million dollar check arriving for no reason in the mail – and it appears!

In the movie it ALL works, perfectly. There is a direct correspondence between your beliefs and the reality you “create” – regardless of any other factors, because that’s how “the universe” works. Underneath all this is a fundamental incorrect assumption: there is no such thing as reality distinct from your beliefs and thoughts.

As we shall see, reality is (in fact) a bitch, and she not only has different ideas – she has the teeth to back them up….

In the movie a gay man who is being harassed by homophobes finds that they magically all are either fired or transfer out of his office, once he takes responsibility for his power and stops creating the reality of being picked on. A sick little boy in Africa gets a shipment of magical gratitude rocks from a Californian spiritual teacher and his formerly incurable disease disappears.

In the movie we are told that thinking about being late as you drive through traffic will manifest that reality, while believing otherwise will clear the traffic from your path. Likewise, protesting the war in Iraq will only “give it more energy” – you should rather ignore it and focus on other things, because you see if enough people pretended it wasn’t there, it wouldn’t exist.

Now, I know – being positive is good. Fo’ sho’. I know, setting goals and dreaming big is a good step towards living the life you want to create for yourself. Yes. I am so down.

THE PROBLEM

I know you probably think I am unfairly caricaturing the movie. I am not. Watch it again. This is literally what it says – and the place where positivity turns the corner into delusional thinking is the problem here, for several reasons:

1) People who buy into these beliefs lose touch with reality - and as we know, reality bites. More to the point reality will bite you hard and deep if you just ignore her – and she has big teeth, and you bleed real blood. Period.

2) We live in a world where multiple factors influence the course of our lives: sociopolitical, economic, genetic, psychological - and those gosh-darned other people who intersect with our trajectories, each with their own goals, agendas, biases and intentions that they are seeking to “manifest” as well, right?

3) The big problem of blaming the victim. A unintentional side effect of magical thinking is that it creates the bizarrely inaccurate, psychologically damaging and spiritually un-compassionate perception that victims of oppression, violent crime, poverty, incest, catastrophic illness etc are entirely to blame for their own plight, because they have at some level “created this reality” through the “power of their intention” and the “Law of Attraction.”

Well, this is absolute nonsense and it makes for an ironic distortion of what real spirituality should do – namely make us more humble, more honest and more compassionate toward the reality of suffering in our own and other’s lives. Oh – and good spirituality should help us to think more intelligently and see reality more clearly, not  abdicate critical thinking and common sense in the name of nutty beliefs.

EXHIBIT A: THE PRIME EXAMPLE

So what’s the connection between my diatribe, James Arthur Ray and the carnage he has left in his wake after rising to New Age prominence on the fairy-dust-laden winds of The Secret?

Beliefs about thought created reality do create a reality: one in which you have an unrealistically inflated sense of your own powers!

They perpetuate narcissism, they encourage you to believe in belief, and to believe that the logical progression of your spiritual growth is to become powerful enough to shape reality as you wish through your thoughts. With no deeper, more intelligent and grounded model for what the essence of integrated spiritual growth looks like this sounds about right to those of us expecting spirituality to be about tuning up our Jedi Mind-tricks, right?

Don’t even get me started on how this gets woven together with a mangled interpretation of quantum physics to somehow “prove” this fantasy that is as silly as it is popular… And we haven’t even touched on the out of control materialism and culture of entitled privilege that is not only what these ideas support, but what created a market for the film in the first place.

Here is the man himself in a clip from The Secret:

YouTube Preview Image

James Arthur Ray followed his own advice too well – he believed he could put people through hell, send them on a 36 hour fasting vision quest (with a reasonably-priced $250 blanket on offer to keep them warm outdoors in the desert) before squeezing them too tightly into a sweat lodge sealed with plastic.

He believed his power of intention was not only responsible for pulling in around $600, 000 for the event, and manifesting all those people, but doubtless that no-one would be hurt if he just put that possibility out of his mind. He believed he could take people to the brink of death and something magical, powerful and worthy of the price tag would happen – and all under his absolutely committed and authoritative guidance. Can you feel the power?!

Turns out he was wrong. The price he commanded was a function of his media profile, the people who came were most likely there because they were desperate and gullible, and his ignorance of their safety and belief in his powers resulted – as is always the case, in reality biting hard with razor sharp teeth.

There was blood.

It didn’t matter what anyone “believed.”

Here’s the kicker: Ray’s lack of thinking actually created a tragic reality.

The thing he wasn’t thinking of is what “manifested.” The whole flimsy belief system should fall apart right there – but you know what, most people I know will keep believing some form of magical thinking anyway – because we let ourselves perpetuate the false idea that spirituality should exist in a compartment free from critical thinking, free from testing in reality – that whatever anyone wants to “believe” is their choice, is harmless, and who are we to say what is really true, if there even is such a thing, right?

Wrong.

Please let’s get this right:

There actually is such a  thing as reality – and having our beliefs be a reflection of reality is not only  a good idea spiritually, but it defines the line between sanity and insanity. It also makes us less likely to go down the deluded road not only of a James Arthur Ray, but also of the people who made him (and his Secret cohorts) a gazillionaire before this debacle.

Turns out – truth matters, and truth is what is, regardless of what you believe you are manifesting with the power of your thoughts or the bogus “Law of Attraction.”

Don’t get me wrong. Dream. Dream big. Set goals. Transcend your FALSE perceptions of limitation, just don’t lie to yourself about the REAL limitations of being human.

This is my sincere wake-up call to teachers, healers, authors and therapists: encourage psychological honesty and critical thinking, encourage real embodied practices and a model of spirituality that moves beyond the infantile fantasy of omnipotence, magical powers and being invulnerable to reality. It matters.

So: I feel sad for James Arthur Ray. I feel outraged about the people who’s deaths and hospitalizations he caused through following crazy beliefs. I feel devastated on behalf of the families who have lost loved ones in this sick and avoidable way – loved ones who were willing to pay ten grand a pop to become spiritual warriors under the guidance of a man who made his name by being a personality in the biggest selling DVD of all time that teaches both the single most popular and the single most delusional spiritual idea in our current zeitgeist.

I hope we can learn from this.

In a recent pair of articles, 10 Obstacles to Sane Spirituality Part One: The Dance of the Psyche and Part Two: What is Truth? I discuss a path out of the delusional, denial-based extreme relativist version of spirituality that is so popular – check it out!

Also, when the movie first came out I was inspired to write a very critical review of the film that garnered around 30 thousand readers, created a lot of debate and ultimately got me interviewed by Ken Wilber on his Integral Naked website.

My condolences to the families affected by this horrible tragedy. I do also hold James Ray with compassion in my heart. The guilt and humiliation must be immense. My hope is that we all can heal and grow from this chain of events and the bad ideas underneath.

About Julian Walker

Julian Walker is the founder of http://www.yogateachergradschool.com/ where he supports new and established yoga teachers in living their dreams through business development. He is a writer who has been teaching yoga since 1994, and co-teaches the Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind Yoga Teacher Training in LA with Hala Khouri.Julian's writing is featured in the book 21st Century Yoga available on Amazon.com. www.julianwalkeryoga.com

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125 Responses to “Blood On The Hands of “The Secret.””

  1. You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.

  2. [...] naive obsession. It’s no longer a teenage dream. It’s gone mainstream through yoga classes and greeting cards and half-baked faux-Rumi quotes on [...]

  3. Yogini5 says:

    "Without our willingness to follow them they are totally powerless over us. "

    Okay, I get it now. No middle ground. There was one class I should have stayed in child's pose.

    I had in no way been ready for the pose I was shock-and-awe ambushed into by a Dharma-inspired teacher–pushed, prodded, yanked into; and held under overpowering force to hold–at risk of grave injury if I would so much as try to break the pose myself–and despite my loud and audible protestations, which had got the attention of at least one seasoned (in chrono years) teacher about 15 feet away from me (but she had drunk the Kool-Aid and thought what happened had been reason to celebrate.)

    I also suspect that at my age, I functioned well as a guinea pig to the teacher trainees in the class.

    Okay, I DO love to grow old!!!! My FAULT!

    Either the Dharma style is for somebody far different (younger? richer? less given to home practice whether or not they are well-off?) than I am or Dharma’s students where I live will all age out and move away in a decade or two …

    Of course, there is always someone new who comes along to drink the Kool-Aid …

  4. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    so glad you felt you could speak up annie!

    i hear you – AND you are i think missing something key…. stay with me here.

    the psychological phenomenon of transference is widely understood and accepted – and is well evidenced by the ability of gurus and other power figures to exert great influence over people's lives.

    whether it is your yoga teacher, guru, therapist, college professor etc all of us are vulnerable to regressing into a child-like compliant mode of relating – it takes us back to very early psychological dynamics, back to your first grade school teacher, back to your parents who were these giants that had complete power over us who we totally idealized.

    we idealize our teachers and healers in ways that echo these very young attitudes.

    its the reason why there are such strict criminally prosecutable laws about how therapists relate to patients. they cannot be seen to exploit them sexually or financially and would lose licenses and even face jail time were their misuse of power bad enough.

    imagine then how much more amplified is this idealizing, compliant, vulnerability when the authority figure is claiming (as gurus may) that they are actually divine or have the hotline to god, enlightenment, ultimate truth etc… or (as james ray claimed) that they know the secret ways of the universe and can give you the key to complete happiness, power, wealth etc…

    the kinds of people who are taken in by teachers of this ilk are usually VERY vulnerable. it is not enough to say they shouldnt have given their power away. they were hooked by their weakness, they were exploited by someone's manipulation of their needs.

    followers like this have a weak sense of self, they have early needs that were not met, they have traumas that have made them vulnerable and needy and confused about who to trust, they are seeking to feel better, to be more empowered, to heal…..

    when someone comes into your class and you stand in front and tell them what to do, when to breathe, how to behave, what the purpose of yoga is and how it relates to their lives – you better believe they are idealizing you, they are vulnerable to you and if you guide them into something dangerous and unsafe and they hurt themselves – it is your fault!

    it is only the more experienced student who has enough body awareness, trusts their own judgment and has become empowered through work with a healthier teacher – that knows how to pick and choose what to do in a class where everyone is simply following the guidance of the teacher move by move.

  5. NotSoSure says:

    annieory:
    I applaud your call for taking personal responsibility and I admire that you do not want to be put on a pedestal by overly enamored students. And for the record I enjoy reading your thoughts.

    I agree everyone is responsible for themselves. But it appears you are not taking into account there is responsibility for taking part in an action and a separate responsibility for the results of that action.

    Everyone one in that lodge was responsible for being in the lodge. I'm with you there.

    The responsibility for the results injury/death is shared between the participants. Mr. Ray is not fully responsible for the deaths, but he still shares in the responsibility. Mr. Ray was not charged with capital murder. He was convicted of negligent homicide, a lesser charge than capital murder. Why a lesser charge? Because Mr. Ray responsibility for the results did not meet the requirements for capital murder.

  6. thanks annieory…yes personal responsibility is actually what the spiritual life is about….and giving up personal responsibility is what religion is about… i always say…not matter how spiritual you think you have become…always remember to put your hat on your head and your shoes on your feet….ah yes discernment of facts relative to the human condition…never trade common sense for stupidity you lose out every time…

    julian…i think you may have missed the subtle point here…as james ray said himself…what ever you send out comes back to you…its the law of attraction…looks like to me that james is experiencing some of that pain and misery he was sending out…he sure wasn't sending out love and compassion when he set up his little game to con people out of ten grand a head…yep we sure do create our own experiences and the world is as you see it…and james ray is just more proof of that fact….namaste to the new day….

  7. Yogini5 says:

    "it is only the more experienced student who has enough body awareness, trusts their own judgment and has become empowered through work with a healthier teacher – that knows how to pick and choose what to do in a class where everyone is simply following the guidance of the teacher move by move."

    That is key.

    I have since then, run—not walked—from that very studio I talked about above.

    I won't patronize studios that need to appear trendy or kick butt.

  8. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    also annie – before you make pronouncements as to who is to blame in a situation where life was lost i would HIGHLY encourage you to become more familiar with the details of the case.

    ray set it up that they were to overcome their fear of death – and that even if they begged to be let out he would play hard ball with them per their agreement to want what he was claiming to offer – namely complete freedom from fear of death in this life and the next…. put yourself in their shoes, after three days of fasting in the desert, after paying 10 grand, after having the leader you revered say this was so good for you and would be the most important spiritual breakthrough of your life…

  9. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    respectfully – you are missing both points here annie – slow down a little… :)

    1) it is not as cut and dried as adults being responsible for their choices in this black and white extreme way.

    2) i am suggesting that you personally find out more about the case, even more than i have written before you make strong statements of opinion about the responsibility of people who died under tragic circumstances.

    when i take people away on retreat as i do several times a year, their safety is my responsibility. they pay me expecting that the property will be safe, that their bodies will be safe, that their psyches will not be traumatized etc….

    there is nothing disempowering about me taking that responsibility or of them expecting me to take it.

    also: they know me as their teacher, their healer, their guide. i know more about everything i am sharing with them than they do, they look up to me, they take risks physically and emotionally and open themselves up to new mental perspectives based on that trust and admiration.

    it is a sweet and sacred and powerful dynamic and my responsibility to handle it as carefully, kindly and authentically as i can.

    i do all i can to reasonably empower them – to listen to their bodies, think for themselves etc, but i am still the teacher/leader and in that setting it is on me to hold the space responsibly.

    i, like the judge and jury in the james ray case, would find him guilty.

    3 people DIED. several others were hospitalized with serious organ problems.

    the attitude you are reflexively expressing verges on a fundamentalist libertarian every-man-for -himself position as jeff pointed out.

    i would ask that you slow down and feel into it. imagine it was your daughter or son or spouse or mom who died under the guidance of james ray. imagine they had paid ten grand and trusted that he would take them on a profound journey and they would return happier, more integrated and empowered, that they spent 10 K for the privilege and were killed by his negligence……

  10. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    well said memeo.

  11. NotSoSure says:

    "TRUTH": Really, that is the best you can do? Julian's article does a fantastic job of crushing the idiocy of this belief system.

    "you can't disprove any part of it". an absolutely ridiculous statement. Proving is the responsibility of the person who makes a claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Magical thinking is not extraordinary evidence. Julian correctly pointed out that this entire belief system is based on magical thinking.

    Another equally ridiculous statement is "If something makes someone feel good, and connected to god, then let it be". Err, no. Belief systems based on lies are harmful even when they make the believer feel good. On September 11 ,2011 several airliners where taken over by people who felt "good" and "closer to god".

  12. NotSoSure says:

    dan: If all "The Secret" did was "empower (ing) oneself with one's own vision" as you stated in your post then my guess is that Julian would not have authored his article.

    But you are redefining "The Secret" when you say that. The Secret made claims that one could influence reality simply by thinking. Sorry but the world does not work that way. You can think a path through traffic all you want, but that will not make it so. The magical thinking comes into play is that when a path does appear then the "magical thinker" assumes he/she made a path with intentions. Julian correctly pointed out that magical thinking is the result of mistaken beliefs based on fantasy.

  13. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    this is a scathing attack dan! thanks for caring enough to go there…

    would you give some examples of the names i am calling people please – i am not sure what you are pointing out.

    by critical thinking in this case i mean asking oneself if the claims made in the secret are actually true. ie thinking critically about spiritual ideas instead of just buying into them…. i mean following the arguments being made in the movie (which you should watch by the way if you want to have a leg to stand on in a discussion of the subject) through and thinking critically about whether or not they actually make sense, are coherent and reflect reality.

    ju gadda pro'lem wid dat?! :)

  14. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    you have not explained. i refute this notion in the same way i refute the cultural idea in the middle east that reading and driving are only for men, or the idea from 60 years ago in the usa that the front of the bus was only for white folks, or the idea that only indians should practice or teach yoga, or the tradition in the catholic church that only men can be priests.

    these ideas are all based in conservative, superstitious, narrow conceptions of reality, whether they come from islam, catholocism, yoga or native americans.

    i am not lumping all cultures together – everyone is entitled to their culture, but the romanticizing of the any culture as having some special secret, private spiritual knowledge that is not permitted for gaijin is very old world and not something i think we should perpetuate.

    again i don't think there is any problem that james ray was running a sweat lodge – the problem is he did not know how to do it safely and he was basing his retreat on dangerously delusional ideas of his own powers and of the way "the universe" functions.

    they could have had a powerful and beautiful experience with a white man, native elder, lesbian african or transgendered asian person facilitating the experience.

    the experience of spiritual process (be it yoga, dance, sweat, psychedelic sacraments, etc..) transcends culture, belief or dogma and is rooted rather in our shared human bodies and brains.

    do you get the distinction i am pointing out?

    i am refuting the idealized notion of any cultural practice as having some super sacred, mysterious, ethnically exclusive aura – that is just outdated baggage.

    the assertions about this being a problem because he was a "white man" would be seen as horribly offensive if we were saying a jewish woman shouldnt be teaching yoga, or a black man shouldnt be a psychotherapist…… somehow our politically correct white guilt turns this into racist comments about white men being ok – why?!

  15. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    magical thinking is less a "label" and a more a description of a kind of thinking that is not grounded in reality.

    here are some absolutes for ya:

    1) those three people are absolutely dead.

    2) james arthur ray will most likely be absolutely stripped of his freedom.

    3) in both 1) and 2) the reason for this is that bad results come from absolutely bad ideas.

    any questions?

    extreme relativism is a temporary attempt to sidestep enduring questions – if you are truly open minded and wanting to consider something beyond such devices, read this one and get back to me: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/10-obstacl

    peace unto you as well – i know you mean well.

  16. NotSoSure says:

    No study that I know of. Just my opinion based on my (jaded) observations. So as proven facts go my statements to not measure up to that standard. But I believe them to be true.

    "Believe". bugger. there's that damn word again. My believe based on my observations without empirical evidence to support my conclusions. See what you have done to me with you question and the studies. My head is starting to hurt.

  17. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    fair comment matthew.

    often people say to me: why be so mean, people are just going through a phase? i hope this is true, but i think the marketing genius of the new age material is that it actually prevents people from moving forward by creating a circular confirmation bias, anti critical thinking, just have faith no matter, if it is not working you are doing it wrong what kinda mindset…

    i also have known three other people personally who are dead too as a result of believing that the power of their intention would a) be enough to prevent passing on HIV and b) that informing their partners of their HIV status would be a way of manifesting the reality of it and so better to just act as if it wasn't there… pretty tragic.

    i have also known people who used the idea of manifestation and trusting the universe etc to justify prostituting themselves in the name of "not judging how the abundance comes though" from the universe etc….

    i have also worked with many people who have had their childhood trauma or rape interpreted through the lens of magical thinking a la the secret and have had to do a lot of work to untangle the confusion created psychologically and existentially on top of an already difficult healing process…

  18. matthew says:

    i'm vision-boarding you a tylenol. or some willow bark powder, if that's your thing…

  19. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    your idea of responsibility is confused.

    your knowledge of the ray case is vague.

    your interpretation of people making good and civil arguments in response to your over-stating of absolute personal responsibility as being somehow taliban-esque is ridiculous.

    fundamentalists don't make arguments, they don't tell you why they think what they think, they just tell you what the truth is because god told them directly.

    i too find the yoga community a little like born again christians – but that is not what is being exemplified in this thread. not even a little.

    what is going on here is that you are being given good well-reasoned arguments for why waht you are saying makes no sense, along with great examples to try and stimulate your mind and heart and you are holding onto a rigid black and white position about responsibility.

    there ARE victims. there are perpetrators.

    i wonder if you are having a big reaction against anyone ever making themselves vulnerable – don't you think sacred spaces are places where people can be vulnerable and those holding the space have a responsibility to play their role with compassion and care?

    as for as the murder charge – it is negligent homicide – meaning his negligence led to their deaths. there is simply no argument against that – but you are stuck in this weird ayn rand-esque loop about wanting to blame the victims….. wassup?

  20. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    if you need to ask what grounded in reality means we can probably just stop right there.

    have a nice day! :)

  21. Fred Lucas says:

    @Peace: Nice example of Spiritual Bypass.

  22. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    wow mariel that is chilling. he sounds like a sociopath – no surprise i guess…

  23. Scott Robinson YesuDas says:

    " don't you think sacred spaces are places where people can be vulnerable and those holding the space have a responsibility to play their role with compassion and care? "

    Yes.

  24. matthew says:

    I hear you. The excesses must be exposed. I guess what I'm realizing is that our true and powerful anecdotes create their own confirmation bias. I wish we had the money and organization to understand the overall ramifications of bad philosophy more clearly. Until we do, we must expose what we can, and in as many styles as possible.

  25. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    nicely said – though i think the legacy of delusional beliefs (be they spiritual, religious, psychological or political) causing suffering is a pretty powerful one…

    for me the bottom line is that truth matters and when we are invested in beliefs and ideas that are not true, that deny reality and that ask us to put our faith in something dishonest and in direct opposition to what is actually the case it has to bite us in the ass.

    the inquiry into what is true and how inner and outer reality actually function and are related to each-other is i think central to engaged spiritual inquiry, and even if my anecdotes and the ray case (both resulting in death btw) were not extant, for me the sheer fact of a spirituality being based in magical thinking or mythic literalism means that it is deluded and therefore will create compartmentalization, rationalization, denial etc in the service of maintaining the belief system – the results (whether dramatic or subtle) simply cannot be good overall…

  26. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    yupexactly – the causal connection is not really apparent.

    using visualization to get yourself in the zone and set goals is wonderful – claiming that this has magical powers of manifestation is deluded! :)

    i think the blade of rationality is exactly as sharp as it needs to be – and need not exclude devotion, awe, wonder and compassion – in fact it is in service of these qualities!

    ray's story is a parody, a perversion, an absolute betrayal of what real spirituality is and can be, period.

  27. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    mystery is beautiful, attitude is powerful, there is no such thing as "manifestation!" :)

    i covered the importance and value of goal setting and positive attitude in the article.

    if you think that prayers are answered you run into a big philosophical problem regarding who's prayers and why and why innocent people who pray are still tortured, murdered, raped and poor etc…

    if you think manifestation really works you are suggesting that our minds can magically get 'the universe" or "the divine" to bring us what we want and you are basically still operating out of very early human religious superstition that says: sacrifice the goat, spill blood on the earth, perform the ritual x number of times, chant the special magic spell etc and you can influence the outcome of the hunt, harvest, war etc……

    basically one is at the same level as the football player who thanks jesus for winning the superbowl – see?! it worked, he prayed to jesus and won the superbowl, right?

    not really.

  28. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    if i ever have to eat that bullshit i will gladly bow down to you and let you hold the spoon and serve me the first bite! :)

    it will never happen.

    i have been involved in the spiritual community for 20 years – and am very familiar with the things i am critiquing, in fact i even believed in some of them when i was younger…..

    as for your other observations – fair enough – and YES to the importance of doing the deep emotional work! :)

    what i have found and observed is that the more one does that kind of deep and real work the less the magical thinking, literalized mythology and supernatural fantasy holds very much interest…

  29. Meindabindi says:

    "Mystery is beautiful, attitude is powerful, there is no such thing as manifestation! "

    I'm going to spray paint that on the wall of my studio.
    xxx

  30. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    beautifully, compassionately and astutely stated.

  31. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    haha – honored i am sure…

  32. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    there is absolutely nothing significant, meaningful or interesting about these random occurrences and incorrect statements. sorry! no offense to you personally, of course.. :)

  33. Dove says:

    lol, none taken :) … bless your heart, as they say here in the South ;)

  34. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    here's more food for thought for those of you touting this "only for native americans" position:
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/the-gayatr

  35. Louise Brooks says:

    Well, YoginiBallerini – maybe we should let all the peoples of Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and other poor nations with starving and dying people in on "the secret". This could end world hunger and other suffering!! Magic!! All they need to do is concentrate hard on there being food and shelter all around them. When they open their eyes, presto!! They're suddenly living in a 1st world country!! Sigh.

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