Friday, 14 September 2007


The conversation in God's Debris takes another turn to affirmations. Affirmations is when "You write down your goals fifteen times a day and then somehow they come true as if by magic" or something similar to that effect. The old man says:

The process of concentrating on the goal every day greatly increases the likelihood of noticing an opportunity in the environment. The coincidence will create the illusion that writing down the goal causes the environment to produce opportunities. But in reality the only thing that changes is the person’s ability to notice the opportunities. I don’t mean to minimize that advantage because the ability to recognize opportunities is essential to success. (page 118)

Now a few days ago when I was thinking about this chapter by coincidence this story came through my RSS feed. It talks about Esoteric Spirituality and specifically The Secret. These things are kinda the same with the idea that believing in yourself to achieve your goals will achieve them. What are the chances that one article from one of my 42 RSS feeds has an idea that is kinda like the chapter of a book that I have read? My mind must have been attuned to this concept.

One of the problems I see with affirmations is summed up nicely with the young guy in God's Debris:

If, as you say, our minds are delusion generators, then we’re all like blind and deaf sea captains shouting orders into the universe and hoping it makes a difference. We have no way of knowing what really works and what merely seems to work. So doesn't it make sense to try all the things that appear to work even if we can’t be sure? (page 121)

The whole idea that people have for religion of "what works for you is true for you" is rubbish. If only there was a way that we could know things for certain...

Paul wrote that if Jesus didn't come back from the dead, then Christianity isn't true. Instead the Christian faith would be futile and should be pitied. Just before Paul said that he also mentions that 500 other people have witnessed Jesus alive after his death, and most were still alive at the time of his writings. A fact like that could have been checked out just by asking one of these witnesses.

If your world view only seems to work, then it really doesn't work.


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