Unusual inspirations for a new age writer
I don’t usually read new age books. It started with watching a PBS pledge drive special, with Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. It was based upon the book Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting. If I find an interesting book, I check out the reviews on Amazon. Approximately four hundred reviewers and/or raters gave it an average of approximately five stars. I would stay away from books with less than 31 reviewers. I use 31 as a minimum number for a statistical sample. Less than that probably signifies the reviewers are the author’s friends.
Next, I checked with my local public library. Can they get me a copy either at their library or via the inter-library loan program? I’m in luck. They can get a copy.
I do believe that a positive mindset can effect reality. After al, I do watch the Christian motivational speaker Joel Osteen each week on TV. He has a variation of the health and prosperity gospel. And I have read The Secret, Christian health and prosperity books, new thought books and Christian Science literature. While the evidence is anecdotal evidence, there is a considerable number of stories. They haven’t been subject to medical double bind studies, or the statistical studies of disciplines like psychology.
What surprises me? The two role models of Dr. Dyer.
St Francis of Assai
St. Francis is a Catholic saint. He’s also a good role model for young, evangelical Christians concerned with ecology issues. I’ve leaned this from a PBS Christian religious show called 30 Good Minutes. But he’s so far removed from new thought stuff. I’m not complaining. Dr. Dyer can gain good stuff from St. Francis. St. Francis is on my list of folks to read, study and emulate.
If you don’t know, he’s considered the father of Taoism and the author of the Tao Te Ching. But a Wiki article gives some good stuff on him and the book. It says this: “In the mid-twentieth century a consensus had emerged among scholars that the historicity of Laozi was doubtful or unprovable and that the Tao Te Ching was ‘a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands.’” Again, I have to agree with Dr. Dyer that the Tao Te Ching is a good book to read and study. There are several translations available on Amazon and via your local public library.
The social engagement element
You should look at the world from many advantage points. I’m also reading a book by a Catholic theologian and former priest. It’s entitled Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian by Paul F. Knitter. It also has approximately a 5 star rating, with around 40 reviewers. It does exceed my magical 31 numerically threshold.
In Buddhism, you have various meditation formats (i.e. Depending on the school), to develop wisdom and compassion. But Paul was also a Catholic, wrestling with the El Salvador dictatorship, supported by the US under President Regan. During that time, our philosophy was that an evil dictator is better than a communist leader. And I can’t erase from my mind the author’s image. Imagine two nuns with AK47 guns standing guard duty. Liberation theology was big back then.
Social engagement is missing from New Age, Christian Science and Health and Prosperity gospel teachers and preachers. Their stance is if everyone followed what they teach, you won’t need social engagement. But it contradicts what Christ and other great religious and philosophical figures taught.
Anyway, enough reflections for today.
- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching (burninguranus.wordpress.com)
- #DailyBookQuote 12Jul13 : Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching (bhuwanchand.wordpress.com)
- Will the real Peter Parker ever return? (b2btechcopy.com)
- Oneness is not what Taoism is about, because it’s FREAKY (taoistmasterblog.com)
- My initial response to Tao Te Ching (fromghost.wordpress.com)
- The Founder of Christian Science (womenshistory.answers.com)
- Never Believe in the Scam of Mixing Religions with Taoism (taoistmasterblog.com)
- Non-being (anextramile.org)
- Tao Te Ching, Verse 47 (bardoinbetween.wordpress.com)
- Bob Jankel’s Blog on Tao and Other Things (robertmjankel.wordpress.com)