Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Secret Update

(UPDATE: I don't want to move away from this page yet hence the update in this format. Thank you for all the thought and time taken to enter into this discussion - the comments have been amazing so far. Just a reminder to us all to give each other "room" to say what's on our own hearts. I was blown away by M's post this morning - do yourself a favour: go and read it, ok?) Now, for anyone new to this story - read on for the starting point, and welcome to the discussion: You may have noticed the new "Coexist" sign in my sidebar. If you click on it, you will hear a talk on the book that Oprah made famous: "The Secret" I think you will find it fascinating whether you believe what the book teaches or not. Here is the story attached to this post: Laura blogged about her excitement at having her cards read, listing messages and instructions that spiritual entities had given her. I asked her some questions as I found it pretty confusing - for example, there was talk of asking the Universe for things; there was talk of our being God ourselves - a number of things that I couldn't compute. Laura has agreed to my referencing her post - so here is a short excerpt: "Well I call it the Universe. Some people call it God. In essence for me God is a loving energy that is all around us and is always present. I don’t believe that God is this impersonal being that sits up in heaven and dishes out punishment to naughty children. God is us and we are God. So for me the Universe is the personification of an ever present ever loving energy that is in and around and part of us all the time. But those are my personal beliefs and I’m not sure if I explained it properly. This is my truth that I feel in my being. You don’t have to refer to “the Universe” you can just ask God if that is what you believe" "I am not a church going kind of religious and have my fair share of issues with religion! But my understanding is that the “universe” is not actually the universe but rather putting a call out to whatever you have faith in"

I thought it might be interesting to air different views so I'm inviting participation. People can be passionate about this kind of thing, so lets be sure to respect each other's views even if we passionately disagree.

Kicking things off, I ask:

"If we are God and God is us, why do we need to ask the Universe (or God) for anything?"

I'm off now to invite Laura and her friends to come and chat to us.

PS: Try to find time to listen to the talk - you won't be sorry!


Simply-Mel said...

This is quite a thought-provoking post so you may have to give us some time to digest and ponder it all!

For me, the answers are relatively simple but want to consider my words before I random blather all over your comment space!

Ness @ Drovers Run said...

Your link to Laura isn't working - but please send it to me - her beliefs are very similar to my own. I'd like to add her to my list of reads!

Thanks! :)

Kirsty said...

hey - I'm going to dodge this bullet! I was raised a catholic, but rebelled at 20 when He took my dad away from me ;-(
Have been confused for a while.Have read "The Secret" but am not sure where I stand on it.
So for now - my views on "The Secret" are..... a secret x

PS : Have baptised all my children in the catholic church.And I am not shy to ask Him for direction when I feel lost/alone. Does that give too much away?

Meriel said...

great talk Allie - thanks for a nice speedy effective link.

i'll be found in the other side of the bookshop - not the mind, body and spirit hot spot.

Terry said...

I will not compromise the truth. The Word of God tells us that we were created by God, so there is no way we are god. God has sovereignly planted evidence of His existence in the very nature of man by reason of moral law.

Romans; 1:19-21
(because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.)
All I can do is tell you the truth from the Word of God.

I pray for all who refuse to believe!

Susan said...

This is deep stuff, Allie. I have known people who have read this book and been so moved by it. I have some concerns, but since I haven't read it myself, I am going to read responses with interest.

Kate said...

I listened to the talk - very well done, very balanced but so full of truth! It has done exactly what it set out to do - inform me about another belief so that I can have a meaningful, informed and respectful conversation about The Secret.

Every comment I try to put here about The Secret sounds judgemental to me. But you know what I believe, so you know what I think about it.

Thanks for the incredible post!

Rambler said...

I read a book called Spiritual Quest that was reasonably controversial amongst christians in its day. Basically, the author, who's name I can't remember, suggested that God needed a new name. That the word God had too many negative connotations from years of bad teaching, the crusades, etc. I think that there was merit in it. And I think that's what people try do when they rename God the Universe - then he represents something other than the negative picture they were brought up with.

Laura said...

"If we are God and God is us, why do we need to ask the Universe (or God) for anything?"

Ok this question presupposes that we (me) believe that we are God and God is in us!

I am not a church going kind of religious. Nor am I am "teach my kids about God" type of religious. They go to a Christian school, the attend a course at the moment run by our local church, when they are with their dad they go to HIS church. When they are with me - I teach them what I beleive!

And what I believe is what the Bible teaches - kindness, tolerance, acceptance. If I had to belong to ONE religion it would be Budhism purely because they embody and live what they believe daily. They are a humble people who believe strongly in the power of positive energy. Christians, that I have experienced dont seem to live what they preach!

In referance to having my cards read - the messages you (Allie) receive are very similar to the messages that the cards delivered to me. Simply in different forms.

Everyday we are all looking for answers and direction to things happening in our lives. You believe they are sent from your God. I believe they were in the card reading.

Do I place all my faith in what they say - nope. Do I change my life based purely on the messages they offer - nope.

Did they provide me with some of the answers I have been looking for - yes. Did they offer me direction - yes. Were they a comfort - yes!

You find those things in your God and what you believe.

Maybe God is talking to me through the cards? Maybe thats his way of getting the message he wants to me? Who knows?

All I know is that for me there isnt one set religion or one set way of thinking.

Simply-Mel said...

Ponderings aside. My thoughts?

For me the bottom line remains the same. Call God what you like but its only by His Son, whose name is Jesus Christ that we are able to enter into a meaningful, conversational, authentic relationship.

I know it sounds dogmatic and judgemental but a fully rounded understanding of Christianity and the big Biblical picture(not purely the observance of christians)will unfold of story of a God of grace, mercy and unending love for the people He created.

allie said...

Thanks for all your thoughts so far people . . .

@ Ness - you should have Laura's address by now per email.
By the way, sorry if any others of you have had trouble with the link: it seems to work sporadically. Email me if you need her address ok?

@ Kirsty - Losing a beloved person is the most horrific blow but I don't believe that God 'takes people away' - we live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people. I am glad you know where to run when you need help :-)

@ Meriel - thanks for taking the time to listen to the audio - and my admiration abounds for your succinct-ness.

@ Terry - thanks for your input Terry. Powerful stuff for those of us who believe that truth is an absolute

@ Susan - if you have the time Susan, I strongly recommend listening to the audio: I know your spiritual frame of reference and I think you might find it very interesting

Have to go now - DH is hassling me - will come back on the other comments tomorrow

Terry said...

The truth is this!
John; 14:6
(Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one come to the Father except through Me.)

Man has tried all through history to find another way to heaven. All other ways will fail.
Romans; 6:23
(For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.)

Believe what you may, but God says "he that beliveth in Me will not perish but have everlasting life".

Study your Bible, it is the inerrant (free from error) Word of God.

I would be a lie if I told it any other way.

allie said...

Terry - thank you for your input. I believe with you that the bible is truth but I think it would be helpful to remember that we are inviting discussion with people who do not necessarily believe that. Inviting discussion means that we listen to everyone's input, trying to understand, building friendships, enjoying the challenges.

allie said...

@ Kate - thanks, my friend, for taking the time out to listen to the audio. I know how busy you are.
But I also know how necessary it is for us to hear it so we are informed.
I think we (well I, anyway) often shoot my mouth off when I haven't taken time to find out the facts properly.
I know what you mean about trying to phrase your viewpoint . . .

allie said...

@ Rambler - yes, I see what you mean.
The name however, is not the difficulty for me: it is primarily that people believe that they are God and can control things by various means.
Did you listen to the talk, Clive?
There are a lot of interesting things there
You'd like it, I think (it is by Terran)

# Laura - I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am, Laura. Not an ideal way to discuss this but since we can't sit down over coffee, the best we can do for now.
I hear you about the church thing and about how experiences with some Christian attitudes can put one off.
I was put off Christ for decades for the same reason and turned to Eastern religions for those years.

An area for discussion might be around whether a person believes that truth is absolute or not.
Is Truth only Truth if it remains constant?
Or are there different truths depending on how we feel about things?
A very important question, don't you think?

@ Mel - Ah! the crux of the matter, well put.

Anonymous said...

i agree with Mel......

Lynette said...

I am with Mel and Terry. I watched the DVD on the Secret and found it very New Age and believe that many immature Christians could be led astray if they should watch it. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ...and I know Him and hear His voice.

Thank you for this insightful post.

Kirsty said...

"but I don't believe that God 'takes people away' - we live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people."
I love that! Thanks Ali! You have no idea how much that makes sense to me! x-x