Best Blog on Mysticism

On a scale of 1-10, how effective is positive thinking?

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The other week, I ran across an interesting interview with Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer. At one point, someone asks them how they feel about positive thinking. Is it effective? Is it necessary?

I love this question. Really, really love it. I mean, positivity is such a polarizing subject. On the one hand, you have people who believe it’s the reason for everything good that ever happens (I’m looking at you, Rhonda Byrne). On the other, you have skeptics who view those other people as not only misled, but downright ridiculous. (Barbara Ehrenreich, for example, has become well known for books like Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Not the book idea I’d want to commit to for several years of my working life.)

But there are less skeptical approaches to this argument as well. In the interview, Dyer and Tolle agree that if a person really wants to achieve greater inner peace, positivity isn’t the goal, or even necessarily a great starting point. Instead, they say, work on being true to yourself, being honest–even if there’s some difficult emotions that come up.

Then Dyer mentions Anita Moorjani, who wrote a book (Dying to Be Me) about her near death experience and what she learned from it. In it, she says that it’s not about positive thinking. It’s not about manufacturing good feelings where there are none. It’s not about mantras, and the law of attraction, and The Secret, and Norman Vincent Peale.

Positive thinking is a mere substitute for the real thing. Real enlightenment. Real joy. Real love.

It’ll only get you part of the way.

Pema Chodron would likely agree. Her (awesome) books are full of insights about the importance of honesty and authenticity–even suffering. She has a ton–really, just a ton–of amazing quotes on this topic. Here’s one, from When Things Fall Apart: “To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.”

So, okay. Maybe positive thinking isn’t all it’s touted to be. But, well–what is, right? Any idea that has entered the popular consciousness with as much force and repetition (not to mention anecdotal and even scientific evidence, a la the placebo effect) suffers from oversimplification syndrome. Maybe positivity isn’t the cure-all, or even one of the truly great spiritual practices out there. That doesn’t mean I’m giving it up anytime soon.

Briefly, here’s my take: As many of you know, I’ve experienced chronic dysthemia (low-level depression) for most of my life. Spirituality and prayer have always been a source of help for me, as have many other practices. But the very first true breakthrough I ever experienced regarding my depression resulted from reading a book on changing one’s thoughts. It was called Telling Yourself the Truth: Find Your Way Out of Depression, Anxiety, Fear, Anger, and Other Common Problems by Applying the Principles of Misbelief Therapy, and I still recommend it to this day (though there are other, similar books on the subject I prefer now). The basic message: your negative thoughts are responsible for your negative feelings. To change the feeling, change the thought. Oh, and by the way, those negative thoughts aren’t true, anyway–not nearly as true as the more objective–and yes, more positive–alternative perspectives.

The message was simple, and in some ways quite obvious, and yet, as a Christian who had always relied on prayer alone for healing, it was radical to me. When I began “taking my thoughts captive,” as the Bible teaches, I was finally able to cap off some of the depression.

These days, I use positive thinking as a tool every day of my life, both in a knee-jerk sort of way and as a dedicated journaling practice. Don’t get me wrong–I’d love to be more like Eckhart Tolle, who is able to “just be.” And Moorjani, who tells us that rather than try to drum up better-feeling thoughts, we should simply live a life that celebrates who we really, authentically are–whatever that may be.

I’m working on it.

Positive Thinking Effectiveness Rating: 8 out of 10

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It’s Zen, only more practical.

Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home on Amazon.

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Best book for mystics: “The Law of Psychic Phenomena” by Thomson Hudson

Best book for mystics: The Law of Psychic Phenomena by Thomson Hudson

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

The Law of Psychic Phenomena on Amazon

The Law of Psychic Phenomena on Goodreads

The Law of Psychic Phenomena on Google Books

The Law of Psychic Phenomena on Barnes and Noble

Thomson Hudson on Wikipedia

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What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

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Best book for mystics: “Become What You Believe” by Mildred Mann

Best book for mystics: Become What You Believe by Mildred Mann

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Become What You Believe on Amazon

Mildred Mann on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

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Best book for mystics: “Ideal Suggestion through Mental Photography” by Henry Wood

Best book for mystics: Ideal Suggestion through Mental Photography by Henry Wood

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Ideal Suggestion through Mental Photography on Amazon

Ideal Suggestion through Mental Photography on Goodreads

Ideal Suggestion through Mental Photography on Google Books

Full text of this book at New Thought Library

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

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Best book for mystics: “The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment” by Thaddeus Golas

Best book for mystics: The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment on Amazon

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment on Goodreads

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment on Google Books

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment on iTunes

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment on Barnes and Noble

Thaddeus Golas on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

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Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

Best book for mystics: “Choosing Your Destiny” by Alexzandra de la Iglesia

Best book for mystics: Choosing Your Destiny by Alexzandra de la Iglesia

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Choosing Your Destiny on Amazon

Choosing Your Destiny on Goodreads

Choosing Your Destiny on Google Books

Choosing Your Destiny on iTunes

Choosing Your Destiny on Barnes and Noble

Alexzandra de la Iglesia on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

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Best book for mystics: “The Winner’s Circle” by Frank Eckert

Best book for mystics: The Winner’s Circle by Frank Eckert

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

The Winner’s Circle on Amazon

The Winner’s Circle on Goodreads

The Winner’s Circle on Google Books

The Winner’s Circle on iTunes

The Winner’s Circle on Barnes and Noble

Frank Eckert on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

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Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

Best book for mystics: “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth” by T. Harv Eker

Best book for mystics: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth on Amazon

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth on Goodreads

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth on Google Books

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth on iTunes

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth on Barnes and Noble

T. Harv Eker on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

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Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

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Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

Best book for mystics: “Your Soul’s Plan” by Robert Schwartz

Best book for mystics: Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Your Soul’s Plan on Amazon

Your Soul’s Plan on Goodreads

Your Soul’s Plan on Google Books

Your Soul’s Plan on iTunes

Your Soul’s Plan on Barnes and Noble

Robert Schwartz on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

Best book for mystics: “The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health” by Henry Wood

Best book for mystics: The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health by Henry Wood

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health on Amazon

The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health on Goodreads

The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health on Google Books

The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health on iTunes

The New Thought Simplified: How to Gain Harmony and Health on Barnes and Noble

Henry Wood on Wikipedia

***

What does the struggle for inner peace look like for the rest of us?

You’re Getting Closer and The Power of Acceptance. Get them for an uplifting price on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics