Salt Lake Tribune, 19 October 2009: Whenever I think of the smiley-face icon, I think of Wal-Mart because of its once-ubiquitous ad campaign. And when I think of Wal-Mart, I think of crappy wages and insecure employees who probably live paycheck to paycheck. That metaphor -- the happy face fronting a world of worry -- is the subject of a new book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America , by social commentator Barbara Ehrenreich.
Ehrenreich's bout with breast cancer and the cloying "pink ribbon culture" that surrounds this dreaded disease (she was urged to see her cancer as a "gift") made her explore our cultural obsession with being happy. The book's point is that realism is being elbowed out of the way by all the life coaches, self-help books and prosperity gospel preachers like Joel Osteen who tell us that a positive outlook will lead to success, riches and the fulfillment of all of life's desires. These heaping helpings of sunny optimism are subtly diverting us from grappling with serious social and economic issues in ways that can truly bring about change.
The Secret became a runaway best-seller by telling readers that they could have anything they wanted just by imagining it. The book was obviously unadulterated bunk, but it sold madly as people grasped at any chance to better their lives.
One has to wonder if such magical thinking would have been so popular if people felt they had temporal power to change the conditions of their work and prospects. . .
A very good article pointing out the new faith of America:
The Bible tells us:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Of course, in the American’s magickal thinking, faith is misplaced. Faith is centered in the American’s own imagination.
Well, it may not even be that the American’s faith is misplaced. This would assume the American has the ability to place his or her faith in the right power.
The faith required to move mountains is the faith of Christ, which is the gift of God.
Can we then be surprised most Americans, outside the family of God, engage in magickal thinking?
The article on magickal thinking Americans concludes:
The ultimate irony is that even with the booming positive-thinking industry, Americans are not among the happiest people.
Indeed, 10% of the magickal thinkers are so miserable, they must narcotize themselves to continue their existence.
There is no life outside of Jesus Christ. Magickal thinking Americans can do nothing but try to wish away the days until their deaths. . .
No wonder they pretend, no wonder they live vicariously through their celebrity gods, no wonder they stuff themselves with doughnut burgers and sugary drinks, no wonder they drug themselves silly, no wonder they molest their children--they seek, by the derangement of their senses, to blur the reality of the dark fate that awaits.
This *magickal thinking* is not just confined to America, of course. We know the entire world is a madhouse. . .full of the anxious dead. . .their judgment clocks ticking away. . .outside the family of God. . .desperate to find salvation on earth, but knowing, always knowing the ultimate futility. . .they have NO HOPE. . .hopelessness breeds magickal thinking. . .magickal thinking is the only offspring hopelessness can produce.
Think of those blessed by grace. . .
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Think of those given the gift of the faith of Christ. . .
This is why the scriptures tells us those who have this gift are:
Strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Those who have the faith of Christ have no home here. . .the mad scrambling of the damned, trying to preserve their piddling nations, empires or their own personal livliehoods, are of no consequence. These are nothing. . .all destined for the dust heap. . .nothing.
Those who have received the gift of the faith of Christ have no interest in the course of the world. . .
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. . .
Those who have the gift of the faith of Christ are above the world, are above *magickal thinking*. . .
How horrible it must be, how horrible it must be, not to have that hope of glory, that hope the Apostle Paul wrote of:
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
How horrible it must be, not to have this hope. . .
How horrible it must be, to believe this world is all there is. . .
I understand the drunken, the obese, the sexual maniac--Cainites, following their spiritual father into the land of Nod.
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