Your Beliefs- Do You Know What They Are?

by PJ McClure on April 22, 2013

So many questionsIf it’s ok with you, I’d like to explore the topic of a short conversation I had this weekend while traveling. Full disclosure: It might make you uncomfortable.

Many of my contemporaries, as well as people I’ve looked up to in the personal development world are very tuned to how we can step into the chain of cause and effect to create our desired ends. In most cases, these actions get us to intercept a universal law. Law of attraction, right action, or reciprocation are a few of those laws.

I’m not going to debate these concepts because, at their core, I agree with them. There are both experts and hucksters peddling these laws, but my purpose isn’t to call them by name. I want to touch something more fundamental and perhaps divisive.

All of these so-called laws are subject to and use the construct of cause and effect. This (cause) will make this happen (effect). Here is my problem and challenge. All of these teachers use the phrase “universe” to describe where these laws come from.

When they describe the things “universe” does, it sounds suspiciously like the God of Judeo-Christian or Islamic faiths. Why is that?

  • From a marketing standpoint, it could be that they don’t want to offend anyone and damage potential sales. In this case, they really do believe in the God of one of the above mentioned religions, but not enough to use that name.
  • From a faith standpoint, they might not like any of those religions or have had a bad experience with people who claim a particular religion. This might leave them curious about the personal nature of an all-powerful God, so they don’t want to commit or get too close.
  • It could be that they don’t believe in the concept of an all-powerful God, but that would fly in the face of their theories about “universe” because it has the same traits.
  • Lastly, maybe they’ve heard other teachers use “universe” and haven’t really considered what it all means. Because they haven’t explored the depths of what they are espousing, they haven’t considered the logical end.

There are probably other viewpoints and this is not an exhaustive argument for one thing or another. If you’ve been around here for very long you know that I’m an overt, Jesus-freak Christian. I’m accused of being a little different than a lot of the Christians people have met because I spend more time loving on people than judging them. Don’t let that throw you off the scent. I still kneel at the cross and believe Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

That’s said for full transparency because I’m not concerned with knowing what you believe at this point as much as I’m concerned that YOU KNOW what you believe. This is to challenge all of us, including the “universe” folks, to dig deeper.

Take the time to really explore what you believe all of this means. How could the things that happen, both good and bad, make sense? If these laws are subject to cause and effect… what caused them?

My hope is not divide people, but to deepen us all. Don’t stop at the surface. There is so much more to explore and it is the primary thing missing from so many lives…knowing what we really believe. Regardless of your conclusions, I’ll love you any way. You can’t stop me.

Be your best,

PJ 

 

SQuire Rushnell April 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Hi PJ…

From The Godwink Guy, thank you for your kind comments communicated to my daughter Robin. Thanks to her, I’m new to your blog and was impressed with your handling of THE SECRET folks, with great diplomacy, but without fudging on your own stance.

As much as I’ve been tempted, I’ve avoided public debate about “The Law of Attraction”, partly because it would derail my positive mission to encourage people to find God in the godwinks in our lives …and partly because the publishers who brought The Secret to the bestseller lists, are friends.

I’ll now be tuning into your work with some regularity…and would welcome a lunch or coffee if ever you find yourself in New York City the same time I’m here.

Meanwhile, Good wishes for abundant godwinks!

SQuire Rushnell

Robin Taney March 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

PJ,

This is a great post, and one that I think will generate a lot of discussion. I, too, am a believer, and while I respect others beliefs and non beliefs, I think that crediting “the universe” for making things happen is a cop out.

You don’t hide behind your beliefs, you don’t try to shove them down anyone’s throat, and you don’t make anyone else wrong for what they believe. Because of that, I have a tremendous amount of respect for you– a lot more than I do the ones who try and please everyone by pleasing no one with a generic, “one size fits all” label.

This reminds me of the struggle that my dad, a celebrated author (and former network television executive) of several “word of mouth” bestselling books, has had in getting mainstream media to promote them. The reason? Because that three letter word, G-O-D, is in the title. The books, all part of the When God Winks series, have received critical acclaim, topped 100,000 fans on Facebook, and resulted in a contract with a well known publishing house for more titles. Yet, it’s been an uphill battle getting producers to take that leap of faith. The books, featuring amazing stories of coincidence, are not religious at all and appeal to anyone, yet he’s been told things like “we’d really love to have you on our show…if only your book had a different title.”

So, thank you for having the guts to come out from behind the “universe.” Keep doing what you’re doing, the way you’re doing it.

Robin

PJ McClure March 30, 2011 at 8:24 am

Robin,
First, thanks. Second…NO WAY!!! I love your dad’s stuff! If there would ever be a chance to meet or work with him, I would jump at it. (Wow, that was really self-serving.)

I’m actually very pleased to hear that he faced that same struggle and can be witness to the abundant life available to those that are faithful. Thank you for being here.

PJ

Robin Taney April 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

PJ,

What a nice compliment! I will definitely share it with him, but you should check out his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/godwinks) where you can interact with him directly.

I look forward to learning more from you!

David March 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

PJ,
Thank you for your bold statements. The greatest example we have ever had of true love was crucified and suffered a horrible death because of the evil world in which he lived at the time. Today? Who knows what would happen. What I find intriguing is that several other religions not only mention Christ, but refer to him as the great example.

Therefore, it is not surprising that these same religions teach many of the same moral values and principles as Christianity. For instance, when asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “Love God.” He went on to expand by instructing to love your neighbor and that upon these two stand everything! In that order. If we obey these two, the rest will fall into place. Many religions teach these same principles. Even the Law of Attraction group (which could be considered a religion).

I realized a while ago that it’s not about me, and I have tried to pattern my life in that way. If even half of the population would practice it, we would be closer to world peace. I challenge everyone to try it for a while. People actually look at you funny when you focus on them instead of self. Many wonder what you’re up to . . . and the blessings? Watch out! You might get overwhelmed.

Keep up the good work, PJ. I look forward to your posts the more I see God in you and your work.

dama March 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

HI,

This is a great bloq you have here PJ ! I was interested in goal setting but to my pleasant surprise discussion has veered into this kind of exploration….like beliefs….I was writing nearly a one page comment when suddenly I pressed something and pooooooooooof! Gone were my great ideasssss….but to recap briefly, I want to say that here is a guy inviting participants who may reflect some of my thoughts, feelings or beliefs or disbeliefs …….well let me see more….how the trend goes….I prefer to be an observer first of this great mind exploration… I don’t want to come on strong with some of my beliefs because my impression is that this is a TLC site…and mind you…the first one in many that I hope may deserve my time. Thank’s for your concern and creativity….keep it up.

PJ McClure March 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

Welcome Dama,
You’ll find a decent diversity of topics here, but they all center around the notion of our participation in this life. If I do nothing else, I hope to bring people off of the sidelines and actively into the fray. Take what ever role you like and know you are always welcomed.

Dr Richard March 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

I am a muslim and have read the quran many times, i can state that Richard, Peter and PJ all are correct: The quran does not really require anyone to state a specific name for “God”, it could be the “source, universe, intelligence,singularity” or whatever single source is referred to. However multiple sources are considered blasphemous, but the also do not make any sense (scientifically), since multiple powers always need to have a more supreme power to have created them (or one of them is most supreme and we can forget about the rest of them). Just for clarification: The word muslim is arabic and just means “submitter to a single source” there is actually no real interpretation of relgious behaviour attached to it, this comes from peoples (mostly men!) interpretation just like christianity has multiple directions… As for science: the idea of one god or source is firmely manifested in the concept of Big Bang, Singularity etc and that origin is the source of creation for the conditions under which we can conduct scientific experiments, so there is no real adversity of science and religion as concepts, it is merely the behavioral interpretation that disturbs or ego’s….
So if we can let go of EGO we are where Buddha wanted us to be… close to nirvana/heaven/peace!

PJ McClure March 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

Well said Dr. Richard. Thank you for bringing additional, critical perspective to the discussion.
Be blessed.

Peter Wright March 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm

You have started an interesting debate here PJ.

I am not religious in the sense that I am neither a regular church goer nor a frequent reader of the bible. Enforced Sunday church attendance as a child started me down a non-conformist path.

I do believe in a supreme being, force, or source of energy and I have no problem thinking of that being as God, the Universe or any other term that people are comfortable with.

The main reason that I am not religious in the conventional sense is that in my life in Africa and subsequently, I have witnessed too much evil and manipulation carried out by people of religion in the name of religion. There are too many other documented cases ranging from the Spanish Inquisition through the Catholic priests abuse of children, some evangelical churches extortion of money from poor congregations to current fanatical Islamic terrorists.

I have also seen a lot of good done by religious and secular organisations, and met people who have lived exemplary lives without exposure to religion.

So with all that, I have a healthy mistrust of organised religion. Over the centuries, I believe religion has been a wonderful tool to control the masses. Control that is increasingly passing to governments through individual rights being steadily eroded by unnecessary legislation.

PJ, I have the utmost respect for your view of religion and for your right to practice it, quote God in your writing, quote the bible and refer to biblical examples for points you are making.

I ask though that you respect my right not to want to be converted to a more conventional believer.

To me religion is a very private thing, I honour God or the Universe best when I am on my horse or walking in the bush surrounded by nature. I do not believe that I have the right or the duty to attempt to influence any other person’s religious practices unless they ask my opinion or their practices are negatively affecting my life.

So while I respect your opinions and value your writing, I can understand why other marketers refer to “The Universe” instead of God. For someone as distrustful of “religion” as I, it is much less threatening. I know that I am not alone in this.

While your references to God are certainly not enough for me to unsubscribe from your excellent newsletters, there are other writers that have crossed the line.

My apologies, this comment is too long, but perhaps you can extract some thing from it to further the debate!

As always I enjoy and learn from your writing – even if I may not always agree with everything!

PJ McClure March 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Never too long, Peter. You’ve done all I asked and that was for deeper exploration.

You know by now that my goal isn’t consensus and the love doesn’t stop where agreement ends. Thanks, as always, for being here.

Richard March 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

PJ, Great Post! As I figure out what I need to learn next I look for teaching points. What I just observed from you is that it is ok to make a point that not all people will agree with. As well as, in building a business it my be preferable to say things that will separate your raving fans from the luke warm. Or at least move people to act. Your post has moved me to act just by responding. Anyway, “see you” on April 5th & 7th!

Richard

Jason March 26, 2011 at 6:39 am

G’day PJ

Seems like in some ways you and I stand on opposite sides of the coin, but I’m okay with that. It takes many points of view to find the truth. When I say we’re on opposite sides of the coin, you’re a believer and I’m not. I prefer physics to religion, even though I’ve experienced things that would almost have to be called miraculous no matter what belief system someone holds, and just to make it more confusing about me, even though I’m not religious I do consider myself to be spiritual. Anyway, my point is that even though we are so different in that respect PJ, it seems we have one thing in common. Regardless of our everybody’s differences in view or belief, there’s still room for us all. Now, if only more people, Christians and non-Christians alike, were a lot more like you and followed your example.

Peace to you and all your readers PJ.

Take care everyone

Jason

PJ McClure March 26, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the thoughts. In some ways, we are on opposite sides, but maybe not to the extremes that you think. For example, I’m don’t believe that religion and physics are mutually exclusive. While I’m nowhere near an expert on either, my experience has been that the “either or” argument is based in a combination of fear and ignorance on both sides.

This isn’t the place to try and explore subjects that have eluded man for centuries, but it is the kind of thought I hoped to spark. Not a debate about right or wrong, but to encourage a deeper level of exploration into what we individually believe. If our beliefs aren’t strong enough to withstand challenge from ourselves, do we really get to call them “beliefs?”

Thanks again.

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