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224 Works 17,038 Members 100 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

El Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson, es el fundador, y presidente de los Ministerios Caminata Bibilca, organizacion internacional dedicada a suministrar la ensenanza, las herramientas y el entrenamiento biblicos mejores. Es autor de Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs y otros libros. Bruce y su esposa show more Darlene viven en Atlanta, Georgia, con sus tres hijos show less
Image credit: Photo courtesy of Hay House, Inc.


Works by Bruce Wilkinson

The Dream Giver (2003) 1,142 copies, 7 reviews
Beyond Jabez: Expanding Your Borders (2005) 269 copies, 4 reviews
Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs (1999) 258 copies, 1 review
The Prayer of Jabez for Kids (2001) 221 copies, 1 review
The Prayer of Jabez for Little Ones (2001) 195 copies, 1 review
The Prayer of Jabez for Young Hearts (2001) 127 copies, 2 reviews
A Life God Rewards Devotional (2002) 116 copies, 1 review
Victory over Temptation (1998) 84 copies
The Prayer of Jabez Journal (2001) 80 copies
The Dream Giver for Couples (2004) 36 copies, 1 review
The Dream Giver for Parents (2004) 32 copies, 1 review
Youthwalk Again (1993) 27 copies
A Biblical Portrait of Marriage (1995) 21 copies, 2 reviews
More Youthwalk (1992) 17 copies
A Life God Rewards Journal (2002) 13 copies
Three Chairs Audiotapes (1999) 6 copies
As 7 Leis Do Aprendizado (1905) 5 copies
Color Thru the Bible (1990) 3 copies
Genesis (1995) 2 copies
JUST AS I AM 2 copies
Schöpfer der Träume (2004) 2 copies
改變生命的學習 (1995) 2 copies
Mind Siege 1 copy
'N LEWE WAT GOD BELOON (2003) 1 copy


Common Knowledge



In this down to earth discussion, you will find frank answers to questions that keep you from advancing past temptation & bondage to the place of overcoming victory. Think it can't happen? Mark your course with holy habits, pursue purity and get ready for a spiritual breakthrough
ImmanuelPPLibrary | Mar 20, 2024 |
This is an inspirational book about the teaching of Jesus. Now, this basically happens when I am a little upset, of course, and like all thoughts has something to do with my state of mind, but sometimes the thought drifts up for my consideration that this Jesus of yours was a schmuck, you know. Basically never in my own life, and very rarely and tenuously, if ever, in mythology has anyone really gone, I’m so happy, and so happy because of Jesus, you know—and meant it, honestly. The Toxic Moms’ Club does that act when they damn well please, but the toxic majority of Christian males pays us the dubious honor of basically never staging that charade, you know.

Now, I realize this is not very correct philosophically, to judge a man by his body: although it is very Esquire-y, and it’s a surprisingly good magazine, really. But yes, we should all be Christians/Gnostics or whatever and say that man and body pass like ships in the night, like characters in a Victorian play….

Now, perhaps it is obvious that the teaching of Jesus can be made to serve evil; perhaps it is also clear to some that the way that the written gospels are structured lend themselves to an overemphasis on death, opposition, and misery. But perhaps it is also well to ask whether the reported moral teaching of Jesus is actually fucking perfect, right. The apparent reported teachings, for example, that an eternal hell is the destination of the majority of humanity, and the preaching the name of Christ is the only way to get anyone off, do not easily lend themselves to being moral in a world where the majority of the public, despite being largely dysfunctional, do not legitimately and honestly become “good” in some way defined for them by others, because some outer organization, whether of right or left-leaning people, religious or political group of any kind, throws hairy men and bullies and codependents and masculinists and people of the old emotions of shame and rejection at them, you know. Certainly this is not the only aspect of Jesus of the reported written gospels, but if you think that there is no aspect of social control contained in them, then you are a might heretic indeed, not at home in either the conservative or the left-liberal church, basically.

There’s also the aspect that Jesus seems to participate in of scripture/things that never change, you know, so distant from the lived-in world. Even the traditionalists of today are very different from the traditionalists of 100 or 500 years ago, to say nothing of biblical times, and when most people hear an old song, they often respond to it nostalgically even if it was risqué at the time—there’s no arbitrary point, 1977 or 2008, when things become modern and stay that modern way forever, and to hear a song from the 80s or the 2000s decade, to say nothing of the 60s, reminds people from that time of a time since gone, the passing of which has often given them burdensome responsibilities, physical aches and pains, or both, you know. For the majority of Christians, though, it’s like—if it mattered, it would be unchanging/scriptural. And sure, there’s an abundance of books saying that the same old story is radical, but really often even the Christian radical is mostly just propping up the same old system, despite their loud, obnoxious, scapegoating inability to come to terms with this, basically.

Even when I was a Christian I didn’t really relate to Jesus very personally or very emotively, couldn’t see the loving, personable, jolly guy that Christians usually claim to see in him. I can see the teacher of wisdom and temperance in the solitary, isolated male, (as the overwhelming tradition, both centralized and decentralized, has seen him, and also a very considerable portion of the scriptural texts—a solitary male…. There’s ~Nobody like Jesus! 😉), but I can’t see the love and relationship guru in someone like that, despite the vociferous claims that he can’t be anything else. I guess I just feel, and even felt then, that most Christians love the ‘personal’ Jesus because of how easy that individual/isolated/specific character then makes it to exclude (and ultimately persecute) others, which you can’t do as easily with a wisdom and temperance teacher, or indeed a healthy married man (if that’s not some kind of contradiction, lol).

So, I didn’t jump right away with the whole ~your mom is dying/Jesus wrote you a letter, thing, and I don’t think I ever could have…. Maybe as a child I thought I did, but I think I would have greeted that with a nod and, ‘Right. Doctrine! Infallible doctrine!’, which is obviously not exactly a dying mom thing. (Unless your mom is a cerebral alcoholic, you know; when she dies she probably will be explaining doctrine to me, although not Christian doctrine, lol….)

Perhaps Jesus just stands in need of forgiveness, that’s all. If Mordred would have been a great and good prince in the realm of faerie, this can certainly be no less true of Jesus. Jesus is not himself bad. His fault, if fault it is, is merely his delusion—I do not use the word in the clinical or the epistemological sense, you know; “first I must prove that I exist!”—that he could make all the world good, that the time had come for the masses to be sent down the straight path, and that all that was needed for such was his preaching, his example, and the sacrifice of his death, or whatever it was. Perhaps the time wasn’t right. Perhaps when Pisces’ Age rolls around again—another day in the life of Brahma or whatever, another little coming and going such as Empedocles foretells—there shall be another Jesus, and all shall be well. He was not himself bad. But he could not make the world good. The time wasn’t right. The world, it seems, saw Jesus through a cracked mirror, and saw in him all sorts of crazy things, you know. A hero is still a hero, I suppose, even if they come to a bad end, you know: a tragic hero.

…. (reads) This is a pretty good review, but let me say that I don’t believe in old C.S. Lewis thing: “obey me or let’s fight”. He just couldn’t imagine someone not himself, or rather similar, you know. A god isn’t “the devil” (don’t let’s take that term apart) for saying the world was his to save when maybe it isn’t, you know. Even if he were a schmuck, most of us are schmucks. It’s not a matter of obedience vs horror and revulsion. “Shocked, shocked.” What is that from, Casablanca? I’ve seen some of the old movies, but there are so many…. Many of them aren’t quite entertaining in the intended way, but it’s a hard knock life….

“Obey me, or let’s fight. Get offended, mister.” (Oscar Wilde) Oh, it’s far more entertaining for me to let ~you~ be the offended one, right….

I guess basically I can just admit now what was always the case, that for me the person of Jesus is a mystery, a puzzle without a key, and that customs and puzzles aren’t enough for me to build a life on, you know. (shrugs) It’s a hard knock world, Christians. You can be offended for both of us, because it’s not my highest dharma to be offended, in the end.

…. (carrot cake) Joe Vitale is right; this does taste good. I guess I was afraid it would taste like carrots….

Anyway: the worst you could say about Trinity el Dos is that he was a little presumptuous, perhaps, although kind and possessing of other positive traits as well. No one is only all light or all dark. Certainly not anybody in a body, but also not gods either, really…. I mean, if you say that you’re reaction to Jesus is either one of obedience/acceptance, horror/rejection, or in between; I mean, that’s true, but in a trivial way. (Carrot cake, etc.) And then if in between is “madman”—and you did not want to be a madman for most of Jack’s life—then it’s not true. Jesus is not a trivial madman, who just…. I don’t know. He didn’t just need his pills, right; it wasn’t that at all. But it doesn’t follow from that I’m doomed to be either a church-burning Satanist, a Christian, or a Harry Styles fan who ought to make up his mind and become a Satanist like a real man, you know.

Those just aren’t the choices, and it’s not a compliment to the cleverness or the kindness of a certain very prevalent slice of Christianity that they think that those are the choices, you know. Like, WHY is Oscar Wilde or Justin Bieber worse than the KKK or Hitler, you know? C’mon. Grow up. Eat your carrot cake; it’s your birthday. 😸 🎂

…. And there’s a lot of subservience, you know. Protestants with their Bible; Catholics with their saints and a million other things; even Lib Prots with their scholarship in the hierarchical academy, you know. If you say, “Jesus said: but I say to you”, then you’re not a Christian, you know. And that to me is a little absurd. A little childish. Like not living in the real world…. Because the real world ended, my friend, two thousand years ago…. (crazy person vibe, staring off into the distance) “Right.” (finished water or whatever) “Well, see you around.”

…. Although I have to give the tragic hero god this: his presumptuousness wasn’t the childish, static presumptuousness of his followers, you know. (I don’t know if that’s enough to save his religion, of course. His religion doesn’t just exist in the third heaven.) A certain amount of presumptuousness is a necessary part of creativity….

The Last Correct Presumptuous Person was:

A. Jesus
B. Mohammad
C. Mick Jagger
D. My TikTok friend, “improbably-username” (you meant the most recent one, right? I didn’t know what else the question could mean)
E. None of the above (you people just need your pills)

The correct answer is of course, C. Mick Jagger. (hands) I can only report what the science tells me…. I have to be as objective as every other fool on this planet. My hands are tied.

…. I don’t mind reading this, you know—it’s not quite that standard-issue Christian devotional where it’s like— suffer and obey! Suffer and obey! You can’t say I’m making it complicated, so….! Suffer and obey. 😉

(shrugs) I do kinda find it to be more super-spiritual than I find I like anymore: the fruits (for Paul) are basically all about internal states, you know: you feel peace (then flip through the thesaurus). Internal states are the root, but they aren’t the only form of goodness. A lot of Christians feel justified manifesting terrible finances, even health, even relationships, (I’m so angry! I’m getting no respect for being at peace!), and pretty much negative everything else (knowledge, etc.), while also having negative internal states, because of the almost (ye olde Western civ.) woo woo thing—which I don’t care for very often, and despite wanting to crush the Gnostics and Buddhists, because…. (shrugs) Different art history brands?…. Even for Jesus, he says, “fruit”—like grapes, maybe, because they’re grow on a vine, but there is more than more product or goodness out there, even just in agriculture. It’s like, very monotheist, you know: there’s One Fruit. Right? It is kinda woo woo, philosophical…. And not so many details to philosophize about: not like, there are grapes, figs, strawberries, blueberries…. But it’s all the One Fruit. Likewise, there’s kindness to your parents; kindness to your children; kindness to…. ~No. It’s just kinda…. Do good. And if that doesn’t work: do good. You know: the woo woo devolves into marching orders. (If you can suffer and obey, then suffer and obey, blah blah blah, while the heathen play!….).

And it does seem like some of it goes back to Jesus and Paul, as their teachings are written down in the Bible, right. It doesn’t feed everyone perfectly well. It just gets promoted for that. Ironically by people who probably would take the pre-“promoting” feudal system back in a heartbeat, you know.

…. And I do like this better than the sort of theology where they say, “…. and if you want to be relatable, you can read Shakespeare and Sophocles—those are some of the most relatable authors you can read (without getting kicked out of the philology club).” Part of me is glad I did that: but mostly I’m just glad it’s over, you know.

You could probably also find real life (‘I need to forgive my parents before I die; ah, my back! I’m so old!’) in the non-biblical classics, but most Christians (and most people are Christians, in this country) and equally perhaps post-Christians, read those books to preen, you know: not to find out what’s in them. There is sometimes though, a certain amount of engagement with life in non-theological Christianity, despite the wounds that that body of thought bears upon its body, you know. ~Suffer and obey: because it’s the only way…..! To be happy, or better yet, to be miserable, and correct. Suffer and obey…..! I dumbed it down—for you!~ Sometimes it’s not quite as bad, you know.

…. I would be the last person to say that no one has ever made progress using a Christian system, you know. I just think that if you try to punch people inside the magic circle, you inevitably degrade and corrupt it. You try to privilege one psychological type over another: and that is actually the more reliable and fundamental form of corruption, and not the actual literal shady financial deals, you know.

…. I really think that Christianity becomes hardened by the evil in the world and in people generally, a lot like how parents are trained/expected to become hardened by their children’s immaturity, you know. Then those people grow up and become hardened to not care about oppression; “I’m on the left but I don’t care about the oppression of Background X; they’re not good Ideology Y followers—we’ll have to crush the oppression in my way to make progress”; and parents become hardened at different lifestyles in even adult, mature children and children become hardened at immaturity in parents, sometimes even dead ones. And church leaders become hardened at people who resist their control or who think that God doesn’t have inflexible standards he applies cruelly, you know. None of that is to say that there aren’t real provocations—bullshit people, to use that term unscientifically or incorrectly, you know. But hardening yourself against it just ensures that you’ll become a tyrant, the Christian no less than the bitter, ranting alcoholic, you know.

…. And yes, although I’m not a Christian and I’m not trying to cobble together a biblical consensus or whatever for whoever I am, although I imagine some of the Bible writers may have had similar thoughts: yes, I spent many years being a Christian and I’ve read the Bible more than once, and heard people talk about it many times, and as this involuntary, automatic thing, as I wrote that paragraph of course I thought of Exodus Pharaoh and the parable of the agricultural plots, right.

(concession hands) There will always be Christians.

…. I sorta agree with the idea of giving up things that aren’t productive or whatever, you know. But unlike a, you know, a ~plant~, I think that people should have a choice whether they make a trade. (Pruning one thing for something else.) You could talk to a lot of people about almost anything, meditation, Bible Church of X-ville, whatever, and they might ignore you, right? I mean, a retiree might ENJOY playing golf and visiting Hawaii and playing golf in Hawaii, right. He might not want to go on a mission trip to influence, sorry, to help the Hondurans….Would he be ok with the Hondurans following him back to Florida or wherever?…. You know, a lot of Christian do-good-ism comes with this baggage, I gave up my ideal workout routine, I gave up movie night, I gave up golf—and then there’s the expectation that people will defer to them, or people will sign up and agree to stop watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on TV, right? Actually a GREAT show, but a lot of Christians would be like, I made a list of things you could give up for the LORD, and romantic TV shows are number 7….

(shrugs) And also, sometimes people do waste their resources. Sometimes novels and narratives are actually better, because in nonfiction you get so abstract, it gets easy to BS people, you know, and in situations where non-BS-ing would use many of the same words and formulas, basically.

…. I realize that the Good Christian, the Good Anglo, is concerned about the prevalence of salty crackers in his community, but perhaps all these attempts to ‘prune’ them, (joke not intended), is just setting Team Jesus USA up for failure, both when the little baby salty crackers tell mommy that they don’t want their ‘prune juice’, (ok, now I’m into it: that was a joke!), and then, you look, and you yourself….

You yourself!


But remember: you gotta tell these people, you gotta tell people, that they gotta give it up! Gotta give it up!

(You know I’m talking about letting Jesus into your tent, right?)

I’m sorry it’s just so…. It’s a lot. And he just assumes that you want it all, right. You want all of it, right down your throat…. After all, you don’t want shame, do you? (It’s not easy to teach people in this congregation!)

I’ll stop now. I’ll try. Honest. 🥸

…. I know it sounds like I’m just being inexplicably difficult right, (You’re about as easy as a nuclear war! Seriously—take that top off and wear something suitable! Be easy with me! ~Oh daddy: you’re as sexist as Duran Duran!), but I’m going to make it worse now by explaining it, lol sry—I don’t know which faction Bruce is in theology and his theory on who God persecutes and why, right: but a lot of the Christian story, almost from the beginning, from when they converted the village by cutting down Donar’s oak, Up! Guess you can’t worship Donar anymore; but you can worship Jesus, unless…. ⚔️, and not least in the Calvinist version of the story: ‘irresistible grace’, is basically a story of divine rape, you know.

And then Jesus swayed his hips and sang over synths, You’re about as easy as a nuclear war! ~And then three or four of the disciples grabbed me, and carried me up bodily into the upper room, while Jesus kept on carrying on about how I would be in him and he would be in me….

(fundie) (angry/shut down) But the rules don’t apply to Jesus. He’s God. Saying no to God is taboo. The tribe forbids it.

And that’s kinda how I see this book. It’s funny how it’s not even especially bad; it’s just…. Christian, you know.

…. Or, you know.

—My word is FINAL! End of discussion!
—But Dad, you’re 80 and I’m 60.
—I’m still your father! I’m the absolute tyrant, you, the helpless dependent. I was there when you came into the world, and I could still take you out of it!
—Wouldn’t that be as bad as, abortion, only…. You know….
—(calm, serious) No abortion is forbidden in the Bible, son. (beat) You see, without me, you still wouldn’t know these things. I’ve trained you poorly…. (judging finger) (beat) But wait a minute…. Well, it doesn’t matter. I’m your father!

…. Hmm, let’s see: you’re being productive, working hard, successful, but you feel burned out. Well, maybe you just need a vacation. Take some time off, buy yourself something. Do something to restore the ~playful~ part of your personality, right. Up! (facepalm) I forgot! You’re a ~Christian!~ You need something GRAND, something you can brag about to your friends! ‘I get up at 2:30 in the morning, and it’s not even hard anymore. It’s brought so much FRUIT, and it’s so EASY.’ Fuck man, and here I am asking you to do things that will get you ~shamed~. (facepalm again)

Ok, a Christian solution: remember that you have ~no agency~, No Matter What, bitch. You’re a mortal; you’re zilch—don’t ever forget! Ah, but so Loved, too…. So loved, and you didn’t even need to get feces wiped all over your cheeks to get you there, down on your knees where you belong…. So remember! Just love your husband like you love God, like they did in that old 1930s Oklahoma kwassik, (God I hated that book), and the masculine deity who rules the universe alone with nary a one beside him, will bless your life. 👌


I mean, ‘rationally’ or whatever—rationalism is ‘supposed’ to be accepted so uncritically, it’s funny—I guess I should be ‘offended’ and freaked out and angry, probs in a pretty naive way, you know…. But I don’t know. It’s just so familiar, you know. Nothing surprising. I guess it wasn’t even ‘rude’, you know. Certainly a lot out there is worse…. I’d even say it’s readable, you know, both in the sense of style and content.

But I’m also not a Christian, you know. 🦹‍♂️
… (more)
goosecap | 15 other reviews | Feb 7, 2024 |
If I call it, “Bruce’s Prayer”, will the snobs jump me in some dark alley? Time will tell….

Bruce is kinda a jerk, but not a (wink) hardcore jerk, all the way through. Sexuality is kinda a sore point for him—he thinks a lot of himself for having common disgust for other people’s desires—but it’s not as bad, really, as I remember it being when I read this book because I was given it or whatever, when I didn’t really like him. He isn’t bursting-impatient to bring down the lecherous in the first ten pages of the book, you know. I do think he’s a little un-generous in extreme circumstances about other people’s mistakes and weaknesses, but mostly in pretty extreme circumstances, you know.

The other thing people might object to his assertive-Christian nature: rent a whole airplane to yourself and send the whole student body to a poor island somewhere to spread the Word; but I think the main source of problems in that situation is first, that often the Christians involved think that they’re not really worthy to do great things, but that they must, anyway; an impossible situation that makes them act out—and second, the whole situation of being paranoid/unkind and attacking people/breaking international laws, you know. If they’re just excited about a message that has solidified their own mental/emotional health, and they want to get the word out in a caring, respectful way, then that’s fine, you know. Totally fine. There’s a difference between colonialism and making contacts, in my book, and I have nothing against doing business, so to speak. Sometimes people in target countries also benefit from Christian mission work—the giving of medical aid, etc.—even if they do not belong to or join the religion/denomination being promoted, for whatever reason. Sometimes mission work doesn’t have to be insane. Occasionally even Christian teaching about sex doesn’t have to be insane….

Some of his teaching is actually useful. I guess that must break some Christian rule, you know; some ‘it’s either us or the loser outsiders’, thing, right…. ‘Choose well. Choose neurotically.’ (winks)

I mean, it is about happiness, basically, and happiness tends to be something that people—to be fair, not ~only Christian people—view as something that for them to have would either be an unfair, unconscionable imposition on God, or as an impure favor that some jackass who doesn’t deserve it is asking of them, right. Well, but you know what Lincoln, I think, said: You can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can be a miserable dick all the time if you’re a little clinical. Loosely translating from the original Victorian….

(The Child Hermes) (all up in the camera) Happiness is my friend. I love him.
(torch bearing Christians in the background, pointing) “There he is!” “Get him!”
(The Child Hermes) (his face falls) Uh oh…. 😟

Man, it was so nice out this morning, as I’m typing this. I was talking to my roommate like, It’s almost sixty now, but it’s gonna be forty later…. I mean, I knew: but words don’t really do it justice.

Happiness is similar. Springtime isn’t really interesting, conceptually, the way a Nazi movie is, you know….

(movie camera shows things then blacks out at appropriate moments) This summer. Witness the Triumph. Of an Idea. (a dramatic building blows up in one go, and soldiers start freaking out)

And that’s why we (but probably not you) say that intellectuals are associated with the suit of Swords, you know: because they’ll cut up you, and your mother-fucking idea, right….

But yeah, fucking spring is great, right. As soon as you start to develop the desire for happiness, you realize you can start to think happy thoughts and start to be happy, to bring in happiness like a fish, right—but don’t eat a fish; the fish wanted to live, you know, just like you; it’s a metaphor—but then you start to get these other ideas, like, I am a great man, and I do not think little thoughts ~ little thoughts that dishonor my noble mind…. —And it’s like, I have a mind, so that….

But yeah, you can imagine yourself getting married; you can literally imagine yourself eating a cookie, if that’s easier: and you can ask IHVH, the mask of the One, to expand you….

…. And with the right prayer, your life can ‘explode’ with happiness. 😉

…. As to the end of the prayer, I try not to be one of these Bible linguists who argues with people over prepositions and so on—that was never the kind of Christian that I was; I mean, maybe when I was eight: I was a very uptight child; but as an adult Christian it was different—but I think it’s a little odd maybe how he seems to give the NKJV in the literal quote—basically, I don’t want to do evil or cause pain; I don’t want to give or receive pain, right—but then he seems to interpret it more along the lines of the KJV/NIV, and I guess most of the translations; “I want to be kept from evil because pain sucks”. That’s certainly true, and I wouldn’t knock that prayer. I just felt like the two-part phrase about evil/pain, rather than one long phrase about evil/pain, seems preferable because it includes the idea of the identity, basically, of cause/effect, giving/receiving, self/others, you know. I just thought the way Bruce did it was a little weird, but whatever.

As for the weird episode of the men with magazines which I remembered, I do have to say that I still do think it funny that this spiritual/metaphysical man is totally oblivious to vibes, you know. “Wow, witness the inexplicable, world! All I did was give off bad vibes, and their dicks shriveled up and they went back to being boring! I’m going to call National Geographic about this in the morning!” Granted, it’s an extreme situation; I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone look at pornography in public. It’s kinda disrespectful, as most people would acknowledge—people in general. I guess my trigger, if I had one, would probably be people’s near-constant “socially acceptable” low-grade negativity/hostility, that is almost never really expressed, but that almost never really goes away, you know. Nothing Fox News/gossip worthy happens, but people are obviously calculating how much disrespect their boss or whoever will put up with. (Which doesn’t include a porno mag in plain sight, but probably does include a few random put-downs to random people.)

But he’s an older Baby Boomer, it’s an extreme situation, and legally or materially or whatever, he’s 100% in the right, of course.

And although I think the issue of good vs evil isn’t done justice by the cowboys vs Indians POV often seen in Bible teachers—ie the “foreign” way isn’t always the “evil” way, and the man (probably a man) bullying you into being godly isn’t always “right”, and the woman, even, who breaks the rules isn’t always wrong; hell, even the person who flouts the rules to get a reaction/make a point, isn’t always ~totally wrong~, you know….

But it is true that sometimes things shouldn’t be done because they lack a healthy, wholesome character, and that good things that people do are basically always opposed, not least in a sense because they ~are~ good, and because people tend to resent people being better than they are—not just because of any patronizing quality, but literally because people tend to be cowardly and to want to deny the different forms of health that exist, because they’re sick (or “wicked”)…. So in that sense there is a force of evil in the world. I wouldn’t personify it to the extent Christians do, because any personified devil could just be the face of the “unacceptable”, and also even a legitimately very sick person ~could not succeed~ in being “100% evil”, even if they got it into their sick little heads to try, you know. And, let’s be real, most “wicked” people are sick basically because they are inconsistent in the extreme, never following through to the good, never applying the rules in the other person’s favor so you can hurt him, acting out in random destructive ways, and so on. They don’t sit down and work out how to deny God’s laws. Actually, even the most crazy tyrants consider themselves to be God’s students/friends, and can’t help but be just to some people, some times. Even Hitler did not succeed in being “perfectly evil”, if that was his wish—his taste in music, for example, is certainly defensible; opera (or more broadly, music) certainly isn’t 100% evil, and that was certainly part of Dolphie’s life. People are just often perfectionists, so that as soon as something is bad, they place almost religious faith that that bad is what matters, you know; they have faith that the good is actually bad or some little nothing. A blue ribbon Bible boy could find that line of thought in some Bible verses, but whatever you take your source of light to be, I think you have to take the bad with the good and ask yourself if there’s a shadow (there will be, unless you’re talking about something so removed from everyday life as to be a little, weird, and not ~necessarily~ in a good way), and if it being your light means that it doesn’t matter if it does good or bad anymore.

I realize that, even despite the way even right-wingers talk, (Hitler was a Democrat! He marched in the 60s!), Hitler isn’t ~exactly~ the Christian devil from Christian metaphysics, but I don’t think that that’s makes a figure of pure evil any more logically possible, if you like. A demon from Christian metaphysics ~would~ have to have positive attributes: great wisdom, certainly, probably great self-control; that’s ~two~ virtues to a very high degree; so whatever you put on the other side, an insolvent account is not the same thing as “infinite debt”, you know.

But I feel like I get why the Christians feel that there is this demon of badness in an ~abstract~ way—I suppose that even a blue ribbon good boy theologian wouldn’t hold that “the devil” WAS EXACTLY Shiva or whoever, any more than he’s exactly Hitler or whoever; a ‘leader of all evil’ cannot really be made anything ~but~ very abstract, unless you want to get very slanderous indeed—but I’m not saying that they’re under some fluffy bunny/white light curse until they admit that this world is all candy floss, you know, (although it should probably be mentioned that the fluffy bunny witches and white lighter new agers talk in that insufferable cartoon character kind of way, because they’re are trying to not be the cartoon character called, woo loo loo, THE DEVIL, 👹, you know, like…. “No, Sally; he’s worse than my teenage son; he’s—“ “woo loo loo!” 👹 “ahhhh!!!!!” 😱)….

Anyway, maybe we could say that there is a sort of “force” of evil, as well as an entity or entities/persons of good, as well as beings that are disorderly/destructive, so far as it is in their utmost power. Indeed, within this last category we may probably include, albeit to different degrees I suppose, the majority of mankind.

…. Anyway, I do not choose to be a Christian, and I am not a cultural or a folk Christian anymore than I am a Catholic or a Calvinist. Folk Christians actually kinda occupy a special place in my irritations: Christianity as superstitious ideas about outsiders are very, very little else. (Perhaps a few ideas about sex, applied inconsistently.) I realize that the Christians themselves—‘the Christians that think’, for lack of a better term; although they are quite a heady people—see themselves as an alien people (slightly irritating, you know—the Fourth of July isn’t in the Bible; it’s like, Bro, America is what it is…. But it’s summer, for fuck’s sake. It’s your religious belief that we can have winter but not summer holidays, because of the accident of the time of year of Jesus’ birthday?), and that they have not really successfully ‘Christianized’ the USA, the West, the nominally Christian countries, (and themselves, of course)—which is of course, fair and true…. But from my side of the fence, I am not a Christian, and am free to not go to church, not agree with Christians, and even to believe things that often set them off, you know. (Even ‘follow your heart’ rubs some of them the wrong way. If I were a Christian, even if I were a Protestant or whatever, even something as comparatively minor—to the extent anything ever is, it’s true—as ‘nope. No Lent. No Lent for me. The stores are still stocking candy this spring, and I’m still free to buy it! In fact, I’m working on how to ~expand~ myself, ~not~ deny myself, both now and for as long as my life isn’t about to end. Living is no less holy than dying, expansion than negation!’—even that would royally ~set off~ a lot of them, you know. And why stay where you’re not wanted? Nothing draws more criticism than ~not~ drawing off, than staying and demanding a compromise, a settlement, you know.)

But I am also an American. I was raised Christian in a nominally Christian country. I am not a Christian, of the folk or any other variety, but it would be weird and untrue to say that some Christian ideas aren’t in my toolbox of all my total ideas. I can’t un-hear Christian phraseology. Reacting violently against it would merely turn it into a fixation, and wouldn’t remove Christian ideas from my own sum total of possible ideas. I can encounter Christian ideas, unnoticed or (for me, realistically) noticed in un-literary novels (including romances), and in magazines devoted to non-religious topics. People around me will invite Jesus in whenever they damn well please, and they’ll debate the merits of politics, prejudice, and pleasure and all sorts of points together. The guy will be around. Christianity presents itself as both as both the impossible other-worldly (and sometimes as the impossibly just) religion, and also as the colonial, powerful, gets-in-your-face, will-not-be-ignored religion, which is absurd; and yet, so it is.

So, in that context, if a Christian teacher can take away inferior Christian ideas and give superior Christian ideas, I would be ungracious, ungrateful, unhappy, not to welcome such a public service, you know.

…. Of course, sometimes he doesn’t really give enough detail for the reader to determine if he was correct in his choices/attempts to help—it is a very brief book, priced accordingly—but I think it’s fair to say that on average he would be at the very least less negative than the average Christian. The worst I think would be if he simply honestly applied mistaken, naive ideas, (“people should always stay together”); there wouldn’t be that same energy of negativity and blame and so on that Christians so often paint over their mistaken, naive ideas.

And it wouldn’t be because he was afraid of happiness. That’s really one of the great negative things, that really are a problem; even your average shaky idea like a marriage-is-like-this marriage-is-like-that idea, that is true less than half the time, you can at least make a case for, assuming that it’s not simply code for blame and happiness-avoidance, you know….

He just wants you to stay connected to the ultimate Source of your power, you know.

…. (shrugs) And although I think it’s cute to sign off (or introduce it, if it’s a video), saying “do this for the next month/the next 21 days”, etc.—I think realistically you have to make it a part of the rest of your life, albeit along with the other tools you’ll use along the way.

Although I did record myself (I’m working on my voice, now) saying Bruce’s prayer, and I’ll try to listen to it every couple of days, along with other things, and maybe re-record it as I try to get my voice to sound…. Well, my voice actually doesn’t sound bad, now that I’m used to it. But it’s not superlatively excellent yet…. Anyway, maybe today I’ll record myself saying the ho’oponopono prayer, just once, to start with. And maybe I’ll listen to Bruce’s prayer, right now.
… (more)
goosecap | 29 other reviews | Jan 18, 2024 |
EducatingParents.org rating: Approved
MamaBearLendingDen | Jan 1, 2024 |


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