Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

12951631._UY468_SS468_Every few months I do a review on a popular book. This one I read on a recommendation, but I can’t recommend it.

The Good:

Dr. Joe Dispenza has some great quotes, like: “A memory without the emotional charge is called wisdom.” And, “Change as a choice, instead of a reaction.” I’m sure these quotes, and his desire to help people become better people, has helped folks. But I still can’t recommend this book.

That’s because other quotes are closer to Buddhism than realism, and, for me as a Christian, sound like the serpent talking to Eve. For example, “To be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are…. Once you feel this way, memorize this feeling; remember this feeling. This is who you really are….”

No, it’s not who I am. It’s not even close. I am not divine. If I were, we wouldn’t have  cancer. Or cats. Or ear hair. Speaking of things I don’t like…

The Bad:

Others have taken the author to task for his “science.” Since I’m no scientist (nor is the author), I’d like to focus instead on the theology being taught, and contrast it with Christianity. Dr. Joe teaches a doctrine of looking within, of focusing on our inner selves to find divine happiness. This is just a short list to demonstrate the contrast of Dr. Joe’s New Age religion to Christianity.

  1. Joe teaches that success and joy is within you: P.300 “I fear that this so-called recipe for ultimate success in life has kept us looking outside of ourselves for answers and true happiness, when the real answers and true joy have always been within.”
    • The Bible teaches success and joy come from God, that deceit is within you: Philippians 3:3, “We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in the flesh.” And Psalms 16:11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” And Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things.”
  2. Joe teaches that we can create a new mind for ourselves: p.299 “You are a multidimensional being who creates your reality… you are going to have to lose your mind and create a new one.”
    • The Bible teaches that our minds are transformed by God: Romans 12:2, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
  3. Joe wants you to pray to the Universal Consciousness within yourself for yourself: p.310 “It’s time to turn to the power within you, introduce yourself to it, and tell it what you want to change about yourself… it is real. It already knows you it doesn’t judge you. It only loves. Say to it ‘Universal consciousness within me and all around me, I have been _____ and I ….”
    • The Bible teaches us to pray to the Father through the Son for His will:  John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
  4. Joe teaches that you are God: P. 303 “The greatest habit you will ever create is the habit of expressing the divine through you. That is when you inhabit your true nature and identity. It is to inhabit self.” p.312 “I want you to move into a state of being. It is time to change your energy and broadcast a whole new electromagnetic signature… become it… to be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are.”
    • The Bible teaches that God alone is God: Isaiah 43:10 “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.

The Ugly:

Much of this book reminds me of Star Wars. George Lucas has been open about borrowing his “Force” ideas from Buddhism and Taoism, as a way of bringing spiritualism into his movies. Dr. Joe Dispenza has not been so open. However, an overview of the schools he has been connected with helps explain where he is coming from. I believe all the information below came from Dr. Joe’s site, Amazon’s book site, the school’s sites or Wikipedia, but there could be sites I don’t remember. I tried to go to original sources, not those upset with Dr. Joe or his teaching.

His bachelor’s degree (I never could find what it was in) is from Evergreen State College, his Dr. of Chiropractic is from Life University. But his other connections help to understand the New Age leanings in the book.

  1. He is a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii. This school’s accreditation is by an organization in India. I know nothing about it, but would guess they don’t serve hamburgers for lunch.
  2. The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York. This is a non-accredited New Age retreat center. It started from the teachings Eastern meditation teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.
  3. The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. According to the interweb, Amrit Desai, who was a disciple of Indian yoga master Swami Kripalu, started the school. It focuses on Yoga and other eastern religious thought.
  4. Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment(RSE) is located in Washington state. This school is the most interesting. J. Z. Knight, who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old warrior named Ramtha the Enlightened One, established the school in 1988. I read that, “the school bases its teachings on these channeling sessions.” If so, it would be a helpful place to go if one needed schooling in the art of war in 33,000bc.
    • Joe taught at Ramtha, but doesn’t often mention this school. On the back of this book he highlights the film he was in called “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” which was produced to promote Knight’s teaching. In googling the movie, I read that it got a Pigasus Award for “the media outlet that reported as factual the most outrageous supernatural, paranormal or occult claims.” I have not seen the movie.
    • Their four cornerstones of this school are: 1) The Statement, “You are god.” (I wonder what the real God thinks about that) 2) The mandate to make known the unknown, 3) The concept that consciousness and energy creates the nature of reality, 4) The challenge to conquer yourself.

Is Dr. Joe a god? His book forward and website claim postgraduate training in neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, brain imaging, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, aging and longevity. I could find no school names or evidence of these claims, but if they are true, and he understands it all, maybe his is a god.

I read this book on a recommendation, but I can’t recommend it.

Dan

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What’s Happening in Haiti

This update just in from our Missionaries in Port-au-Prince.

February 17, 2019
Celebrating Milestones and Facing Crisis
This is Gaelle. (photo from English Camp 2018) She is one of five children, soon to be six.
Gaelle has now missed 7 days of school: meals, vitamins, snacks, Bible stories & play time.
We are thankful that God has made a way for us to walk alongside Gaelle’s family during this time.
February 2019, has been a month for the books!
We stepped into February with big plans for Byron and Shelley’s 30th anniversary celebration, incoming teams, and hopefully the rescue of children from a corrupt orphanage ,,,,WELL, we did pull off the anniversary celebration!
We returned to Haiti from Santo Domingo on day 4 of ongoing demonstrations, road blocks, burning tires and the shutdown of grocery stores, gas stations, water stations, and street vendors. The manifestations have not been limited to Port-au-Prince, but have extended to other cities and the countryside.
This is a political issue, and the folks behind the demonstrations are seeking President Jovenel Moise’s resignation. There is hurt and anger stemming from years of corruption and mismanagement of resources , rising fuel and food prices, and general frustration with the lack of employment and educational opportunities.
After 9 days of lock-down, we have been granted a “pause” of 2 days. They have kindly given the population time to locate food, water, and fuel. By the grace of God, fuel began being delivered to the gas stations in our area yesterday. Public transportation shut down the afternoon of February 6th, and began operating again today, February 17th.
God has faithfully and graciously cared for our needs, and permitted us to be an extension of His grace and provision to others. We have a wonderful staff who have helped us locate and purchase supplies, and we can say with MUCH THANKFULNESS that we are well supplied with food, water, and fuel.
It is our deepest desire to walk this out well. To this point, God has not given us the “green light” to evacuate. We do receive the security alerts from the US Embassy, and are very cautious if/when we venture out. For now, we are stewarding the resources which God has given us for the care of those He has placed within our sphere of influence.
Will you please pray with us, and for us?
  • To keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to spend the down time we’ve been given to rest in His presence.
  • Protection and provision for the people of Haiti. (The current demonstrations are orchestrated by a handful of people and do not represent most of the population.)
  • To have discernment: what to share, in what quantities, and with whom?
  • For insight regarding what to purchase and where.
  • For wisdom regarding the upcoming scheduled mission teams and visitors.
  • For our continued safety: Byron, Shelley, Joe, Ben, Dom, and Isabelle Tlucek are still in Haiti with Sue Spinney.
WE PRAISE GOD FOR HIS FAITHFUL CARE AND PROVISION, FOR HIS PERFECT TIMING, AND HIS LOVE, MERCY AND GRACE. TRULY, WE ARE GRATEFUL TO BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
Lastly – I feel compelled to include the following verses from Isaiah 58:
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to dwell in.
“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
    from doing your pleasure[c] on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;[f]
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:6-14

Free GOOD Book

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Download a free e-copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress book here. The artwork is AMAZING, totally fun. It’s from the movie that is coming out in April.

The book is a Christian allegory written in…

wait for it…

1678!

That’s not a bad run for a book. Typically, if you are part of the fortunate 2% or less, (depending on who is number-crunching) who get their books traditionally published, you may get a 3-month run. So, a 4,092-month run and a movie deal isn’t bad. It’s no Bizarre Bible Stories, but not bad.

We hope to show an early pre-release showing of the movie at AnchorPoint in March, to get folks excited about blowing big bucks and bringing their friends in April. We also hope it is good. Otherwise, it won’t help much.

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God, Me, and Manana

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My friend Clay recently did a podcast on a question asked by his son, “How do I know hat God wants me to do?” He asked some other dads and myself, then tied it all together. I wish I had heard this back in 1975 – his content is excellent! You can listen to it here.

It’s a question I think we over-think. This may be a bit of Cooley over-simplification–but here is my take on it.

If we belong to God, he will lead us where He wants us to go. It’s his manipulative grace. Why would he lead us in the wrong direction?

If we belong to God and resist him, he can send a big fish to vomit us out where we should have gone in the first place.

If we belong to God and are clueless, he can manipulate circumstances like he did for Paul in Acts 16:6-10. There God kept slamming doors in Paul’s face till he pretty had no direction to go but the right one.

The key is to belong to God. Or, as Psalms 91:1 puts it, Those who sit down in the presence of the High God, will spend the night in the shadow of the Almighty.

I hope you belong to God. If not, why not give your life to him now? If you do belong to him, don’t sweat manana. Sit down in God’s presence today, and you will be doing what he wants tomorrow.