It’s easy to fall into the trap (and it really is a trap) of what I call ‘magical thinking‘. It’s anytime you think, ‘if I do, say, think, make, follow that__________, then this (fill in the blank)____________ will happen’.
For example, hypothetically, IF I drive a hot new sports car, red maybe?. Then, I will attract my wife to me. If I loose weight, then everything will be perfect. If I …. If I, If that…. really, it’s speculation isn’t it?
It can happen if one health area or another…. if I drink wine, then my blood pressure will be lower (if that’s even what they say), if I drink coffee, then I’ll live longer, or if I run everyday, then I will avoid heart disease. I see that if/then thinking is all over the place.
My current big one has been, ‘If I go to grad school for my master’s in engineering in technology management, then I will find a big paying job to last me the next 15 years…’ It may, or it may not. Really. Some of the most what we call ‘common thinking’, or rule of thought, is really magical thinking in disguise. ‘Act your age’, ‘Time will tell’, ‘Knock on wood’.
Such thinking can get really far out and magical, ‘If I wear a certain gemstone, then I’ll take on the qualities of that stone’, or ‘If I buy a lottery ticket every week, then one day I’ll be rich, or ‘If I wear my team’s jersey on game day, then they will win the playoff’, ‘If I read my horoscope every day, then I will know how to live my day’… These are all pretty much the same.
If you take a moment to think about it, our day might seem to be ruled by if/then magical thinking. Discipline yourself to spot it. You’ll be catching it in your thought all the time… If I wash my car, then it will rain. That’s a funny one. If I eat dark chocolate, I will be happy, then I won’t be depressed.’ Such ideas are magical, and magnetizing.
Some on the spiritual path, practice this thinking — ‘If I outline what I want, specifically and with all the emotion I want to invest in something, live with that idea, then it will happen.’ If I make a vision board with all my dreams on it, then I will see them come to life in my life. I admit, I’ve done that too – fantasize and outline exactly what I wanted to happen in my life. I am preaching to my choir, believe me.
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Here’s a question. Please give it a moment’s thought: WHAT does that kind of thinking leave out of the picture?… Really give it a deep moment’s reflection. I want you to.
Who creates? What governs? What is cause?
We leave God out of the picture when we are doing magical thinking. So much so that we are warned directly ‘that such is an abomination unto the Lord’. It doesn’t get more direct than that.
“The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.
To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, — and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God. These are His attributes, the eternal manifestations of the infinite divine Principle, Love. No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows. (M.B. Eddy Science and Health, page 275.)
There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit.
Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration of Independence. God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love. (Ibid page 106.)
Quoting from Galatians: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
That’s the majesty. So instead of magical thinking today, instead try opening the door to God. Pray to understand Divine Love better. Express order and Principle in your day. Let God unfold your day for you. Begin as Spirit. Gently. Perfectly.
That’s my point.
Unfoldment of God’s plan for each of us, rather than outlining its outcome. That’s what I was taught in Sunday School. It’s just now I am really looking at that in my daily life. Again.
Read a bit more, but you don’t have to…
I’ve been enjoying a copy of the Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, George M. Lamsa’s 1933 translation from the Aramaic language. Aramaic, the native speech of Christ Jesus and the early disciples, along with Hebrew and Greek, it is still spoken in parts of Syria and scattered communities in the Middle East.
I find the translation has a subtle grace to it.
Opening today to Deuteronomy 8, it felt fresh, like I’d never seen it before….
Basically, it says:
“All the commandments which I command you this day you shall observe to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and posses the land which the Lord swore to your fathers.
And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, and prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would keep the commandments or not. And he humbled you and suffered you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you to understand that man does not live by bread along; but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord does man live.
Your clothes did not wear out upon you, neither did you feed go bare during these forty years.
You must know in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Therefore you must keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways and fear [adore, understand] him.
For the Lord your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and mountains.
A land of wheat and barley, and of vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees, and of oil and honey;
A land wherein you shall eat bread without scarcity, you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you may dig brass.
You shall eat and be full, and then you shall bless the Lord you God for the good land which he has given you…..” (Deuteronomy 8: 1-10) and so it goes.
Put God in the equation.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” We are like the fish in the ocean, looking for the water.
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Many, many years ago I had the inspiration that the commandments are more than just a set of working instructions to life…. they are, in fact, a statement of being. A statement of spiritual being. A statement of God’s man, or woman or child. God’s man does not kill, nor steal, nor covet. I’ll write about that one another time.
Love, and a hug –
Copyright held by Alexis Wittman