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Positive Thinking, The Secret, Huna....

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Joyful Lady, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Wayne--Thank you for putting into words so much of what I was thinking. Your post was spot on, especially these two paragraphs. There are those who do and those who teach, and those who can't do are usually the ones who teach. Funny how that works. :rolleyes:

    Rich is the best example of what real spiritual practice is. He was the real deal in terms of true compassion, wasn't he? An open mind, and a open heart, directed towards serving and helping others. Definitely "an example to us all."
  2. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Reading through this thread brings up a lot of memories, and most of them are not good ones.

    I spent a considerable amount of time in New Age circles when I was in my 20s, all due to the fact that I had no diagnosis for what was wrong with me for the first 10 years of my illness. Because so many people (doctors, family, friends) had either inferred, or bluntly told me, that my "PROBLEM" was psychological, some part of me began to believe it, and this eventually led me down the slippery slope into New Age La-la land.

    After I crash landed in La-la, I unfortunately became stuck for a number of years in the gooey confusing truth of it, half of which made some sense, and the other half of which was as twisted and broken and convoluted as so many of the "spiritual teachers," self help gurus, and authors of miracle mind cures who inhabited this god-inundated wilderness. Oh, the stories I could tell you! Of sexual assault and molestation dressed up as Buddhist "crazy wisdom." Of a drunken Sufi master who excused his alcoholic binges as "a bad note on the octave." Of a raging Kabbalist who would throw a temper tantrum every time someone disagreed with him on what they should be eating. There were so many shapes and sizes and styles of abuse that I witnessed, and luckily only as a fringe observer, because I never fully immersed myself into this insanity, and fortunately I made it out alive and mostly unscathed. But I will admit that I needed some serious deprogramming out of the belief that I supposedly "created my own reality," and was responsible for everything in it, including my illness. This I now know for sure is the most obnoxious and destructive "commandment" of La-la, at least as destructive as the shaming and guilt-tripping, that is the hallmark of other more conservative spiritual traditions.

    Though I know not all New Agers are carved from the same quantum field of biophotons, :rolleyes: I do know that there is something in this realm that to this day still makes cringe... It smells kind of like hypocrisy and judgment mixed with rose water. There's a lot of smart esoteric sounding words, and postures that match them perfectly, and "laws of the universe" that explain exactly why everything is the way it is... but the music underneath it all--the core feeling--is distorted by an attitude of irrefutable certainty that feels just like plain old hubris. How much in this life can we ever be certain of? And whose place is it to decide what is certain and what isn't?

    In my honest-to-god experience the universe really is a mystery. And we little humans are just specks of dust in that mystery. If you have ever looked up at the sky on a moonless night in the middle of the wilderness, you know what I am talking about. If you think there is a book or a system of beliefs that can explain THAT, then good luck with it! I am happy to finally be free of the need to have it all figured out.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    First, I do not and have not claimed the mind cannot affect health ... in fact I have specifically said it can. It seems you have misunderstood all my posts. Specifically it appears you have a different interpretation as to what a fallacy is. Furthermore, despite my repeatedly having said that the conclusion that these disorders could be psychogenic could be right has been ignored. So all your arguments on that line of reasoning are invalid.

    I would suggest you read:
    http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&ty...chiatry_and_psychology/v017/17.4.sykes01.html

    However you might need the full paper.

    The psychogenic fallacy does not imply that the mind cannot affect body. Nor does it imply that the mind cannot cause disease. Its about the claims that it does cause disease, in case after case. The vast majority of these claims have been disproved. More are in the process of being understood, and like ME and IBS and GWS it appears they might soon be disproved. The problem is that when there is a hundred possibilities, those who like to claim psychogenic causation jump to the conclusion that a psychogenic cause is THE cause, without evidence. Thats the fallacy.

    In effect they are saying because a psychogenic cause might be true, it is true. If that logic is valid, then these diseases might be caused by aliens, so they are caused by aliens. Similarly anorexia might be caused by aliens, so it is caused by aliens. To use something less outlandish for which there is some evidence, anorexia might be caused by chemical imbalances of appetite, therefore it is caused by chemical imbalances. All of these are fallacies. So is it might be genetics therefore it is genetics, when its still not really understood.

    In reality its more subtle than just might be. The unstated premise is:

    If there is no known physical cause for a condition, there is no actual physical cause for the
    condition.

    This is simply presumed. The second premise is:

    If there is no actual physical cause for the condition, the cause must be psychological.

    This second premise is reasonable enough, because the only alternatives left are aliens, magic, etc. Its the first premise that is the problem. It makes unproven presumptions. In computing this would be called the closed world assumption.

    On anorexia and snps, of course they are responsible and say they might be a factor in anorexia. Thats what they should say. Anorexia has a strong familial association. Its entirely possible the primary causative factor is genetic. In which cases social factors might be simply exacerbating or risk factors. Its also possible it might be caused by viruses, environmental poisoning etc. It also might be caused by combinations of these with social factors, or have multiple causes, or different causes in different anorexia subsets. Indeed there is some evidence to suggest that first appetite is biochemically modified and then social factors reinforce that.

    On placebo effect, the observation of non-subjective beneficial changes have not been substantiated in two (one?) metastudies. In addition most of the strong research is based on pain, not other outcomes, which is a subjective factor. Subjective does not mean it is not real either. The effects that were seen were within the range of potential bias.

    When multiple options exist, including things we have not discovered yet, its fallacious to focus on any one of them as a certainty rather than as an hypothesis. The psychogenic fallacy does so by saying "we do not know what it is therefore its psychological". If they said that, for example, ME might have a psychogenic cause, and proceeded to test it rigorously, the whole debate would be very different. They completely skip that step and go right to studies based on the presumption that psychogenic causation is unassailable. Thats not rational, its not scientific - its fallacious.

    The fallacy is the presumption of truth, rather than the recognition that these are hypotheses that need rigorous testing. It does not mean that all these hypotheses are wrong.

    One more example: ME might be caused by XMRV, therefore it is caused by XMRV. We know how the research went on that one. It would have been fair to say that XMRV might be causal, as an hypothesis, which is how many of us took it: a valid hypthosis at that point in time. "Might be .... therefore is" is frequently wrong.

    Bye, Alex
  4. allyann

    allyann Senior Member

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    Dreambirdie, I can definitely relate to your post. I was actually hoping that this thread would create some discussion of experiences like yours and mine. My post (Positive Thinking, The Secret, Huna....) to start this thread however was pushed to the middle and lost when moderated to include joyful lady's mumbo jumbo. I think this 'hypocrisy and judgement' as you put it needs to be highlighted as to how it can hinder rather than help and how it can play on someone with MEs acceptance of living with this illness.

    Allie
  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Me too, Allie. I spent many years on a crusade to fix my allegedly "damaged" spiritual self, and YES, it was mostly a waste of time and money. What ultimately healed me of the belief that I needed these unnecessary pursuits was Nature, (which had more healing energy than all of the NewAge wackadoodles and their loony kahunas put together), and Art, (spontaneous creative expression through painting, writing and music). These are all things I can do by myself and for myself, without a guru or a self-help book, and thank "god" for that!

    The kind of philosophy promoted by this woman and her ilk absolutely disgusts me. Unfortunately, she is just ONE of thousands just like her: entrenched in grandiose superiority, filled to the brim with judgment, blame, and loathing for sick people, and spewing thoughtless, heartless and dangerous "advice," for which she undoubtedly expects unquestioning adoration. I have heard, seen and read so much of this kind of crap, and it's all basically the same: blame-blame-blame and shame-shame-shame, ad nauseum eternum shri shri kaka... amen. :p:p:) So glad to be able to laugh at it now. But if I could back in time, knowing what I know now about these kind of people and how they operate, I would report at least a dozen of them to the medical licensing board for practicing medicine without a license.

    In case she hadn't read about it in her "psychotherapy post-grad" work, there is actually a clinical name for someone with patterns of behavior like hers, and they call it Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is an Axis II Cluster B mental disorder, and as my own therapist warned me many years ago "it has a poor prognosis"... because (ironically) narcissists are not capable of reflecting on their own behavior and accepting accountability for the harm they do to others. A grandiosely fascinating example of "those who can't do teach."

    NPD seems to be all too prevalent among New Age spiritual teachers, guru types, and self-help book authors. It's also common among MDs (little surprise there), attorneys, politicians, and anyone in positions of power. The criteria for NPD include the following:

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    4. Requires excessive admiration
    5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

    Scary when you consider how many loony guru narcissists are out there right now, preying on those who are most vulnerable to their twisted and dangerous "teachings."
    warriorseekspeace likes this.
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Sea, I have to pretty much agree with you. From the get go on this thread, I kept thinking JL's acting as if she's got something to offer us, to "set our minds right", if you will. As I continued to read, and failed to see any kind of genuine empathy for what we deal with, I realized it was mostly about her. It seemed that for her own benefit, she needed to change our "belief system" from one she had come to believe denied the mind/body connection.
    I don't know where she got this impression, but it seems to me most PR members know there is a mind/body connection. So it seems JL's conclusions were based on what she somehow needed for herself.

    I recall a post by Jacque expressing exasperation at JL just going in circles:
    I noticed the same thing, and that was a major tipoff for me. I've long realized that "head" (or mind) people tend to go in circles and often have a hard time empathizing with others. "Heart" people tend to break through the mind clutter much easier, and focus on the core values of what life is about. This is why I wrote an earlier post about how Rich Van Konyenburg's generosity, compassion, caring, and more contrasted so significantly from what Joyful Lady was offering us.

    It seems JL couldn't even resist taking a parting shot at us when she said the following:
    Perhaps I'm wrong in categorizing this as a "parting shot", but I doubt I am. She didn't leave this thread with any kind of well wishes for us, nor did she apologize for all the disruption she caused. In fact, it seems she left with a fairly condescending attitude toward us, hardly much different than the one she started out with.
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    I guess a final thought. It sounds like JL went through some pretty traumatic experiences in her life, and has found a way to make sense of the world in the best way she knows how. Her "emotional sentience" orientation seems to have brought a certain stability in her life, and I'm happy it has worked for her. She just doesn't seem to realize however, how her "sharing" was more like a "foisting". But I can overlook that, and I wish her well. I have to say however, that I do hope she refrains from posting here in the future. :angel:
    Sea likes this.
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    People who have real compassion do not assume they know what it's like to live with a long term chronic illness. They are open to listening and finding out. When someone has all the answers in advance, they are not coming from a place of compassion, from their "heart," and you can feel it.

    I think the Joyful Lady hasn't learned very much at all "from these interactions" with us. Too bad. It could have been a genuinely enlightening experience for her, if she had been willing to let go of her preconceived ideas about illness.
    warriorseekspeace, justy and Whit like this.
  9. Marlène

    Marlène Senior Member

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    I guess I don't need to see Madame Soleil anymore. My anger having this never ending illness will hurt my heart. :rolleyes:
    allyann likes this.
  10. allyann

    allyann Senior Member

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    Amen to that! We have our house on the market and I am moving back to a country seaside location. I know that I was heaps better when I used to live there than living in suburbia. I need to make myself some time to get back into my art as that is a great release for me.

    Even more scary is it describes my ex-husband to a T :aghhh:.

    But you are right on this one. In fact I have only met a couple of new age spiritual teachers that do not fit this profile, but then again they probably wouldn't call themselves new age as they are more into the old celtic ways.
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Question: for those new age teachers who indoctrine correct thought, how is this not a cult?

    I do not know from my own experience how many such teachers fit the narcissist profile. I haven't met many new age gurus. At least one who I have met did not appear to fit that description - labels can be misleading. On the other hand I have met a few who are devoted followers who do not seem to be able the handle the fact that someone like me does not benefit from their advice.

    Yes, I admit it, I have tried everything from meditation to bach flower remedies, homeopathy, NLP, auto-hypnosis, guided visualizations, even, (gasp), cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy. We don't do these things if they don't work for us. I drew the line at crystals and magic though. We are desperate for answers, especially as the years go by or when we face some crisis like being forced out of work. We are definitely vulnerable. Healthy scepticism is something we should all cultivate in these circumstances ... oops, thats a mantra from the sceptics cookbook.

    Bye, Alex
    madietodd and Jacque like this.
  12. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

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    It may help her, and that's great but she wasn't talking about what helped her, she was pushing that ideology on all of us without even learning anything about the illness we have. I think this is all too common with new age spirituality in the west. People go just far enough to get some sense of peace, but then wind up using that newfound peace to just build their ego rather than continuing on to the next phase of getting beyond it and letting things go. Not an easy task and I don't claim to be there at all. But if you are claiming to be a teacher of spirituality you need to go beyond what serves you and is convenient. You have to do more than just make sense of your own challenges. And if you want to teach, the goal has to be to help others, not make yourself feel better. Compassion, not self righteousness.

    All of that isn't so bad, I also wish her well and admire you for being able to do that. But I think it really pushes a button with those of us who have CFS because we've all faced so much of this. So many people talk at us rather than with us. So many people tell us what we should be doing rather than try to understand what we are doing, and what we are facing. So many people make quick judgments and assumptions rather than try to understand our reasoning. Most of us have had loved ones do this who are supposed to understand us the best.

    So I know I don't personally have a lot of patience for this. I just turn off and cut people like this out of my life.
    Jacque likes this.
  13. Jacque

    Jacque Senior Member

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    Well she canceled her acct... GOOD RIDDENS.... She almost drove me to DRINK!!! :mad:
  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    She did drive me to drink. I may have drunk a whole extra bottle of soda water answering these posts! :p
    madietodd, Jacque and taniaaust1 like this.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Seems I missed all this before... I could of got into some interesting discussions, being positive "at times" certainly hasnt been in my best interest

    I have a very similar example of how being positive over the ME stuff didnt work for me at all. I had a doctor who several times cancelled out on me. He gave all kinds of excuses but I decided I wouldnt judge.. I wouldnt take it personally and would accept that he truely did need to cancel my appointments. Hence I continued seeing him. (he cancelled 3 of my appointments in 6mths).

    Then one day I collapsed on way home from surgery and couldnt walk home.. on telling my doctor about that next visit I was met with complete disbelief .. his words "You arent disabled, there is nothing wrong with you". I'd wasted seeing this doctor for 2 years.. turns out he had been cancelling my appointments at times as he didnt really want to be seeing me and didnt believe ME/CFS was a real illness. Had I not decided to "be positive" and not think negatively about the cancellations he was doing on me at times.. I would of found a far better doctor .. to add to all this.. this doctor was unknown to me was behind my back stopping me from getting the help I needed from agencies etc etc . So my positivity and not wanting to think negative about things.. caused me a world of hassel (rejections from support agencies when i was needing help.. I ended up having to reapply and it took 2 years due to this doctor to get the services i required.. cause I'd been too postive and didnt want to think negative).


    My above example above was on just one occassion (there has been MANY others with all different things when it comes to ME) on how being postive and not wanting to think negatively about a situation ended up causing me big problems. Eg another one is.. I BELIEVED I could push myself throu collage....I believed if I tried hard enough I could finish it...all that happened was I crashed badly and ended up completely bedridden and having to be cared for for 9mths. Another example of how having a very positive nature lead to big trouble for me.

    I still do try to be postive but I know nowdays to keep a balanced view.. try to look at all the positive AND NEGATIVE results which could come out of an action.. I now consider all things so I can make better decisions on things.

    I do believe in the new age stuff that thought creates ALL reality but I also believe in karma and past lives... so if positive things arent happening.. it isnt cause anyone is necessarily holding bad views ... and besides as my examples have shown. sometimes holding a bad view on something and acting on that view could be the wiser thing. The thought think positive and you create what you think is far too simplistic when it comes to life. Closing ones mind to all else and chosing to be positive can sometimes be the wrong thing to do.. Choosing to keep an open mind and be perceptive can help life be easier.
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Yes tania, being "positive" can lead to ignoring problems. The problems don't magically go away though. Its far better, in my view, to be open about problems - a problem seen is a problem that can be solved. Bye, Alex
    Jacque and merylg like this.
  17. Jacque

    Jacque Senior Member

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    LOL LOL - hope you caught a good bubble buzzzzzz! God I so miss catchin a good buzz occasionally and goin dancin...:(

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