One of the most common concerns I hear about the process of self-empowerment from Christians is that it rejects basics tenants of Christianity. The entire notion of creating your own life contradicts with submitting to the will of the Father. Sincere truth seekers have asked various versions of the question “how do you reconcile the law of attraction and the idea of self-empowerment with the fact that God has commanded us to submit to His will? We are asked to ‘lose our lives’ in the service of God, and that gaining the whole world does you no good if you lose your own soul…” This is a great question. What about pride? We need strip ourselves of pride, yet God wants me to build the life of my dreams? These two ideals feel like they are irreconcilable.
Over the course of multiple articles, I intend to answer this apparent contradiction to the best of my ability. Today’s post will introduce the subject.
Throughout my website and in my book Your Superpowers I teach that God hopes we all awaken and become empowered. The Divine has given us all of the resources needed to create any life we want. We are spiritual beings by nature. In fact, there is divinity within each human that connects us with THE divine and with all the rest of humanity. My body is physical, but the real me is spiritual. Part of the purpose of this earthly experience is to learn to master the physical body. We are also here to learn how to create. It is natural for me to be creative. I’ve used my beliefs about myself and my environment to create my current circumstances. We all have. Along the way I have created many experiences. Some good, some bad, and of course many indifferent experiences. How do I decide if what I’ve created is good or bad– through my beliefs. What I want, of course, is to only create things that I interpret as being good, and stop creating experiences that I interpret as being bad. Awakening is the process of discovering that I am not a physical being that periodically has spiritual experiences, but rather that I am a spiritual being learning to work within the parameters of a physical body and a physical world. Empowerment is discovering that the spiritual me (the real me) is creative by nature and that I can develop complete mastery over my physical circumstances.
Christ was one of the greatest teachers of these principles. Almost all his teachings helped those around him discover that they were spiritual in nature, and are never victims of circumstance, unless they choose to be. He helped awaken thousands, and empowered many others. He taught that forgiveness is necessary to heal the wounded, that it is important to feel remorse for mistakes and genuinely repent (as opposed to burying negative feelings and allowing that energy to haunt us forever). He taught radical techniques for self-mastery by “turning the other cheek” and “going the extra mile.” He also taught that submission to God’s will was even greater than self-mastery and empowerment, and that it is possible to be “one” with God.
Many feel that self-empowerment and submission to a higher power are mutually exclusive. Some with religious backgrounds go as far as to say that empowerment, or creating your own circumstances, is blaspheme. That Christ taught us how to behave when he lived a “not my will, but thine be done” life. Seems pretty clear. “Thine” here refers to God’s, or Heavenly Father’s will. How could we possibly justify “empowering” ourselves when the very son of God taught us to let go of our own will and submit to the Father?
Similarly, there are many others who feel that religion has created an environment of victimhood and dependence. These concerns are raised by life-long Christians and atheists alike. Other issues have been voiced that will not be addressed in this series.
All of this conflict reminds me of the debates between religion and science throughout my childhood that seem to have, for the most part, faded away. Many religious people denounced science and even called blaspheme on some who used science to define the age of the earth, or the process of evolution. Arguments usually began with “the Bible clearly states that….” Scientists countered with many of the obvious flaws in the Christian story. Could common ground ever be reached within this apparent contradiction? I learned about Henry Eyring in chemistry classes years ago in college. He is best known for developing the Absolute Rate Theory or Transition State Theory of chemical reactions, later I learned that even in the 1960’s when science and religion were very fiercely pitted against each other, he explained “Is there any conflict between science and religion? There is no conflict in the mind of God, but often there is conflict in the minds of men.” In other words pure science and pure religion are really the same thing, it is just that when our understanding of one or the other (or both) is incomplete, contradictions appear. For the next few days, I am going to lay out my current understanding of empowerment and how that fits in with doing the will of God. In my mind there is no contradiction between self-empowerment and fulfilling the will of the Father, and I want to explain why. My understanding is almost assuredly incomplete, but genuine seekers of truth are invited to chime in through comments so we can learn together.
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