Archive for the ‘On the Law of Attraction’ Category

For those of you who have been following this blog, you may recall financial stress.

My best-kept secret was that on April 19, 2011 I declared bankruptcy.

The direct cause-and-effect event that led me there was an “intentional wealth” course that I took back in 2007.  When all investments purchased through this group started to fail in 2009, I was told by the CFO to “keep the faith” and “stay positive” — because your mindset effects all things universal. Read the rest of this entry »

I just got an email from Jack guru Canfield. It went right to my spam, so I can only assume it was intended for “Recipient,” not specifically “Britt.”

Oh well. I’ll get over that.

Anyway, my good friend Jack begins his email with these three sentences:

  1. Did you know only 3% of the world actually sets goals?
  2. In addition, only 3% of the orld owns 97% of the world’s resources.
  3. I don’t think this is a coincidence; it’s important to set goals to achieve success in today’s society.

Did you get that? The “implication” that is not, apparently, a coincidence, is that if you set your goals, you will become one of the primary owners of the worlds resources.

Jack’s email is a pitch for “free” coaching. Given that these guys typically charge thousands of dollars, you’ve really got to think twice about what this free coaching is all about.

Let me save you a bit of time. Typically, these gurus give a bit and then sell sell sell. And then a bit more, and then sell sell sell.

And how do they hook you? By feeding you your own self-serving biases. As described in a website called Cold Reading 101, self serving biases are our positive beliefs we hold about ourselves, whether they are true or not. Typically, these include the beliefs that:

  • Most people see themselves as more intelligent than average.
  • Most people consider themselves more attractive than average.
  • Most people consider themselves more educated than average.
  • Most people consider themselves better drivers than average.
  • Most people see themselves as more ethical than average.

So you can take pretty well any positive result (like telling your client that they too have the potential to be part of the 3% that owns 97% of the world’s resources) and tell  your client that they have the potential to reach it. First, attend this free coaching session (which is populated with heavy HEAVY sales tactics) and voila! You are special, successful, and wealthy.

Also, should my friend Jack contact you with this incredible faulty logic and offer that will change your life, I want you to ask yourself this question:

What exactly has Jack himself done?

Other than luck into the get-famous-as-a-coach spiel, I don’t really think his resume is that impressive. Has he headed up a Fortune 100 company? Has he changed the world in any meaningful way for anyone not white, male or middle aged? Has he solved any environmental stress issues? Backed the electric car? Fed starving Somalians? Helped pass the American Equal Rights Amendment?

Hmmmm.

One has to wonder how we fall for this time and time again.

Maybe it’s time to start realizing that we are not special, not unique, not brighter than any other particular star in the universe. The Jack’s pitches will become but a wee annoying drone in the background, like that pesky mosquito in the tent who you know you can quash in the morning but for now you’ll just have to put up with it.

Or you can learn more about the art of cold reading. Derren Brown is one of the masters. Learn from him. He reveals his secrets. No charge.

Jack pitches to the 3% of the population ready to make goals. In one of T.Harv Eker’s seminars, a friend of mine was quoted a 5% success rate of all attendees, and this was at the executive level (for which one paid $50k). This translates into a 0.06% chance of success. That’s how much they believe in you.

You’re better off talking to a local businesswoman, partnering with a mentor, and taking it from there.

 

6
Dec

The choices we make

   Posted by: Britt Tags: , ,

I was recently challenged by a friend, who made it clear to me that she bases the control of her life on accepting that everything revolves around the choices she makes.

I’ve heard that a lot in Law of Attraction circles, and it smacks to me of blaming the victim. You wouldn’t have been raped if you didn’t wear that dress and didn’t go to that bar. Your father wouldn’t have touched you if you didn’t let it happen.

Yes, life is twisted and shaped because of our decisions. And I’m the last one to advocate blame. In fact, one-third of my book, The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman, is dedicated to accountability. Accountability, summed up, means “owning your own shit.”

Yet, there is a time in one’s life that a line must be drawn in the sand, a line that separates my choices from your actions.

Yes, I wore that dress to the bar. Yet, he’s the one who raped me.

What you did and who’s at fault are two completely different things.

Yes, I let my father continue to touch me. I was stunned into submission and since he was the authority figure in my life, I didn’t know where else to turn. Yet, he’s the one who acted out his fantasy.

What you did and who’s at fault, again, two completely different things.

I think it’s an oversimplification to say that you are responsible for everything that has happened to you as a result of your choices. It’s an easy way out for the perpetrator. It’s a camouflaged deflection of responsibility using counter-blame.

The sweet thing (and the equally frustrating thing) about human beings is our complexity. And when you hear a gross over-simplification, examine it. You might be surprised at what you find underneath.

So if it turns out and I’m horribly wrong, and the Law of Attraction can be used to magically manifest things, perhaps we should turn our attention to the human race at large instead of the personal acquisition of so-called wealth.

Here’s my personal list of “fascinating” things gone horribly awry:

  • That we can keep on borrowing money from banks knowing that they are the biggest laundering scheme of all
  • That the health of the overall world economy depends on a lottery system called The Stock Exchange
  • That very few people realize that it’s not “things” that are taxed but the movement of money. Which is why “spending” our way out of recession is encouraged … to the benefit of government coffers (who give most of it back to banks).
  • That we keep on buying stuff made with child/slave labour in developing countries
  • That no one seems to give a shit about about carbon, which will be the ultimate death of humankind (US and esp Canada are the worst offenders, Canada having even signed on to Kyoto)
  • That men who are born of women, married to them, and father them, don’t seem horribly interested in stopping the machismo that leads to (and endorses) rape
  • That male-violence is considered a feminist issue (shouldn’t men be looking after male-violence, and women looking after women-violence?)
  • That most of the foods sold in grocery stores are processed (meat aside, the non-meat products are horribly horribly bad for you)
  • That feminists are considered anti-men
  • That corporations are dedicated to an increasing food consumption that humans are incapable of, which is why packaging gets smaller and food gets more addictive every year
  • That we have to pay MORE for chemical-free food
  • That world hunger is even an issue given the incredible surplus we have in the western world
  • That water is not considered a fundamental basic human right, but a bank-able a commodity
  • That the uprising in Bahrain was not supported world-wide
  • That we continually kill in the name of some pie-in-the-sky gods
  • That children are sold as sex commodities for the Western (dick) hunger for sex tourism
  • That the (respected) physical representation of women in media is so goddamn restrictive whereas the (respected) physical representation of men includes the mean, the fat and the ugly
  • That some people still think what others do in their bedrooms with consenting adults is any of their freakin business
  • That vibrators are still illegal in some states and guns are promoted
  • That some people think that end-of-life issues (eg euthanasia) must be dictated by some religious right
  • That women in Arabia still don’t have the right to vote
  • That date-rape drugs exist
  • That pot is illegal whereas cigarettes are legal
  • That there’s too much money in disease management, which truly prevents (by de-incentive-fying) the pharmaceuticals from find the cure
and the list goes on and on. Really, as a species, the human race is incredibly stupid. It’s rather surprising that we’ve lasted this long. Anything to add? Knock your socks off. And then think and think and think and think really freakin hard about it.

I challenge you to watch this award winning one-hour documentary, and then tell me that the Law of Attraction is not the absolute height of Western Arrogance.

Bahrain: Shouting in the dark – Programmes – Al Jazeera English.

Is your glass half full or half empty? If you have theprivilege of time and mental space to even contemplate this vacant question, you’re living in the lap of luxury.

How not to get lost in a sense of hopelessness here. A land is not its people but its owners, be it a king or a banker. The people may have moments, but as long as the money, power and mercenaries flock to the paying wealthy owners, those who are owned are doomed.

98% of us are sleeping. Not because we don’t want to wake up, but because it’s too incredibly painful to contemplate being awake. And that allows the powers-that-be to suck our souls from us.

Law of Attraction? A goddamn laughable bone. Kind of like a lottery ticket. “Give them hope and watch them flounder.” Surpise: You’re poor. Oops. Guess you really fucked that one up. Next time, think happier thoughts. Moron.

So. Tomorrow is the day. The day that James Arthur Ray receives his sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for tomorrow morning (November 18th, 2011), from 9am to 12noon, AZ time. Note that Arizona does not do the timeshift thing, so currently Arizona is on Mountain time. So for us on the West Coast, or Pacific time, tune in at 8am. Central time can tune in at 10am, and everyone else can figure it out for themselves.

Ah, Jimmy dear, will you get what you deserve? Funny. That’s probably what you are praying for right now too. Although I suspect that what you and others think you deserve wildly differ.

Here is a timeline from Wikipedia:

Ray is an advocate of the Law of Attraction; his teachings have been described as “including a mix of spirituality, motivational speaking, and quantum physics”. In an interview, Ray answered about personal responsibility, “I fully know, for me, that there is no blame. Every single thing is your responsibility … and nothing is your fault. Because every single thing that comes to you is gift … a lesson.”[2]

Concerns were raised since at least 2000 regarding the safety and soundness of his methods.[1]

According to Grant Cardone, in 2000 Ray consulted him for methods to increase sales at business seminars, and was warned to teach only sound business practices. After this time, Ray began incorporating sleep deprivation, fasting, fire and glass walking, and sweat lodge methods after studying in South America.[3]

Former attendees of Ray’s seminars have reported unsafe practices and lack of properly trained medical staff in 2005. A New Jersey woman shattered her hand after she was pressured by Ray to participate in a quasi-martial arts board-breaking exercise. After several unsuccessful untrained attempts, the woman sustained multiple fractures during the seminar that was held at Disney World.[4]

Participants of a James Ray “Spiritual Warrior” exercise in 2006, after signing waivers, were told to put the sharp point of an arrow used in archery against the soft part of their necks and lean against the tip. A man named Kurt sustained injuries during this exercise as the shaft snapped and the arrow point deeply penetrated his eyebrow.[5]

In July 2009, Colleen Conaway attended a seminar hosted by James Ray International in which the attendees were directed to dress as homeless people. She fell to her death at the Horton Plaza Mall in San Diego. She died as a result of injuries, and according to police, she had no identification on her person.[6][7]

In 2005, preceding the tragic events of October 2009, a serious injury involving hospitalization was reported at the Angel Valley Ranch during a “Spiritual Warrior” retreat led by Ray. Verde Valley Fire Chief Jerry Doerksen’s department responded to an emergency call that a 42 year old man had fallen unconscious after exercises inside the sweat-lodge.[8][9][10]

On October 8, 2009, at a New Age “Spiritual Warrior” retreat conceived and hosted by Ray at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Yavapai County near Sedona, Arizona, two participants, James Shore and Kirby Brown, died as a result of being in a sweat lodge exercise. Eighteen others were hospitalized after suffering burns, dehydration, breathing problems, kidney failure, or elevated body temperature. Liz Neuman, another attendee, died October 17 after being comatose for a week.[11]

With the references as follows:

  1. a b Harris, Craig; Wagner, Dennis. “Sweat-lodge guru: A story of ups, downs”The Arizona Republic, 23 October 2009.
  2. Harris, Dan; Ferran, Lee; Shaylor, Jay; Pereira, Jen. “Beyond Sweat Lodge: James Ray’s Controversial World”, ABC News, 29 October 2009.
  3. “Grant Cardone: James Ray Was Warned”Huffington Post. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  4. Macintosh, Jeane (19 October 2009). “James Arthur Ray’s past contains serious injuries and suicides at seminars”New York Post. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  5. “Man: Sweat Lodge Leader’s Actions ‘Reckless'”KPHO.com. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  6. Baker, Debbi (2009-07-27). “Woman in fatal Horton Plaza fall identified”. SignOnSanDiego.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  7. Macintosh, Jeane (2009-10-19). “James Arthur Ray’s past contains serious injuries and suicides at seminars”New York Post. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  8. “Sweat Lodge Retreat Leader ‘Being Tested’ by Deaths”. FoxNews.com. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  9. Fonseca, Felicia; Christie, Bob (2009-10-16). “Sweat-lodge deaths cast negative spotlight on guru”. Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  10. Hensley, JJ (15 October 2009). “Resort near Sedona had previous sweat lodge incident”The Arizona Republic. Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  11. Hensley, JJ (15 October 2009). “Resort near Sedona had previous sweat lodge incident”The Arizona Republic. Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
Stay tuned…

An image is worth a thousand words.

The arrogance of the LOA prescribed belief that the universe is your catalog and all you have to do is flip through the pages and then settle your mind on your order is overwhelming.

Perhaps all these kids need is to is to believe that their overly bloated bellies are full of food. That the flies in their eyes are actually visions of candy canes dancing in their heads.

Somebody should let them know how easy it really is.

Oh! if only it were true! If only we could think — or for that matter UNTHINK — things into existence. What a nicer place this world could be!

Here’s what is keeping me awake this tonight: banks and taxes.

Sigh. It’s a brain-full.

I’ll keep this simple, because it’s very complex-yet-simple stuff.

First, the banks. If you are like me, you have heard of the “fractional-reserve” banking system. The way I understood it was that banks could lend out the same amount of money ten (in a 1:10 system) or twenty (1:20) times. I understood it academically. Starting today, I actually began to grasp what it meant.

Let’s say I go into a bank and deposit $40,000.

(…and I haven’t yet wrapped my brain around the notion that banks write money into existence the instant you put your signature on to the promissory note to repay the loan, making this original $40,000 and the resulting $1,000,000 in profits even more insidious…) 

The 10:1 fractional-reserve system requires the bank to hold on to 10% of it (1/10th) and it then allows the bank to lend out the other 90%, or $36,000.

So then the other borrow, the new owner of the $36,000 deposits that loan into their bank. Again, their bank is required to hold on to 10% or $3,600, and it loans out the remaining $32,400.

The next borrow takes their $32,400 loan, deposits it into their bank account, and that bank in turn holds onto $3,240 and lends out $29,160.

This is only the first three layers of transactions. Ultimately, this system of deposit-and-lend can happen about a hundred times. By the time the bank is done laundering my money, it has taken my $40K and churned out another $360,000 in loans.

And then, the magic happens. Yes, there’s more: it’s called Compound Interest. Get out your calculators or just go on basic trust here, but generally speaking, any 20 year loan on 5% interested compounded monthly produces an amount close to 2.5 the original amount. So $40K times 2.5 yields about $120K. And we know %5 is low-balling it.

So the bank, in lending out $360,000 instantaneously now receives a cool million in 20 years of repayments that include principal and interest. Yes, the magic of Compound Interest.

So where does this $960,000 of hard cold cash come from, especially since it doesn’t even exist in the first place? Why, we borrow it from the banks of course. Business loans. Mortgages. Lines of credit. Credit cards.

A self-perpetuating system destined to leave the individual poor and the banks rich.

And you might think it stops there. Well, no. Actually it doesn’t.

There’s the second layer of shit called “governments.” The biggest misconception out there is that governments tax “things” or stuff. In Canada, we have personal and corporate taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, liquor taxes, income taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes, estate taxes,  and on and on the list grows.

But what it really boils down to is that “things” are NOT taxed. What is really taxed is the movement of money. If you have a $20 bill in your pocket that is 20 years old, stop and imagine for a moment the number of transactions this piece of paper has seen in its two decades. Consider how long it stays in your wallet. A week? Maybe two? If a $20 bill sees even just 10 transactions in a year, assuming a taxation rate of 15% (which it’s not, it’s more like 50%), it will have generated $15 for the government in taxes in one year. And $300 in twenty years.

(Consider just one transaction. You buy a thing for one dollar. Immediately, there’s sales tax. Let’s say 7%. Then with this one sale, the owner has earned an income. So there’s income tax. Let’s say 25%. So without even considering import/export  and employee taxes, 33% of this dollar has immediately gone to the government.)

Again, it has generated more than it’s original value for the government.

It’s really quite depressing.

And how does this all lend (haha) itself to the law of attraction? Simple. One of the biggest mantras of the gurus is: It’s a sin to sit on money. As quick (!) as you earn it, so must you spend it. In fact, if you don’t have enough money it’s because you refuse to spend enough money. You are tight-fisted and obsessed with holding on. And as long as you hoard what you have you won’t be free to get more.

But really, this multi-billion dollar self-help industry keeps money in circulation; and this, my friends, means more loans,which in turn means more taxes.

Depositing the money in the bank means more loans, more debt. Which in turn puts more money into circulation which in turn means more taxes.

But here’s the real crime of hoarding: If you put $40,000 of bills under your mattress, you have “robbed” the banks of a million dollars AND “robbed” the governments of the taxes that they would have earned with this extra million in circulation. And yet, sadly, you yourself cannot transform this $40K into a million.

Do you get this? While each and every one of us (capable of reading this and comprehending it) will be dead in the next 100 years, the system will survive. Taxation is thousands of years old. Fractional-reserve banking is about 300 years old. And we, the individuals cranking out our debt-ridden lives to climb to the top of this mad pyramid scheme, are all enslaved to this.

So given even this scratch-the-surface level of economical understanding, do you really think we can think our way out of this?

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
– Henry Ford

Problem is, who’s getting it? And of those who get it, what in hell can be done about it? Our national wealth — and indeed our entire economy — depends on this house of cards being upheld.

Is a storm is blowing our way?

The Train

Imagine this. It’s 1:34 am. A moonless night. For whatever reason (every story needs to start with an unknown trauma behind you), you are beside a railway track, just a foot or two to the side.

You have infamously fallen and you can’t get up.

In the ghostly distance you hear the ghastly hoot-hoot of an oncoming train. You struggle to get unstuck. No luck. A brief minute passes and you no longer just hear it: you see its ominously-deadly headlight doggedly lurching toward you. Chugachuga chugachuga choo-choo. This is it. Your big moment. The grand finale.

Admittedly, you’re being dramatic. For you are not square on the railroad track. You’re off to the side. You are also somewhat smart: you also know that trains are typically wider than the  track they run on. But visions of your own demise dance in your head. You are the train wreck. Soon to be the wreckage.

So you do the only thing any normal human being would do. You pray. Your life flashes before your eyes. You do a quick-and-nasty inventory of what you can do without and offer it up.

And, here’s the fun bit, you get to chose your own ending.

Option 1

Miracle of miracles happen. Before the train can hit you, it rumbles to a stop. Why? probably because you prayed to your god. A hobo comes along, gets you unstuck and helps you up. And you live happily ever after.

Option 2

Miracle of miracle happens. The train passes you by and you don’t get a scratch. You get a bruise. A big black-and-blue, ache-to-the-bone nasty bruise on your right upper arm. Because something happened, something incredible. Someone threw a bagful of freshly bundled unmarked bills out the window and it smacked you right there. Why? probably because you prayed to your god. A hobo comes along, gets you unstuck and helps you up. And you live happily ever after.

The End

All fairy tales end with that promise, aka Happily Ever After. It’s a lie, by the way. It gets a lot more complicated. But that’s for another tale. Let’s (ominously) stay on track.

Here’s what really happened. You think you discovered the secret. It’s called god. But now elevated to God. Intermingled with the glory of self wallowing and the new realization that this entire Universe is all about you. Thoughts are things, you realize. You control the Universe, as evidenced by the recent near miss. As evidenced by your very own life.

You set out to share the news with others. You know everyone is seeking this secret. This Secret. You know that people generally undervalue what comes to them freely (after all, you too payed the ultimate price of adrenaline). And so you charge them for this information. And you write books on how to think the right thoughts and have the right mindset. And you give seminars. Oh sure your seminars are free to start, but you give no real secrets away on these freebies. Just incentive. Motivation to move up to the next level (for $1,000). And the next (for $5,000). And the next (for $30,000). And you capture it all onto audio. So that you can continue to spread the word. At a significant cost of course.

Why gosh! you have become a guru. A Guru.

And in the shadows of Truth, with the layers peeled back, here’s what really happened.

Option 1

There was a train station. You were so wrapped in the drama of your own demise that you failed to make out its unlit shape in the shadows. Your sweet God actually had nothing to do with it. The train station, on the other hand, had everything to do with it.

Option 2

A  bank robber’s sleeper car was just about to be searched. He was tipped off by the bus boy (do trains have bus boys? No idea. Hey, it’s MY story about you. I’m the one telling it here), who has had a long standing crush on this swarthy and dangerous frequent flyer. Or rider rather. The bank robber made the split-second decision to trash the loot and live to steal another day, so he opened the window and tossed out his single (but incredibly valuable) bag of bills.

You were so wrapped up in the drama of your own demise that you failed to realize that this was a perfect example of opportunity, where luck meets preparedness. Preparedness had everything to do with where you were physically located in that moment. It had nothing to do with who you were or how hard you worked to get there (because face it, you didn’t).

Your sweet God actually had nothing to do with it. Another person’s story, which had nothing to do with you, had everything to do with it.

Epilogue

The Law of Attraction is taken to these same ridiculous extents. Oprah did not pray her way into her career. God did not reward her for her visions. She happened to be the right person with the right attitude, at the right place, at the right time. Dastardly end of sentence. Strike me down now or for ever hold your peace.

Well what do you know… I’m still typing.

When they (the ominous They) tell you that if you can conceive it you can achieve it, they mislead you. What they really mean is that if you can see it you may achieve it.

Think of yourself as an Olympic athlete running the hundred yard dash. In the moment that marks the beginning of the race, when that gun goes off and each of you pushes off, you are all the same. An athlete with a goal. You can all see it. You can all conceive it. But only one of you will achieve it.

Will it ever be you?

I don’t know. Are you persistent? Are you will to accept a personal best as a win? Or must must the entire universe revolve only around just you? Perhaps you didn’t think enough happy thoughts then. Or not in the right sequence. Or the smile on your face was actually fake. Never mind that the winning runner was faster….

In these times of extreme financial hardship, it’s only natural that we turn to those who have succeeded. Financially. Only you need to realize that the entire financial success of many (most?) of these Gurus depends not on the god they chose to pray to, not on their prior dramas, but on the fact that you are willing to dish up the dough that sustains them. They depend on your financial struggles to fill their coffers.

So give your head a shake. Get clear on what you want. Seek the council that directly addresses your path. (HINT: Getting rich is not it. That’s a dream, not a goal.) If you want to write a book, for goodness sake speak to authors. If you want to open a store that sells shoes for the hard to fit, for goodness sake talk to other niche store owners. If you want to work in a German deli, talk to the boss. Stop throwing good money away on gurus teaching you something as stupid as how to win the lottery.

Meryl Davids Landau, author of the new spiritual women’s novel, Downward Dog, Upward Fog, writes an article asking the ultimate (I’m being facetious) question: Does the James Arthur Ray Trial Mean There’s No Law of Attraction?

I was shocked to discover that her answer to the question is a simple, No, of course not!

Wow. This was not at all what I expected to read from the Huffington Post. Quite the opposite indeed.

The few in this world who succeed to the point of having multi-millions and even billions of dollars at their fingertips find the concept of random circumstance too frightening. It ignores the ego. The notion that is has nothing to do with your goodness or greatness is inconceivable.

Believing that they were/are special is much more comforting than believing they got lucky. Indeed, our ego hungers to believe it received because it believed, making it exceptionally special. Godlike. As a species, we’ve spent thousands of years mimicking the gods in attempt to get close to what they’ve achieved. So when we achieve it, we believe we’ve arrived at that secret formula. So why not package and sell it? The rest of us also hunger for that validation. (The foundations of solid marketing here.)

Yet, there are far more Willy Loman’s in the world (Death of a Salesman, fellow who believed if he could just walk the walk and talk the talk then he too would become successful – a fundamental “belief” at the core of the so-called “Law” of attraction) than there are Oprahs. But LOA advocates easily rip this point to shreds by mindlessly stating that the Willy Lomans simply do not think, feel, or believe the right things. Akin to blaming the victim.

LOA is landmine of destruction. Sure, there are a few towering trees (a favoured LOA metaphor) that loom over the masses in the forest, but statistically most saplings will die before they can even cast a scrawny shadow. Not because of their thoughts, but because of the random placement on this earth, in this universe. Their potential for growth was doomed by a larger cast shadow. Or some random hungry cow. Whatever.

Statistically speaking, the popularity of motivational speakers increase in times of economic upheaval. The Great Depression launched Dale Carnegie’s career. Depressions, recessions, and natural upheavals invite the human hunger to know (and tap into the power of) God.

A fire here in Alberta recently wiped out one third the entire town of Slave Lake. Norman James’s house was left standing amidst the ruins, and he quickly commented that there must be a higher power looking out for him.

“All I can say is if anybody believes in God or a creator or whatever, I believe it’s a miracle,” said James. “I believe my house is still standing because of a higher power.”

What that blissfully simple  statement pleasantly ignores is that that same God finds James’s neighbours unworthy of the same level of protection.

Yes, it’s easy to believe in a God when you’re succeeding. Our ego craves this. And it’s easy to cling on to the notion of a God when your desperate to find your way out of disaster. It’s called Hope, and it’s there for us all. But to charge money for that, and then to blame Willy Loman for not thinking the right thoughts is where, in my books, an ethical line is crossed. When lives are lost, it becomes criminal. I think the people on the jury– not God — needs to find James Arthur Ray guilty.

Luck is random and subjected to the whim of time, place, nature, and the influence of others. Governments, banks; family and neighbours. Success is being prepared when an opportunity (should the opportunity arise) crosses your path. You can’t think that opportunity into existence. You can’t justify it into existence, using the exception (ie Oprah) not the rule (Willy Loman) to back it up.

Huffington Post, you’ve seriously let me down.