New Age Books: Plenty of Inspiration But Sometimes Short on Spiritual Truths
We're often asked which metaphysical and spiritual books we recommend.
You'll find some grains of truth, wisdom, and plenty of inspiration ("You can do it!--ra-ra!") in most metaphysical publications, especially the best-sellers.
After all, you would think so many people purchased them due to worthwhile content, instead of just a big name author or very effective public relations and marketing. At least we hope so.
You may not like us after reading this article. But if you heed our advice, you will eventually forgive us, even thank us, for helping you save enormous amounts of time and money in your spiritual journey. We would much rather generate positive karma (how selfish of us!) than lead you down a path of illusion just to make a quick buck.
If you're new to metaphysics, or simply want to gain a more thorough understanding of it, we recommend titles that objectively cover the basics, such as reincarnation, personal karma, fate, destiny (same as fate in our view), and meditation, among others. A basic understanding of numerology, astrology, and other self-discovery tools can be very helpful, but knowing only a little of any esoteric science can do more harm than good unless you develop and rely more heavily upon your intuition.
Why are these subjects so important? There's a good reason why they are an essential part of most of the major non-Western religions and spiritual philosophies of the world. Once you understand the inner-workings of these sacred subjects, your life and the world around you will make more sense.
Regarding astrology and numerology, we recommend works (or modern-day, objective interpretations of those works) prior to the 1600s AD (with some exceptions). While we value some forms of personality analysis using select forms of modern, psychological astrology and numerology, we've found the bulk of modern methods to be too subjective and recklessly creative, thus invalid.
Whatever titles you choose, beware if an author's theories and messages deny personal fate and karma and he or she refuses to acknowledge that varying amounts of personal adversity is necessary for spiritual growth.
Imagine that! The seemingly unavoidable trials you've had involving finances, your health, or those with a lover, family, or a boss, ultimately resulted in you being a much wiser person. Who would have thought it possible that you could be grateful for such experiences and that they served you perfectly?
Too many of the well-known authors in the New Age and spiritual arena exclude discussions or even a mention of hard spiritual truths such as those involving the not-so-fun parts of life and those relating to your spiritual checks and balances.
This may be because they haven't studied the concepts and lack an awareness of their importance. Or it may be because fate and karma greatly contradict with the main messages of their book or books, at times even rendering their claims or steps to success totally invalid.
Personally, we feel we owe it to our readers and clients to be candid about fate, karma, and other metaphysical issues. We may initially lose some potential clients who don't want to confront the realities of these topics, but since people are better off in the long-run with the awareness we are often thanked later. We're simply sharing the results of 20 plus years of our empirical research, without an agenda, and without a rigid marketing platform that disallows information that isn't 100% cheery, uplifting, or inspirational.
The following are quotes from various, well known spiritual and metaphysical authors and teachers, along with our comments to show you how, in our well researched opinions, they are misleading people.
"Life is supposed to be good for you. You can be, do, or have anything that you desire."
And if you just buy this book, you'll instantaneously manifest a life of pure ease and luxury, erasing any and all of your negative karma, having anything you want! Sorry, that's pure, fanciful, wishful thinking.
There is no utopia and anyone who tries to sell it is either delusional or trying to pull the wool over your eyes for their own financial gain.
"Did you know that you have the power to eliminate all of the struggles in your life?"
Sure, just change your thinking and all your problems will disappear! This has to do with a secret (New Age), spiritual formula, otherwise known as denial and self-delusion. Yes, how you perceive your life circumstances can make a difference, but it will not allow you to skip karma that was set in motion before you were born, or side-step important, challenging life circumstances that serve to strengthen your soul.
"Inside, you'll find all the tools you need to get anything you want out of life."
The last page in this book has one word in size 17, bolded font: "Sucker!" Really, there are no magic-bullet solutions to life's complexities, as most realize (or will realize, in time).
"...will help you learn how to manifest your desires so that you're living the joyous and fulfilling life you deserve. ...It's your birthright to live a life filled with everything that is good- and this book will show you how to make it so in every way!"
As we've stated many times in previous articles, we have found through extensive empirical research that everyone's birthrights are different, and no one is entitled to anything they have not earned in a karmic sense. Everything that is good they say? Without "bad" there would be no "good."
We half expect to soon see New Age books making promises such as, "You deserve to overcome the need to defecate" and, "It's your birthright to feel full of energy without ever sleeping again!"
"The world of endless possibilities is awaiting you."
Not really. What is waiting for you is what your soul has planned before you incarnated, and this may clash with what your ego-self (personality) wants.
"...Allows you to balance your key emotions in order to reach your destiny."
Simply "balancing your emotions" to get whatever you want is like just pasting an insincere smile on your face in an attempt to feel true fulfillment. Your destiny is not a destination, it's not "the life of your dreams" involving all the trappings of material and romantic success, and it's only sometimes what you consciously choose. It's your personal fate, and your soul dictates it, not your conscious mind.
It's ironic that the author of this book uses the word destiny in the title but clearly doesn't even understand its true meaning, the constant meaning that has been associated with the word since the ancients began predicting personal fate!
"...Helps you get in touch with the inexhaustible and natural flow of wealth. Once you tap into that flow, you can maintain and increase it indefinitely... You deserve to live a life of freedom, flow and trust."
Increase wealth indefinitely? We teach, such as in our Direct Your Destiny e-package, how to make the most of your life. We believe you do have free will to reach destined goals, and those that fit within your personal karmic and fated plan. However, no New Age or spiritual authors, to our knowledge, have directly or even indirectly helped to produce any billionaires, ever, but today there certainly are a lot of millionaire snake-oil sales people, er, ah, we mean New Age inspirational authors.
There exist personal limits in life and you can't reach any particular goal unless it's your fate to do so. If you don't believe this, you would if you had done as much objective work in this field as we have. It's impossible to deny the astonishing correlations between personal fate, karma, and past life regression work, well honed intuition, and the comprehensive numerology and astrology charts.
"Life is magical. It doesn't have to be difficult. The universe that we each experience can be a luminous one. Your life can be all you imagine."
We agree that life is magical, and as long as you have a great imagination, you can imagine anything you want.
In fact, imagination is a great tool to help bridge the gap to reality. But those dreams will not become reality unless they are part of your destined path. The good news is that if you're centered and grounded (regular meditation helps), you will naturally tend to draw your focus toward goals and dreams that are destined for you.
"One's positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, happiness."
This is extracted from one of the biggest selling metaphysical books published in recent years. We've written about it in prior articles.
It's unfortunate that this overly simplistic spiritual viewpoint, while denying all other conflicting spiritual laws, implies that people who suffer natural disasters or who die in plane crashes, for example, must have been low on positive thoughts that day.
Are these authors selling their souls to the devil to make a buck? Most of them likely mean well (we hope!), but just be wary of major life-changing claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Hey, we're all for lots of inspiration, but if it's not grounded in spiritual truth, ultimately it's not going to be for your highest good. Do you now see why the New Age has earned a bad reputation?
Commercially-corrupted versions of spirituality are hot sellers because the packaging is captivating, the marketing is powerful, instantaneous credibility is given to almost anyone who appears in mainstream media, a sheep-herd mentality exists, and people have always looked for immediate gratification and quick fixes.
We recommend reading whatever you're attracted to, as bits of wisdom and inspiration, often just what you need at the time, can be found in most books. But keep in mind that if the author promises, for example, a perfectly compatible soul mate or over-flowing financial abundance, these may not be your personal birthrights and such lofty goals are not going to be reached unless they are part of a person's destined path. Everyone's personal fate is different.
Within all self-help, inspirational, and spiritual books, we would like to see a one page disclaimer about the reality of fate and karma, and personal adversity, and how any promises the author makes aren't applicable to everyone, or even anyone. But then again, perhaps it's not everyone's personal fate and karma to be aware of the concepts of fate and karma, despite their lives being ruled by them.
Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo