Just weeks after my son was killed in a car accident, a well-known New Thought minister in the Dallas Ft. Worth area said to me, “Michael I know it’s difficult but somewhere along the line, you chose this experience.” Inwardly vowing to never say that to another living soul, I did the only thing I was capable of doing at the time, I turned and walked away.

  1. You choose what you experience in life

This is one of the most insidious and callous of the New Age spiritual platitudes. It stems from the misbelief that we are more awake in the astral world than we are in this one and we, as souls, can choose what we will and won’t experience when we come to the material realm. If anything, we are less awake with fewer choices in the astral realm because the ajna chakra must be fully opened for us to function freely there.   

The truth is that the soul is inescapably drawn to the moment of birth in this world by karma, when all energies are ripe for us to experience what we must experience, overcome what we can overcome, and transcend that which we can transcend.

We do not sit on an astral cloud and say to the universe “hmm, pain and suffering or joy and pleasure? I’ll take pain and suffering for $200.00 universal Alex.”

  • They are doing the best they can

In truth, this is a statement of judgement. If we are allowed to say “bless their hearts, they are doing the best they can.” Are we then permitted to say about someone else “but they, whew… they are doing the worst they can.”  We don’t know when someone is doing the best they can or the worst they can or somewhere in-between.

The only thing we can say with any accuracy is, “they are coming from their states of awareness.” Then, we can choose to be kind, friendly, and equal minded.

  • God never gives you more than you can handle

God is not a little old man or woman sitting on a throne doling out experiences. Of course life can be overwhelming and too difficult for some. This is evidenced by the number of suicides that occur each year.

It is up to us to be there to support, uplift and hold gently those fellow human beings who are struggling to move forward through a difficult time in their lives.

It is harder for some of us and we, as spiritual beings, must offer our compassion and have practical support available and ready for others when they need it.

  • Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

YEAH, TRY IT! Nowhere in any spiritual text does it say this. If anything, all spiritual masters have said the exact opposite.

A noble truth of Buddhism is that suffering is inherent to life. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras say suffering is part of life but there is a way out. In Christianity, “It rains on the just and unjust alike.” I could continue but you get the point. 

The only people who espouse this point of view are those whose worst experience in life was that someone stole their pencil in the third grade. Those of us who have truly suffered know that the suffering wasn’t optional, that it was a whip that drove us to God. We fully empathize with the suffering of humanity and are willing to work to help them escape it.

Suffering is part of this life but we can help others find their way out of it.

  • We are co-creators with God

“I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30. If Jesus said he was not a co-creator, who are we to claim we are? Joel Goldsmith left the Science of Mind movement over this issue.

The mistake made here is in believing that the mind creates. The mind does not create; Only Spirit Creates. The mind gives form, not substance. If we are not inspired by spirit to give form in the mind then it is only an exercise of ego that we are practicing. We are not to try and create this world in the forges of our imaginations. Who are we to dictate to spirit how this world should be?  It is hubris in its most devious form when we think we are gods playing the role of creator.

The way to freedom is not by miring ourselves deeper in ego by trying to manipulate this world in our minds. The way to freedom is through surrender, radical acceptance and realization of our spiritual identity.