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Author Topic: What's with Americans obsession with these nutjob self-help gurus?  (Read 1212 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 24, 2012, 03:40:04 PM »

Quote
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/At-least-21-treated-for-burns-after-Robbins-event-3724408.php

lol at these desperate middle-aged people flock people like Tony Robbins to help with their mid-life crisis. But hey you gotta pay money to make the money right? Keep working hard and HAVE POSITIVE THINKING and you'll be a millionaire!

These conventions are very cultish like and I'm sure it costs thousands to get in.
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 03:43:14 PM »

Quote
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/At-least-21-treated-for-burns-after-Robbins-event-3724408.php

lol at these desperate middle-aged people flock people like Tony Robbins to help with their mid-life crisis. But hey you gotta pay money to make the money right? Keep working hard and HAVE POSITIVE THINKING and you'll be a millionaire!

These conventions are very cultish like and I'm sure it costs thousands to get in.

So you're laughing at people who are looking for help.

You've hit a new low, buddy.
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 03:57:41 PM »

Quote
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/At-least-21-treated-for-burns-after-Robbins-event-3724408.php

lol at these desperate middle-aged people flock people like Tony Robbins to help with their mid-life crisis. But hey you gotta pay money to make the money right? Keep working hard and HAVE POSITIVE THINKING and you'll be a millionaire!

These conventions are very cultish like and I'm sure it costs thousands to get in.

So you're laughing at people who are looking for help.

You've hit a new low, buddy.

I think they're more like the followers of Baal cutting themselves and asking Baal to help them.

"Call louder. Maybe he is on the toilet," Elijah mocked.
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 04:04:52 PM »

they're more like lost sheep in the wilderness bleating for a shepherd.

seriously, at least the people who go to these seminars take a look at themselves and say, "you know, i'm NOT happy.  i don't like my life.  but i need help changing."

granted, they're looking in the wrong place, but at least they're looking, unlike the millions of lemmings who placidly follow their neighbors into whatever earthly hell they happen to be attracted to or, worse yet, the so called "enlightened" religious folks who point and laugh at their neighbor's pain and suffering.

not all of these seminars are about money, either.  they may touch on the topic, but they're mostly about taking control of one's own life.

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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 04:08:58 PM »

(Please reread the title of this thread before continuing - and note that I'm quite aware I'm acting a bit loonie today  Cheesy)

I don't think I'll comment on this phenomenon of American culture except to point out that it likely has equivalents elsewhere.
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 04:09:02 PM »

they're more like lost sheep in the wilderness bleating for a shepherd.

seriously, at least the people who go to these seminars take a look at themselves and say, "you know, i'm NOT happy.  i don't like my life.  but i need help changing."

granted, they're looking in the wrong place, but at least they're looking, unlike the millions of lemmings who placidly follow their neighbors into whatever earthly hell they happen to be attracted to or, worse yet, the so called "enlightened" religious folks who point and laugh at their neighbor's pain and suffering.

not all of these seminars are about money, either.  they may touch on the topic, but they're mostly about taking control of one's own life.

I just mentioned something similar in another board that must not be named or quoted.  Orthodoxy doesn't really do much to reach out to such people.  The only way for them to become Orthodox is to become an Evangelical first and eventually want something more structured / liturgical.  After they convert to Catholicism they need to get tired of the banality of the current American manifestation of Catholicism.  Then there is a slight chance they might make it to Orthodoxy.  
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 04:09:44 PM »

i just don't understand ppl abdicating common sense.
"Now walk on these hot coals"
"OK"




"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!...."

If one or two folks had tried this and gotten hurt, I could see considering it. But when you've seen a dozen ppl get 2nd and 3rd degree burns before you...stop and think!
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 04:09:55 PM »

(Please reread the title of this thread before continuing - and note that I'm quite aware I'm acting a bit loonie today  Cheesy)

I don't think I'll comment on this phenomenon of American culture except to point out that it likely has equivalents elsewhere.

Yup.  These people are HUGE in the former USSR / Holy Rus'.  
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 04:15:35 PM »

they're more like lost sheep in the wilderness bleating for a shepherd.

seriously, at least the people who go to these seminars take a look at themselves and say, "you know, i'm NOT happy.  i don't like my life.  but i need help changing."

granted, they're looking in the wrong place, but at least they're looking, unlike the millions of lemmings who placidly follow their neighbors into whatever earthly hell they happen to be attracted to or, worse yet, the so called "enlightened" religious folks who point and laugh at their neighbor's pain and suffering.

not all of these seminars are about money, either.  they may touch on the topic, but they're mostly about taking control of one's own life.

I just mentioned something similar in another board that must not be named or quoted.  Orthodoxy doesn't really do much to reach out to such people.  The only way for them to become Orthodox is to become an Evangelical first and eventually want something more structured / liturgical.  After they convert to Catholicism they need to get tired of the banality of the current American manifestation of Catholicism.  Then there is a slight chance they might make it to Orthodoxy.  

If you were living here, maybe your perspective would be more balanced. There are people coming to Orthodoxy from other Christian groups because they're searching or tired or whatever, but that's not 100% of our converts.
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 04:17:42 PM »

Quote
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/At-least-21-treated-for-burns-after-Robbins-event-3724408.php

lol at these desperate middle-aged people flock people like Tony Robbins to help with their mid-life crisis. But hey you gotta pay money to make the money right? Keep working hard and HAVE POSITIVE THINKING and you'll be a millionaire!

These conventions are very cultish like and I'm sure it costs thousands to get in.

So you're laughing at people who are looking for help.

You've hit a new low, buddy.
Have you actually listened to any of Tony Robbins stuff or seen that convention? My dad went to the latter .
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 04:21:52 PM »

they're more like lost sheep in the wilderness bleating for a shepherd.

seriously, at least the people who go to these seminars take a look at themselves and say, "you know, i'm NOT happy.  i don't like my life.  but i need help changing."

granted, they're looking in the wrong place, but at least they're looking, unlike the millions of lemmings who placidly follow their neighbors into whatever earthly hell they happen to be attracted to or, worse yet, the so called "enlightened" religious folks who point and laugh at their neighbor's pain and suffering.

not all of these seminars are about money, either.  they may touch on the topic, but they're mostly about taking control of one's own life.

I just mentioned something similar in another board that must not be named or quoted.  Orthodoxy doesn't really do much to reach out to such people.  The only way for them to become Orthodox is to become an Evangelical first and eventually want something more structured / liturgical.  After they convert to Catholicism they need to get tired of the banality of the current American manifestation of Catholicism.  Then there is a slight chance they might make it to Orthodoxy.  

If you were living here, maybe your perspective would be more balanced. There are people coming to Orthodoxy from other Christian groups because they're searching or tired or whatever, but that's not 100% of our converts.

It has been about four years since I lived in the US full-time, so you probably have a point.  Nonetheless there seems to be relatively little effort directed towards anything but dissatisfied congregants of group X.  But I can say that to some extent my observations are equally valid about the UOC-MP.  Let the Protestants do the heavy lifting of bringing people to Christ and then cherry pick from them.  
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 04:52:04 PM »

they're more like lost sheep in the wilderness bleating for a shepherd.

seriously, at least the people who go to these seminars take a look at themselves and say, "you know, i'm NOT happy.  i don't like my life.  but i need help changing."

granted, they're looking in the wrong place, but at least they're looking, unlike the millions of lemmings who placidly follow their neighbors into whatever earthly hell they happen to be attracted to or, worse yet, the so called "enlightened" religious folks who point and laugh at their neighbor's pain and suffering.

not all of these seminars are about money, either.  they may touch on the topic, but they're mostly about taking control of one's own life.

I just mentioned something similar in another board that must not be named or quoted.  Orthodoxy doesn't really do much to reach out to such people.  The only way for them to become Orthodox is to become an Evangelical first and eventually want something more structured / liturgical.  After they convert to Catholicism they need to get tired of the banality of the current American manifestation of Catholicism.  Then there is a slight chance they might make it to Orthodoxy.  

If you were living here, maybe your perspective would be more balanced. There are people coming to Orthodoxy from other Christian groups because they're searching or tired or whatever, but that's not 100% of our converts.

It has been about four years since I lived in the US full-time, so you probably have a point.  Nonetheless there seems to be relatively little effort directed towards anything but dissatisfied congregants of group X.  But I can say that to some extent my observations are equally valid about the UOC-MP.  Let the Protestants do the heavy lifting of bringing people to Christ and then cherry pick from them.  

Not all Protestants actually bring people to Christ, but to a weird imitation of Him.

We're rich on resources, but poor on vision here. We build things. We're not great theologians or ascetics or people of faith. We have different aptitudes and gifts. (Don't try to tell me Russians are builders. I've been in some of the things they've built--scary! I'd imagine Ukrainians are a bit the same. It may just be the Soviet legacy.)
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 07:02:19 PM »

When it comes to the self-help genre, there are some wonderful books available.  Personally, the book by Dale Carnegie "How To Win Friends and Influence People" is by far the best secular one around.  The Book of Proverbs, IMO, is probably THE best.  "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey is also a good book.  These books really do teach you how to stop complaining, how to stop blaming others, how to stop judging, how to be humble and taking control of your own life.  I think people get into trouble when they focus exclusively on a person.  That sort of adulation can quickly become a cult of personality.  A personal example from years ago;  I bought a book by Dr. Phil called "Life Strategies" a long time back (great book, btw).  The folks who chose to do the hard work of working on themselves achieved success of various degrees.  The folks who focused on Dr. Phil the man, did not.  I went to one of his seminars and there were people there who had the book but who really had no idea that bettering oneself takes diligence, determination and time.  One person had "Save Me Dr. Phil" on their shirt.  He actually chastised them and explained that bettering oneself was hard work and that there was already a Savior. 

I don't know much about Tony Robbins, though I've heard of him over the years.  He's been around for quite some time so I would guess what he has to say might actually be the real deal.  But again, regardless of WHO the messenger is, YOU have to do the hard work.  Simply being in the presence of these folks might motivate you, but you have to use good judgement and you have to do the work because no one can change you but you. 
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 07:26:03 PM »

There is too much to say here about the reasons for such nonsense being especially important in America for some time. (Unfortunately, there are some big names in Orthodoxy who preach such BS as well.)

No time or rather not feeling well enough to make many comments, but for fun enjoy some animation on the subject:

Smile or Die - RSA Animate

Quote
Acclaimed journalist, author and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich explores the darker side of positive thinking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5um8QWWRvo
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 10:13:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

This connects directly with our brother Gebre Menfes Kiddus' post about Economia/Clergy, in that, we have priests in our lives because we need priests in our lives.  Many Americans do not have this relationship with Orthodox or Catholic or even Lutheran clergy.  Sacramental Christianity is a strong minority at best, after all, no doubt the Catholic block has a strong lobbying presence and cultural influence in this country, and Orthodox isn't entirely hapless here either, but most Christians are Protestants.  They lack the Sacramental relationship with Ordained clergy, who are sent to God on our behalf to be our sanctified self-help gurus.  This is a  natural process and instinct, to seek a guru, which is why God has always obliged in sending us priests, be they of Aaron or of Christ and the Church.  I suppose to address the OP more specifically, we should constantly point out priests and the Church to folks in our lives and neighborhoods and workplaces when we see them seeking such kinds of help and guidance.  Often when I am talking to people at the corner store, or the bus stop, or the water cooler, or even at family gathers, when we are talking about serious matters that require help or advice or real substantive guidance, I always talk positively and suggestively about priests and clergy.  I mention how the relationship with them is much like therapists or psychologists, and even how many are professionally trained in these fields. Most of all I give emphatic witness of how much my own relationship with priests has helped my life and helped me keep my own head straight and my life in the upright direction.  A lot of people have been surprisingly receptive to these conversations praise the Lord!

stay  blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 11:27:55 PM »

In my experience many of those obsessed with so-called self-help are generally rather healthy, successful and happy people, who are not so much looking to be helped out of some ditch as they are lusting to be propelled above and beyond everyone else to the pink fluffy clouds of awesomeness. "Self-help" is often just a euphemism for self-aggrandisement.
 
Every human being is indeed capable of achieving superhuman feats and rising above their own nature; but "partaking of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) can't be achieved through artificial efforts to manipulate your thoughts, or by any visualisation, imagination or mechanical techniques or rituals. It's achieved by "[escaping] the corruption that is in the world by lust". It's as simple and as difficult as that.
 
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012, 11:46:27 PM »

I know a very good Orthodox priest who has been reading self-help stuff for decades (and continues doing so)... *shrugs*
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2012, 12:45:35 AM »

In my experience many of those obsessed with so-called self-help are generally rather healthy, successful and happy people, who are not so much looking to be helped out of some ditch as they are lusting to be propelled above and beyond everyone else to the pink fluffy clouds of awesomeness. "Self-help" is often just a euphemism for self-aggrandisement.
I disagree.  The two that I know are laid back and very humble.  They're simply interested in improving themselves.

 
Every human being is indeed capable of achieving superhuman feats and rising above their own nature; but "partaking of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) can't be achieved through artificial efforts to manipulate your thoughts, or by any visualisation, imagination or mechanical techniques or rituals. 
The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".  It's just about improving one's disposition, or outlook.  "When we choose the behavior, we choose the consequence" is an example of the Self-Help teaching that I'm familiar with and as far as I'm concerned, that is very true. 
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2012, 02:24:58 AM »

Quote
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/At-least-21-treated-for-burns-after-Robbins-event-3724408.php

lol at these desperate middle-aged people flock people like Tony Robbins to help with their mid-life crisis. But hey you gotta pay money to make the money right? Keep working hard and HAVE POSITIVE THINKING and you'll be a millionaire!

These conventions are very cultish like and I'm sure it costs thousands to get in.

So you're laughing at people who are looking for help.

You've hit a new low, buddy.
Have you actually listened to any of Tony Robbins stuff or seen that convention? My dad went to the latter .
Did you actually read what Schultz said? He didn't criticize Tony Robbins. He criticized individuals like you who laugh at those persons desperate enough to seek help.
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2012, 03:50:25 AM »

Quote
The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.


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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2012, 05:19:37 AM »

Quote
Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called "Unleash the Power Within" at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/At-least-21-treated-for-burns-after-Robbins-event-3724408.php

lol at these desperate middle-aged people flock people like Tony Robbins to help with their mid-life crisis. But hey you gotta pay money to make the money right? Keep working hard and HAVE POSITIVE THINKING and you'll be a millionaire!

These conventions are very cultish like and I'm sure it costs thousands to get in.

So you're laughing at people who are looking for help.

You've hit a new low, buddy.
Have you actually listened to any of Tony Robbins stuff or seen that convention? My dad went to the latter .
Did you actually read what Schultz said? He didn't criticize Tony Robbins. He criticized individuals like you who laugh at those persons desperate enough to seek help.
These people are hardly here to help, though. But the question is relevant.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 05:19:49 AM by Achronos » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2012, 06:19:33 AM »

Quote
The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



All they pretty much promote is New Age BS.
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2012, 07:23:16 AM »

Quote
The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



All they pretty much promote is New Age BS.

Or such horridly unorthodox things such as time management, prioritizing, stress management, etc.  All evil things. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2012, 07:26:33 AM »

Quote
The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



All they pretty much promote is New Age BS.

Or such horridly unorthodox things such as time management, prioritizing, stress management, etc.  All evil things. 
Are you familiar with the Secret?
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2012, 09:04:30 AM »

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The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



All they pretty much promote is New Age BS.

Or such horridly unorthodox things such as time management, prioritizing, stress management, etc.  All evil things. 

To quote one of the greatest self-help speakers of all time: "don't be an idiot".
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2012, 01:43:17 PM »

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The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



It dawned on me that we might be thinking of two distinct forms, or types, of self-help genres.  I completely agree with your above analysis.   Νεκτάριος alluded to the type I had in mind.
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2012, 01:58:54 PM »

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The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



It dawned on me that we might be thinking of two distinct forms, or types, of self-help genres.  I completely agree with your above analysis.   Νεκτάριος alluded to the type I had in mind.

Right.  The only real self-help book that I've is from a guy who is popular in the former USSR, Bodo Schäffer.  The biggest things I took away from the book were to manage my time and money better.   There was some vaguely spiritual "be thankful to be alive" sort of stuff. 
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« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2012, 05:27:00 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Orthodox Self-Help Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2012, 09:47:10 PM »

^^ Wonderful book, highly highly recommend. 
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2012, 10:12:59 PM »

Quote
The so-called Self-Help genre might be misguided in places, but it has never, afaik, sought to "partake of the divine nature".

What I'm suggesting is that there are a number of "self-help" philosophies which essentially try to promise that which can only be authentically achieved by that Grace that comes from communion with God; namely, transcendence beyond the limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings associated with fallen humanity.

Such philosophies tend to speak of some vague and nebulous "infinite potential" within man, and propose various cognitive and behavioural methods for realising such a potential; most of which tend to be of a nature directly at odds with the sort of ascetic and self-denying spirit needed to draw upon that Grace from above which enables us to partake of the divine nature.



It dawned on me that we might be thinking of two distinct forms, or types, of self-help genres.  I completely agree with your above analysis.   Νεκτάριος alluded to the type I had in mind.

The "form" Achronos and I are being critical of is the much more prevalent and popular "form" within the genre. Just take at a look at the top selling self-help books of any book retailer. Some patently advocate "New Age" ideas, others do so a little more subtly, but surely nonetheless. 

The more mundane, common-sense kind of stuff simply doesn't sell as well because it's basically the type of stuff most people learn free of charge from personal life experience and from their experience communicating with and relating to other people from all walks and areas of life. 
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"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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