I'm serving leftovers again...
Just a few snippets while I’m waiting on more information for a couple of other pieces I’ve been working on…
The word you may have been looking for
The Universe, or maybe it was just The Secret Word Genie, recently revealed a new word to Steven Sashen, who runs the delightful Anti-Guru blog. That brave new word is manifrustration, and it describes a phenomenon that I daresay has been experienced by most folks who have even a passing familiarity with New-Wage culture. Manifrustration is, among other things:
1. The unhappiness associated with not getting what you want after attempting to influence the universe with your thoughts
2. The displeasure that occurs when the manifestation "master" says you haven’t gotten what you want because there’s something wrong with you
There are several other definitions as well; click here for the complete list.
By the way, Jody at Guruphiliac beat me to this one by a few days, noting, "It’s too bad folks can’t un-manifest their money back out of the bank accounts of the con folk who flimflammed them." Any day now, someone is sure to discover an ancient secret, or develop a revolutionary technology, to do just that.
Beast meets West redux
Speaking of Jody, the other day he mentioned that Kalki and Amma, the MystiCouple at the head of Oneness University in India (a place we visited last November) may be under investigation for fraud, money laundering, and assorted other unsavory activities. Then again, they may not be. Jody received an anonymous tip and is still investigating the matter – or at least sitting around waiting for more information.
If Kalki and Amma and gang are indeed engaged in fraudulent activities, the notion of their being investigated and perhaps even brought to justice is intriguing, to say the least – though I wonder how such news would affect those members of the conspicuously enlightened set in the U.S. who have jumped aboard the Oneness train. But I guess we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit here. I noted with equal interest this comment from Gregory, a Westerner currently living in India (Gregory used to visit my Whirled, and would even comment occasionally, until he became frustrated by my profound shallowness):
this will have nothing to do with their innate criminality, and everything to do with if he has crossed (1) a politician, then (2) a police higher up, or (3) reneged on…[bribes]...
he has had charges against him that i know of more the ten years... and still goes on...
this is india, there is no justice system, only a power system…
An anonymous commenter gave further insight into the milieu that spawned Kalki and Amma and their ilk:
The masses are so incredibly stupid, you end up feeling maybe such idiots deserve such fraudulent gurus.
There are smoking saints, spitting saints, kicking saints, hugging saints, glaring saints, crawling saints...
And no doubt there are bleeding, puking, and crapping saints too. My guess is that things get pretty messy in India. While I don’t necessarily share the opinion that the masses are "stupid" – uneducated, poor, and desperate are not synonymous with "stupid" – I think the anon commenter makes a salient point. At the very least, the comment is a reminder that even though the U.S. often seems to be a hotbed of New-Wage madness, we obviously do not have a monopoly on silliness and irrationality.
Must-haves for your selfish-help library
First off, here’s a book that poses the question most of us have asked ourselves at one time or another: How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? by Robert Shemin. How well it answers that question, I can’t say because I haven't read it yet. But you gotta admit the title is compelling, and the book does promise to teach you how to become a rich idiot yourself.
And for people who just can’t get enough of those inspirational books based on appealing but not necessarily useful allegories, there is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John Davis Mann. I suppose I shouldn't call this a selfish-help book because it is, on the surface, not about selfishness at all. In fact it’s a parable about the virtues of giving in order to get; as the publisher’s blurb says, "Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb ‘Give and you shall receive.’"
I’m certainly not one to argue against the merits of giving. After all, I'm living proof of the rewards of giving; I write this blog for free and am richly rewarded every day. Further, The Go-Giver is not just a heartwarming parable; the authors also reveal something every business owner should know: The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.
So far the book has been lavishly praised by everybody from Marcy From Maui, Founder, Principal and Chief Fun & Abundance Officer of PowerfulIntentions.com, Inc. (you’ve met her here before), to Stephen Covey of The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People fame. Amazon readers seem to like it too, with the exception of one dour gent named Marc who gave it only two stars (there’s one in every crowd):
Specific examples please . . . ., January 2, 2008
By Marc E. Thomas "tax and commercial controversies"
Yes, I understand it's allegory. I've read a number of these books and there is no doubt they are well done, interesting, and offer a lesson. I'm a practicing attorney who has "given" (or written off) hundreds, thousands even, of hours of pro bono work in my practice with a genuine and unselfish purpose to help others. Clearly, this has not enhanced my financial success directly or indirectly---just the opposite. Fortunately, I didn't do it for that reason.
Like a lot books in this "genre," it would be very beneficial to understand the authors' financial status, independent of the sale of this book, not to mention some specific examples of real persons that achieved financial success of the "Pindar" sort, or at least in the neighborhood of a "Pindar."
And what would be wrong with that? The allegorical is imaginary. The underlying message, while admirable, in this day and in this time comes close to ringing hollow. Will there be a web site or newsletter providing proof that people following these five rules actually became successful financially, similar to the characters in the book? Will we understand the business, market, or industry, as well as the period of time, in which these successes took place and precisely how success was related to the five rules? Is this a probe for the authors' own business coaching or consultation business (no that there would be a thing wrong with that) so that we can expect specific examples of success from these rules? These aren't unreasonable expectations…
No, Marc, they're not unreasonable. But they are also expectations that most members of the authors' target market simply don't have. If the majority of readers suddenly started demanding "proof" or "evidence" or even "specific examples," the self-help industry would implode.
Schirmer taunting Rhonda’s lawyers?
David Schirmer, the embattled Aussie star of The Secret, seems to be saying "come and get me" to Rhonda Byrne’s legal department, who starred in a recent blog post here. Take a look at Schirmer’s new logo, which seems custom-made to create brand confusion. Then again, maybe his graphic designer just wanted to play a little joke on him.
Give ’em hell, Blair!
Finally, my friend Blair Warren has been having a bit of fun on the Warrior Forum with a perennially hot topic, the Law Of Attraction. One of the folks who responded to his remarks is Heather Vale, the "Dana Scully of Success," whom I briefly wrote about here last year (third item down). Go get ’em Blair.
That’s it for now…more soon. And if you are puzzled about yet another here-today, gone-tonight post on this Whirled, it's nothing to worry about. I'm just doing some...umm...editing.