Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Church of Steve Pavlina

Update: I've been conversing with Steve via email (my initiation, not his...I point that out because I don't want to give the impression that he is being critical of any of this article). He's decided to not submit himself to the JREF challenge (he points to this blog entry for his reasoning), but has provided some more background information on the college graduation. Apparently, he graduated from CSUN with his double major, and served as President of the Association of Shareware Professionals in 2000. I've informed him that any proof he (or anyone else) provides for the claims I bring up in this article will be posted. My goal here is to seek the truth in this matter. The article will stand as originally written with new evidence appearing in updates such as this.



One of the sites that I read quite frequently is lifehacker. I think it's a great site with lots of cool software, tips, and tricks that are great ways to maintain organization, simplify processes, and generally learn about interesting things. Lots of great DIY projects to suck up free time as well.

One of the core sites that they seem to refer back to again and again is Steve Pavlina's weblog. They've featured articles on how he works, how he gave up coffee, and how he gets up early, among others. Steve is a bit of a productivity, self-improvement guru, who has taken a whole host of self-help, feel-good, nonsense from a variety of sources, rolled it together, repackaged it, and made it his own.

Via lifehacker, I kept getting sucked into poking around Steve's website and finding myself amazed at the outrageous claims that he would make. He is, as lifehacker describes him, a "prolific productivity writer and entrepreneur." On his site he describes himself as "intensely growth oriented," and his website is subtitled as "Personal Development for Smart People".

The Mythology of Steve
Steve makes some pretty wild claims about his life, many that I find hard to believe. For instance, he claims, through the application of incredible focus and discipline, to have graduated from college with a double major in a mere three semesters! He claims to have taken 30+ hours a semester, worked a full-time job his last year, and served as the head of the local computing organization, while maintaining a 3.9 GPR and having adequate time to socialize, do errands and housekeeping duties as well. While all of this was going on he, "continued reading time management material and applying what [he] learned, but [he] also devised some original ideas."

He also talks about triaging course work and refusing to do assignments, not showing up to classes he thought were worthless, and a whole host of far-fetched ideas that sound great on the surface, but definitely don't seem applicable if you intend to get a 3.9+ GPR. He then goes on to give conflicting advice, like, "During one of these sacred time blocks, do nothing but the activity that's right in front of you," only to be followed by "the best way I know to keep up is to multitask whenever possible." He caveats this by saying that multitasking should not be used where it will "degrade performance," but it should be used on low level tasks. But then he goes on to talk about taking advantage of dead class time and working on other class assignments during boring lectures, and also instantly memorizing all material presented the first time through.

All of this advice on the surface, by itself, sounds like it should be plausible to implement. But it fails in the same way that most self-help fails; it's full of non-actionable platitudes. For instance, how do I go about determining which classes to blow off and which to attend, at the beginning of a semester when I know nothing about the teacher, their exam preferences, or even the skill level of the rest of the class (which determines the grade curve)? How do I instantly memorize new material the first time through so I don't have to read outside of class? These are just a few instances of a series of problems like this.

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
On the surface the list of accomplishments sounds impressive (the college thing being just one of them). However, there is no evidence of any of this being true. Steve claims to make about $9000/month from his website via ads, donations, and other services, and claims that it is not his only source of income. There is no proof of this other than his word. How about a scan of a few monthly Google Ad-Sense checks? Or a tax return for the web business if it's broken out into a separate company?

Even if he doesn't want to publish his income figures, how about backing up some of the other claims? A college transcript would be a good start, since that usually breaks down what semesters you took what courses. Even the name of his college where he got his degrees would be helpful. How about one of those "glowing letters of recommendations" he received from his professors, or even a copy of his "student of the year" award that he mentions? At this point, anything would be a good start.

Pavlina provides nothing other than his word, which becomes more and more suspect as you stroll through the site.

Multiple Sources of Income
One of the many sources of income that Pavlina taps into is his wife, Erin's, "intuitive reading services." For $45 you can email Erin up to three questions, along with a photo, and she will use her psychic abilities to answer them. My first question is, why do you need a photo? For $90 you can talk to Erin for 20-30 minutes over the phone and she will provide intuitive readings in which she can give you more in-depth information and allow you to ask follow-on questions. Her specialty is helping you see "where you're at on your life path and where your guides would like you to be going." Steve claims to have these abilities as well, but decided not to pursue it as a career himself. Something about spirit guides telling him it wasn't his destiny or something.

As is common with the self-help gurus, Steve and his wife have bought into and promote a wide variety of psychic nonsense, from intuitive readings, psychokinesis, astral projection, herbal remedies, qi gong, communication with the dead, lucid dreaming, and intention manifestation (if you think it, it will come).

The Death of Skepticism?
All of this nonsense has been getting more apparent on the personal productivity site that Steve runs. He details the results of a spirituality seminar he and his wife attended and then explains why his wife has started charging for her services. His recent articles "The Death of Skepticism" and "The Law of Attraction" are examples of more of this woo-wooism.

I was quite amazed by the "Death of Skepticism" post. Being an unabashed skeptic myself, and being a living being, I have to say, "reports of my death have been greatly exagerrated." Once I got over the shock of the title, I read through the article and was absolutely amazed at the shoddy thinking rampant throughout. I've dissected it below because I think it's a decent example of faulty logic.

Pavlina starts out by saying:

Skepticism is the mindset that says, “I’ll believe it when I see it… and even then I’ll still have doubts.”

This is a straw-man argument, essentially Pavlina redefines skepticism so that it will be easier to attack and argue against convincingly. In truth, skepticism is the belief that knowledge is obtained through observation, testing, and the gathering of empirical evidence (data points), and drawing conclusions from that evidence. You ignore things like what you see, hear, or feel, and pay attention to what you can measure and record. People tell stories, see false patterns, and hear strange noises and draw erroneous conclusions all the time.

The best example of how a skeptic operates I can give is one of Bayesian probability. If I flip a coin without letting you examine it and I flip heads, do you instantly think I have a two-headed coin? Probably not.

What if I flip 3 heads in a row? You're probably still not worried.

What about 25 heads in a row? Not impossible, but improbable enough that you'd want to examine the coin. Closely.

You would not, without examining the coin, publish an article about how the laws of probability are bunk, or the person tossing the coin is controlling the coin with his mind, or how the coin toss is affected by life affirmations! But that is essentially what Steve is doing when he talks about the effects of his lucid dreaming, his thought channeling, and all the other nonsense he goes on about.

He goes on...
The basic idea of skepticism is that you should doubt that for which you’ve seen little or no evidence. Apparently it’s cool to be a doubter these days. Plus it’s always easy to poke holes in someone else’s beliefs from the outside looking in.

Ahh...here Pavlina attacks the establishment and uses the Underdog Fallacy to gain sympathy. Those cold, unfeeling scientists with their instruments and test tubes can't possibly have the requisite positive spiritual energy alignment to see what I've seen. How can they comprehend the grandeur of the universe? By implying that it's cool to be a doubter (he provides no evidence of this one way or another), he is insinuating that the popular vote is not always the right vote. This is absolutely correct, but it's also not always the wrong vote, either. As a matter of fact, popularity has nothing to do with truth one way or the other.

The problem with most skeptics though is that they don’t take skepticism far enough. If you want to be a true skeptic, then you also need to be skeptical about skepticism.

Fair enough. Let's get skeptical about skepticism. What has skepticism given us? Well, for one it's allowed us to understand basic principles of physics, which has allowed us to put a man on the moon. It's allowed us to understand the underlying principles of genetics, and do pre-natal screens for diseases like Down's Syndrome, it's given us vaccines to cure diseases like smallpox, and drug cocktails that are helping people with AIDS and a whole host of other great things. Furthermore, it's given us a framework to determine if some of the traditional remedies like homeopathy, magnet therapy, psychic communion, feng shui, numerology, and chiropracty actually work. It's also helped us analyze newer types of psuedoscience like perpetual motion and alien abduction to see whether these things are true. We can look at the statistics behind psychic surgery and determine whether it's effective. Same thing with reflexology and magnet therapy. How about the power of prayer? Yup, we can measure that too.

So now that we're done being skeptical about skepticism, let's turn the same critical eye on things Steve endorses. Studies on life affirmations and goal setting? Turns out the only study these gurus refer to over and over turns out to be a myth.

If the universe was truly influenced by my thoughts, but I believed it wasn’t, then I’d be using subjectivity to manifest objectivity. So I had to know – was the universe really objective, or was I manifesting the illusion of objectivity in a subjective universe?

Unfortunately, testing for subjectivity is an oxymoron. You can’t actually test for a subjective universe.


Actually, you can, and it's really easy to do. Simply take a survey of a large enough sample of people and have them make intentions, or pray, or consult psychic advisors and compare their results to people who don't do this stuff and measure their results against people striving for the same goals and not praying, etc. A simple test like a series of coin flips should be sufficient. You'll find what the rest of us have found, random chance is a much better predictor than any intentions you may have.

The whole idea of testing implies doubt, and doubt will corrupt the test if the universe really is subjective
By this logic, subjectivity would appear to be a waste of time anyway. If the universe is truly subjective, than all physical laws should be able to be repealed at a moment's notice provided the will directing them is strong enough. By this same extension, it should logically follow that the stronger subjective will would win in a contest of two subjective universe participants with diametrically opposed intentions. In short, if you and I flip a coin and I will it to be heads and you will it to be tails, the stronger will should prevail in a subjective universe. So if a subjective universe proponent goes up against an objective universe proponent in an experimental test, the one who has the most will should win. In short, subjectivites should be influencing the tests in their favor. The negative naysayers should be getting proved wrong time and again, because they're not intentionally manifesting anything. Even if they were, I've got to imagine the chi-wielding, feng shui focusing, psychic communing powerhouses of the world would be shutting them down. But they don't. Ever. No controlled study has ever been done that has found in favor of a subjective universe where intentions can be manifested through thought alone. So this means either the universe is objective, or it's subjective and all us objectivites are putting a perpetual aura of objectivism out there that's precluding all attempts of subjectivity anyway. Sorry to be harshing your mellow, Steve! But either way, for all intents and purposes the universe becomes objective!

Ultimately skepticism is rooted in fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of being gullible. Fear of living foolishly.
This is an appeal to sympathy. You don't want to live in fear, do you? Skepticism is full of fear. Don't believe in skepticism!

Actually, I find skepticism to be incredibly enlightening and fascinating. We have the capability to split atomic particles; we live in a universe where an incredibly complex strand of amino acids plays a major role in determining our height, weight, eye color, and even our daily emotions and responses, and replicates millions of times a day without error due to basic universal principles; where simple processes of natural selection and evolution have led to the rise of a wide diversity of life, from humans to wasps that make cockroaches into zombies.

I personally find this much more satisfying than the concept that putting my sofa in a different corner of my living room will align my spirit energy. Or the crazy notion that angels sit on my shoulder and whisper thoughts into my head.

I would think that if I believed in a subjective universe, and the universe was really objective, then my ability to function should decrease.

This statement is erroneous on so many levels. Putting the argument from incredulity aside, the most obvious problem is that it is drawing a false premise. If the universe is objective, and I believe in a subjective world-view, than I should make mistakes that should hinder my success. The last part of the sentence doesn't follow from the first. Logically, it's a non-sequitur. Being wrong does not denote failure to achieve goals implicitly, you could have a string of good luck, you could be doing things that are beneficial in both a subjective and objective universe. Certain things, like hard work, for example, can be beneficial in both instances. Also, people win in Vegas all the time. Most just don't have much luck making a career out of it.

Or you could do what most self-help gurus do and redefine failure as postponed success, and claim that the failure made you grow into some future success that will come down the pipe. For example, Tony Robbins gave relationship advice about how to maintain a committed relationship that was full of passion, love, and romance. Then, he got a divorce and claimed that now that he had gone through the pain of a divorce and the success of finding a new life partner he was truly ready to give people the final word on...how to create a really successful relationship full of passion, love, and romance. Same goes for Wayne Dyer. It's a classic case of heads I win, tails you lose.

Finally, your subjective worldview could cause you to make money in an objective world off people by convincing them to pay you for your brand of nonsense. But really, when you factor in all the self-help drivel that Steve is paying to read, all the seminars he attends dealing with angels, and psychic friends, and magical spirits, and the like, he IS coming out behind. That is lost income, lost time, and lost effort that could be put to more productive use elsewhere.

Steve then goes on to outline his "intelligent alternative to skepticism." Since he's done so well in redefining skepticism for his own uses earlier in the article, he continues doing so.
A skeptic is concerned about the probabilities of success vs. failure in any endeavor. For example, before a skeptic starts his/her own business, lots of questions must be answered to alleviate fear and doubt. How well are other people doing in this industry? Do I have enough money? How will I support myself? What if it doesn’t work? Am I good enough? What are my chances of success?
My experience with skeptics is that they are less concerned with success or failure and more concerned with truth versus fantasy. Plenty of skeptics have businesses. Einstein wasn't particularly concerned with popularity, neither was Richard Feynman. As for business enterprises, Harry Houdini, James "The Amazing" Randi, and Penn & Teller have all had successful careers and would be what one could define as entrepreneurs by the classic definition. They weren't too concerned with failure when they started with no money, many times performing shows on the streets for a few dollars while they were establishing themselves.

An Open Challenge to Mr. Pavlina
It is quite possible that Mr. Pavlina and his wife are sincere in their beliefs that they have these amazing psychic gifts despite the fact that these types of phenomenon have never been manifested under controlled experimental conditions. Ever.

Another of Steve's main interests is the $1 Million Experiment. Essentially, you sign on for free and then use daily affirmations to, as Napoleon Hill would say, "think and grow rich." The end goal is for everyone who signs up to manifest their way to $1 million dollars, including Steve. Think of it as a combination of Stuart Smalley and Dave Chappelle; "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggone it, I'M RICH BEEYOTCH!"

Well, I've got a great way for Pavlina to fulfill his $1 million manifestation, put the final nail in the coffin of skepticism, and prove these psychic gifts exist. The JREF Million Dollar Challenge! That's right Steve, for a measly couple of hours of your time, you and your wife can undertake a controlled experiment, with a previously agreed upon protocol, put your psychic abilities to the test and walk out with a cool million bucks for your trouble. Not bad, huh? Here's what you need to do to apply.

By the way, if Steve gets another chance to talk to Sylvia Browne again, he may want to ask her how she's coming along on getting ready to take the JREF Million Dollar Challenge. Then again, he may want to keep quiet since she might get to the prize money before he or his wife does. But I doubt it.

Tags:

57 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

I'm not sure I'd trust anyone who gave up coffee and then bragged about it.

9:52 PM  
Blogger blinding pain said...

$10,000 in an hour was my introduction to Pavlina. I bookmarked it because there was a kernel or two of something I could take with me. The rest, well, could be left behind.

As you have so beautifully pointed out, there is a lot his writing doesn't do well under close scrutiny. He does have a message that a lot of people seem to like and I can't tell you how many take everything to heart or if most people just sift out the hyperbole to get to the core. And by core message, I mean that you can help yourself, not the message "Send Steve Pavlina money!"

Like a lot of "personal development" gurus, he knows he has to pad his message. No one is going to buy a list of bullet points. The shelves are full of books that should rightly be pamphlets.

A message that you can make a positive impact in your own life is still a good one. Even if the message is surrounded by content that raises more questions that it answers.

12:05 AM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

Having a message that's liked and having a message that is effective are two different things. The vast majority of people who attend a self-help seminar or read a book, "feel" they've been helped.

I'm a firm believer in having a positive impact, and working hard to improve yourself and the world you live in. The problem with the "self-help" industry is that it is selling an impossible dream (and an incredibly shallow one at that). It is myopic and self-centered to think that you and your goals are the center of the universe. Instead of fostering cooperation and cohesion, this movement creates of rampaging egos that feel they deserve to be put in charge of whatever they desire, regardless of credentials.

The mentality that these people encourage is one of endlessly tinkering with yourself; your mind, your spirit, your goals, your action plans. They don't want you to get off the "life planning" cart, cuz then you'll stop showing up to the seminars. Much like the late night infomercials of the pasta strainer/pot, these people solve problems you never knew you had!

11:34 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

that post you link to in the update sounds like a massive case of solipsism to me.

that said, I've always thought those pasta pots were a pretty good invention. Could Ed's capitalist facade be crumbling?

9:17 PM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

Matt, I agree. He's bending over backwards to explain why he can't take the JREF test. Very nice guy, but unfortunately, I think he's very deluded. Apparently, his wife is going to appear on an episode of Criss Angel's "Mindfreak" in October doing her intuitive readings. I'm looking forward to seeing her in action on television.

The interesting thing about a person with a "subjectivist" mentality is that it becomes entirely possible that none of the stated facts are real, just that the subjectivist wishes they were true and believes that by acting as if they are that it will come true. For example, Tony Robbins gives an example in one of his tapes about a couple that acted as if they won the lottery (telling all their friends, etc.) and then ended up winning the lottery. Even accepting the story as true (which I doubt), prior to their win they were loonies running around telling a lie!

So, in short, I'm not willing to accept any claim these people make without hard evidence backing it up, because they could be in the "manifesting" stage of their goals instead of actually having achieved what they state.

12:28 AM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

as for the capitalist facade...it's still there in spades. I have no problem with the market dictating where this will go. But a key part of free markets is accurate information.

Like I said, if anyone can step forward and prove any of these claims I will update this post. So far, all I've been shown are posts on Steve's site and posts on other sites that reference his site for definitive information.

I'm also stating for the record that I'm less interested in the financial aspects (how much money he's making) and more interested in the performance aspects of his claims (graduating college in 3 semesters WHILE maintaining a 3.9GPR WHILE working a full time job WHILE running a professional organization like the Shareware Association). And even those claims pale in comparison to his claims of psychic manifestations. If he can provide proof of that than I will be very impressed indeed.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Daldianus said...

Pavlina is either a fraud or a lunatic.

In any case he's raving like a mad man.

6:51 PM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

Daldianus: I'm making no claims as to Steve's motivations, tho his "six figure income" from blogging would be reason enough to keep up this farce.

I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast he posted on his subjective philosophy yet, but I intend to real soon.

I've still received no proof, from anyone, in regards to this post and the claims of Pavlina's that I question. Amazing!

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't you redefining skeptisim to be the scientific method & an empiristic viewpoint? (A neutral source: http://www.answers.com/skepticism&r=67 ) Dont you too use some of the dirty tricks of rethoric in your post here too?

11:47 PM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

Anonymous: I'm using the Wikipedia definition (listed on the page you reference at the bottom):
"a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continual testing,"

This (or something close to it) is the definition that most people who refer to themselves as a "skeptic" (JREF, PSICOP, New England Skeptical Society) use as a working definition.

As for "dirty tricks of rhetoric" that I use in the article, I agree I may be a little blunt and harsh, but I can't respond or correct any errors I made unless you point them out to me. Can you be more specific?

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Matty Matt said...

OMG, LMAO, sorry for breaking out into the internet hysterics, but Steve Pavlina is too much. I'm so happy I found your site because I'd been reading his stuff for the past couple of days and thought I was losing it. Thanks for snapping me firmly back into reality. I'm so happy to see that I'm not the only one who was doubting him. As you said, he makes all of these fantastic claims but provides no evidence whatsoever. This really struck home when I read his response to your JREF challenge in which he claims that he's "...qualified for Mensa..." Does this guy not know when to quit making unverifiable claims or what? Thanks again for breaking things down and bringing up solid, hard-hitting points before I drifted off into LaLaLand

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's actually not that hard to qualify for MENSA as they now allow people with high enough scores on certain standardized tests in. For example, I think you only need about a 162 on the LSAT to qualify. This is lower than the 85th percentile or so.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Damnright said...

Hey dude, he's not asking you to believe what he's writing, he's asking you to try it for yourself and then judge if it's worthed, he never said that the thing he was writing was the absolute truth.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a liar and an apostate and reprobate

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Pavlina is a Scam, Claiming the forums to be for “Smart People” to voice “their” opinion. Never SO wrong. It is STEVES OPINION or NOTHING. If you don’t agree with Steve your post is removed. Don’t agree with Steve a few times and your account is banned. Mention something outside of his marketing scheme (SBI) will get the mentioned links black listed and post removed from the forum.

The young ignorant seem to be his strongest followers hanging on every post and word like it came from the heavens. I’m not for organized religion but, kids if you want to believe in something that bad then go to church your odds are higher. lol

Currently with Steve’s recent blog posts he is on a very slipper slope and won’t be long before he shoots himself in the foot.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I'm glad you wrote this post - I find Steve's Do It Now article inspirational, but I would like to know how much of it is true. Two sentences seem particularly odd:
They allowed me to shave years off my schooling while also giving me about $30,000 to start my business (all earned in my final semester as a game programmer, mostly from royalties).

In my final semester, I even held a full time job (40 hours a week) as a game programmer

As far as I'm aware royalties are paid after the release of software. What game is written, released and paying royalties in less than 6 months?

3:14 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

here's something along the same lines as pavlina but written by someone who might be a bit more scientific. Hope you enjoy.
http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/emotional-memory/

4:48 PM  
Blogger Mr Jim said...

Post this on Pavlina's forum !!
But please don't spam. We want to play fair.

--------------------------------

THIS MESSAGE IS VERY IMPORTANT AND CONCERNS ALL OF YOU

On a forum there should NOT be personal attacks, that is intolerable.
But ! People SHOULD be able to discuss matters without censorship.
This is NOT true on Pavlina .com


[b]I ADVICE YOU TO SAVE THIS MESSAGE (Ctrl+C) BECAUSE PAVlINA WILL SOON DELETE IT . [/b]

Read on.........


On Pavlina's forum it is only allowed to agree with him. It's all staged.
If you don't agree it is under the supervision of Pavlina himself. Look at it like
a rigged election in a dictatorship... "100% of the people vote on me", sure...

One of the things that should be allowed BUT IS NOT - INSTEAD IT IS DELETED -
is links to article's taking a critical look at some of his clams.
That would be sound for the forum, but NO ! .... Not allowed.

Therefore I advice you to
1. read these articles here and form your own opinion - after saving this message first!
2. As soon as you see this thread or post gone you will know that it has been deleted by the mods.
3. Re-post what you have read then! This is called freedom of speech.

You may have to change words, do some tricks etc. to get through Pavlina's spam filters.
You could link to articles, critizise in your own words or whatever you like.

It's time for democracy and freedom of speech to reach this forum !

Additional articles, apart from those on Pavlina's homepage (please don't link to hate articles,
we don't want to act as bad as Pavlina himself does) :

Logical flaws in Pavlina's article + more...
[url=http://edificial.blogspot.com/2006/08/church-of-steve-pavlina.html]Edificial Intelligence: The Church of Steve Pavlina[/url]

Let skepticism blossom - critique on Pavlina's view on skepticism:
[url=http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2006/10/let_skepticism_.html]Church of the Churchless: Let skepticism blossom[/url]

RE-POST !!!

--------------------------------

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Jason Spencer said...

Steve:

Seems like a generally well intentioned guy. I just posted my evaulation of the Pavlina Productivity model (this is not spam)

http://jasonrspencer.com/2008/10/09/the-pavlina-productivity-pickle/

Essentially he slams other people but then borrows all their ideas without crediting them. I would appreciate your feed back as well on this.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Maybe I haven't delved deep enough into this guy's website, but I have read several of Steve Pavlina's blogs and haven't found any harm in them. I initially ran across it the other day from "Stumbling" and linked to his page about polyphasic sleep.

I found it to be an interesting topic and continued on to read his ideas on becoming an early riser and waking up with an alarm clock. I'm an insomniac so these things were certainly of interest to me.

The only complaint I might voice was his tendency to repeat the same thing too often. I was never given the impression that I ought to give up a percentage of my weekly wages or that my life would be better if I believed every word he wrote.

I did manage to make my way into his wife's page, which was how I came upon this particular site. It seemed to be such an unlikely pairing (a self-help health nut/vegan/exercise goo-roo and a psychic) that I couldn't help but check out her history a little more.

Anyhow, I just found it a little odd that there were so many people bashing the guy. If I could make money doing something I enjoyed and maybe helped out some people along the way... Well, I just don't see the problem.

11:49 PM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

Jennifer: The polyphasic sleep article was (and probably still is) a very popular one on Steve's site. Again, we have another wild claim with very little validation to it. I don't count his Daily Sleep logs as evidence because he could have written those at any time and been sleeping a normal schedule.

I think it's also a good one to use as an illustration of potential harm from this stuff. What he is talking about is selective sleep deprivation. The causes and effects of sleep are not all that well known but what is known is that sleep deprivation has extreme effects on subjects. A medical study found that complete sleep deprivation in rats, increased both food intake and energy expenditure, leading to weight loss and, ultimately, death. Lesser sleep deprivation can exacerbate psychological existing conditions, put a person at a higher risk of heart conditions and diabetes, and a whole host of other unpleasant effects.

Very few studies have been done on polyphasic sleep but what has been done does not look promising. According to this article, one of the few researchers on polyphasic sleep, Claudio Stampi, "has shown that polyphasic sleep can improve cognitive performance in conditions of sleep deprivation as compared with monophasic sleep: Individuals sleeping for 30 minutes every four hours, for a daily total of only 3 hours of sleep, performed better and were more alert, compared to when they had 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. In other words, under conditions of dramatic sleep reduction, it is more efficient to recharge the sleep "battery" more often. Many use this as the argument for the superiority of polyphasic sleep, while silently skirting around the fact that Stampi also notes that the performance on polyphasic schedule is still far less than that in free running sleep conditions." I'm not an expert on this topic so I'll defer to any other research you can unearth that involves a statistically significant study group size.

I agree that if Steve was making money doing something he enjoyed and helping people along the way we should refrain from "bashing him" as you put it. However, I think what Steve is doing is giving the illusion of helping people while potentially setting them up to do harm to themselves...and making money along the way. Whether this is due to intention or delusion I have no idea. What he is selling has no evidence behind it, at least none that I've seen.

So, we have a person posting on a blog, claiming to have done an unmonitored self-experiment claiming results different than those achieved under scientific observation by a sleep expert. I think that should cause his readers to doubt some of his claims, that's all.

11:49 PM  
Blogger magicmindman said...

Lucid dreaming isn't "psychic nonsense." They're just as real as regular dreams. Lucid dreaming is just becoming aware that you're dreaming, while in the dream, and then learning to direct your dream like a movie. Even atheists do it.

4:10 PM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

magicmindman: you are right. Lucid Dreaming is not psychic nonsense and has considerable evidence around it. If I recall correctly, the studies tracked eye movements in lucid vs. non lucid dreamers and found some differences.

What I was really taking issue with was the context the Pavlinas use it in. The idea that lucid dreaming is a tool for self-improvement.

You can check out an interview with Erin Pavlina where they talk about lucid dreaming at http://www.energiesofcreation.com/interviews/erin-pavlina-on-creative-dreaming/

she says, "In high school when I was studying for a biology test on the Kreb’s cycle I remember being very tired and wanting to go to sleep. I programmed myself to dream about studying and sure enough, I did! I think I got an extra hour of studying in while sleeping."

and then later,

"I also use lucid dreaming to practice anything from making a speech to parenting to cooking. It’s like a virtual school in there."

It was these assertions that I was contesting, but you are right, I should have been more specific.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Rahul said...

Very good post. When I read Pavlina received two Bachelor's degrees in 3 semesters, I realized this guy is outright fraud! And most of his blog has been plagiarized from other self-development books. What a joker.

4:32 AM  
Blogger e-head said...

Amen

Steve is always getting my panties in a bunch with his ridiculous nonsense. I don't know why I fall for it.

Crazy thing is, there are enough fools out there to profit on that he may indeed make $9000/month. In which case he is probably laughing all the way to the bank.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Alan Jaw said...

Nice article. I don't trust a LOT of what steve writes about but amidst all the BS and self-hype, he does possess a few good articles and insights (mostly from his how-to guides about starting websites and businesses). It's pretty obvious that he knows how to do both of those things and for that I recognize his genius or talent.

As for the rest of it, I have no idea whether people actually believe what he's selling. I think he's just tapping into the self-help business model - get rich by telling everyone how rich you already are. It's a self-reinforcing scheme where no one can prove you wrong unless they take the time to actually investigate your history. But most people don't and thus they fork over their money giving him the riches he claims to have made on his own.

Fraud or not, he's still successful and knows how to game the system. I wish I could say that people like him are far and few between but with all the recent bailouts and scams that the taxpayers end up footing the bill for, I'd have to say that I can't blame him for gaming the system the way he did.

Incidentally enough, I do rant about most self-help authors and blogs at my OWN self-improvement blog: http://ctrlshiftlife.com
I know I know, the irony is killer. I sleep at night by telling myself that my content is indeed different and filled with (hopefully) more substance.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve and Erin Pavlina are both clear examples of CIA MIND CONTROL. From him having hallucinations of a dead friend who helps him win at gambling tables in Las Vegas (ARE YOU SERIOUS?), to Erin's lucid dreaming world environment.

I'm sure they believe everything their saying, but they don't seem to know about the chips that they are inplanted with.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

You should add your thoughts on wiki as the existing entry for Steve is entirely uncritical and the majority of references are from his own site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Pavlina

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My cousin, who is a "dowser", and general believer in "all-things-mystical" told me how all I have to do to get a new job is to "manifest" it. Declare it to the universe, let it go, and it will happen.

Yeah.

Then she lost her job. Apparently she took a wrong turn in her "sacred labyrinth". Yeesh.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Giorgio said...

You're right on the guru... I was in his friends on Facebook and after discussing on his profile on how JREF prize is real, he dropped me from the list.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve is a self-serving dweeb. He doesn't do anything to help people develop, he writes only b/c it makes him money. Why else would someone recommend to their 'devoted followers' to waste HUNDREDS of dollars on something SiteBuildIt or a dating DVD set? It's because he gets double-digit percentage affiliate commissions from it!

He makes money. But at least he is still has to live pathetic excuse of a life.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve and his wife are splitting.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Steve has divorced from his wife, he is saying that his 2010 focus is adventuring into sexual role-playing. He is finally showing his true character as a complete narcissist. I feel bad for his kids.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Disappointed said...

i have been following his website for some time and i must admit, some of the articles have helped me in a bid way. Imagine my shock when i started seeing his latest posts about Submission and Domination. Really shocking ! i think some of the screws in his head are coming loose. Such a pity.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anthony Kawa said...

There is this talent of the dead.

From Erin Pavlina’s website, it is clear that she is convinced (at least in writing) that she has a not so common talent – the talent of the ethers. One who takes a look at her website will clearly see that she is deeply immersed in the world of the dead. She says that she frequently speaks with dead people and even with “people” who have never lived in this world at all. This last group of her favorites she calls them Angels and Guides. She has done a fairly good job of analyzing the “people” she speaks with. She gives some “information” on what happens when one dies, of the views of the dead about hell and heaven, of how dead people keep themselves busy given their unlimited time, of whether the dead respect the privacy of the living or not, of whether the dead do “die” again, of how to show love to dead people, of how one can develop a talent like her own etc. Most of this information was given to her by the dead in her dreams, or rather, that she dreamt that the dead were giving her such information.

When analyzing such claims, the first step is to give a provincial of the possibility that she might be sincere with her claims and dreams. Unless one is closely acquainted with her, we cannot out-rightly conclude that she is an imposter or a creative writer/dreamer. One of the closest persons to her is Steve Pavlina. Steve approves of her spiritual talent. Whether Steve is himself sincere or not on this issue is also a whole different question.

But again we should note that sincerity is not a proof of a claim.

We have read of the witch trials in Britain during the dark ages and we know that people not only confessed of witchcraft but also of impossible crimes like maliciously causing a storm in the sea or of causing frost, fog, snow falls or of turning themselves into wolves. They made these confessions despite their knowledge that such claims would amount to their death. We also read of the sincerity of the judges and the people of that time in their summoning of animals before a court of law for trial and the consequent public execution of these animals. We also read of how they used animals as witnesses before a court of justice.

One can be sincere in the absurdity of absurdities.

Taking it for granted then that Erin is deeply convinced that she has no mental problem (or mind reading talent) and that she actually thinks that the dead people do, in practice, relay information to her, then we can proceed to make the following observations about the whole process in a more ‘earthly’ way:

• * It is assumed that the information relayed by the dead concerning earthly issues is accurate. That the opinion of the dead on earthly matters is superior to that of the living. It is on this assumption that Erin charges a fee to her sitters for receiving such ethereal information.
• * That the dead grow better in some professional careers like medicine after their death and that they can detect failed human organs without the aid of any modern equipments.
• * That the dead are so competent that they can accurately predict when a currently functioning body organ will fail and that through talented people like Erin, they can write there diagnosis to her brain through dreams. A story is given of a prediction of the death of a two week or so pregnant woman that would occur during her delivery. This prediction was told to Erin in a dream. The angel or the dead doctor encouraged Erin to relay this information to the patient. Steve also encouraged Erin to make after-delivery follow-ups of this woman. Erin however declined to do so.
• * That the dead get really pleased when we offer them sacrifices. They can accept physical sacrifices like food and that they do treat that as a sign of love. That the dead like us to think about them.
• * That these dead people are good in financial matters and that they can see when one will have a lot of money.
• * That it is a productive thing to seek and listen to the opinion of these dead people.

Anthony Kawa

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Antony Kawa said...

• * It is however not clear if these dead people can be of any great importance to the living. It is also not clear whether they can help in improving science and technology, in astronomy, in geology, biology, history and any useful study.
• * It is easy to assume that given their power of examining internal body organs without any aid of scientific tools then it should be very easy for them to make enormous contributions to modern medicine. It is also tempting to assume that because these dead people are now contemporaries of the ancient world, they should be able to relay important and accurate historical information to the living. However, as of present we hardly receive such useful information from people like Erin.
• * It is also easy to think that there needs to be a reformation in the world of the dead as presented by Erin. That they, the dead, have to be taught to be courageous and bold. That they, the dead, should be taught that using dreams as a means of relaying information to living human beings raises, as it should, a lot of doubts and suspicion. That, that information that is of much interest to living beings is that information that affects human welfare in general. This could include prediction of earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tsunamis, information on medicine, geology, geography, biology, vaccination etc.

Anthony Kawa

7:14 AM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

@Disappointed: as you can see from the date that this article was posted, I've thought some of the screws in his head were coming loose for awhile.

Sexual preferences aside (to each their own), I think the divorce should cause one to at least question his prior relationship advice.

Also, his posts about dominant-submissive relationships and what they can teach you about success are mind-numbing in their absurdity. I'm starting to realize a pattern to his posts:
1. Have an experience, no matter how inane or ridiculous
2. Find some marginal thread to link it to the concept of "success," however you define it today.
3. Write a blog article about how your experience qualifies you to talk about success.
4. Rinse and repeat.

And, yes, I do feel bad for his family. Hopefully, the divorce is as amicable as both sides are saying it is.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve's posts have helped me in a few areas very much, even though I don't agree with everything he writes.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Winston said...

Steve says in his "How to make money from a blog" page that he now makes $1000 a DAY from his blog without selling anything. Does anyone else have trouble buying that claim? I don't think anyone makes that much just from putting ads on a blog. And plus, rich people do not ever talk or brag about their riches. They prefer not to draw attention to it. What do you think?

Plus if you read his FAQ on his site, his answers sound immature and a bit egotistic, not spiritual at all.

To the owner of this blog:

Skepticism is not logic or science. It's basically a defense of the establishment despite the facts or evidence. I'm an expert on pseudoskepticism and in fact have a website about it. Here are the characteristics of those who call themselves skeptics:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/characteristics.php

If you look at Wikipedia, it says that skepticism is about suspending judgment and opining, not making judgments about the paranormal as you guys do.

There is a ton of evidence for the paranormal. Skeptics just don't accept it cause they don't accept data that doesn't fit into their hypothesis.

Science discovers things yeah, but it does not say that establishment is always right. Skeptics take credit for discoveries they didn't make and in fact suppress anything new. They are anti-learning and anti-progress in science. They hate change and they hate mystery.

I've known them for years.

Winston Wu
SCEPCOP Founder
http://www.debunkingskeptics.com

7:10 PM  
Blogger magicmindman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:00 AM  
Blogger magicmindman said...

With the amount of visitors he gets, making $1000 a day is possible. Some bloggers make even more than that. I believe his claim is realistic. He also holds workshops.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Winston said...

magicmind, but if you look at steve pavlina's blog, there are no adsense ads or text link ads, as he said. I don't know why they were removed if he was making good money from them.

Also, I make money online too, and I use lots of ads, so I know that 1000 dollars a day is very unrealistic, even with a million visitors, esp when he doesn't even have adsense ads anymore, only a few endorsements of products.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Winston said...

A few more key points about skepticism:

Skepticism as the Randis, Shermers and CSICOPers call it, has NOTHING to do with inquiry or true skepticism.

Besides never being skeptical of their own beliefs, they are only skeptical of what they don't believe in, which in this case is anything that challenges the status quo (materialism/establishment).

The thing is, if they're only skeptical of what they don't believe in, then what makes them different from anyone else? Everyone is a skeptic in that sense, since everyone is skeptical or critical of what they don't believe in.

So what's the difference between them and everyone else then? Only one: The side that they're on. They have a FANATICAL RELIGIOUS belief in materialism and orthodoxy, and are thus DEFENDERS of it.

Consider this: Have you ever seen Randi, Shermer or CSICOP ever criticize anything of the establishment, including crimes, murders, lies, conspiracies, evil plots, etc?

Nope. Never.

Consider the following documented facts:

Do they ever speak out against the senseless killings in the Iraq War for power and profit?

Nope.

Do they ever publicly declare that the US Navy was wrong to fake the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964 (which has now been uncovered) which resulted in the deaths of 60,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese, making the war and their deaths a FRAUD?

Nope.

Are they outraged with the fact that the CIA has been involved in drug trafficking, which even some in the mainstream media have reported? Or the CIA assassinations of foreign leaders who refused to abide by US policy?

Nope.

Are they outraged that the EPA lied after 9/11 that the air was safe to breathe, which caused thousands of First Responders to develop cancer from the toxic air and slowly die?

Nope.

Are they outraged that upper levels of government have concocted secret plots to sacrifice innocent lives to stage terrorist activities and blame it on others to start wars, such as Operation Northwoods and Operation Dirty Trick? (google them for more info)

Nope.

Continued in part two.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Winston said...

Part two:

Do they speak out against the thousands of people that die from pharmaceutical drugs every year?

Nope.

But will they go ballistic if ONE person allegedly dies from alternative treatment such as homeopathy?

You betcha!

So, what does it say about them if they have no problem with lies and evil plots that result in the death of millions, yet have a big problem with the death of a few if alternative medicine is involved?

It tells you that they are blind fanatical defenders of establishment and orthodoxy, holding such establishments to be blameless. Their minds are embedded with programming that says "authority = truth". As such they are totally blind to the faults of authority, or deliberately ignore them at least. Their critical thinking and skepticism can ONLY be directed at anything AGAINST the establishment, and NEVER at anything FROM the establishment.

Tell that to the pseudoskeptics. And when they deny it, challenge them to produce a publication from a media skeptic or skeptic organization that openly condemns or criticizes the above crimes of the estalishment (elite or shadow government, whatever you want to call it). When they come up empty handed, then you've got them. From that point, it does not matter if they continue in their denial, for the facts speak for themselves.

Now, is that true skepticism to you? Is that objectivity, logic and science? Is that the mark of a freethinker independent of authority or bias? Or is that fanaticism from a programmed mind who has given up his intellect to become an intellectual slave of authority?

You tell me.

A REAL skeptic is able to apply skepticism to ALL SIDES, including their own. They do not hold one side to be blameless and the other to be always wrong, like the Randis, Shermers and CSICOPers do. Fanatics are always one-sided, independent free thinkers aren't.

The ability to independently assess all sides, including your own, is the mark of a true freethinking at a higher level of consciousness. These folks clearly do not fit the bill.

You gotta remember that "actions speak louder than words". Anyone can claim to be a skeptic or critical free thinker. But if their ACTIONS do not show the hallmark of one, then they aren't. And by their actions, the Randis, Shermers and CSICOPers aren't.

To learn more, go to http://www.debunkingskeptics.com

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is his Adsense stats: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/2005-traffic-adsense-revenue-growth/

And here is his reason for dropping Adsense: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2008/10/dropping-adsense-saying-goodbye-to-100k-per-year-in-easy-income/

Based on his visitor numbers, I believe his Adsense reports are accurate. For example, he claimed to make $53 when his site had 86,000 monthly visitors. I have a site with around 20,000 monthly visitors and I make over $50/month from Adsense, so his numbers are realistic, based on my experience.

But anyway, what does it matter. We don't know for sure anyway unless he look in his bank accounts.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something very unsettling about Steve Pavlina. On the surface, he is awesome- in fact, used to give great advice on his blog and I used to read his posts in the past and get inspired. I was actually a fan of his before. Now I'm ashamed, and feel disgusted for believing him. Reading his words is one thing. But when I saw him speaking the same words on youtube, I got a very fishy vibe (call it a "first impression" guided by intuition). Watch his videos on youtube. Don't take my word for it. He looks straight up like a LIAR. That's when I knew. This was before the polyamory stuff- just take one look at him and see what your intuition tells you. He is pudgy as hell- NO RAW FOODIST or exercise genius looks like an old, fat child molester with a receding hair line. No raw foodist with positive, peaceful vibes is into BDSM and still brags about his intense experiences from grand theft. He is supposed to look like a result of his experiments. He doesn't. But no one sees it because they desperately WANT to believe that he's a god-man.
People need to believe in themselves. Whenever anyone points out that he's too chubby and old/tired/soulless looking to be a raw food superman, they get bashed by his followers who swallow every word he says like the BJ they're giving him. But do they have a clear answer? Do they have proof that he's doing those
experiments? Or are they just empty words coming from a guy who ended high school in jail for grand theft? You think someone who has been to jail for stealing is completely innocent? Or would you use your brain and think for a second that he might STILL have some anti-social tendencies? He has stolen money before and will continue to do it. Now, through the guise of spiritualism, he's stealing people's souls with no one to question it. And no I don't believe that you can go from a jailbait into saint in one lifetime. If you watch his body language, he looks like a recluse trying to play the extrovert using gestures learned from success seminars, but it looks very fake. His body language often looks rehearsed as well as what's coming out of his mouth, but on a deeper level, you can see dishonesty and lies written all over him. He has no true humility. He shows no remorse for anything. His eyes have no soul. He is literally a sociopath. Read up on sociopaths at lovefraud.com and you will see that he fits the description perfectly. His polyamory thing is based on a few core principles : 1-be a con artist, 2-be a public whore with many female self help fans and no one to call you out on your shit (it's literally like the emperor's new clothes- these new agey bitches are so STUPID and and in denial that they can't see that he is fat and naked, and obviously doesn't go on any of these diets or fitness regimes at all- it's all made up written garbage on his blog to make MONEY people), 3-be a pervert, lonely, insecure loser. If you see any of his youtube videos, you always find some pale and pasty star wars chick fawning over him, because they believe he has "spiritual power" and is a "spiritual" celebrity. They're ready to whore themselves on him, and he's ready to lap it up and kick his poor wife to a corner and throw her some food so she can make company with a burger while he screws every self help seminar chick in town. Sounds like your everyday con artist spiritual leader to me

1:13 AM  
Anonymous matty said...

After reading his articles and visiting his forums, Ive decided he's a nutjob and full of shit. Just like all the other guru's. I mean seriously, he says never to get a job. If everyoner followed that advice, who would police our streets? who would serve the medical community? that was really dumb even for him.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you all missed the part on the website that said "for smart people". Trying to read through all spelling/grammar errors, and obscenities makes me think that this is not for you.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous NMS said...

Manifesting reality is indeed possible, even though I dislike how silly the law of attraction sounds. Unfortunately, this is exactly how I run my business and have been running it for the last 6 years. I basically ask the universe for a phone call or email for new work within 24 hours and it just happens. I don't advertise, I don't do any marketing, yet the inquiries continue. Of course, I am a real Christian mystic. While Steve does not seem to be the real deal, especially with his far-fetched claims, it is possible to do some of the things he claims.

5:39 PM  
Blogger JJ said...

I look for red flags when I begin my personal investigations prior to starting relationships.

One red flag that I see with Mr. Pavlina is his revelation that he is an admitted thief and felon. The only evidence that he has reformed is his own word.

I give him a benefit of a doubt, but I've known some former prison inmates and one common trait many share is that of boastfulness.

Like others here, I've found some of his advice to be sound and other advice is from the woo woo department.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syllogism are fun! I made one up too:

If cows have spots,
and cats have spots,
then fish live in the sea.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Dustin said...

author of this article. and all who read and agree. WHO CARES! If you don't like what you see on a website...YOU LEAVE! it's like if a pop up were to come up. if you don't like that pop up or website...simply and kindly leave. you don't have to start bashing on what someone else might believe. just leave it alone and go LOVE someone for a change ya?

11:37 AM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

@Dustin the point of this article was not to simply "bash" Pavlina, as you claim. Rather, it was to show that on close scrutiny his claims and techniques don't add up. As you can see by the date of this original post, I have left well enough alone. I have left this article up as a warning sign for people who stumble on to his site looking for answers on success and happiness. Answers I don't personally think he truly provides.

As for loving someone for a change, my life is extremely fulfilling and I have a number of close relationships that I value. Having said that, that is irrelevant to the issue at hand; is Mr. Pavlina providing useful knowledge or not? If so, are his claims about the paranormal and psychic powers valid or not?

I leave those questions as an exercise for the reader. Hopefully, if you chose to ask those questions, this article can provide some framework for inquiry.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Best psychic readings said...

It's good to be just plain happy, it's a little better to know that you're happy; but to understand that you're happy and to know why and how and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss. :)

Best psychic readings

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, I think what Steve is doing is giving the illusion of helping people while potentially setting them up to do harm to themselves..."

You are responsible for actions you take. You are responsible for entering "personal development" into Google, finding and willingly reading Steve Pavlina's articles.

After doing just that you seem to have developed an opinion about this.

Steve Pavlina's posts are creative writing.

He is a 40 year old man... You sound like a fool for making these claims.

How many people did you help? You seem to be good at leveraging someone else's popularity to your own advantage by writing about other people's achievements . . . and putting them down.

You know, you could use some of the personal development advice yourself. Because you sound like a pitiful asshole.

Writing over a thousand well-composed articles cannot possibly be a scam. And look, he didn't write that book so he could sell it, he was contacted by a publishing company because they recognized his ability to write and communicate.

Before you make other claims, do a thorough examination of someone's work. Because saying what you are saying makes you sound like a fool. Nobody is asking you to believe anything anyone else says, so why would you pick on Steve in particular? I find it in particular interesting that you are aware of how much money he is making. Are you upset that you couldn't do it in your own life?

You claim that it has been observed that the eye movement is different in people who are having a regular dream and ones who are lucid-dreaming. Wow, really. . .That is what calms your mind down at thinking that lucid dreaming is a real phenomenon? You reveal about yourself that you certainly have not had the experience of such a thing yourself.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous improve your life said...

It is an interesting post, however I am afraid you are missing the point. You see in order to make such a review you need to understand where the author is coming from. Obviously, correct me if I'm wrong, you are not the spiritual type of person, therefore you are talking about something that you do not understand. It seems that you only believe in rational stuff, however, you may want to consider that the irrational is indeed true. Everything that comes out of the mouth of spiritual person shouldn't be taken literally, because if you do so, you will find a lot of contradictions. It is because everything is more or less metaphorical, it is a bit like an attempt to explain 'love' with words.
So what you should question is not what is being said but the essence of what is being said. A true spiritual person doesnt seek to make you believe anything they say but to make you search within yourself and see for yourself. But unfortunately until you do that you will not know. It is very likely that you will reject what I am saying and think that I am talking trash but it is just because you do not understand that maybe there is something you are missing. The funny thing is that I understand where you are coming from but unfortunately you are not going far enough in your reasoning, you keep everything on the intellectual level whereas you should explore the deeper intelligent level.

I personaly believe that it is not because science has not proven the existence of the irrational that it never will. I think science just has not taken it from the right angle thats all. Eventually spirituality and science will meet.

Anyway, when I read you it feels that maybe you would be open to read a book which maybe could make you understand this better. It is very well written and although I could try to explain to you what the author is saying. I think that it has better words than me to explain it. Read 'a new earth' by Eckhart Tolle.

Just to go back to what you were saying, spiritual knowledge doesn't belong to anyone. It is not someone's concept. Therefore whatever that steve writes and that you have seen in other places is not propety theft. When you connect to spirituality you have access to that knowledge. Because again, these are not ideas who originate from the intellect but from the intelligence within.
I am aware that the way I write might make you think that I am conditionned to think that way but rest assure that I am very aware of the complexity of the mind and how easy it can be conditionned to believe anything. But please, for you own growth, try to understand that there are things that you don't know you don't know...paradoxically, these are the things you should know for your growth.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Laws of thinking said...

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12:35 AM  

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