Top Ten Harmful Spiritual Beliefs Part One

In no particular order of preference, here is part one of the most harmful spiritual beliefs and why.

1. Karma, hell and punishment systems.
These are designed to create fear and control people through the belief that they will pay in some way for their thoughts, feelings and behaviours here on earth. As no-one is a master of their own minds then why would they be punished for not being in full control.  This expectation just creates guilt and stress as people try to control themselves to obey their spiritual laws and they fail.  What type of God punishes people anyway?

2. Reality is an illusion.
This is often used to excuse the pain and suffering in the world by claiming that this is all an illusion and the people in pain are not really in pain at all, they just think they are. As there is no evidence that this is an illusionary reality we are thinking into existence, to try and justify the famines, wars and suffering this way, is just too convenient and in my opinion also a little sick.  Take some one with this belief to a war zone or famine stricken country and let's see how long this belief lasts.

3. You attract what you think about (Law of attraction etc)
This really does worry people who are going through an anxious or depressive period.  If this belief were true then all the catastrophic thinking they do would create quite a dramatic reality indeed.  The truth is, it doesn't and negative thinking will not attract anything at all.  Attitude is important though so a brighter outlook notices more opportunities in life and is likely more to act on it.  So let me repeat again, what you think about however positive or negative will not be drawn to you.  Yes there are some spooky coincidences but do not doubt the power of your mind in guiding you to what you want to happen. People are even getting into debt believing that they can spend what they like as they will attract more money!  I have worked with quite a few people who are confused as to why they are not attracting what they think they should be able to.

4. Negative people & Energy Vampires
Anyone going through a down time these days can become a leper to society when labelled negative.  This is awful as people are becoming so precious about their energy that they imagine it being drained or weakened by negative people.  This is just a blame game which is designed to create villains to focus on as the cause for something going or feeling wrong.  Yes some people can make us feel uncomfortable and yes that can be tiring, but this is life as being uncomfortable is energy draining anyway.  Move away from the idea that you need protection from people energy wise.  I dropped this belief eons ago and many ask me if clients drain me and the answer will always be no they don't.  My energy is mine and if it is drained then it's due to my own inner conflict and no-one elses.

5. My version of spirituality is the right one....
Quite convenient to create the version of God and spiritual laws which suit your beliefs and lifestyle.  It is encouraged to cherry pick in the texts and workshop that which resonates with you and to disregard the rest.  This is a get out clause which suggests there is little confidence in what is being taught and more importantly if you can cherry pick what is right for you then basically you are making up what spirituality is in your head.  If it is all made up through your cherry picking then why bother in the first place?  Making more people believe your cherry picked version will not make it true either.

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Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 1, 2011 at 12:36pm

I actually believe a little bit in all of these things.


I tend to view karma as immediate, though, because you alone have to live with the full knowledge of how you conduct yourself, and I feel that has an impact on how you feel when you look in the mirror each morning.


Reality as an illusion is something I see in what I have learned about Quantum Mechanics.  Although we may live in a 'holographic' world, the pain and suffering is dead real, in my opinion, and may be the 'most real' thing we experience.


Although I don't think you attract what you think about, I do believe what you say about a positive mind being more perceptive of opportunities.  You can't 'will your way' out of a bad situation, but sometimes you can consciously focus on finding a way out and find options that you might have refused to see while trapped in a more negative mind set.


I do view some people as 'energy drains'.  I have done a lot of volunteer work, and there comes a time when you have to say 'no' or you'll just burn yourself out and be of no use to anyone.  Energy replenishes though, and after taking a break I always return to offer what I can.


I also feel that my version of spirituality is the right one - and that is that there is no spirituality.  All we have (any proof of) is this life, and so therefore we should do the best we can with it.

Comment by Lindsey on March 1, 2011 at 2:51pm

You know what bothers me? The "healing powers" of crystals. One of my friends got real into all that crystal woo once. Yeah crystals can be beautiful and cool looking, but the notion that they somehow contain some intangible power that can heal/calm you that other minerals don't have is ridiculous.  Saying an amethyst can calm your nerves is as outrageous as saying a hunk of granite can cure depression. 

Also, I can't stand hearing about "auras". 

Comment by Paul Sheppard on March 1, 2011 at 2:53pm

Thanks for your feedback Michel.


Hi Heather,


Karma is simply what comes next, it isn't a punishment or reward, it is an experience which reflects the cause and effect.  We often cannot tell what will happen next and will just have to deal with what does happen.  It really is amazing how many people think they are being punished by a mystical force which cares about what they think and do!


Quantum mechanics is theory and living a life based on this reality is an illusion isn't very healthy,  they are fed this idea through documentaries which twist science and films like The Matrix.


The energy drain is natural with some people through our own inner conflict, mental or physical exhaustion.  There is no mystical energy being syphoned from you by others, I don't think you believe that, but it is amazing how many people blame others for this theory.  It just creates paranoia.


Comment by Paul Sheppard on March 1, 2011 at 2:56pm

Hi Lyndsey,


The crystal thing is a nightmare, people spend a fortune on them believing all sorts which is handy if placebo kicks in but unlikely to make them rich as some crystals are promoted to.


Here is something handy to know about auras though  proof the aura exists?



Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 1, 2011 at 4:17pm
Well, Paul, I thought I had reflected 'my definition' of karma clearly enough - It seems you misread that.  Actually it seems you've taken everything I wrote out of context.
Comment by Paul Sheppard on March 1, 2011 at 5:18pm

Heather, I didn't take anything out of context as I simply responded with what people believe and my version, I wasn't referring to your belief specifically so not sure why you are making my reply all about you when it was in general.


I agree Michel it isn't proof of an aura but simply a possible explanation why some people seem to see colours around others.  Interesting though to think the mind could percieve people this way.


Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 1, 2011 at 5:34pm
Sorry, you just happened to start your reply with "Hi Heather," which kind of made it seem like it was a letter addressed to me.  My misunderstanding.
Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on March 1, 2011 at 6:50pm
I have been challengng people and debunking all of the above for years now. People seem to be going through a renewed "Angels" phase recently. The amount of books on the subject is scary. Keep up the good work. I am also very interested in the "doublethink" aspects of these beliefs.
Comment by Paul Sheppard on March 2, 2011 at 10:31am

@Reg,  the amount of books is scary,  one "authority" Diane Cooper on them recently made the claim that autistic children are being pulled apart by spirits hence why they are autistic.  Believing in angels tends to lead to disappointment and stress as obviously they don't answer or help when needed and this leads to all sorts of issues for the believer. You might like my blog Reg Goodbye God? which focuses on this alot more. It's a shame I can't link it to my blog here. 

Also unsure what doublethink is.


I agree Michel, the more we understand the mind the more we begin to demystify what was seen as the supernatural.  I sometimes see colours and sparks around people which I used to give a spiritual meaning to, now I know that it is likely to be my mind processing something a certain way.


Comment by Edmond on March 2, 2011 at 12:14pm
1,2,&3 were was of thinking that I used for years. Sometimes they show up again.

I use karma as a way of letting something else handle things instead of speaking up. If someone does me wrong I don't have to confront them because the magical karma bus will pick them up later.

You attract what you think about was my theme for countless years and I must admit that it is still very strong today. My social anxiety and depression doesn't help. Sometimes I'll catch myself and correct myself but those times are far and few between.


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