Bible Explained: Mark 11:24: Whatever You Ask for in Prayer, Believe that You Have Received It, and It Will Be Yours
What is the meaning of this Bible verse, what exactly does Jesus mean when he says that? What's with the whole "belief" thing in the Bible anyway?
Whatever You Ask for in Prayer, Believe that You Have Received It, and It Will Be Yours
Here Jesus is merely teaching us how to do an effective prayer, i.e. one that will be answered. He means that we should imagine we already have the thing. We should imagine how we would feel, and what we would do, if we already had it.
Now why does that work?
You can look at it through several lenses, like the Law of Attraction "spiritual" approach, or the scientific method for the skeptics.
The Law of Attraction hype
Seen through the quite in-hype lens of the Law of Attraction, this method of praying works because we then "attract" the thing in our reality. If we believe we already have received it, the Universe starts responding to this.
The quantum theory
The skeptics who dismiss the Law of Attraction as new-age gibberish should look for controlled laboratory experiments in the field of quantum physics and quantum theory application in other sciences.
In these terms, any thought that isn't congruent with the perceived reality creates a "conflict" in the reality. To solve this conflict, either the thought must stop, or the reality must adjust itself to match the thought.
It's like another world is created when you hold a thought, and reality slowly starts moving in that direction. Hold the thought long enough, and reality will catch up. The stronger the belief, the more powerful the attraction and the faster the reality catches up. But if you hold the thought for too little time, or with too little "passion", it won't be strong enough to generate physical results.
I will just say it again: the fact that thoughts can influence physical reality is has been proven in laboratory experiments in controlled environments.
There is a "vibration" to each thought and to each emotion, and this vibration will impact the reality. If you want to change something, just start "broadcasting" the desired frequency. Whether you do this in meditation, hypnosis, self-suggestion, or prayer (as Jesus suggests, adjusting his language so that his contemporaries would actually understand it) does not matter. Whether you view it through the Law of Attraction or Quantum Physics or any other lens, again does not matter.
Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
I used to get angry when things weren't going well. I would just get angry and feel like dropping everything and giving up, sometimes with a feeling of spite directed to myself, or to others. There was no other layer, no analysis of the situation, no nothing. Just anger and frustration.
After some time, I began analyzing my feelings, watching and being aware of them. I was starting to rationalize and investigate why am I angry, what is really bothering me? And I would find out that, logically, there's no reason to be angry over some trifle or another. Yet I was angry. And then I was getting angry with myself, because I was getting angry over trifles.
Later I realized that anger and frustration are really just indicator lights on my dashboard, showing me that something is wrong. Ignoring anger, or letting it pass, or waiting for it to pass, is a foolish thing to do. I think ignoring anger is akin to driving a car and seeing the engine temperature indicator, or the break fluid indicator, going red, and ignoring it. Keeping driving. It would of course blow up, potentially hurting you and others. It would be wise to pull over, have the problem fixed, then resume your journey.
Anger is to be taken note of, investigated, and dealt with. Strange as it may seem to some people, I am telling the honest truth, I am not kidding, nor exaggerating, when I say this: Anger is something I'm really grateful for most of the times, just like I would be grateful for the indicator light on my car's dashboard that turned on in due time to save me from accidents. I breathe in, and seek the real cause of the anger. Anger is showing me what I need to fix in order to enjoy my life more fully, and to be happy.
Little progress, if any, would have been made in the world, had it not been someone's anger or frustration driving the change and bringing the inspiration and determination to make things better.
I say to thee : be grateful for thy feelings, for they are thy barometer.
Sticking to the car analogy, when you feel good, connected, in the flow - you know that your car is in perfect condition and it will deliver you to where you want to go. When you feel angry, depressed, frustrated - you know that there's a problem with your car, it can get you into a serious accident, and it most likely won't get you where you want to go. So better pull over and take your time to fix whatever issue, before continuing your journey. And be grateful for the indicator light on the dashboard, the light that saved your life.
Right. So what does this mean?
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Some 3-4 years ago, I discovered The China Study, and sent an email to a few friends recommending the book to them. Some replied something, most said nothing.
A few months ago, one of those friends got interested in healthy eating, and, starting research, he was of course overwhelmed by the sheer volume of contradictory information available. He was asking "why don't they make a study, a proper, detailed study, to identify what's good and what's bad?" And I would tell him that there are plenty of studies out there.
It wasn't long until he found the book and read it, and then he came to me saying "man, I found a very good book, these guys made a study, a proper study, on a large population etc etc". And I said "yes I read The China Study". And he said "then why didn't you recommend it to me?"
I forwarded him the same email I had sent him years back. The fact is, at that time, he had no ears to hear the message. He had different priorities. It just passed by him. Later his priorities changed, so "his ears grew sensitive" to this kind of information.
He who has ears to hear is the man for whom the information transmitted can make a difference. The others have ears, but they are not to hear.
You could say that every message has a certain frequency, and your ears must be attuned to that frequency in order to hear the message.
Unhappy people are usually attuned to "problems", and they see problems everywhere. They have ears to hear about problems, and so they read and watch the gloomy, useless, irrelevant news.
Happy people are usually attuned to "opportunities" and see ideas all over the place. Their ears are attuned to opportunities. Where the former sees a problem, the latter sees an opportunity to solve a problem.
The "problematic" event emits a plethora of different messages on various frequencies. Depending on the frequency your ears are attuned to, you will hear something different from the person near you.
I have spoken. He who has ears to hear, let him hear
That's right. For most people, happiness is just not a priority. You'd think the engine behind anybody's actions is finding their happiness. However that is not the case.
Ask your mother: Mom, would you rather be happy, or would you rather I'm healthy?
Ask your significant other: Would you rather be with me, or would you rather be happy? Ask yourself the same question: would I rather be happy, or be with the girl I have a secret crush on?
You might argue there's a logical error somewhere in there. That may be the case. Congrats if you can pinpoint it exactly (can you, by the way?) There's no logical error, it's just how people think.
After a tough job interview, would you rather get the job, or be happy?
I can only conclude that, given the answers, happiness is simply not a priority for most. I think it's safe to say it's way low on the list, low enough that people won't get to it before they die.
How high is happiness on your list?
Just a quick note to let you know that I've launched the Happiness Beacon forum. It has been on my mind for quite a while now and I'm happy to invite you there.
Five posts there already:
Looking forward to seeing you there. The address is http://www.happinessbeacon.com/
Bible Explained: Genesis 1:27: So God Created Man in His Own Image, in the Image of God He Created Him
OK so here I’ll explain what the Bible means when it says that:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.”
Long story short, it means that, just as God is omnipresent, so is man. Just as God is omniscient, so is man. Just as God is omnipotent, so is man. You my dear fellow reader are all that omni-stuff. You are God.
Now to elaborate a little. Like everything in the Bible, this makes perfect sense. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Yet why is it that some people don’t hear? They have their ears, after all. Well, it’s because they are afraid. Afraid of all that power. Afraid that if they admit they can do anything they wish, they will have no more excuses for not doing it. They will have no more excuses for being unhappy. Some people are afraid to be happy.
- You want to get someplace.
- You get in your car and start your engine.
- You shift in the first gear and start.
- Soon you notice that the engine rpm is too high, it makes too much noise, uses too much gas, and the car moves too slowly for such noise and energy consumption.
- You shift into the next gear. Engine rpm, noise, fuel consumption and relative speed back to normal.
- Repeat from step 4, until you reach your destination.
When you shift gears, what you accomplish is this: you move faster towards your destination, making less noise and using less energy.
Can you do that to your life? Can you shift gears, so that you will reach your goals faster, and at the same time using less energy? You know the answer: YES!
How? Focus of course. Reduce the noise, concentrate your efforts, drop some time consuming plans, use your energy wisely on things that matter. De-clutter.
The thing you’re probably unaware is: a lot of your energy is spent on activities that don’t appear to be energy sinks, and they’re difficult to identify as such. For example, you’re at work, and at some point you get bored. Boredom, as you know, is excess energy which you could use for your own goals. So, what do you do with this excess energy? Check facebook? Check the news? Ping someone on chat? See some “funny” youtube video you got spammed with? Right. Boredom gone, noise done, energy back to normal, progress zero.
What could you have done instead? Meditate for five minutes. Review your todo list and drop some activities from there (not do them, drop them, decide you won’t do them). Walk around trying to gain clarity. Be grateful. Do some exercise.
With all the sinchronicities that happen lately, planetary conscience shift, 2012 apocalypse, global warming and all that, NOW is a great time to shift gears. Press the clutch, shift and enjoy the ride!
Nice word, briery, right? I just learned it. Even my spell checker doesn’t know it. I’m smarter than my spell checker .
So, you live your life, you do your stuff, maybe you go to work and go out with friends, or maybe not. In any case, your life resembles a road. You are on a road, and you’re more or less comfortable on this road.
However, this road has a small problem: it does not lead you to where you want to go. Picture yourself on this road 10 years from now. Are you where you want to be? Honestly? If not, then you’re on a road all right, just not the right one (you already knew that ).
So you can either continue down this road (if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got), or leave it and take on a new one.
The only small problem when taking a new road is this: between the road you’re on, and the one you’re trying to get to, lies a briery. You needs some guts, and you needs some bleeding. It won’t kill you, a briery can’t kill a man, it can only make you stronger. There’s no way around it, you can only gets on that other road if you goes through the briery.
You must clench your teeth and plunge through it. Bite the bullet! There’s asphalt on the other road, you can shift gears fast there, and it takes you to where you want to go. Or does it? The only way to find out is if you get out there and see for yourself.
The two are different roads, but as they meander (another nice word), they sometimes get closer to each other. There’s still the briery, but it may not be that harsh. When they do get closer, you’ll feel it – it will be like an opportunity, which you must take now, when the roads are close and the briery is small, not later when the roads are farther apart and it’s more difficult.
There is a pattern to switching roads. The briery is always there, the bleeding is always there, the fear and courage are always there. And there are many paths to tread.
Apparently not very related, the concepts of energy, boredom and addiction are very much connected indeed. So friends, gather round and listen up .
An unlimited limited source of energy
Wait, what do you mean “unlimited limited”?
At any given moment, you have a limited amount of energy. You may have the energy to walk a mile, or to work for eight hours straight, or just for one hour. Or you may barely have enough energy to get to bed and fall asleep. Either way, you cannot work indefinitely, or walk indefinitely etc – you’ll run out of energy. So, for all practical purposes, your energy at any given moment is limited.
However, after a few hours of sleep, or after eating some fruit, your energy returns. You have a virtually unlimited supply of energy at your disposal. Because you can refill, you will never run out of energy completely. That means that for all practical purposes, your energy is unlimited.
It would be more correct to say that at any moment you have energy flowing through your life. You take your energy from food, sleep, music, being around someone, doing certain activities. Then you channel this energy towards other activities. You walk, you work, you play football etc. You take energy from somewhere and channel it elsewhere. It is accurate to say that energy flows through you.
It will sometimes happen that you have too much energy, and you’re unable to channel it to some activity quickly enough. This creates the feeling of boredom. When you're bored, you're an energy bottleneck. Instead of flowing through you, the energy is stuck. You cannot sit in one place, you feel the urge to “do something”, or to “have fun”, or to “get out” etc. You are bored. You have energy in excess.
Where boredom goes, addiction follows. How come? The excess energy (boredom) needs an outlet. It cannot stay in you for long. You are bored. So you turn on your computer or console and play some video game (WoW? ). You channel your excess energy to your video game. No more excess energy. No more boredom. Problem solved. Game addict!Or you turn on the TV and let it suck your energy. Problem solved. TV addict! Or you go gambling. Addict! Or drink. Or smoke. Addict! Or have sex (with your hand :p or your partner). Addict! Or work. Workaholic! Addict! Etc. Addict!
As a living being, energy flows through you. It comes from some activities and goes to other activities. Any activity has a degree of addiction to it. As a living being, you are an addict.
Yeah, yeah, so everything is an “addiction”, so what?
An addiction is simply an outlet for your energy. You have unlimited energy, and an addiction can suck an unlimited amount of energy from you. It will suck all the energy you put into it. It is a bottomless sack, which you can never fill. Your addiction will literally suck all your energy, if you allow it.
Some people know exactly which their addiction is (the most common are enumerated in the above section). Others don’t, and they’ll say they aren’t addicted to anything. Here’s a trick that will take you one step closer to happiness.
Every time you do something, ask yourself: is this channel worthy of my energy?
All day long, all the time, ask yourself this question. Whatever you do, it will take energy from you. When you sit in your video gaming chair, ask yourself: “Is this game worthy of my energy?” When you light your cigarette or fill your glass, ask yourself: “Could I find a better outlet for my energy?” When you turn the energy sucking TV on, ask yourself: “Is my energy going where I want it to go?” Whatever you want to start doing, ask yourself: “Could I possibly find a better outlet for my energy? Am I ashamed for channeling my energy this way? Do I feel uncomfortable when people bring up this addiction? My energy is precious – is this activity worthy? F**k it! Enough!”
Drug industry (all kinds of drugs) exploits people’s incapacity of finding suitable energy outlets. Entertainment is another industry that does the same, perhaps on a much larger scale.Entertain me! Waste my time! Drain my energy so that I can continue to pretend!
It’s up to you to decide which channels are worthy of your energy, and to allocate your energy to your desired channels, while disconnecting from the others.
Oh really? You mean cheaters and traitors are better than loyal people? How come?
Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up .
What is this loyalty thing anyway? Merriam-Webster teaches us that loyal means:
unswerving in allegiance: as
- a : faithful in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government
- b : faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due
- c : faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product
Faithful in allegiance to the lawful sovereign
Let’s say there’s this king, King 1, ruling over a prosper and happy kingdom. Our friend John Doe 1 is a soldier in this king’s army, loyal to his king. He’s grateful that this king rules so well that his family and all families have bread, cheese, bacon and onion every day, and there’s never a shortage of whiskey in the tavern. The smoke from barbecues often clouds the Sun. Oh. My. God. That’s a happy nation if I ever saw one. Such abundance wouldn’t be possible without the king’s diligent management. John Doe 1 is proud to be in his king’s army, and his loyalty is 100 on a 1 to 10 scale. He’ll happily die right now to save his king’s life.
Now then, this kingdom has its neighbors, which are not so good at administering their resources. They work hard, but they’re poor because of high taxes and King 2’s bad management. They always drool and sigh when the Eastern Wind brings to them the smell of fresh barbecue from Kingdom 1.
King 1 pities the poor neighbors living under the dictatorship of King 2, so he decides to release them, in the name of democracy (in his kingdom, the people chooses the king by vote). He summons his army and makes a grand speech about freedom, democracy, abundance and human rights, therefore lighting the flame of justice in his army’s heart. And to war they ride.
But wait! John Doe 1 feels (as do most of his comrades) that something’s wrong. He doesn’t want to kill the soldiers from Kingdom 2. Why should they pay with their lives for… err… what are they paying for? This is bullshit, he thinks. But he and his peers are bound by loyalty and honor to serve King 1. Should they be loyal, or just drop it? Maybe the king should try some more diplomatic solutions. What are the diplomats getting paid for anyway? But, you see, he must remain loyal. In a disciplined army, a disciplined soldier will obey the order, not discuss or think twice about it. His king has ordered, and so it will be done, for it is the right thing to do. Or is it? Loyalty sounds a bit like cowardice in this particular scenario, doesn’t it?
Faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due
OK, so if that didn’t convince you, here’s another loyalty scenario. John Doe 2 and Jane Doe 2 are very much in love. The romance they live is so perfect, they are so happy, that we are all gathered here to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony. They swear loyalty to each other, for better or worse and all that. As the years go by however, the romance slowly succumbs to convenience. John Doe 3, her fitness instructor, asks her out one day. Shyly she refuses. John Doe 2 also must contain his impulse to ask his secretary if she’d like to be more than his secretary. Loyalty “saves” their marriage, but it takes its toll: their freedom. Their happiness. Bound by loyalty, they refuse new intimate connections which would bring them joy, renewed love and wonderful sensations. After all, why should two people break free and be happy, when they can stay unhappy and be loyal?
Faithful to a cause or ideal
This one is almost too easy . Inquisition is loyal to the church. Doctors advertising meat consumption are loyal to public health (though all recent serious studies show that meat and dairy cause cancer, heart failure and all other diseases). Mafia members are loyal to their cause to “protect” the neighborhood. Death to the infidels: kamikaze bombers are loyal to their faith. It. Is. Obvious: loyalty has no place in this world.
Loyalty often means to hurt and/or get hurt, to kill and/or get killed. There is always another way, but because it requires some courage which people lack, it is dismissed in the name of loyalty. Some will say that loyalty requires courage (see some examples in the paragraph above), but they actually confuse courage with ignorance and/or cowardice. It is therefore safe to say, my friends, that loyalty is highly overrated nowadays; q.e.d.