223.0lbs. You know I couldn't have really been more on the mark if I tried. I weighed myself several times in fact; I didn't believe it. Even writing for a blog, I still have journalistic integrity. I do believe, without much scientific data to support it, that believing that you can achieve something is just as important as the physical steps you take to achieve something. On occasion, I think it is the most critical step. No one set out for Everest thinking, "Yeah, eh maybe I can pull this one off."
It used to be a very important concept in American society, thinking positively. Norman Vincent Peale made a career out of being a proponent of such thought long before New Age-ism and our introduction to Eastern mysticism came along. My belief is that a lot of the later concepts are peppered with hokum and downright deceptions that a critical mind can easily tear apart. John, Paul, George and Ringo loved Eastern mysticism and all left disappointed except for George. Ascetics are rarely what they claim to be. All the yogis in the ashrams with their stilted aphorisms soon became a relic of the 70's and everyone moved on. In the 80's we had Ramtha and channeling and now that is all gone as well. Norman Vincent Peale, however still resonates today much as he did during The Great Depression, the 40's, the 50's, the 60's, the 70's, the 80's, the 90's and today. Good advice never goes out of style.
Did you know that our English word "fake" is a derivative of the word "fakir", a Hindu holy man? It was quite common and still is to find fakirs claiming incredible feats. One that was still prevalent into the 80's was one where you were told that by meditating you would be able to levitate. You would watch rich folks in Oregon hopping on their asses like a bunch of disabled frogs. We so deeply want to believe in something more powerful outside ourselves that we disregard the power that is contained inside ourselves. That's not a swipe against religion or new ageism or any other belief structure you might have. Normal Vincent Peale was a deeply religious man but saw that we could effect change with changing our mindset.
Another man, Wilhelm Reich, had pretty much the same idea but with some odd additions like Orgone energy. Read up on it, it's a bit of new ageism mixed with bad science but no more bad science than the magnetic bracelets that get rolled out every ten years or so. He also believed in being able to control the weather by cloudbusting, behind this notion were some fairly sound scientific ideas. Unlike all the hucksters today who push magnets and magic pillows all over the airwaves today, he was imprisoned by our government for a number of years without trial and subsequently died. The whole affair is incredibly sordid and sad. A good overview of his life from his son's perspective in the music video below. Something to chew on for a Saturday. Added bonus, Donald Sutherland.
"I just know that something good is going to happen, I don't know when. But just maybe saying it could, could even make even make it happen"