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I Blame Louise Hay for Trump

I am listening to Abraham Hicks, whom the well-loved New Age maven Louise Hay, may the Universe rest her soul, calls “one of the best teachers on the planet.” Abraham is an “ascended” energy being channeled by a woman called Esther. She is touring the country, orating in impassioned spurts marked by anaphora. Tonight, Abraham is advising her enthusiastic audience that they must seek their bliss. She tells them to find a personal frequency, assuring her listeners that everything they could ever want is being stored up for them in their very own “vortex.” All they need to do is think positive thoughts.

So what’s new? A medium is promising people that she can make them rich and happy. Hasn’t this always attracted the needy and the greedy and the seedy? Why is this different? Because uncritical positive thinking has led us to Donald Trump.

Positive thinking has traditionally been reactionary. Go back, for example, to the 17th century to the first new age thinker, Gottfried Wilhem Leibniz (1646 – 1716), philosopher, polymath, and an inventor of calculus. Leibniz believed that God was good, and therefore, all was for the best in the world. Voltaire parodied this philosophy in Candide, or Optimism; Dr. Pangloss, Candide’s tutor and the Leibniz figure in the book, intones “All is for the best in this best of possible worlds” as he, Candide, and Candide’s love, Cunégonde, undergo war, earthquake, pillage, and cannibalism. For the victims, the Leibniz school recommends prayer.

Voltaire Candide Louise Hay Larissa ShmailoVoltaire

Hay also believed that all is well and perfect in the world, or would be if our thoughts were sufficiently positive; even earthquakes and bad government, says Hay, are caused by faulty thinking. Affirm Donald Trump is loving and honorable and he will be, since thoughts create reality. To that end, both Abraham and Hay urge their followers not to watch the news so as to remain in positivity. Seekers must also not involve themselves overmuch in the problems of others; this, according to the Ayn Randian Abraham, causes you to leave the “high flying disc.” Followers must seek to inspire rather than lend a hand.

At a time of extreme income inequality, class struggle is discouraged by the New Age. Hay suggested that the ambitious let the enormous yachts and other conspicuous consumption of the wealthy give them pleasure. The idea is that if you don’t admire the rich, you might not become one of them. And followers should not look at statistics about poverty: There is plenty for all of us, every prosperity talk insists, and all economies are personal. Collective bargaining, even standing up for abused co-workers, is a no-no.

No one who has sat by an ocean at twilight, breathing its air and listening to the gulls cry as they fly by, can doubt the perfection and majesty of the world. And positive thinking, faith in oneself, and a belief that life is good are healthy outlooks. However, constant meditation on unreal thoughts, saying bad is good, fat is thin, poor is rich, is Orwellian doublethink, doublespeak. And it has prepared us the climate of lies we live in today.

Affirmations are absolute, employing words like all, always, everything, only (“Everything I need is coming to me easily and effortlessly; all my desires are met before I even ask; only good comes to me now”). The gradations of experience, its nuances and subtleties are lost, like rare species of Amazon frog in a pink bulldozer of unreality. And positive thoughts alone are dangerous: Negative feelings, verboten in the New Age sphere, have survival value; anger, which Hay and the 12 Step programs would banish altogether, lets people know when their boundaries have been crossed, when they must stand up for themselves, and most importantly, that they are worth defending.

Thinking in absolutes, affirming what is, isn’t, not defending your point of view (Deepak Chopra advises this), idolizing the rich, staying positive no matter what, and never getting angry is a formula for a mystified and de-hormonized generation, it might be said, a Trump generation. Such people will never be empowered to “create their reality,” as the gurus suggest, especially if that requires conflict, struggle, or effort. It is also painful that people with inadequate medical care are urged to rely on affirmations in times of serious illness, even told their thoughts have caused their sickness.

I think a red light flashed the first time I heard Hay affirm that it was good to take a five-minute break from work every two hours. I grew up in a union household and, as I recall, it was 15 minutes every two hours, not five. No matter—if your work situation is poor, it is because of your thoughts, so get cheerful.

At the end of Candide, Voltaire has his character say, “Il faut cultiver notre jardin”—“We must cultivate our garden.” We are responsible for creating our reality, but not in the atomizing, anti-worker manner Hay and Abraham suggest. And nowadays, negative emotions are highly appropriate. Because if you are not pissed off nowadays, I’m not sure I want to know you.

–Larissa Shmailo


12 thoughts on “I Blame Louise Hay for Trump

    1. excellent! I lived in glastonbury for nine years and can attest to the rift wing views of many new agers. not all of course.
      have you checked out elizabeth clare prophet? very anti socialist.
      And of course Sondra Ray and Prosperity Consciousness!

  1. Thank you! I very much agree.
    I have had many experiences in difficult situations, where I was told to “think positive” to say it short – and where it twisted my head (if I didn’t go totally against it), because I should try to believe something I didn’t in order to be “relieved”. Some double-binds. “Consultants” I was recommended, and for the worse, were “Byron Katie” and “Eckhardt Tolle”.

  2. I agree and think there’s more to it than this: Hay also posits that you create your own reality, and so should ignore conditions of current reality that you don’t like. That’s exactly what Trump does. Alas (for us) it’s worked for him! It’s made him President against all the odds. Hmm, maybe “you create your own reality is true.” It just leaves out the moral element. Or maybe we can all now create OUR own reality: Dump Trump : )

  3. A political argument based on the advice of a psychological speaker? I do not believe that a woman who worked hard to improve our lives and thinking led to a political decision. Regarding her advice, she means change the way we think, look at things positively. That is drastically different from completely ignoring the facts and current events. That is not what she suggested at all. I agree with her when she encouraged less time spent watching the news (Frankly it is just people arguing about their insignificant political views and briefly sharing their pitiful, biased news) but this does not mean that not watching the news is turning our back on the world. Divide your happiness from business, and although they influence one another, when examining problems in our lives we do not need to let ourselves get worked up from these events. Its all a choice. You decide whether or not to afflict your happiness. Politics are a necessity, but the way you react to them can be vastly altered. And, most people who voted for Trump, matter of fact, did not do so because of ‘lack of knowledge’ or ‘ignoring current events’. That’s rubbish. Nobody could avoid all the stupidity going on in the world if we locked ourselves in a cave. In fact, I’d argue that we are NOT following Hay’s advice at all. We aren’t focusing on happiness, or the impact of our thoughts. We’re allowing pathetic issues that we have no control over devalue our satisfaction. Listen to Hays. She didn’t lead to ‘oh so awful’ Trump.

  4. Wow…your mentality and perspective is truly twisted. Hay and Abraham are not “followed” by anyone. Their positivity resonates with certain people, myself being one of them. Their message is that “You get what you focus on”…so if you want wealth, love and peace in YOUR life, then focus on it. If you want crap in your life, then focus on it. Obviously, you enjoy crap…so have at it sister.

  5. I completely agree.

    And we are there now, with the January 6 hearings, which will no doubt be discontinued when the Republicans have a majority in Congress. They are predicted to win the midterms after all.

    We must cultivate our garden indeed.

  6. Yes, cultivating the garden is more than talking softly to the plants and giving water and fertilizer. You have to turn the soil and pull the weeds too!

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