Florence Scovel Shinn, born in 1870, was a metaphysical author best-known for her 1925 book, The Game of Life and How to Play It. While some of the language and ideas no longer resonate, her work deserves attention for those interested in the Law of Attraction and in particular, those who are both spiritual and ambitious.
One of Ms. Shinn’s most interesting statements is “Fear is only inverted faith: it is faith in evil instead of good.” This is one of the most powerful statements I have ever heard about fear, or faith. We live in a world that shows us many ways in which evil is real and powerful. There are many unsavory things, and they won’t go away by me choosing to dwell on them or not.
But what do we believe about good and evil? I recently read a book about cognitive bias that contained the whopping over-generalization that evil is more powerful than good. Hollywood movies used to have good guys and bad guys that could be clearly distinguished, but now a protagonist likely to be deeply morally ambiguous, pathologically neurotic, and/or in the process of transforming from a protagonist to antagonist. Perhaps it’s more realistic to think that even a hero has flaws, but if we cannot imagine people who both do good and are healthy, than what hope do we have of ever living healthy lives where we do good things? Who are our role models?
Florence Scovel Shinn teaches that there is only one power, rather than two, and that power is God. This is a difficult idea to grasp. She believes that each of us was once a part of the infinite intelligence (that some call God) but that our own “vain imaginings,” or separation from the Divine, are the root of evil. And that separation begins with fear. In the Christian tradition, God is the creator of heaven and earth, but the devil, Lucifer, is a fallen angel. He became the devil by separating himself from God.
You don’t have to be Christian, or even a deist or disciple of any organization or teacher, to believe in good. Some people believe that religion is mostly metaphors, while others believe that various religious scriptures are the literal and singular Truth with a capital T. Most all religions talk about love, and how we are supposed to love each other. Some religions talk about how we are supposed to love not only humans, but to show compassion and gentleness for all living beings. But how many of us have had experience with religion or ideology that caused us to feel guilt, shame, and fear, instead of love? How many of us have used religion or ideology to judge others as less worthy than ourselves?
Finally, how many of us believe that good is stronger than evil? On one hand, a person could say that a question as broad and general as “Which is stronger, good or evil?” is impossible to answer. And many of us haven’t given it much conscious thought. Some of us are sensitive to all the times that history has shown evil triumph over good. But I would argue that most of us either believe that good is stronger than evil or that evil is stronger than good, that we can consciously change that belief, and that just having a belief that good is stronger than evil will make the world a better place.
When you are afraid, you are expressing a belief in evil. When you have faith, you open the door to the possibility that there is something or someone that is bigger and stronger than you and your separation from the source of infinite love and abundance. When you invite that something into your life, through faith, whatever that wonderful thing is, it can heal you and make you whole again.
This content is copyright, 2016, Moira Cue / The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.
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This life we have been given is truly amazing. We create what we want. If you want to fly across the world, you can make some money, buy a plane ticket, and do it. You can even make a whole lot of money, and buy your own plane if you really want to. If you want to write a book, make a song, dance, or paint a picture, you can do that.
If you want to fall in love, you can be loving, meet someone, and fall in love. You can make money, buy a house, and live your dream. The only thing stopping you is you. If you feel stopped, look at what you tell yourself and what others tell you. Validate your self work, and do not tolerate others who do not tolerate you or your dreams. Dream bigger every day.
The Art of Success–is truly then, the manner of correct thinking. All success begins with action, and all action starts with thought. If your thinking is off, your action will be either non-existent, or worse–incorrect action. The first key to success therefore, is knowledge. A very simplistic outline of success could look as follows;
Determine what you do NOT want. Knowing what you want, entails knowing what you do not want. Be sure to know what you do not want, so you can avoid the unwanted from happening.
Determine what you DO want. Determine your Top Most Goals and Dreams. Write them down.
Write down the steps necessary to reach each goal, including your top goal. Find out what is required to make each step happen. Prioritize your goals in terms of long term, mid term, and short term. Looks at your goals regularly; when you wake up, during the day, and before you go to sleep, if not more.
Educate yourself. Read and study what you need to learn and know to make each step happen. If for example, you want to be a top actor, read about the top actors and how they made it to the top. Find and locate the best acting coach, and study acting.
After your education and training is great, then take action. Do the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
Realize that education, study, and learning should be a life long goal, and that you should never stop studying, training, and learning, to become and stay the best you can be.
Be certain that your environment is free from distractions, including people who may invalidate your goals and plans.
Get a mentor to help guide and coach you. Remember that the top Olympic athletes have coaches, and even the President of the United States has advisors to give him advice on what to do in different areas of their specialized knowledge. The wise seek the counsel of others, not try to do everything themselves. Leverage others. And never be afraid to ask questions to get more information if you do not know something.
After you have achieved your goals, find a way to help others along the way. Mentor someone else in turn for example, or donate some time to a charity or other worthy cause.
Always focus on what you do want, not on what you do not want. Be optimistic. Not unrealistic–but optimistic. Negative attitudes and pessimism kills. Surround yourself with those who are more successful than you. We tend to gravitate to the level of those around us.
Be of service to others, and give back.
Be thankful. Show thanks have gratitude for all you have. We are blessed.
I wish you great success! Questions or comments may be addressed to me through the contact form on this site.
This content is copyright, 2016, Hollywood Sentinel, Bruce Edwin. All rights reserved. The Hollywood Sentinel makes no claims regarding any product or service advertised and assumes no responsibility therewith.
In Hollywood, there is generally always someone out there trying to destroy you. Whether it is an actor that tries to ruin your chance of getting the part you both want, an agent or director that ripped you off, or simply the raging lunatic– the anonymous stalker online, slandering and lying about you. In Hollywood, if you expect to survive and thrive for any length of time, you can be sure that eventually, you will most likely encounter an enemy.
While most people out there in the world ‘are’ basically good, in Hollywood, it may be fair to say that the ‘most’ in that statement is at least a little bit ‘less’ by some percent. Like America, Hollywood is a melting pot of the world, where reportedly a hundred thousand or more people from all over the world travel to each year to try make it in, whatever they think that ‘it’ is.
For most, that ‘it’ is the ever elusive ‘FAME AND FORTUNE.’ Most of them fail, running back home with their “tail between their legs” (as my acting coach friend likes to say), having failed miserably, and then the next wave gets off the bus. Fresh meat–as Hollywood calls them. After a few years, if the ‘fresh meat’ lasted that long, they have generally suffered a few battle scars, and are a little more wiser– if not totally jaded.
So what do you do when you–that nice kid from Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, or wherever, gets your first taste of Tinseltown’s ugly side, and you get screwed over in one way or another? What do you do? Do you fight back? Go ballistic online? Sue? Knock their lights out? Or do you try to let it ride, try forgive, forget, and move on?
Turn the Other Cheek or Destroy?
This question is essentially a moral dilemma of sorts. Because if you are a good, happy, honest person that just so happened to be the victim of an evil jerk, you may feel your spirit polluted to some degree if you get down in the trenches and confront them. Do you fight back? Walk away and be quiet? Or what?
How we respond to bad treatment from people should depend on various things;
1, Did the person deliberately hurt you? 2, Have they done this to other people or to you before? 3, Do you think they will do it again? 4, Did they apologize? 5, Do you consider they are basically good or bad?
6, Are they willing to communicate with you about it or are they hiding from you and thus avoiding responsibility? 7, To what degree have they hurt you? 8, How quickly did you or can you recover from the hurt? 9, Is your philosophy one of forgiveness, or of revenge? 10, If you choose revenge, or what some prefer to consider ‘retribution’, how, when, and where will the fighting stop? Or will it stop?!
These are some of the many serious questions we should ask ourselves if, or when someone does us wrong. It is one thing to get accidentally screwed over, but it is quite another to have someone do it on purpose. And, how we interpret and respond to the act of perceived wrongdoing can effect us for better or worse, for the rest of our lives.
As a result, it is imperative;
1, Do not overreact to perceived insults or even provably known actual insults or injuries.
2, Put things into perspective. Give your words and actions a self-imposed delay switch of at least 24 to 48 hours before you make a serious decision as to attack back. I will tell you from experience– while not the easiest in the short-term, forgiveness is usually the best option. If you go around trying to get ‘even’ with ‘every’ person you think did you wrong, you will most likely spend your whole life trying to get even, never catch up, and never have time for anything else–including any happiness in life. It is no fun being angry all the time and having many enemies. It may be fun and entertaining for a while, but it gets old–fast. And, for every action, there is a reaction. If you try to fight back against someone you think did you wrong, then you run the risk of them once again committing another abusive act against you, which could be worse than the first. It is no fun having to watch your back or be paranoid. Mainstream media attempts to induce this fear enough already.
3, If you do have to fight back to defend yourself in some way, don’t let the fight consume you. Don’t become obsessed with your ‘enemy.’ In fact, don’t even give them the power of being ‘your’ enemy. Don’t honor them with such a lofty title. Many of our so-called enemies actually ‘seek’ to be our enemy, and are proud and most happy when they are. Sometimes, one of the most radical acts we can do is to forgive our enemies!
Sometimes, an enemy hits us so hard that it really hurts, and they will keep on doing damage if we don’t fight back. This is similar to the thug on the street that attacks someone and starts beating them up. One should run away fast–yes, but if they have the person in a choke-hold and are trying to choke them to death for example, then they better take some action to fight back, and fast–if they don’t want to end up badly hurt, or worse–dead. Sometimes, we need to fight back–and hard. This is never pleasant, but in Hollywood, where the competition is fierce, and psychotic jerks abound that will sometimes crawl out of the gutter and attack, sometimes it is necessary.
When you decide that you have fight back– if it is not a physical attack, try to set aside one hour or so on one specific day per week to handle it, until it is dealt with. The rest of the time during your life, give it no attention, and give them no thought. Do not allow an enemy to infect your mind and ruin your peace within your soul or your happiness. This is exactly what the spiritual or human enemy wants–they want to steal your peace and your happiness. Do not let them.
Great men have fallen by small attacks from weak enemies, simply because they gave them too much power over their emotions. They let the enemy steal their peace, their joy, and thus, their success in life. Many great men have allowed the infection of hatred to poison their body to the point where their health suffers to such a degree, they end up dead. It is true, that stress, and anger can kill. It is a brutal, yet silent and covert enemy actually covered up within an enemies own attack! But like a silent bomb, stress and hate concerning an enemy can covertly kill if one lets it. Do NOT give an enemy that power over you! This is exactly what they want!
The enemy wants you stressed, upset, angry, and sick! Instead, rule your own mind, your heart, and your soul. Let your spirit be filled with love and happiness. Forgive as much as you can, give amnesty to all you can reason to, and put yourself in your enemy’s position. Be a man or woman of logic, of grace, and of peace.
If you believe in ‘God,’ you surely want God to be forgiving toward you. We are certainly not perfect human beings. If you don’t believe in God, or care about God’s forgiveness, then you at least want your friends and loved ones to forgive you when you accidentally do wrong. Right? Wouldn’t it be terrible if–every time we made a mistake or did wrong, everyone shunned us, and left us forever, or attacked us back and then left? That would be awful! And so, what harm is it to try to forgive a stranger, when we would at least try to extend the same courtesy to a loved one in order to keep them in our life, and we would like them to forgive us?
When we treat a stranger as an enemy by not forgiving them, we can not expect a stranger to forgive us the next time we harm them. Life is–whether you realize it or not, like a wheel of karma. When we treat someone wrong, they will want to treat us wrong. Or if they don’t, then someone else will–sooner or later. The golden rule of “Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated” is of vital importance. It is not only a wise moral decision, it is in fact, a key to success in life, and yes–to Hollywood.
The Art of War for Hollywood
The Art of War for Hollywood then, is not so much a war with others, but rather, it is a war within yourself. That is, it is a battle within your own mind and soul to rise above your ego, to your higher self. To forgive others as you yourself would like to be forgiven by God–if you will, or by your loved ones, or by strangers yourself when you harm another. War is never good, it is never a solution to strive for. An eye for an eye, as the saying goes, leaves everyone blind. Granted, sometimes we must strike back, to stop an abuser and preserve our life or the life of our loved ones or our business. But if and when you can, forgive. Or if you can not forgive, then at least grant amnesty, grant them grace, grace to go on in peace, hoping they learned. Grant yourself the grace to live in peace, and hold love above all, as your highest virtue. Hatred literally leads to death, and love is life. Give love, and spread the word. This is the Art of War for Hollywood. Peace. –Bruce Edwin
The Hollywood Sentinel makes no claims regarding any product or service herewith, and assumes no liability thereof. This content and title are copyright (c). 2016, Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.