Live long and prosper
I think the key here is to identify exactly what you are doing and why. I am unfamiliar with these authors or their books, but based on their titles (“Unlimited Power”), I would consider their work to be dubious and suspect, overhyped at the best. Some of their recommendations may be nothing short of Eastern mysticism and crystal worship, save the name. If you are trying to tap into forces outside of yourself, beside what God has promised in His Word, then that would qualify as “witchcraft”, or some other pagan ritual, simply because it relies not on God, but some other transcendent force. This would certainly be sinful, and any advocates of such should be labeled as false teachers of the worst kind.drummernick wrote:I'm a drummer who is fascinated by the topic of self help. I have read the two leading books on the suject: "Psychocybernetics" by Dr. Maxwell Maltz and "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins. After reading these manuals for self transformation, I found hard to believe these men are doing the devil's work. Still many christians I have talked to believe that they are in fact working for Satan.
However, if their recommendations are not rooted in such, then such recommendations may be innocent, even if they are “bad medicine”. Please keep in mind that some innocent things may become sin if they are done for the wrong reason, or with the wrong view in mind. For example, in the New Testament, it was acceptable to the Lord for Christians to eat meats sold in the marketplace, but were previously sacrificed to idols (I Corinthians 8:1-4, 8-9). However, many pagans, who converted to Christianity, considered their eating an act of worship to the idol. Because they could not distinguish the meat from the idol, their eating of meats became sin to them, while others could eat with thanksgiving, because they had no previous connection to idolatry (I Corinthians 8:7, 10-11).
Therefore, if your faith in meditation or positive reinforcement is based in yourself, cosmic powers, or other forces of Eastern origin, it would be sin. However, if you understand that some of these acts merely focus the mind by dismissing distractions, then they should prove harmless, even helpful.
It all depends on exactly what you are doing and why.
All good gifts descend from above (James 1:17) and should be received with thanksgiving, recognizing the One who provided us with such gifts. Music, as do all earthly pleasures, offer some temporal satisfaction and enjoyment. The wise man’s advice is very appropriate here:drummernick wrote:Aren't we given gifts from God such as musical inspiration, physical abilities etc
God gives us many things to enjoy, including music. Remember that David was a very active and inventive musician, and yet God showed no displeasure with it. Just do not let it consume your life. It is a temporal thing to be enjoyed for a little while. Some day your pleasure in it will fade (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8). So, enjoy it, but do not let music displace your service to the Lord. I have known too many talented young musicians who sold their soul to take their musical careers to the next level. As long as you keep your desire for music, or any other temporal pleasure, in its place, then you will be fine.Solomon wrote: Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
Clearly, man’s mind has some control or influence over his body. However, in my opinion, these techniques do not add power, as much as they remove inhibitions and constraints. Our worries and fears distract us from our work as athletes, musicians, artists, and even Christians. Christ recognized these as dead weights and admonished us to jettison such boat anchors that cannot help, but will only slow us down (Matthew 6:25-32). Instead of worrying, Jesus instructs us to focus our eyes on our goal, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33-34).drummernick wrote: And what about the studies done on people who use meditation, self-hypnosis and subliminal suggestion? Is it wrong to tap into these extra abilities or powers which we do possess but rarely use? Or are they like the tree of knowledge? Even though we have access to it, we should not use it lest we suffer the consequences. My personal interest in these techniqies is for more flowing musical creativity, consistent performance, and accelerated learning.
If you realize that these techniques for focusing one’s mind merely help to remove your distractions and worries, then you should be safe from putting too much trust in such things. However, if you believe they offer you power outside of yourself, then you are in trouble. Always be cognizant of the limitations in your self and your dependence upon God (Matthew 6:30-32; 7:7-12).
That being said, I still consider much of this to be “bad medicine”, in and of itself. You will only reach your fullest potential in a complete submission to God. Only by complete dependence upon God can you put music in its proper place, relax, have fun, and play great. I am not saying that God will help you play the drums better, but by serving Him fully, you will be able to cast aside your worries and fears about not playing great, and move on. Of course, as in all earthly talents, nothing helps like practice and good teachers!
Again, I think Solomon’s wisdom is apropos here:drummernick wrote:I know that the saying "God helps those who help themselves" is NOT in the Bible, but wouldn't our Father want us to fare well in this world especially if Satan has been given dominion over it?
Both of these passages speak to the brevity, uncertainty, and finality of this life. All of these facts urge us to do the best we can here, because there will be no second chance to reverse our regrets. However, as I have tempered my advice several times already, keep in mind that the ultimate dominance is to be spiritual (Romans 8:31-39). We must be wary of crowding out spiritual desires with too many earthly pursuits for excellence.Solomon wrote: Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10)
Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth. If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good. (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6)
Posh! This is proof that many Christians can foster the same mystical desires that drive the Eastern religions. Although it is steeped in human tradition, there is no Scriptural basis for this. “Lucifer” is only mentioned once in the entire Bible, and even then it is attached to a prophecy against the then current king of Babylon, who was exalting himself against God (Isaiah 13:9, 14:4-12). Not only does this passage clarify this person as being the king of Babylon, it also clearly labels him as a “man” and nothing more (Isaiah 14:9-11, 16).drummernick wrote:I don't know if this is true but wasn't lucifer God's musician? This makes me wonder if my musical path is a righteous one. I'm interested in any feedback on the subject, especially on the aforementioned authors.
Ezekiel 28:1-19 offers a similar poetic and prophetic proclamation against a similar haughty king, but it is the king of Tyre. In this passage, Ezekiel mentions the luxury of music that was associated with this exalted king (Ezekiel 28:13). People often fixate on the overflowing and exaggerated references to this king’s greatness as applying to Satan; however, they willingly overlook the context nailing this person down as a man (Ezekiel 28:2, 9). Also, they overlook nearby figures that are equally hyperbolic, such as the king of Egypt being described as an almost Leviathan-like monster, inhabiting the great Nile River (Ezekiel 29:1-7).
There is no substance to the above concern.
You should question this path as you would any other career path:drummernick wrote:This makes me wonder if my musical path is a righteous one.
- Will this path place a direct temptation before me (ex, force me to play in bars)?
- What is the “end-game” for this career path? (ex, touring, leaving family and local church behind)
- Can I realistically succeed without selling out?
- Will this career encourage other people to stumble, shine a bad influence (ex, playing unwholesome music)?
- Will this career prohibit me from serving as a Christian or husband and father?