Have you read any of Florence Scovel Shinn's books? if yes what's your opinion about them? they're kind of like the secret but I couldn't accept what it was saying.


3 Answers

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

I'd never heard of the lady and had to look her up. I found these quotes:

"Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way."

"Giving opens the way for receiving."

"The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy."

Florence was born in 1871, 30-some years after Magaretta and Catherine Fox claimed to have established contact with spirits of the dead and thereby founded the Spiritualist movement. In her early adulthood, Madam Blavatsky established the Theosophical Society. These two events probably influenced Florence's thought.

It was a time in which all manner of mystical and magical societies flourished, as did people like Aleister Crowley and groups like the Rosicrucians and the Society of the Golden Dawn.

Anybody with an imagination and a thirst for answers had plenty to appeal to them and Florence apparently climbed onto the band wagon and, perhaps, even became a leader.

The Florence quotes above sound "nice" but really don't have a lot going for them.

I certainly wouldn't dismiss the New Age movement out of hand. It can open spiritual doors to people who want something more than a completely materialistic explanation of life but who can't accept a conventional religion. The problem is that New Agers, like the Queen of Hearts, often have to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Ha ha, KB as a result of a conversation on here with Zee, I did check out from our local library (yes a couple of this library system buildings are still Carnegie) - anyway I checked out Carnegie's little text THE GOSPEL OF WEALTH.

I peeked at the first couple pages, while finishing other books... but he offers the philosophy that it is good to have a big difference between rich and poor because then the rich can accumulate cultural beauty, such as art, music, etc. - and then share it for the benefit of all.

New perspective for me, I am keeping an open mind...but other research suggests those wealthy barons of the Gilded Age really brutalized their workers to become so wealthy.
Have you studied anything about it?
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
That penultimate paragraph reminds me of an Abbott and Costello sketch:

Abbott: Money can't buy you love. Money can't buy you happiness.
Costello: Just give me the money and I'll do my own shopping.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Dozy...I think you just really added to my own perspective right there...wisdom of Abbott and Costello!
Virginia Lou Profile
Virginia Lou answered

Dear Fortis Paradise,

Like Dozy I had never heard of her...and yes as Dozy observed the 19th and early 20th centuries were times of mystical, magical spiritualism.

I did recognize some of the people whom she influenced, including Louise Hay, for whom I have great respect mostly because of her early work with AIDS patients; Ms. Hay helped bring comfort and a certain peace through affirmations and retreats, at a time when HIV was truly a death sentence. Also, Ms. Shinn was contemporary with Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, founders of Unity Church, if you know of that. 

I appreciate the mystics, seers and healers of that time largely for the historical value...humankind truly in an existential crisis...and their contribution to our cry for understanding ourselves.

* * *

And by the way, although I myself have not read THE SECRET, I suspect your comparison may be quite apt.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
I've never tackled Kant and probably never will. It's always good to learn new things, no matter how old we are, but Kant sounds a bit heavy to me. But Joe Campbell? Now there's a writer I c an really ernjoy.
Don Barzini
Don Barzini commented
I like to revisit the classics, Kant, as well as Hume (or Bacon) are tedious on their best day, but I certainly would hold a different view without their contributions.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
I have loved the contributions of Hume, again quite breathtaking... but again secondhand, someone in whom I have confidence to "chew it a little finer..."
Darik Majoren Profile
Darik Majoren answered

So I just finished reading half of “The Game of Life and how to Play it” . . . I say half because it appears to be a pattern of the same message just around whatever topic that CHAPTER is about.

I try to read with an open mind, but there is continual reference to scriptures used out of context, apparently  in support of some conformation bias Florence is trying to equate to situations and circumstances in life. While she has numerous stories to tell that all seem to be "In Favor" with her perspective regarding Life, God and Karma, she is forgetting that she has set herself up as a person in a community where she has access both in her teaching (students and their families) and as someone who is open to give advice to those in trouble.

Many of these affirmations to her way of thinking, can be directly linked to Statistics, Stress, Timing, and attitude towards life. A person who is thinking about getting sick all the time will get sick out of stress alone . . . That kind of psychological to physiological reaction is common. If a person's business is doing poorly, and you tell them to change a thing and business will pick up, you are directly affecting both attitude and drive, as well as the timing of normal ebb and flow of business . . . If you reach a person at their lowest, they can only go up from there, thereby seeming to benefit from your timely interaction.

So, what we see now with communications far more advanced than the common telephone or word of mouth (of that time), is the statistics of what used to be considered "Miracle" or "Unlikely Coiencidences". Given the actual number of people interacting, the statistical likeliness is far LESS fantastic.

She makes a reference that is contridictery regading destiny . . . "Many people, however, are in ignorance of their true
destinies and are striving for things and situations which do not belong to them, and would only bring failure and
dissatisfaction if attained." - In this, there can be no real "Freedom of Choice" . . .  Does she not support "Free Will".

Her concept of Karma doesn't seem to be in cooperation with any "balance" . . . The idea of good and bad, needing a certain level of justice in it's balance seems only offered out to be linear in her concept. The idea that someone doing bad to someone else will result in receipt of bad karma itself, has no explination for that bad act possibly being bad karma returning to the other person in the first place . . . And so karma should be alomst as a snake devouring itself and growing . . An unending trade off of good and bad.

Also, the good luck charms refered to as "Graven Images" UNLESS, they are ordained by God, and God be given the credit, thus any luck generated be sort of a blessing, is a bit odd.

I found her to be someone of who is looking to solve the "Why's and "What for" of situations that present itself to be restricted to a Spiritual or "God Belief" box.

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