In this episode, we spoke with Michael Aurit, an Arizona family law mediator. We talked about how to manage intense emotions that arise in others amidst divorces or custody fights. Learn more about Michael at https://auritmediation.com/.
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David Enevoldsen: Hello everyone, and welcome to the Emotional Embuffination podcast. I am your host David Enevoldsen, and on Emotional Embuffination we are training to become emotionally buff enough to overcome any conflict in life. And just as importantly, we're trying to discover new levels of success and happiness. This podcast is just one of many resources I have available. If you want to find some more, check out the resources I have on Emotional Embuffination's website, which is embuffination.com. All right, so today we are interviewing Don Enevoldsen and there is actually a relationship there. I do happen to know Don Enevoldsen, Enevoldsen. I don't even know how you say it anymore. How do you prefer saying it?
Don Enevoldsen: I usually say Don, because nobody can say it. So it's
David Enevoldsen: a fair point. Well. At any rate, he's my father, in case anybody was wondering. The reason that I brought you on today that we're going to do this interview is that Emotional Embuffination is a number of different things. And one of the, I guess, significant or what has become a significant element within Emotional Embuffination is the law of attraction. One of the things that I hear from people often when I talk about the Law of Attraction is sort of a conflict with Christianity. And so, I'm hoping that we can kind of talk through some some issues here related to Christianity and law of attraction and kind of how those interface do they does one prohibit the other, that kind of thing. But before we can get into any of that, maybe we can start with a little background from you just to establish why you would even know what the heck you're talking about in this realm. Can you tell me a little bit about just your background, educational, professional, otherwise, particularly as it relates to Christianity?
Don Enevoldsen: Yes, I've been a pastor, a good part of my life and involved in various aspects of ministry and in Protestant evangelical setting, have pastored a church, have done a lot of writing on theological topics. I actually currently at Phoenix Seminary actually working on a master's of theology degree, so I have a fair amount of biblical background. I was in a church where the Law of Attraction came up fairly often. There are certain aspects, certain portions of the church that are drawn to that, others that reject it out of hand. So so, I've had a lot of those discussions, certainly with people over the years, but I have pretty good biblical background.
David Enevoldsen: Okay, that's good. It's probably a good characterization. And that does seem consistent with what I've seen, a number of different perspectives on the law of attraction from the Christian community. One is I've heard it's just not a thing. I've also heard people say it's it is a thing, but it's evil because it takes focus off of God and makes us gods or spins on that kind of thing, or at least tries to put man as the center and take focus away from God. I've also heard people just say, It's totally fine, embrace it. It's part of how we're made and that kind of thing. So, I guess upfront, what is your perspective just in a general sense of how the Law of Attraction fits in with Christianity? Is it real? Is it a thing?
Don Enevoldsen: Yes, but with some caveats. But there's more to it than just simply a very surface kind of you know I think something I'll attract it to me. But in general, I think it is a real thing. And I would equate it actually with biblical concepts of faith or belief. I think the two kind of go hand in hand. And so, the law of Attraction, as I understand it, really is very much akin or runs very parallel to whatever the Bible says about faith. They kind of work the same way so that unless you believe faith is not a real thing, then you should probably believe that the law of attraction has some validity to it as well.
David Enevoldsen: Well, let's. Get definitional here. So, because we're we're probably going to run into issues there if we don't. In your mind, what is the law of attraction? What does that mean?
Don Enevoldsen: It's kind of a, well, gosh, when I was your age, it was the positive thinking kind of idea with Robert Schuller and that kind of thing. The idea that if you think positively, you can begin to attract the things that you think about or focus on. That's probably not a thorough definition, and I'd be interested in your definition as well. But that's generally how it's presented in it's shortest, most compact form, I think.
David Enevoldsen: And I think I'd probably agree again, keeping it to its shortest, most compact form, as you indicated earlier, I think my definition would be a little more expansive than that if I wanted to elaborate. And I think from my perspective, I think people tend to get a very shallow perspective of what it is. I think, at its core, my description would be something along the lines of that you have the ability to manifest things that you dwell on, think about, and that can tie into positive or negative emotions. If I'm dwelling on and fixating on positive things and more likely to draw those things or things associated with that. Conversely, if I'm dwelling on the negative, I'm more likely to manifest and draw in those kinds of things.
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah. And then that was I think you just said the same thing as me. Just yours was a little more expansive, more detailed. So, yeah, there's a lot to do with well, if I were going to do it in biblical terms, what you believe you will get, you know. You dwell on things, you focus on things, which I'll, I'll come back to faith and talk about that a little more detail, but that's the idea. If I keep focusing on something, I will begin to attract it. If I focus on something that I'm afraid of, then I'm going to attract the very thing that I'm afraid of. In fact, I would say from a biblical definition, fear is really nothing more than misdirected faith.
David Enevoldsen: Well. Let's go to I mean, that was the other thing I wanted to define. Let's talk about faith for a second. So, when you say faith, what do you mean by that?
Don Enevoldsen: Well, there is the the biblical definition, probably the most concise is in Hebrews chapter one or Chapter 11, rather, in the first six verses. It talks about it, but it says faith is the evidence of things hoped for or the substance of things, hoped for the evidence of things not seen. So, it's it's in the New Testament. Greek language, faith and belief are the same word. So when we talk about faith, we're really talking about belief and belief at its core is that which is part of my inner thinking. The thing that I really believe, which is why fear if I'm not really afraid of something unless I really genuinely believe it can hurt me because I don't really believe it hurts me. I'm not afraid of it. I have no no inner conviction of that in a positive sense. Faith is the absolute assurance that something I can't see manifested yet is coming and will manifest itself. Again, shortest version, simplest. But that seems to be pretty much what you're saying about the Law of Attraction. Those are very, very similar concepts.
David Enevoldsen: Okay, so. What are what are the I guess what would you say is the kind of generalized authority or concept where this is and we're speaking in generic terms and we're talking about kind of faith and where does that come from in the Bible? How do you get the idea that the law of attraction is a real thing?
Don Enevoldsen: Well, again, because I'm equating it by definition it sounds the same as faith. I mean, faith is if I dwell on something and believe it, I can see it manifested or happen. That's pretty similar to your definition. And Hebrews 11 is probably the most concise thing. But throughout the Bible, there's if you believe according to your belief, be it done to you throughout the Gospels, Jesus constantly is doing that to people. May you be healed according to your faith. That's over and over. He says that kind of thing. And so it's that concept of do you believe then you shall receive. And if you don't believe, then you won't receive it. It talks in James, in fact, about those who they pray and they don't receive it because they really don't believe it. And so, they have doubt. And of course, doubt would be the opposite of belief. Those who doubt receive nothing, be doubt in your heart. And those there's just numerous places throughout the Bible where it talks in those kinds of terms, that kind of terminology. So, just in a general sense, just the whole New Testament.
David Enevoldsen: Okay. And that does sound consistent with law of attraction principles. It's having absolute conviction when you're doubting it doesn't work, that kind of thing.
Don Enevoldsen: So, when I hear that definition of as I see it in the Bible, then I look at what the law of attraction is I go, those those are pretty similar.
David Enevoldsen: So in effect, then it sounds like we're saying the same underlying concepts, just different labels to it. Faith versus Law of Attraction.
Don Enevoldsen: I mean, Law of Attraction is just a way of saying believe something you focus on and dwell on it and you can bring it to pass. And the difference, if you want to get into that, is probably that a lot of evangelicals who reject it out of hand. It's because Law of Attraction has kind of new age connotations and evangelicals just kind of go, "Oh, no, not that." And where I've seen it embraced, usually in word of faith movement or prosperity preaching, where they kind of embrace the idea of if you really believe that God's going to bless you, then God will bless you. And it's so they kind of embrace that whole idea sometimes too much. And if I were going to say there's a real difference, it's really in the motivation behind it, not in the principle itself or the validity of the principle. If I'm motivated by faith because I believe God has said something and I want to see his will done, that's a very evangelical stance. If I am just doing it for selfish reasons, I want to get rich, so therefore I'm going to focus on it. That would be contrary to more biblical moral value, I guess we could call it. So the real difference is not in the validity of the principle itself, but in what you're doing with it or how you're manifesting or operating it.
David Enevoldsen: So in essence, it could be akin to saying like there is the mechanism versus the kind of moral implications underneath that, like physics might work regardless of whether I say at the core of what's going on with gravity or something, that God's still at the core of it. But I could detach that and still look at just the mechanisms by which it operates.
Don Enevoldsen: Right? And in the original video of The Secret, for example, I think right at the very end, I remember a comment which I don't think is in the current version, interestingly, but it was one of the contributors saying something to the effect that it's not about what you have to do, it's about what you want to do. I mean, it was it was it was very kind of self-centered idea that you can achieve whatever you want to. Well, that's true. But if you're doing that for really selfish reasons that are going to be not beneficial to other people, and now you've departed from a biblical standard, and that's the part that becomes off-putting to a lot of evangelicals, even the ones that recognize the principles. So,
David Enevoldsen: Sure.
Don Enevoldsen: We're really talking about a motivational difference rather than a mechanical difference.
David Enevoldsen: Well, and that does seem consistent with some of the experience I've had in dialogues with Christians about the law of attraction. Very often the kickback I get is around comments about if you can get what you want, and if I say something like that using that kind of language, then very often I get kickback in terms of it's not about what you want.
Don Enevoldsen: Right. And it's not about just simply saying, "I want that." You know, it's a process by which you actually begin to really believe in yourself and in Romans I think it's chapter ten, there's a verse that says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." In other words, when you're hearing what God says, then you begin to believe it. And it's in the Greek New Testament, it's in the present tense, which is a little different than the way tenses work in English. It's a continuous action thing. So, it's more like saying, if I hear the word of God and hear it and hear it and hear it and hear it over and over again, then faith comes out of that. I begin to believe it because of the repetition of hearing it. That's very similar to the Law of Attraction too. You have to dwell on something and focus on it and then it becomes internalized. It's no longer an external thing, but the belief now becomes part of me. It's not something I'm trying to arbitrarily force myself into, but I genuinely begin to think that way. And the more I say something, the more I think that way. The more I think that way, the more that it begins to manifest, whatever I'm thinking. That's the idea behind it. And of course, the negative side of that is people who are constantly worried about sickness or illness or whatever. You can talk yourself into being sick, I think because you dwell on it so much, you begin to manifest the symptoms of whatever it is you're thinking about and constantly talking about. So that's the negative side of the same thing. Which is why I think the New Testament talks about, Paul said, whatever then is good and right and just and so on, think on these things or dwell on these things. Well, that sounds very Law of Attraction-ish. Same idea. You focus on it, you dwell on it, and over time you internalize it to where it becomes part of your belief system. And whatever your belief system is is what you're going to manifest. And I think that's where the validity of the Law of Attraction really comes in. And that's a very biblical concept.
David Enevoldsen: How far do these these, let me circle back to the motivation for a second. So, we talked, you made reference to a second ago the prosperity gospel-type churches. How do you feel about prosperity, gospel as a, I guess, a paradigm? And a well before we get there, actually, let me cut you off. What is prosperity gospel? Just so people...
Don Enevoldsen: Prosperity Gospel is is the those churches that are preaching that God wants to bless you by making you rich, and that if you give to him, if you tithe, usually is wrapped up in it, that God will multiply that back to you. And so the way to become rich is to really just keep tithing and giving and being generous, and then God pays you back by, they'll your terms like 30-fold, hundred-fold, thirty-fold, 60-fold, hundred-fold, he'll multiply that back to you. And so, prosperity preaching focuses a lot on the material blessings that are supposed to come from God as you serve him. Now.
David Enevoldsen: Let me take that into what what is your thought about it? Because I could see that's where your brain brain was going.
Don Enevoldsen: And you can see where the law of attraction would be something that someone preaching that would just latch onto. Because the same idea I, in the prosperity kind of mindset, I'm going to find the Bible verses that seem to indicate God's going to make me wealthy, and then I'm going to quote them over and over again. I'm going to write them out on sticky notes and stick them on my computer screen. And so I'm seeing them all the time. And that's very common. It's this constant repetition of God's promises that's, should bring it to pass. Now, the problem with that is, is that I don't think God has a problem with people having money. That's not the issue. He has a problem with greed. And the Bible is very much against greed, but not against money in and of itself. The money's not the problem, it's what you do with it. But when you kind of start quoting those promises almost like it's a magical incantation, then you get into a place where you're not really in a biblical ground anymore, you know. And the point of the repetition is to change your belief system so that you genuinely have internalized and believe it, not to coerce God into doing something. And that's where a lot of people in the prosperity gospel churches kind of get off kilter a little bit. It gets off track. But the basic principle still works. It's just, again, motivation behind it. And you can be an evangelical Christian and go into heaven and praising God and still be motivated wrong.
David Enevoldsen: Where is the line between kind of this point where it becomes greed versus it's okay to just have money? Like where where do these, how do you measure?
Don Enevoldsen: That's a real fuzzy place. And so, that's part of the problem. It's really hard to pin that down. And it's a lot of it's going to be very internal. I don't know that there's really any way that I can look at you and know whether you're acting out of greed or out of a desire to provide for your family and make them comfortable. Or between greed and selfishness on one hand, or you just want to be able to accomplish some things in your life that will have benefit to the community.
David Enevoldsen: But, what do you see as being greed? Like, what does that mean?
Don Enevoldsen: Usually it means accumulation of wealth at the expense of others and without any regard to their well-being. I would, I mean, that's a little over-generalized, but generally in that direction. When I'm doing it just for my own gratification and without any reference to anyone around me. That would be the simplest way to put it.
David Enevoldsen: So would you then be, there are a number of, I guess, entrepreneurial philosophers, for want of a better description, who kind of promote this idea that you should always be giving value and that kind of wealth comes on the back end of you providing something for that wealth. Napoleon Hill for example, in Think and Grow Rich. He he coined that phrase gone as the day of the go-getter. Now it's the time for the go-giver or something along those lines. Yeah. Would you then be inclined to agree with.
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah. I think Napoleon Hill's concepts are actually pretty biblically based. I think he's...
David Enevoldsen: He was Christian, right?
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah, he was Christian. So, I mean, it makes sense. And and it's not even in having the desire for wealth. It's it's trying to accumulate it by stepping all over other people. And the thing that, that our political left wing ideologues rail against about the 1% you know, of course, not all the 1% are like that, some of them are though and sure that's where the problem is. And how do you tell the difference? Well, you can kind of watch somebody for a while. You can kind of get a feel of whether they're greedy or just simply good businessmen. But it's not a real clear line. So it's not always that easy to just look at somebody and go, well, they're greedy or they're really generous. I mean, because sometimes greedy people give away a lot of money for very selfish reasons. And sure, you know, a lot of people who give to charity, for example, they don't give to charity because they want to help someone. They give to charity because they want to feel like they're a good person. It's more about how they feel about themselves than it is about...
David Enevoldsen: Show off and make it about seeing how amazing they are or to get the tax benefits or something.
Don Enevoldsen: So how do you how do you define when somebody is greedy or not? It's not really that easy to pin that down too well, but over time you get a feel of it.
David Enevoldsen: That also resonates with me a little bit, just because I feel like very often, I think particularly, I don't know if this is just a contemporary culture thing or just a human thing. I get the impression that people often reduce things into their simplest elements and kind of oversimplify it with like a little quip. You know, I have this beef with memes and I promote memes like I put memes out all the time, but I have this mantra that everything is more complicated than anyone really gives it credit for. Because you have a little phrase. But then there's always this counterpoint or a thing you can use that phrase as a facade for to kind of hide from something else. Like I might say, it's as an example, it's always better to just get along with everyone. And in certain situations that's true. But if you're using that as a way to hide from any sort of conflict because you're terrified of conflict, that can be problematic because sometimes you do have to stand up and not get along, at least in my opinion. And so, I feel like it's similar here in that on the surface from the outside, we might not know what's going on, if somebody is getting money, maybe they are motivated by greed or selfishness or whatever versus kind of they have this different set of motivators that's pushing them along, whether or not they are kind of theologically aligned, maybe.
Don Enevoldsen: And I would completely agree with that. I mean, we're entirely on the same page on that one. Life is messy and it's very complex. And in order to try and understand it, we try and break it down to these really simple things. And we don't do justice to the complexity when we do that, even though we have to do it to some degree just to even understand it. But,
David Enevoldsen: Of course.
Don Enevoldsen: It's always more complex than than we ever give it credit for. Life is just messy and there's a whole lot involved.
David Enevoldsen: So, I agree with that. Let me circle back to, we were talking a minute ago about faith and and we talked a bit about kind of where that's coming from. Would you distinguish the idea of prayer from faith? Is that a separate concept?
Don Enevoldsen: Um. Separate, but very much they overlap. To pray in a true biblical sense requires that you be able to exercise faith. See, I would say, and then this is probably not the the normal general definition of prayer, which most people I think would just think of as talking to God or asking God for things or that kind of thing. Most people think of prayer is going to God and saying, "I need some help." But sure, I would define prayer as in the Lord's Prayer, for example, in Matthew six. The center of that is the words "Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven." And I think the basic idea behind that is that and it's all one thing. Your kingdom come in in New Testament terms, the Kingdom of God refers to the reign of God or the rule of God, meaning he's king if I'm doing it his way or I'm doing what he wants. So, may your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven is the pattern of prayer where I'm trying to ascertain what is it God really wants? And then I'm speaking it into being through my prayers. That's a little different than someone just saying, "God, please give me this because I want it."
David Enevoldsen: Right.
Don Enevoldsen: And I'm not paying any regard to what God wants at all.
David Enevoldsen: Or I feel like I'm in trouble. So please help me out.
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah, exactly. And. And it's okay to pray if you're in trouble, God help me. But often that help is going to come in ways that aren't really what you ask for.
David Enevoldsen: What do you mean by that? Can you give me an example?
Don Enevoldsen: Well, you know, sometimes if God's going to say, "Well, you're in trouble because you did some stupid things, and until you go back and fix the relationships that you screwed up or take care of the thing that you were doing wrong and stop doing it, there's nothing I can do. And so you're just going to have to suffer through it."
David Enevoldsen: Well, to me, that's another fascinating overlap with at least how I perceive Law of Attraction, because one of the things that I promote as an element of law of attraction, this is part of the reason I like this as a paradigm within the Emotional Embuffination umbrella is this idea that in order to attract what you want in life, you have to effectively become the kind of person to whom that stuff is drawn. In other words, you have to you have to change, you have to grow, you have to become someone better. So, in a situation like I'm perpetually attracting bad mates or terrible relationships, or why are all guys like this? Why are all girls like this? I keep running into the same patterns. That then turns around to, if you are perpetually attracting this kind of person, you need to change so that you are attracting someone else. In other words, you have to level yourself up in order to draw something else in. So that seems consistent with this idea of there's natural consequences in effect to being a certain way or having certain habits or thinking in certain way or etc.
Don Enevoldsen: And that leads to a whole 'nother layer of this thing. That is part of the problem with a lot of people who adhere to the law of attraction is that they don't look at that layer. There are consequences to decisions. And I think I've told the story about some friends that were driving in their King Cab diesel pickup, and we all went to dinner. My wife and I and this couple. And afterwards, driving home from the restaurant, he stopped and accidentally filled his diesel tank with gasoline. And the car started. I mean, the truck started to act up, made really weird noises, and we had to stop. He realized what he'd done, called a tow truck and a cab. We got home and everything else. So, but the point is, this is how the laws of the universe work. This is really how the Ten Commandments work is that there were some commandments that went with that truck, like thou shalt not put gasoline into diesel engine. And he broke that commandment. Now, what didn't happen and this is where a lot of Christians think this is how this works, that they got out of line. Nobody came from Detroit, knocked on his door and punched him in the face for breaking the commandment Thou shall not put gasoline and diesel engine. What did happen was the truck broke down because it wasn't designed to work that way. So we cannot change how we are designed or created and made to work. If we try and violate those basic laws of nature, there produces consequences and that things don't work well. It just starts to fall apart. It's not that God is judging you, it's just that that's not how you're made. So the Law of Attraction says that you can obtain what you want, but if what you want isn't something good, you're going to end up with the consequences of getting something you didn't want and you're going to cause yourself harm because the law of attraction worked. I mean, that's a whole layer that really needs to be considered here. And I think a lot of people, both both Christians who are in the word of faith kind of thing and prosperity and so on, and people who adhere to law of attraction, that's a layer people don't like because they want to do what they want to do. And.
David Enevoldsen: Right. Well, and interestingly, I'm here again, at least with respect to my understanding, obviously, people are going to have different interpretations of Christianity and law of attraction, both at various levels, but at least from my perspective of the Law of Attraction, I'm not sure that's inconsistent because one of the, so I just finished writing a book on the Law of Attraction and one of the chapters that I was working on or worked on related to competitive efforts. Because I've heard people say things like, I was in litigation with someone and I use the law of attraction to prevail in that litigation, or I've heard people very often athletes will use these visualization exercises and all these different things associated with law of attraction. And then when one of them wins, they say, "Well, I knew it was going to happen. I visualized it. I drew this to myself." And in my head that's problematic because if you're in a competitive mode, you're in effect, it's like the mindset you're coming from is competitive in nature, which means you're drawing the sort of struggle and conflict, which I think is attracting things. People aren't assuming Law of Attraction is correct or a valid paradigm. You're attracting things that people aren't anticipating that are going to go along with the underlying mindset that created the motivation for whatever it is you're trying to effectuate in the first place.
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah, so so it's much more complex than people think of on the surface when they started looking into this kind of thing.
David Enevoldsen: I think with the Law of Attraction, most of the time what I hear is just "I can have the partner of my dreams or I can be a millionaire." There's an Instagram feed, I was actually just making fun of this earlier today, that I followed that promotes itself as this law of attraction thing. And every day it's just a meme that says Type yes or affirm and tomorrow you're going to have $1,000,000 and there's tons of people that are just like, yes, yes, a firm yes. And I'm thinking, what? This is not this isn't it. You're totally missing everything. This is this really shallow, superficial understanding what's going on. So, it seems the same.
Don Enevoldsen: Well, it is. And it's and I make just as much fun of the Christian setting where "You put a tithe in the offering. You give an offering right now, give till it hurts, and then God's going to bless you. Back in my next week, you're going to be rich," and it's the same thing. And how's that any different? It's a misuse of the principle, which actually I think underlies just basic belief structures and how we live. But you can really warp that if you want to through shallowness, selfishness in a variety of different things and wanting the wrong things, things that aren't good for you, you can really mess up your life because the law of attraction does work.
David Enevoldsen: Right? Right. So let me circle back to your story a second ago with the putting the diesel into the the vehicle that makes it break down. So, I read that recently in your the book you just wrote, if I remember correctly, that was in there. I pretty sure that's where I heard that. Tell me just very briefly about what what is the book that you wrote? What's the name of it? What was it about?
Don Enevoldsen: It's called The Kingdom From Creation to the Millennium, and it's just an in-depth study of the Kingdom of God. As the New Testament read, the whole Bible really presents it what God had in mind at the very beginning when He created humanity and the story all the way through, how that that structure that he set up, which had to do with creating human beings so that they could represent him and kind of become the visible image of his presence in the world. Kind of as vice regent and how sin entered in, messed that up. They began to represent themselves, not God. But God never took the authority away from them. And so, sin came into the world and the world has suffered ever since. And then the coming of Jesus, I believe, was to restore that, to provide a redemption, a way to get out of that mess and get back to what God created human beings to be in the first place. And so, the book's really just a very in-depth Bible study on that subject.
David Enevoldsen: Okay. And the reason I brought it up, by the way, I read through it, I thought it was an utterly fascinating look at everything. So, if anybody's actually interested in this, please check it out and I'll put some links in there later on. But the reason I brought it up is, especially in the beginning, there's you have a dialogue about kind of man's position on earth and kind of the authority that we're given by way of God. To me, that feels like it's very connected. That whole dialog seems very connected to this idea of law of attraction. I mean, can you speak to that just maybe in a 30,000 foot view?
Don Enevoldsen: I'm not sure that's possible, but let's try.
David Enevoldsen: Goes back to our complexity.
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah, it's a very complex issue, but I believe in Genesis 126 to 28. It talks about being made in the likeness and image of God likeness in the Hebrew there is a word that the ancient Near East is used to represent, without going to a long explanation, a vertical relationship. In other words, I stand before God and I become like Him by taking on his character. And then image is a Hebrew word that the way it's used means that I turn to the world and become the visible image of God. Now, in order to accomplish that, God gave Dominion authority. Which is we could spend a lot of time just talking about that, but basically we as human beings, God tends to give us what we want just because we're in charge of the Earth. Which is again, a very law of attraction kind of thing, isn't it?
David Enevoldsen: Which is where I was going with this. Yes.
Don Enevoldsen: But to such an extent and this fascinated me when I first saw it, is the story of the ten plagues. Everybody's familiar with that.
David Enevoldsen: Sure.
Don Enevoldsen: I think pretty much there's a Charleton Heston movie if you're not if you don't want the book. But. It's an interesting thing. There's the ten plagues, of course. Moses goes to Pharaoh and says, "Let my people go." The Hebrew people are being held captive and working as slaves in Egypt. And Pharaoh says no. And so a plague comes, and then Pharaoh changes his mind. And and then it says it talks about him hardening his heart, and then just to change his mind, another plague comes and he's overwhelmed. He says, okay, then they can go. And then as soon as the plague stops, he hardens his heart is the way to translate it. It was fascinating to me, about midway through those ten plagues actually about the sixth plague, the verbiage changes and it starts to say that God hardened his heart. And it kind of gives the impression that Pharaoh wanted to resist God and do what he wanted not what God wanted, and he was able to harden his heart, so to speak, until it just got so overwhelming he couldn't do it anymore. And when he couldn't do it anymore, God actually stepped in and made it possible for him to do it, even though he wasn't physically able to. If that makes sense. Well, then I looked in the the Hebrew text for the Old Testament there, and it's actually two different words when it talks about Pharaoh hardening his own heart. It's a word that has to do with being glorified or lifted up, exalted himself. When it talks about God hardening his heart, it's a different word that has to do with strengthening or repairing or or a kind of building up, if you will, so that he could do it. So it's almost like God said, "I've given you authority on the earth, and I recognize that myself to the point where if you insist on having something by your authority, I will give it to you."
David Enevoldsen: Mmm.
Don Enevoldsen: Even to the point, even if what you want to do is resist me. I mean, that's an interesting thing for God is a God strengthened Pharaoh so that Pharaoh could resist God.
David Enevoldsen: Now that's that gets us back into the consequential element. That is to say, if I'm doing something that is in conflict with God, there going to be natural consequences from that. Is that accurate.
Don Enevoldsen: So, Pharaoh Pharaoh got what he wanted. But he died,
David Enevoldsen: Right. Exactly. Exactly.
Don Enevoldsen: So, you know, what he wanted wasn't good. There were consequences to it. But nevertheless, he had that kind of authority as a human being to draw those things in that he wanted his persistence. A lot of times it is persistence when we talk about persisting in your belief. It's just human persistence can can make things happen. And if they're not good things, then you're going to suffer the consequences of that. And, God will come in and say, if you really insist insist on having this, I'll make it possible for you to have it even if it's going to destroy you, because I gave you authority and I'm going to honor that myself. That's kind of sobering when you see how much God caters to us in that respect. Very sobering. And the whole idea behind the garden with a tree, the knowledge of good and evil. It's not so much, because this always bothered me, you know, this was in the book, too, that if the idea behind the knowledge of good and evil was that Adam and Eve didn't understand what wrong was until after they ate of the fruit that they weren't supposed to eat, well, how could they be held accountable for that?
David Enevoldsen: Without knowing it ahead of time.
Don Enevoldsen: You have this legal conundrum, how can I hold you accountable for something that you didn't understand? So, after you did the thing that was I mean, where's the wrong part in there? It's kind of, But in reality, what it is, is God was basically saying to them, "I've given you authority to do pretty much anything you want to do. But I also know how you were designed, how you were made, and I know what's going to cause consequences that are harmful to you. So, I'm reserving the right to tell you what is good and what is evil. Don't try and do that on your own, because when you do, you're going to make decisions that will cause you harm." That's ultimately what was happening in the Garden of Eden, and they decided to do it their own way without any regard to God. And the result was consequences that brought in death and destruction and sickness and all kinds of problems. Again, I'm oversimplifying the story, but that's essentially what that is all about. And
David Enevoldsen: Sure.
Don Enevoldsen: Human beings have tremendous authority which we misuse on a regular basis and suffer the consequences as a result.
David Enevoldsen: And that would explain why we're all in such randomly different places in life and our lives and the conflict we're facing or not, or poverty or whatever. Just challenges in life.
Don Enevoldsen: It also explains why I really need to change flaws in my character and my perceptions,
David Enevoldsen: Right.
Don Enevoldsen: So that I can grow out of them and not suffer those consequences anymore. And a lot of times I'm asking God to deliver me from these problems. That's how he's going to do it. He's going to leave me in the problems until I figure out I need to make some changes. And I agree to make those changes because then he can get me out of them and it's okay. It's not going to come back on my head again.
David Enevoldsen: Right. Can I circle to just a couple of specific concepts related to at least the Law of Attraction paradigm and how those might overlap? And maybe we've already touched on this, but the first one is the emotional stuff. So in my mind, within the Law of Attraction model, there, emotions are extremely important and I've heard different explanations on this. My personal framework is that emotions are sort of the gauge to your thinking. In other words, I feel like that's the barometer you read to see where your thinking is aligned. If I'm feeling happy, my thoughts are lined up with things that are going to manifest the happy stuff versus if I'm feeling very negative, my mind such that it's going to produce things that I don't want. Does that translate over to a Christian paradigm, or do you agree with that from a Christian perspective?
Don Enevoldsen: I think generally that's pretty accurate. Again, we could delve into the complexity of it, and that would probably alter how we perceive it. But in general, I think that's probably pretty accurate. Emotions are, not really easy to control, but they are kind of what's in there manifesting itself. And and often, well, again, go back to fear. Fear is an interesting emotion. If you're afraid of something, then you you want to ask yourself why? Because if you can figure out what it is that causes you fear or anger or pain or the negative emotions, then you kind of get a feel of what you probably need to work on in order to grow personally. Most people run from pain and fear and things that scare them. So rather than turning and facing them head on and saying, okay, why am I afraid of this? Why am I angry about this? Why am I having a problem with this? If I can figure that out, then I probably get a good indication of what my flaws are.
David Enevoldsen: Right.
Don Enevoldsen: And then, likewise, if I have positive emotions, then I probably am in a pretty healthy place, and I can gauge things in that, too. So you're right. You can I can read a lot about myself by how I feel, even if I can't actually control how I feel that well.
David Enevoldsen: Which also runs us back to this idea of you have to be growing if there's something you want or some objective you have and getting there, a lot of that can be around just becoming someone new, in other words, growing.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah. So what about you? I'm sorry. We're talking over each other. Go ahead.
Don Enevoldsen: I was just going to say, getting back to the original question of is the Law of Attraction got any connection with biblical things? I think it should be pretty obvious that we're talking about a worldview belief system that manifests itself. That's basically what the Law of Attraction is. But what you do with that? Well, that's a whole plethora of things you can open up there.
David Enevoldsen: Right. I think we kind of just touched on this, but do you, at least indirectly, if not directly, do you feel that there is a connection between the idea of empowerment or self-empowerment and the law of attraction, at least in whatever way we want to label it, whether it was a law of attraction or something else, mean if you just took that mechanism, do you think that there is something empowering in it?
Don Enevoldsen: Yes, I do. But again, it's the process. It's not like I just one day decide, well, I'm going to change this. It's a matter of retraining how I think I have to change my, the book of Romans Paul talks about renewing your mind. That's basically what it is. I have to think differently. But how I think is really a lot of habit patterns primarily. So, I have to begin to embrace things. This is the repetition of quoting Bible verses or whatever, you know, positive sayings. I get them into my head and in time I begin to alter my behavior in a way that starts to reinforce those new belief patterns or habit patterns, and over time, that can result in positive growth. So, I have to invest time in it if I really want to grow. It doesn't just happen because I made a decision one night and gave an altar call.
David Enevoldsen: Or you typed "affirm" on somebody's Instagram feed.
Don Enevoldsen: Yeah, exactly. Gave an altar call and I went down and had somebody pray over me. And that's not that simple, right? But within this framework of how the Law of Attraction and law of faith work, which I'd say, I'd say again are the same thing. If I'm committed to that over a period of time, I start to change how I think and how I think determines how I believe and how I believe manifests itself in the way my life goes. And if I begin to dwell on things that produce growth, I begin to, if I have negative aspects in my belief system, then I focus on how I can change those, figure out where they come from, and start to create more positive things. Things that are in line with how I'm designed or how I'm created then growth will come out of that. And if I don't do those things, then I stay stuck in the same old habit patterns that were causing me problems all along. But that's just basic self-growth. And so that's how you empower yourself is by changing how you think. But there's definitely empowerment that comes out of that. The more you grasp it, the more you get confidence in yourself, confidence in where you're going, confidence in what you can do. So yeah, definitely empowerment, I would say.
David Enevoldsen: Well, that also overlaps. And again, this is why I've had the Law of Attraction as part of Emotional Embuffination or why it's become a part of Emotional Embuffination is that in my mind it becomes a point of empowerment, which intrinsically is a step away from victimhood. And victimhood, in my mind, just leads to all sorts of problems that you get stuck in and wallow in and all sorts of other problems.
Don Enevoldsen: From a biblical perspective, victimhood is simply a belief system that says, "I have no power."
David Enevoldsen: Exactly, precisely.
Don Enevoldsen: As long as I believe that, well I have no power.
David Enevoldsen: I'm going to ask you one last question and then we'll talk about your book very briefly. So last question here. And this doesn't necessarily have to be related to anything we've talked about today, but if you could offer just one piece of advice to someone about or people generally about emotional health or strength and how to optimize that, how to be the best person you can or be the happiest, most well-adjusted person you could, what would that advice be? You weren't ready for that one, were you?
Don Enevoldsen: I mean, I needed a couple of weeks to prepare for that one, I think. Well, it would be just two prong things. I mean, focus on things that are healthy rather than just things that are desires and be willing to confront your flaws in a way that you say, "Oh, I'm going to overcome this." And just start to develop that kind of a mindset. That's kind of at the bottom line. And of course, from a Christian perspective, I think within a biblical structure is where you find the best advice. But there's good advice outside of the Bible as well. So if you're not a Christian, it doesn't mean you're going to be limited to just that. But you have to change how you think, and whatever it takes to do that, that's what's going to cause growth and empowerment.
David Enevoldsen: And that is kind of what we were talking about today. So your book, if anybody is interested in getting a copy of that or learning more about it, where can they go?
Don Enevoldsen: It's on Amazon, so just go there. And it's The Kingdom From Creation to the Millennium. Type in your name, which is hard to spell then, and that'll help you bring it up to.
David Enevoldsen: Again, I'll put some links in there. So, just generically if anybody wants to track it down. So, The Kingdom, again, I've read it. I found it really fascinating. It was kind of hard to put it down just from an intellectual perspective. And there are some some things in there that weren't exactly what I've heard from people who I think just want to oversimplify things. At any rate, check it out. The Kingdom on Amazon. I will post links on that. Thank you very much for your time today. I appreciate you kind of walking through this with me. I know we've had some some dialogues about it in the past, but this is probably a more in depth, a more in-depth discussion than we've had previously about this topic. So thank you. I appreciate your time. And I guess we can end it there. So that brings us to the end of today's show. I hope you found this useful and you can take something away from it. Some little nugget that's going to make either your life better or the lives of the people around you better. Remember, keep becoming more emotionally embuffed all the time. At the end of the day, I want you to be emotionally strong enough to go from saying things like "The struggle is real," to saying, "What struggle?" Thanks for listening. I hope you have a great week.