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The False Path to Self-Improvement

An Aperture video goes into some depth as to how the promises of self-help and New Age teachings fail to deliver what the individual truly needs. The narrator says:

Today a snake oil salesperson describes someone who advertises or sells any product that promises the world and fails to deliver. Sadly, that's the story of self-improvement, at least as it is today. Because while it might seem like a new trend, the idea of self-help dates back to early philosophers like Seneca and Socrates. In the Fifth Century BC Socrates spoke about the constant improvement of your soul. He insisted that practices like meditation, fasting, prayer, and exercise could feed your soul and therefore improve your life.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1970s, the New Age movement arose and preached a philosophy of personal transformation and healing. The movement revolved around accessing our spiritual energy through yoga, meditation, tarot card readings, and astrology. This idea that we could elevate ourselves has persisted. But like most things in the West, once people found out just how much money they could make, self-improvement shifted from being a guide for those who needed it the most to a product reserved for those who could afford it.

Deepak Chopra, a prominent figure in the New Age movement, tells us that our mental health can determine our physical reality, that we can think ourselves into being healthier and happier. After his ideas were popularized by Oprah Winfrey, Chopra became an international sensation. He held seminars and became a spiritual advisor to celebrities like Michael Jackson. Needless to say, lost souls worldwide have made Chopra a very wealthy man.

Possible Preaching Angle:

One of the biggest problems with self-help is that just like snake oil salespersons, self-help experts claim to be able to heal the world with their speech. In reality, whether you're Chopra or one of the hundreds of other experts, the false path to self-improvement continues to ruin lives.

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