Does this book really cover every kind of Bad Thing that could happen?
Where did you get this information?
I used an integration of left brain and right brain awareness and activities including research, meditation, intellectual logic and experience. The Five Reasons Why came to me as a complete list one night while writing in my journal, an intuitive process. Next I made an outline of the contents of the book – an analytical activity. I mediated a lot, trying to get clarity. I talked out the theory with friends. And I did extensive research on everything from facing crises to quantum physics to religion to success principles and much more.
Brownell, what is your religious background/ faith?
I was raised an Episcopalian (Anglican Christian), but I have studied and incorporated other belief systems in my life. After writing this book, my answer would be that I practice Integrated Alignment, although it's a way of life, not a religion.
Do you think that a person who does something like steal a car is acting in accordance with Divine Will? Or will he or she get their karma? Please explain – because if it was Divine Will for the other person’s car to be stolen, then what is the role of the thief in the equation?
I believe that the Universe has Traffic Angels that help create situations to allow for potentialities, but we have free will which determines whether or not a situation will happen. To use your example, if someone’s car is stolen there was a Reason Why his car was stolen, so he parked his car in a particular location in because of that Reason. The person who stole the car had free will which made it his decision whether or not to commit the crime, but took the darker path when they decided to steal the vehicle. They will have to deal with the repercussions in the future, perhaps by having something valuable taken from them. By the same token, the person whose car was taken may face consequences depending on how he responded to the crime. The two parties were put together in the right time, place and condition for the opportunity for the experience. If the criminal who stole the car decided that day to take the high road and resist the temptation to steal the car, is likely that the “victim” may still have to face his lesson with another potential criminal. Sadly, the world is full of beings who commit crimes.
I am a big fan of The Secret and believe in the Law of Attraction and that people “create their own reality.” Is that what you’re talking about here?
The Secret delivers some excellent, positive messages. If you are already enlightened, it can serve as a reminder of how our thoughts affect our lives. If you are new to the information, it can help open you up to new learning. But I think some people have the potential to be harmed if they believe the "law of attraction" is the highest and only law, because if and when something "bad" happens, they may not be equipped with the explanation and tools to cope with the experience. Instead they may become self-flagellating, (or, if it happens to someone else, blaming) which could be destructive, and isnot in alignment with Divine Will. Five Reason Why Bad Things Happen covers the "law of attraction" or the way our thoughts can create our reality, (relating to one of the Five Reasons) but also explains other, higher, laws (the other four Reasons).
There is no way I could tell a friend of mine with a child born with a terminal condition that there was a Reason it happened. That is just too awful!
The chapter on helping others through “bad things” should help answer your concern. I don’t think anyone should come up with anyone else’s Reasons. But I think you will find that a discussion might be helpful, especially if you ask your friend “Why do you think this happened?” and “What have you learned through your ordeal?” and, of course, "How can I help you?" Reading the book yourself, first, will help you stay grounded in helping your friend.
I think your book is a bunch of hooey. I think the universe is random and that things “just happen.” What do you say about that?
Hopefully you have reached your conclusion through research and introspection. If so, then good for you! I am really glad you are thinking and coming up with your own conclusions. But first I need to ask if you agreed with the Basic Assumptions. If so, yet the explanations in this book do not resonate with you, I respect your process, and would love to hear from you. However, if you read the book even though you didn't agree with the Basic Assumptions, perhaps yourr belief system is just to be a perpetual skeptic, then even though you think you don’t believe in anything, you actually do have faith – in not believing! If you find that way of life meaningful and rewarding for you then by all means go for it, but it doesn't work for me. And research has shown that while optimism improves happiness, skepticism can be a symptom of depression.
I have heard that the world is perfectly created, balanced. How do you explain this with the “bad things” explanation in this book?
I believe Earth is balanced just as the Divine intends, with enough challenges and temptations for everyone to experience what they need to learn.
I am a good, God-fearing Christian and look to the Bible for answers to all life’s problems. What do you have to say about that?
First I want to ask why would someone want to fear God? That is something I have never understood. Even Jesus said that God is Love. I am not a biblical expert, but I would think that as a Christian one would be more likely to follow what Christ himself said and did than perhaps some other writers of the Bible. But, you know, if it makes your life more fulfilled and enjoyable to fear God, then who am I to judge? Whatever works for you and makes you happy. I will be writing a future version of Five Reasons Why Bad Things Happen with messages and biblical passages specifically for Christians, through the assistance of ordained clergy.
Can you tell me what you think about purgatory and death?
My sister teased me once that my favorite subject was death. To most people this sounds morbid, but to me it is the opposite. By studying death – voraciously reading books on Near Death Experiences, hypnotic regression into the afterlife, and spiritual texts, as well as doing my own introspective meditation and ten years volunteering with hospice – I think that the more we understand what the Other Side is like, the more we learn about why we’re here.
To answer your question, I will briefly tell you that I think death is a transition to another existence that is more like home to us than Earth. In the transition to death we have the life review that most of us know about, and not only do we go through everything that has happened to us, we experience everything that we have done to other people, from their point of view. Once there, we have different roles, projects and opportunities to learn. There are a lot of good books on the subject in the that I recommend.
…And if you really want to know what I think, check out the children's books I wrote… click here…
What are your feelings about animal rights, killing animals for food, etc.?
Personally, I am a vegetarian and have been for over fifteen years. But I honestly do it more for the fact that my body feels much better physically and emotionally when I don’t eat meat. I do eat fish of all kinds.
My basic opinion of animal rights is that we should have more consideration for how an animal is kept alive than the fact they are killed for food. (My views on life after death affect my opinion here…) Veal, for example, is absolutely horrific in the treatment of the veal calves and should be wiped off the face of the planet. Plus, who wants to eat something that died in horrifying conditions and fear? Do you want that inside your body? And come on; do you really need veal in your life? I think you can do without. Other food animals are treated with different degrees of respect and cruelty. Do the research yourself. Or contact us with any information you may have.
I will also add something that I learned from a friend of mine. He does occasionally eat meat, but he gives a prayer of thanks not only to the animal whose life was given for his nourishment, but also to the other people who contributed to making the meal a gift for him to enjoy.