In the book, The Power of Decision, Raymond Charles Barker provides methods for treating the subconscious blocks which prevent individuals from attaining their goals. The treatments he suggested include everything from eliminating problems, creating new ideas, creating happiness, removing the belief of lack and limitation, how to decongest one’s consciousness and how to create a fresh mind. Barker suggests that we should make four central decisions in order to achieve our goals: we must decide to be happy, to live richly, to be healthy, and to be creative.
According to the author, one should first evaluate own decision making process and, in the first place, eliminate boredom as the driver of poor mental health and dissatisfaction with own life. Then, one should incorporate more rational decisions through living in the present rather then plan for the future and remain enchained by the past. Finally, one should affirm own ability to do so by realizing own conscious and powerful being and meditating upon it. Having set up these guidelines in own life, one should be able to achieve success, peace of mind and, certainly, obtain the power to make conscious decisions.
Author’s Underlying Assumptions Raymond Charles Barker, having spent years in religious sciences and found two Unity churches, based his assumption on the conscious state of being. It is crucial to realize that we are conscious beings and only under this assumption one can no longer be attached and limited by past, present, and future. This allows us to view world not only through our five senses, but expand our conscious mind in order to connect to the Divine. As such, Barker assumes existence of one transcendent reality, personal and interconnected.
Advancing mind that is not connected to the past of present is the center of the reality. The traditional system of values and beliefs is important as a stimulus for development of mind, but not further then this, as growth of the traditional system is achieved through development of mind. The principles of evolution, development, and growth can be similarly applied to mind. Present is what makes our mind move forward and develop to higher spiritual and mental states.
Author assumes that regular people live in a hypnotic state, which is created by familiar old ideas we are comfortable with. The hypnotic state is created through blind following and submission to our five senses. Barker also assumes that all changes for the best can be made only the process of struggle with self. As such, one should not expect that expanding own conscious to be easy, but rather should prepare oneself to a painful process. Subjectivity vs. Objectivity In other words, he provides a wealth of information on how to make sound decisions.
Apparently, he combines personal experiences with humor to come up with an interesting book such as this. It is also because of this that there were times when the author would tend to be quite subjective. However, as this work is obviously a part of the author’s personal journey, such lapses can be forgiven. Subjectivity of the work is rooted in Barker’s personal system of beliefs. Being a bright representative of the New Thought movement, his solution to problems should be viewed in terms of this teaching.
Even though ideas presented by the author are rather practical and there is a coherent plan that can be put into action by a regular person, to fully grasp them one should turn to the basics of the New Thought teaching. For instance, author articulates that we are living in the hypnotic state that is created by our preoccupation with past events. However, one past is what has created our mind and stimulates the further process of development. Evaluation of the Main Ideas and Assumptions
If an individual is to integrate the wisdom contained in this book into the decision making process, there would be a lot less problem in the world. The book argues that everybody is born with all that he needs to create a happy, fulfilling life. It is up to the individual to choose the life he desires. In this book, one will come to understand the power of decisions in anchoring the life he lives. For Barker, indecision is actually the individual’s decision to fail. Many times, people would tell us that we are responsible for our own happiness.
This book only validates that belief. Indeed, if we come to think of it, happiness is always a choice: we can either mop around or be happy with even the small things that surround us. Raymond Charles Barker said in this book, “I see no reason for a God to create you with a body that you can keep well, if you want to; with a mind that you can keep positive, if you want to; with emotions which will respond to your constructive attitudes; with a flexible universe around you that you can control and, in it, create good experiences — and for that God to want you to be unhappy.
I am certain that each of us is equipped to be happy and destined to be happy. All negative states are self-created and can be self-neutralized. ” On the other side of the fence, I tend to disagree with the emphasis that Barker places on living in now and only today. Even though Barker should attribute such opinion to preoccupation with routine, I disagree with the notion that one should stop planning for the future. Overall positive attitude and enthusiastic view on surrounding events, undoubtedly, contributes to healthy mind.
But at the same time, one should pay tribute to own past and mistakes in order to avoid them in future. Also, one should plan for future to achieve own goals. Yes, a person can be happy with what he or she has and remain in this state. But can he or she achieve something genuinely great without planning ahead and what author calls “daily routine and boredom”, but which is simply a ladder to climb to the very top? Intended Audience and Further Recommendations The intended audience is a broad, general reader who seeking new ways to improve self and find own place in life.
The book is written in a fairly simple language with humor, to keep the reader tense and attentive. “The Power of Decision” is more of a practical teaching of the New Though movement that targets those yet unfamiliar with the basic concepts. Author is trying to interest the reader through practicality of his ideas and in such way stimulate further interest in the matter. In a nutshell, I would highly recommend this book to those who are undergoing personal and professional crisis.
Not only because this will definitely help boost their sagging confidence and will let them know that at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold, but also because a reader who is not seeking for the new “self” and solution to own problems, will hardly apply ideas in own life. The book is useful and interesting, but one should possess either courage or be stimulated with external events to willingly undertake the painful process of upgrading own reality to transcendental decision making. Indecision is the decision to fail.