Pray Your Way To Happiness
With Inner Friendship

10:00 AM - August 16, 2014 by Jonathan Burch

    The new Inner Friendship Movement is a combination of science and religion which shows an individual of any religion or way of life how to make right responses to be personally happy.  Based on the latest discoveries of Positive Psychology and the ancient wisdom of the world’s religions, Inner Friendship teaches anyone how to have an inner friend, who is a person in one’s religion for those who believe in the supernatural, spiritual world, or a personality in one’s unconscious for those who believe only in the natural, physical world.

    For reasons we do not understand the inner friend knows better than the conscious person does what the person should do in a situation to respond wisely.  This wise guidance leads to responses which move the individual toward fulfillment as a whole person.

    Religion has been struggling with this problem for thousands of years trying to get people to stop responding to life by selfish whim and evil desires, and instead responding righteously.  The main way to do this has been to focus on God to live rightly instead of self to live sinfully.  

    Judaism and Christianity teach that God’s first commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and the second commandment is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself.  Islam means submission to Allah.  Allah created you to live a certain way.  To be successful, submit to Allah and live the way Allah commands, the way you were designed to live.  That is the point of the religion.  

    In Hinduism humans are understood to have a set of righteous responses, which are like shining gold that lead to full, happy life.  However, there are many other responses which lead to unsuccessful life and unhappiness.  These bad responses are so numerous that they cover over the good responses.  The dross of bad responses is so thick it blocks out the light from the shining gold of the good responses.  This is the human condition which Hinduism seeks to correct by the gods leading people away from selfishness and evil to make the right responses to succeed in life and be fulfilled and happy as they were created to live and ultimately to achieve oneness with the infinite.  Buddhism seeks to lead people away from destructive selfish desire by living the Eightfold Path and Enlightenment.

    Positive Psychology has learned that humans must go beyond health all the way to happiness.  Abraham Maslow, the father of Positive Psychology described it as fulfilling the highest human need - self actualization.  It is not enough to cure someone of a mental illness and bring them back up to normal mental health.  That is just the beginning of normal life.  The point of healthy life is to live so that one is fulfilled as a whole person (self-actualization).  

    Each individual evolved with a unique set of talents and abilities and lives in a set of circumstances different in some ways from all other people.  Everyone’s path through life is different from everyone else’s.  We each evolved with our talents and abilities to succeed naturally on our life path whatever it would be.

    What does natural success mean?  It means to be all you evolved to be, or in religious terms all you were created to be.  That means to fulfill your personal talents and abilities in your unique circumstances, to achieve your wholeness as an evolved organism, to live your harmonious natural fulfillment as a whole person.  If you do this nature has rewarded you with being happy. 

    Inner Friendship is the process of listening to your wise inner voices to receive the guidance to make righteous decisions and respond to life to be fulfilled as a whole person- to be happy.  Humans have known for thousands of years that one’s inner voices know how to do this, but no one knows for sure why.

    Some people believe the inner voices are personalities within the unconscious that evolved to have a sense of what the individual needs to do to succeed in life unfettered with fear, prejudice and pride, which plague the conscious self.  Carl Jung wrote extensively about this and Freud and Jung used dream analysis to establish communication with the wise inner personalities they saw in their different psychologies to guide patients to health and whole life.  Jung spoke of lopsidedness when a person was ignoring a major part of the psyche, such as a business man with a strong unrecognized talent for music.  Dreams would send messages about this dormant, unfulfilled part of the individual, so the individual would begin to pay attention to and fulfill this part of his natural being and move toward wholeness.

    Some people believe the inner voices are divine spirits communicating with them thorough prayer or meditation in the private quietness of the mind.  These communications come from outside the individual from the God or spirit who created the individual and knows what the individual should do to live successfully as the individual was created to live.

    The natural goal of human life is fulfillment as a whole person.  We have learned that fulfillment and happiness are not in things, money, power or fame.  All of that is fleeting and ultimately leaves us empty when we get it saying, “Is that all there is to life”?  People around the world who are living above the poverty line report about the same level of happiness no matter how much money they have.  Happiness is not in things.

    Happiness is in relationships.  There are four areas in which human happiness occurs.  Human happiness is in fulfilling relationships with (1) self, (2) other people. (3) all of existence and (4) the source of all.  Wholeness is fulfillment in all four areas.

    Houston Smith in Why Religion Matters pointed out that humans have viewed the source of all in four different ways: nothing is God, many Gods, One God and everything is God.  Science in the last hundred years has taught us that humans cannot prove anything for certain. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and Einstein’s Relativity Theory in physics and Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics demonstrated that humans cannot know anything completely for certain.  All we have is faith, faith in the stories of science or faith in the stories of religion or faith in both.  This is why we are living in Postmodernism where nothing is certain and everything is contingent and plural.  

    We have to learn to live with the fact that there is no provable one right way for certain.  Therefore we cannot force other people to live our way because it is right for certain.  

    We have to learn to live in harmonious pluralism with each other where each person lives passionately and respectfully by the way that is real and believable to him or her, and lets other people live passionately and respectfully by the way that is real and believable to each other person. 

    Today this confusing situation is made much worse by the new exploding human knowledge and the new machines produced by that knowledge.  The machines such as the Internet and global transportation have connected all humans into one global marketplace and one global community.  We have to learn how to live with all kinds of different humans.  We have never experienced this before.

    Also the machines have allowed us to create many new things to enhance human life, such as computers, phones, tablets, new foods, new tools and new medicines.  All of this has created a new age of individualism.

    There are so many old and new things to do both good and bad, that the traditional institutions cannot tell us so well what to do any more.  This forces the individual to decide and be more personally responsible for what he or she does to live successfully.  There is no longer one right way to live taught by society, but many different right ways for different people.  It is as though we used to all ride on a train going in one direction.  Now we are each riding on our own bicycle, each going in a different direction to our personal fulfillment as a whole person.

    Each individual is more responsible than ever for finding and living his or her own personal fulfillment as a whole person.  This is where the wise guidance of inner friendship becomes newly important.

    What the individual needs is guidance in how to respond to the individual’s personal circumstances in ways that lead to the individual fulfillment as whole person, one’s happiness, all life long.  That is a big job, but there is a way to get it done.

    Fortunately the answers are right inside the person, and are communicated by the individual’s inner voices, if the individual will learn how to listen and follow their wise guidance.  How you do that is the process of inner friendship.

    This wise, personal inner guidance is needed now more than ever in this new Global Age.  It is available, but people do not know it is there, or how to receive it.

    That is the goal of the Inner Friendship Movement to teach people that the wise guidance they are desperately seeking is there, and how to access it through inner friendship.  It is greatly needed and it can be done wisely and well, leading each individual to fulfilled life as a whole person - to lifelong happiness.

    Dr. Jonathan Burch, is a psychologist and a Christian who has studied the world’s religions, while passionately living by his own religion in his inner friendship with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  He has developed the Inner Friendship Movement to help lead people to peaceful, full life, no matter what their religion or philosophy of life.  

    Dr. Burch has written an ebook entitled Inner Friendship For Everyone  which describes the nine steps to successful inner friendship.  A web site explains how it works, with many articles and a forum for people to share their experiences with their own inner friendship.  There are articles in the learning center which show how to have an inner friendship in each of the major religions and in naturalism for those who do not believe in the supernatural.  

    Inner friendship is truly wise guidance for all humans around the Earth no matter what are their beliefs.  It is especially needed in this new Global Age of increased individual responsibility.

    There is a Facebook community at of those who would like to share their inner friendship on Facebook.  These resources can be found on the Internet. 

    Dr. Burch urges people around the world, “Learn how to pray your way to happiness. Then share this joy with others personally and on the Internet, and help to grow the global Inner Friendship Community.”

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