The Simple Truth About God
Review by Alyce Wilson
Looking at The Simple Truth About God in terms of basic argumentation, author Christine Lenick runs into one key problem right away: ethos, the sense that the writer is credible, somebody whose word can be trusted and who has something valuable to say.
She inadventertently sabotages her ethos by starting out the book with an introduction that announces to the world that she is a self-appointed prophet ("I now understand that it is no coincidence that I am the messenger of this Simple Truth") who has seen the light and will teach us all the way.
Lenick then relates some decisions she made in her life which many would view as questionable, such as abandoning a law career for a directionless career, and then later, to step away from a profitable self-owned marketing firm for equally ill defined reasons. Further, she said she gained the inspiration for the book and wrote it over a very short time by viewing visions of people speaking to her and imparting wisdom.
It may well be that she has wisdom to relate, but the audience by this point has little reason to trust and believe in her.
For those who are open minded enough to read further, they will encounter further problems, with the logos, the support. Lenick's basic principle is that we are all, individually, God. Not so much in the usual sense, which is to say that God is in everything and therefore in all of us, but rather that there is no God outside of ourselves and we are, therefore, each our own God.
This argument may have come, in previous years, from the solipsists, who questioned the existence of anything outside their own minds. However, Lenick follows this premise with the contention that, as gods, it is our responsibility only to seek our own joy. She spends the rest of the book attempting to elaborate both on the concept of self as God and the definition of joy.
Further, she says that we are not only responsible for our own joy but also for our own pain. This leads, of course, to a host of questions, which she attempts to answer in a section she added to her original book to address such issues.
For example, on page 59, she has "blackened souls of the Holocaust" state: "Strange how you all focus so much anger on those you think killed us. We killed ourselves. ... Can you not see how easy it was for us ... to create the energy of Hitler?"
She backs off this statement on page 120 and 121: "We see [Hitler] as a demon and, in doing so, see ourselves that way. What we do not understand is that we do not exist, except for the thought that we exist. To see Hitler as demonic is to see oneself as demonic. He is our belief in hatred, so powerful that it can destroy us, reflected as form. ... Understand that one does not choose to die in a Holocaust. But we do choose in every moment how we will live."
This clarification seems to indicate that she is not, in fact, a Holocaust denier so much as someone who has ill-thought out her examples, inadvertently picking a topic so inflammatory it is likely to disgust and anger her readers, rather than convincing them.
The evidence, the logos, provided to support the internal argument is weak. These visions all sound alike and not at all like someone of their supposed station or age. For example, a "little, newborn baby" says, "They call me baby. Their baby. You are wondering how I can teach you about abundance and lack. I am laughing, because you believe only those who 'earn' abundance through the 'work' of living a good life get abundance."
Of course, except for the introduction, she uses no real world examples of how these concepts might have helped her in her personal life, or perhaps, to help anyone else.
Other than those who already know her or are familiar with her New Age store in Colorado would get anything out of this book. And this is not to critique the central tenet itself. Many New Age gurus state that it is within our power to make ourselves happy. Many have redefined the nature of God. The problem that the argumentation and the presentation of this book is so flawed, the reader is more likely to throw the book down in frustration than to use it as a tool for spiritual growth.
Ultimately, The Simple Truth About God seems to be a book about the truth as it is experienced by one specific person, written for her and people who know her and, therefore, are more likely to care what she has to say. The book fails to bring these concepts to a broader audience.
Healing Arts Publishing, 2003; ISBN: 0-9711522-6-8