The course I'm attending bears this statement out. People are going around saying things like "I am the CEO of my mind". There's a big emphasis on wealth accrual. Not that I wouldn't mind having some of that. Of course there are also the Advanced Mind Power courses later on...
Incidentally, a former neighbour of mine is an in-law of John Kehoe; she gave me a copy of his book "The Practice Of Happiness" a couple of years ago.
The "manifesting wealth" thing became popular decades ago, and although it's been met with a lot of cynicism I think these things have a place in the bigger picture, because for centuries spiritual teachings have been the providence of the monasteries and ashrams and forest shamans, kept separate from mainstream society, except via religious doctrine. We're in a new paradigm now, and so I can see some benefit in putting forth the idea that the spiritual can be found in the material, that money is not evil, that abundance is a spiritual value, that people deserve to enjoy life and not struggle, etc.
The key concepts of Mind Power seem to be simplified versions of practical techniques used in chaos magick (among others). Having been involved in mind power training, would you say that they fail to address the spiritual dimension completely?
I think they border on it, but are still mostly at the "second level", that is, where one is identified with one's ego and one's thoughts (those are my
thoughts!). So again, this can be good for beginning to get out of the box of limited thinking that most people are straightjacketed with, but does not seem to take one the whole way, because it's too easy for the ego to appropriate manifestation techniques, hijack them for personal agendas. That doesn't have to be bad, and may even be really good, but it's neither here nor there when it comes to the enlightenment teachings of the perennial wisdom traditions.
You're right in seeing the link between "mind power" and magick, because this is where it's really originating from, the old mystery schools like Golden Dawn, Rosicrucianism, etc. These paths were based on the idea of utilizing the visualization capacity of the mind to bring about effects in one's life; Tibetan Buddhism works deeply with this approach as well, in the Vajrayana (Tantric) schools. But the core idea behind visualization is deeply spiritual -- the idea is to align oneself with one's highest potential by visualizing a deity, or a god-form that represents a particular kind of wisdom one may want to awaken within oneself. The visualization practice is done with a view to surrendering to that wisdom, not with a view to controlling reality. And it's this point that is usually not addressed in the mind-power teachings.
However where I think mind-power teachings are valuable is that they help people move out of a limited self-image, to begin to realize that they do in fact possess personal power, and that they are not merely victims of forces surrounding them in life. And that's something that is very appropriate for the time we live in, which is why mind-power teachings have probably become relatively well known in recent decades.
So it all depends on what one wants. If one wants to increase self-esteem, personal power, accrue things, etc., then mind-power techniques definitely help. If however one wants the enlightenment experience, and wants it in a relatively sustained, stable fashion in one's life, then one needs to use the mind-power stuff to go beyond manifesting objects
and instead use it to align with ultimate reality, God, Tao, or whatever name one gives to the non-dual principle of existence. And this is a steeper path, because the ego fights tooth and nail to preserve its existence.
I appreciated your comment about misconceptions regarding ego transcendence. Such misconceptions are frequently used to denigrate spiritual work and reflect, I think, profound misunderstanding based on lack of experience. Not that I claim to have any profound understanding myself, but believe the experience of samadhi --gnosis--to be something other than mere ego-annihilation.
Yes, the ego may fight for its existence, but that doesn't make it bad, or even necessarily problematic. It's just doing its job. And enlightenment is not about total loss of individuality. That's a misconception. Individuality is retained along with a direct, tacit awareness of connectedness to and with all things. It just becomes really hard to do dumb stuff, or destroy things, etc., because there is an ongoing awareness of how separation is just a conceptual construction, an idea, lacking substance. It's also very hard to feel sorry for oneself, or get bummed, etc., because it's more clearly seen how these are simply mind states, not reflecting the reality that we are already in
the cosmic ocean of life, not separate from the same energy that is producing unlimited life and unlimited creativity all the time.
What advice would you give someone who had just completed a mind power course?
Make lots of money while walking some sort of spiritual path, then retire to an ashram in India or a Zen monastery in Japan for a few years to dedicate yourself to enlightenment. Then return to the West, write, enjoy life, and play chess.
LOL, well that was my path anyway...but there are always other ways...