R.I.P. Louise Hay (1927-2017)

Louise Hay, author of books like You Can Heal Your Life and Heal Your Body and the founder of Hay House, a major self-help/spirituality publishing house, died on August 30 at age 90.

21150006_10213120198695021_1723248382589269657_nI left Louise Hay and her books behind me a while back when I figured out that her teachings were missing (or at least glossing over) some essential elements.

The emphasis on affirmations as a solution, I learned, neglected the importance of FEELING and how one can’t just parrot words, but must really FEEL TO BE TRUE that which they are “affirming,” otherwise they’re just empty words. Neville Goddard discovered this truth to be so important that he entitled one of his books Feeling Is The Secret. I can repeat words and phrases until I’m blue in the face, but unless I feel them to be true, they won’t bring forth anything. I AM the creative power in my world, and I create by feeling an assumption to be true, not by merely stating it, no matter how often I repeat it. If I don’t feel it to be true, it won’t come forth. I don’t recall an emphasis on the importance of FEELING from Louise Hay’s work, although, admittedly, I may have just missed it.

But if something is so understated as to be missed by a reader, well…

Further, and directly related: from what I read of Louise Hay’s work, she sidestepped the whole issue of God, probably to save readers (and maybe herself) the work of challenging belief in a secondary cause. Something I see repeatedly with people is that they were so alienated by organized religion and all that it represents, so damaged by “the church,” so confused by irreconcilable teachings inherent in religion, that the mere mention of “God” sends them running in the other direction.

That’s why, for me, the most important element of spiritual practice and teaching has been to abandon and completely obliterate the concept of God that I was taught by the church and organized religion and our society, and to think of God not as an external power or secondary cause, but as my deeper self.

And I realized early on that Louise Hay and many of the Hay House authors (Esther Hicks springs to mind) hadn’t taken that step, or, if they had done it themselves, they weren’t asking it of their readers.

Steeped in many of these works is either avoidance of, or veiled reliance on, an external God (or in Hicks’ case, “ascended masters”).

And that, to me, is a fatal flaw which can only keep people trapped if they remain in it.

That having been said…

If I hadn’t discovered Louise Hay and her books, I would have never taken those kernels of truth and light in those books and felt spurred to go deeper. Her work was a “gateway spiritual drug” for me. It helped me learn that my assumptions and beliefs weren’t foregone conclusions: that they could not only be challenged, but changed and replaced.

Think of a closet, Hay (herself a former fashion model) said. If you buy new clothes, you’ve got to make room for the old. Clean out your spiritual closet.

Ironically, as I moved further and deeper in my own spiritual practice, Louise’s works and the works of many of her authors were items I cleaned out of my own closet to make room for the new.

But I can’t deny that when those works “fit,” they were tremendously, vitally important to me.

So thank you, Louise. Rest in peace. 

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