Barbel Mohr was a best-selling German author who wrote the book The Cosmic Ordering Service: A Guide to Realizing your Dreams which sold more than a million copies. This is the book made famous by television presenter Noel Edmonds’s admission that he used it to get his deepest longings fulfilled. Mohr advises us to pray to the universe and even to ask the universe to fulfil all our longings – just by placing an order with the universe. This is sometimes referred to as ‘manifesting’. Mohr claims that she has used this cosmic ordering service to gain her ideal job, her perfect man, cash and even a castle to live in. Big Brother winner Brian Belo claimed that cosmic ordering helped him to win the 2007 show. Barbel Mohr died of cancer in 2010.

Barbel Mohr’s faith in the cosmic ordering service is a mystical faith that nurtures a self-centred consumerism. Notice that biblical teaching about sin and the need for repentance are strikingly absent in this New Age faith. You don’t need Jesus! You just need to trust in the universe and all your dreams will come true. This is how she prays to the universe: “Dear universe, I cannot find my glasses; please, drop a hint as to where I have left them this time. Ah here! Thanks a lot.” Fundamentally Mohr’s mindset is pantheist. This means that everything is God and this translates into the belief that “Your words, thoughts, and feelings create your reality.” As a god you are the creator of your world.

It is important to understand that pantheism struggles to make any sense of evil because what we call ‘evil’, is part of God. Mohr solves this problem by declaring that “There is no evil! You are perfect, just as you are.” We should also notice the relativism that pervades her book. Mohr constantly preaches “Whatever works for you is the ‘right thing’.”

Picture it. Tarzan the human trafficker is reading Mohr’s book and smiles as he turns the pages. Surely he will order many young girls from the universe and all his dreams will come true. Finally it should not surprise us that Mohr encourages us to contact the dead and greet our spiritual guides. In other words Mohr approves of séances and the occult.

Four Ways of Looking at New Age Faith

Materialist faith: “We believe that everything is just physical. Praying to the universe is a waste of time.”

Relativist faith: “We believe that Barbel Mohr is simply doing whatever works for her. Who are we to criticise her for her authentic faith?”

Mohr’s faith: “We believe that we are gods in disguise. We are sinless and there is no evil. We can place orders to the universe and she will respond to all our cravings.”

Christian faith: “We believe that the creation is groaning in pain and suffering. Jesus Christ has come to bring His kingdom and destroy death, sin and evil.”

Mark Roques
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Categories: RealityBites

Mark Roques

Mark taught Philosophy and Religious Education at Prior Park College, Bath, for many years. As Director of RealityBites he has developed a rich range of resources for youth workers and teachers. He has spoken at conferences in the UK, Holland, South Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Mark is a lively storyteller and the author of four books, including The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith. His work is focused on storytelling and how this can help us to communicate the Christian faith. He has written many articles for the Baptist Times, RE Today, Youthscape, Direction magazine and the Christian Teachers Journal.


Evan · May 19, 2023 at 6:23 pm

Well put, Mark!
I’ve often found many New Age thinking to be a “Make Your Own Religion”

Andy Lancaster · May 20, 2023 at 9:16 am

Thank you Mark. Really incisive and helpful. It seems incredible that anyone can believe that here is no evil. Especially when you have literally just taken the funeral of a 27 yr old stabbed to death in your own city.

    Ted Newell · May 21, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    I had an afternoon with a sincere well-educated Indian man lately. To him, Nothing is impossible if we grasp how mind and world relate. I asked him about evil and good, cruelty and non-cruelty. Is forgiveness possible in Barbel’s reality; perhaps the need goes unnoticed.

Duncan Stow · May 22, 2023 at 10:27 am

Really helpful article Mark – So much of the new age thinking seems to ignore the problem of evil – but my experience is that sooner of later people get very upset about evil that’s done to them or their families. The Christian faith allows us to be honest about its reality and find a hope provided Jesus death and resurrection. Romeo Dallaire worked for the UN peace keeping forces in genocide in Rwanda 1994 and said “I have shaken hands with the devil, I have seen, smelt him, I have touched him and because of that I know there is a God.” It is important not to hide away from the problem of sin and evil – it is real and actually leads us to find the real hope of the gospel

Roy Clouser · May 22, 2023 at 4:01 pm

Good one, Mark! You are right on point: Pantheism has no alternative but t deny that evil is real, and that has to be one of the most unbelievable claims ever made.

steve smith · May 24, 2023 at 9:46 am

You wonder if the universe, on such a view, would (or could!) ever “choose” (is that the appropriate word?) to deny something to someone. It seem to be not at all concerned, but simply: your wish is my command.

Philip · May 24, 2023 at 6:54 pm

Blessings upon you, Mark, for highlighting in your brief article the sheer folly of the notion that we human beings are, ourselves, some kind of Gods who can willy-nilly harness the Universe to our own selfish ends.

In arguing against the notion of placing an “order with the cosmos” with respect to our material desires, I would simply point out that Ms Mohr’s own tragic life story would seem a case-in-point rebuttal of her “cosmic” thesis. That is, and I do not wish to be disrespectful in any way, but I think it highly unlikely that Barbel Mohr, as a mother of two children, ever asked the cosmos to visit upon her a malignancy which would ultimately – and sadly – claim her life at the age of 46.

In any event, that Barbel Mohr sold as many books as she did reflects the reality that human beings are perpetually groping-out for solutions to achieve their physical desires. This is no different now than it was the case 2,000, 4,000 or 10,000 years ago. However, the ‘good news’ is, as Christians, we understand that lasting satisfaction will never be found in the fulfilment of our passing material wishes on this Earth. Rather, as Believers we “know” that our inner peace now and forevermore derives purely from the springs of God’s living water.

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