The Secret is a “new age” sensation. It’s a video, a book and a CD collection that promises understanding and that you can take back your power in this life. It promises that by the power of thought, emotions and actions you can change your life because the Universe/ God supplies you with whatever you believe in and dwell upon. It says that whatever is in your life and that has happened or is going to happen to you- it is something you are drawing to yourself by the “law of attraction”. It says that everyone has an equal chance to be successful in the world. It implies this financially but seeing the examples of the speakers whom appear to be prosperous. And some of these teachings are brought out even more listening to the experts separate on their own forums. Teachers include Jack Canfield and James Ray. They have been seen presenting “the secret” on Larry King and Oprah.
What is the implications if an innocent little girl (or boy) gets raped whom never knew of the subject? Did they draw this to them by the power of their intentions???? If you are born into a miserable abusive family- did you draw this to you? NO. Another good example of this, and this comes from a Sankara Saranam article, if someone is told by a doctor to use a certain medicine for an ailment and he does this in good faith that his health is improving, what happens when the medicine has a side effect that he knew nothing of that destroys a vital organ that he thought was perfectly healthy?
Do people in poor, “god”-forsaken hellholes on earth, like war zones or poor places in
Africa and the middle, east really have an equal opportunity to be successful like folks in
America- especially ones born to wealthy families? NO
Can everyone be rich and financially abundant like the teachers on “the Secret”? NO. These teachers say that it is OK to be rich, to have abundant “toys” and using themselves as examples; it’s OK to be millionaires and have several homes, etc. Some go further and say it’s a universe in abundance and that it’s our own expectations or resistance to the flow of the universes that project to us how abundant or not we are. Now, they will add that it’s OK to be rich but that doesn’t mean that you will be happy, all the while pointing out that being rich is really a necessary to enjoy the wonderful things the world has to offer. Couple of problems.
There is only a finite amount of money printed out there. If you take more money, it leaves less for someone else. You can not equate abundance of leaves on a tree, abundance of grass to money, as some try. Nature obviously has many abundance features but money is a mad-made finite collection of items.
This is important and obvious. If everyone were to use the example of the teachers on “the Secret” and become millionaires and have several houses and several cars and lots of toys then the world’s resources would be used up in a few days. Even if everyone had the abundance level of your average American then the world’s resources would be consumed quickly; they already are being consumed at a unsustainable rate. One excuse I read is that mankind is collectively projecting a state of lack. Well, unless we can “Manifest” a new world of resources to create all these things that people want, then this financial abundance catch-phrase doesn’t make any sense.
How does this philosophy perpetuate erroneous beliefs and what is the level of responsible teaching? These teachings do not discuss the world and how it got to where it is. Is doesn’t discuss the banking system, right or wrong. It doesn’t discuss slavery, wage-slavery, interest rates, war, and capitalism or investigate any system, process, history or circumstance that has brought individuals or groups of people where to where they are in life. In fact, some of the authors might talk of avoiding the news because it’s negative and that negative things like war doesn’t happen in their reality. As if the whole world can be going “to hell in a hand-basket” but as long as they keep their eye on the prize, their own personal life will be OK despite whatever happens to the rest of the world. It sounds a lot like the charismatic Christian, faith based teachings. So anyway, it’s better not to analyze the negative things happening in the world- otherwise; you will think about them and might draw the negative things into your own life. So instead of grouping together to think about all the intricate history, policies and circumstances that hinder a people, we are to remain in our own thoughts and to try and draw personal success and prosperity. Sure we can go to prosperity classes as a group but the objective is still how to bring riches into our own lives. This whole culture helps to perpetuate capitalism and materialism. Just accepts these concepts and takes them for granted as the way it is. Just accepts the banking system as is. Accepts the government as is, for the most part. Accepts the elite power system as is and invites you to be one. There are token gestures that people who are abundant give back to charities and etc., but no real philosophy of unity is embraced. They miss out on higher philosophies and deeper thoughts.
Some of the items discussed by the “stars” of “the Secret” in the film and on their own are just common sense, others are techniques “achievers” use and they don’t necessarily have anything to do with Secret forces of the universe. Focusing. Visualization. Believing in Yourself. Believe it’s possible. Persistence. Goals. It’ hard to get any goal accomplished or to obtain anything in this fast paced world where people are just trying to get by and are too tired to expend extra energy at the end of the day by the time they fulfill daily tasks. It simply requires you to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can do something or deserve that you can have something, you won’t even try. It requires focus, focus, focus. If you don’t focus your day and channel your energy- you will not find the time nor energy reserves to work at it. Visualization gives you hope and drive to keep going. Without persistence, you won’t have the stamina to keep going. These are tools that everyone uses to some degree. Some folks use these techniques to better effect and are more dedicated to their goals than others.
A side note. Isn’t it strange that some of these folks are successful because they charge you alot of money to tell you how to be successful?
Having said all that, I do believe the cast of The Secret are well meaning. Yes they want money from you and market their seminars expertly and know all the tools of the trade but that is just normal in this world. To them, and the world, not even Secret philosophies nor spiritual insight is offered without a price it, would seem. But I think that “most” of them really believe they are offering a great service (however misguided or childish they might be in my opinion), insight and are well intentioned, even should it make them rich in the process. So I’m not attacking their character but I am presenting items of discussion about some of the beliefs as I interpret them to be presented; I emphasize “I interpret”- not to be confused with a concept of rigid truth.
from my blog: What's wrong with "The Secret"? « LIFE RUMINATIONS