Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not My Secret

March 29, 2007

There is a film making the rounds of the major talk shows and other venues such as DVD parties of new age religious organizations and the like. It is called The Secret, and it purports to usher in a new era for mankind by providing the secret of the universe.

The "secret" it puts forth is what it calls the law of attraction, which, it maintains, is a scientific law that like attracts like. The interpretation of this information is simple -- what you think about, you get. If you spend your life worrying that you'll get the cancer that killed your mother, bingo. You've attracted that situation and you too get the disease. If you leave your house knowing that you'll have difficulty finding a parking place, you have difficulty finding a parking place.

The universe, the film says, is like the genie in Aladdin's lamp. He's a big, nice, musclebound guy whose job is to grant your wishes. (So nice to have a new personification of the Almighty, isn't it?) You tell the universe what you want, and the universe grants it.

Let's try an example. You leave your house and tell the universe you want to find a parking place. You know the universe is out there just to grant your wishes, and so you have confidence that you'll find a parking place. When you get where you're going, you find a parking place!

Think about this a minute. How often in your life have you actually not been able to find a parking place at all? The fact is, you will find a parking place even if you don't go through the exercise of telling the genie about it. Even if the parking place is not a space directly in front of the place you're going, and even if you had to circle the block a time or two, when you found the place you were happy, and if you believed it was because you asked the universe for it, you feel you have the secret.

I'm all for thinking positive thoughts. I do believe that a good attitude can get you through many of life's difficulties. I personally operate with faith that there is some spirit that unites us all -- call it God, a higher power, a universal intelligence, whatever you want. I don't claim to know what faith is or where it comes from, or even what the entity I believe in is, but that faith transcends my knowledge of it or my ability to define it. If it were definable it would not be more accessible. It is not man, woman, animal, vegetable or mineral. As far as I'm concerned, it just is. I don't see that "it" has a plan for me or anyone. I don't think I'm a chess piece on its board. Those are human values and conditions and this "it" of mine doesn't fit any such description.

My problem with The Secret is that it exists of, by and for the earthly realm. It addresses mundane wishes. It suggests that the universe wants us all to have "everything we want," which means BMW's, big houses, swimming pools, material objects -- most of all those symbols of status that we long for. It says that all we have to do is believe the secret, ask the universe, and keep believing. All too many of the examples cited in the film were for the trappings of wealth rather than for spiritual growth in any way. Not that we couldn't use the secret for a spiritual trip, but it doesn't look to me as if any of the teachers of the secret address that.

If it were as easy as The Secret says, why doesn't everybody have what they want? Why didn't my second or third book get published? Why didn't I get to be a movie star when I was in my 20's and wanted it so much? Because I didn't believe I was going to get it? I can assure you I did believe I would get all those things. And I worked for them, just as The Secret says. I was attracting success to me as hard as I could. Very hard.

Getting a parking place was easier.


Anonymous said...

Hi, not a comment about your blog post, just letting you know your link to the Organic School is defective.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Fixed it! Thanks. Everybody, go there now.

Bert said...

With regard to anything religious, I take refuge in Laztheism, as you well know I would.

Even religious people would agree with me that The Law of Attraction is silly. And the bible says that god causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. Meaning that what you 'get' in life has no connection with any plan or law of cause and effect.

Of course it is nice to think you are a person of Special Merit, on whom god and fate are smiling, or that you can become such a person, via payments of $29.99 per month.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Hey, Bert! That sounds like such a great deal! Are you saying that for $29.99 per month I too can be a Laztheist???

Bert Bananas said...

Even Handed Hope, you twister of words. Laztheism is free for the taking. And very freeing. The kind of freedom most mortals can't handle.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Oh. For a minute there I thought you said "most morals can't handle. (Word twisting again)

Offficious Oaf said...

Isn’t it odd how man –and woman- can put something old in new wrappings, give it a new look, and all of a sudden it becomes a new product, a major break though in sciene or awareness.

It’s not surprising that The Secret with its dealing with the law of attraction comes as some sort of revelation for most, for most have not taken the time to delve under the layers of why things happen; they just say, “That’s the way it is”, and go about their merry way to their next mundane task, hoping the good things will reoccur and the bad ones won’t.

For those that care to look into such things as the law of attraction, they will find it is one of 7 Universal or Cosmic Laws, which were first written down over three thousand years ago by Hermes Trismegistos in ancient Egypt, later being incorporated in far eastern beliefs. Western beliefs were too smart for such nonsense.

Such powerful information was deemed inappropriate for everyone, so only a select few had access to it. I guess for the same reasons that certain countries should not have nuclear weapons- they don’t know what they have and therefore would use them improperly. Because the information was concealed, it became hermetic, sealed, closed off, thus the origin of the word.

Silva Mind control, a mind maximization program popular in the 70s and 80s, spoke very specifically about making parking places available in crowded lots through the Law of Attraction, as well as a whole host of other benefits by being aware of the law and how to use it.

Take off new wrappings and enjoy an old product, and don’t worry about the warranty having expired.

For those that don’t believe in such “nonsense”, go about your merry way. The next time you get a speeding ticket for going 60 MPH in a school zone, tell the traffic cop that speeding laws are nonsense and you are not subject to them. See how far that will get you.

sinjap said...

i just picked up one of my best friends at the airport yesterday and she is the embodiment of "the secret", long before it was trendy or re-packaged...with a combination or obliviousness and chutzpah she just assumes that she is going to get whatever it is that she wants, whether it's a parking space, a first class airline upgrade, or a full scholarship to college...and if life doesn't live up to her dreams she just nonchalantly assumes that the universe has some other plans for you can probably tell, i'm amazed, resentful, and jealous at the same time...i suppose if i tried i could trick my brain into going along with all that but it just seems like emotional dishonesty...don't really want to drink that kool-aid! unless you have the same unbridled, ballsy optimism as my friend it just won't work...and most of us don't

Finding Fair Hope said...

After that comment from the unoffical oaf I Googled Hermes Trismegistos and found out there really was such a person! You never know with the oaf...he is a merry prankster with a serious face. I could find no connection between Trismegristos and The Secret, but then I didn't get as far as the 7 Universal or Cosmic Laws. I'll get to that tomorrow.

Unlike sinjap I am not jealous of those with The Secret, but I've probably been there and come out the other side. I can certainly see that it would be difficult to have one as a friend.

On the other hand, many of my friends buy into The Secret lock, stock and barrel and they probably pity me.

Officious Oaf said...

sinjap- What do you mean, you don't want to drink that Kool-aid? You confess you don't even know what it is all about. You might be missing out on the elixir of life. What have you got to lose? You can always go back to drinking whatever flavor of Kool-aid you have been drinking. Think about this- it has been around a lot longer than Kool-aid and still going strong. Repackaged often, I grant you.

And you Ms FFH, if you have friends that buy into this Cosmic Law stuff, maybe you ought to ask them why they do. I can't believe you would have stupid friends. Now if you don't want to do that, that might say something about their friends.