What's All The Fuss About 'The Secret'?

Here’s a definite sign that something has made it into the collective consciousness: Oprah features it on her show. If you’re at all inclined in this way, you’ve probably already seen ‘The Secret’. Here are my thoughts on this: I love ‘The Secret’. It’s absolutely phenomenal. I wholly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet. It may just have an impact on your life. I believe completely in ‘The Law of Attraction’ and know that it is at work in my life and the lives of my students, my family, and everyone who has the inclination to pay attention to this. What is the Law of Attraction? Whatever you concentrate on, is what is drawn to you. If you focus on your lack of money and fret about your debt, you will get more ‘need’. However, if you concentrate on ‘attracting’ money, you become a money magnet. You attract more affluence. This isn’t just about money, but about absolutely everything in your life. Health and wellness, love, relationships, sex. . . as well as business, converting prospects to clients. . . Of course, there are naysayers–people, who in an attempt to make a name for themselves–have decided to tear down ‘The Secret’. What does this have to do with persuasion? And why would someone want to trash it? The Secret is certainly in the news and many people will use things in the news to piggyback. In fact, I love to use the piggybacking strategy myself when I get a chance. And I guess you have to take a stand one way or another on things, so this group of people chose to take a negative stand. If you’re like me, you probably don’t agree with everything you hear from any source. The next question I have is, do you agree with everything you’ve heard about ‘The Secret’? I, for one, do not. But let’s not throw the baby away with the bathwater. Just because there are a few things I don’t believe in, doesn’t mean there’s not a whole lot of value to be gained. It’s like taking the position. . . “Well, money can be used in a negative way so I don’t want to have anything to do with money.” If a person objects to positive mental thinking, positive mental attitudes, and the sage advice that has shaped our nation and most all of the successful people in the world today that have followed along the footsteps of great thinkers of our time, then I guess someone could genuinely be upset with ‘The Secret’. But what in particular did ‘The Secret’s’ detractors pick on? One thing is that ‘The Secret’ talks about our own personal responsibility and says that, “We all choose our own reality. Even the people of Darfur consciously chose their plight in life.” And to that, the people who were criticizing ‘The Secret’ responded, “That’s nonsense. ‘The Secret’ is a cult and it’s saying things that are blatantly untrue.” The frame the naysayers are putting on this is “cult”. I absolutely do not believe that the people of Darfur or people who suffer terribly wherever they are consciously chose to be where they are. In an attempt to entertain, ‘The Secret’ may have gone too far. When you consider it, however, many millions of people believe in something along those lines. And perhaps people who believe in reincarnation and karma would agree that we don’t consciously choose our lives, but have unconsciously chosen. And like the Buddhist traditions, I believe it’s possible that we’re here to learn and that life is a school. Not all lessons this school has to offer are pleasant ones. Through the perspective of reincarnation they might believe that we choose our parents, we choose the country we’re going to be born in, and we choose to live the lessons that earth has to give us such that one day we don’t need to come back anymore and we can evolve to a higher level. I’m not asking you to believe in reincarnation, but can you see that with this belief as the basis for the premise of ‘choosing’, then it might be reasonable for ‘The Secret’s’ makers to say something like, “The people in Africa who are starving have chose their plight in life so that they could experience these difficulties to learn how to overcome them or simply experience a life of poverty”? I think the answer is absolutely yes. They didn’t choose them consciously; they chose them before they came into this earthly experience. Why should we tear this theory down? I have my own beliefs and thoughts. I believe we need to be responsible. I believe we need to be careful, but to deny the value some people have derived, just to tear it down, I just can’t fathom.