Books don’t usually make me angry.
At times happy, at times sad. But it’s quite rare for me to flick through a book and be left with a feeling that I’d actually like to beat the author to death with a copy of it. Not to overreact or anything.
I picked up a copy of The Secret the other day. I have heard a lot about it and knew vaguely that it was about how thinking positively can improve your daily life. That’s a concept I’m on board with. I believe that the more positive energy you throw out in the world the more you get back. That’s why I tell people ‘Have a good day’ as often as I can. More often than not they say it back and you both feel a little happier after the interaction.
Further, you’re more likely to get help from your neighbours/ colleagues/ family/ friends if you are perceived as a happy, well balanced and friendly person than if you come across negatively. You might be thinking, ‘this is all a bit obvious Katie, you’re just stating truisms’. Right. I just want people to be aware that I’m not completely opposed to the idea of positive thinking before I start ranting.
The concept of the book is that the Universe will provide anything you need for you as long as you think positively and believe it. Every single thing that has ever happened to you has happened because of the way you thought about it and the ‘frequency’ you were emitting. The secret is the Law of Attraction and you attract whatever thoughts you’re sending out into the universe.
What really annoys me about this book is that it attempts to sway vulnerable people into believing that they can ‘manifest’ things like a rabbit from a magicians hat by obscurely quoting quantum physicists and using out-of-context quotes from people like Einstein to back up their spurious claims.
On ‘The Secret’
P. 27, Dr.Joe Vitale “Everything that surrounds you in your life, including the things you’re complaining about, you’ve attracted”… You’re going to immediately say ‘I didn’t attract that car accident. I didn’t attract this particular client who gives me a hard time. I didn’t particlularly attract the debt.’ And I’m here to be a little bit in your face and say yes, yes you did attract it”
The good doctor goes on to explain that this applies in all cases, including where masses of people have died, because they were on the same ‘frequency’ as the event in their minds. As the doctor says the law applies 100% of the time, we can surmise that rape victims ‘attracted’ their rapists, 9/11 victims ‘attracted’ planes into the world trade centre and this ‘law’ also applies to health so cancer patients, stroke victims etc ‘attracted the illness into their lives.
I find this concept, which is repeated throughout the book by various doctors and believers, to be utterly offensive.
On attracting abundance:
P.99 Rhonda Byrne “The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts… All the money you require exists right now in the invisible. If you do not have enough, it is because you are stopping the flow of money coming to you.”
The chapter goes on to explain that if you start visualising cheques coming in the mail instead of bills it will happen. You just have to really believe in the Universe.
If only children across the Developing World knew the secret. If only they knew if they would quit whining about being starving and focus on abundance, money, food and clean water would be theirs. Or does ‘the Secret’ not apply to the Developing World. How elitist of it.
As if to prove a point, p 107-108 states “the wealthiest people on the planet are the greatest philanthropists. They give away vast amounts of money, and as they give, by the law of attraction, the Universe opens up and floods vast amounts of money back to them – multiplied”
I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. Philanthropists like Bill Gates give away significant amounts, but tiny in the context of what he earns. The money that floods to him is not the Universe’s reward to him, it’s the result of building one of the most successful countries in the world.
P 128, Michael Bernard Beckwith “The question frequently asked is, “When a person has manifested a disease in the body temple or some kind of discomfort in their life, can it be turned around through the power of ‘right’ thinking? And the answer is absolutely, yes.”
Again, this makes me angry. Firstly the idea that the disease you have is nothing to do with genetics, your surroundings or just plain bad luck – you manifested it yourself through thinking ‘wrong’. Secondly, the idea that any and all diseases, aches and pains can be cured by the power of positive thinking – backed up by a succession of reader stories that claim it to be true. It’s just not fair to sell this idea that you can cure yourself of anything by thinking about it a different way. Many readers will be vulnerable people who will grab any kind of hope they can – and Rhonda Byrne and her contributors are taking advantage of that.
The book also says you can consume as many calories as you want and not do exercise and you will stay skinny as long as you keep picturing yourself your perfect size…. I wish!
I realise most people will say ‘It’s so obviously ridiculous Katie, that you shouldn’t even get worked up over it’, but people do believe it. People change their lives and make huge, irreversible decisions based on this absolute nonsense!
I could rant about this all day, I’ll leave it there for now.
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