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Second thoughts on The Secret

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  • abhinabha
    A few months ago there was a short discussion on this forum about the very popular book and documentary The Secret. The book claims that by thinking positive
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 23, 2007
      A few months ago there was a short discussion on this forum about the
      very popular book and documentary The Secret. The book claims that by
      thinking positive and affirmative thoughts you can fulfill all of your
      desires. In that discussion I asserted myself as quite the advocate
      and fan of the book/film. However, as time progressed and my initial
      wave of enthusiasm subsided, I have had some second thoughts on the
      matter. Hey, I'm a human being - I can change my mind. Anyways, I'm
      not as big a supporter as before. Allow me to explain...

      1. When reading (or watching) The Secret, getting what you want seems
      really easy: just wish for it and it will come your way. No blood,
      sweat or tears required. But is it really that simple? Reality, it
      seems, is a bit more complex. Aside from visualizing and thinking,
      action is also necessary to bring about success. We have to work hard
      towards the fulfilment of our dreams, whether it is an Olympic gold
      medal or that flashy convertible. Yet The Secret likes to dodge the
      action part: just state your wish and let the universe do the rest.
      Sometimes I wish it was that simple. Most of the times though, I'm
      quite relieved it's not. Where would all the fun be, if we got
      everything without lifting a finger?

      2. The Secret wants to make us feel the universe is a great big
      shopping mall. Just place your order, get your gizmo and be happy ever
      after. I think that philosophy is missing out on what life is
      essentially about, which is not mere collecting or acquiring, but
      discovering, transcending, becoming... Life is an ever-new spiritual
      adventure, a journey to discover who we truly and eternally are. The
      Secret wants to make us feel that it also has a very spiritual
      message. But it mainly tries to clothe the life of desire in an
      esoteric dress. Aren't we doing the sacred and mystic truth the
      universe embodies a disservice by comparing it to a grand catalogue or
      a shopping mall? Would a catalogue be all that God could come up with?
      Which brings me to point...

      3. Hey, what about God? The Secret talks about the universe as the be
      all and end all. Yet this universe also has its source. Many people at
      least feel the universe is created by God. By leaving Him (or Her) out
      of the picture I think you are missing an essential point, which is
      that this universe has a divine mission, a divine purpose. That
      mission and purpose lie far beyond the fulfilment of mere material
      desires. Rather, they are found in the search and growth into our
      true, divine and immortal Self. Outer things fade away, inner things
      stay. And the inner things, that's where true and lasting happiness lies.

      Wouldn't you say?


      --Abhinabha
    • sarada1007
      From my vague knowledge of The Secret, and similar books, my problem with them is always the issue of God s Will and how that comes into the equation. If we
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 27, 2007
        From my vague knowledge of The Secret, and similar books, my problem
        with them is always the issue of God's Will and how that comes into
        the equation. If we ask for something, then we have to know whether
        we are asking for something which God wants us to have. Always a
        tricky one that, even with the very best of intentions. So perhaps
        our request should always have a tag-line, 'if that is God's Will'.

        Having said that, all of us know how important positivity is in the
        spiritual life. And also Sri Chinmoy said something along the lines
        of (paraphrasing) if you long for anything Divine then it will
        immediately start to approach you. So to be positive and think
        positively and to long for spiritual progress is the correct thing
        of course. But if we ask for something other than spiritual
        progress, or God's Will itself to be done, then we have no way of
        knowing if we are pushing with or against the Divine.

        All very interesting though, since it seems like the book is helping
        many people across the world and giving them hope. I always find it
        comforting when something which is even partly spiritual catches the
        public imagination.

        Best wishes,

        Sharada
      • dietlclaudia
        Hi Sarada, for me there is no contradiction in this, but two different approaches. One is to order what you would like to have and just follow your feelings
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 28, 2007
          Hi Sarada,

          for me there is no contradiction in this, but two different approaches.
          One is to "order" what you would like to have and just follow your
          feelings and longings. By trying you will find out that some things
          are not necessary for your life and happiness is somewhere else.

          The other approach is the one to keep your happiness level as high as
          possible. Then you are more connected to your inner being and closer to God's Will than with emotions only. And then you can open up yourself for the fulness in life. Your inner source or God will always know what is best for you and give it to you. However, it is good to open up. I found out for myself that very often I limit myself too early. And the Supreme would have given much more...

          Greetings
          Claudia
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