Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halfway through the Secret ...

Ok, I am halfway through the secret. I changed by mind. While it does have its good points, it is chock full of suck as well. Indeed it could actually be harmful to people that take it too literally.

Basically it is your typical though IS reality, see it happening and it will happen, nothing happens without you bringing into being, rap. Lots of good stuff in there about how to manage thoughts to not self-sabotage your efforts, how to make gratefulness into a creative process (something that I meant to weave into Sorcerers Secrets, but kinda forgot) and other decent tidbits.

The downside is that there is no concession to reality whatsoever. The book actually states that Fatty Foods will only make you fat if you THINK they will... They point to people who seem to be able to eat anything they want without loosing weight as the proof of this.

Seriously? WTF!

Are there people who can eat junk and not gain weight? Yes. I know several. They all either exercise intensely or have digestive problems. Otherwise they have managed to make "all they want" into half a plate of everything. They are not downing 12 white castles every day, laying about all night and staying perfectly healthy.

Thought is a thing, It does indeed have a power all its own, but unless that power is harnessed through skill, it just doesnt do the kind of things that the Secret claims it does.

That said, I think that the good outweighs the bad with the book and can see why it has sold so many copies.


Anonymous said...

In the book Life, Inc. Douglas Rushkoff talks about how one of the side effects of "The Secret" is that in some ways it turns consumerism into a religion. People build shrines in various areas of their home and they try to think their way into getting a Porsche or what have you.

If this is a good or a bad thing depends on how you look at it, but it is an interesting aspect to think of.

Frater POS said...

arxacies, that has been a critism of New Thought from very early on.

Ananael Qaa said...

Jason, your take on "The Secret" is pretty much my opinion of it as well. It takes a good idea that just any magician would accept - that you can influence the world around you by intentionally directing your thoughts in particular ways - and then goes on to muddle it up by insisting that the method is all-powerful and that the failure to apply it is the root of all unpleasant experiences.

Aleister Crowley criticized New Thought back when it first was making the rounds in the early 1900's. His opinion was that the central error made by its proponents was the result of replacing "God" with "Mind" and then attributing to Mind those powers conventionally attributed to God - that is, omniscience and omnipotence. That strikes me as an accurate criticism of "The Secret" as well, particularly the extraordinary claims made by those who are marketing the method.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

With any luck your opinion of The Secret will continue to decline as your familiarity with it increases.

Jason Miller, said...

I think its wonderful to have a shrine in the home to focus your energies on material ends. Indeed I have such an altar and recomend them to anyone magickally inclined.

That part is fine. Its the idea that this force is all powerful and all bad things are caused by not adhering to it that drives me crazy.

Dohmnaill said...

While I haven't read this book, some of my non-magician peeps have told me about it.

Their criticisms match yours. It was, much to my delight, compared to "helping yourself with psycho cosmic power." (It turns out that other people found PCP just as amusing...)

My chaos-tendencies lead me to find some merit in pure power of belief; however, I still have not been able defy gravity, lift cars, or manifest a plasma tv. It might tweak my subconscious choices and interpretations of information, thus directing my focus towards achieving my maximum potential towards such things... but that is something entirely different.

I might consider building a shrine towards finding a reasonable car at a reasonable price.

Dohmnaill said...

"Its the idea that this force is all powerful and all bad things are caused by not adhering to it that drives me crazy."

- I cannot agree more.
I once had to attend a managers meeting where we had to watch this "training film" about a self-made millionaire. He thought himself into success... or so we were told. It also blatantly stated that people with chronic illnesses and disabilities deserve them. So we shouldn't bother to help them, or make allowances for their poor choices.

At one point, those watching the film were expected to laugh on cue, while the presenter proceeded to laugh insanely to demonstrate. This was to show us how being happy and successful was a choice.

They gave us smiley face pins upon completion. I have never felt more dirty in my life than when I had to wear that pin.

It was the epitome of what is wrong with the new thought movement.

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

I am one of those people who seem to be able to eat anything and not get fat. My secret? I quit eating after I feel full, and I walk an hour a day (at least). Some secret, isn't it?

Frater Serpentis et Aquila said...

I think it's a bunch of shit taken out of context, Mind magic for the masses, I've always said.

It gets lazy people who do nothing to better them selves putting all their hopes and dreams into winning the lottery and other nonsense.

Then again, I must be fair and say I haven't given the book the time of day as you are, so my review is based on what I know of it and the people I know who read it.

I agree with you, the power of thought is incredible -- but though simple it may seem, I learned a valuable lesson from Sorcerer's Secrets -- any type of magick that is not backed by "mundane" action is ineffective.

It's like weaving spells for jobs you never apply for, or for girlfriends you never ask out, or any other number of things that require your action.

I just know too many people that have this mistaken idea that the hint of truth implied by the Secret is the end all solution to what their lives are lacking. Tis a shame.