Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Secret

After a couple years now of people blathering about the secret like it is the worst (or occasionally the best) possible thing on earth I am finally going to read it. I just picked up a hardcover for $6 at the used book shop in Doylestown PA.

I'll share my thoughts on it when i am done, but I expect it to be like most "New Thought" derived products - good mental tech that equates to rudimentary mental magick, but lacks any emphasis on real world work. This flaw is no big deal though, its the flaw in most books on magick, and even most magical systems. That flaw, more than anything else is what caused me to write the Sorcerer's Secrets; to show that workings need to be followed by work or they dont work.

Some people hate New Thought products lile this because they can also lead people to the unfortunate conculsion that if good things happen to people because they are positive, than bad things happen to people because they are negative. This is a serious flaw, but again is present in most asian cultures that accept "karma" and also Calvinist cultures. People suffer because 1. They are negative thinkers 2. are experiencing karma from previous actions 3. god pretty much hates their guts. All three are a cop-out of course.

Some people, a lot in the occult community I would bet, hate the Secret because of the packaging and the high price tag. Something that is slick and appealing to the mainstream couldnt possibly have as much value as the hard to find, leatherbound edition of a book written 300 years ago that only the "elect" can understand right?

Like I said, I havent even read it yet. I dont have any opinion of it. Just doing a bit of marketing research here, but I do find the reasons that people like/dislike things to be very interesting.


Frater POS said...

Last pantheacon Lon DuQuette got booed for saying he likes that the Secret is out. He said that it will introduce the mainstream to ideas that may lead some of them to greater occult work.

I offer this tidbit with no comment as I have not read said book.

Jason Miller, said...

hey! I agree with him on something!

Rufus Opus said...

Calvinism doesn't say you suffer because God hates you. They suffer because he loves them.

To suffer.

And it's for His glory that they suffer.

So really, they should be focusing on a way to enjoy suffering for the Glory of God.


Rufus Opus said...

Fuckin' ingrates.

Mike said...

"So really, they should be focusing on a way to enjoy suffering for the Glory of God."
I think that most all religions have certain sects that do that already.Monks who scourge themselves to others lying on a bed of nails to fundamentalists blowing themselves up.I think the question of why God allows suffering is asked by people who don't understand the reality that God created for us.Most people think that if God is good then God can not be evil.I think what we have is a misunderstanding of what evil really is.The idea that everything began with creation (Genesis) and ends with the apocalypse(Revelations)adds to this view of evil.I think the creation and the apocalypse happens every second of every day and that it reflects life and death, good and evil,light and darkness, tragedy and hope ect. and that without these polarity's wired into our "matrix" we wouldn't be able to experience this reality in the intense fashion that we do.And since we are made in the image of God this allows God to experience this reality on a Malkuth level through "man" his creation.As above so below.So you could say that it's for His glory that they suffer but it is also for his Glory that they rejoice and can find peace and love and ecstasy.On a personal level knowing that God is suffering along side me can get me through a bad day...

Apuleius Platonicus said...

"I think the law of attraction has been misstated. You do not attract what you want. You attract what you are. That's how the law of attraction works.

"Twenty-five centuries ago in ancient China, Lao-tzu said there were four virtues. If you live them-if you live in a place of God-consciousness–the universe will give you God-consciousness. If you live in a place of ego-consciousness, though, the universe will give you more of that."
[Wayne Dyer]

Duff said...

One of the "stars" of the movie The Secret was James Arthur Ray. In case you haven't heard the news, his recent workshop killed 3 and injured 18. He used multiple aspects of coercive persuasion and overload to create a very dangerous and cultish environment...all for the low, low price of only $9,695!

Investigate the other "teachers" of this marketing piece and you'll find similar corruptions.

Anonymous said...

As Duff said:

Kind of a big mess.

Jason Miller, said...

Actually the book pretty well states that you do not get what you want, you get what you think about all the time. You may want to be out of debt, but if you think of nothing but your debt you will only incur more. This I agree with. You pretty much are what you think about all day long.

that said, there are a lot of other things about the Secret that are just plain stupid or harmful.

ChandraNova said...

I had a rant about this over on Augoeides blog which I could have pretty much summed up as one this paragraph in it:
"Any chosen path, be it atheism, following The Secret, Islam, Christianity or paganism, whatever can be misread as entitling people to act like total dicks, while feeling justified and morally superior."

I have a background connected with the whole life-coaching and motivational field (which in the right hands, ie the people I'm lucky enough to know, has enormous value) but some of the old tosh out there about the law of attraction does my head in.

On a different note, never forget that many paths (inc. my own, broadly based on Saivite Hinduism) believe that karma can be mitigated - I genuinely believe, and have been told, that one reason I'm drawn to healing work, and working with the deceased doing psychopomp stuff, is because I was - well, pretty nasty in a former life.

Having that done back to me X many times would have maybe satisfied the human instinct for revenge, but in a universe based on Love (which I at least believe this one to be) it doesn't necessarily have to be the only way to put things right.

You can just as easily work off all the bad you've done, by doing equal amounts of spontaneous helpfulnss to people, in a way that somehow balances it out - karma means "action" and is ultimately devoid of a moral agenda, after all.

People will always twist stuff to suit their need to feel superior, and I certainly won't try to claim I'm holding the only unbiased truth about this, but to say that anyone who's poor or sick or suffering deserves it is to presume to be equally as wise as the force that created us all.

It also rules out any notions of Grace, and Mercy, but that's another topic... ;)