Monday, April 23, 2007

Behind "The Secret"

So many people have asked me what I think about the DVD of The Secret. I’ve seen it. I even bought the companion book and read it. If you do, you’ll discover that much of The Secret is based on the work of a man named Charles F. Haanel.

Mr. Haanel was a businessman who learned the secret of intention. He wrote a series of lessons, 24 in number, called The Master Key System, in 1912. At its peak, he had more than a million subscribers to these lessons.

Not content just with The Secret itself, I sought out the original work of Mr. Haanel. This is my usual path. I always go to source material when I can. The internet makes this pretty easy.

Mr. Haanel actually wrote six books over twenty years. His understanding of basic metaphysics is exemplary. His Master Key System is one of two basic metaphysical books that I can wholeheartedly recommend. The other is What Are You? by Imelda Octavia Shanklin.

There is a facility to The Secret that bothers me. It’s one thing to be choosing and creating something in your life that is strictly between you and that thing, but the moment you involve one other soul, things change.

For example, let’s say you want a brand new Cadillac. Well, it’s you, the dealer, your checkbook, and the machine. The dealer is a soul, yes, but this is a simple business transaction. Go, check it out, make the deal, write the check, drive home.

On the other hand, let’s say you want to get married. Well, it’s you, the institution of marriage, and one other soul. Where is he? Where is she? Is he ready? Is she ready? Are there things that need to be cleared up before a marriage is possible? By all means, choose to create a marriage partner, but then be prepared to let the Universe catch you both up to the program.

Mr. Haanel is a metaphysical fundamentalist—in a good way. Many years ago, I realized that there are no advanced classes in metaphysics. Only the basics. A metaphysician looks “beyond the physical,” which is what metaphysics means. A metaphysician holds an ideal, and disallows all other possibilities. Another name for this is Absolutism.

There is a pitfall here, though. A friend of mine who is a cancer survivor saw The Secret and heard implicit blame in it for someone who “creates” cancer. (I call this Metaphysical Malpractice.) As an absolutist, yes, of course, she created her own cancer experience, but not consciously!

This is the Catch-22. We have minds with three aspects. Conscious mind is where we think our everyday thoughts. Superconscious mind is where our Spirits live and guide us through intuition. The third phase of mind is anybody’s guess: the Subconscious Mind. None of us knows what’s in our subconscious minds—because they’re sub- (under) conscious.

Mr. Haanel was a genius. He explains the value of relaxation, meditation, concentration, goal-setting, visualization, choosing, all the components that go toward creating the lives that we choose. His lessons are as valuable today as they were nearly a hundred years ago.

If you are intrigued by him, go to and get the original lessons delivered via email over 24 weeks.

My next entry will discuss a new protocol which will address how to work with the subconscious mind. I’m five days into it, and already I feel different.

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