Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Controversy, Always Controversy

Oh dear, the controversy over The Secret rages on. I’m reading through the May/June issue of Spirituality & Health. Do you read it? It’s one of the best magazines on current spiritual trends.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, whom I respect deeply, writes his whole column on The Secret. When one realizes that he has only six columns a year to write, his devotion of that precious publishing real estate to how wrong is The Secret it's impressive. His argument is a good one, too.

I had an inkling of what might be to come when I read Stephen Kiesling’s From the Editor column. He had an opening salvo: “The ‘secret’ is the ‘Law of Attraction’ which says that if you want something you only have to tell the universe and it will come. Fortunately, the universe doesn’t work that way . . . .”

Doesn’t it? Read on.

The Rebbe is equally adamant. He calls The Secret “a New Age version of age-old snake oil” in his first sentence. Ouch.

I love that he cites the original law of attraction, “called Coulomb’s Law after the eighteenth-century physicist C. A. de Coulomb, [it] states that opposites attract and likes repel—just the opposite of what The Secret argues.”

He goes on, “The good news is that The Secret is a lie.”

Is it?

“You are not what you think.”

Aren’t we?

“You are what you do.”

Yes, we are.

Kiesling adds an Editor’s Note at the end of the rabbi’s column: “When I saw The Secret DVD, I wished it would go away.”

Oh dear, oh my. Controversy sells better than agreement, doesn’t it? Even in spiritual magazines.

The Secret isn’t a lie, dear one—at least not wholly a lie. Follow my logic:

A thought of an action must come before the action otherwise the action won’t happen. In order to make our best dreams come true, we need to “put hands and feet on our prayers,” as the Quakers say.

Sitting on your sofa and praying to manifest a new job isn’t going to cut it—I agree with the rabbi on this front.

I also agree with The Secret. Dominion is promised humans in the Hebrew Bible. The only place where we have true dominion is over our own minds and behaviors—and even that has the subconscious to consider where dominion is dubious at best!

I think Rhonda Byrne has provided a wonderful service to humanity. Very few people know that we can control our own thinking IF we’ll work at it.

The Secret promulgates a partial lie, yes. We can’t think something, do nothing and expect the something to ring the doorbell. But we can think something, choose it, take inspired action (just like Rhonda Byrne did) and make our dreams come true.

I think the planet is better served by people who are willing to look at their own thoughts to see how those same thoughts are contributing to world conditions. The Secret is a seed planted globally. Now comes the mystery of growth in the darkness so that the seed can expand and bear fruit.

1 comment:

Kasey said...

At this point in time/space, I don't believe it is up to Stephen Kiesling, or anyone for that matter, to say why and how the universe does and doesn't work. Information in the modern age evolves far too quickly; and we as human beings are too limited in our scientific paradigm and in our conscious capabilities (not that our sub/pre/unconscious don't have all the answers, because I think we are finding that they do!).

Quantum Physics tells us (and I think about how, someday, this will be the 6th grade course material) that all we see and experience is simply possibility--the possibility that we are indeed what we think, the possibilty that you and I do not exist unless there is someone there to confirm our existence, the possibility that am the creator of my reality, my highs and my lows (What the Bleep Do We Know?).

Subtle energy exists! Subtle energy is affected by thought. The Butterfly Effect of Susan's earlier Seed is represented by the power a thought can have on the Universe's recognition that you are ready for a certain opportunity... that you believe you deserve good things and will recognize them when they manifest in your life.

Even though I am consciously working toward a better me (still deaf to my true Self), I prefer to think that I am the captain of my soul, even if I just know so theoretically-- it allows me to take responsibility, the ability to respond; the courage to change what I do not like or not to change.

I would like to ask Kiesling (and Shapiro by extension) a question: Would we consider someone to be what the say?

Do our words reflect our person just as strongly as our actions? If I have friends of different races does that give me permission to be racist?

Do we call soliders, pulling triggers in Iraq, "murderers" while poor old Georgie W. and his policy makers are just "decesion makers"?

Like Susan pointed out, it takes the thought to make the action. It takes a thought to make a word. Everything comes from consciousness. Semantical arguments are important if it can effect the lens through which we justify our roles on this life stage.

My dad says, "Take what you like and leave what you don't." One man's trash is another man's treasure; cleches are cleche because they are so true!

Ultimately, it is alot easier to tear something down and point out what is wrong with it, to rob it of its power than it is to accept the challenge of building it up higher, investing one's own self in its continued growth and success and, perhaps, admit "That's a good idea. I wish I had thought of that!"