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.”
“You are not what you think.”
“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.