I have just finished reading the book The Secret. I was intrigued by all the hype and interest in it, and the fact that it was flying off the shelves that I just had to see for myself. But this book didn't offer any new information and there was no big "Secret" revealed to me. The Secret is nothing but rehashed ideas and material packaged with a heavy dose of materialism.
The book's concept is that you can get whatever you want in life if you just think positive and act as if you already have it. That's the big secret. It mentions throughout the book that you can have millions of dollars, jewelry, and other materials things. Some examples of this are given by people. Now, I do agree with the idea of being positive as much as you can, but mine is more on a spiritual level believing in a combination of positive thinking and prayer. There is nothing wrong with praying for yourself, but there are so many people worse off than us who need our prayers and some positive thoughts. I would love a Toyota Prius (as mentioned in another blog post of mine), or my own home but I believe the only way these things will come to me is with my own efforts, not some magical thinking.
Could this be done as a scientific study? Could there be, say, one group of people who think positive for a period of time about getting a large, specific sum of money, and another group who thinks about owing a certain amount of money then comparing the results? Much of it would be written off as coincidence. But I've always wondered: what if EVERYONE in the world at noon Eastern time every day for a month stopped what they were doing for 3 minutes and thought "the whole world is peaceful and happy"? Would it have any change? It is Utopian thinking, similar to the Coca Cola ads about teaching the whole world to sing and live in harmony. Still, I can't help but be curious as to it's effect, if any. My realist friends (and atheist friends) would certainly scoff at this notion. I am admittedly a dreamer at times. We dreamers usually prefer to say "what if", while others take the scientific approach and say "prove it". However, I am not so much a dreamer that I think peace could be that easily attainable.
I must confess, I did just for the fun of it do my own little experiment. One morning I saw the Fed Ex truck pull up in front of my building. I thought, "I have a package". I kept thinking it over and over. The Fed Ex truck pulled away, no package for me. Hours later, I went into my email. A friend who I only hear from periodically emailed me saying, "You have a gift coming". It wasn't my birthday or any holiday. Then I remember it was a belated gift. I was thinking a little of the Twilight Zone theme, but shook it off as coincidence. Then later in the day, I went to my mailbox and there was a package from this friend. Now, I rarely get any packages, and this friend has never sent one to me before. Could it be the power of the Secret? It was only an experiment, but I think if people play around and do it just for fun, it is at least entertaining.
This book has many quotes from various people, most of whom I never heard of. They are new age people, people in history who were part of the New Thought movement, and other positive minded folks. There are too many quotes and not enough substance, even for us dreamers. The power of positive thinking has already been covered by Norman Vincent Peal in his book. Positive affirmations have already been written about by authors such as Louise L. Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life. What's so new about this? Yet I predict this fad will continue and we may even see all kinds of money making products, as The Secret Journals to write in, The Secret Companion Book, The Secret Lunch Box, The Secret Toilet Paper, etc. The only one who is easily materializing the millions of dollar touted as being attainable is the author.
[Updated article about The Secret(6/23/07)]