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The Secret : should we believe it ?
Posted: 14 January 2009 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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After reading Rhonda Bynes’s best-selling book “The Secret” I had one outstanding thought : I wonder how many people really believe this ? What made this woman decide she was a great source of spiritual wisdom ? Should we believe what she claims is sensible ? Or maybe “sensible” and “spiritual” should not be in the same room together .

According to what I’ve read there has been a very positive response from the public. People are gathering together in organized groups to discuss her ideas , which are , as I see it, religious in nature and she claims she was inspired by the Bible.

 

For those who haven’t read it , it’s one of those self-improvement concepts that tells you if you think the right way you can have almost anything you want . In a nutshell it might be described as “thinking makes it so”, or “where there’s a will there’s a way” , or some other old axiom like that . You can attain everything from contentment to wealth just by learning to think a certain way.  Material things or spiritual things will come drifting your way if you are determined enough to believe that will happen. She calls it “the law of attraction ” .


The trouble is, her idea isn’t new at all, but has been around since ages ago- just presented by one philosopical thinker or another in his own way. It’s the same old “power of positive thinking ” idea , and we’ve heard it all before. Iv’e concluded it’s nothing more than an old idea served on a new platter . Whether the power of positive thinking will get us a promotion, a new car, a slim body or more dollars I don’t know. I’ve always been too much of a realist to put on a happy (positive ) face when I don’t feel like it . Thinking possitive is a lot just pretense.


One positive side of “The Secret”, speaking of positive, it will make a person wealthy. Rhonda Byrne sure understands the secret of marketing—write a book people are dying to hear, pass it off as a new spiritual breakthrough and you have it made. People love a new idea - one that holds great promise for them.


The whole thing is so much psycho-babble to me . Has anyone here had any sucess practicing her intructions ?  Do you know of anyone who has beleieved and gotten results ? As far as I know there is no evidence yet that it works. I bet it is a failure , but a lucrative one. She’s probably saying “who cares ? ” it got HER results. Bankable results.

 

But there’s more to it than that. It seems many believers take on an attitude that is a real annoyance , because they see themselves as abouve reality ,and, in my experiance, become a headache to deal with. I know some relatives who have decided to believe , and they shun any normal, negative thought . Something like the preachers of Eckhart “The Power of Now” Tolle’s book..; his “bliss” recipe for a life of heaven on earth. Another visionary who equates himself with Christ .


Does anyone on this forum buy Rhonda Byrne’s “Law of Attraction ?  Has it worked for you ? This I’ve got to hear.

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Posted: 15 January 2009 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Dee - 15 January 2009 01:11 AM

After reading Rhonda Bynes’s best-selling book “The Secret”...

Hey Dee, you might have too much free time   tongue wink

I generally avoid this sort of literature entirely. Many years ago when I was in my “spiritual quest” phase I read a number of these types of books. Things like “Mutant Message from Down Under”, “The Celestine Prophecy” et al. All penned by Captain Obvious.

These things come and go. “The Secret” will be a Trivial Pursuit answer in 3 years and something else will have come along.

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Posted: 15 January 2009 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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If someone else has to tell you how to be happy you need more than a secret. You need a…. oh never mind.

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Posted: 16 January 2009 02:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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mpbrockman - 15 January 2009 05:32 PM
Dee - 15 January 2009 01:11 AM

After reading Rhonda Bynes’s best-selling book “The Secret”...

Hey Dee, you might have too much free time   tongue wink

I generally avoid this sort of literature entirely. Many years ago when I was in my “spiritual quest” phase I read a number of these types of books. Things like “Mutant Message from Down Under”, “The Celestine Prophecy” et al. All penned by Captain Obvious.

These things come and go. “The Secret” will be a Trivial Pursuit answer in 3 years and something else will have come along.


Her book must have something that the typical “get what you want ” books do not have. People have responed phenomenaly to it and it was on the best-seller list for about a year. I do know what you mean, though -these books or “ideas” come and go like new diets.( remember the recent low-carb scare ? ). But regardless of the book there still remains the question : just how far will “positive thinking ” get you ? If you asked me that question I would have to use business as an extample as a case in favor of P. thinking . The most sucessful seem to be the ones who know how to act. My husband was talented that way; he knew how to light customers up . He was a happiness machine; getting people in the mood to buy and to want to come back. But he was a differant person after the store doors were locked and he was in his own home. Oh well- that’s an old story according to the psychology books.

 

I guess I hate that ideas like her book sells to readers turn many people into such fakes. Say one word tinged with negativity and they turn up thier nose, turn thier backs, or try to change the subject. Rather than deal with something bad they want to pretend it isn’t there. They don’t want to have to face it because it would spoil the little “think good thoughts” game they are playing with themselves.


I’m glad you can see through “The Secret”, and I’ll admit I bought it , but wasn’t going to take her seriously unless she made good sense to me.It totaly irritates me because, on a small or large scale, it keeps people away from reality, and problems that should be confronted grow instead of fizzle out .


Have YOU read it ?  Know anyone who has ?  If yes, what did that party say about it ?  I still wonder—does it work for anyone ?

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Posted: 16 January 2009 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I haven’t read it, but was forced to listen to a long review of it, delivered to me by a Secret-believer friend over a cup of coffee. After a long explanation on how the universe apparently works, she explained that she had successfully tested the Secret.
(Dialogue mode)
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes, I was in need of money the other day, so I asked the universe to provide it, and yesterday I found 10 crowns(aprox. One dollar) on the street!”  she exclaimed. WTF! Was she actually foaming at the mouth?
“You asked for 10 crowns?” I inquired in the most uninterested way I could muster.
“No, I asked for money and I got it.” She said, with various degrees of crazy glowing in her eyes.
“So…are you still in need of money?” I subtly asked hoping she would understand my point.
“Yes, but now I know how to get it.” She answered, declaring her completion of the class ‘stupid logic 101’ at Yokel College.

True story. Well, except for the foaming part. She found no more money and her economic situation has not changed. Sitting in her sofa, thinking “money, money, money” just isn’t effective. Go figure.

The Secret works in the same way selective perception works. She expected things to happen and attached a meaning to finding the 10 crowns. Had I paid for her coffee, she would probably have said, “See, the universe provided me with cash through you”. She has probably found money before or had coffee bought for her, but before the Secret, those were just random events without meaning.

I would separate the Secrets positive thinking from actual positive thinking. To me, positive thinking is more to do with seeing solutions rather than problems. As in “There is a tree in our way, we can’t pass” vs. “How do we pass this tree so we can be on our way” The Secrets version of positive thinking, if I understood it correctly, expects positive things to happen if you just think positive. No action required. Just thought. From my experience, I think positive things mostly happen in connection with active participation and action.

[ Edited: 16 January 2009 04:20 AM by CalmWind]
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Posted: 16 January 2009 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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The Secret is just Wayne Dyer repackaged. It is ridiculous nonsense. People seem to love nonsense. It reaffirms that they have no need for personal responsibility. If things don’t go well, it is the fault of some deity, or the universe, or Obama, or Bush, or Batman, or anything other than the fact that they did not do the work necessary to get what they wanted.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 16 January 2009 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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CalmWind - 16 January 2009 09:14 AM

I haven’t read it, but was forced to listen to a long review of it, delivered to me by a Secret-believer friend over a cup of coffee. After a long explanation on how the universe apparently works, she explained that she had successfully tested the Secret.
(Dialogue mode)
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes, I was in need of money the other day, so I asked the universe to provide it, and yesterday I found 10 crowns(aprox. One dollar) on the street!”  she exclaimed. WTF! Was she actually foaming at the mouth?
“You asked for 10 crowns?” I inquired in the most uninterested way I could muster.
“No, I asked for money and I got it.” She said, with various degrees of crazy glowing in her eyes.
“So…are you still in need of money?” I subtly asked hoping she would understand my point.
“Yes, but now I know how to get it.” She answered, declaring her completion of the class ‘stupid logic 101’ at Yokel College.

True story. Well, except for the foaming part. She found no more money and her economic situation has not changed. Sitting in her sofa, thinking “money, money, money” just isn’t effective. Go figure.

The Secret works in the same way selective perception works. She expected things to happen and attached a meaning to finding the 10 crowns. Had I paid for her coffee, she would probably have said, “See, the universe provided me with cash through you”. She has probably found money before or had coffee bought for her, but before the Secret, those were just random events without meaning.

I would separate the Secrets positive thinking from actual positive thinking. To me, positive thinking is more to do with seeing solutions rather than problems. As in “There is a tree in our way, we can’t pass” vs. “How do we pass this tree so we can be on our way” The Secrets version of positive thinking, if I understood it correctly, expects positive things to happen if you just think positive. No action required. Just thought. From my experience, I think positive things mostly happen in connection with active participation and action.

That story reminds me of a friend of my sister who also was in a situation where she needed money, and lots more than 10 crowns.  She asked the universe for the cash, an the next day got an e-mail from the wife of a murdered high government minister in Nigeria….  She ended up losing $10,000 on that scam.  rolleyes 

The way the “law of attraction” actually works is: you want something, you find out what work is required to get it.  For example, you want a well paying job working at something you enjoy: okay, do the necessary studying to become proficient at some skill you enjoy and that is required in the job market, learn how to present yourself to potential employers in a pleasant way.  In other words, engage in the sorts of efforts required to make yourself attractive to what you want.  TANSTAAFL

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Posted: 16 January 2009 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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burt - 16 January 2009 12:39 PM

In other words, engage in the sorts of efforts required to make yourself attractive to what you want.  TANSTAAFL

That requires effort. Many people prefer to believe that some mystical force will do the work for them if they can wish it hard enough to emit some type of magical positive energy waves. If they spent the same energy in actually doing some work, they would be more likely to get positive results than they will by chance. People spend money buying lotto tickets with astronomically poor odds of winning. Hope and fantasy apparently trump sweat and reality.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 17 January 2009 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Beam - 16 January 2009 01:31 PM
burt - 16 January 2009 12:39 PM

In other words, engage in the sorts of efforts required to make yourself attractive to what you want.  TANSTAAFL

That requires effort. Many people prefer to believe that some mystical force will do the work for them if they can wish it hard enough to emit some type of magical positive energy waves. If they spent the same energy in actually doing some work, they would be more likely to get positive results than they will by chance. People spend money buying lotto tickets with astronomically poor odds of winning. Hope and fantasy apparently trump sweat and reality.

I’d avoid the word hope there, make it “wishing and fantasy.”  Quoting Gurdjieff: “Hope is working to make it so, not wishing it were so.”  So it would be nice if Obama is selling us on hope rather than wishes.

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Posted: 18 January 2009 12:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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burt - 17 January 2009 01:10 PM
Beam - 16 January 2009 01:31 PM
burt - 16 January 2009 12:39 PM

In other words, engage in the sorts of efforts required to make yourself attractive to what you want.  TANSTAAFL

That requires effort. Many people prefer to believe that some mystical force will do the work for them if they can wish it hard enough to emit some type of magical positive energy waves. If they spent the same energy in actually doing some work, they would be more likely to get positive results than they will by chance. People spend money buying lotto tickets with astronomically poor odds of winning. Hope and fantasy apparently trump sweat and reality.

I’d avoid the word hope there, make it “wishing and fantasy.”  Quoting Gurdjieff: “Hope is working to make it so, not wishing it were so.”  So it would be nice if Obama is selling us on hope rather than wishes.

Yes, those people who live in Ivory towers hurt all of society I ‘d say, because they refuse to respond accordingly to negative influence on our lives. They are squeemish ( spell?) about the facts. They either don’t want to bother with them or they can’t handle them.You say the people who attacked us on 7/11 because they consider us thier enemies and they are motivated by wrath over anyone who does not accept thier religion, the dreamers and “think no evil ” positive thinkers tell you “no such thing !” and “we had it coming”  and , in a “positive thinking ” frame of mind tell you that attitude will enable us to “negotiate with those who want our attention, whether they have death wishes for us or not. We don’t have enemies, we have those who “we done wrong ” , or that we don’t understand “. That is an example of what I mean. 

 

The Pollyannas of this world always believe your complaints are your fault; they refuse to believe that you have been treated unfairly. I think of my husband’s children by another marriage and how they refused to believe thier Dad was an abuser with a mean streak.That individual, by the way, is a great fan of Rhonda Bryne. They esp. one who got what she wanted in life by telling herself she is virtuous and she washes her hands of any wrongdoing because “I am not concered” (unquote)That is the way with all “think yourself happy and wealthy ” self-important ignorant snobs ; they are too wise to dwell among the lowly fools who think objectly when they want to find the truth. I’m not talking about digging for dirt,but having t5he courage to ask questions .

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Posted: 18 January 2009 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Jefe - 15 January 2009 07:42 PM

The Secret:  Selling books about ‘true happiness’ to gullible yahoos will make you wealthy.

There you go!  You discovered it!

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Posted: 18 January 2009 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Dee - 16 January 2009 07:21 AM

Her book must have something that the typical “get what you want ” books do not have. People have responed phenomenaly to it and it was on the best-seller list for about a year.


That established it as unique over all the other atypical books just like it that have been bestsellers for such “long” periods!?

Wow ...

All that really says, Dee, is that H.L. Mencken was right when he said; “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

Byron

[ Edited: 23 January 2009 10:13 AM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 22 January 2009 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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The ultimate comment on The Secret is contained in The Best Amazon Review Ever

The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007
By Ari Brouillette

Please allow me to share with you how “The Secret” changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of “The Secret” is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don’t want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.

At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.

My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.

Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I’ve never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of “The Secret”. Normally I wouldn’t have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn’t have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.

The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the “Law of Attraction” in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn’t exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 “The Secret to Relationships” that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.

The next day in the exercise yard I carried “The Secret” with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I’m not sure that everybody’s life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I’m very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.

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Posted: 22 January 2009 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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telner - 22 January 2009 12:56 PM

The ultimate comment on The Secret is contained in The Best Amazon Review Ever

“...and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15.”

Ahhhhhh.  I live for this stuff.

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Posted: 23 January 2009 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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More BS from the Church of Oprah.

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Posted: 23 January 2009 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Beam - 16 January 2009 09:39 AM

The Secret is just Wayne Dyer repackaged. It is ridiculous nonsense. People seem to love nonsense. It reaffirms that they have no need for personal responsibility. If things don’t go well, it is the fault of some deity, or the universe, or Obama, or Bush, or Batman, or anything other than the fact that they did not do the work necessary to get what they wanted.

It is Dyer repackaged, but a very poor imitation. I haven’t read “The Secret” but I have read many of Dyer’s books. His earlier works helped change my way of thinking AND doing things.

If I were Dyer, I’d sue.

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