A friend of mine, who I respect, suggested that I watch “The Secret” before maligning it. He said that it while it contained some cheesy things, there was enough there to make it worth my while.
I’m sorry to say that I was only able to watch about 30 or 40 minutes before losing interest. Maybe the later sections of the movie addressed criticisms I write here but I couldn’t wait any longer before writing up my response and putting the whole experience behind me.
The “secret” described in this movie is something like this: “Thoughts
become things, and therefore what you think is what you attract to yourself.
If you think you’ll be successful in your desires, you will become successful
in attaining those desires.”
I have noticed that thoughts become things. Everything that people
have created started first as a thought, and that goes for our loving
relationships and the evil we create. This is why the nature
of consciousness is so interesting to me, and why I explore it in
ritual, meditation, study, and conversation.
As the movie makes clear, there isn’t really a secret, but the practice taught
in the movie is something that people have been learning for thousands
of years. One of my favorite teachers of this practice is John Lennon.
“War is Over, If You Want It” is one example of this teaching.
Another is “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.”
The movie talks about this phenomenon in a quasi-scientific
way, and it uses an animated wave-like form that represents
either bad or good thoughts radiating out from humans into
“the universe” which then by “law” returns either good or bad
Despite my problems with the movie, I’ll accept that this “secret”
about thoughts becoming things as true. But I don’t believe
in the Law of Attraction as its mechanism.
What made this movie so unwatchable was its utterly naive
and selfish application of this incredible power.
It was like watching children play with electricity.
Where the child says , “Look, if I plug this in to the wall, the room lights up; and if
I unplug it, it’s dark again. I just discovered this. I don’t understand how it works,
but I don’t need to understand how it works to use it to get what I want. I
want light, and I can get light. ”
Actually, one of the presenters actually compares the Law
of Attraction to electricity. And he actually says, “It’s like
electricity. I don’t understand how it works; no one understand
how electricity works. You don’t need to understand how it works
to use it. ”
Well. um. I do sort of understand how electricity works, and
lots of other people understand far more than I do. Electricity
is a very well-understood phenomenon and its complexity
can be taught. And the power of human consciousness
is something that many people have explored and its application
can be taught and experienced.
The notion that “thoughts become things” is the very first lesson,
not the last. This movie makes an entire PhD dissertation out of
the lessons on the first day of kindergarten.
To take the analogy further, while a child may associate electricity
with a light that goes on and off, those people who are called
witches or shamans or adepts or swamis or lamas… ( take your pick of whatever title you want)
all know that the power of human consciousness can do things
that are analogous to running electric engines and creating communication
networks and turning water into steam and even shocking the careless child
As I said, this movie is about the very first lesson about reality. Knowing
these things is our birthright, not a secret. And the first lesson isn’t
But if this movie were merely ignorant, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
I think the movie has a more insidious purpose, although the children
who speak in the film probably don’t have a clue that they are pawns
in a long, long practice of hiding the real secret. I think that if I didn’t want
human beings to know how powerful they were, I would
promote a movie like this.
Because what does the movie do after it tells us that “thoughts become
things”? It tells us that we can have anything we want: success in business,
wealth, health, and a boyfriend.
Really? Why not tells us that we have the power to manifest peace
and liberty for all? Why doesn’t it tell us to think without ceasing on the
everlasting prosperity of all our relations and neighbors? Why doesn’t it
exhort the viewers to think of nothing but love, love, love for all living creatures?
Why doesn’t the movie encourage us to imagine a world free of dictators and
Because that would be heresy, that’s why. This movie is about empowering
slaves to imagine that they are free to enjoy bread and circuses, and to blame
themselves for thinking bad thoughts when they are hungry and living in
a world of drudgery.
As with a con game, a truth is told, but twisted just enough to swindle,
and forevermore when people hear about “th