Ms. Dominique

Ms. Dominique
Ms. Dominique

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Secret ? You are the center of your own little universe

Last week I watched the documentary of "The Secret" and was, quite frankly, appalled by this so-called "spiritual" film. It is quite clear that this is a variation on the old "Prosperity Gospel" where people pray for wealth. This theology is still very much alive in Christianity, but The Secret offers us a New Age version of this idea. It is, of course, a simple fact that if you work hard and have an optimistic view of life, your happiness will tend to draw more happiness. In reality this is simply a psychological effect--it is not "The Universe" reshaping itself to your will. People who believe in "The Secret" also believe that The Universe will find parking spots for them near the front door of Wal-Mart. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

In a bit of unintended humor, the film shows a man in his 20s who locks his bicycle to a metal poll for safety, only to come back later and find that his bike has been stolen! This poor guy is an example of someone who has not learned "The Secret" and so The Universe is not helping him.

A major idea of The Secret is the (unspoken) view that poor people deserve the bad luck that they seem to attract. It's not the fault of family, or bosses, or anything else but their own ignorance of The Secret, which they desperately need (so go buy a copy, stupid!).

Later on in the film we find a young boy who uses the secret. He prays (or meditates, hard!) on getting a new bike. He focuses on pictures of the bike he wants and opens himself to The Universe, which--surprise! surprise--is all too happy to get him a bike. In his case, he doesn't actually have to work hard to earn money to buy a bike. No, the Universe doesn't seem to work that way. In one of the more bizarre scenes in the film, a door opens and an old man (presumably his Grandpa) stands holding a bike. The kid is overjoyed that "The Universe" has given him what he wished for. Of course the film leaves out the scene where Grandpa takes a pair of bolt cutters and steals the bike belonging to the guy in the earlier scene.

The best summary of The Secret was given to us by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius--

"Ben Franklin said:

'Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy wealthy and wise'

Lately I have read the advice given to William Randolph Hearst, when a young man, by his father:

'Go downtown at noon and rob the other fellows of what they have made during the morning.'"

This is the real meaning of The Secret--enjoy your happiness no matter how many bodies you crawl over to get it.

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