Saw an interesting movie with some friends over the weekend: The Secret, an inspirational movie with a wide cast of new age gurus including:
I've been ruminating on the movie's conclusions since, trying to sort out how I feel about the assertions. Basically, the "secret" is the law of attraction—we attract what we think about. For example, if we fill our thought with abundance, we will attract abundance. If we fill our thought with worry about debt, we will attract debt. The "universe," or the energy force that makes things happens, responds obediently to our thoughts and sends us what we seem to be calling for, in whatever direction. The movie maintained that our thoughts send out an energy pulse to the universe no matter what we're thinking about, and the universe reflects whatever that is back to us. So the recommendation is only to think about what we want to happen.
What I'm trying to sort out is whether this is just another way of articulating what I already believe or whether it's actually different. Some parts were genuinely useful, such as the idea that if we dwell on our fears, we will actually experience them more. As Job says, "The thing which I greatly feared has come upon me." I'd translate this to what Christian Science might call "self-malpractice." It was helpful for me to be reminded not to focus on the problem but instead to embrace with joy its opposite. This has worked for me in my life.
But, I guess I'm not sure the universe obeys me. Well, maybe the material universe does. Perhaps what they're tapping into is the concept that the material universe is what we believe it is, and we can shape that universe by altering our beliefs. This I think is self-evidently true, not just on an individual level but collectively.
The movie implied that if you're having a problem of some kind, it's your own fault for creating the problem with your thoughts. This I think is inaccurate. It's not our fault that we were born into this mortal condition. It's our task to rise out of it, but not our fault that we're here in the first place. And that is the sum total of where problems come from. We all have to face the problem of mortal existence and work it out. It is grace and spiritual reality that allows us to overcome any of it, but we all have access to that grace and spiritual reality.
What the movie didn't distinguish was reality from unreality. It spoke of good and bad as both real. Using the power of the human mind to manipulate material existence only works to a certain degree. Certainly people have cultivated this skill, and some have had startling success as far as money or influence. But this is only a fraction of the power available through divine Mind, which is so much more than an energy field or cosmic force. Mind is all, and is only good. Aligning with this Mind allows our desires to be refined and perfected even as they take form "in words and deeds."
So where have I landed? The Secret reveals a useful tool for improving human existence, and it could be stepping stone in the journey to understand that all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation. I just want to clarify though, that I don't think the universe The Secret was talking about is God, at least not how I understand Him to be, although they referred to it as such. To me God is that conscious, caring, omniscient Being who knows more about me than I do—infinite Spirit, eternal Love, omnipotent Creator. But can we influence the material universe with our thoughts? Absolutely!
Think about this: If God is infinite Love, then His will for us is abundance and joy. In embracing those concepts and reflecting on them (thinking about them), we mirror them forth and are aligned with divine Mind. And because this Mind is omnipotent, there's no power on earth that can stop it.
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