Monday, February 19, 2007

The secret

Saw an interesting movie with some friends over the weekend: The Secret, an inspirational movie with a wide cast of new age gurus including:

John GrayLoral LangemeierBob ProctorDavid SchirmerMarci ShimoffNeale Donald WalschJohn AssarafJack CanfieldLisa NicholsJoe Vitale

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.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 2/19/2007 03:16:00 PM, Blogger FatCharlatan said...

My best friend e-mailed me a couple weeks ago and said, "Can you catch Oprah today? She's talking about The Secret." I didn't watch Oprah, but I was curious as to what all the hoopla was surrounding The Secret. I'm glad you wrote about it and shared your understanding of it...and personal experience. I might check it out...I agree with the premises you put forth in this blog post, even though I don't practice them as diligently (or successfully) as I should (but I supposed the successful part comes from the diligent practice, yes?).

Hmm. You got me thinking. A good thing!


At 2/19/2007 05:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The message to the movie is so simple. Cultivate gratitude and follow your bliss.

Everything is energy, a fact well documented by quantum physics. Directing your thoughts and emotions, your unique energy, towards what you seek will allow you to work with the flow of the universe.

I found this amazing, free online course featuring many of the teachers from the movie. I highly recommend it.

Love and Gratitude,



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