Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Secret is out!

After a few months of seeing the local New Age bookstore promote the DVD "The Secret", I finally watched it in January. I was hesitant to watch it because I thought it might be like "What the Bleep?!?", which I thought had some good ideas in a very bad presentation. That film had cheesy bad acting and it was made for those with an extremely short attention span. In fact, it looked like it was made by an ADD person for the ADHD person. Since I have an ability to concentrate for more than 2 seconds, the film was annoying!

Anyhow, with "The Secret", it presented a few good ideas. While the materialism it sometimes seems to promote is a turn-off, it is worth seeing and while I do believe that we have the ability to manifest things into our lives, I find it hard to manifest things as quickly as I like.

Anyone who doubts the power of Oprah can only see the latest NY Times Bestseller list. The DVD and companion book have been out for months (since last summer, at least). But she only recently talked about it on her show (which I missed, unfortunately), and soon it shot to the top of the nonfiction chart. So, now the Secret is out. People are going to try to manifest more materialism in their lives and find out that it doesn't work, even though Oprah and other successful people swear that it does. That's a dangerous idea to promote and people don't understand how the universe works.

The idea behind "The Secret" is that the universe is a creative place in which we all have the power to manifest what we want (or don't want) to appear in our lives. So, what we focus on becomes our reality. So, it pays to think positive about one's life and to think about what you really want in life. But patience is required, because it could take years. It also requires self-honesty and the ability to trust the universe to make it reality at some point down the line. But it may not appear exactly as one would like. I know that from personal experience.

When I was a teenager, one of the things I wanted was to live a year abroad with a French of those high school exchange programs. I never really had the chance to do that. However, as a young man in the Navy, I had the fortunate luck to meet three different French families and have visited them several times. Though I only stayed a week with one, a weekend with another, I did get to experience a little bit about French family life. They took me on mundane shopping trips (which I loved!) and their regular errands. Not the tourist things, but it's better in many ways. I've done the tourist thing many times on my own, but what I cherish most was that I had several opportunities to stay with French families and learn about their way of living that way. It may not have been a year, but it was enough.

Another example. In the late 1990s, I was such an addict of MTV's "The Real World" (from the Los Angeles season through New Orleans; I outgrew it after that). I wanted to be on the show at one point. In fact, I think the last year I qualified was for the Boston season in 1997. The cut off was age 25 for cast members. When I was at BYU, MTV recruiters for the show came around looking for a Mormon to cast on their New Orleans show. I thought of applying and lying about my age, but I didn't know where the 2000 show was going to be, as I had plans to be in D.C. It would have been a perfect opportunity if I was young enough, Mormon, and the show was set in D.C. Anyhow, I went to D.C. on BYU's Washington Seminar and stayed in the apartment complex the majority of the 30 participants stayed at. What I learned that semester was that it wasn't that I wanted to be on a reality TV show so much as I wanted to experience living with a group of people for a short period of time. We all had our separate internship assignments, but we got together after work and on weekends and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. In fact, after everyone left when the semester finished and I had an apartment to myself, I was so sad, lonely, and depressed that it took awhile to recover from the shared experience. I made good friendships that I still maintain today.

These are only a few examples out of many that I've had in which the universe has given me, if not exactly what I wanted, something similar to satisfy what I wanted or thought I wanted. So, that's something "The Secret" doesn't discuss much and it should. Otherwise, people will think it's some magic trick in which they can manifest a Maserati by merely thinking about it. That's just something our materialistic society will run away with, totally corrupting a spiritual concept into yet another capitalistic wish fantasy fulfillment. I wish Oprah hadn't discussed it on her show. "The Secret" should have remained a secret that only those in the know knew about. Now, it's going to be a fad that people a year from now will have tossed into a dumpster and moved on to the next money-making scheme in the endless chase for greater material prosperity. Thanks, Oprah!


Mandalynn said...

I was a little upset to read about "The Secret" on your blog because I am so sick of hearing about it. Now, I'll be the first to admit, I haven't read the book or watched the DVD, but I think people get what they want (and deserve) because of their actions. Hard work brings results, not the universe.

Sansego said...

Sorry...I hadn't gotten responses on the more political ones, and I thought...well, I was going to comment on Newt Gingrich, but this time, "The Secret" is just too much to resist. Sorry to upset you! I'm just kind of mad that it's in the news when it has been out for at least 6 months and promotes a kind of pseudo-spiritual materialism.

I thought you might like what I wrote about our experience in DC, though!

Sean Langdon said...

To me, "The Secret" is pretty basic, obvious stuff. I enjoyed learning about it. In all, it makes perfect sense.

Many throughout the Community of Christ faith have embraced it and even preached about it.

Mandalynn said...

I did love the DC comment. I really wasn't that upset. I agree it is a pseudo-spiritual book.

Sean, I hope I didn't insult you or your belief with my comment.

Sean Langdon said... absolutely did not upset or insult me! :)