The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a book not only with a good message, but also a lot of promises. It can open the eyes of people who are blind to the power of positive thinking, but if you’re already an adventurous, confident person who thinks positively, you won’t discover much new.
Rhonda Byrne exaggerates the power of this ’secret’ that apparently has been known for centuries. Not only is she stating the obvious by putting forth the axiomatic truth that positive thought leads to positive outcomes, but she also promises the prospect of winning the lottery or even recovering from a terminal illness. Her most important message: “The Great Secret of Life is the law of attraction.” (P. 25)
The book drew considerable positive response from celebrities. Oprah Winfrey waxed lyrical about The Secret, which, of course, tremendously improved the sale of the book, and in a way, endorses the central tenet of the book. Oprah grew up in harsh circumstances, but still became a living example of the American dream.
So, here is the deepest ’secret’ of the Universe: If you really want something, you think about it all the time and imagine how it would be if you had it, you will attract it and will have it. Your thoughts become things. (p. 25) Why? Because you send messages into the Universe, the Universe can hear you and apparently your wish is the Universe’s command.
You’re a human transmission tower transmitting a frequency with your thoughts. And if you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts. (p. 25) But you have to be careful. if you think negative thoughts, the Universe will pick this up. You can’t think “I will never win the lottery” or “I will never be a good student” because then it will not happen. You can’t even be against war, you have to be pro – peace. In other words, the universe responds to the undercurrents and underlying imolicigs beliefs and fears behind your thoughts.
But don’t we need negative thoughts sometimes? How can you sense the difference between good and bad if you never have bad thoughts? Can you even appreciate positive thinking if it’s the only thing you ever do? There were supposedly a lot of famous people who did incredible things and who were aware of the ’secret’, like Churchill and Beethoven.
But from what I understand, these weren’t the most joyful persons. Beethoven was a genius, but he was a very gloomy person who didn’t trust a soul. He had a rough childhood where his drunken father often got him out of bed, because he wanted to hear his son’s magnificent artistry on the piano. Some people are still surprised by the anger in Beethoven’s music. So even without positive thoughts he still was a tremendous pianist.
Perhaps one can even say that Beethoven needed destructive thoughts to compose his music. Artists are often led by negativity and depression. Tremendous pieces of art, music and writing were created in a downwards spiral of dark thoughts. Churchill, not an artist but an intellectual, also suffered from deep depressions which came and went. He called them ‘black dogs’. Both Beethoven and Churchill were supposedly aware of the ’secret’, but both were so negative throughout their life and at the same time achieved so much. So, maybe the ’secret’ is not a must after all.
I am certain that there are people who would be very impressed with the book. It appears as if everything is your own fault. If you got robbed, it’s your own responsibility because you were scared of being robbed. If your father died, it’s because you we’re afraid that it would happen and you didn’t wish hard enough for his recovery. It all also revolves around yourself.
The ’secret’ is all about what you want. If you want it enough and imagine how it would be for yourself, then you’ll get it and then you’ll be happy, not even considering what would happen to other people. The book also leaves some questions unanswered. For example, what will happen if two people want very opposite things at the same time, or if two people want exactly the same things at the same time. In this way, Byrne forgets the bigger context.
There is of course nothing wrong with positive thinking. It will make you happier, but it doesn’t create miracles. I’m in India, because I really wanted to be here, but also because I coordinated with Projects Abroad, worked hard for a year to raise the money and bought my plane ticket. I didn’t get it by sitting on my couch, imagining how cool it would be to be in India and hoping that suddenly somebody would show up presenting me a ticket.
The book even recommends that you to not talk about your negative feelings. If you feel sick, don’t tell anyone because you will feel worse. If somebody else talks to you about his or her feelings, please blow them off because they will drag you into their bottomless pit of desperation. Do not listen to society’s messages about diseases and ageing. Negative messages do not serve you.
Human beings are not machines. We have negative thoughts and sometimes you just have to let it all out. You can’t act like everything is fine when somebody hurts you deeply, or when you’re burning with fever hoping that it will go away. Sometimes, you have to have a little breakdown. Talk, cry, even scream if you want to, so that you can feel relieved. We are humans and humans have limits. If we pile up our negative thoughts and try to ignore them (because that is what you are actually doing), we will eventually explode.
The Secret brings out several complex feelings. Like India, you either love it or hate it. I still recommend this book because it presents a spiritual truth. Maybe it can even open your eyes and make you a more positive person. But if you think its all nonsense, the best it can provide you with is a good laugh. If it is true, you will have a great power in your hands. But I will never be able to tell you if it really works, because by writing this article I’m already sending the wrong messages into the Universe.