Ryan (thesolidone) wrote,

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 So I watched the film adaption of Then Secret the other night.  I hadn't seen it before but I had pretty good idea what to expect. And it did exactly what I expected, a canned very sell oriented look at this principle they call the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction is that good things will attract other good things. So if you think and act positively good things will come to you. Focus on what you want and the solution rather than what you don't want and the problems and you will find you will achieve what you set out to do.

What I think I found most amusing is the way they present this like it is a secret idea or an idea lost in time or some other crap. The principle is all too simple and only partially for the reasons they using to explain. The ideas presented in the movie to give it all around feel good empowering effect are often incomplete and contradictory. I felt like I was watching a late night infocommercial.  Like some get rich quick advertisement. I mean when you watch those and those guys talk about their success, you have to realise the reason they have money or success is people buying the idea they are selling. They've convinced people to invest in something that initially may be of little value. That's how anyone gets rich.

I have friends who swear by it. Like roped into it hook line and sinker. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as long as they don't feel the shortcomings to cause an opposite reaction to how they should. I think it is best to treat this like a new age religion. Very age of aquarius. I've realised discussing the topic with these people is for the most part utterly useless. It's like trying to critically analyse any religion with someone who strongly believes in it. And fundamentally it should really be the same thing. To me there is no secret here. It all comes comes down to a few basic things. I will talk about all 4 in order of how much of a role they take but this isn't a balanced scale. The first element makes up for say 95% of what the secret is selling, the 2nd maybe 4.5%, the third maybe .4999% and the final one near 0. Well atleast for now.

Firstly there are socialogical patterns. People have an innate desire to survive and well to succeed. If you are putting off something positive you are more likely to attract people who what to succeed themselves. In the same way someone with confidence is more likely to attract the right business deal or the opposite sex. How do those positive thinking infomercial people sell so much? Really this is the surface stuff that accounts for most of what we observe.  This is pretty obvious stuff. Haven't really hit on anything amazing. 

Next there is the power of belief. Sometimes I wish I had such blind faith, but I found something that works a little differently for me, but I will get to that later. The most amazing thing about faith is that in the most extreme situations people are capable of the extraordinary. If you put yourself into something 100% you are much more capable than you can be in any other state. Conversely with such belief you may only put focus on the things that support that belief pattern and generally convince yourself what you are seeing is in line with what you believe.

A third thing to consider is human evolution. This is where stuff like "The Secret" can play into our vanity. See everyone has heard the thing about only using a small portion of your mind. Well it's true. And I would think if we could use more of it we'd be capable of incredible things. And I could concieve that at times of heightened awareness we might even use a couple percent more. And in the scheme of things that is amazing. In fact I think the power of belief is possibly an example of where this stuff gets unlocked. What you believe in aside, no exterior power here this is an extremely capable possibility. But don't confuse yourself here, even if it is concievably possible you could unlock all of human potential here it is so astronomically unlikely you might as well consider it impossible. Maybe humans will be able to at some point but we're not here yet.

Finally the cosmological concerns. See no matter if you believe in one god, many gods, greater power, god is everything, or even modern science the idea of energy being everything from dirt to a supreme being doesn't need to be so removed from each other. If you view it all as the same thing then there isn't much of a contradiction. And if anyone bothered to read my article on quantum mechanics a few years back it matters very little that they are different. The basic is that since all existence is only a probability until observed to be in a particular state, the power lies in the observer. You live in the reality (well atleast the version of you, you are conscious of) that you create through what you observe. So in essence your belief in god could create god where you want to see him/her/it/them. 

To me there is no secret buried in time here.. the first thing you can get from infocomercials, the second from religion, the third from modern science, and the fourth from modern physics, and religions throughout time. The who myserious ask and you can recieve aura they put around this stuff can be explained by a few very well known components. It doesn't mean it doesn't work necessarily but it definitely doesn't work in the way they try to sell it. It almost completely lies in things that are everyday and ordinary. The same premise that the universe is governed by laws and the law of attraction is no different is ultimately the secret's undoing. By acknowledging the law you acknowledge the absolute, even if that absolute is not infact concrete but only a probability of what is absolute. The degree at which we in our current state of evolution can use our minds to influence quantum effects is negible over any individual decision we make; let alone something we consciously control. Having the right mindset could potentially aid us along this passage through quantum reality but it as easily may not. Perhaps we do affect our own luck in this manner, but it is astronomically unlikely even if possible to use this to defy gravity. It isn't that there isn't the desire or belief there potentially but we are selves are too limited. 

And it is this final point that seems to simply pass over the heads of those entranced by this interesting idea. If they believe it they can achieve it. That in truth is the only way to maximize your potential, but it's easy to go beyond what is likely here and end up in disapointment. For me if I want something I visualise it and then decide it's fact. Once it is fact for me it is as good as undeniable. I've lost 54lbs now with this focus. Other people swear by having to really feel it just not believe it. So whatever works for you. But there is no miracle happening here necessarily. I guess it's a matter of perspective. But i think it bugs me that media like the Secret give people a false sense of hope. Sitting there repeating mantra's only do so much. 
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Manifest Destiny is a huge interest of mine as well!

P.S: If this is your cup of tea, look into neuro-linguistic programming...
yeah interesting .. I will take a look at that..
Yo Ryan!
See everyone has heard the thing about only using a small portion of your mind. Well it's true.
Not so. That claim has been told and retold countless times ("Humans only use 10% of their brains"), and very few people know the original source: A remark in a book by Dale Carnegie, a guy who certainly knew a lot about social behavior and practical psychology, but very very little about neurology.

Have you ever seen an (f)MRI picture? Did you notice that there's electrical activity all over the brain, not just in one little corner of the brain?

Anyway, the horrible "Secret"... here's the bit I was referring to when you and I talked about this at work today:
[...] read Emilly Yoffe’s brilliant action-review "I’ve Got The Secret (http://www.slate.com/id/2165746/)" on Slate.com or the less polished and much stronger condemnation of The Secret by Aaron Swartz, "The Secret behind The Secret (http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/thesecretsecret)".
(From a blog post from May 2007 (http://www.jankarlsbjerg.com/blog/archives/2007/05/24/vancouver-blogger-may-meetup-recap/))
Hmm. you're right I was just using a common knowledge fact that I "knew" to be apparently is true. I've never seen the original source.

I enjoyed those reviews. They combat and pick at the exact problems I had with the movie. When you watch it doesn't quite sit right. From the way it tries to sell to obvious misquotes.. like they used an Einstein quote that I could blatantly tell was out of context cause Einstein didn't believe this stuff. Einstein went as far as saying "God doesn't play dice with the universe" which was obviously skipped over in this movie.