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"The Secret" - repackaged, redefined psychic garbage

thesecret.jpg

The new film titled The Secret is a film filled with a good merging of different religious philosophies re-packaged into New-Age psychic garbage. Unfortunately, such a film has gained widespread attention in the United States and can be found at almost any Target store or related affliation nationwide. Of course it just would not be completely popular without the endorsement of famous celebrities, in which it has even been rumored that Paris Hilton has recently become "attracted" to The Secret shortly after her release from her second term in prison. Yes, and let us not forget to mention that Acharya S is also highly accustomed to The Secret from the implications in her writings as well as her discussion of this film in one of her e-newsletters:

What is the Secret?

Hi there -

Beginning a couple of years ago, "the Secret" began to spread arounds
the net and beyond, finally ending up on Oprah not long ago.

Indeed, The Secret has been around long before it was introduced into the United States and has been prevalent for longer than most people probably realize. Where I first noticed it was on a website managed by someone who was trying to advertise his ouija board print-out file product for 250 euros per piece. Here's a first-hand taste of just who gets drawn in by The Secret's powerful influence, and all you have to do is merely visit http://www.ourworldsbeyond.com owned by the infamous "paranormal expert", Bob Daulby.

So what is all the fuss about the Secret?  To boil it down, it's all
about the ages-old concept the "Law of Attraction."  It is claimed that
this secret is so powerful it has been used repeatedly over the
centuries by luminaries in all walks of life to achieve success.

Acharya does not seem to criticize the film seeing as it does in fact make appeal to the gospel of Matthew, a fictionalized document. Strangely enough this doesn't prevent her from promoting this ancient long kept "Secret" that has been used "repeatedly over the centuries by luminaries in all walks of life". You really have to examine what it is she is saying here folks. This is coming from the author of a book called "The Christ Conspiracy", and being that she appreciates the "Secret" which in some parts quotes the gospel of Matthew, by saying that this "Secret" has been used by "luminaries in all walks of life", it's almost as if she is admitting that Jesus did in fact exist and was a real person!

While I do not subscribe to all of the concepts that go along with
"positive thinking" and the "law of attraction" - such as we create ALL of
our reality - I do feel that being exposed to these ideas can be
extremely beneficial to many people.

Thus, I wanted to share with you this special new audiobook "The
Secret" by Rhonda Byrne.  This audiobook is very inspiring and uplifting -
check it out now!

http://www.stellaraudiobooks.com/Title.aspx?titleId=5023

That's my audiobook store, Stellar Audiobooks, where you can find this
great title and many other wonderful selections.


It is no suprise why Acharya would embrace "The Secret". Anyone who takes the time to do the check up work on that site would soon realize that you aren't being lied too when they say that many of their products are based on topics such as time travel and the lost city of Atlantis. What Acharya calls "many other wonderful selections." Therefore we know exactly what appropriate genre "The Secret" belongs too: fantasy and fiction. Well after all, Acharya is a "mythologist", she's expertised in the knowledge of fantasy and fiction, so her association with "The Secret" should not come as any surprise.

Now it's time to get onto the fun part of this topic, let's examine what "The Secret" is all about......

OVERALL BREAKDOWN

So if you've been paying attention, then you have already read the part about what The Secret calls the "Law of Attraction." The so-called law goes something like this "like attracts like", in other words, similar qualities "attract" each other. The film brings in a variety of people, attempting to squeeze in scientific perspectives by interviewing quantum physicists, and spiritual perspectives by interviewing philosophers and so-called spiritual advisors. One of these spiritual advisors goes by the title "reverend" Bernard Beckwith, but this guy doesn't fufill the image we all get in our heads when we hear such a title attributed to individuals. Mr. Beckwith, dressed in a buisness suit with his nicely braided dreadlocks is actually an associate of the Da'lai Llama.

"THE SECRET" - NOT REALLY SECRET?

In her own film, Rhonda Bryne goes on to say "the Secret is not really a secret at all", which really tells you about how this person blows her disguising cover so elegantly. Rhonda Bryne apparently was an emotionally unstable individual and now has transformed that into mental instability by her discovery of this ancient "long-kept secret" and her consideration of others by "sharing the Secret" with the rest of the world. Isn't it funny of how one person can change the world just by gathering together old religious philosophy? Even more interesting is the simplicity of the "Secret" concept and how almost every single chapter is almost exactly the same as each other. Check out these fantastic methods for acheiving these secrets and the many ways you can apply them to create a happier more successful life for yourself!

The secret to.....

Dieting and exercise: Imagine your body image and your body weight, you can enjoy any food you like, don't worry about dieting, just try to imagine your perfect body weight, and you will be successful at dieting!

Financial success and prosperity: Imagine that you are wealthy and prosperous, don't worry about your current financial situation, instead pretend that you are rich and that you own the possessions that you would like to have and you will have them.

Relationships and love life: Imagine your perfect love partner, being everything you dream, and that person will come to you!

You see how great those three secrets were? Now that they have been revealed to you, you can use them to your advantage! As Captian Planet promises: "the power is yours!"

SCIENTIFIC CRITIQUE - THAT'S RIGHT BOYS AND GIRLS......

"The Secret" gets really whacky when the Law of Attraction gets tossed in with the many great secrets (as they have now been revealed to your beneficial advantage). Now this creates quite an interesting equation indeed. In this way, if you carefully follow "The Secret" guidelines, then the Law (or as Rhonda Bryne annoyingly pronounces it "LAWR") of Attraction will be at your reaping. Of course we may rationalize this by saying "you won't always get expected results" by using the Law of Attraction, so it just might be a plausible principle, right? Well needless to say "like attracts like" does not come out with mathematical certainty and cannot be detected in certain circumstantial situations. So.....is it really scientific? Let's look at a definition of science, more particulary the scientific method:

Scientific method

Noun

1. A method of investigation involving observation and theory to test scientific hypotheses.

Now that we have the definition at hand, let's go over the basic fundamentals of the scientific method:

Observation: This one is of course self-explanatory to anyone who can speak and understand basic English but it nonetheless is a gathering of factual data and recording results based on those data.

Hypothesis: This will lay down the basic construct for the theoretical perspectives behind the facts. Once results are recorded from observation, the hypothesis seeks to question how, when, and what new results might come from experimental testing. For instance,what is the observable phenomena throughout the experiment (if any)? How do the provided materials react to the experiment? When will a reaction take place if one is present?

Experiment/testing: One of the biggest fundamentals of the scientific method is the experimental component. Once again, self-explanatory enough, but for a logical flow within the scientific method it seeks to test the validity or the falsehood of the proposed hypothesis.

Results/data: Basically the results gained from experimental testing. The results/data speak for themselves alone, and can only suggest specific answers to naturalistic questions or issues concerning the proposed hypothesis and where it stands on accuracy.

Conclusion: The conclusion is the summary of what happened with the observable data when experimented on and what the results and new data provide in answering a hypothesis' inquiry. Being that the hypothesis is typically if not always an inquiring question, the conclusion reaches the answer to the hypothesis by what the evidence speaks for itself: Hence the hypothesis generally goes either accepted or rejected based on the evidence gathered throughout. 

Here is the big problem for the Law of Attraction: It cannot be observed and tested. Remember that the supposed "law" goes by "like attracts like", yet this is in violation of a much more observable law: opposites attract, and likes repel. Another reason why the Law of Attraction is not scientific is because it cannot be validified or falsified by scientific standards. In other words, it is very unscientific to assume that the measuring of brainwave activity actually suggests that thoughts are projected as a transmitted message out into "the universe" if in fact, these messages cannot be measured in themselves. Above all, what is "the universe"? We never find out what it is. All we know is that our thoughts get sent out into this unknown, and wishes and desires are fufilled or rejected by this unknown. Yet by the scientific method, a hypothesis must gather observations and plausible explanations merged together that must be testable to experimentation, and along with this data must be collected from the experiment, and the results must either give a valid of false assessment of the stated hypothesis. There is no possible way this works for The Secret, as the definition of pseudo-science holds:

Pseudoscience

Noun

1. An activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions.

Alas, the accurate definition of the Law of Attraction is put into place. Where might the "fallacious assumptions" come in? Think about what the film is telling its audiences: The universe is bound by creative energy, your thoughts and emotions are a "creative" force in the fabrics of the universe, and the Law of Attraction is a compensation to whatever you are thinking. HOWEVER, notice a contradiction in this law: You do not always reap beneficial results from positive thoughts ("energy"). Let's inquire a rational question: This law says "like attracts like", yet at times you reap an opposite affect to your initial thought? Starting to sound a little screwy when you think about it isn't it? Accordng to Rhonda Bryne's group of experts, the law attracts like "energy" to whatever initial energy you put into it, or send out into the universe. Also recall that this film is telling you that this is a universal principle being that these are "creative" forces, therefore whatever your initial input is, you should always get the expected "like" output, no matter what occurs. It begins to sound more metaphorically based and does not apply to our material settings, perhaps even realistic settings.This aside from demonstration and observation, is why the law is not scientific. In contrast to the "like attracts like", there are many more demonstratable examples of "opposites attract":

Atomic structure - Usually in standard cases the number of protons (positive charge) and electrons (negative charge) are both in equal total. Only in the case of ions, which immediatey exchange the absent number of electrons and protons, are they unequal.

Sexual attraction - Although it has been argued that same sex attraction is natural, many online scientific organizations say otherwise. According to one organization:"There is no evidence that shows that homosexuality is simply "genetic." And none of the research claims there is. Only the press and certain researchers do, when speaking in sound bites to the public." (1) Regardless if this is true or not, same sex individuals cannot breed or produce by natural laws.
Normally when we refer to sex, we think of opposite sexes: A man and a woman. To add to this, it is also suggested that intimate couples usually have opposite personality traits. So either by sex or personality, there is an opposite of some sorts involved.

Magnetic polarity - Magnets always have their magnetic fields align to the opposite polar ends of other magnets. This means that the 'north/south' end will rearrange itself to the 'south/north' end of the other magnet (funny how "The Secret" uses magnetism as an analogy for the Law of Attraction isn't it?)

ANSWERING OBJECTIONS

Here are some answered objections that you may have if you happen to be a defender of Rhonda Bryne's book:

"The Law of Attraction is metaphorical, it doesn't need to be literal."

That may be so, but in that case, it isn't scientific, because science IS literal. It's way too literal for anything metaphorical to be tossed in with it, and requires hypothezing, experimenting, and demonstrating and or observing. There is absolutely no way to physically observe the attraction of two like elements and then repeat the result in the same given circumstance.

"What about the fact that polar chemicals dissolve polar chemicals and nonpolar chemicals dissolve only nonpolar chemicals?"

The fact that polar and nonpolar chemicals dissolve only themselves does not permit "like attracts like." In which case you have to provide an explanation for how "attraction" might be involved in this instance. Really, all it is is the mixing of similar molecules to fit into a solution, and there is no sort of "creative" force involved. There is nothing that prohibits nonpolar and polar from co-existing, however, as there are nonpolar and polar ends used in soaps and even biological cells, such as the plasma membrane, which has a unity of nonpolar and polar tails attached back to back (phospholipid bilayer), allowing the transfer and exchange of ions and etc. "Opposites attract" is still applied and works more effectively than like elements being dissolved in the same solution.

"They've got expertised opinion from quantum physicists and credentialed scientists, of course it's scientific."

Even people with PhD's can be horribly wrong on a subject, especially if it transcends their level of expertise, or if that person holding the doctorate happens to suggest things that are not relevant to their field of expertise. Creationists can have PhD's in science, but that does not make the creationist position a valid one.

"It's the same thing as praying, religious people do it all the time!"

Religious and spiritual praying is something entirely different from sitting around wishing for something to happen. And that's exactly what "The Secret" wants you to think, that if you just keep wishing, things will happen. You'll even hear the "genie" analogy which goes like this: "Your wish is my command." You've got to love the way they label it as "science" it's a good way of passing it off as something that everyone of every religion can subscribe too! Quite the impressive sham indeed.

CONCLUSION - RHONDA BRYNE MEETS RON L. HUBBARD!

In conclusion, "The Secret" is nothing but a garbled piece of trash made to look as though it is an affective tool and a solution to the apparent difficulties of life. You don't have to be a quantum physicist to see the screwiness and the deluding mentality only recently invented by clever New-Agers on the basis of mixing different religions together and giving gullible audiences some pseudo futuristic hope and optimism. Some useful advice: Go see medical professionals and therapists before dipping into weird New Ager cults.

Footnotes

(1) "National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality" Organization (NARTH): http://www.narth.com/docs/istheregene.html

DON'T END UP WASTING YOUR MONEY BUYING "THE SECRET". ALAS THERE ARE RATIONAL TREATEMENTS ON THE SUBJECT! ENJOY THESE RECOMMENDED (ALTHOUGH CHRISTIAN-RELATED) ANEDOTES TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM THE BRAINWASHING PROPAGANDA!

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