After observing the two copies of the movie “The Secret” gradually moving row-by-row down and column-by-column across the DVD store shelves, we finally got around to watching it tonight.
I’d been resisting it because of all the marketing hype that’s accompanied the launch of the book and the appearance of the movie.
The basic premise of “The Secret” is that the universe consists of both energy and matter, and that matter can be turned into energy and energy into matter; to support this, the movie-makers conveniently cite Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2 (explanations here and here).
The ‘Secret’ (capital S) is nothing more than a force called “the law of attraction” (or rather “the Law of Attraction” with capital letters to make it sound more Dramatic and Mysterious). This is operating all the time, whether we are conscious of it or not – and whether we believe in it or not. This means that who we are right now, and the circumstances in which we find ourselves right now, are the end-product of who and what we were in the past.
Once you understand how the Law of Attraction works, you can use it to your benefit. This involves three steps:
- Know what you want and ask the universe for it; you need to be really clear on what you want to manifest and to visualise it as clearly as you can;
- Believe that what you are wanting to attract into your life, is already there; feel and behave as though it has already arrived; if necessary, pretend or ‘act as if’;
- Be open to receiving what you have asked for; this means paying attention to intuitive messages, synchronicities and similar signs from the universe that will signal to you that your intention will become manifest.
What we focus our attention on, we create and empower. Furthermore, there is always a time-delay between our intention and its manifestation. Often this is a really good thing, because it allows us to adjust our intention and to make sure that we really want what we are asking for. The movie focused mainly on the three big topics that probably preoccupy most of us: money, relationships and health.
Apparently this ‘Law of Attraction’ was something that was so earth-shatteringly powerful and revolutionary that it has been suppressed for hundreds and hundreds of years (if not thousands) by powerful and secretive people and organisations. In that regard, it reminded me vividly of Foucault’s Pendulum, The Name of the Rose, The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure and all those kinds of adventure tales, detective stories and conspiracy theories that roam freely between far-away past and the present. But those, at least, had characters and story lines that swept you along, compelling you to turn the page; the ‘re-enactments’ in “The Secret” were just annoying and badly acted flashes of narrative.
All the powerful, rich or in other ways outstanding figures of history have known this Secret and have used it to their advantage to mould and shape the world to their benefit. And now, the producer claims, the time has come to make this Secret public. In order to do so, they enlist the help of a plethora of ‘professionals’, ‘teachers’ and ‘healers’ in the fields of medicine, quantum physicists, philosophy, metaphysics, feng shui, personal growth, and even finance.
So there are interviews with people such as the annoying Bob Proctor, the effusive Dr John Gray, Dr John Demartini, Jack Canfield (of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’), the dreadlocked (or something) Dr Rev. Michael Beckwith, Neal Donald Walsch (of ‘Conversations with God’), and others, who are all interviewed in front of a green screen, on which pseudo-ancient and arcane-looking pen-and-ink drawings rather like those of Da Vinci and Michelangelo were later superimposed. In addition, there are quotes by historical ‘secret teachers’ (or so claims producer Rhonda Byrne) as diverse as Emerson, Einstein, Churchill, Jung, Newton, Plato and Buddha (and lots of others).
I think this claim – that only a handful of outstanding historical figures knew about ‘the Secret’ and that it has never been made public before now – is utter codswallop. The idea that we have the power to influence our reality through our thoughts and emotions has been around for decades; it’s definitely been taught by virtually all teachers of the New Age Movement and by all spiritual or esoterically inclined people that I’ve ever read or heard of.
Watching “The Secret” was like watching a 90-minute long infomercial. And I really detest those. Because it’s all about making money.
Other movies we’ve watched in June: