The Secret to Life

T.W. has conveniently taken back The Time Traveler’s Wife from me because apparently she hasn’t finished it and wants to. This means i have to wait for my turn. I suppose i could go out and get my own copy but what’s the point when she has a perfectly good copy waiting to get back into my hands? Anyway, i’m hoping to read it before it comes out as a film. I hear it’s going to be starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. Fun times.

So now that i’m deprived of a phenomenal book, i went through her bookshelf and asked her to lend me a book for my daily bathroom reading so she shoved The Secret in my hands. I’ve never read this title by Rhonda Byrne for various reasons. Firstly, it wasn’t meant to be a book. I believe it started out as some DVD presentation which didn’t really entice me. And secondly, EVERYONE was reading it. I have issues with cult novels. I have no good reason for this and no one else to blame but myself.

But i digress.

I’ve been browsing through the book. I don’t really like the way the text is laid out. It looks very blocky and inconsistent. However, i can understand why it’s a bestseller and why people love it. It’s one of those Oprah, Coelho and Jesus join forces to make your life better sort of titles. The principles and philosophies shared are dead simple and once you’ve absorbed it and live by it, your life changes for the better.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m an eternal optimist but this is a whole bunch of bollocks. i agree that the law of attraction may be the most powerful law in the universe and while the theory seems really simple, it’s definitely flawed. I don’t remember the exact quote but Bryne said something about how the richest people in the world are who they are today because they had money on their mind and like a magnet, they were attracted to money and vice versa. In an ideal world, this makes alot of sense. I think the book is very self-help and if anything at all, it would definitely boost morale and encourage people to have a more positive outlook on things. But like i said, it has loopholes.

People don’t consistently harbour negative thoughts. We generally have a positive outlook on life and that doesn’t always work to our advantage. I read a review from this chap (read: Jesus lover) and i couldn’t have said it better:

…There are many areas in which The Secret has nothing to offer—in which the law of attraction as the most powerful law in the universe is simply an incomplete, irrational and even depressing answer. Allow me to suggest a few.

First, The Secret has no real ability to respond to the problem of human evil—surely the greatest problem anyone can face. Byrne admits that people’s first thoughts, when they hear of the law, is to think of times where masses of people lost their lives. According to the law of attraction, these people were necessarily on the same frequency as the event that took their lives. They may not have had thoughts of the event, but somehow their negative thoughts drew them into it. But this simply does not prove a satisfying answer to the world’s problems. Does this not mean that the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust were ultimately responsible for thinking negative thoughts that summoned this even to them? Does it not force us to believe that the people who died when the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11 were responsible for calling this negative situation to themselves? Does it not mean that a young girl is ultimately responsible for the years of sexual abuse her father imposed upon her? The Secret offers nothing to these people but the understanding that their suffering is somehow their own fault. When we look at The Secret as the law that can bring you anything you want it has a clear attraction; when we look at it from the perspective of one who has suffered, it is clearly flawed. – Tim Challies

I’ll try and finish the book regardless of whether i cringe at every chapter though. At least till i get my Niffenegger novel back!


~ by icingontop on February 23, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Secret to Life”

  1. I have it! Bought it in Melbourne in 2003! Can lend it to you if u want!

  2. rich pple get rich through thinking abt money? right. tell that to my pathological gambler client.

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