Book/Movie Review: The Secret

Lately, The Secret – a movie and its companion book produced by Rhonda Byrne – have been burning up the bestseller lists and have attracted endorsements from influential celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey. Marketed in the self-help genre, it promises viewers the key to achieving all their life goals through the power of positive thinking. (The name is a misnomer, since The Secret‘s teachings are hardly a secret but have been a prominent part of New Age belief systems for decades, dating back at least to 1906 and William Walker Atkinson’s book Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction. Antecedents can also be found in the Christian “Word of Faith” movement). The only original part about any of this is the marketing, and slick marketing it is: a video with flashy computer graphics, ominous whispers in the background, and dark hints of a grand, Da Vinci Code-type conspiracy to suppress this film’s supposedly explosive truth.

The idea that a person, by keeping an optimistic and hopeful attitude towards life, can notice opportunities they might otherwise have missed and succeed by persevering where a pessimist might have failed – this is uncontroversially true. But that is not what The Secret is claiming. Its central claim is a far more radical one: that you can have literally anything you dream about or wish for delivered to you by supernatural power, with no effort required on your part, if only you believe strongly enough that this will happen. This is what the film calls the “Law of Attraction”, or as it is summed up in the obligatory pithy slogan, “Thoughts become things”. The film also states that this is an infallible natural law, as certain in its operation as gravity.

Some people have misinterpreted The Secret as saying merely that a person can achieve their goals through positive effort and hard work. Again, this is an incorrect description. The Secret is explicit in its claim that no work whatsoever is required to make your wishes come true. All it takes is a clear expression of your desire and sufficient faith in the power of the “law of attraction”. The film lists three, and only three, steps to having your desires fulfilled: “ask, believe, receive”. In fact, hard work is actively discouraged, as in one section of the movie where an interviewee suggests adjusting one’s attitude from the negative “You have to work hard for money” to the allegedly more positive “Money comes easily and frequently”. The film goes so far as to compare the universe to Aladdin’s genie, who in the original version of the tale granted not just three but an unlimited number of wishes.

Most New Age philosophies make at least a token effort to urge viewers to use their superpowers for spiritual growth and moral development, but The Secret is unabashedly materialistic in its implications. It is calculated to appeal directly to its viewers’ sense of greed. It goes out of its way to dazzle with stories and images of multimillion-dollar bank accounts, mansions on the beach, luxury cars and speedboats, marriage to beautiful trophy spouses, and checks arriving in the mail apparently for no reason at all. All these things can be yours, we are told, if only you believe. To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, there is no evidence whatsoever presented at any point that any of this works – only scattered anecdotes.

But The Secret is not just selfish and frivolous, it is dangerous. Consider posts by Secret believers such as this one, in which the author informs readers that weight loss can be achieved magically, without any need to eat healthy food or exercise:

You see…it’s not about how you eat, exercise (none) or anything like that. It’s the representation in your mind of where you actually are. If you believe the perfect you is 185 lbs and you can see yourself as that weight every day, your body has no choice but to move you closer to that state.

The logical conclusion of such transparently absurd reasoning is that it does not matter how many donuts, sodas, hamburgers, or other sources of empty calories and fat you consume. If you wish hard enough to be thin, you will be thin. This is grossly irresponsible advice and could very well endanger people’s health.

But even more horrifying is this woman who proudly informed Oprah Winfrey that, based on her belief in The Secret – in particular, a scene in which another interviewee claims to have cured herself of cancer by watching funny movies – she was choosing to stop medical treatment for her own malignant breast cancer and start wishing to get better:

After watching the DVD and seeing The Oprah Show about The Secret, Kim wrote to Oprah after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three doctors told Kim she would have to have a partial radical mastectomy of the right breast and treatment. Kim writes that “after much thought, I have decided to heal myself.”

…”But we do have choices, and I’m making a choice. And in six months’ time, I am believing that the cancer will be gone — and if it is not, it has shrunk so much that I can have a lumpectomy not a partial radical mastectomy,” Kim says. “It’s about holding onto my right for choice.”

Breast cancer that is caught and treated early can very often be cured. Breast cancer that is allowed to grow, while the bearer concentrates on wishing for magical healing, may not be so treatable. It is very possible that this woman’s belief in The Secret will lead to her early and needless death.

The Secret‘s metaphysics are inconsistent and contradictory even when taken on their own terms. In one scene, we are shown a man who wanted to promote his self-help books through the National Enquirer and was then approached by a writer from that very paper who was interested in interviewing him. He bragged about how his positive desire had “attracted” her to him. But in a scene just a few minutes later, we are informed that “we cannot control other people, no matter how hard we try”.

A related and obvious issue which The Secret never even touches on is this: what happens if two people desire contradictory things? What if one person wills a particular political candidate to be elected, for example, while another wills their opponent to be elected? What if one person wills there to be war and another wills peace? What if one person tries to use the “law of attraction” to get to work quickly and with no traffic, while another person using the same road tells themself, “I hope I don’t get stuck in a traffic jam” and thereby unknowingly attracts that very thing?

If the answer is that whoever wills their desired outcome more strongly will get it, then The Secret‘s repeated claims that the “law of attraction” always works are false. You might wish for something with all your might, and still fail to get it because someone else wished that even more strongly. Or Secret advocates might claim that whoever has the more “positive” desire will get what they want; but in that case their claims about the infallibility of the “law of attraction” are still false, and this still does not answer the question of what happens when two people wish for positive but incompatible outcomes.

There is one more claim made by The Secret, the most vile and invidious of them all. The film’s interviewees claim that you get whatever you think about – even a claim such as “I wish I wasn’t in debt” will attract more debt. The consequence of this, and it is a consequence that the film states explicitly, is that anything bad that happens to you is your own fault for “attracting” it to yourself. Anything – poverty, cancer, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or a home, or any other disaster or misfortune – is the victim’s fault.

Not only is this attitude cruel and callous in the extreme, there are many cases where it would discourage people from engaging in the hard work actually needed to improve everyone’s lives. For instance, the film states that the reason for the enormous wealth gap that existed in the early 1900s was not because of entrenched societal inequalities and political corruption, but because the robber barons knew the Secret and ordinary working people did not. Similarly, we are told that “the anti-war movement creates more war” and instead people should concentrate on wishing for peace. If this attitude was widely adopted, people would soon cease participating in political action to bring about change for the better, and instead spend their time sitting at home and wishing for things to improve. Not only would this not work, it would clear the way for the selfish elite who so often are the cause of society’s problems.

There is much more I could say about The Secret, such as the laughable pseudoscientific claims dispensed by the interviewees (“a positive thought is scientifically proven to be a hundred times more powerful than a negative thought”), the even more laughable and simply wrong scientific claims (“no one knows how electricity works”), the obligatory invocations of garbled quantum physics, and so on. But I will not belabor the point. Instead, I’ll point out in closing that The Secret, which represents humanity’s desire for magic distilled down to its essence, is a letter-perfect illustration of what I wrote about last August in the post “No Miracles“:

More than anything, we desire easy answers, and all these different types of supernatural belief stem, ultimately, from that desire. When life is difficult and troubled, we want miracles that will fulfill our needs and supply our wants in a supernatural flash, without the work otherwise needed to get what we want…

The appeal of magic is that it promises easy answers, easy victories, easy achievement of our goals with little effort and toil. But this is, and always was, a childish dream. Through cooperating with each other and studying the world around us, we can learn to better control our circumstances and improve our lives, but such improvement will always take labor and work. The lure of easy answers is an illusion; there are answers, but they are difficult to obtain and always were. Yet that does not make them worth any less. On the contrary, it makes them even more precious, and should increase our appreciation for what progress we have brought about and our resolve to make further progress in the future.

Although I have little to say to people who are at this moment fervently wishing for their ski lodge in Aspen or beach condo in Hawaii, I have nothing but sympathy for people in hard straits trying to use The Secret to obtain the basics that they need. Truly, I understand this drive. I’m not saying everyone does not deserve health and happiness. But this is not the way to go about it. Puerile mysticism has never brought humanity anything but disappointment and heartbreak, and the only people who will get rich thanks to The Secret are its creators, who are at this moment very handily fattening their bank accounts with the hard-won dollars of those who are ever eager for miracles.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://aloadofbright.wordpress.com tobe38

    Very neatly and ruthlessly debunked, as always.

    It concerns me greatly that someone with as much money, power and influence as Oprah Winfrey endorses this rubbish. I’ve just posted an article about the lack of scepticism in the popular media, and this illustrates what I was saying. We need people like her, and the popular media in general, to be telling everyone what a load of nonsense it is, and why.

  • http://aloadofbright.wordpress.com tobe38

    Very neatly and ruthlessly debunked, as always.

    It concerns me greatly that someone with as much money, power and influence as Oprah Winfrey endorses this rubbish. I’ve just posted an article about the lack of scepticism in the popular media, and this illustrates what I was saying. We need people like her, and the popular media in general, to be telling everyone what a load of nonsense it is, and why.

  • Alex Weaver

    I’ll have to get on TV sooner or later and ask why, no matter how hard I wish for Rhonda Byrne to be prosecuted for criminal fraud, it isn’t happening…

  • http://6thfloorblog.blogspot.com Ceetar

    The woman deciding to cure herself of cancer reminds me of an old joke.

    A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religious man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

    Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

    With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

  • http://6thfloorblog.blogspot.com Ceetar

    The woman deciding to cure herself of cancer reminds me of an old joke.

    A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religious man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

    Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

    With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

  • http://goddesscassandra.blogspot.com Antigone

    My mom asked me to read this book. I told her that I would if she’d read Steven Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”.

    Her mind changed a bit about science, my hasn’t changed a bit about spirtualism.

  • http://goddesscassandra.blogspot.com Antigone

    My mom asked me to read this book. I told her that I would if she’d read Steven Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”.

    Her mind changed a bit about science, my hasn’t changed a bit about spirtualism.

  • michael

    Great analysis. My recommendation to the true believers is that they immediately obtain a copy of the film ‘Forbidden Planet’, beware the ceature from the Id.

  • Jeff T.

    Ebon, your last paragraph is a true secret revealed. A secret that you share honestly and openly.

    Dreaming is good—but dreams are only achievable through establishing goals, making plans, understanding the risks, and hard work. Wishful thinking and a head-in-the-clouds belief system will lead to nothing.

    I wished you had belabored the garbled quantum physics and other laughable psuedoscientific claims of this system. Laughter is good medicine.

  • http://atheistself.blogspot.com David W.

    My wife was big into The Secret for a while and bought the audiobook. She had me listen to the introduction, and then asked me what I thought. I answered, “It sounds like a spiritual wrapper around what every atheist already knows.” (referring to the actual benefits from positive thinking, and the fact that just wishing/praying for something never works) Her interest quickly died down after that and she stopped listening to the book.

    Ceetar: I’ve always loved that joke! It’s just such a shame there are real-life analogies. And these people don’t believe in natural selection?

  • http://atheistself.blogspot.com David W.

    My wife was big into The Secret for a while and bought the audiobook. She had me listen to the introduction, and then asked me what I thought. I answered, “It sounds like a spiritual wrapper around what every atheist already knows.” (referring to the actual benefits from positive thinking, and the fact that just wishing/praying for something never works) Her interest quickly died down after that and she stopped listening to the book.

    Ceetar: I’ve always loved that joke! It’s just such a shame there are real-life analogies. And these people don’t believe in natural selection?

  • lpetrich

    My summary of it: Wishing will make it so.

  • The Vicar

    [de-lurk] I’ve seen Terry Pratchett quoted before, here’s another, this time from The Wee Free Men:

    “Well, I must go. I hope we shall meet again. I will give you some free advice, though.”
    “Will it cost me anything?”
    “What? I just said it was free!” said Miss Tick.
    “Yes, but my father said that free advice often turns out to be expensive,” said Tiffany.
    Miss Tick sniffed. “You could say this advice is priceless,” she said. “Are you listening?”
    “Yes,” said Tiffany.
    “Good. Now… if you trust in yourself…”
    “Yes?”
    “…and believe in your dreams…”
    “Yes?”
    “…and follow your star…” Miss Tick went on.
    “Yes?”
    “…you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learninig things and weren’t so lazy. Good-bye.”

    This reminds me a lot of that book that was out a couple of years ago, “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About” or something along those lines, which was written by a guy repeatedly convicted of mail fraud, and which mostly contained things like “you can find out more by visiting my pay-per-view web site…”

  • bassmanpete

    “Faith without works is dead.” Doesn’t it say that somewhere in The Bible?

  • bassmanpete

    “Faith without works is dead.” Doesn’t it say that somewhere in The Bible?

  • andrea

    you’re right about that bassman, but nearly all Christians think that if they “pray” for you, that’s more “worthy” than actually getting off their butts and doing something.

  • andrea

    you’re right about that bassman, but nearly all Christians think that if they “pray” for you, that’s more “worthy” than actually getting off their butts and doing something.

  • Jim Baerg
  • Jim Baerg
  • qckbeam

    Very nice article.

    Oprah confuses me. She went off on American kids recently, deriding them for their supposed sense of entitlement. But she also stands behind this “Secret” stuff. Now it seems to me there’s a conflict here. The Secret basically boils down to “Believe that you deserve [item] and you shall receive it without a drop of effort.” Doesn’t a believer believe they are entitled to everything their heart desires? The Secret is trying to foster precisely the thing Oprah despises in American kids. I don’t get it.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, Oprah has incredible wealth, but she derides materialism. The “you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car” lady loves to go up against American consumer culture and kids who like iPods. There’s a disconnect between Oprah rhetoric and Oprah action.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your article. It’s good to see people talking about Oprah. She has a history of spreading nonsense. It’s sort of frightening when you consider her incredible influence.

  • RiddleOfSteel

    I saw one of the Oprah programs, on which some of the people pushing the “Secret” were displayed. The idea was presented in a kind of fuzzy way, where it was difficult to determine how much of the secret is just having a positive mental attitude, and what is likely to flow (un-supernaturally) from that attitude, and how much is of the “words and thought become physical reality” type claims. The only defense I would give to the latter is that, due to the sometimes odd linkage between mind and body, one might argue that simply thinking certain positive thoughts could reduce stress, and potentially have a good effect on ones bodily health, even though no other concrete action were taken. Otherwise I do agree with Ebonmuse’s critique, which clarified for me the red flags that went up as I watched the program and later viewed some of the DVD.

    Regarding Oprah, one thing I have noticed is that she appears to believe that her wealth has been ordained by her god, as evidence by the number of times I have heard her make the claim. I recall she made just such a claim on the “Secret” show, namely that in her view there is no such thing as luck, and that her god has seen fit to provide success and wealth. She is not the only wealthy person to have made such a claim. From a psychological standpoint, I find this to be an attempt in the claimants mind to justify the holding of material wealth and ease the conscience. The guilt of holding vast material wealth in a world of scarcity is assuaged, if it can be claimed that a god has given the stamp of approval, through involvement in accumulating the wealth. Although at least relative to the world of the super-rich, Oprah does appear to give money and time to various charities, building schools, etc. But oddly enough, I think the Bible story of the woman giving her last alm perhaps puts some of that into perspective – it’s probably not too difficult to give 50 grand when your living large with 100 million.

  • eye of horus

    The big O is bling faux.

  • Polly

    I can’t believe people are falling for this garbage! This is exactly the same metaphysical bunk that “Word of Faith” preachers are preaching for FREE 24 hours a day on one religious network or another. TBN – the Trinity Broadcasting Network – alone has provided a platform with millions of worldwide viewers for this scam for decades, now.

    Another name this philosophy goes by is “name it and claim it” and the “prosperity gospel”
    Preachers of this “gospel” assert that words are things not just vibrations of air molecules but, actual things like tables, lamps, or MONEY.

    There’s something almost Platonic about it. As if by calling it out verbally you’re channeling the ideal object to create an instance of itself in this plane – kind of like real world O.O.P. :)

  • ex machina

    The Secret seemed, to me, to be the antithesis of what one needs to do to succeed. I find that very ironic in regards to the cover-up aspect that The Secret tries to emphasize. If I were a part of some secret society of the super rich and powerful that existed on the backs of the many, I would promote a belief system encouraging people not to work hard for achievement, and convince them that my wealth was created not by manipulation and greed but super-happy-thoughts so they would not call me into question. The real secret is that “The Secret” and other books like it, are the key to keeping society controlled.

  • ex machina

    The Secret seemed, to me, to be the antithesis of what one needs to do to succeed. I find that very ironic in regards to the cover-up aspect that The Secret tries to emphasize. If I were a part of some secret society of the super rich and powerful that existed on the backs of the many, I would promote a belief system encouraging people not to work hard for achievement, and convince them that my wealth was created not by manipulation and greed but super-happy-thoughts so they would not call me into question. The real secret is that “The Secret” and other books like it, are the key to keeping society controlled.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan

    The “secret” is a farse and so is oprah just look at the video on my blog dmarvin811.blogspot.com. I consider myself to be evangelical fundamentalist with a monotheistic belief system. My comments are deleted though and I am sure this will be also. Wow how one sided.

    For Him,
    Dan

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan

    The “secret” is a farse and so is oprah just look at the video on my blog dmarvin811.blogspot.com. I consider myself to be evangelical fundamentalist with a monotheistic belief system. My comments are deleted though and I am sure this will be also. Wow how one sided.

    For Him,
    Dan

  • EvilPoet

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  • http://none John Nernoff III M.D.

    With regard to the latest fairy tale named “The Secret.”

    “Certum est quia impossible est.” –Tertullian

    Translation: “I believe because it is absurd.”

    Tertullian ( c. 160– c. 240), early Christian theologian; Latin name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus. His writings include Christian apologetics and attacks on pagan idolatry and Gnosticism.

    What else is new in the long and laughable history of credulity in the misnamed species Homo sapiens sapiens?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I can’t believe people are falling for this garbage! This is exactly the same metaphysical bunk that “Word of Faith” preachers are preaching for FREE 24 hours a day on one religious network or another. TBN – the Trinity Broadcasting Network – alone has provided a platform with millions of worldwide viewers for this scam for decades, now.

    You anticipated me, Polly – I have a post on these folks already written and scheduled for later this month. :) As you say, it’s astonishing how similar the evangelical Christian prosperity-gospel movement is to these New Age hucksters.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I can’t believe people are falling for this garbage! This is exactly the same metaphysical bunk that “Word of Faith” preachers are preaching for FREE 24 hours a day on one religious network or another. TBN – the Trinity Broadcasting Network – alone has provided a platform with millions of worldwide viewers for this scam for decades, now.

    You anticipated me, Polly – I have a post on these folks already written and scheduled for later this month. :) As you say, it’s astonishing how similar the evangelical Christian prosperity-gospel movement is to these New Age hucksters.

  • melior

    “Faith isn’t just pretending. It’s pretending really, really hard.”
    -Jesus and Mo

  • melior

    “Faith isn’t just pretending. It’s pretending really, really hard.”
    -Jesus and Mo

  • Kathryn Andersen

    Yep, this sure sounds like “prosperity doctrine” in another package — remember “The Prayer of Jabez” when it was going around? Funny, isn’t it the Bible that says “The love of money is the root of all evil”?

  • Polly

    @Ebon: That should be quite entertaining. It’s pretty easy pickings, there. Volumes could be written about Benny Hinn, alone.

    Re Jabez: SO TRUE. They wrote whole freakin’ BOOKS about that prayer. I could never figure out the moral of that story. I mean, really, this guy’s one mention in the OT is that he asks god for a bunch of stuff and gets it. It’s no more than a couple of verses in a long series of forgettable passages.

    “Oh Lord, give me a Benz, plasma HD TV, and a split-level colonial, Ah-men.”

  • Polly

    @Ebon: That should be quite entertaining. It’s pretty easy pickings, there. Volumes could be written about Benny Hinn, alone.

    Re Jabez: SO TRUE. They wrote whole freakin’ BOOKS about that prayer. I could never figure out the moral of that story. I mean, really, this guy’s one mention in the OT is that he asks god for a bunch of stuff and gets it. It’s no more than a couple of verses in a long series of forgettable passages.

    “Oh Lord, give me a Benz, plasma HD TV, and a split-level colonial, Ah-men.”

  • lpetrich

    Everything the Bible has on Jabez:

    Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

    Interestingly, this is a Hebrew pun that loses quite a lot in the translation: “Jabez” is Hebrew for “sorrow”. Makes you wonder if praying the “Prayer of Jabez” is really such a good idea.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

    Interestingly, this is a Hebrew pun that loses quite a lot in the translation: “Jabez” is Hebrew for “sorrow”. Makes you wonder if praying the “Prayer of Jabez” is really such a good idea.

  • http://infidel753.blogspot.com Infidel753

    Incredible that people can believe such nonsense when it doesn’t even have the weight of tradition and cultural inertia backing it up the way religion does. Truly a case of natural selection in action.

  • James Bradbury

    enlarge my territory!

    So it’s Jabez who’s been sending me all those emails!

  • James Bradbury

    enlarge my territory!

    So it’s Jabez who’s been sending me all those emails!

  • Chris

    Well, well, well, what can one say on all these comments on the secret? There is no such thing as the secret. If one takes a biblical or religious perspective (and these two are totally different: the Pharisees of the Bible were religious and Christ was not) I would say that the secret has been revealed! Christ is the secret: you are Christ and Christ is not man nor women (Christ is you: human). What Ronda Byrne has seen is a glimpse of it and because she believes it, it works! The Bible states: Whatsoever anyone believes, that belief will be realised (it will come into concrete existence as it was already created in the mind). God is in fact all there is; even the so-called adversary (Satan) stands in service of God. Remember King Saul and David -the spear and the harp? Then there is Job, Joseph and Egypt and many more (Moses) and the list goes on and on… An Atheist also knows that God IS, but just do not want to go along the lines af fanatic religion setups.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    The Bible states: Whatsoever anyone believes, that belief will be realised (it will come into concrete existence as it was already created in the mind).

    The Bible says nothing of the sort.

  • Alex Weaver

    In his questionable defense, I believe that Jesus is alleged to have said (though I forget the verse) “if any three of you agree about something on earth, it will be done for you in heaven.” With a sufficiently warped and selective reading of that…

  • Sandy S

    The Secret never says you use only your own power and thoughts. It’s a tool, a way to change your thinking, your expectations, getting out of your habitual negative state of mind. It can be used with your spiritual beliefs and paths, in fact, it won’t work if you don’t. The Universe it is speaking of, is the Mind and Laws of God. Just because someone believes that praying to Jesus is the best thing to do, doesn’t mean they should sit back in their easy chair and wait for Jesus to deliver your goods on the doorstep. You still have to think, feel and do something to get in alignment with receiving your good from Jesus or God when it comes around. Again, The Secret is a spiritual tool you use in conjunction with your devotions and prayers, etc. It is not something you do INSTEAD of all that. Open you mind to different perspectives of the same old stuff.

  • James Bradbury

    The Secret is a spiritual tool you use in conjunction with your devotions and prayers, etc. It is not something you do INSTEAD of all that.

    On a similar theme, I have a recipe for an excellent soup. The secret magical ingredient is a large, clean pebble which you should place in the pot before you start. Then add all the other ingredients as usual…

  • jim

    Some of you guys are ridiculously clueless, it makes me chuckle. However poorly portrayed by the movie, The “Secret” has nothing to do with wishing or hoping; it has all to do with believing in yourself. Its about becoming “Great”, or becoming whatever you dream of. With enough desire and hard work, any thought can be turned to reality. The “law of attraction” is fundamentally true. However, lack of understanding will lead to the incorrect application of any scientific law. The law is nothing of spiritualism; its about arousing the creative powers within the mind. Read of any great achievement in history and you will realize that it was achieved by man of elevated thought. Whether it be induced by drug, religion, or sex is of little consequence. These principles follow a single idea; that being, burning desire must exist. With out, steadfast commitment would cease to exist. Thought vibration creates that desire. That desire is not created by thinking opposites or negatives which in turn realizes the idea; thought must be focused on the object of desire for thought vibration to create that desire.

  • jim

    Some of you guys are ridiculously clueless, it makes me chuckle. However poorly portrayed by the movie, The “Secret” has nothing to do with wishing or hoping; it has all to do with believing in yourself. Its about becoming “Great”, or becoming whatever you dream of. With enough desire and hard work, any thought can be turned to reality. The “law of attraction” is fundamentally true. However, lack of understanding will lead to the incorrect application of any scientific law. The law is nothing of spiritualism; its about arousing the creative powers within the mind. Read of any great achievement in history and you will realize that it was achieved by man of elevated thought. Whether it be induced by drug, religion, or sex is of little consequence. These principles follow a single idea; that being, burning desire must exist. With out, steadfast commitment would cease to exist. Thought vibration creates that desire. That desire is not created by thinking opposites or negatives which in turn realizes the idea; thought must be focused on the object of desire for thought vibration to create that desire.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Some of you guys are ridiculously clueless, it makes me chuckle

    The “law of attraction” is fundamentally true. However, lack of understanding will lead to the incorrect application of any scientific law

    Did you just call the people here clueless followed by claiming the “law of attraction” in the secret is fundamental, scientifical law? If the movie just said “with the proper drive, hard work applied in the correct areas, and determination you’ll be more likely to get what you want”, then sure. But in the movie, they had one man claiming that he used this “law of attaction” to save him a parking spot, and others used it to avoid traffic. So no, I don’t think they were just talking about that.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Some of you guys are ridiculously clueless, it makes me chuckle

    The “law of attraction” is fundamentally true. However, lack of understanding will lead to the incorrect application of any scientific law

    Did you just call the people here clueless followed by claiming the “law of attraction” in the secret is fundamental, scientifical law? If the movie just said “with the proper drive, hard work applied in the correct areas, and determination you’ll be more likely to get what you want”, then sure. But in the movie, they had one man claiming that he used this “law of attaction” to save him a parking spot, and others used it to avoid traffic. So no, I don’t think they were just talking about that.

  • jim

    The movie is inaccurate in its portrayal of what the “secret” actually is. The secret is really no secret at all. However, some of the ideas and metaphors of the Christian faith go hand in hand with methods of concentration and attainment of desire. Praying , visualization, or repetition of any concept or thought will become ingrained in the human mind. Directed thought when thought with emotion evokes intense vibrational energy entering the sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind as an open receptor to all thought explains the reason for unconstrained phobias, compulsiveness, or fear; The subconscious mind does not reason; it acts in accordance with self preservation and accepts conscious reasoning or lack of it, as fact. When functioning properly, It works to help the conscious by any means. At all times will create natural response. In part, the conscious is affected by subconscious thought, being the mind will not accurately view new ideas unless part of the mind is made ready to accept them. However illogical past thought could have been, this contradiction does exist. Although, those statements may seem contradictory, if you don’t see why they aren’t, let me know. Conscious reasoning without emotion lacks the power to effectively change past conscious thought- being current subconscious thought. So basically you wont really change anything until emotion is stirred or desire is created. Well, to cut short, I’m not going to try and explain what would take hundreds of books to thoroughly explain. If you would like knowledge, go to the library. Back to the movie. Forget all of what I was trying to explain; how inept could one be to believe a movie would accurately portray a concept? I watch movies for entertainment.

  • jim

    i was down stairs and just thought, i should be friendlier. there was no need to say inept. i was just playing. discussion should be used to generate ideas and question past beliefs.

  • jim

    i was down stairs and just thought, i should be friendlier. there was no need to say inept. i was just playing. discussion should be used to generate ideas and question past beliefs.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    how inept could one be to believe a movie would accurately portray a concept? I watch movies for entertainment.

    Jim, I’m criticizing The Secret for what it actually says, not for what you assume it meant to say.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    how inept could one be to believe a movie would accurately portray a concept? I watch movies for entertainment.

    Jim, I’m criticizing The Secret for what it actually says, not for what you assume it meant to say.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Jim,

    Directed thought when thought with emotion evokes intense vibrational energy entering the sub-conscious mind.

    Intense vibrational energy in the sub-conscious? Care to elborate on where this energy comes from, and what those intense vibrations do? Has this ever been tested? It all sounds rather vague.

    The sub-conscious mind as an open receptor to all thought explains the reason for unconstrained phobias, compulsiveness, or fear

    Critical periods in brain growth and development combine with reinforcement, genetic, and social factors explain it in clearer terms that allow us to make generalized predictions that do hold up.

    The subconscious mind does not reason; it acts in accordance with self preservation and accepts conscious reasoning or lack of it, as fact

    Nonsense; the mind is always reasoning, conciously or not. It might reason with more variables than you’re aware of on a day to day basis, but it’s a reasoning machine first and foremost. The reason you aren’t aware of all the variables conciously is because a) there are just too many of them to focus on, and b) it’s not economical. The brain could have evolved in a way that would make all these subtle cues absolutely clear to you, but the amount of time and resources it would take to create such a system just wouldn’t pay off in terms of benefits. You don’t need understand why your mind acts the way it does, you just need to understand the general picture. You don’t need to know about the bi-lateral symmetry of a potiental mate, the exact details of how much and how long to invest in them, the likelyhood of other, better possibities, and the rest (there are really too many to list), you just need to feel that you love them. A much more economical system.

    Matter of fact, the sub-conscious is a remarkable reasoning machine. Not flawless, as covered above, but really very good at what it does.

    Of course, if you were to phrase acts in accordance with self-preservation in terms of preservation of it’s genes and those who share it’s genetic material, then yes, it does act towards propagating it’s own genes. Lots more can be said on that.

    I’m pretty certain I understand what you’re trying to explain, but you’re explaining it in entirely vague terms, which in many cases, aren’t correct; vague concepts that might sound good on paper, but have no actual value in our understanding. In short, The law of attraction sounds an awful lot like arm-chair philosophy.

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    “thought vibrations”?

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    “thought vibrations”?

  • jim

    Understand some of ideas get complex. for now I’ll word things as simple as possible. Read any psychology book on cognitive behavior and read any of the standard methods of psychotherapy to understand how the mind works. Read about “quantum mechanics” or “quantum vibration” to understand vibrational energy and the physical aspects of the mind. I’m not going to try and teach you or change your mind on the subject. If you would like to learn, go read about it.

    Self preservation is basic fact for the subconscious mind -the reason for white blood cells, the reason a scraped knee will heal, the reason your heart will beat without thinking, the reason for evolutionary changes, the reason people adopt certain behaviors to avoid mental pain and suffering.

    Your subconscious has no general “will power”. Will power is needed to make a decision. To decide on a decision or make a choice is “reasoning” – meaning to determine an outcome. The conscious mind makes decisions based on information provided by the subconscious and conscious faculties. The result going directly from the conscious to the subconscious. This making a basic premise for future decisions- you wont consciously know the basis added by the subconscious. This is the reason people have preferences… like do you prefer blue or red? You don’t always know exactly why. This is what creates your personality.

  • jim

    Understand some of ideas get complex. for now I’ll word things as simple as possible. Read any psychology book on cognitive behavior and read any of the standard methods of psychotherapy to understand how the mind works. Read about “quantum mechanics” or “quantum vibration” to understand vibrational energy and the physical aspects of the mind. I’m not going to try and teach you or change your mind on the subject. If you would like to learn, go read about it.

    Self preservation is basic fact for the subconscious mind -the reason for white blood cells, the reason a scraped knee will heal, the reason your heart will beat without thinking, the reason for evolutionary changes, the reason people adopt certain behaviors to avoid mental pain and suffering.

    Your subconscious has no general “will power”. Will power is needed to make a decision. To decide on a decision or make a choice is “reasoning” – meaning to determine an outcome. The conscious mind makes decisions based on information provided by the subconscious and conscious faculties. The result going directly from the conscious to the subconscious. This making a basic premise for future decisions- you wont consciously know the basis added by the subconscious. This is the reason people have preferences… like do you prefer blue or red? You don’t always know exactly why. This is what creates your personality.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I can assure you, Jim, that most of us are quite familiar with the basic ideas of quantum mechanics. The idea that it has any important influence on the workings of the mind, on the other hand – especially through “vibrations” – is classic New Age pseudoscience with no demonstrated connection to reality. If you have evidence in support of this proposition, on the other hand, feel free to present it.

  • jim

    Molecular vibration is a basic scientific idea. It has been shown in numerous experiments. It is not questioned. You must not be familiar with infrared spectroscopy.

  • jim

    Molecular vibration is a basic scientific idea. It has been shown in numerous experiments. It is not questioned. You must not be familiar with infrared spectroscopy.

  • jim

    If “being familiar” with quantum mechanics is knowing that it exists, is it sufficient to make conclusions on the topic?

  • jim

    If “being familiar” with quantum mechanics is knowing that it exists, is it sufficient to make conclusions on the topic?

  • jim

    yeah, I’m a loser for posting every 5 minutes. Maybe what confused you about thought vibration is that i didn’t mention the connection with “brain waves”. They are what create brain waves – the origin. But, maybe Electroencephalography might interest you though. Its the neuro-physiologic measurement of electrical activity in the brain which is measured using electrodes on the cerebral cortex. Check it out, its pretty cool.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Jim, you can reiterate basic scientific principles or you can present evidence for the specific view you’re trying to defend. Which are you going to do?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Jim, you can reiterate basic scientific principles or you can present evidence for the specific view you’re trying to defend. Which are you going to do?

  • Mrnaglfar

    Just so we’re clear here, is this the “Law Of Attraction” you’re talking about, and if not, correct it where you feel it’s mistaken please:

    The Law of Attraction is commonly associated with New Thought and New Age theories, beliefs, and practices. It states that people experience physical and mental manifestations that correspond to their predominant thoughts, feelings, words, and actions and that people therefore have direct control over reality and their lives through thought alone. A person’s thoughts (conscious and unconscious), emotions, beliefs and actions are said to attract corresponding positive and negative experiences, or “harmonious vibrations of the law of attraction”.

    This is also found in the article for it in Wikipedia (or as it should be called, The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy)

    Scientists are critical of the lack of falsifiability and testability of the claims. All of the evidence is both anecdotal and, because of the self-selecting nature of positive reports as well as the subjective nature of any results, highly susceptible to misinterpretations like confirmation bias and selection bias.

    The few claims by proponents that seem to reference modern scientific theory remain under question. While brainwaves do have an electrical signal, it is unclear what principles of quantum physics behave the way proponents of the Law of Attraction claim.[1] Opponents claim that the use of the term “Law” and the vague references to quantum physics to bridge any unexplained or seemingly implausible effects are hallmark traits of modern pseudoscience ideas.

    Read any psychology book on cognitive behavior and read any of the standard methods of psychotherapy to understand how the mind works.

    I’m an evolutionary psychologist on top of being a psychology major. I have a pretty good handle on how the mind works. I never heard a single class or book mention thought vibrations. EEGs, yeah, those do monitor brain waves (the electric signals being sent back and forth between nerve cells), but never anything about how those effect the world outside the body.

    I know, I understand it must get complicated to explain, what with the hazy ideas about what it actually is or how it works, but I’m not a child and I would like to understand what you are talking about. You don’t need to write a book, just maybe a 10-step, bullet point of the general process here, or however many more or less you need.

    Self preservation is basic fact for the subconscious mind

    Self-preservation is a misnomer. What the mind is concerned with is spreading it’s genes around, whether that body does it directly, or they get spread through successful parents, siblings, or relatives.
    But the differentiation between subconscious and conscious isn’t clear. Best definition I can think of is that the subconscious is made up of everything you are not currently consciously aware of, in which case I wonder if that divide between conscious and subconscious is actually a divide at all; more likely just an artifical idea created by people. Of course, if the law of attraction works the way it’s claimed to work, you’d think this ever-present wish for self-preservation would pay off a little more in returns from whatever force helps the law of attraction along.

    Before we start discussing conscious or subconscious we need a clear definition to determine if there actually is a difference.

    …This is the reason people have preferences… like do you prefer blue or red? You don’t always know exactly why. This is what creates your personality.

    As for that particular idea, as I mentioned above, we don’t know (or rather remember many times) why we like and dislike certain things because we don’t need too. It would be uneconomical (or at least has been in our evolutionary history) to know why, but enough that we know. For instance, you don’t need to know why you’re scared of dogs, all you need to know is that you’re scared of dogs (from an evolutionary view).

  • Jim

    Dude, I dont think you are capable of understanding. Some of us have failed to reach a higher level of evolution. I’m just playing. Its alright though, just accept your inferiority. Sadly, you failed to perceive our agreement on some topics. Sensibility also finds it necessary to question the credibility of a person who’s credibility is based solely on his own credibility. Thirdly, I often quote movies and fictional books for sources of information regarding science; it makes me smile.

    The simple concepts of auto-suggestion or the “placebo effect” can demonstrate the basic law of attraction. Therapeutic hypnotism can also demonstrate the same concept. Learn about psychoneurosis and its cause for organic dysfunction; thought does affect the body on an organic level.

    What you don’t understand and probably never will is the dividing line between thought and reality; before anything can be done – whether it be as simple as moving a finger, building a house, painting a picture, or becoming successful, the idea of it must exist. Willpower must be exerted to build the external representation of that idea. To simplify, for capable will-power to exist, the mind must have a certain magnitude of desire to manifest the idea into reality. The likeliness of the idea becoming reality is proportional to the “want of desire” and effort required.

    Let me differentiate between want and desire for this instance; want is the the conscious thought of wanting something; desire is wishing, hoping for, or longing for. Or another way of putting it, want is the conscious decision of what you would like at any instance. Desire is the subconscious driving force created by the summation of all conscious decision.

    We cannot want that which we think is impossible but we may desire it.

    We cannot desire that which we do not want.

    If we desire something, we will not always want it.

    If we want something, we will not always desire it.

    As we all know, the subconscious mind holds certain beliefs which have been acquired over time; these beliefs consist of doubt, uncertainty, and limitation. In this aspect, “desire” will not be congruent with “want” and the conscious and subconscious minds do not agree. This negates the possibility of desire.

    Personal beliefs can be changed and desire can be created by altering the subconscious thought pattern. – (2nd paragraph) thorough explanation of ways to alter subconscious thought would be lengthy. However, with subconscious thought becoming congruent with conscious thought, desire can be created and then multiplied. To reiterate from several paragraphs above – desire is the moving force of willpower.

    I understand to some, new ideas are hard to grasp or make little sense.

    Or perhaps the ideas are bullshit and make no sense.

    Or maybe the words arent accurate enough to paint a picture of their true meanings.

  • Jim

    Dude, I dont think you are capable of understanding. Some of us have failed to reach a higher level of evolution. I’m just playing. Its alright though, just accept your inferiority. Sadly, you failed to perceive our agreement on some topics. Sensibility also finds it necessary to question the credibility of a person who’s credibility is based solely on his own credibility. Thirdly, I often quote movies and fictional books for sources of information regarding science; it makes me smile.

    The simple concepts of auto-suggestion or the “placebo effect” can demonstrate the basic law of attraction. Therapeutic hypnotism can also demonstrate the same concept. Learn about psychoneurosis and its cause for organic dysfunction; thought does affect the body on an organic level.

    What you don’t understand and probably never will is the dividing line between thought and reality; before anything can be done – whether it be as simple as moving a finger, building a house, painting a picture, or becoming successful, the idea of it must exist. Willpower must be exerted to build the external representation of that idea. To simplify, for capable will-power to exist, the mind must have a certain magnitude of desire to manifest the idea into reality. The likeliness of the idea becoming reality is proportional to the “want of desire” and effort required.

    Let me differentiate between want and desire for this instance; want is the the conscious thought of wanting something; desire is wishing, hoping for, or longing for. Or another way of putting it, want is the conscious decision of what you would like at any instance. Desire is the subconscious driving force created by the summation of all conscious decision.

    We cannot want that which we think is impossible but we may desire it.

    We cannot desire that which we do not want.

    If we desire something, we will not always want it.

    If we want something, we will not always desire it.

    As we all know, the subconscious mind holds certain beliefs which have been acquired over time; these beliefs consist of doubt, uncertainty, and limitation. In this aspect, “desire” will not be congruent with “want” and the conscious and subconscious minds do not agree. This negates the possibility of desire.

    Personal beliefs can be changed and desire can be created by altering the subconscious thought pattern. – (2nd paragraph) thorough explanation of ways to alter subconscious thought would be lengthy. However, with subconscious thought becoming congruent with conscious thought, desire can be created and then multiplied. To reiterate from several paragraphs above – desire is the moving force of willpower.

    I understand to some, new ideas are hard to grasp or make little sense.

    Or perhaps the ideas are bullshit and make no sense.

    Or maybe the words arent accurate enough to paint a picture of their true meanings.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Jim ,

    Or perhaps the ideas are bullshit and make no sense.

    I think you just hit the nail on the head.

    I didn’t see anything new being raised here, just a few allusions to “it’s too hard to explain and I don’t think you’ll get it anyway; try go looking up a field that makes no mention of the law of attraction”. With sound logic like that I can only assume you either don’t know what it is you’re talking about, the ideas make no sense together, or maybe you have the secret and don’t want to let me in on it because it’s helping you achieve all your dreams!

    If you want to explain the theory I’ll be more than happy to hear what you have to say; I’ve said that before and you have yet to mention anything that even comes close to a tested and proven theory so strong as be to called a law of attraction. Maybe you could even point me towards some well-known successful studies dealing with it that can explain it, since it’s definition seems to elude you.

    Of course, while not entirely periphiral to the matter at hand, people have watched the movie The Secret, or read the book, and have taken it seriously. Says wonders for what people will believe. You say that it doesn’t well represent the law of attraction, so please direct me to where I can find information of the law of attraction, not some other field of science, since you seem unable to provide that information yourself.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Jim ,

    Or perhaps the ideas are bullshit and make no sense.

    I think you just hit the nail on the head.

    I didn’t see anything new being raised here, just a few allusions to “it’s too hard to explain and I don’t think you’ll get it anyway; try go looking up a field that makes no mention of the law of attraction”. With sound logic like that I can only assume you either don’t know what it is you’re talking about, the ideas make no sense together, or maybe you have the secret and don’t want to let me in on it because it’s helping you achieve all your dreams!

    If you want to explain the theory I’ll be more than happy to hear what you have to say; I’ve said that before and you have yet to mention anything that even comes close to a tested and proven theory so strong as be to called a law of attraction. Maybe you could even point me towards some well-known successful studies dealing with it that can explain it, since it’s definition seems to elude you.

    Of course, while not entirely periphiral to the matter at hand, people have watched the movie The Secret, or read the book, and have taken it seriously. Says wonders for what people will believe. You say that it doesn’t well represent the law of attraction, so please direct me to where I can find information of the law of attraction, not some other field of science, since you seem unable to provide that information yourself.

  • Jim

    fellow, I once thought I was blind as well, then I opened my eyes. Maybe you can open yours. Where did you get “it’s too hard to explain and I don’t think you’ll get it anyway; try go looking up a field that makes no mention of the law of attraction”? I did explain the concept and also mentioned your inferiority but I was just playing about your inferiority.

  • Becky

    Sounds like the teachings of Joel Osteen. Greed is the key word here!!!

  • Becky

    Sounds like the teachings of Joel Osteen. Greed is the key word here!!!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Jim, personal attacks are not allowed, and it’s not an excuse to say “I was just playing”. Be civil, or you will not be commenting here any longer.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Jim,

    If could direct me towards, let’s just say a minimal number of 3, known studies about the “law of attraction”, I’d be happy to read them with an open yet critical mind.

    . Where did you get “it’s too hard to explain and I don’t think you’ll get it anyway; try go looking up a field that makes no mention of the law of attraction”?

    What you don’t understand and probably never will is the dividing line between thought and reality

    The simple concepts of auto-suggestion or the “placebo effect” can demonstrate the basic law of attraction

    Learn about psychoneurosis and its cause for organic dysfunction

    But, maybe Electroencephalography might interest you though

    Read any psychology book on cognitive behavior and read any of the standard methods of psychotherapy to understand how the mind works. Read about “quantum mechanics” or “quantum vibration” to understand vibrational energy and the physical aspects of the mind.

    If you would like knowledge, go to the library.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Jim,

    If could direct me towards, let’s just say a minimal number of 3, known studies about the “law of attraction”, I’d be happy to read them with an open yet critical mind.

    . Where did you get “it’s too hard to explain and I don’t think you’ll get it anyway; try go looking up a field that makes no mention of the law of attraction”?

    What you don’t understand and probably never will is the dividing line between thought and reality

    The simple concepts of auto-suggestion or the “placebo effect” can demonstrate the basic law of attraction

    Learn about psychoneurosis and its cause for organic dysfunction

    But, maybe Electroencephalography might interest you though

    Read any psychology book on cognitive behavior and read any of the standard methods of psychotherapy to understand how the mind works. Read about “quantum mechanics” or “quantum vibration” to understand vibrational energy and the physical aspects of the mind.

    If you would like knowledge, go to the library.

  • Jim

    Oh, silly me …. you weren’t quoting anybody. I made no reference of the topic being too hard to explain. The explanation is not the problem; Lack of understanding it is. Just as some minds cannot grasp the simple idea of algebra or rearranging variables to solve an equation. Proving or explaining simple mathematical concepts to a student lacking the fundamental knowledge of numbers is useless. Would the lack of fundamental knowledge of a student discredit mathematics? Would the lack of understanding also discredit the explanations of the teacher?

    Does Algebra depend on the existence of numbers or do numbers depend on the existence of a proven equation? My point is – a theory about the existence of numbers would not need make mention of an equation to prove the equation exists. That is not its purpose. However knowledge of numbers is essential in the proof of the equation.

    For my suggested readings – it doesn’t matter where you read or find the information on them. Find scientific journals or articles from respected people within their discipline.

    Also, I enjoy entertaining your lines…..”direct me towards, let’s just say a minimal number of 3, known studies about the “law of attraction”, I’d be happy to read them with an open yet critical mind.” – Its unbearable to contain my laughter. We are talking about a “SECRET” law my friend :-)

    I don’t why i keep coming back to write on this message board. Its almost addicting. Or intoxicating?

  • Jim

    Oh, silly me …. you weren’t quoting anybody. I made no reference of the topic being too hard to explain. The explanation is not the problem; Lack of understanding it is. Just as some minds cannot grasp the simple idea of algebra or rearranging variables to solve an equation. Proving or explaining simple mathematical concepts to a student lacking the fundamental knowledge of numbers is useless. Would the lack of fundamental knowledge of a student discredit mathematics? Would the lack of understanding also discredit the explanations of the teacher?

    Does Algebra depend on the existence of numbers or do numbers depend on the existence of a proven equation? My point is – a theory about the existence of numbers would not need make mention of an equation to prove the equation exists. That is not its purpose. However knowledge of numbers is essential in the proof of the equation.

    For my suggested readings – it doesn’t matter where you read or find the information on them. Find scientific journals or articles from respected people within their discipline.

    Also, I enjoy entertaining your lines…..”direct me towards, let’s just say a minimal number of 3, known studies about the “law of attraction”, I’d be happy to read them with an open yet critical mind.” – Its unbearable to contain my laughter. We are talking about a “SECRET” law my friend :-)

    I don’t why i keep coming back to write on this message board. Its almost addicting. Or intoxicating?

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    We are talking about a “SECRET” law my friend :-)

    And yet, based on reactions I’ve seen on various blogs articles or reviews about this movie, everyone and their dog seems to know it (or so they claim)… Odd that if this is the case, there are no studies you could point out…

    Or were those “not really” quotes around the word “SECRET” and you were just making a funny? (In which case, I would like to see some studies as well.)

    Some times it’s hard to tell…

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    We are talking about a “SECRET” law my friend :-)

    And yet, based on reactions I’ve seen on various blogs articles or reviews about this movie, everyone and their dog seems to know it (or so they claim)… Odd that if this is the case, there are no studies you could point out…

    Or were those “not really” quotes around the word “SECRET” and you were just making a funny? (In which case, I would like to see some studies as well.)

    Some times it’s hard to tell…

  • http://www.TheSecretsTheSecretKeptSecret.com Michael “The Secret” Keeper

    Jim,

    “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Even if you get one of them to budge, you’ll have a hernia to nurse. You’re wasting your time here –curb your addiction. This group would believe that apples fall UP if Newton hadn’t PROVED differently. Science is their God.

    And what machine is it that you hook yourself up to PROVE you love your child?

    Like trying to teach a troglodyte dinner manners.

    Run away, Jimbo, run away……..

  • Alex Weaver

    And what machine is it that you hook yourself up to PROVE you love your child?

    If believers would agree that god, like love, is only in the minds of those experiencing it…

  • Alex Weaver

    And what machine is it that you hook yourself up to PROVE you love your child?

    If believers would agree that god, like love, is only in the minds of those experiencing it…

  • Mrnaglfar

    Michael,

    Science isn’t my god – it’s a useful tool that can help figure out fact from fantasy. I’m not opposed to the idea of the secret, whatever it seems to be since jim, and presumably you, don’t agree with what the movie says. But if you want it to hold up as a fact or law, it needs to be falsifiable, make predictions, and have evidence to support it.

    Likewise, I wouldn’t believe apples fall up when they very clearly fall down. That’s believing contrary to the observable evidence. Newton’s theory of gravity just explains it the best of all the competitors. Not only that, but it can make predictions about how fast an object will fall, and how matter of different masses will attract one another. It can be tested and varified, and has.

    So instead of me explaining why I don’t believe in the secret, let’s try a little experiment; some of that nasty science, if you will.

    What experiment do you suppose you would set up to test the secret? What methods would you use? What evidence would you look for to prove it right or wrong? I’m not asking this rhetorically; I’d really like to see your answer for it.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Michael,

    Science isn’t my god – it’s a useful tool that can help figure out fact from fantasy. I’m not opposed to the idea of the secret, whatever it seems to be since jim, and presumably you, don’t agree with what the movie says. But if you want it to hold up as a fact or law, it needs to be falsifiable, make predictions, and have evidence to support it.

    Likewise, I wouldn’t believe apples fall up when they very clearly fall down. That’s believing contrary to the observable evidence. Newton’s theory of gravity just explains it the best of all the competitors. Not only that, but it can make predictions about how fast an object will fall, and how matter of different masses will attract one another. It can be tested and varified, and has.

    So instead of me explaining why I don’t believe in the secret, let’s try a little experiment; some of that nasty science, if you will.

    What experiment do you suppose you would set up to test the secret? What methods would you use? What evidence would you look for to prove it right or wrong? I’m not asking this rhetorically; I’d really like to see your answer for it.

  • Azazel The Goat

    Dan,

    You appear to be very motivated in your efforts to clutch to your beliefs, though these are the only fruits you shall reap from your arguements. It is impossible for you to convince anyone else of their truth if your only arguement is, in essence, “I’m right and if you don’t agree with me you just can’t understand”. I assume that you have never been introduced to the idea of categorical logic, as your quips are rife with fallacy. For example, in your attempt to eschew the nature of want and desire, you made this statement:

    We cannot want that which we think is impossible but we may desire it.

    We cannot desire that which we do not want.

    If we desire something, we will not always want it.

    If we want something, we will not always desire it.

    It’s been a while since I took logic in college, but what you have presented here boils down to this:

    1. If A is less than thought (i.e. you think it can’t be done) then A is false.

    2. If A is false then B (i.e. you can desire something you can’t want)

    3. If A is false then B is false (i.e. you can’t desire something you can’t want)

    4. B is true if A is false (i.e. you can desire something you don’t want)

    5. If A is true B can be false (i.e. you can want something without desiring it)

    Using that arguement as an example, especially in the incongruencies between suppositions 2 through 4, you can see how your logic is at best ineffectual and at worst just totally fallacious. I don’t mean to be offensive, but it seems to me that you’re not thinking this through very clearly, and thus your effort to vindicate your chosen beliefs no matter how vague and nebulous they already are is null.

    As an alternative, you might try presenting a well structured and logically sound arguement with supporting evidence. Then perhaps such “inferior minds” as those who offer you dissent might be quieted.

  • Azazel The Goat

    Sorry, Jim
    I substituted another common three letter name, Dan, for yours in my last post. Proof of the fallibility of the human mind.

  • Jim

    Dear Goat friend, Its alright. You could not differentiate between want and desire – or how they were defined. And last time I took a shit, “cant want” and “don’t want” were not the same; If you’d like to attempt to critique, be thorough in your understanding of the language used.

    Secondly, I do not care for you enough to convince you. Will you understand human emotion and you will realize; Logic will not persuade belief.

  • Friday

    Who the hell is this Jim dingbat? If he doesnt care enough to convince anyone – he is just a troll here to stir things up.

  • Jim

    Troll – A supernatural creature of Scandinavian folklore, variously portrayed as a friendly or mischievous dwarf or as a giant, that lives in caves, in the hills, or under bridges. – from answers.com,

    Thats kind of cute.

    Friday, I would like you to feel good about yourself. I made the assumption that we all had priori knowledge in the methods of persuasion. I did not realize that you did not. Maybe to help, I can include you in on what is meant by “I do not care for you enough to convince you. Will you understand human emotion and you will realize; Logic will not persuade belief”.

    First, In being persuaded of any new belief or one that is opposite to your own, the inclination to become defensive is likely; you will desire to reject any idea presented if it spares or protects your current belief – You have a very fragile ego, and in preservation of that precious ego, would not mind rationalizing current beliefs with irrational or falsified logic.

    I have not made it easy for you to accept my ideas because of this. Ive been writing as if you are inferior to my mind and lack general understanding. Again, I am not trying to convince you; I am attempting to win a debate while escalating intelligent opposition.

    In posting and discussing with intelligent people, I am attempting to solidify, understand, and correct fallacies within my own logic.

  • lpetrich

    Friday is charging that Jim is doing online trolling, that is, flamebaiting.

  • Nicky

    Interestingly enough, you cannot understand or accept the Secret unless you’re ready to.

    So, those of us who are doubtful and/or downright mocking of this illogical Secret are just people who are not ‘ready’, and thus we can’t understand. But one day we will be ready and in that day we’ll bask in the glorious gifts the Secret bestows upon believers. One day we will all be ready and we will all understand.

    It’s complete bullshit, of course, but I had to sit through two hours of friends gabbing on about this, and these were the things they told me.

    Either way, great article and fun comment thread.

  • Friday

    Yeah, I get the sense that people who fall for the ‘Secret’ were once really mousy types – who paid their cash and learned to open themselves up to their ‘inner troll’.

  • Jim

    I get the sense that those who fall for the law of gravity are the darn trolls that fall from trees.

  • Friday

    As opposed to…oh lets say YOU – who can doubtless go against the law of gravity if you really, REALLY felt like it.

  • Friday

    Also, my apologies in advance if I am crossing the line between witty riposte and outright invective. I am somewhat new to the blogging experience and I would look to more experienced writers for guidance in this regard.

  • Jim

    nope, just another misguided attempt at understanding a fundamental law; natural laws will not be broken.

  • Friday

    Natural laws will not be broken eh? Does this include the laws governing the behaviour of cancer cells?

    Furthermore, am I misguided? If you knew anything about the actual forces of the universe (as opposed to the made up ones like this ‘Law of Attraction’) you would know my statement is in fact correct.

    You win against the Law of Gravity every day you get out of bed.

  • Jim

    “Furthermore, am I misguided? If you knew anything about the actual forces of the universe (as opposed to the made up ones like this ‘Law of Attraction’) you would know my statement is in fact correct.”-Friday

    haha (that is my online chuckle), you are crazy dude. Which laws are you speaking of regarding cancer cells? I am not familiar with cancer laws. Explain them if you’d like. Indeed though, cells must also act according to scientific principles.

    Your logic is skewed in attempting to win an argument created within your own mind; All behavior within the world acts in accordance to natural laws. By getting out of bed, You are not breaking the law of gravity; You are exerting a force against the force of gravity. The law does not cease to exist, the law operates accordingly. However, If you could not rise up while exerting a greater force, the law would cease to exist.

    I dunno, sometimes when I wake in the morning, it feels I’m breaking the law of gravity. Then I realize, it’s just cause I keep hitting the snooze button.


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