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You’ve seen the commercials for The Secret movie. It is polished to a Da Vinci Code paranoid sheen positing that there’s a big secret suppressed throughout history that the smart and powerful have used to get ahead and you are ignorant of this secret that has helped everybody but you and you are doomed to be broke and miserable unless you plunk down your dollars to view the movie.
I was a bit disappointed.
Nothing gets me more juiced than a good conspiracy theory: JFK, Roswell… I like my secret societies bathed in madness and anarchy. I was hoping for some blend of Masonics and aliens and the Cigarette-Smoking Man and somehow the homosexual agenda (it’s always the gays or the Jews these days isn’t it?) fit in a nice tight Pandora’s box gift-wrapped in angst and sealed with a poisoned kiss.
I was disappointed.
There were no Nazis. What’s a conspiracy theory without a well-placed connection to fascism? The Secret is slick. It is slick like that annoying What the Bleep movie that supposedly had real scientists debating quantum theory (Dr. Emoto – you think that is for real?) and spirituality being the same thing until the end when you realize JZ Knight is from that Ramtha cult and you think to yourself – whatever happened to SETH and all those crazies (I’m allowed to rip on them, my dad and I got up the morning of the Harmonic Convergence to watch the sun rise – few suspect my hippy past!).
The Secret comes to us via some commercial producers and you can tell – the rhythms of the piece are quiet amazing. The editing, the pacing, the punctuality and dynamics of the movie are stunning. If I ever do any kind of product like this, I want this kind of production value. The video delivery is equally stunning. Usually the videos you see being distributed for pay these days are a bit more – ahem – naughty than The Secret but whoever did the video distribution for this movie did a great job. It is literally watching movie quality work – in complete mastered stereo right on your desktop. VERY impressive. Very vivid video (wink).
The Secret is the law of abundance. Or the priniples of attraction or whatever we’re calling it this week. The old adage of “Think of stuff – get stuff.” Rapid-fire testimonials from our cadre of experts include things like a gay man attracting abuse by homophobes and a guy who suddenly gets checks for money in the mail (with absolutely no context to how this happened). I don’t deny the amazing power of the human body and the human mind and the human spirit/soul/whatevah. I find the whole movie a bit unnerving.
I think what irks me is all ‘the trappings’ put around this abundance stuff – the idea that meditating on the results you want focuses your attention on achieving results and forwarding action and momentum – none of this is new or secret or strange. But it is wrapped around this core of ‘THINK THIS – GET STUFF’. I almost feel like the suffix should be ‘and then you work your ass off.’ That always gets left out of the picture – yes you do work you love – you attract the things you need and then… You Work Your Ass Off. And yeah the narcissism seems to infect the whole topic – and materialism – all of these wealth and millionaire books and programs…
Self-help falls into the trap of challenging you to improve yourself first and then falls short of asking you to go improve the community/world around you. Become the change you want to see in the world – but you don’t stop with yourself. It is like those prayer without good deeds or worrying without action. There’s a little smart-assed comment about how people holding anti-war demonstrations are in effect, attracting war. Then why do we call them peace protests?
Plus I think people that become enchanted with this thinking get deluded about their reality being just a collection of perceptions and that the social/economic/political context around them isn’t an entire dynamic operating in this world of ‘wealth’ and ‘attraction.’ Sometimes I think these frameworks are what we cling to in the face that random shit happens in the world and there’s little explanation or cause or it – usually we are told we have to ‘have faith’. I know that the EST/Landmark folks will just tell me that this is my Racket and I’m simply not evolved enough but screw it.
Summation: Clever re-marketing of Nothing New wrapped in a chocolatey-warm fuzzy shell.