“ Author: Rhonda Byrne / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 04 December 2006 / Genre: Mind, Body, Spirit / Subcategory: Thought & Practice / Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd / Title: The Secret / ISBN 13: 9781847370297 / ISBN 10: 1847370297 „
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I was given this book as a gift recently, by someone very thoughtful who felt it would help my suffering with a chronic illness. The gesture was gratefully appreciated and treasured, the sentiment however is really very offensive.
A hardback copy of this book can be purchased for £8.99 from Amazon but it is widely available, along with a DVD of the same theme.
The book itself is beautiful. Tea brown in colour with faded ink scrawlings across the front cover and throughout the 200 odd pages give it an old fashioned parchment appearance. On the front there's an imprinted mock red wax seal which you can actually feel if you run your finger across it - all very pretty and mysterious. Here is where mystery ends and mockery begins.
We are told that this is a highly coveted secret, centuries old and known by some of the most respected people of our time and beyond. The author name drops such timeless 'celebrities' as Beethoven, Sir Isaac Newton, Pythagoras, Sir Francis Bacon and many more. I couldn't possibly vouch for whether all these great men did indeed know 'The Secret' due to my not being on speaking terms with them, apparently unlike the author. There are no mention of any great famous women utilising the Secret, make of that what you will.
The author herself, Rhonda Byrne tells us that her daughter introduced her to a book containing the Secret some years prior, when she was suffering from close personal trauma. This lead to her discovering all about the Secret, tracing it back through the years and bringing it to a wider audience.
The contents of the book are as follows:
The Secret Revealed
The Secret Made Simple
How to Use The Secret
The Secret to Money
The Secret to Relationships
The Secret to Health
The Secret to the World
The Secret to You
The Secret to Life
Sounds intriguing doesn't it? Ms Byrne seems to be promising that simply by reading this, every problem in your life will be fixed. Remember the old proverb your mum used to tell you? If something sounds too good to be true...?
I'm already sick of typing 'The Secret' and I haven't even revealed to you what this shocking cure-all is yet. So lets skip past the foreword and acknowledgements and head to straight to 'The Secret Revealed', shall we?
Allow me to save you £8.99 and unveil to you this most guarded of secrets: Wish for something and you shall receive it. Yes, good people of Dooyoo, it's really that simple. Now as an experiment I've been screwing up my eyes and wishing hard for 20,000 Dooyoomiles... They have yet to materialise, so I feel I can conclude this theory a dud ;)
Apparently it's based on the law of attraction - when you fixate on worries, such as 'I don't want to catch the flu' or 'I don't want to lose my job', 'I'm worried about getting into debt' etc, the universe can't differentiate between what you do and do want, it simply hears 'flu' and 'job' and grants them to you. Because that's just how the universe works, you see. In order to become a millionaire, you must picture it strongly in your mind, you're already a millionaire, how do you feel? Putting yourself on the same frequency as your wealth will grant you it. Ms Byrne compares this law of attraction to the law of gravity, I can already smell pseudo-science, and if you listen closely, you'll just about make out the sound of Sir Isaac Newton spinning in his grave, wishing he'd never used that damned Secret.
At this stage, I feel I need to point something out, but I'm sure you're already thinking it too. Disease, natural disasters, crime... These are all caused by fixating on them and being on the same 'frequency', are they? There's a term for this my friends, and it's called victim blaming. A woman is the victim of assault, she was obviously dwelling on being assaulted and gifted this by the universe. That must be her fault then. I suffer a disabling neurological disease from childhood, simply picturing myself without it will cure me? Well somebody call Cancer Research, because they're wasting millions of pounds funding research when Cancer patients could just be imagining themselves free of Cancer.
I may be taking this all too personally, having been gifted this book with the strong implication that it'll cure me of an all too physical disease. However, I do find this type of cult-ish bile absolutely terrifying. Surely this encourages people to sit back and not take responsibility for their own actions and lives? Unless you, by some fluke win the lottery, or your wealthy Great Aunt Ethel takes her place on the Big Cloud in the Sky, you are not going to have a million pounds drop randomly into your lap (sorry!). If you are in debt, imagining you aren't is going to fix it. Debt isn't caused by worrying about debt, it's caused by spending money. It's dangerous and irresponsible to tell people that some distant law of attraction is going to be responsible for giving and taking away everything in their lives and they should just sit back and let it. All this is encourages is apathy, as a quote from the next chapter, 'How to Use the Secret' shows:
'How it will happen, how the Universe will bring it to you, is not your concern or your job. Allow the Universe to do it for you.'So it's not my job to decide how to live my life then? No thanks. Apparently by doubting you will receive what you wished for, you are giving off a frequency that shows a lack of faith and you will not receive.
In this chapter we are taught the in-depth process of ordering. Yes, ordering! It's likened to ordering from a catalogue. Well knock me down with a feather! I didn't realise life was one big Argos, now I just feel stupid...
In brief, the process of ordering is thus:
First of all you write a list of things you desire. You need only ask for each thing once, apparently the Universe has a good memory.
Next you must believe that you will receive. If you wish for a holiday, you must not then actually book one, this is sending a mixed frequency out - you must simply go along, assuming you are indeed going on holiday. Well, what are you waiting for, shouldn't you be packing your bikini?
The next stage is the one that tickles me most. Now you must tell yourself you have received what you asked for. You must absolutely believe that you have been given that new car/money/pony/impossibly busty supermodel in order to then take delivery of it. Here's where the pseudo magic really lies. It feels almost like a placebo on mass effect - you take medicine which you believe will make you feel better, so you do. I don't understand quite how you'll actually get your million pounds, but maybe you'll be living with your head so deeply shoved in the sand that you believe you are Richard Branson, all the while racking up endless amounts of debt to feed the lifestyle you don't actually possess in reality. Nice and responsible, then! There are plenty of unscrupulous money-making 'cures' out there for diseases (believe me, I've been the victim of enough relatives posting me paper-clippings advertising them...) whereby you will yourself to believe you are well, and suddenly you are. This will cure you from anything from Cancer to a warty toe. If you have a physical illness this won't cure you, and neither will The Secret.
The next chapters discuss money, relationships and health and the best ways to receive them. The health section starts with 'our body is really the product of our thoughts'. No, it isn't. I'll save you the rest of the pseudo-science, because the rest of it carries on in this vein. Anyone with a vague grasp of science and reality will not be able to stand more than a few pages of this drivel without self combusting with rage, or just flinging the book angrily down, just missing your slightly perturbed cat.
So in summary, the book tells you everything bad in your life is your fault and anything good has been gifted to you as a result of you ordering it. This pretty much means you have achieved nothing positive in your life by yourself, then. The rest of the pages are just padded with made up science, poor grammar and reinforcing the idea of placing orders to the Universe like it's one big Chinese Takeaway. Intolerable nonsense, please don't waste your money.
I love this book and recommend it to anyone that will listen. It is positive thinking, common sense and probably what you know already, therefore hardly a secret! However, I feel that, sometimes when you see things in black and white and in someone else's words, it can be more effective.
The way it is written is quite simplistic and at times cheesy, but for myself it was quite effective. It explains how to get what you want through positive thinking and breaks this down in terms of money, relationships and health. It uses quotes from some well known successful people and a couple of biblical quotes too.
This book was recommended to me by a couple of friends because I was complaining about my previous relationships and was very down about it. I had explained that I always get what I want in terms of my career and material things, however when it comes to relationships I always fail. I wondered why I could not get what I wanted out of a relationship.
After reading the book I understood what it was that I did to have a good career and how I was not applying this to my relationships. I understood that I needed to recognise that I deserved better and would receive better. I began to focus on a couple of things that I wanted in the immediate future by writing them down. After five months of finishing the book I met my husband and we were engaged not long after. After he asked me to marry him, I referred back to my "want list". Under "find my husband" I found a list of all the things I love about him. He even ticked the box for good looking!
I know you probably think it sounds dumb to say this book changed my life and I would agree, however this book made me open my eyes to the way I was thinking and to the law of attraction. I definately believe that you attract certain things into your life, bad and good. I have read this book 4 times as after reading it, my mood is always lifted.
This is a book in to my own opinion is a book that certainly lifts you and changes your mood and your way off thinking. It is based on the law of attraction. Which is whatever you think about you attract it. You give off a frequency by your though and it is recieved back to you. It is like a radio station or a television you tune into a frequency it sends a signal (i.e in this this case our brain is the transimitter giving off thought signal) the signal then is reflected back to the first point of call tv radio which gives you the picture or station (in our case our thoughts we give out we recieve back in our life). It is based on physics acording to this book and certain legends have used an known the secret for example is albert einstein.
So basically if you are thinking about debt and trying to solve it you are attracting more debt. You can change all this by shifting you though to something that makes you happy think of abundance. If you think and feel that you have what you want you will get it. One of the philosphers states in the book if you think and feel what you want you will hold it in your hand.
It is all about thought for example if you get up out off bed and hurt your toe on the edge of the bed you say or think this is going to be one of those days and what happens those thoughts attract to one of those days.
The book to me is intresting I have been putting the book to the test you have to believe it I have seen a few changes in my life and I am not one for beleiving very easily. Since I have read the book I have been more positive and happy I am still trying to use it best to my ability it will certainly pick you up if you give it a read. It is great reading the book as it makes you realise what life is actually about time and grattitude and not the silly things we all do. Give it a read hard one to review but if you need more info check out the website just type in The secret to google it is the first one pops up. Check it out
I'd first heard of The Secret a few years ago when I was given the book as a present. The Secret is about living the life that you what and achieving your dreams by positive thinking.
The Secret looks at different aspects such as - health, relationships, money, life and the world. Some parts of the love and health chapters are unrealistic. I disagree that you do not have to work hard in life for money (unless you're a lottery winner or ahem a 'celebrity'). Also not everybody can eat what they want and not gain any weight. I take these views with a pinch of salt. I would say that The Secret is a basis of how to think more positively about life. There are also insights from contributors in the book who include teachers, business people and doctors.
I guess that really the thoughts that you have are a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you have a positive outlook on life, then you will find it easier to turn a negative to a positive. If you have more negative thoughts then you ignore or miss out on the more positive aspects.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS AND OTHERS FAIL?
I would say that to achieve what you want in life you have to be extremely focused and try to overcome all the obstacles and setbacks that life throws at you. To me the most important things in life are health, happiness and love.
The Secret is not such a secret and nothing new in my opinion. There is no revelation really. I am happy with the book though as if I start to have negative thoughts, then I can pick up this book to read. The Secret is just a constant reminder to be more positive, even when it feels like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. There is always somebody else who is worse off, and I found that when I kept repeating it to myself I had a more positive outlook, regardless of the many obstacles that I have faced in life.
The Secret is not for everybody. There is a lot of sceptisim, as there is about anything psychological. I won't say that you have to rush out and by The Secret. I find it useful. You could just as easily take pen to paper and write a list if what you want to achieve, and set yourself goals and targets of when you want to achieve them by. If you're feeling low you could write down a list of strengths that you have or get your friends or family to write them down for you.
The Secret is over 200 pages long and is available on Amazon for £6.48 in hardback.
I would say that The Secret is a good basis of changing your thought of mind, as long as you remain realistic about how you can make improvements in your life. I haven't read this book everyday, but I'm going to try and read it more often and see if it helps.
As well as The Secret, there is The Secret Daily Teachings, which is a flip up style book. Each page is for everyday of the year and includes different quotes and insights to be read each day. My mum's been reading it to try and think more positively (which is unlike her), when she went to work that day her colleagues noticed straight away and felt more comfortable around her and a lot happier in her company. My mum found it difficult to keep up the first time, and started to look at the book continuously. I'm going to have to buy her her own copy at this rate!
There is also The Power which follows on from The Secret (without the insights of the contributors from The Secret).
Some people make think that it is a totally waste of money, but I'm going to give it a try watch this space.
This book has been getting a lot of bad press recently, with people claiming that its a waste of money, a scam, lies etc etc. Anyway i heard it was a celebrity favourite with the likes of Paris Hilton and Lauren Conrad reading it, and jumping on the bandwagon i decided to give it a go.
The first chapter drags on a bit without actually telling you what the Secret is, just lots of quotes from the author, some life coaches and people like that on how it will change your life.
It turns out that the Secret is positive thinking, shocking i know, i was expecting something better than that to. But reading further, the book goes on to say that people like Albert Einstien, Beathoven etc were all aware of this secret but didnt want to share it and that is why they became so much more successful that other people. That why its called the Secret, because a select few people kept it to themselves over centuries.
Now i know your probably thinking its total garbage now youve heard it but its really a very good read! It offers a lot of advice on how to stay positive through the bad times, how to imagine that you already have what ever it is that you want ( an important part of the Secret) and how to be happy for what you already do have in life.
Since reading it, it has definately opened my eyes and iv had more than a few good things happen to me, which has furthermore convinced me that having a positive perspective can only be a good thing.
Even if your still a bit unsure i would give it a go, whats the worst that could happen, as it sells for only about £10 -£15 and you might be surprised!
Rhonda Byrne in her book is telling us; 'your thoughts cause your feelings' and you attracted everything that happen to you. The secret to get what you want is " the law of attraction ".
Is 'the law of attraction' really working?
In my opinion everything that's in this book is nothing but true.
You can get what you want when you are positive. You're willing to work, to do something. If you belive that you can do something you're happier. And finally if you're happy you have a lot of energy.
You can't become a millionaire if you don't work or neither if you don't buy a lottery ticket.
If you're negative you don't belive that you can change your life. You lie on your bad in a dark room and do nothing. Will you become a millionaire?
I'm living example that it really works.
After reading I started to think "I can do this! I can get what I want" This book motivated me. I stopped thinking about things that makes me upset.
One year ago, saying goodbye to someone I said 'See you next year in London'. At that time was no chance that I move to UK but it was my dream since I was a child. Now I'm sitting in my London flat writting this review.
OK I know, The Secret isn't a magic book. Everything that is written in this book was known long time ago - positive thinking always helped to solve problems.
Yes, I think this book is worth reading. It motivates and lift people spirits.
The Secret is all about what they call "the law of attraction". Your thoughts reflect your surroundings. So for example if you only think of a negative outcome negative things will happen. On the other hand if you think positively good things will happen. There are a lot of quack books available to read full of psycho babble on "positive thinking" so it would be easy to assume that "The Secret" is another quack book. However the secret is slightly different. It doesn't tell you to just "be positive" but also to imagine the outcome you desire. You have to use a lot of imagination. You see apparently everyone in this universe is interconnected so your thought directly influence your surroundings. Having tested out the theories in the book it seems to work. Some strange things have happened which I can only put down to this book.
If you're looking for some direction I highly recommend The Secret. Your mental state of mind is an extremely important one. Whether you believe it works or not I recommend giving it a try. The only drawback is it does take a lot of concentration. For those with busy lives with plenty of things or their minds following The Secret could be difficult. If you do follow the book, it would be better to keep it to yourself since many people will consider it "quack".
I was passed a copy of this book by my mother recently. My mother is usually a very sceptical person and would not normally be seen dead reading a book like this, assuming it to be another one of those 'long winded' self-help books.
However, my mother had been staying with a male friend who had inspired her to read it and take the book's message seriously. Let me explain. This friend has been an actor and producer for 30 years. Unfortunately, last year he was accused by another playwright of plagiarising some work. The case went to court and my mother's friend was found not guilty. However, he had to pay £37,000 in legal fees. Work had dried up, he was bankrupt and was living in a small flat.
He then bought the book 'The Secret' and adopted the message and the principles of the book. One year later, this man is now living in an 8 bedroomed appartment, has £50,000 profit in his account, and was unexpectedly offered the directors job against all odds for a top London theatre production. He has also had a full year of work - which as an actor has never happened in 30 years.
All of this could of course be coincidence, but this man is absolutely convinced that his fortunes and life improved considerably since wholeheartedly adopting the principles and beliefs in the book. My mother said that when she was there her friend was opening his mail, and two letters contained royalty cheques for large sums of money, whilst the others were more offers of work. He fully recommended this book to my mother, who then passed it to me.
***What is the book about?***
The book is about 'a secret,' which will supposedly change your life for the better and help you to 'know how you can have, be, or do anything you want.'
The author Rhonda Byrne uses her own life experience to demonstrate how she pulled her self out of turmoil and despair to one of positivity and fortune. This all came about after her daughter passed her a hundred year old book which referred to this 'secret,' which in turn inspired Rhonda to trace this back through history, including the links with famous scholars, scientists and philosophers. Rhonda then used the principles of the secret to produce a film about it, despite having no idea how to fund or go about this. Rhonda claims that she had utter faith that this would happen due to knowing the secret and so it did. Rhonda claims that since the film and book was produced, people wrote to her to confirm that applying the secret had worked for them, produced miracles and changed some people's lives for the better.
***So what is this secret?***
The secret outlined in this book is very simple.
It is the 'law of attraction' and positive thought.
The book works on the principle that everything that you are experiencing in your life is attracted by you. In other words, whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you. The book suggests that thoughts and images in your mind can become concrete and transfer into a reality.
'Every thought of yours is a real thing - a force' - Prentice Mulford (1834-1891)
Rhonda claims that in researching 'the secret', she has found that famous poets, musicians, artists and scientists have used the secret and in some way referred to this in their works. For instance, Shakespeare, Browning, Leonardo da Vinci, Pythagoras and Sir Issac Newton. Rhonda also claims that evidence of it can be found within all of the major religions.
Rhonda claims that we are responsible for the law of attraction , that we call it into action, and that we are responsible for this via our thoughts and feelings. She likens it to a magnet, whereby you attract what you think.
'Most people are thinking about what they don't want, and they are wondering why this shows up again and again.'
This is not always easy to get your head around. Rhonda gives a number of examples:
Your thought: 'I don't want a bad haircut'
Message you send out: 'I want a bad haircut.'
Your thought: 'I can't handle all this work'
Message you send out: 'I want more work than I can handle'
Much of the book dedicates itself to talking about what the secret is about, whilst the rest focuses on how a person can change their though process and bring about the changes in their life as a result.
This is not as simple as it sounds. It's all very well thinking positive thoughts for a short time, but to attract what you actually want, Rhonda states that a person needs to be specific about what it is, have complete faith it will happen, and believe they already have it. Any doubt at all will hinder the process.
The book recommends a number of tips and tools throught - such as making lists of what you want, providing gratitude daily for what you have, and visualising change.
The book is an inspiring read and is thought provoking.
It certainly can't hurt to train yourself to think more positively about life - we have all heard stories about people who have improved their health and achieved more in life by being positive and believing only the best can happen.
This book takes that concept one step further by implying that you can actually manipulate the world around you and turn thoughts into actions and 'things.'
I have heard personally from people who have used this book to improve things in their own lives and believe that it works for them.
This book will probably draw people into two seperate camps - the 'believers' and the 'non-believers.'
* The book is written in a simple manner and is easy to understand. It's not all that long and you could get through it in a few hours. However, it can be repetative in stages, often repeating the same message over and over again. However, I believe that this is done to reinforce the message to the reader which, if you are going to take it seriously, is probably necessary. This is because putting the law of attraction into practice and changing your thought process, is not as easy as it sounds. Many of us are very negative and don't even realise it. The book is aiming to give you the tools to 'retrain' your thoughts and resulting feelings. No easy feat.
*There is little factual evidence to back up Rhonda's claims. To me, it seemed as though Rhonda quoted a great deal of famous names as adopting the principles of the law of attraction. However, we are rarely informed about the evidence behind this and at times it feels like she is expecting the reader just to believe what she is saying. In essence - why should we? Where is the evidence? The book also has an absence of detailed case studies, which possibly could have inspired the reader more. However, I am aware that there is a website on the Secret, where people have posted their stories about how the law of attraction has worked for them.
* There are some statements in the book, that without evidence to support them , can be somewhat controversial. This includes the reference to the fact that people who have been caught up in accidents or natural disasters, have been in that situation because their thought processes have drawn them to such scenarios. Some readers may find this frustrating.
I found the concept of the book to be a simple one, and I personally do believe that there is some truth in the law of attraction. Whether this is a religious concept (as in the bible - 'Ask and you will receive') or a law of the universe I am unsure about.
Some people will say that the only benefits of positive thinking are psychological ones. This is fair enough, but it is harder to explain how some people can materialise cheques for exact amounts, get parking spaces in the exact same places each time by thinking about it, or reverse serious illnesses.
I have personally yet to try out the techniques in this book. If I feel they work I will update this review at a later date. However, the concept is not new to me, and I have used complete belief and faith about smaller things in the past which against all odds, have actually happened. But I think a person needs to get to a place where they have absolutely no doubt to make this happen - which is really difficult. This may explain why it is harder to believe that bigger things can happen - could you really believe that you can move a mountain? I doubt many people could!
The actual book itself, I feel could have been written in a better way. Although I have quite liberal views and believe in the power of the mind and the law of attraction to an extent - many people will not. This book does not provide enough evidence or reference to research and will therefore not convince everyone. It is also quite 'americanized' in style - by that I mean it can sometimes come accross as a bit patronising and dramatic to the more sceptical British reader!
In a nutshell - I do recommend this book because I personally believe there is some truth in the message, and I also know people who have made positive changes in their lives by adopting the message and techniques.
However, at £12.99 I think it should be sold for half that price! Buy a second hand copy on e-bay or amazon!
Visit www.thesecret.tv for more information on the film or real life success stories.
I was given this book as a gift by my mother, whi in my mind the most negative thinker ever! So I was impressed if it helped her! I took this book on holiday with me so I could read it cover to cover. I am a believer in positive thinking.
This small book has an impressive cover and after reading a few pages into the book I started to understand what it was all about. The Secret is the Law of Attraction and in other words what you think you attract you do attract that into your life.
This book is an easy read where some books can be heavy going and pretty full on. This was light but thought provoking. There are other merchandise that you can buy ie the Audio CD, DVD, Gratitude book and Daily Teachings to help you master the Secret.
Many people will have an opinion on this book and on personal level I feel that it teaches you to take responsiblity for your own life and your own thoughts. Everyone is entitled to live the life they want. I have always been aware that positive thinking can enrich your life. It is not always easy though.
Overall this book only confirmed in what I believe in, it won't work for everyone but it is worth a try.
It is difficult know how to review this book as so far I have not seen results but maybe I am not thinking positively enough or welcoming the thoughts of abundance already. The concept is straightforward and is based on maintaining positive energy at all times in order to get what you want. For example, if you are in debt and want to get out of it, you need to think thoughts that you will have large sums of money and it will eventually come around to you. The process involves, asking for it and also feeling as though you have already received it. When you do these things the secret is fulffiled and you get what you asked for. This is a very spiritual book and as a result some people may not be interested in it. There are almost religious tones to it and so if you are not a religious person you will unlikely get anything from this book.
regardess of this though, the book is very easy to read and very easy to get your head around the concept so for those of you who do most of your reading on a commute somewhere like me and you don't want your reading too heavy, you could certainly do a lot worse that this.
Personally, I think life is too short not to believe so grab yourself a copy get requesting all the positive changes that you want to make et viola. The new you will be with you shortly.
My best friend who was living in London for a long time was about to leave to our home country, she is my dear friend and i always turned to her for any opinions and deep conversations so the day that she left she came over to my place and gave me this book that i heard about but never got into the mood of reading it!
So she wrote some nice words in the first page for me so i decided to give it a go and read it!
In the beggining i thought i was all a bunch of rubbish because i knew all of that, like you have to think positive and that everything you think of will become real in your life, it doesnt matter if its good things or bad! Its the unfailable Law of Attraction! So i kept reading and i said to myself: Try to do all the things that they say in the book! and one day i started realizing that it really works! i started thinking of all the things that happened to me and all the things that i was thinking at the time, and its really true! whatever i was thinking became reality!
It scared me so much so i changed all my patterns of thinking, i try to think as positive as i can about everything in my life now because i know that will become reality!
The book says that you should always think positive and keep imaging that you alreadu have the things you want in life! It doesnt matter if its a car or being healthy! you have to imagine that you have that car that you always wanted and that you alreadu have the partner that you always wanted and that you are in perfect health, because then the universe will make all this happen, they say in the book that you dont have to believe in the Law of attraction, but it surely happens.
So i decided to have a vision board here in my home with all the things i want, so everytime i look at it reminds me of the things that i want to become reality!
It has changed the way i think about me and others!And i am really glad my friend gave the book because it has changed her life and for sure is changing mine as well!
I have a secret for you.
Do not buy The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne.
''You hold in your hands a great secret" it says on the back. ''It has been passed down through the ages, highly coveted, hidden, lost, stolen and bought for vast sums of money. This centuries-old Secret has been understood by some of the most prominent people in history: Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Carnegie, Einstein - along with other inventors, theologians, scientists and great thinkers. Now the Secret is being revealed to the world.''
A new friend loaned me this book and as I am not a new-age sort of person I wasn't too interested but she emailed the next day to see if I had started reading it, if so, what did I think of it?
So, after reading the blurb on the back and thinking it a bit ''airy-fairy'' for me I set off to find the new me, to see why I hadn't won the huge lottery I have so set my heart on for the five years I've lived in England with access to striking the ''big one''.
Now I should have seen it as a warning - in the introduction on the paper fly - ''In this book you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life - money, health, relationships, happiness and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.''
There was even a hint that I'd obtain things many would regard as impossible.
So, why did I go on? Why did I read to the last page? It was Tuesday and the Euromillions was around GBP90 million in a few days and boy I could do with all the help I could get! No harm done in reading the ''Bible according to Rhonda Byrne''.
So around 200 pages later, the little hard cover book has been read by me - I am reviewing my first ever book here and I guess you could say it has been a ''joy''. I must have learned something because if I send out lots of joy to the Universe it will come back to me. How joyous it is for me to be creating this review!
The big lure for me to read on was that I had to ''tell the Universe what I wanted - not ask - TELL it and it is was up to the Universe to work out how it was going to happen. So you can be sure I told the UNIVERSE very clearly, succinctly that I WANTED the GBP90million pounds on Friday night. (Just a note here - the Universe does NOT have any knowledge of time so I guess that is why I did not win the most coveted cheque on the exact date and time).
As I retired to bed on Friday night I did all the positive thinking, visualised me holding the cheque, truly EXPECTED I would win the extremely large amount of money because, after all, I deserve it. Positive, there was no-body more positive than me. But, as I nodded off I wondered how many other readers of The Secret had spent four days doing all the power of positive thinking I'd done and how many were visualising themselves holding the cheque and set down plans on how they were going to enjoy it all.
I take you through the chapters to give you and idea of what is addressed : The Secret Revealed, The Secret Made Simple, How To Use the Secret, Powerful Processes, The Secret to Money, The Secret to Relationships, The Secret to Health, The Secret to the World, The Secret to You and The Secret to Life.
A personal touch, Rhonda Byrne tells us in her foreward that she has capitalized the word You so that the reader knows and feels she has created the book especially for them. ''My intention is for You to feel a personal connection with these pages, because The Secret has been created for You''.
So, as you read through you can put yourself into the picture. This highly repetitive tome introduces You to, and aids you, to appreciate the words of wisdom from a variety of '' experts '' like a philospher, psychologist and trainer in the field on mind potential, a visionary and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Centre, a metaphysician, moneymaking expert, a law of attraction specialist and there are references to quotes from people long dead.
But I know you will be dying to know what The Secret is. You learn this quite early on, on page four when Bob Proctor tells us it is ATTRACTION. ''The Secret is the law of attraction. Everything that's coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it is attracted to you by virtue of the images you're holding in your mind. It's what you're thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you.''
Rhonda Byrne tells us at this point, ''The greatest teachers who have ever lived have told us that the law of attraction is the most powerful law in the Universe. The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and this all-powerful law is doing that through your thoughts. You are the one who calls the law of attraction into action, and you do it through your thoughts.''
Actually the rest of the book says this again and again and you do get the idea that it's all up to you - if you are unwell it is because your thoughts were negative and of being unwell, if you have not got rich it is because you do not think and visualise yourself as being wealthy.
Back to Bob Proctor again, '' if you see it in your mind, you're going to hold it in your hand.''
Dr Joe Vitale sums it all up: ''Thoughts are sending out that magnetic signal that is drawing the parallel back to you.'' Rhonda Byrne explains, ''Thoughts are magnetic and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything you send out returns to the source. And that source is You.''
In this book we learn that we are all a human transmission tower (like our tv tower) but we are more powerful than any television tower created on earth.'' You are the most powerful transmission tower in the Universe. Your transmission creates your life and it creates the world. The frequency you transmit reaches beyond cities, beyond countries, beyond the world. It reverberates throughout the entire Universe. And You are transmitting that frequency with your thoughts,'' advises Rhonda Byrne.
But we do know that this did not work for me and my huge lottery win. Well I did the visualizing when I saw me shaking hands with the Camelot person, my two gnarly old hands holding the cheque and even my first interview with the bank manager, and I even had the press-release prepared with complete anonymity - the thought-police were booking me for voluminous, speedy thoughts zooming out into the Universe. There is a small glimmer of hope and joy for me - remembering that the Universe ''cannot tell time' - it may still come my way. You can be sure if it does there will be a review about my joyful reaction!
What worries me about this book is that some people may take it all too seriously - like read it and find out that if they are really ill it is because they attracted the illness to themselves. Hale Dwoskin tells us, ''Anything we focus on we do create. So if we're really angry, for instance, at a war that's going on, or strife, or suffering, we're adding our energy to it. We're pushing ourselves, and that only creates resistance.'' Or Jack Canfield says, '' The anti-war movement creates more war. The anti-drug movement has actually created more drugs. Because we're focusing on what we don't want - drugs!
We are told, ''Disease is held in the body by thought, by observation of the illness, and by the attention given to the illness. If you are feeling a little unwell, don't talk about it - unless you want more of it. If you listen to people talk about their illness, you add energy to their illness. Instead, change the conversation to good things, and give powerful thoughts to seeing those people in good health.''
Yes, there is always a place for positiveness when your friend tells you they are extremely unwell but in my life experiences - if they bring up the subject they do want to talk about it and they get some relief from talking it through. The best you can do is listen and let them talk.
This book tends to repeat the same message and doesn't really prove that The Secret medically or scientifically will change lives - generally speaking I guess the message to be positive, be joyful, expect the best in life and plan on being well and happy, will benefit the reader. There's nothing really new in here and I am glad I never paid for it.
To be honest my friend has emailed me this week to see if I have read all of the book and asked what I think about it. Now, with my new-found information I must think of something positive to joyfully reply to her. I am not having much fun visualizing what I will write so I obviously have not been converted!
It would be unfair if I didn't say something positive about the book. It did remind me that a positive attitude is always healthy, I have been more focused on being grateful for what I have and thankful for my life so far and for what it brings and where it takes me in the future. Both important messages in the book. Rhonda Byrne is enthusiastic about her message and she has the right to promote her ideals.
It wouldn't surprise me if a number of the many millions reported to have purchased this book never got to the end of it. I may be wrong but I made myself finish it - took days but I did endure it just to see if there was an improvement in the information, or interest, to find I'd trudged through only to be disappointed.
Summing up - on the back page it tells us a little bit about Rhonda Byrne who has been on her own journey of discovery. ''Along the way, she brought together a superb team of authors, ministers, teachers, film makers, designers and publishers to bring forth The Secret to the world, and through her vision, bring joy to millions.''
At the end of this long and repetitive journey you learn: ''The earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. You are the heir to the kingdom. You are the perfection of Life. And now you know The Secret.''
Secretly, would I recommend it?: You already know the answer to that.
(At the risk of readers saying I should not add a personal note to a book review!!!) My Secret to You: if you want a fulfilling life, aim to be happy. Strive for good health. If you want to make money, work hard, save and along the way, be kind, caring, laugh lots, travel, and at the end of each day, go to bed happy that you have not upset or hurt anyone. Most of all, love Yourself and treasure those you share your life with. That wise tome cost you nothing and there was no ''team of experts'' to help me come to this realisation.
THE SECRET, Rhonda Byrne.
Published in Great Britain by : Simon and Shuster UK Ltd, 2006
, Beyond Words Publishing.
Hard cover, on the back is says GBP12.00
There is apparently a movie: on the back cover it invites you to visit www.thesecret.tv BUT I will not be!
PS... IT GIVE ME GREAT JOY TO SEE THIS IS MY 50TH REVIEW... I AM GRATEFUL TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SUPPORTED ME TO THIS MILESTONE AND THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR READS AND COMMENTS... I AM SO HAPPY!!!!
A Review of The Secret by Rhonda ByrneRhonda Byrne, The Secret (New York: Atria Books, 2006) 198 pages.A video by the same title was released earlier in 2006.I had never watched an entire episode of Oprah until her program on The Secret. In the promo for the show, Oprah announced that the program would present "the secret" to making more money, losing weight, finding the love of your life, and achieving job success. Who could resist hearing more about such a claim, especially when it is made by the most influential woman in America and touted as the key to all her success? Apparently I wasn't alone. After the show, Oprah's website was overwhelmed, emails poured in, and within hours The Secret had become the best-selling book in the nation.A week later, while unpacking in a hotel room. I powered up the TV.
The Secret has been on Amazon's list of top bestsellers for quite a while now. (It's no 12 at the time of writing). The description suggested a motivational self-help book of some kind and the synopsis referred to physicists, old oral traditions, religions, poetry and philosophy. Intrigued by the consistently high ranking, I included the book in my last order even though I am not normally in a market for this kinds of work.
I won't keep you in suspense. The secret of "The Secret" is to think positive thoughts: think that you have what you want to have all the time, visualise it, be grateful for it in advance and feel positive feelings as the thinking itself won't cut it without them. Y'know, "you have two sets of feelings: good feelings and bad feelings. And you know the difference between the two because one makes you feel good and the other makes you feel bad."
There. No need to buy the book. Honestly, there is nothing else there: most of the 160+ pages are filled with continuous, ad nauseam, unbearable repetition of the ideas summarised above. They don't even provide the normal padding of countless inspirational case stories (there are a few, but not that many). It is just a plain, in-your-face, mercenary, repetitive regurgitation of the think good thoughts - feel good feelings - be grateful as if you already had what you want sequence.
The main idea of the "law of attraction" (or You Are What You Think) gets applied to money, relationships, health and The World, but nothing new gets said. The last chapter develops the New Age ideas of spirituality and in a way is the most acceptable part of the book althought it is characterised by breath-taking solipsism ("You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet", "You are god").
The abdication of reason is so absolute that it takes a while to actually believe it can be really happening. I had read the whole thing, hoping that eventually it would be revealed that what we are talking about is more of a metaphor: that what "The Secret" advises is really positive thinking, affirmations, visualisation of goals; ideas made mainstream by treatment techniques like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: that one's attitude and expectations often result in self-fulfilling prophecies. That fear and lack of self-confidence can block fulfilment. That day-to-day, others sometimes treat us the way we think we deserve to be treated. That generally, we tend to be more happy and more successful if we have positive outlook and believe things are possible.
But it most empathically doesn't limit itself to the above. Instead, "The Secret" claims that the only thing between you and *anything* you want is your negative thoughts (or lack of positive ones). The rich are rich because they think of themselves as rich so they keep and attract more money. It obviously has nothing to do with inherited wealth nor with ability, talent, hard work or social connections.
Even mass death is the result of people believing that they can be in the wrong place at the wrong time (and then finding themselves thus). The book doesn't devote much to such grim subjects, though - there is perhaps a paragraph about that and it singularly fails to address instances of mass suffering caused not by being in a wrong place at the wrong time (as in a case of a natural disaster for example) but by active, deliberate pursuit of evil ends by other human beings as happened during the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide or Khmer Rouge murders to pick just three random, obvious examples.
On some levels, "The Secret" is quite funny, in the way somebody with enough cheek to stand in front of you and say the most unimaginable bullshit without blinking an eye can be funny: kind of post-infuriating funny. Amongst the most choice statements included is a claim that according to the Bible, Jesus "was a prosperity teacher" who lived "a more affluent lifestyle that many present day millionaires could conceive of "(I am NOT making this one up, it's on page 109). Or that Albert Einstein came from a particularly poor and humble background and the fact that he managed to achieve anything is entirely due to his knowledge of The Secret (in fact, his father was a salesman and later on a co-owner of an engineering company).
But these are, really, minor quibbles. What recurs throughout the book is the most appalling abuses of scientific terminology I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of Bad Science. I can understand it. Science is one of the great success stories of our age: people tend to believe science and scientists, and statements with a scientific tint to them are thought to be more credible. But the terminology and concepts presented in "The Secret" go beyond mere misuse and make very successful strides into the land of pure nonsense. Just random picks: it mentions somebody watching the DVD of The Secret many times "in order to absorb the message right into the cells of her body." It constantly refers to the law of attraction which is, apparently, the heart of the Secret and has been known to scientists and artists (there is a nice selection including Socrates, Pythagoras, Newton and Beethoven: anybody is strongly advised to look up the manner of demise of these famous people before judging them as being partial to a mystery of universal happiness). Of course, the law of attraction doesn't exist. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of external forces reacting in any ways to one's thoughts. Despite Byrne's reassurances, we cann't make the planets move according to our wishes by thinking about it and neither we can avoid aging.
Couching the idea in pseudo-scientific terms like "emitting this frequency into the Universe" doesn't make it any more viable. You cannot emit a frequency (frequency is always of something) and thoughts do not, generally, get emitted anywhere (unless we shout them out really loud or broadcast using machinery). Statements like "The feeling of love is the highest frequency" you could emit do not make sense at all as factual statements - however appealing they might be in a metaphorical sense. There is no such a thing like "vibrations of mental forces". Modern physics' proposition that vibrations of so-called super strings is at the basis of all matter (or energy) DOES NOT translate into large-scale stuff like human bodies, brains or even (huge in comparison to strings) atoms. I doubt that my spirit is so big (or small, depending on how you look at it) that it fills the room, but I'm pretty sure that I am not an energy magnet or a transmission tower and I am very sure indeed that I do not electrically energize anything, thank you very much.
Quantum physicists empathically DO NOT tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought. All diseases are NOT a result of stress. Healthy emotions do not guarantee a healthy body (though they might help recovery). Aging is not caused by thoughts, and even if you believe you can't catch something you still can if you are exposed to the infectious agent (as countless examples of babies, children and animals suffering from infectious diseases attest). And the oil in Belize was not created by the belief of the team that discovered it.
I could go on for much longer. But I think that by now you, gentle reader, have a pretty good idea of what "The Secret" is about. Apart from the fact that it's definitely Not My Thing as far as its New Age spirituality goes, it's also trite, mercenary, repetitive and full of mumbo-jumbo that abuses scientific language and human reason in equal parts. In fact, The New Age spirituality (in the last chapter) is just about the only part of the book that is somehow, touchingly, bearable: it has this quality of heady madness that makes one almost wish that it was true - and as a wonderful, poetic metaphor it might be. But it still doesn't mean that not watching the news and thinking positive thoughts of abundance will make the war, famine and inequality disappear.
And here we come to the important question: does it matter? After all, most people who read this stuff will use it as any other motivational tool - just as I thought it would be like in the first place, of will cheer themselves up with the idea of One-Mind-One-Friendly-Universe.
But I think it matters. It matters, because it is another embodiment of the persuasive modern idea that it's all in the mind and that the social and material worlds doesn't matter (though if you want this million bucks you will get it by visualising a cheque, there is even a pdf to download). That problems most people have are a result of their emotional trauma or negative thoughts or communication breakdowns or lack of parenting and interpersonal skills or something like that. That we should look inward and change our minds, instead of looking outward and trying to change the world. That those who are exploited, killed, robbed, enslaved, exterminated and abused; run over by the metaphorical - and literal - tanks are responsible for their sorry situation, and that the best thing they could do is to start thinking positive thoughts, develop self esteem and start "emitting frequencies of love and abundance".
Despite being lazy, politically inactive and a pacifist I am, after that experience, tempted to say, bring on the revolution.
Hardback, 160 pages, published by Simon & Schuster Ltd.
Once known only by an elite who were unwilling to share their knowledge of the power, 'the secret' of obtaining anything you desire is now revealed by prominent physicists, authors and philosophers as being based in the universal Law of Attraction. And the good news is that anyone can access its power to bring themselves health, wealth and happiness. Fragments of The Secret have been found in oral traditions, literature, religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. A number of the exceptional people who discovered its power went on to become regarded as the greatest human beings who ever lived. Among them: Plato, Leonardo, Galileo and Einstein. Now 'the secret' is being shared with the world. Beautiful in its simplicity, and mind-dazzling in its ability to really work, The Secret reveals the mystery of the hidden potential within us all. By unifying leading-edge scientific thought with ancient wisdom and spirituality, the riveting, practical knowledge will lead readers to a greater understanding of how they can be the masters of their own lives.