The purpose of my work is to help you discern what works (truth) from what does not work (falsehood). Knowing how reality actually works empowers you. I normally do not criticize other peoples work due to the negativity that creates, but the book and movie “The Secret” has been read by Millions and its principles keep coming up as obstacles in my coaching-work with people. It is because they have bought into a number of false ideas that their lives are not working and I have expended a lot of energy into de-bugging and de-brainwashing. These are 7 falsehoods “The Secret” and similar teachings have taught you that are false and how you can remedy and correct them.
Falsehood 1: “Life is meant to be easy”
That is a direct quote from the book and is echoed by many similar teachings in the new-age field. It directly contradicts what all the big Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroasterism, Shintoism) and plenty of sciences (Psychology, Philosophy, Evolution Theory) say about the nature of reality, namely that we live on a kind of “dense” plane of reality in a sort of “fallen” state and that life is a struggle, a challenge. I always wondered why so many followers of “The Secret” and similar teachings are so listless and weak, and this philosophy is the reason. If something is not immediately easy and convenient, they will not do it. That is certainly a path not only to failure but to the decline of society in general.
A lot of people that come to me for coaching, abort my coaching when I tell them “life is meant to be challenging, a challenging game” because they have been taught differently by this new-age hokum. They`ll typically say “That does not resonate with me. Life is meant to be easy”. But those that flee my coaching because of that, have not heard me out. Once you fully accept that life is not meant to be easy, that life is indeed meant to be challenging, life suddenly becomes much easier. My life, since many years, IS fairly easy. Not because I believed it is “meant” to be easy, but because I embraced the challenge. I know that it is not work or effort that expend energy, it is resistance toward effort and work that expends energy. And that is a genuinely empowering and useful way of seeing things. Life is like a game full of traps and pitfalls. Learning the game and meeting the challenge is fun and exciting, not something to loathe or escape from. Instead of always having to avoid effort, why not grow stronger so that all that work no longer feels like effort? That’s the path I and many other successful people have taken. The truth and obviousness of this is clearly visible throughout the world and history. I am not saying that life cannot and must not be easy. It can be easy. At times, it is easy. But that’s very different to saying life is meant to be easy and, as the secret says “you should only do what feels good”. If society only does what “feels good”, who is going to take out the trash? Who is going to raise the children? Who is going to make the tough calls? Who is going to take care of those suffering? Yes, I teach people to improve their overall state and outlook, to gain joy and a positive attitude. But this is not achieved by denying darkness. Grief is sometimes appropriate. Anger is sometimes appropriate. Life is a stream. As you move with the stream (downstream), you gain speed. As you move against the stream (upstream), you gain strength. Life is meant to be a balance of the two.
Falsehood 2: Powerful People have been keeping “The Secret” from us
“The Secret” Franchise, with all of its books, movies and websites, continually conjures the image of some powerful elite and secret societies hoarding some profound knowledge, keeping it from the masses so that they can stay in power. In reality, none of what “The Secret” teaches has ever been hidden. If anything, people hide it from themselves. Last century alone there have been dozens of bestsellers, read by Millions, teaching what “The Secret” teaches. Principles in the secret have been taught since thousands of years in all the World Religions. None of it is actually “Secret”. The movie/book Franchise is catering to the paranoid crowd by crafting a mythology of conspiracy and cover-up where none actually exists. If “The Secret” actually worked as they say, then Millions of people would actually be abundantly rich, healthy and happy. But because they aren’t, there must be some “conspiracy” that prevents them from gaining “the hidden knowledge”.
The truth is that, with a little attention-effort you can learn and find out almost anything. There really are no secrets. If there is something you do not know or understand, it’s because you haven’t paid attention to a particular area yet, not because someone is deliberately plotting against you. Sure, there have been plots in history to keep things secret from the public, but that’s certainly not the case with the information contained in “The Secret”.
In fact, if you wish to be madly successful, you will learn more from those “elites” than from those demonizing the elites.
Falsehood 3: All famous people have practiced “The Secret”
In order to become famous, many people have practiced certain success-principles as taught by legitimate success-teachers. I talk about these principles throughout hundreds of articles on this website. But they have not practiced it as it is being taught in “The Secret”. The movie and book apply a lot of “name-dropping” of famous people to give the appearance of legitimacy. For this purpose several quotes of famous people are used. But: Some of these quotes are out of context. Some of them are misquotes. And some never existed. The movie/book quote Winston Churchill saying “you create the universe as you go along”. This quote is taking from a document, written by Churchill in which he ridiculed these ideas The quote is therefore taken completely out of context. The makers of “The Secret” took it to mean the exact opposite of what Churchill was saying. What he was saying in his writings was that mere thought alone will not create reality but that one must add focused work and persistence to a thought. He was mocking the idea that “you create the Universe as you go along”. Another quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson (I forget which one), was proven not even to exist. What does this say about the movie “The Secret”? It says that its makers were more interested in marketing their product than in truth. And indeed, to imply that Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King, Shakespeare and many others, kept these “secrets” from us is doubtful.The work of Einstein, Shakespeare and the others do indeed reveal how reality works (use the search function of this website to find quotes by them) but nowhere do they teach that if you think of a big elephant, that elephant will appear in your room, as the movie suggests.
This brings us to the contemporary famous and semi-famous people who played in the movie itself, many of which have since distanced themselves from the teachings of “The Secret”. Fred Alan Wolf, who appeared as the quirky physicist in the movie, later publicly said: “I don’t think it works that way. It hasn’t worked that way in my life”. John Hagelin, another physicist said something similar about the project. Abraham Hicks got thrown out of the project due to both financial and philosophical disputes. James Ray got locked jailed for taking some of the ideas in “The Secret” too far and killing some of his seminar students.
Falsehood 4: Thoughts are the primary force of the Universe
That is a near-direct quote from the book. And it’s false. Consciousness can observe thought, therefore consciousness is more primary than thought/mind. Thoughts have no power on their own, they only have power through Consciousness. “Consciousness creates reality” is much more true than “thoughts create reality”. “The Secret” teaches that you, with your thoughts create reality. I teach that a force called God/Universe/Source creates reality. In my view the idea that you create the Universe with your thoughts is megalomaniac. What I know from 20 years of teaching “reality creation” is that your focused thought, word and action have a tendency to influence reality in various ways. “The Secret” overemphasizes the “thoughts” idea to the point of absurdity. According to them it would be enough to think that you are the President of the U.S. or a famous player of a basketball team or eternally youthful in order to be it. Hence many people who have been taught this, approach me disillusioned and upset that they haven’t achieved those things by visualizing them. Thoughts are not the primary force of the Universe. There are many factors that effect your experience, thought is only one of them. Here are a few others: Action. Words. Behaviors. Habits. Other people. Karma. Overall attractor-fields or energy-levels. Grace. Environment. Soul-Blueprint (the soul-blueprint that, for example, tells you you are not going to be the President). There is a lot of merit to being able to concentrate your thought or envision and imagine. But that’s not the primary tool to base your entire life on.
There is no doubt that the mind is very, very powerful. But it’s not enough to just think something for it to be true. it’s in the way you apply thought. For success those thoughts need to be focused in a manner to gain expertise, to stay consistent, to set goals, to sacrifice lesser aims. If I am going to become an Olympic athlete, I will have to set aside some time to practice. The initial spark is a decision in consciousness, followed by many trillions of thoughts, not merely one.
Falsehood 5: Whatever you choose is right
This is also a direct quote from the book. I think the quote speaks for itself. If whatever you chose is “right” that means it does not make a difference whether you vegetate in front of the TV all your life or go out and play, whether you murder people or help an old lady across the street. There are beneficial choices and less beneficial choices and wisdom is to tell the difference between them. Do I really have to expand on this?
Falsehood 6: There is nothing more important than feeling good
While I agree that your inner state and energy-level determines your outcomes in life, there is something more important than feeling good: Doing good. Your inner state is reflected in the actions you take. You can feel that you love someone for as long as you like, but if that is not expressed in physical action it remains a private thing. On your path to a goal there will also be times you do not “feel good”, where you are meant to move through blocks and resistances and invest some effort to get out on the other side and feel good again. You are not meant to “feel good” when you are doing things that are not aligned with your life’s purpose. You are not meant to feel good when you see someone being abused. You are not meant to feel good when someone betrays your trust. You are meant to feel good when your thoughts, words and actions are rel-aligned with your highest purpose. If you only felt good all the time you would lose your inner navigation system which tells you what the right-path-for-you is. You type in “goal X” into your navigation system. As long as you are on track all is well. Then your GPS gives you a warning (bad feeling) that you are off-track. So instead of trying to “feel good” again, it’s time to change course (change your thoughts or your actions regarding a situation). That’s how reality really works. The put it bluntly, if you are feeling depressed, there is a reason for that. Instead of feeling good about it, see if you can find out what you have been doing that makes you feel depressed and do something else. Or see what you have been believing about a situation and think something else.
Falsehood 7: it’s all about me
The entirety of the book and movie, as in similar teachings, focuses on the Ego-Self. “Whats in it for me?” “What can I get out of it?” “Whats good for me?” “How do I feel?”, “What do I want?”. This ego-orientation will elevate some people who have been too focused on others. It is needed for about 30% of the population in my opinion. So certainly “The Secret” is beneficial to some people. But it does not apply to anyone. There are many people out there who instead need to learn to put some attention beyond oneself to the rest of society, to others. There are people all around craving for some attention and acknowledgement. it’s not all about “getting” and “taking” but also about giving. Give and Take should be in balance. Taking means you appreciate yourself, giving means you appreciate others. Both elevate your spiritual state. Life is not “all about you” and thinking so will imprison your field of awareness in a very small cubicle around your head. Life went on before you and it will go on after you. Spiritual progress is about transcending the Ego. The best way to do this is to indeed reach some of the goals of the Ego but to then look beyond that and contribute to the world you live in. I reached all of my goals 8 years ago so the natural evolution of my consciousness was to move beyond the personal into the universal: “What can I do to be of service to the world? What can I do to be of service to the creator of this world?” Those are more empowering questions than “Whats in it for me?”. As you give, you will receive back tenfold.
All in all the aim of this article is to benefit a little more critical thinking and not take everything that sounds nice at face value. In principle the “law of attraction” is real. The problem arises when it’s overemphasized as in: “There are no limits to this… You can jump off a building and fly if you want to”. There are limits for the physical context you live in. There are no limits in the Universe in general.
Reality is created by investing energy. One could say “Effort creates reality”. “Effort” is not a bad thing. It is neither exhausting nor difficult. Mental resistance is exhausting and difficult. Effort is merely the process of focusing your thoughts, words and actions on a particular goal until it’s achieved. There is nothing mysterious or secret about this. And if that is understood maybe you cant “have everything you want”, but you can achieve much more than previously thought.
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