The Secret: Epilogue

"We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are."

Anais Nin

It’s official. The Secret is now uber-mainstream. Thanks to Oprah and Larry King (see video). Today the Oprah Winfrey show did a follow up show on it.

“On February 8, 2007, millions tuned in to The Oprah Winfrey Show
to learn the mystery of The Secret. Since the show aired, our message
boards have been buzzing with people who want to know more. The Secret
is defined as the law of attraction, which states that like attracts
like. The concept says that the energy you put into the world—both good
and bad—is exactly what comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of your life with the choices you make every day.”

I know. Most of you who are reading this blog, especially those of you who are familiar with Integral theory, are probably rolling your eyes right now and thinking about pre/trans fallacy and Boomeritis. Ok, fine. But make sure you also remember translation vs. transformation.

With
translation, the self is simply given a new way to think or feel about
reality. The self is given a new belief—perhaps holistic instead of
atomistic, perhaps forgiveness instead of blame, perhaps relational
instead of analytic. The self then learns to translate its world and
its being in the terms of this new belief or new language or new
paradigm, and this new and enchanting translation acts, at least
temporarily, to alleviate or diminish the terror inherent in the heart
of the separate self.

“But with transformation, the very
process of translation itself is challenged, witnessed, undermined and
eventually dismantled. With typical translation, the self (or subject) is given a new way to think about the world (or objects); but with radical transformation, the self itself is inquired into, looked into, grabbed by its throat and literally throttled to death.” ….

And
as much as we, as you and I, might wish to transcend mere translation
and find an authentic transformation, nonetheless translation itself is
an absolutely necessary and crucial function for the greater part of
our lives. Those who cannot translate adequately, with a fair amount of
integrity and accuracy, fall quickly into severe neurosis or even
psychosis: the world ceases to make sense—the boundaries
between the self and the world are not transcended but instead begin to
crumble. This is not breakthrough but breakdown; not transcendence, but
disaster.”

So, what’s my point? My point is that The Secret (or Law of Attraction serves as a good “translation” mechanism for people who need it at this point in their
lives. If you notice the reaction of the people who have been touched
by The Secret, the common theme is that, it changed their attitude from
a “poor me victim” consciousness into a more positive outlook in which
they now have to take responsibility for their thoughts, intentions,
and actions. I say that’s a pretty darn good “translation” for coping
up with life.

Yes, people can develop the same
translation mechanism by going to a shrink, but that’s more pricey and
time consuming. And meditation? Well, that’s too much work for busy
people. So there 🙂

For example, when it comes to the Law of Attraction, I like how James Ray uses the term ”three for three.”

For
attraction to work in your favor you must use it consciously versus
unconsciously; and that’s where your thoughts, feelings, and actions
come into play — I call this going “three for three.”….

“Remember you must go “three for three.” Your thoughts, feelings, and
actions must all be firing simultaneously for you to create and attract
the results you deserve.”

Now
what’s your argument against that? Isn’t that a healthier translation
mechanism as compared to victim mentality, life is shit and then you
die, the world is a cruel place, and that life is suffering?

As for my own translation mechanism, I’d like to extend the three for three and call it, three for three, then let it be.
This means that I can apply the principle of the Law of Attraction by
consciously firing thoughts, feelings, actions, simultaneously to
attract the results that I want AND then do my best to have a more detached attitude (not too much clinging) regardless of the outcome. To me, that’s a good practice of taking action and being mindful of impermanence at the same time. Very Buddhist flavored, I know. But it then takes me back to my favorite Christian prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

See
how my translation took me back full circle to my Christian roots? All
I’m saying is that, let’s be open and always pay attention to the
partial truth in things and be ready to toss out our translation
mechanism if it no longer serves our psycho-spiritual development.

Now on the not-so good side of The Secret
Like any other translation mechanism, the problem will be on the level
of psychological development of the person doing the translation. While
I believe that most people will be able to translate the idea of Law of Attraction
in healthier ways (yes, I’m that optimistic), some will cling to it
like New Age dogma and misinterpret the enduring wisdom it has to
offer. Well, I can’t do anything about that. The same way I can’t do
anything about how people literally interpret the Bible, or wage
terrorism in the name of Allah, or believe that matter is all there is,
or think that integral theory is the answer to everything, or believe
that spiritual practice is the only way to get “enlightened.”

The Secret genie is already out of the bottle. There’s no use trying to stuff it back in at this time. We can certainly try,
but resistance is partial. You can criticize it all you want. You can
quote philosophers, scientists, and mystics supporting your critique,
but guess what? People won’t care. The Secret is their answer, at this
point in their lives. It inspires them. As long as they apply it in
healthier ways, then let them be, or at least meet them where they’re
at. Instead of bursting their bubbles, gently and lovingly point them
to healthier translations. Not everyone is ready to be undone by our notion of authentic spirituality.

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