A good friend sat us down last night to watch this amazing documentary endorsed by no other then Oprah herself. The Secret as it’s beguiling title suggested turned out to be a badly scripted documercial consisting of straight into the camera monologues by successful professionals with instant linear dramatisations with bad actors and music grabbed out of the disco bin.
Just to forestal any heart palpitations due to suspense I will tell you the incredible revealing secret of The Secret right off the top. It’s called Attraction . That’s it ! Attraction is apparently the secret to success, to wish fulfilment, the key to your heart, to your health and for the betterment of the (your) universe and the human race as a whole.
During the following 90 minutes we were subjected to language aimed at 1st graders. i.e.: “All you have to do is visualise that car, that necklace, the red bike or your dream house or even the love of your life as if you already had it. Then it’s just a matter of time until reality catches up to your dreams. Send out positive, attractive thoughts and the universe will make it so. But you have to believe in your goals.” And on it went, this kind of paternalistic advice was served up by a parade of well groomed authors, visionaries, metaphysicians, psychologists and even a quantum physicists, looking straight at the camera, like they wanted to worm right into your brain. From the visionary guru to the suave doctor of metaphysics to the bionic authoress all endorsing the same repetive message. “Send out attractive thougts and you will receive in kind, embrace the goodness in your life and good things will start to happen, believe your wants to be possible and they will come to pass. Ask and you will recieve.”
The background usually related directly to the message; a slowly rotating world, symbols of atoms and strands of molecules, buddhas and even Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man. The preachy monologues were followed by lurid enactments and oh such corny dramatisation that really nothing was left to the imagination. In fact the word imagination was replaced with visualisation .
One of the gurus or coaches suggested writing a wish list together with pictures from real estate mags or jewellery catalogues and posting it above your bed or desk. Sort of like a Santa list except this can go an all year long not just at Christmas. Of course as our friend wryly remarked, “you have to believe in Santa to make it work. “
Indeed, the word belief did eventually surface from behind the whole charade of props and flashy cues. The best one was surely the Alladin’s Genie who was to embody the catch phrase: ‘Your wish is my command !” Klare loved that part and poked me emphatically in the ribs. The Genie was portrayed by a bald naked black guy with what looked like tits. Maybe it was just the angle of the camera from below to make him or it appear larger then life. The genie had a voice like a Zombie, sort of guttural and with lots of echo effect. I’d be scared to see that thing coming out of my bottle. Better put the cork back in.
Attraction was hailed the key to everything. From the 60’000 average thoughts a person has each day (a figure that was confidently bandied about, based on scientific evidence) a goodly portion should be focused and projected positively towards the desired object or goal. “Always think of the goal, never of the possible pitfalls and failings otherwise the genie will go away. You think about failure and loss and voilà: Your wish is my command. Envision the finish line, act like you already won the race, achieved your goal, obtained that large paycheque, house, girl friend and you won’t even notice when reality catches up to match your vision.” And there I thought it was the journey, not the destination that was the metaphor for life.
I was flabbergasted by the simplistic, childlike language and imagery. How simple it all really is. How basic The Secret. Just send out attractive thoughts and the radar of the universe will pick it up and replicate. Isn’t that instant gratification ? Does that sound like the world you live in ?
At one point it featured this skinny gay guy who wanted to be a stand up comic. His life had been a complete misery until he found The Secret. He was battered and ridiculed at work, followed and accosted on the street, heckled during his performances and thwarted by his peers, co-workers and even strangers. Friendless, depressed and oh so gay. Then suddenly it all changed. How ? He projected attractive thoughts, looked in the mirror and what gazed back at him ? A successful, funny, witty and confident gay guy with the world as his oyster. Lo and behold suddenly he was invited to all the parties, his colleagues admired and befriended him, his stand up act garnered applause and recognition and oh, his gayness became so wonderful, he actually embraced himself.
The film flipped back an forth to the kid who wanted this red bike. He cut it out of the catalogue and pasted it in his scrap book. Every day he longingly looked at it, wishing for it, envisioned riding it through the neighbourhood. It was practically real. Then it cut to the ‘author’ who couldn’t believe that he actually lived in the house he envisioned for so long and he didn’t even notice till one day he came across a picture he kept of exactly the same house. He was overwhelmed by tears, it was pure magic. Then we saw the helicopter overview of the estate, pool and tennis court and the long winding driveway. How could he not notice all that ?
An ‘author’ who used to only receive bills in the mail had enough of that and wrote himself a fake check for a $ 100’000.0 which he pasted to the ceiling above his bed. Every morning that check was the first thing he saw. A year later reality had caught up to the dream which he then simply adjusted to $ 1’000’000.- which also came to pass. He happened to be the writer of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ but according to him there is enough soup to go around for everybody.
Back and forth it went from the little girl wanting that gold necklace to the guy play acting driving his sports car in his living room to the red bike and of course the androgynous genie: “Your wish is my command”.
Klare was checking her watch surreptously and getting restless. Maybe she just had to go to the bathroom but maybe she wanted that Genie in her bottle. I tried to keep an open mind but was slowly but surely sinking into a quagmire of cynicism and disbelieve. Sort of counter to at all the positive, attractive energy that I tried so hard to project.
There were some salient points touched on in this documercial. Energy for one. It rightly identified that the universe was made up of energy contained in the elemental building blocks like atoms and molecules. OK. What was news to me was the message that we can direct the way that energy flows just by thinking attractive thoughts. Suddenly our debts will disappear, our lazy co-workers who do nothing but milk the system will become engaged and active participants, the cancer that was rearing it’s ugly head banished from our body temples by thinking it away. Hey Genie, over here, we need this bank account fixed and that deceased liver healed.
Nowhere in the whole 90 minutes did we see anybody pay for anything nor was it ever mentioned that we might have to study, work, race, compete, for anything. The Universe will look after it was the persistent message. Think attractive, positive thoughts and by the simple law of attraction you will succeed. When Klare tried to point out the dilemma of the crippled beggar in Bangladesh who just lost her entire family to floods and famine she got nothing but reproachful looks. “That’s not an attractive thought and by the way happiness doesn’t follow material well being.” Tell that to a class of teenagers in Gaza City.
Here is the real Secret. Replace positive thoughts , attraction and visulisation with prayer , universe with God and genie with the holy ghost , add belief and faith and there you have it. New recipe for the same old stew. Sound familiar ? You bet. Does it solve your problems. No, but it sure solved theirs and after alll what’s the harm in that ?
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Bruno Huber.
Published on e-Stories.org on 09.03.2007.