Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Secret

There is much ado about the newly released book and film “The Secret.” It’s been discussed on Oprah and even Larry King Live. There’s flack coming from all angles, from those who think the concept is ridiculous, those who have experienced it as true but think it has been explained it in a crass way, to those who are enlightened and know we are not the doers. The concept is this: We can create our reality by our thoughts.

When misunderstood, this concept can definitely rile people who are not living life to their satisfaction or those who have a major illness or a particular difficulty for which they don’t want to be made to feel responsible. They look at the notion as if it is saying they are guilty for not creating better and so they reject the whole idea. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding for this concept is meant to empower, which it does when applied correctly, not foster victim thinking.

There are those seekers who are looking for “the secret” which will change life into a perfectly pleasant experience. This can present a problem because there is a lot of conditioning in the way of our getting what we think we would want if we had it, which is why we don’t have it. This conditioning can be pretty thick and resistant to superficial changes.

There are those who are perhaps more enlightened who reject it because they know “the Truth” that we are not the “doer”, that life is being lived through us and the aspect of the self who we think we are, the ego, is just narrating the experience all along the way as if it were doing it and is the one causing all the problems. Their advice is to stop believing the mind and enjoy it all. This is a little tough without some technology to help drop the story. Byron Katie's work comes in handy here.

Personally, I liked “The Secret” and, I can understand all the criticism. I remember 30 years ago when I first heard the concept that we create our own reality. I hated it until I worked and worked to prove it wrong, only to prove it was right. At the time, that was a wonderful discovery for me, although, it took many years for me to really believe that each time something I asked for came to be, it was not just a fluke. I finally started to believe. Then, after many more years, I got tired of “creating my own reality” and frustrated with the parts that were not changing so easily. No matter how much I got what I asked for, there was always another want around the corner. It felt like too much work. Then, I had the experience of my first surrender. Ahhhh. That is living and in my opinion, the real Secret! Surrender! The Universe does it so much better than I can ever imagine. It’s fun to dream and think up possibilities but I must say, the Universe comes up with such cooler realities when I just get out of the way. I still ask, as if I am a co-creator and maybe I am. I always ask for what I want or something better, for the highest purpose of all involved. Then I let go and see if what I had in mind comes at all close to what the Universe has in store for me. It’s usually in close alignment, but way cooler. I am after all, creating from a smaller viewpoint

I agree with those enlightened folks who say we are not doing it. But I don’t think I would have gotten to the point of turning my challenges over to the Universe had I not gone through the different stages. Is that true? I can’t know that it is. It was just my way. Enlightenment is a moment by moment thing. It comes to some in an instant and perhaps stays. It comes to others as a gradual awakening. To those of us who are taking the gradual path, "The Secret" is a good beginning. Just don't get caught there.

Colin Tipping, founder of Radical Forgiveness wrote a blog on “The Secret”. Following is a response I wrote to his blog.

Dear Colin,
I really like your work of Radical Forgiveness. In your blog about "The Secret" you say, "It’s all about us.... Without there being anything approaching a self-transcending mission there is a complete lack of any real notion of helping others."

I have a few thoughts on that point. One is that, only our egos "think" there is a need to "help" others, or that we could know what it is another soul would need in order to evolve along their path. To think that something "should" be different than it is, is to be out of alignment with Truth, or what is. That is not to say that one would never be moved to help another, but that movement would arise spontaneously if it were coming from Source rather than ego. My second thought regards the quest for personal satisfaction of material needs attainment. This, in my experience, is a necessary beginning step in the process of spiritual development moving toward surrender to Source. One must have the truly personal experiences over and over again to realize it is not a "fluke" to "ask and receive". When one continuously has that experience of asking for their preference, letting go of attachment to the result showing up as they think it should or as they want it, and being willing to receive in what ever way Source or the Universe, or God, (whatever one prefers to call the Beneficent Force) wants to give it, then we find, over and over that this Force knows so much better than we personally do, what it is we are truly wanting and gives it to us in that way. This leads to trust, gratitude and surrender. It is something that must be tried and experienced over and over again. "The Secret" is recommending starting at the beginning as I see it. Those who are ready will try it. Those who are not ready, will scoff at it until they are ready. We can't force evolution in others as much as our egos would like to.

Thanks for all your work. I really appreciate it.
Jarl Forsman


Anonymous said...

You know it is so much fun and "enlightening" to read your blog...sometimes I just think, " I wonder what Jarl is thinking about" and then I read something that I have been thinking about too....Thank you.

Neil said...

My parents recently sent me a copy of The Secret video, but I have yet to watch it. (They said it would be fairly familiar to me, as it was to them).

But, I think you hit on an important turn-of-phrase in your writing that is the thing that has irked me about the idea of this sort of positive thinking to achieve one's desires. That phrase is " think you ...":

- "who you think you are"
- "that you think you want"

Much of this sentiment (to me who hasn't watched it) implies that you'll get what you want through a certain mindset. But what you think you want and what is actually good for you are two separate things, and often the "universe" might provide one but not the other — to the ailment or betterment of your life.

That is to say, sometimes not getting what you want is much better for you than getting it, no matter how much positive thinking you do.

Mo said...

Thank you for another great post Jarl. A well-articulated critique of the Secret. Mo