“The Secret” – The principles of the universe or a lesson in mind control?

Since the discovery of “The Secret” and the movie, millions of people have experimented with the idea that “positive thinking” can achieve all the things we desire. 

Whilst there is a lot to be said for positive thinking, this fact is hardly a “secret” and an approach that has been used in marketing products for a very long time. The success of “The Secret” is perhaps a good example of how this works. 

If ‘religion’ was a movie, you could consider “The Secret” as a ‘spin-off’ or maybe even a sequel, because the principles are much the same in many ways. If you think good things, good things will happen. If you have bad thoughts, bad things will happen. This follows the traditional understanding of good and evil, heaven and hell. 

It was interesting that we are told in the movie that results may not happen immediately, and one must assume that if nothing happens at all, we are doing it wrongly. Isn’t this a little like religion? Millions of people pray for help every day (for a variety of reasons), in most cases nothing happens, but occasionally it does. Is this a miracle or just a coincidence? 

Could it be that the change of luck you received was due to happen eventually anyway, doesn’t luck usually appear in this way? And by suggesting that this may take some time to occur, increases the odds of such an occurrence taking place. 

Horoscopes use similar tactics, and may give the indication that this month will be lucky for you (in some way). They don’t say exactly when, or what good fortune you will experience, allowing the reader to decide what this is, if and when it happens. We must also remember that these horoscopes target thousands, if not millions, of people, so for a certain percentage of the readers the forecast will come true. This is called “the law of averages”

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“The Secret” talks about “the law of attraction” and that by thinking about something you want, in a positive way, will make it happen (by attracting it like a magnet). 

There is no doubt that “feeling” confident can have an affect on the people you meet, and others can see this confidence in you (it is almost infectious), which is why this approach is used in selling. It is also true that a less confident feeling can have a negative affect on people as well. 

This reaction is perfectly normal and something we all experience. A sad person will make us feel unhappy, just as a comedian will make us laugh. 

Whilst there is little proof (if any) to support the belief that positive thinking can magically create the changes you seek, this approach can certainly make a big difference when used with friends and work colleagues, producing more popularity and perhaps increasing your chances of promotion (and making more money with a pay rise). 

Of course, if you are a follower of conspiracy theories, you might be concerned that “The Secret” is some sinister plan to control our minds by offering this idea as a distraction. Instead of confronting some of the problems we face in our daily lives (like unemployment, increasing food prices, debt, illness etc.), we might be tempted to rely on “positive thinking” in the hope that we can make these problems vanish with the power of our minds. Some people already use such methods in religion, which is called ‘prayer’ 

If positive thinking or prayer helps you to get through the difficult times, then perhaps it has some indirect benefits. And who knows, maybe there is more to this than some of us think? 

The book “The Unexplained Explored” covers many unusual subjects like this, where we can only speculate about the truth.



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