In my QUANTUM CINEMA column, I reviewed the film “The Secret”. The book and the film are quite the talk of the town in the country since it was twice featured in Oprah’s show.
In its trailer, it announced that “The Secret has passed through the ages known only to a few men,.. who… harnessed its Power.” This Secret was allegedly used to keep the rest of humanity ignorant and servile. On or after 1909, this Secret was released to the public by the few rich men who knew it. But in 1933, it was again banned. The visuals show a man in cardinal’s robe opening a parchment scroll.“Decades passed…Now, for the first time in history, the Secret is being released in a worldwide event.”
The Introductory part of the documentary follows the theme and visuals of the trailer. It is almost like The Da Vinci Code. The narrator / protagonist is in emotional turmoil. Then she re-discovers “the Secret” through a book. She then researches its history. We see an Egyptian copying the inscriptions on an emerald tablet onto a parchment. Then we see Roman soldiers running after the same man carrying a parchment much like the Dead Sea scrolls, and burying it. Then Medieval Knights (the Templars?) appear followed by a scene with a man in cardinal’s robes reading a scroll. The Secret was coveted. An alchemist is studying the scroll. The Secret was suppressed. Then, we see a present-day corporate board room with men in conference. Then somebody types the sentence: “the Secret will never be revealed to the public”.
The narrator says she couldn’t believe that the Secret was known to so many people including the great minds in history like Isaac Newton and Victor Hugo. Interestingly, Newton and Hugo also belong to another impressive list – those who belonged to the Priory of Sion who knew another kind of secret – the Holy Grail /Da Vinci Code kind.
The dramatic and sensational trailer and introduction of The Secret (2006) may induce people to watch it, but it may also turn people off.. It smacks of crass commercialism.
Rhonda Byrne, the Executive Producer of the documentary and author of the book of the same title, claims that a year before filming, her life was in shambles – she was burnt out from work, her father died unexpectedly and her relationships were in turmoil. Then, her daughter gave her a 100-year old book (most probably a reprint) that revealed to Rhonda “The Secret”, which turned her life around.
She then got a brilliant idea to make a film out of it so this “Secret” could be revealed to most of humankind. Leaving Australia, she then went to the US to interview scores of “teachers” of this “Secret”. The film was then followed by the best-selling book.
LAW OF ATTRACTION
This “Secret” that can give you the Midas Touch or bring you treasures like King Solomon’s Mines is called the “Law of Attraction.” This is one of the Universal Principles known to many writers, philosophers, astrologers, occultists, and great thinkers throughout the ages. Today’s New Age adherents are familiar with this principle. In its briefest form, this law means “like attracts like.”
If birds of the same feather flock together, then thoughts of the same frequency bond together. If you think rich, you get riches, if you think poor, you get poverty. The “teachers” of the film keep on repeating the essence of this Law: “You become what you think about most. You attract what you think about most.”
In the Bible, Jesus said: “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance. To him that hath little, even the little shall be taken away.” (Matthew 13:12) In other words, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. In the same vein, the wise get wiser,the dumb get dumber.
Rich people naturally think of riches because they are surrounded by abundance while poor people think of poverty because they are always around poor people and wretched circumstances.
Children who are told they are unintelligent will tend to believe it and so get poor grades. They will then have less enthusiasm for anything intellectual. On the other hand, children who are praised as intelligent will tend to study more and attract intelligent friends and elders supportive of their intellectual pursuits.
Bob Proctor, one of the film’s resource persons says, “Why do you think that 1% of the population earn around 96% of all the money being earned?” He says, “It’s designed that way. They understand something. They understand “the Secret”.
Contrary to the film’s assertion, the Law of Attraction was never a secret. People through the ages have discovered this principle and disseminated it in oral and in written form. This wisdom is found in the Vedas, in the Bible, in the Qur’an and in thousands of books and manuscripts throughout human history.
However, Bob Proctor, Rhonda Byrne and people like them understand but the multitudes don’t. As Jesus said, “…they look but do not see; they listen but do not hear or understand.” (Matthew 13:13) Even with Byrne’s documentary and book, many people would still not understand. Fortunately, this law, according to the film, “is always working whether you believe or understand it or not.”
When Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and Max Planck made their discoveries on Relativity and Quantum mechanics in the early part of the 20th century, the world of Science was turned upside down. The Universe could not be explained in Newtonian terms anymore. Newtonian physics become invalid when it comes to the very big like galaxies and astronomical distances, and the very small like electrons and neutrinos. In fact, the latest theories in physics like Superstrings and the M-theory suggest that there may even be multiple universes.
Yet most of humanity simply cannot think beyond Newtonian physics. Everything is still centered on Mass or Matter; i.e., on materialism. Many people still believe only in things material; i.e., things physical. Yet Einstein proved that Energy is Mass (multiplied by a constant); i.e., all Matter is Energy. Energy is not physical.
THE SECRET MICROSCOPE
In their desire to sound scientific, some of the “teachers” exaggerate. James Arthur Ray, who was designated as a philosopher in the film, says, “You are not a finite body. Even under a microscope, you’re an energy field.”
Bob Proctor, author of the international best-seller You Were Born Rich says, “Your hand looks solid but it’s really not. If you put it under a proper microscope, you’d see a massive energy vibrating.”
I have not heard of a microscope that can enable humans to see bodies as vibrating energy or energy fields. As far as I know, no microscope has yet been built that could magnify atoms or subatomic particles like electrons or protons so that they could be seen by humans.
In fact, I have always been amazed how millions of people do not believe that spirits exist because they could not see them. Yet they believe atoms or electrons exist even if they have not seen them either. Millions of people claim to have seen spirits. Nobody has claimed to have seen by his eyes (using machines) atoms or sub-atomic particles.
Yes, we are energy but that can only be proven through mathematical equations. You can put your hand under a giant microscope, but all you can see are bacteria or cells or even molecular chains. You cannot see pure energy; or even atoms or spinning electrons.
MIND OVER MATTER
In the film, quantum physicist Dr. Fred Wolf says, “You can’t have a universe without Mind entering into it, and that the mind is actually shaping the very thing that is being perceived.”
Another physicist, Dr. John Hagelin says, “Quantum mechanics confirms it. Quantum cosmology confirms it. That the Universe essentially emerges from thought. Ultimately, we are the source of the Universe, and when we understand that power directly by experience, we can start to exercise our authority and begin to achieve more and more.”
In today’s physics, most of the Universe is mental construct. Positrons, neutrinos, quarks, black holes, worm holes etc. – from subatomic to cosmological entities — are mere constructs which can be validated through mathematics. Nobody knows them in the physical sense. They can only be understood through the Mind.
THE BOOK AND THE FILM
The nuggets of wisdom contained in the book and the film are the same. The format of the film is similar to the documentary What the Bleep Do We Know(?), which was mostly about quantum physics. It consists mostly of talking heads, with some dramatizations. The words of the Secret’s “teachers” are reproduced verbatim in the book, with annotations by the author.
Although the Secret features mostly talking heads, it is not boring at all. The resource persons are great speakers. They are very enthusiastic about the subject. They are all speaking from experience.
In the book, one reads these people’s ideas. In the film, one sees these ideas being presented by real people talking about not just grandiose concepts but about their very own experiences. And most, if not all of them, were self-made people. They re-invented themselves by using “the Secret”.
The dramatizations had good production values and the illustrations used as backgrounds to the talking heads are quite interesting. I just find it funny that Aladdin is Chinese in the film. Don’t these Occidentals know that Orientals come in different shapes and sizes and yes, races?
Rhonda Byrne knows the power of media packaging. Getting an idea from a 100-year old book, an idea which is contained in hundreds of books in libraries and bookstores, she packaged it as a “Secret” and made it into an inspirational documentary, a book and a website.
But the fact that the film, the book and the website are all smash hits simply means that the Western (and Westernized) world are now veering away from the purely physical world (The Body) and into a holistic world where the Mind and Spirit are given their proper due in the scheme of things.
Go watch the film. It may change your life.
Published in Mr. & Ms. magazine, Supermonthly of the Body, Mind &Spirit, Nov. 2007
Check out The Secret’s website http://www.thesecret.tv