Musings re “The Secret”

As indicated yesterday, Rhonda Byrne‘s book, The Secret, has been helpful to me.   But, I do have reservations.

For example, I do wander about using the “Law of attraction” to obtain a parking spot or
fabulous wealth. Though, true enough, perhaps if I felt differently I would be
wealthy and would readily find a parking spot each time I needed!  Oh me of
little faith!

The issue is the unconscious dimension of our experience. The real, the
essential negative self-talk takes place beneath the surface in the form of old
recordings buried deep in our neurological structure. And, yes, since they are
“unconscious” we can’t see them because then they would be conscious! BUT, we
can be self-aware and be honest about the images that flutter through our
conscious mind and about the poor choices that we make. Then, we can ferret out
what these old recordings are.  Or at least some of them.

I’m casting doubt on just how much impact “the power of positive thinking” can
play when our wounds are buried deeply in our subterranean depths. But, it
can’t do any harm to become conscious of “stinkin thinkin” and practice new
refrains or mantras. In other words, it can’t do any harm to attempt to
re-program our brain. It won’t do any harm to attempt to “brain-wash” ourselves
anew with positive and affirming thoughts. For, “brain-washing” is what
happened in the first place.

Let me share something that has been personally useful. I think it was Rumi who
noted once, “The only antidote to depression is praise.” Here, I’m going to
exercise literary license and replace “praise” with “offering thanks.”  Then I
can apply a couple of admonishments from the Bible, such as, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

What Rumi had in mind was that when life gets grim, we can still exercise choice
and focus on the many good things that are present in our life, even if it is
nothing but the blessing of the very breath of life itself. It has helped me,
when despair beckons, to “pray the alphabet” which Mary Karr taught me in her
memoir, Lit. “Praying the alphabet”, in this context, means going down the
alphabet and making yourself find something or someone starting with each letter
of the alphabet for which you can give thanks. This gets interesting with X, Z,
and Q; but I manage! The beauty of this strategy is that it is on some level a
simple cognitive behavioral therapy strategy. You can’t whole-heartedly focus
on more than one thing at a time. So, focusing on the wonderful things in your
life can pre-occupy you for a moment and take your attention away from that
gnawing despair.


2 thoughts on “Musings re “The Secret”

  1. redsparklegirl

    I was struggling with the Law of Attraction for a long time, until just recently when I realized it is but a small, small part of the whole picture. The Secret, and the entire LOA school of thought, is essentially just laying a groundwork of understanding by making us aware of the relationship between our inner and outer worlds. Once you see the correlation between your state of mind and your physical reality, you can then delve much, much deeper.
    And the ‘discomfort’ you are feeling now with LOA/The Secret is likely, like it was for me, your inner knowing nudging you to realize that LOA is just the surface. 😉


    1. literary lew Post author

      Thanks so much for your response. I really feel it was so important when I finally learned to recognize that “relationship between our inner and outer worlds.” I deeply appreciate your thoughtful response. And I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!




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