The Secret is bullshit

The Secret is a book and accompanying Tv….docudrama? Was produced way back in 2006.  The Secret was followed by “The Power” and then “The Magic” because fuck grammar. Then 2009 there was a Teenage version of “The Secret” called “The Secret: Teen Power. Most worrying of all a children’s book version of the secret called “The Power of Henry’s imagination” severely let me down by not being a book adaption of that twilight zone episode where the kid can make anything he wills come true.

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“Henry is very angry with you….”

And I read the Secret so you don’t have too.

The Secret was written by Australian author and TV producer Rhonda Byrne who is essentially Ayn Rand without the accountability or interesting sex life.

The Secret within the Secret is that the universe isn’t a cold unfeeling collection of atoms gasses and base elements. It’s a thinking feeling being, a gestalt entity that wants you to be happy. And to this end it will give you whatever you want. If you are putting out “negative thoughts” then the universe will believe that’s what you want and misfortune will come your way, the universe doesn’t judge, maybe you’re a masochist? What you do in your own time is your business. The universe is down Yo!

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“You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and you are the one who feels your feelings.” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

(Hands up who chooses their thoughts here? Anyone?)

But if you put out good vibes. Then the universe steps up and sends you money and kittens*

I’ve been talking to some people who are into the secret. I must say I love it when people say “If you don’t believe in it then nothing I say will convince you” it’s like the old “If you give your mind over and believe what I’m saying then you will see what I am saying is the truth”…………. well duh!

Sure! let me just ignore all the troubling, impossible and tenuous things that your philosophy has. That way I can also believe in basically anything. This line of argument that says to me “I don’t have any facts, evidence or even believable anecdotes to support my position”.

How about you just trying being more sceptical and see things my way? Then you’ll agree with me right?

The problems with the secret are many but I think the main one is complete and utter lack of evidence. There is no evidence that just wishing for things make them come to you. In fact there’s a wealth of evidence to the contrary. It’s human nature for people to wish for things that they don’t have. In some cases they then work towards them, in others events conspire for them to have that thing they wished for. This is just the nature of life, no universal intervention is necessary. Nearly 100% of people wished they had more money than they do. Therefore nearly 100% of people who win the lottery have wished for money. But surely if the secret worked then nearly 100% of people would have won the lottery. Wait…they haven’t!!? Sadly the rest of us regress towards the mean unimpeded.

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Your wealth is waiting for you in the invisible, and to bring it into the visible, think wealth! ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

It’s also troubling that the people who benefit from this wishing the most, even anecdotally are white people who live in first world countries, seems a little odd actually. Is the universe racist? You’d think not, what with it being mostly black.

The Secret is incredibly selfish as a philosophy. It’s all about me. I can wish myself a better life Whoot! It’s all about what the universe can hand me and the effort I don’t have to put in. Which is why it’s such a seductive idea. It’s a quick, simple, easy fix that anyone can do. What about the world? What about the people who are less fortunate than me? What did they do wrong? Can I wish for them? Sorry the philosophy would say not. It’s all me, me, me with you people isn’t it?

It’s also victim blaming; someone was raped? Their thoughts attracted it. Someone was murdered? It was what they wanted. The universe just did their bidding. A child dies…well…who then do we blame the child or the parents? At what age do you get to wish for yourself? It’s a tough one but in reading the Secret I think the blame should go squarely on the parents. Clearly, they didn’t love the child enough.

What happens when there are competing desires? Like in war? I want to survive but my enemy counterpart really wants me dead, similarly I want them dead. Who wins? Is it then just a wishing contest?

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“Food cannot cause you to put on weight, unless you think it can.” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Imagine you go and read The Secret, but good things do not come to you as was promised. But you believe! Then whose fault is it? Not the secrets….it must be yours, you must secretly desire all the terrible things that happen to you. Maybe you don’t really believe that you’re worthy? And suddenly that idea, the purpose of the secret, that you have the ability to change your life, quickly and easily. Is gone. But it’s too late your sucked into the paradigm now.

Think about this article

The article is basically saying. If this whole easy fix isn’t working, it’s your fault. It’s not the system, it’s you.

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“There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstances of your life can change! ” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Is letting go a good idea? Sometimes.

Is being more positive worthwhile? It can be.

Is trying to work through a lifetimes worth of negativity to process it and reject it a laudable goal? Absolutely!

Is trying to change your life so you can get on-board the magic unicorn train to richville going to be ultimately disappointing? It sure is.

Also what about natural disasters? What about the Indonesian Tsunami? Was that just a country wishing for a whole lot of water at once? If so how come Tokyo has not yet actually been attacked by Godzilla?

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“Your thoughts become things!” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Like giant lizards for instance.

In the world that the secret inhabits no-one has autonomy. In-fact the philosophy is purely solipsistic. The world must have been set up for you or else how would your thoughts affect anything without creating paradox? How on earth would it cope with three billion sentient beings with competing and conflicting wants and desires? The only possible solution is that you are the only “real” being in this universe, it was made for you! And the good news is that you can purchase the user’s manual for your universe for less than $30 at Angus and Robinson. Why not pick up a copy for your imaginary kids?

The real secret in the Secret is that you are a brain in a jar being poked by stimulus for the enjoyment of the masses. But hey, at least you’re important. That’s what you really wanted isn’t it?

*Kittens not expressly guaranteed, availability of kittens in your area may vary.

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I know a dirty word

On the whole I disagree with Churches. But that does not mean that churches can’t do good or have good people in them. I sometimes wish that I could become a pastor or priest because it seems to me that, those are positions where I perhaps could do more good than I can right now. You get permission to do good things. Not only through the church but there are social mechanisms open to clergy that are not available to “just some guy”. People let you in and sadly turning up on their doorstep and saying “Hi! I’m a friendly atheist, can I help with anything?” often leads to uncomfortable conversations rather than productive ones. Unfortunately in most churches (except the Unitarians, which I can’t join for other reasons) the whole not believing in God thing is a deal breaker. This is particularly sad as I would love to join the Anglicans right now. Why? Because they are a large organisation who are actually trying to do something to assist the people, particularly children who are in danger of being sent to offshore detention by offering them sanctuary. Now I’m sure that the Anglican church like a lot of churches does a lot of good on a day-to-day basis but I am inspired by this action since they seem to be the only large scale organisation trying to do what is in this instance the right thing. And they are fighting the government to do it.

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hurm….I’m no longer betting on the govenment.

37 children and 230 adults may well be deported to Naru….hurm….I had this funny idea that we were committed to removing the adults and children from Naru…didn’t we all agree that it was an inhumane option?

I’m sure that the talk last year was around that? Seriously. Am I going crazy?

Oh wait…no I’m not last year we were told that the 600 remaining detainees on Nauru would be processed within a week. Excellent problem solved! Oh wait there are still 537 there.

It might be naive realism but I do seriously find it hard to believe that people lack so much compassion. Frankly if we need the church to tell the general population that sending children to what essentially amounts to a Jail where the government can wash their hands of them where abuse has been perpetrated, that is run by unaccountable private organisations. I see that as enough evidence that we still need churches and honestly we might all need to have a stern fucking word with ourselves.

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Seriously. A word with yourself.

OK so the argument that I saw on Q&A on Monday was that if we treat these people with even a shred of humanity then we will attract more and that just feeds into the people smuggling trade. Of course we never ever got to the bottom of the accusations that we gave people smugglers money which if true would seem counterproductive. And there are bigger issues of course. If we had boats stationed at each port to bring in refugees, wouldn’t that put people smugglers out of business? And would people smugglers really give up and go back to farming? Or would they just lie to people about what will happen to them in Australia…would they take them halfway and dump them in the ocean? I mean if these people are as bad as everyone makes out? If we really just ignore a problem does it really go away? Of course maybe it’s because I don’t know the answers to these issues (even though I’m working off the same data) that I get called Naive a lot. But is it really that black and white?

The other argument I hear a lot from both sides is that 9/10 asylum seekers turns out to be a genuine refugee. But the people who lurk in the comments section often turn it around to 1/10 illegals (although they aren’t) turn out to be frauds! So if we took in 500 asylum seekers we would take in 50 people who could be anyone! So we shouldn’t take anyone! Besides there’s no room and I’m totally not racist why do you ask?

This of course assumes that we do no form of processing. Is there anyone who is actually against every form of processing? I mean I know the government frames it as if it’s black and white and we can either turn everyone away or have an open boarder policy…but those guys just elected Barnaby Joyce to be the deputy Prime Minister. So why should I take them seriously if they aren’t even going to take themselves seriously?

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No..I can’t believe it either

The other lie that we get told time and time again is that if we open our boarders more we will end up like Europe. I’m not sure how terrible the situation in Europe is supposed to be but a quick look around seems to indicate that it’s still there and the “problem” isn’t anywhere near as terrible as armchair pundits thousands of miles away seems to indicate. Also it’s a ridiculous fiction to expect that we would get more than a trickle of people. We have never had millions of people battering on our boarders in fact we have never topped 20,000 in a year. So let’s stop being hysterical and start thinking.

Also if we want to talk about pure financial costs. How much do we pay to Transfield to store the refugees? 1.5 Billion for 3 years. I’ll just let that sink in.

Another thing that people say seemingly without thinking is “No-one is stopping people from leaving Nauru, and returning to their own country”. Well what the fuck does it say about where they were coming from that they don’t do that? *screams* We have made is as horrible as we can to come here and people still come. DUH.

Ok so there may well be economic reasons to not let everyone who wants to come to Australia come, and there maybe moral reasons too and some people may genuinely be fearful that if we treat these people well then we are supporting people smugglers but doing the wrong thing to prevent another wrong thing that may or may not happen latter on down the track should make us very uncomfortable. Some people may look at the refugees and go “Well they have a high unemployment rate after they arrive” but when I’m saving someone’s life I’m not thinking about if they are going to work for me later on or not. I’m saving their life because that’s the right thing to do. But at its core we have to call this for what it is. Xenophobia. And we are terrible people for letting it get this far. Our nation is poorer for these policies, initiated not for the benefit of the refugees but for political gain. We are poorer for not stamping them out right away and we are poorer for allowing them to continue.

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Except they aren’t. Not even close.

So well done Anglican Church. Let’s stop this insanity. Hopefully the government will look at your example and it will give them pause. (Don’t get me started on the fact that most of these people in government call themselves Christians)