The Secret

What is the Secret? Last year's internet viral ad campaign has thousands of people wondering. Trailers and teasers enticed with visual design similar to those of the Da Vinci Code while proclaiming, "The Secret was buried. The Secret was coveted. The Secret was supressed," with nary a hint to the nature of the big secret. As the film began to make an appearance, word crept out that it was about manifestation and the principles of the law of attraction. Word of the movie continues to grow. Can the film live up to all the hype?

Unlike What the Bleep?, the 2004 movie created by part of the same team that made The Secret, it does. At heart, this movie carries the same message as What the Bleep? and its sequel, Down the Rabbit Hole: that we all have the ability to transform our lives and attract to us whatever we wish using the power of conscious thought.

These are hardly new ideas, and they are not presented as such. In fact, the movie lists dozens of famous historical figures whose success can be attributed to the principles of secret - from the Buddha to American entrepreneurs.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." - Buddha"You create your own universe as you go along." - Winston Churchill"Whether you think you can or you can't, either way you are right." - Henry FordThe biggest revolution in thinking proposed by the makers of The Secret is to accept that our thoughts send out an energy or vibration - characterized in the film as a ring of light which ripples out from the actors in simulated scenes, as they think or express empowering, happy, creative thoughts or disempowering, negative, self-defeating thoughts. The energy that we put out with our thinking affects not only our own well-being and the internal environment of our bodies and minds. Through quantum physical principles which are only glanced upon in the film, our energy also contributes to creating our lives and the world around us.

To illustrate this principle, there is a sequence of scenes which begins with a woman getting up in the morning. When your alarm goes off, is your first thought to whine and complain about having to go to work for another day? Do you curse if you stub your toe? Or do you rise with anticipation to perform your morning rituals, grateful for the life you have, and to see what the day offers you? Even the intention of rising with positive words on your lips (heartfelt or not) can change the way your day - and your health - is going to go.

The ripple effect of our thoughts and feelings is so significant because, The Secret contends, "most people offer the majority of their thoughts in response to what they are observing." If our thoughts are reactionary, we are observing what already is - namely, the effect of things that we have thought in the past. Observing and reacting will only recreate what we have already created - and if that's something you don't like (unfulfilling relationships, debt, poor health) then it's certainly not something you want to be creating more of by focusing your attention on it. Instead, in order to change things, The Secret suggests we put our conscious attention on what we do want by expressing gratitude for the blessings we have in our lives and for blessings we hope to receive, as though we already have them. "Whatever it is you are feeling is a perfect reflection of what is in the process of becoming."

The Secret features entrepreneur Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, Esther Hicks (co-author of The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham), Reverend Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. John Demartini, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf and others. Each presents in brief, simple terms the ways in which our thoughts and feelings create our lives.

The movie certainly features more men than women, although Da Vinci's universal man has been transformed in the background visuals to a "universal woman" - another nice touch.

The Secret takes a different approach from What the Bleep? and Down the Rabbit Hole, with its emphasis on the material impact of the law of attraction in our lives, as opposed to the spiritual and healing implications. The film has been criticized by some for ignoring the spiritual implications of the law of attraction in favour of a materialistic approach - although that's not necessarily a bad thing, since it makes the ideas in the film both more succinct and more intriguing to those who may not have explored this kind of concept before. It's a great introduction to the law of attraction for those who are new to self-affirmation and the idea that our thoughts create our lives. People more experienced with these ideas may find The Secret doesn't have as much of intellectual value to offer; though it's equally good as a refresher and a reminder of our infinite potential.

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