Thinking through ‘The Secret’ (class discussion)

In class this week, we raised many issues/questions regarding our reading (and viewing) of The Secret. Below is just a recap of a few:

  • How does the author (Rhonda Byrne) establish authority/expertise/ethos in the text? How does her use of personal narrative/experience (her personal history/transformation), historical personages/quotes, and so-called “experts” (contributing authors) inform the text/set up her vision of happiness?
  • How does she use pathos?
  • Logos?
  • Who is she offering her advice to, and why?
  • Did she create this “secret” on her own/out of nowhere, or did she find it somewhere else?
  • Is this vision realistic? Can individuals have “anything” they want? Is there a limit?
  • What is the role of effort/action (or what should it be) in The Secret’s methodology?
  • What does “thoughts become things” (or the “law of attraction”) mean in the context of Byrne’s self-help recipe?
  • Are individuals totally in control of their own destiny? What about larger socio-economic factors/structural issues?
  • Although Byrne attempts to democratize “success” by offering the recipe for it to anyone, is there a sense of implicit elitism in her vision?
  • If you get positive things by positive thinking, and you get negative things by negative thinking, then what kind of responsibility does this place (perhaps unfairly?) on individuals? Is this a kind of “blame-the-victim” ideology?
  • What happens when there are competing desires (one person wants something, but this conflicts with what someone else wants/desires)?
  • Why is this vision of success/happiness compelling/seductive to its readers?

In preparation for our upcoming Essay #3, we will continue to discuss these questions (and others, which you should raise!) here in this post. The goal, as it is with Essay #3 (and all of our “happiness archive” entries) is¬†to use critical thinking and analysis to demonstrate how Byrne constructs a particular meaning and view of happiness in The Secret and to identify the (often hidden) values that inform such a vision.

So go ahead, dig deeper, and explore what visions of happiness/values lie beneath the surface of this self-help bestseller. Everyone should post at least one comment/reply here no later than Saturday (10/5), addressing some aspect of the text (you should point to a specific place in the text, providing a quote/page number), perhaps answering one or more of these questions above, posing other questions, referencing/linking us to places in real life where you see the “Secret” ideology at work (do certain advertisements promote versions of the “secret”? e.g., if you buy these products, you will be happy), relating personal views/experiences, responding to each other, etc.

But … as always, I encourage you to drop a comment more than once (maybe twice, maybe many many more times!). Remember that you can just present a quick idea, reply to someone else, say a sentence or two. And since you all enjoyed watching the Saturday Night Live sketch that parodies The Secret (and Oprah’s promotion of it) so much in class on Tuesday (here is a link to that sketch in case you want to watch it again … thanks Michael for finding it for us!) and since you all had such insightful critiques/comments on The Secret in response, here’s another one, for your viewing pleasure (hopefully, in addition to making you laugh, it will get you thinking about some more possible critiques/contradictions/complications of The Secret’s message). Happy watching ūüôā

“The Blatantly Obvious” (a The Secret parody by 24 Calamity)

The Secret

The book The secret by Rhonda Byrne focuses on the law of attraction and how we can achieve the things that we want just by being positive. “Everything that’s coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And its attracted to you by virtue of images you’re holding in your mind.” she also says that this “attraction” determines the complete order of the universe and your life. I think the secret and the idea of Law of Attraction so far is misleading unrealistic. for instance Byrne basically says that in order to be happy in life and get the things that you want¬†you have to be positive about everything. I think that’s false because it depends on the situation and sometimes its hard for people to be positive about everything.¬†I also think¬†that the Law of Attraction¬†is too materialistic because it just focuses on getting¬†THINGS¬†that you want to get in¬†your life. “through this powerful law, your thoughts become¬†the things in your life”.¬†Byrne also wants to make it seem like¬†The Secret has just been unearthed,¬†ands its been around for thousands of years and she uses people like Plato or Socrates to make it seem like they have discovered and¬†used¬†The Secret to make it¬†credible.¬†I think that the Secret might help some people but I think the book will mostly benefit the wealthy.

El Secreto =The Secret

The people we study, and changed the world all knew something the rest of the world did not. It was the “Secret.” Rhonda Bryne, the author of “The Secret” uncovers a secret that makes cliche quotes sound like they are achievable. The secret is “attraction,” What ever the person attracts it gets. Attraction is seen as something a person thinks about and has the mentality. Which then attracts everything the person has in the mind. The mind play a big part in the way the law attraction works. Many people have tried to focus on their dream goals, but many gave up after waiting impatiently. Bryne quoted other individuals that knew about the secret and many of them figured out that there is a big reason why the goals are not being accomplished. Many of them have said that people think of the things they do not wish to have as a dominant thought. This therefore makes everything they don’t want to happen to occur. The strategy is to make your goal a dominant thought in order to see what you want as long as you keep thinking about it. Throughout the book Bryne mentions the mind of the person should always be on their goals and visualize them as you are finally achieving your goals.

The Secret

In¬†the¬†book¬†called¬†The¬†Secret,¬†the¬†author¬†Rhonda¬†Byrne¬†tries¬†to inform¬†and¬†introduce¬†us¬†about¬†‚Äúthe¬†secret‚Ä̬†in¬†life¬†that¬†many¬†popular people¬†in¬†the¬†history¬†already¬†noticed.¬†This¬†secret¬†is¬†the¬†‚ÄúLaw¬†of¬†Attraction‚Äú, which¬†is¬†the¬†concept¬†of¬†like¬†thought¬†attracts¬†to¬†the¬†like¬†thoughts.¬†There¬†are many¬†examples¬†of¬†the¬†‚ÄúLaw¬†of¬†Attraction‚Ä̬†in¬†daily¬†life.¬†For¬†instance, there¬†is¬†a¬†person¬†keeps¬†thinking¬†about¬†something¬†that¬†is¬†unhappy. The¬†more¬†that¬†person¬†thinks¬†about¬†it,¬†then¬†the¬†more¬†upset¬†he¬†will¬†be. That¬†is¬†how¬†the¬†‚Äú¬†Law¬†of¬†Attraction‚Ä̬†works,¬†like¬†attracts¬†like. In¬†addition¬†to¬†it,¬†Rhonda¬†Byrne¬†also¬†reveals¬†that¬†the¬†concept¬†of¬†the ‚Äú¬†Law¬†of¬†Attraction‚Ä̬†encourages¬†us¬†to¬†change¬†our¬†circumstances¬†by changing¬†our¬†thoughts¬†and¬†to¬†think¬†about¬†what¬†we¬†want,¬†instead¬†of what¬†we¬†don‚Äôt¬†want.¬†That‚Äôs¬†because¬†when¬†we¬†focus¬†on¬†something¬†negative, then¬†that¬†tend¬†to¬†happen¬†since¬†the¬†‚ÄúLaw¬†of¬†Attraction‚Ä̬†does¬†not¬†compute any¬†words¬†of¬†negation.¬†Besides¬†of¬†this,¬†Rhonda¬†Byrne¬†also¬†discusses¬†how our¬†thoughts¬†cause¬†our¬†feelings¬†since¬†it¬†can¬†make¬†us¬†to¬†have¬†either¬†good¬†or bad¬†feelings.¬†Thus,¬†we¬†can¬†know¬†about¬†our¬†thoughts¬†by¬†becoming¬†aware¬†of our¬†feelings.¬†Furthermore,¬†Rhonda¬†Byrne¬†suggests¬†that¬†whenever¬†we¬†are¬†feeling down,¬†we¬†can¬†use¬†the¬†‚ÄúSecret¬†Shifters‚ÄĚ,¬†which¬†are¬†the¬†things¬†that¬†can¬†change our¬†feelings¬†in¬†a¬†quick¬†way.¬†Rhonda¬†Byrne¬†states¬†that¬†‚ÄúThe¬†Creative¬†Process‚ÄĚ can¬†also¬†help¬†us¬†to¬†create¬†what¬†we¬†want¬†in¬†the¬†steps¬†of¬†ask,¬†believe,¬†and¬†receive. Moreover,¬†Rhonda¬†Byrne¬†discusses¬†the¬†secrets¬†to¬†many¬†other¬†aspects¬†and¬†share the¬†ideas¬†of¬†being¬†optimistic¬†and¬†positive¬†with¬†the¬†readers¬†through¬†the¬†book.

“The Secret”

“The secret” is a piece of literature written by author Rhonda Byrne, which focuses on the law of attraction and its believe of how it is the natural force that governs one’s life. It can be the power, money, and those type of desires you might have. Author Rhonda Byrne is trying to let us, the audience, what the secret really is. It is the “law of attraction”; anything you project into this world, whether its good or bad, will display back into your life. An example of this can be a person having thoughts about how rich they wish they can be; while having money issues. Because they’re thinking about it too much, their mind is just taking over them physically and mentally, while their problem is not even changing. On the contrary, a person that wishes to be rich, and is just patiently waiting/hoping it will happen, might get the desire they want. Although those hopes/wishes won’t happen as fast as the person might want them to happen, it will eventually happen, according to the book. It is all on how you look at things, and in the positive thinking of somebody. Thinking positively will lead you to accomplish the things you want in life. Us human beings are in control of our lives. We might not be able to control our thoughts but positive thinking is what really makes a person happy. Our goal is to always stay positive, and give time to time. Good things come to those who wait.

The Secret By (Dot Dot Dot)

The Secret, written by Rhonda Byrne, talks about how the universe is run by something called Law of Attraction. The idea behind this is basically, you think positively or negatively thoughts and you are drawing out the results. The whole book is based on this concept about how to make your life happier with such a thing as Law of Attraction. You control your life with just a thought and that thought would bring you to something you could never have expected.

Through the story, they all explain the fact that you must feel good in order to get good results. Clamming that it is the perfect way in gaining what ever you want, whether it being wealth, or even to be cured my cancer, etc. our thoughts are primarily the cause of everything around us, if we can think it then we send this thought to the universe and sends this new found idea to your feelings. When feeling down, this can bring negative thoughts and is encouraged, starting and thinking happier or a positive out look in life or situation.

In other words, only you rule over your life, only you can bring these things to your self and the most efficient way in doing so is think positively. Don’t always look down in your life, start to pick it up with a thought and progress with unfold its self from there.

The Secret

If you could pick one thing in life and wish to just get it, did you know that you could actually get it? Doesn’t necessarily have to be a material object, it could be something that you’ve wanted your whole life or something you really want at the particular moment. “You become what you think about most, but you also attract what you think about most.” That is basically the Law of Attraction. If you spend most of your time thinking about something and just that something either it’s negative or positive but it will happen in your life because that’s all you think about. Keep thinking about why something so bad keeps happening in your life over and over again, well it’s the simple fact of Law of Attraction. You’re giving all your attention to it and it continues to happen. That is something that we have no control over other than just changing our primary thoughts into what we may believe are positives. We have power of everything that happens in our life just by the way that we look at life and everything that we think about. If you think negatively negative stuff will happen, if you think positively positive stuff will continue to happen. If you think about success and money all the time it’s apparently bound to come your way in life. The Secret is something that not everyone knows and was kept well a secret because it happens by nature and is the strongest law of them all that can not be changed. Think something will happen and or how much you do not want it to happen and eventually according to The Secret it will happen.

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