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Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor
Dissecting "The Secret"
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|This is the first in a series of articles that examines a popular craze called "The Secret." This piece does not address assertions contained in the DVD or Book, but subsequent articles cite quotations from The Secret and provide analysis. The following introduces a vital dialogue; if you've thought that The Secret offers something Great, what I share in these articles is Greater — not because I say so, but because the weight of evidence supports this conclusion!|
| 1 - When the Head is Out of Harmony with the Heart
2 - Getting The Universe to Book Your Appearance on Oprah
3 - Hedonism Hiding In Sheep's Clothing: Twisting True Principles
4 - Faith as Feeling-Filled Visualization of what You Want
5- As a Man Thinketh in his Heart, not his Head
Clearly positive attitude and mental imaging have limits. Why so? Because a man named "James Ray" is a teacher of "The Secret," yet his own positive affirmations could not keep him from justice or jail. James Ray became prideful about his own positive power, as he supposed, and his Head got disconnected from his Heart. As a result, Ray made short-sighted decisions that resulted in the deaths of three people who put their faith in him; sadly, they trusted a mere mortal to lead them to enlightenment and fulfillment.
|There are some Good Ideas that come from the Mind-Power Paradigm (The Secret), but there are even Better Ideas that come from what I will call a Heart-Power Paradigm. First, here are some Good Ideas about Mind Power — ideas parallel to principles promoted by "The Secret." The following fantastic analogy comes from Dr. Wayne Dyer:|
Investing Brain Bucks
Think of your thoughts as a form of mental currency. Imagine that you are given a million dollars and you take this bushel of money down to the mall to spend in any way you'd like.
You go to a store where they are selling plastic trees. Now, these aren't the nice attractive trees you might want for your home or office, but they are absolutely hideous, ugly, and obviously plastic trees. You look at an ugly orange one and think to yourself, "I hate this tree! Who would EVER want this thing in their house?!!"
Then you look at the price tag and it reads $30,000. You ask yourself, "Where do they get off charging Thirty Thousand Dollars for this piece of junk?!" So you grab the stupid thing, drag it up to the front counter, plunk down thirty grand and say, "I hate this tree! Please deliver this trashy hideous heap to my home address."
The next store you go to is selling pots (probably for the plastic trees), and they are just as disgusting as the trees. Again you find a particularly yucky one and see that they are charging $10,000 for it. "WHAT? Ten Thousand Dollars for this ugly piece of junk?!? So you grab this hideous pot, drag it up to the front counter, plunk down ten grand and say, "I hate this pot! Please deliver this pathetic piece of pottery to my home address.
How are you spending your thoughts? Take an accounting, and ask yourself how much time and attention you spend thinking about things you DON'T WANT—things that bother you, things that drive you crazy, or things that you fear and worry about?
You see, your thoughts are like currency with which you buy the life you hope to live, and whatever you buy with this mental currency will follow you home, and fill up your world.
In the first place, WHY would anyone THINK ABOUT hideous plastic trees and equally ugly pots, then act upon those THOUGHTS, and buy unwanted and unattractive items to clutter one's world?
This question is answered in a truth taught by Jesus:
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
It follows that if the "mouth" speaks according to the abundance of the Heart, then the mind will also think from this same abundance. Thus, the fundamental reason why people spend their brain bucks on hideous plastic trees and ugly pots is because of "the abundance of the heart" — or lack of abundance.
To find something Greater than Mind-Power and "The Secret," we must explore the source from which thoughts flow — the Heart.
Here's a truth that some people profoundly misunderstand: You can't directly change your Heart merely by changing the thoughts in your Head — by the force of your own will power. This means You alone cannot directly change the core of your character. This is a truth diametrically opposite from what The Secret is selling.
And just as you cannot directly change your Heart (an idea further explained in a subsequent article), you also cannot directly choose to be Happy — an idea that contradicts the words of Secreteer, Bob Proctor: "When you're feeling down, did you know you can change it like that (snaps his fingers)? Then Proctor proceeds to explain the "think-of-a-baby" mind technique.
If changing a depressed disposition were that easy to do, then everyone would be doing it—but they're not! And why aren't they? As famed trumpet player Louis Armstrong stated:
If you ain't got it in ya . . . you can't blow it out.
Simple words. Profound meaning! You see, some people can't help themselves. Being mortal means that human beings are creatures of habit! So with the dawning of a new day many people drag yesterday's dreary baggage behind — they go shopping for hideous plastic trees, buy them, and bring them home to clutter their world.
It's simply NOT "in them" to do otherwise. They can't CHANGE their mind, because they haven't yet experienced a CHANGE of Heart, the source from which thoughts flow — a truth taught by James:
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Truth is, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth sweet water; neither can a clean fountain bring forth bitter water. Impossible! So, what is the condition of your character? Do you have an abundant Heart? You must first attend to the core of your character before you can think positive and productive thoughts — this is where James Ray went wrong. He neglected the primary importance of Heart.
Again, people will spend brain bucks based upon Who They Are from the Heart. As people possess a Heart tainted by shades of black or gray, the thoughts and deeds that proceed from this kind of Heart will be inescapably impure and unproductive.
The fundamental power to spend brain bucks productively does not reside in one's mind, for YOU cannot think or choose or act beyond the level of Who You Are—the core of your character, the condition of your Heart. This conclusion leads us to a curious conundrum conceived by Albert Einstein. An excerpt from my book, Changing Your Stripes, explains:
Einstein's Mind Bind. Impaired perceptions inevitably lead to flawed solutions. With clouded vision and confused thinking, people with dark-hearts cannot "figure" their way out of their problem. The reason why people do not—and sometimes cannot—find their way out of a problem is explained by a conundrum I call, "Einstein's Mind Bind." In short, you can't change your mind . . . using the same mind that needs changing; neither can you fix a situation, using a mind that needs fixing. Here's how this bind of the mind . . . was stated by Einstein:
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This means, in order to solve any problem, a paradigm shift is required! A shift from the way of thinking that was capable of creating a problem in the first place, . . . to a way of thinking that can perceive a new perspective. Further, thinking that you can solve Life’s most important problems with your “thinking,” is itself a problem.
When confronted with a crucial issue, some will say, “I need to figure things out, I need a strategy.” Using your head is a good approach for solving problems of algebra, but not for solving problems of anguish. The mental mindset used to create an interpersonal problem cannot be used to solve it. As long as the head remains disconnected from the heart, people with dark-hearts will proceed to solve their problems in precisely the wrong way; they will be beset with a blinding mental block that breeds more perplexity.
Being blind in the mind is a condition I also like to call, and so I do: the Migraine Mental Block—an ailment of a Head that pays no heed to the Heart. Again, being Blind in the Mind means: the head that thunk its way into a tangle cannot be used to think its way out of a tangle. But from whence comes a mindset capable of creating chaos? (Changing Your Stripes, page 175).
Energy flows . . . where your attention goes!
If you've been paying attention, you have discovered that we have a crucial conundrum: If you can't CHANGE your mind using the same mind that needs CHANGING, how can anyone ever escape Einstein's Mind Bind? Here's a practical application of this Mind Bind — A Self-Defeating Trap.
The answer to this perplexing problem comes clear as we stay in a vital dialogue that seeks to dissect "The Secret." The next article is entitled: Getting The Universe To Book Your Appearance On Oprah
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