Review: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

July 21, 2012

Its been about a month since college started, and I've been pretty busy for most of that time. Which, as you probably guessed, is why I've been so AWOL for some time.

In the meantime, I've been making friends, which surprisingly, has been pretty easy, considering how reserved and all I usually am. And even more surprisingly, I haven't faced any ragging from my seniors! I not so sure about other places, but in India, ragging is the norm, and when it doesn't happen, WOW!

Other than that, I've been reading this blog that my senior has, called On books!. Its a book review blog (duh!), and its nice. It got me thinking...

I read books.

A lot of books.

I mean, A LOT!

So, I thought, why not try my hand at it? I definitely wouldn't be able to do it very often or regularly, what with college, and studies and all that, but I thought I'd just give it a try. But, like most things I say I'll give a try, it remained at the back of my mind, and I never got round to doing it.

Luckily, a few days back, I entered a book review competition at college. At first, I was pretty skeptic about entering it, because we could only review non-fiction, and my experience with non-fiction is pretty non-existent. But then I just thought I'd give it a try, a 'broaden my horizons' kind of thing.

I spent around 2 weeks pouring over the book, taking notes, marking passages, researching the people and stories in it, going through other reviews, blah blah blah, and this is what I came up with. Tell me what you think!

So, here goes

Title: The Secret
Author: Rhonda Byrne
Publisher: Atria Books Beyond Words Publishing
Publication Date: November 2006

Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.
In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life -- money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers -- men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

My views on The Secret are pretty lukewarm. The title of the book in itself goes a long way in selling it. It feels more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. 'Cause lets face it, none of us can resist knowing a secret. At least I cant.
So what is the Secret? The entire book is built upon one thing - 'The Law of Attraction'.
"Everything coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And its attracted to you by virtue of the images you are holding in your mind."

So basically, whatever you think, happens. No exceptions. At least according to Byrne. Doesn't it seem just like one of those super human powers you've always wanted?

She says our thoughts are magnetic, having frequencies, and they supposedly attract everything else on the same frequency.

Its like this:

You've got an excellent new job? Congratulations! It's your credit!

You've met eith an ccident and broke your spine? Congratulation! You just brought it on yourself.

Does that make any sense at all? Sorry, not to me.

The book also has the tendency to quote out of context. It quotes Winston Churchill, Graham Bell, and even the Bible out of context!

Lack of authenticity is another thing. There are a lot of statements made that lack any proof For instance,
-Your thoughts can affect quantum states.
Nope. Not gonna happen. Any day.

-Religions such as Hinduism, Hermetic traditions, Buddhism, Jusaism, Christianity, and Islam, and civilizations, such as the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, delivered it through their writings and stories.
I am a muslim, and I can vouch for the fact that there isnot an iota of truth in that particular staement pertaining to Islam. Nowhere in the Quran, or in the Prophet's teachings is the Secret mentioned.

- A lot of views of David Schrimer are published in the book. David Schirmer is one of the teachers of the Secret. However, if you search about him on the internet, you will find that he is not a very credible person, having had a number of cases filed against him.

The Secret does not stand up against the most basic test of the Occam's Razor. Which statement is more simple and hence plausible? - 
You stay focused upon one particular thing and hence achieve it from your determination and single mindedness.


Your focused thoughts, on a certain frequency, are interacting with the universe, which in turn changes things to suit you?

The 1st one, right?

The Secret mentions many real life stories where the Secret has worked. But what about the times when it just hasn't made a difference? What happens when two people are using hte Secret on two conflicting thoughts? Who wins? What about people caught accidents and natural disasters? The book says that their thoughts might have been on a frequency that attracts such things to them. Seriously?! No one is going to go around thinking, " I want to be involved in a tsunami.' or something, unless their really depressed and suicidal. Sadly, The Secret does not hold any constructive, proven answers for any of these questions.

However, somewhere within all this, there are some helpful ideas. It tells us to love ourselves the way we are, only them can we bring about any change in our lives. Focus and determination and faith in our goals is very important, for without that, nothing is possible. It talks about the importance of positive thought, and not allowing any place for doubts and negative thoughts to enter your mind. This particular advice brought to mind something that one of my lecturers said about the 'Don't Want' epidemic that we all tend to have very often. It says that the key to positive thoughts is through your emotions and feelings.

It is impossible to feel good and at the same time be having negative thoughts.... If you're feeling good, then you're creating a future that's on track with your desires.

If only the good ideas, the proven facts in the book are taken together and published, it would certainly make a wonderful book. Sadly, right now, it is just a book which promotes pseudoscience and improbable ideas.

P.S.: - Please note that I dont have anything against the author or the book. I'm just putting forward my views.
- I realise that I've been putting up posts that haven't been written for this blog oeiginally, and I feel really bad about that, and if there's anyone out there reading this, seriously, I'll get back to real blogging in a while. Till then, bear with me.
- I just realized that real soon, I'll need to change my profile. *Sigh* I'll be leaving teenage behind me soon.

1 comment :

  1. Thx for sharing, What Is The Month Of Ramadhan? cum hav a luk


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