Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Secret - Hah!

The Secret is all the rage, apparently. Haven't read it myself. From what I can gather, it is one of those "focus on it and it will come to you" books. I will grant that if one is thinking about something with intent, one will just naturally do things which might help that along. Beyond that, there's too much counterevidence.

If thinking really hard about something and imagining it in detail made it happen, or even was much help in making it happen, then I would have slept with a lot of girls in high school and college. My college had 4,000 students, high school had 2,000... heck, that's 3,000 girls right there. And don't tell me that you have to be more persistent and focussed and not so scattered to make it work. At the highest cutoff you can set, there would still be a dozen girls on that list.

Also, every guy in America would have had a brilliant sports career. There would be so many of us who hit the final shot with a few seconds left that it wouldn't be worth mentioning anymore. At least 50% of us would have won a lottery. Been in a movie.

On a more serious note, let's see how happy everyone is about explaining this secret to starving people in Africa.

Just think these things through, people.


Anonymous said...

It seems like there a lot of books out there that fall under the category of get what you want without really having to do anything to get it. Usually they have classy titles like "Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days!" or "How to Become a Self Made Millionaire, Like Me." (I think the title should be "Get Rich Like Me by Telling Other People How to Get Rich Like You.")
Rant On
But anyway, the Secret book just blow these other books out of the water. It doesn't even seem to have any logical premise, just get what you want by thinking about it. Anyone who buys the book and plans on taking it seriously should NOT be allowed to reproduce.
Rant off

bs king said...

One of those guys who wrote a book like that (The Prayer of Jabez guy I believe...same premise, but you know, add "Dear God" at the beginning) actually did go to Africa to try to start a mission based on the "if you pray it, it will come" theory. It folded in under a year.

Interestingly enough, I read a review of the Secret that mentioned that she applies the "think it" theory to allergies as well. I think this is all just one big joke. Like scientology or something.

terri said...

The Secret is simply modernized superstition.

I worry less about the "positive" portion of it, thinking about things in order to achieve or acquire them, than I do about the flip side.

It can make people become fearful that if they slip-up and think negative things, then bad things will happen. If your dog dies, it's because you briefly pictured it dying when hearing about recalled pet food. If you lose your job, it's because you were complaining last Thursday about how frustrating it is.

Talk about a head trip!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

An excellent point, terri. That is the greater downside.

terri said...

AVI...I am just staring to assemble a links list on my blog. Do you mind if I list your blog there?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Honored. I didn't think you had one - I believe I checked when you first appeared. I would have visited long ago had I known. And I am a better commenter than blogger, usually.

Jerub-Baal said...

Yeh, I've got to agree with Terri. I'm one of those depressive artist stereotypes. My wife goes on a trip with the kids to visit her family in Kentucky, and I spend a week awake on the couch with visions of firey mini-van crashes.

It's a blessing that you don't get stuff by thinking of it. I never want to have to quote Job and say, "That which I feared has come upon me..."

Unknown said...

I'd say Bruce Tallman had the right of the thing in his recent essay.

There is power in what you think, but not anywhere near as much as The Secret or any of the other similar books state. The power of thinking shows as persistence and non-negative thought ... there is no magic about it.

Someone said invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I think that applies to thought as well.

Einstein also said something about the power of persistence.