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Friday, February 20, 2009

The Secret

by Rhonda Byrne

I have had this on my iPod for since it was first released. My friend who works at the library insisted that I read and/or listen to it. Every time I saw her she asked if I'd read it yet. I was not excited to read it because I had read Psycho-Cybernetics and The Magic of Believing some 30+ years ago and felt like I understood the concept behind The Secret.

On our trip to the city last week, Candleman and I were talking about positive thinking and his discussion with a friend that didn't seem to understand what Candleman was trying to say. In just the little bit that was said I picked up on the fact that Candleman and his friend had different definitions of positive thinking. This conversation eventually led to Candleman asking if I had ever read The Secret because he had been hearing some buzz at work about it. Since I had my iPod with me we plug it in and listened to the first 30-45 min of The Secret. Finally, we couldn't take anymore and turned it off.

It came across to me as a bunch of mystical mumbo-jumbo that was supposed to solve all life's problems. The secret, or the law of attraction, was the one and only thing anybody needed to know to be happy. I don't have any problem with the 'law of attraction' as Bryne calls it because I've been taught since I was young, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." I was majorly turned off by the way it was presented. Maybe if I would have read the book instead of listening to it, I would not have the same impression.

A few days later I decided I would finish listening to the book so I could give it a fair review - one that was based on its entirety and not just a part. I'm glad I did. As the book continued some of the mystical approach was dropped and the book got down to the practical application of the law of attraction and how and why it works. Although, I still recommend Psycho-Cybernetics and The Magic of Believing as better teachers of this "secret" then The Secret. It never fails to amaze me when a book such as this one grabs the public's attention over much better books on the same subject.

12 comments:

Kristen M. said...

The thing that turned me off when this first made the rounds and Byrne was on Oprah was the fact that she (Byrne) kept on like she had discovered the laws of attraction. Wouldn't it have put out more positive energy into the universe to acknowledge those who had come before? She seemed rather smug and condescending as well. Blech.

Lexi said...

My best friend bought this book for me for my birthday a few years ago. I read it all the way through for her sake, but I have to say...I didn't really buy it and I did not enjoy the book at all. Glad you found something useful in it after all!

Booklogged said...

Kristen, so glad you pointed that out. I meant to say something about that in the review.

Lexi, I'm not sure I found anything useful in The Secret. I think there are other books that deal with the concept in a more reasonable manner. I think we can both be happy that it was a thin book!

sherry said...

I haven't read this book but I watched the DVD. I didn't mind the reminder to be mindful of the power of our thoughts but was put off be the materialism. Imagine yourself driving a Porsche...etc.

Thanks for the review.

Booklogged said...

Sherry, so much emphasis was put on gaining wealth, power or prestige. Do they think that's all we can relate to? Or is that what they think most of us want? I think we can identify with feelings of peace, healthiness, vitality, etc.

Framed said...

My problem with "The Secret" was also its emphasis on materail goals. I read "The Law of Attraction" and found it to be more well-rounded. I still think that there are positive-thinking people out there who have bad things happen to them. These books can't explain that, but it's the way life is.

Booklogged said...

Framed, couldn't agree more - bad things do happen to good people and to people who think positively. The Secret made it sound like bad things are brought on by negative thinking. I believe that can be true in some cases but certainly not in all.

Kailana said...

I live under a rock. I am perfectly aware of this books existence, but that's about the extent of my knowledge!

Iliana said...

Yea, I've never really wanted to read this book and your review confirms that for me. It's funny isn't it when there are better books written on a subject but for some reason some do better than others? I guess in this case it was the power of Oprah :)

Les said...

Not my cuppa. Thanks for reinforcing my lack of interest! :)

Staci said...

I'm sure the reason why this one was hyped was because of the Oprah endorsement!!

Ladytink_534 said...

I've heard such good things about this! I actually own the audio book but I still haven't gotten around to listening to it.