What is “The Secret”?

Written by Darren Hewer

Since its release on DVD, and later release as a hardcover book, The Secret has sold millions of copies. Approximately 1.5 million copies of the DVD and 5.25 million copies of the book have already been sold (or are currently being printed) to meet massive public demand.

So what is The Secret?

It is essentially this: “Thoughts … create … things!” The ‘Law of Attraction’ states that “like attracts like,” so our thoughts “attract” things into our lives. The Secret says our minds are like magnets, attracting whatever we think about; the ‘law’ doesn’t care if what we think about is good or bad, that’s what we get. If bad things are happening to you, it’s because of your negative thoughts, and since it’s a law, it always works. The idea is that to change your life, all you have to do is start thinking positive thoughts. By changing your thoughts you can have what’s most  important in life. And of course, what’s most important according to The Secret and its advertising campaign is lots of money, a fast car, a big house, etc.

But I have to wonder, is that what’s really the most important? No one on their death bed ever wishes they’d bought more gold watches …

An example of the ‘Law of Attraction’: The DVD shows a man locking up his bicycle. He’s worried that someone will steal it, so he puts two locks on it. But when he comes back, he’s despondent when he returns to find that it was stolen. According to The Secret, his bike was stolen because of his negative thoughts. The implication is that he would have been better off to not lock up his bike and instead think positive thoughts about it. The problem is, the bike didn’t steal itself. Someone had to steal it. That means that, according to The Secret, the man’s negative thoughts somehow forced another person to steal his bike! Something about that doesn’t sound right.

Is The Secret true?

No. It is merely the latest twist on the oldest lie: “You will be like God …” Wrapping this lie in pseudo-science and misusing “quantum physics” doesn’t make the lie any better, and The Secret’s self-centered focus (it’s all about me, me, me) is a sad commentary on our modern society.

The Secret also makes some other claims that don’t sound right. Among them:

  • The Secret says … Food does not make us fat: “Food cannot cause you to put on weight unless you think it can.” In fact, it says you should not even LOOK at people who are “overweight”!
  • The Secret says … If you’re in debt and keep getting bills in the mail, don’t bother trying to figure out how to pay them. Just start imagining that you’ll get checks in the mail instead and soon your bills will magically be replaced with checks! (I wonder what your bank teller will say when you try to deposit your bills?)
  • The Secret says … “Time is just an illusion.” Then a few pages later, it says that if we don’t have enough time, just believe you have enough and you will! But then “time is just an illusion.” (Hint: Time is real.)
  • The Secret says … Why bother seeing a doctor? It claims all sickness is caused by stress, so you can cure any “disease” by thinking positive thoughts: “Laughter really is the best medicine!” (TheLife.com Editor’s note: If you are sick right now, see a doctor, and do NOT stop taking your medicine!)
  • The Secret says … You should never do anything that doesn’t feel good: “Action will sometimes be required, but it’s going to feel joyous.”

We know that we can’t change the world just by thinking positive thoughts like The Secret claims. Thinking positively is surely a good thing, but that grain of truth in The Secret is buried under a mountain of lies. Positive thoughts that don’t lead to positive actions won’t lead to life changes. Claiming that our “thoughts are the primary cause of everything” and that we can “create our own reality” is ridiculous. Have you ever wanted something really badly and thought about getting it almost constantly but didn’t get it? So have I. And what about the millions who tragically perished in the Holocaust? The authors of The Secret claim it ultimately was their own fault by attracting their horrific fate by their negative thoughts. The ‘Law of Attraction’ simply doesn’t work.

Where does this leave us?

The Secret gives us a choice: Either believe in The Secret or live a life without control, where luck and chance reign supreme. But there is another way. We need to learn to have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference (Reinhold Niebuhr).

The Secret says that we should never do anything that doesn’t immediately cause us “joy.” Although The Secret rips Bible quotes out of context to try to prove its point, the self-centered view that we should only do what makes us happy directly contradicts Jesus’ teaching. See what Romans 5:7-9 has to say: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ [Jesus] died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus didn’t come to sit around thinking happy thoughts. He came to sacrifice for us, and save us. Me and you. We are in control of our own lives and we often make a mess of things. That’s why while we are still sinners, Jesus pays the price we never could on our own.

The Secret says that there is no real purpose in life; the only “purpose” in life is whatever you feel like. The ‘Law of Attraction’ doesn’t love, it just blindly hands out good and evil equally. But God says differently. No matter what your life has been like so far, God is waiting to welcome you back into his open arms.

Nobody wants to live a meaningless life. God offers you a life with purpose through Jesus Christ, his son, whom he gave up on the cross to die for our sins. He longs to have a relationship with you and give you the life you’ve longed for—life lived to its fullest, life everlasting.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. Praying is not at all like The Secret. Unlike the ‘Law of Attraction’, which is impersonal and uncaring, prayer gives us the opportunity to begin to know and have a loving relationship with God, who doesn’t answer our requests like a genie from a lamp but instead promises to listen and to love us. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised. Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest. Please let us know if you’ve made this decision today:

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