A new book entitled “ The Theory of Secret” and a DVD version entitled the same which are describing the secret mechanisms that help us get what we want have captured the imagination of people and generated a lot of excitement. The book version has entered the ‘Best Seller List’ and the visual media has been interested enough to host programes about the Secret involving interviews with the Secret people by popular TV personalities such as Larry King and Oprah winfrey. Though the general public is exhibiting a positive interest in the theories of Secret, there is doubt and disbelief among many who question the validity of Secret theories and dismiss it as unscientific. In the midst of popular acclaim on the one hand and scientific skepticism on the other, it would be a sensible approach to examine the merits of Secret claims in a rational and objective manner that does justice to the authors of Secret and also meets the objections raised by skeptics.
Human Science is a subject based on the premise that there are universal laws that govern all aspects of human activities. In this project we can take an objective look at the Theories of Secret from the perspective of Human Science and see if it meets the standards of Human Science. The Human Science perspective shows that the Secret is trying to describe one universal method of creation and process of accomplishment. If that method and process are fully understood it will help anybody accomplish whatever he wants to obtain from life. Therefore the greater the clarity about the theme, the greater will be the accomplishment.
The first part of this article deals with the statements presented by Secret and the second part discusses the theories behind those statements.
Message of The Secret
The proponents of the secret cited in the book state that they are only presenting a knowledge that has been known for a long time to humanity. Only that in this book they are giving it in a full and comprehensive form. The knowledge given in this book can be summarized as follows: Human beings have the power to accomplish whatever they want to if only they follow the appropriate methods. The method advocated here is suitable for gaining wealth, position, health and for improving personal relations and any other human aspiration. The method is believed to be unerring and infallible.
Law of Attraction
The authors of “The Secret” emphasize that there is one universal law called the “Law of Attraction” which they say is the secret behind accomplishment. That law simply states that whatever we aspire for with our thoughts and feelings is attracted to come towards us by the power of that aspiration. In other words what is within us makes the same thing comes towards us from the outside irrespective of whether it is good or bad. The principle seems to be like attracts like. The authors do not try to explain how the mechanism of attraction works or how the response is elicited from the universe. They simply say that we need not know how the universe delivers the results. It is enough we simply concentrate on what we want to get from the universe and have the joy of getting it.
The essence of the method advocated by the authors of Secret is as follows:
The first step of the process is to give an intense visualization to what we want to achieve and focus all our attention on that on a continuous basis. The attention should be only on the positive result or solution that we want and not on the current problem or negative situation we are facing. Attention to the present difficulty only aggravates the situation by energizing it since the universe only takes note of what we are focusing on and not whether it is good or bad. If a poor man is constantly dwelling on his poverty and telling himself he does not want to be poor the universe recognizes that he is focusing on poverty only and ignores the fact that he does not want poverty. Therefore the authors argue that the more the person dwells on his poverty the more poverty will come towards him. Therefore according to the authors he who wants to get rid of poverty must forget his poverty and concentrate more on prosperity and dwell on that only. That will make the universe deliver more prosperity to him.
The next step is to simply wait for the universe to respond to our call and not be curious about how it is going to deliver the result. Our job is to simply wait and keep focusing our energies on the result.
When we keep our thoughts and feelings very positive and cheerful it helps to align ourselves with the universe and thereby enables the universe to deliver what we want. Feeling grateful for help and benefits received in the past is also very useful to align and tune ourselves with the universe. If we can bring ourselves to feel the joy right now that we will feel when we receive the benefit it will help to hasten the delivery of the result.
The film on Secret claims that the knowledge of “The Secret” can be found in bits and pieces in the oral and literary traditions of many cultures throughout the world. What is new is that the full knowledge has been given to people through the book Secret only now. It is true that knowledge about the secret is there in many cultures from time immemorial. The Hindu sacred text Bhagavad Gita states very clearly that we can achieve whatever we aspire for and even goes to the extent of claiming that we can become the very thing that we aspire for.
Concept of the Universe
The proponents of Secret give great importance to the concept of Universe and assert that the Universe takes note of our request and is capable of responding to that wish or request. But they do not explain their concept of the universe in any great detail or explain the mechanism by which it responds. This concept of a universe that can respond to the call of an individual is unbelievable to many physical scientists who view the universe only as an inanimate vast field through which individuals and inanimate entities move about. But the religious and spiritual traditions of many cultures do speak about the universe as if it is a conscious living plane or field. The vedic scriptures of India Vedas which are even older than the Bhagavad Gita describe the universe as a vast ocean of creative energy called hrdaya samudra. The English poet Wordsworth and American poet Walt Whitman have had moments of inspiration when they came out of their egoistic consciousness and got a glimpse of the universal plane which seemed like a vast flow of energy. The Chinese philosophy system Taoism also describes the universe as a flow of energy and advocates that we should align ourselves with that flow if we want to succeed in all that we do. For greater details on the concept of Life as a conscious universal plane see articles in the Life Portal.
Relationship between the individual and the Universe
In Synthesis of Yoga and The Life Divine both written before 1920 by the Indian mystic and philosopher Sri Aurobindo he describes this universal plane of existence and further explains how the human ego brings about the feeling of difference and separation between the individual and the Universal. The ego consciousness makes the individual feel completely separate from the rest of the world while in reality the individual is actually one with the universe in essence and creates by the very same process of creation that the universe uses. Though the individual feels small and petty before the vastness of the Universal consciousness, the universe does not feel the same way about the individual and treats him as very important to itself. Difference in size is immaterial to the universe and what it is keen on is to manifest its universal powers through these individual centres. This explains the phenomenon that we see occasionally of individuals succeeding in doing things that have universal effects.
Originality of the method
The authors of “Secret” claim that this is the first time this knowledge about the individual and the universe has been presented to the world as an integrated whole. Though their presentation is a very organized and coherent one, their claim that this is the first attempt is not factually true. Such an attempt to bring all the various aspects of this knowledge under one integrated heading has been made a long time ago. The Indian Yogi Sri Aurobindo has in his book Life Divine described very clearly in chapters 13 to 24 what are the conditions necessary for mastery over life and has outlined also the steps that can be taken to obtain that mastery. He further gives clear detailed explanations about the process of creation that is there behind the manifestation of the universe. While what he has written was meant for the spiritual perfection of spiritual aspirants, the same knowledge has been applied to ordinary life and its requirements and codified under the heading of Life Response
Some critics are targeting “Secret” by claiming that it is not original and cite Norman Vincent Peale’s famous book on the power of positive thinking as the precedent. The authors of Secret are not insisting that their work is the first and original discovery. They openly admit that this knowledge has been known before in many parts of the world and used successfully. Instead of such disputes what is of more interest is to find out if there is any theoretical basis for explaining how the results reported by Secret are achieved.
Testing the method
The Secret advocates a method and offers a bit of explanation and then invites you to test the method yourself. It does not even ask the readers to believe the explanations it offers. Those who choose to believe its explanations are then invited to carry out the three required steps and then see for themselves if the results come. This paper is trying to explain the process behind the results reported by Secret for those who care to know the mechanism behind the results. Further knowledge on this theme can be had by reading articles on the Principles of Life in the Human Science Site. Those who are interested in the results only can limit themselves to conducting the experiments in their own lives.
Scientific validation of The Secret
Many people with a so-called scientific bent of mind are apt to reject the claims of secret as irrational and unscientific and feel proud about rejecting such non-sense. Those who believe in the positivist school of philosophy may consider the very idea of the universe responding to the call of an individual or the very notion of an individual’s capacity to evoke such a response from the universe as unbelievable and untrue. But such an approach itself is neither rational nor scientific. Far more bizarre concepts such as relative time, curved space, black holes, dark matter and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle have been accepted by scientists themselves during the past centuries.
According to the philosopher of science Karl Popper, science is not very much concerned with the source or rationality of its hypotheses. Instead it only cares for the testability and validation of such hypotheses. According to Bergson every scientific discovery carries an element of the irrational and the intuitive. Many scientists have carried on with their research in spite of many difficulties and hurdles solely on the strength of an inner faith that their work is based on some truth. Therefore science need not worry about finding out how the methods of secret work. It is enough for science if the methods of secret can be empirically validated. Objective testability and independent verification are the hallmarks of science and so long as the procedures yield the same results to any investigator, the method is bound to be declared valid.
Proponents of Secret endorse such a view. They stress the fact that the method works so long as the required conditions are perfectly fulfilled. They do not insist that before hand one must believe in the capacity of secret to deliver the result. They are only saying that if the procedures are followed with faith it helps to bring about the results since faith adds an intensity to the effort taken. Refusing to recognize the role of faith can be counter-productive since this method relies very much on the power of the mind to relate with the universe and canceling the role of faith in effect amounts to canceling mind’s power to bring results through the method of visualization.
The whole issue reduces itself to the single question of whether the method works or not. Proponents of Secret are inviting everybody to verify the power of the method in their own lives. Therefore it is neither necessary nor useful to decide whether the explanations about how it works suits our common sense or appeals to our sense of reason.
Anyway, we must admit that it is only natural for seekers to be curious about how the methods of secret work and deliver their results. This article is an attempt to present an explanation for the mechanisms of secret. This explanation will be consistent with a thorough and objective study of the character of life as evidenced by history, biography and literature. Alternatively the explanations offered here will also be consistent with the findings of spiritual efforts to realize the nature of life through the spiritual discipline of yoga. The ideas presented here are derived from the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the research undertaken at Mother’s Service Society, Pondicherry, India.
Step one: Visualize and Emotionalize
When we concentrate our mind on a particular goal that power of concentration does help to achieve that goal. Concentration on God, on an idea (manthra), or an image (yanthra) or even a centre of consciousness is a well-known spiritual discipline. This practice comes from the belief that all power is derived from consciousness and mental energy is one expression of consciousness.
One of the major insights of Secrets is the discovery that concentration and preoccupation with negative thoughts and issues should be avoided. If a person wants to get rid of a problem he must focus all his attention on the solution only and not on the problem itself. For example a man sunk in debts should think about ways for coming out of the debt trap and not be worrying about the volume of his debts. Unfortunately many people who take efforts to solve their problems end up worrying more about their problems than they do on focusing on solution. This may be a mistake they commit unconsciously and ignorantly. But the result is the problem gets intensified and the solution recedes to the distance. The fact is consciousness is power and attention is energy. So whenever we focus our attention on something that gets energized irrespective of whether it is good or bad. That is why people who are depressed are urged to quickly come out of their depression. The more they dwell on their depression the more it gets organized which is detrimental to the person’s mental health. The Buddha was right when he said that we are the product of our own thoughts.
Mind is a subtle plane of existence. Still our thoughts take an organized shape there before getting expressed as words. Even when we plan a project it first takes shape in our mind as a plan before getting implemented. The role and importance of mental concentration and visualization in accomplishment need not be disputed. All thinkers, poets and artists and inventors are aware of the power of such mental visualization. What needs to be ascertained is whether mental concentration has the power to secure anything we want. That is does it really have the capacity to evoke any desired response from life around or the universe around us?.
The Question of How
The spiritual truth is that consciousness has two attributes which are knowledge and Will. In the spiritual plane these two attributes are inseparable while in the mental plane consciousness and the Will-Power can be separate which means that one can act independent of the other. Secret lays stress on the importance and application of mental will. It is not keen on people knowing how they can obtain the result that they are seeking. On the other hand Secret takes the stand that people may conserve their energies more if they stop trying to know how to get the result. It however insists that people apply their will-power positively and decide to get what they want.
Critics of Secret claim that successful people don’t simply confine themselves to wishing for this or that. They go ahead and actively formulate detailed action-plans for achieving their intended target. Books have been written about the habits of highly successful people and readers are advised to cultivate those habits and implement them in their functioning.
Power of Imagination
This stress on detailed planning needs to be reconciled with the views expressed in “The Secret”. Is understanding a help for accomplishment or an impediment to accomplishment? We can resolve the dilemma in this way. Wherever we see scope for mental planning as an aid to accomplishment there we can use our imagination to visualize a plan of action and pursue that in our efforts to reach our goal.
The experience of one of the proponents of “Secret” supports this view. Jack Canfield who wanted to increase his income from a mere 8000 dollars to $ 100,000 began wondering about what to do to increase his income. It occurred to him that if his books were written about in the national enquirer it would help increase its circulation. He began visualizing such a scene in his mind and sure enough a free-lance writer who writes for the national enquirer approached him a month later. His intention got fulfilled and it helped to boost his income. This obviously shows that imagination and visualization does certainly help. Even Einstein has supported the role of imagination in accomplishment by saying that “Imagination is everything”. The accomplishment of Fred Smith in launching and developing his courier business Federal Express also supports the role of imagination. When he wanted to do something innovative as part of his MBA project he began visualizing a courier company that would deliver overnight anywhere within U.S.A instead of the usual 3 to 5 days taken by UPS or U.S Postal service. He imagined a hub system centered around Memphis where planes would arrive from all parts of the U.S before 2 a.m. in the morning, unload their parcels for resorting, get reloaded with items bound for those areas from where the planes came and reach their hometown by early morning so that parcels can be delivered to customers. He was able to implement this vision just as he pictured it and it helped to take his company to the select Fortune 500 group. His aim and his plan of action were very much connected with one another and jointly responsible for what he achieved.
Understanding can be a bar
The question that needs to be answered now is whether such visualization of how to achieve is always helpful. Experience shows that is not always the case. Many people with a strongly developed Physical mind are aware of only the immediate reality and are unable to think about or believe in distant possibilities. There is a famous storey of a person who got lost driving in rural upstate New York and stopped to ask a farmer for directions to his hometown. The farmer was myopic enough to tell the driver that there was no way to get there from here. Such people better not exercise their imagination.
A person with an annual income of 8,000 dollars may feel it is a realistic possibility to hope for an income of 18,000 dollars. But if he is asked to try for 80,000 dollars he may consider it a fantastic proposal and feel very skeptical about reaching it. With such people the inability to conceive of higher and bigger accomplishments and the feeling of personal insufficiency can be an impediment to accomplishment. Countless instances are there of great opportunities going to waste simply because the persons to whom these were offered were simply not imaginative enough to believe in these possibilities.
On the other hand there are an equal number of other stories about people who have achieved extraordinary results simply because of a sheer determination to achieve something great though the required knowledge was not there at that time. Shabir Bhatia was a young Indian software engineer who arrived in Silicon Valley in the 1990s with dreams of earning 80,000 to 100,000 dollars as annual income. After two or three years of working there he began to hear about many people who have earned millions in the computer industry by doing something great or innovative. He began to nurture a similar dream and together with a friend came up with the idea of free hotmail. It clicked and in a couple of years he sold his website to Microsoft for 200 million dollars. At the time he felt the ambition to earn in a big way he was only aware of his ambition and his intention to achieve it. The knowledge of how to achieve it came to him only later.
In 1961 when Kennedy announced that America intended to land a man on the moon and bring him back by 1970 the required technology did not exist at that time. Landing a man on the moon was not so daunting a task as bringing him back. Still the required technology was developed and the feat was accomplished 6 months ahead of the deadline set by Kennedy.
When in 1940 France, Belgium and Netherlands collapsed under the German onslaught Britain was left virtually alone to face Nazi Germany. On assuming the Prime Ministership Churchill announced that England will fight to the end and that surrender was ruled out. Though the words were bravely spoken neither Churchill nor the English people had any clear idea of how Britain would defend itself. Still Churchill’s bravery left no one in doubt that he was absolutely determined to prove his challenge. The fact that he did win his war shows that Churchill’s bravery was backed by a good understanding he had of life and its workings. In his own words he has said that we create our own universe as we go along.
There are occasions when a person powerfully wills for a certain result but at the same time has no idea of how to achieve that result. A cancer patient may be told by a doctor that his condition is incurable. But that cannot prevent him from exerting his will in a powerful manner and wanting to survive though he may have no idea how to cure himself. But his strong mental resolution may have the power to cure his body if his mind does not interfere unnecessarily with questions about how. Mental knowledge can be a bar in this way and prevent mental will from achieving its purpose.
The New York Times carried an article that clearly gives support to this view and approach. In 1957 a patient named Mr. Wright was diagnosed with orange size tumors in his abdomen that were pronounced incurable. He then read some newspaper reports that described an horse serum named kribiozen as effective medicine in treating such types of cancer disorders. He told his doctor Dr.West about this horse serum and the doctor obliged the patient with an injection of the serum though he was skeptical about its effectivity. To his shock three days later he found out that the patient’s tumors had disappeared. Three months later the patient again read some newspaper reports that mentioned that Kribiozen was not so effective as believed before. Immediately the patient had a relapse of his tumors. The doctor realized the role of mental understanding in curing the patient’s disease and told him that this time he was injecting a super version of Kribiozen though in reality he injected with water only. The tumors disappeared again and he was well for 3 more months. Again he happened to read about the failure of this horse serum in the newspapers and shortly afterwards he died.
This instance clearly shows that it was foolish on the part of the patient to have believed the newspaper reports even after the medical tests had shown that he was cured. The Times concludes that doctors who knew about this story simply dismissed it as one of those rare cases which medical science could not explain. These doctors find it hard to believe that a mental belief can cure a potentially fatal disease. But the way these doctors have reacted is not a rational response to solid empirical evidence.
What is of interest is to find out if it is really necessary to know the process of accomplishment before accomplishing. The Secret is somewhat ambivalent here in its response. But its stand can be made clear. If a person knows the way to accomplish what he wants it is so much better. If such a knowledge is missing that need not dampen one’s enthusiasm or aspiration for the thing he wants. Even if he or she does not know how it will be delivered, the Universe knows how to deliver the result. According to Secret that alone matters.
The Secret lays a lot of stress on the power of visualization. But it makes it clear that mere mental visualization is not enough. That visualization has to be supported by the power of our emotions. Our mind has knowledge and thought has clarity. But the power for accomplishment resides not with our mind but with our feelings. In the spiritual system devised by the Indian yogi Sri Aurobindo that part of our being that contains our emotions and nervous impulses has been described as “The Vital”. It is this vital centre that releases the energy for accomplishment. The body is the seat of power. But that power is locked up within the body and is not easily accessible. The vital has the capacity to release that power if its enthusiasm for accomplishment is aroused. The vital is the centre of human existence.
Many people make many resolutions whereby they decide to give up smoking, exercise more, go on a diet, work harder and spend less etc. But they also find that their resolution could not be implemented due to lack of Will-Power. That Will-Power is strengthened only when our emotions endorse our mental resolution and throw their full weight behind our resolution.
The English language fortunately has many words that reflect many different levels in our capacity for determination. Though there are no precise definitions we can line up a sequence of words that reflect a progressive intensification of determination. Thought, understanding, interest, conviction, intention, resolution, decision, commitment, determination, enthusiasm, passion and urge are those words. A thought signifies a mere idea for accomplishing something. Passion and urge mean a full involvement in what we want to accomplish and the person feels a pressing urge for it. So when a person intensifies his desire for accomplishment from a mere idea to a powerful urge it can make the response come that much quicker.
People would naturally like to know what are the signs of a full emotional commitment. The sign of full commitment would be a joyous feeling whenever we think about our goal. When we have only a minimal interest in our goal it is comparable to knowing only the direction of our journey. When we have the full emotional commitment it is equal to having the fuel necessary to get there.
Step Two: Universe Responds
The Skeptics target this point strongly. They concede the truth in the power of mental visualization and emotional commitment. But they very much question the truth in the claim that the universe can respond to our aspiration. Though this may be hard to believe in reality this phenomenon is a known thing in the traditions of many cultures. All great literature affirms this truth also. Great achievers in all fields are also aware of this fact. In our own day-to-day lives also many incidents would have happened that confirm the response of the universe to our aspirations and wishes. But we are so unconscious that we don’t take notice of this fact. The materialistic and scientific cultural atmosphere in which we live which believes only in the tangible and the concrete is mainly responsible for this unconsciousness and skepticism that we are exhibiting.
The challenge to the materialistic view of the universe comes oddly enough from the least likely source which is the field of physics itself. Quantum theorists have been surprised to find that even at the level of subatomic particles matter is sensitive to consciousness. They are now thinking of viewing reality as an interconnected whole rather than as separate, discrete and isolated entities. This conceptual breakthrough can help us recover this knowledge that we once had but gave up under the pressure of scientific materialism.
The materialists believe that the universe has risen out of inconscient matter and energy according to random chance and some fixed laws. Out of this inconscient universe animate life forms are said to have emerged due to a series of events that defy all laws of probability. Given the huge prominence to chance it is not likely that in such a scenario a conscious and responsive universe could even exist.
Alternative view of the universe
The other alternative is to approach the issue from the spiritual perspective which can offer a meaningful explanation. A full discussion on this theme is beyond the scope of this article. Those who are interested in a full discussion can go to the portals on Spirituality and Life and to the projects on Theory of Creation and Pride and Prejudice. Sri Aurobindo offers a full comprehensive explanation in his book The Life Divine. There he gives an alternative explanation of creation that empirical science can only speculate upon.
According to this alternative view, matter is not the basis of creation. On the other hand conscious-force or a formless consciousness is behind all visible creation. According to Sri Aurobindo, that formless consciousness has inverted itself and became matter in the universe. Out of this matter it has slowly evolved and manifested life and then mind. Life and Mind could evolve out of matter because they are already buried in it. Life is a limited expression of consciousness. Mind is a partial and divisive expression of consciousness. The basis of creation is not an infinite number of divided and separate entities. It is actually an unified field of consciousness that holds all things together as part of one large whole and is aware of an unity amongst all of them. This unified state of consciousness was not confined to the beginning. It is the reality even now and this is what actively supports the infinite diversity of the creation on the surface from behind.
Analogy to Society
Our human society is a good analogy for this. On the surface it appears to be made up of a countless number of separate individuals who do what they want. But in reality all members of a society are bound by a common set of values and attitudes and submit to a common set of laws which apply to all of them. This is not the result of a random chance, but comes from the underlying commonality that binds all of us into one functional whole despite outer differences in appearances and functioning. The society surrounding us is a great source of support for us. When we do something good it heaps praise on us and when we violate its norms it punishes us. It puts its collective accumulated knowledge at our disposal so that we don’t have to rediscover all over again what it has already discovered. We don’t even have to understand how its discoveries such as airplane, television and telephone work. It is enough we come forward to use them and enjoy their benefits. It presents opportunities and challenges for the brave and enterprising to grow and progress. At the same time it takes note of the lazy and unproductive elements in the society and compels them to change. Though there appears to be no conscious centre of functioning for the society and though it does not seem to be motivated by conscious intention, it still governs our lives by the mechanisms of gossip, rumor and social customs, laws and such other countless regulatory mechanisms.
The Universe that “The Secret” refers to behaves in a similar manner. We are constantly expressing thoughts and feelings which circulate in the atmosphere. The universe takes note of these thoughts and feelings and responds by returning the same to us. The mechanism of return is called the “law of Attraction” by proponents of secret which is very much like the attraction displayed by magnetic objects. The law of attraction can pull towards us those things that are similar to what we are radiating or can also pull towards us those things that are complementary to what we are radiating. As the north pole of a magnet attracts the south pole of another magnet, on the physical plane man attracts a woman who is his physical counterpart. As droplets of rain are attracted to one another and form bigger clouds, on the physical plane wealth attracts more wealth, power attracts more power and goodness attracts more goodness. That is why we find the wealthy cementing alliances with other wealthy people and good people getting other good people as friends. The mind has partial knowledge and is seeking full knowledge and so the law of attraction works in the mental plane by attracting complementary things that would complete the mind’s current knowledge. Life is a plane of energy and will. Our ego asserts its will by putting out a certain vibration and the universe responds with the same vibration. The capacity of consciousness to attract from the universe those vibrations that are in harmony with it is known as Life Response. Consciousness has the capacity to attract towards it those things that are in tune with it. The incident of the freelance reporter approaching Jack Canfield with an offer of writing in the National Enquirer is a good example of life responding to what was in Mr. Canfield’s mind.
One need not believe in the full theory of Secret to verify the truth of life response. If we analyze the thoughts, feelings and attitudes that we have for one full day and see the incidents and events that happen on that day we can see the correspondence between the thoughts and events. If we look back on important events in our life many of us can see that those important turning points were connected with chance encounters and unbelievable coincidences. A delayed flight could have brought us a good fortune or saved us from a calamity. A book gifted to us by a friend or well-wisher could have changed our entire life orientation. Studying all the factors that go into life response is a full-time engagement that could last a life time. But the fact that it exists can be easily verified by anyone who is willing to scrutinize his thoughts and see their correspondence to outer events in an unbiased and objective manner. Those who are interested in knowing the full theory and mechanisms of Life Response can visit the Life Portal and those who are keen on a full illustration of the theory can read it in “Pride & Prejudice” project.
Individual and the Universe
Proponents of “The Secret” believe the universe to be some sort of genie ready to grant all the wishes of members of the society. This however is an oversimplification of the truth behind Secret. The universe can be compared to the society as a parallel. Society has its own aims and aspirations which are an expression of its subconscious Will. In the measure members of society espouse the same aspirations as that of the society they live in, they will be in harmony with it and their wishes will be easily fulfilled. Today society aspires for prosperity, progress, freedom and equality etc. Therefore all those who voice the same aspiration are in alignment with the society and gain the support of society. This was not the case a mere 200 years ago. During the day when royalty flourished in Europe those commoners who wished to come up in life and acquire prosperity and status were frowned upon and discouraged. Till 1850 in England only land-holding males were eligible to vote and women did not get the right to vote till 1920.
Individuals are not merely the beneficiaries of society’s gifts and grants. Very often individuals can function as instruments for society to express its aspirations and get them fulfilled. Creative and pioneering individuals do precisely that. They become channels for society to voice its subconscious aspirations. If the pioneer is successful in voicing the new idea or exploring the new possibility, then it spreads from him to the collective around and in this way society manages to bring about new changes and stride forward on a progressive course. Those who want to know the relationship between the individual and the society can read the article Social Development.
The Aim of the Universe
What is true of the society is also true of the Universe. That is to say, as the society has a subconscious aspiration of its own, so does the universe also have an aspiration of its own which it seeks to fulfill through the individual acts and aspirations of millions of people like us. As society seeks to evolve by fulfilling its aspiration through the acts of individuals so does the Universe also try to foster its evolution through the acts of its inhabitants. For a fuller discussion on this topic see the topic spiritual evolution. The power for accomplishment that an individual exhibits is really the power of the society that is lent to the individual. Similar the power of accomplishment in life that we find is also what has been lent by the universe for our human purposes. The more our aspirations are aligned with that of the universal aspiration, the quicker will it be fulfilled.
When the mind tries to conceive of the immensity of the universe it experiences an infinite expansion of its own and gets lifted into the timeless plane. The power for accomplishment comes from that expansion.
Step Three: The Role of Effort and Action
The last step involves aligning oneself with the Universe by staying alert and keeping one’s thoughts and feelings fully positive. Such a state of mind makes us fully receptive to the opportunities that come from the Universe and prevents anything from being lost to our observation.
There is some difference of opinion regarding the role of taking efforts to accomplish one’s goal. Some believe that all that is necessary is to tune oneself with the Universe and simply wait for opportunities to unfold. Others take the view that hard work is necessary to bring about the opening and show the way for us to proceed. All success stories are centered around men and women who have done a lot of hard work and therefore it is claimed that others must also follow suit in the same way.
The apparent contradiction between these two stand points can be resolved when we realize that there are various types and levels of effort. There is a huge difference between physical and psychological effort. A man who takes a psychological effort may appear to be physically inactive and not doing anything at all to somebody who is running about and appears to be constantly busy. But those who take psychological effort know how difficult it is to take important decisions and how much it exhausts one’s psychological energies. Mental concentration is a very demanding task. Making a decision is difficult and applying one’s Will to execute that decision in practice is even more difficult. Similarly working on one’s inner personality to bring it into a receptive mood, mending wrong attitudes and accepting new positive attitudes, restraining the urge to act impulsively and waiting patiently till the time is ripe are all difficult psychological tasks that can drain oneself of the last drop of psychological energy.
The “Secret” favors the psychological approach and recommends three main methods for staying in tune with the Universe. All three methods are psychological and even partly spiritual. They are cheerfulness, faith and gratitude.
It may seem surprising to hear that maintaining one’s cheer is a difficult task and involves some discipline. When we are in a positive mood it is not difficult at all to be cheerful. It however becomes difficult when our efforts for achieving something get stalled due to obstructions and hindrances. It will be an easy talk to keep a cheerful countenance and present a pleasant demeanor when one’s circumstances are positive and good. The cheerfulness that “Secret” demands goes beyond this. It refers to a state of inner calm that is unaffected by outer troubles and a state of mind that is free of wrong emotions such as anger, irritation, jealousy and ill-will etc. Such a state of mind generates a powerful aligning tendency that tunes oneself with the Universe and all the good things that are in it.
Faith certainly plays a big role in accomplishment of achievers. One can have faith in God, in oneself, other people, in government, in law or one’s abilities or just about anything else. The Hindu Scripture Gita says in very clear terms that any person’s life becomes what he has faith in. The Secret is not advocating a new type of religious faith or even faith in oneself. Certainly either of these or a combination of these can help any person achieve anything he wants in life. The Secret lays emphasis on the point that people should believe in the goals that they want to achieve. It also goes one step beyond this and says that the belief must be so total and complete that the person must feel as if he has already received what he is asking for and must therefore express gratitude to the Universe for having given him or her the desired benefit.
The type of faith necessary for getting instantaneous results is illustrated by a story about two devotees who were aspiring for God. One was a seeker using the path of knowledge and concentrating all his energies for a mental realization of God. The other was an emotional devotee who was trying to forge an union with God through love and devotion. A wise man met both of them and told them that it would be possible for them to achieve union with God after some 1,00,000 births. The mental seeker was so discouraged by this news of inordinate delay that he gave up the attempt to pursue god anymore. But the devotee was so overjoyed at the thought of meeting god at some time in the future that he went into an ecstatic dance right away. His belief in God was so total that his joy actually brought him instant union with god. That is the kind of faith that “Secret” wants us to have in the power of the universe to deliver a result.
Let us take the case of Winston Churchill. When he made an inspiring speech in the English parliament in June 1940 he was so energized by his own speech that he felt as if he had already won the war. His courage and conviction got communicated to all those who were listening to him on the radio and they too felt that England should fight at any cost and not surrender. Churchill was a man of enormous courage who sought out many dangerous adventures for the sheer joy of adventure ignoring the risk to his life. Though he had no idea of the eventual outcome surrender was simply unthinkable for him and resistance was the only option he had on his mind. His courage was so great that it moved events in the subtle plane in an advantageous manner to him and later they got realized in the physical plane in the same way.
“The Secret” wants people to stay cheerful and steadfast in their belief no matter what the outer circumstances are. In addition to that “Secret” recommends that we express gratitude for all that we have received as a way of increasing our receptivity. It is easy to train ourselves to say thank you verbally. But a genuine feeling of gratitude inside is very hard to generate and is quite a rare experience. An author who expected his first book to become a hit in the market was disappointed with the slump in sales after an initial spurt. His spiritual advisor advised him to feel intense gratitude to all those who helped him in writing that book. The author accordingly tried to feel that intense gratitude one night for some time before going to bed. The next morning news came to him about a very good opportunity that proved to be the start of a new profitable career. That is the kind of result one gets for genuine expression of gratitude.
Romance is a major occupation in our lives which can totally absorb all our energies especially in our youthful period. Successful romance can enhance our happiness immensely. But when romance runs into problems it can take away the joy in our lives for a long time. So it would be interesting to know what are the methods that “Secret” is suggesting to ensure victory in romance.
Most people are trying to use the methods of Secret to earn a lot of money since financial success is uppermost in the minds of most people. But whether it is earning millions or winning the heart of someone, it is all the same for Secret since its methods will work for all purposes. If we study a few cases of successful romance it will become clear to us how far they have conformed or violated the principles of Secret.
Great writers have studied the phenomenon of romance very well and noted Correspondence between the thoughts and emotions of the lovers involved and the events that occur in their lives. We see that Rosalind and Orlando get united against enormous odds in Shakespeare’s play “ As you like it”. We see the hero Darcy succeeding in winning the heart of Elizabeth after many hurdles and disappointments in Jane Austen’s novel of “Pride and Prejudice”. We see the universe responding to Orlando’s love for Rosalind by bringing her to the very forest where he is wandering as an exile. We see the universe obliging Darcy by bringing Elizabeth to his own Pemberly Estates just when he plans to return there suddenly from London. It also provides him through the incidence of Lydia’s elopement an occasion to prove his loyalty to Elizabeth by setting right the problems caused by Lydia’s elopement.
Then what is the answer for those lovers who fail in their attempt to win the affections of the person whom they love. The “Secret gives us that answer.
- Those who fail to win the affections of the person whom they are seeking could possibly be those who are afflicted with self-doubt and feel inadequate to the task. Feelings of insufficiency are sure to prevent us from getting the results that we want. Those who seek to win the heart of another person must be full of confidence that they will succeed in this Endeavour and should not allow any doubts to enter into their minds.
- Most lovers do not hand over their wish to the universe fully and allow it to act on their behalf. They act on their own moved by irresistible impulses and speak out and express their love much before the other person is ready to receive such intimations. Either they speak too soon or at places where it would be inappropriate. The proper method would be watch and wait for the right circumstances to appear. They should inwardly aspire for the right conditions to emerge. In Pride & Prejudice we see Darcy fail miserably in his first proposal to Elizabeth at Rosings. Then he reflects on why his proposal failed and tries to correct himself and silently waits and aspires for the right conditions to emerge. This is the ideal situation for the universe to operate on behalf of a person. It does so and brings Elizabeth to his very door and thereby initiates a fresh set of events that culminate in his winning the affection of Elizabeth.
- “The Secret” wants us to have only positive thoughts and feelings, be cheerful always and have such an unshakeable faith that we feel as if the request has already been granted to us. It want us to feel gratitude for all that we have received from the universe so far and all that we will be receiving in the future. This is the attitude that will keep us in alignment with the universe and get us what we want from it.
- More than all these above statements what “The Secret” emphasizes as its main theme is that the greatest accomplishment comes from expansive self-giving towards others. Those who are engaged in romantic pursuits are so obsessed with their own needs and desires that they have little time or energy to give to others including the person whom they love. The Universe responds to a happy self-giving and not to a self-centered obsession.
When we know that the methods of “Secret” are unfailing it will be intriguing to know why some romantic pursuits fail given the fact that romantic passions come from our deepest emotional centers. In all such cases of romantic failure it can be traced to the lack of some key requirement.
Process of Creation
The method described by the “Secret” is a process of accomplishment. It is not an unique invention of Secret. It is an universal process of creation that has been stated in this manner by the proponents of Secret. We refer to this process on our site and elsewhere as the Process of Creation. We have stated earlier that consciousness is the basis behind all creation. Infinite consciousness can turn itself into finite entities through a process of self-limitation. Our Project The Theory of Creation is an attempt to explore the metaphysical and spiritual basis for this process.
It is not mechanical laws or random chance that has created or is governing the universe. The reality is that it is consciousness that has created and is governing the universe. Consciousness creates the universe by a process of self conception and human beings employ the very same method also. One of the speakers in the movie on Secret says very clearly that we are the ones who make our own world. If so the first step would be to formulate a wish or aspiration for something we want to achieve or become.
Aspiration Vs. Expectation
Consciousness is power and that power gets translated into results depending upon the intensity of our aspiration and the application of our Will-Power. Aspiration is sometimes confused with wishful thinking which is more akin to daydreaming. Day dreaming is a state of mind where we indulge in a pleasant imagination without actively exerting ourselves to implement that imagination. What gets work done is application of Will. Without that application, imagination simply stays as imagination.
Aspiration is also confused with expectation which is also an unproductive passive state of mind where there is no application of Will power. Aspiration is a positive movement that exerts our Will in an outward manner and sends out energy that goes towards getting a result. But expectation does not have this active exertion or active application of energy. It is a state of mind in which one passively waits for outside environment to give us the results we want. It normally has the tendency to postpone the result till we give up the attitude of waiting and decide to do something to bring the results towards us.
Conscious Vs Subconscious
If there is only one fundamental process of creation then all events that occur in the world must be connected with that process of creation in one way or another. We do find events taking place in our lives that we did not consciously intend or even wished for. Sometimes we don’t take any initiative at all and still we find events taking place in our life. In that case we need to find out how these results are determined.
The fact is the process of creation is taking place all the time whether we are aware of it or not. “The Secret” is only recommending that we learn to use that process consciously to maximize our advantages. But it also warns that the same process – law of attraction – works equally well when we focus on something we do not want or we do not like. So it is better we exercise our choice in the right direction since consciousness is pure power.
We do find that many things happen in our lives that we did not consciously plan for or wish for. This leads us to discover a very important truth which is that a good part of our personality lies in the subconscious plane which is hidden from our conscious knowledge. We can call it either subconscious or subliminal both of which mean the same thing. Physical skills can become subconscious operations. When a typist is typing on a computer his fingers hit the keys without his eyes even looking at them which mean that the operation has become an automatic subconscious process. Similarly our subconscious personality is filled with subconscious attitudes, conceptions, preferences and fears all of which are constantly radiating vibrations outside to which the universe responds just as it does to conscious vibrations. The process of creation works at this level also. If we are constantly afraid of failure then failure visits our lives drawn by the law of attraction. If we are full of suspicion then untrustworthy people are attracted towards us also. If we are angry and indulge in violent outbursts that may bring about an accident. Knowledgeable people who are aware of their inner movements often connect their outward illnesses or disturbance to such inner subconscious movements.
The advocates of “Secret” are very much aware of these subconscious elements, but they are sidelining it and asking those who believe in “The Secret” to focus more on the conscious application of the law of attraction. But in actual practice the more we try to accomplish using the power of Secret the more we become aware of the subconscious elements that stand in the way of our accomplishment. So it becomes obvious that our success will be enhanced only when we remove these obstructing subconscious elements. Consciousness is power and nothing prevents us from using that power to clear subconscious impediments.
Only an accomplished yogi can clear all impediments in the subconscious using spiritual methods. But it is possible for everybody to use the surface positive powers of consciousness for purposes of accomplishments. That is why “Secret” is laying stress on three powerful methods of cheerfulness, faith and gratitude as ways and means of relating to the universe.
Ego Vs Non-Ego
Some people are criticizing “The Secret” for catering to narrow and selfish and personal motives. There is a truth in that which is however partial. The fuller truth is that the Universe can grant our wishes only when we open ourselves fully to it. It is for opening and tuning ourselves with the Universe that “The Secret” is recommending the methods of cheerfulness, faith and gratitude. Our ego prevents us from giving that opening by confining ourselves within its narrow borders. A man who is earning only 8000 dollars expands his personality by envisioning an income of 100,000 dollars. Even if his motive is only selfish and personal, still that ambitious envisioning takes his personality out of the grip of his ego and that is desirable from the point of view of “The Secret”.
In our ordinary conversational parlance we call a person egoistic when we see that he feels very important, is assertive and very ambitious. But people who are retiring, unassertive and submissive can also be described as egoistic if they are doing it simply because their ego is weak and not because they feel truly humble and self-effacing.
The ego makes us feel separate and isolated from the Universe. That may make us feel fine, but our power is that much diminished. When we break out of the confines of our ego and open ourselves to the universe our power increases greatly. Truly speaking our self is one with the infinite self of the universe and realizing that will confer on our being much greater powers for accomplishment than it has now. An ambitious businessman who is keen on earning more and more money may be doing it all for himself. But his ambition widens his personality and to that extent he comes out of his ego. All those who are constantly striving to accomplish more and more are doing something positive in that what they are doing is helping them to come out of their ego and align themselves more with the wider universe with which they are secretly one in essence.
The ego was once a helper but has now become a bar. It helped us to emerge from animal unconsciousness to conscious human mentality. But now when we want to go beyond the human level to something higher it now stands in the way. The methods of cheerfulness, faith and gratitude that “Secret” advocates are all methods that can help us break out of the ego. Constant cheerfulness is a very difficult condition for the ego to maintain since not all things that happen around us are to its liking. A faith that makes us feel that what we have prayed for has been given to us right away is also a powerful movement that breaks our ego. The ego is full of discontent and impatience. So any feeling of fulfillment that comes to our personality is a move away the ego. Similarly gratitude makes us think about others and what they have done to us and in that way diverts our attention from ourselves to others and thereby frees us from ego also. So we can confidently say that these methods of cheerfulness, faith and gratitude advocated by “Secret” are all truly spiritual methods and as such reveal the spiritual dimensions of “Secret”.
Goodwill and Self-giving
A good way to overcome ego is to feel intense good will for another. A person has good will for another when he can take joy in the success and accomplishment of another. Egoistic people do not easily feel goodwill for another person. When others accomplish more the egoistic person feels as if he has become smaller. Therefore the best way to get out of ego is to wish for the success of others. The goodwill that we generate for the welfare of others can widen our own receptivity and bring the same luck and progress to ourselves also.
Self-giving is even more powerful than good will as a means of getting rid of ego. Self-giving involves doing good to others without expecting anything in return. The expectation should be absent in thought, feeling and act which is actually a very serious yogic discipline. The service can be to a person, an organization, ideal or god but the rule is the same.
Self-giving may not be possible for all but a select few. But raising one’s personal efficiency is possible for everyone. Raising one’s efficiency gives good results also by concentrating our energies for specific work. Efficiency is a laborious physical method while self-giving is an enjoyable spiritual method.
Coming out of one’s ego by practicing self-giving and goodwill can attract the highest powers in the universe to enter and work on our lives. Moreover what comes from the universe will come not only to us but also to all others who were the beneficiaries of our goodwill.
We are normally tempted to speak out to others about our wishes and goals little realizing that by doing so we are only wasting our energy. Speaking demands energy and energy spent in speaking out is therefore lost and is not available for accomplishment. The more number of persons we speak out to the greater is the loss of energy. More over all the people who feel the pride and importance of speaking about the great things that they are planning to do lose a lot of energy by that act and find that there is no energy left for actual accomplishment. One has to restrain oneself to speaking about his or her plans only to those who have good will for them and who are capable of guiding them in the efforts they are taking. Speaking out to those who feel competitive and who have ill-will is a sure way of ensuring the failure of one’s projects.
Perfection in detail
An important issue that “The Secret” has not paid much attention to is the issue of perfection in details. Many people who conceive of great projects focus their attention on key issues only and tend to neglect small details. But the fact is that great accomplishments require perfection at the level of details and those who neglect this area see that their accomplishment is vastly reduced. The infinitesimal appears small in our eyes and the infinite looms large in our eyes. But spiritually both the infinitesimal and the infinite are one and the same. Those who take efforts to achieve perfection in detail know how much energy it demands. Writing perfect accounts that take care of the last paisa or cent, keeping one’s premises clean, typing letters without one printing mistake and paying attention to all guests who come in are very demanding tasks that require our constant alertness and effort.
The General Manager of a small cool drink company that was operating in South India applied for the franchise of a big multinational to set up a distribution in their region. The G.M took great pains to write that letter in an error-proof manner on a clean white paper and sent it in a nicely folded envelope. He was greatly surprised to find that his small local company was selected for the franchise in spite of competition from much bigger contenders. When he asked the head of operations in India for that multinational why his company was chosen, the head replied that it was the neatness of his letter that decided the choice in his favor.
Small imperfections like typing errors, wrong movements that knock down things, loud noise, scattered materials and misplaced articles are all acts that disturb our harmony with the environment. The easiest way to great achievement is therefore to make every small act as perfect as possible. When one senior IBM executive remarked that “God is in the details” he was hundred percent right in what he said.
Power of Non-initiative
The ego consciousness allows an individual to function as a separate person and provides a point of concentration for the universe to evolve through it. That is the original spiritual purpose behind the formation of ego. But it is also very much true that the power of the universe is much vaster than the power of the ego. The universe gets a chance to act when the individual refuses to take any personal outward initiative. The universe enters the scene of his life when he eliminates egoistic initiatives and thereby allows the universe to act in his life.
A young Dutchman who was interested in spiritual pursuits was advised by his Guru to upgrade his educational qualifications. Therefore he took some efforts to secure a graduate degree. That inspiration continued and helped him to secure an M.B.A degree also in Business administration. As he was an idealist he began to give donations to an international academic organization that was devoted to causes like the spread of knowledge and world peace etc. That organization conferred on him an Associate Fellowship which he never even dreamed of. His spiritual mentor advised him to take a Ph.D so that he may someday qualify for becoming a full fellow of that international organization. He hesitated for years and finally registered for the Ph.D only a year ago. Even before he began his research work the organization he was devoted to awarded him the desired Fellowship. His mere willingness to take a Ph. D brought him the result even before any serious work was done.
When the goals that we are seeking are beyond our capacities, at some point we give up our efforts and forget our aims. Life waits for that point of time to come. When our ego gives up its efforts the door opens for the universe to enter inside and accomplish for ourselves what our egoistic strength could not deliver. This truism is well-brought out by a sequel to Alexander Dumas’s novel “The Three Musketeers”. When Charles I the English King was executed by Cromwell, his young son escapes to Holland where he lives a lonely impoverished life without money or supporters. He approaches Young Louis XIV of France with a request for money or troops with which he can hope to regain the throne that he lost. Louis turns down the request and with that the last hopes of the young prince got dashed. It is at this moment of despair that a French courtier informs him that his father had secretly hidden away a lot of his treasure and that it could be retrieved now to finance his campaign for regaining his throne. From that point of time events turn in his favor and the young English heir is able to recover his throne without even spending all that money his father had hidden away. This sequence of events shows very clearly how life was able to help the young English prince once he withdraws his egoistic initiative and allows the universe to enter into his life and do what it can to deliver the goods.
The Complete Act
Every act that we carry out is an act of accomplishment that applies the process of creation. This process applies to even such small acts as talking, walking and writing and so on. When we undertake bigger creative tasks we direct our consciousness to achieve certain results. Successful completion of an act requires the fulfillment of three essential conditions.
- Self-conception: a clear mental understanding of the goal to be achieved.
- Full emotional backing of the mentally formulated goal.
- Perfect application of skill in execution of the work.
- Skills move the work on the outside. Methods advocated by “Secret” move work from the inside and let the universe do the work for us.
The methodology of “The Secret” assumes that you have already decided in your mind what you want to accomplish. But in practice that is not how things turn out. What we decide to accomplish depends very much on what we believe we can accomplish and also on how far we are willing to apply our energies to work for the fulfillment of our goal. “The Secret” works to fulfill our aspirations to the extent that we honor the conditions required for fulfillment.
There are four types of decisions:-
- Decisions that are directly fulfilled
- Decisions that witness a good start, but fail later on
- Decisions that start off in a weak manner but later become successful.
- Decisions that are a failure from start to finish.
These four situations can be given a clear graphic presentation.
Quadrant 1: In this quadrant both the inner and outer conditions for successful completion of a work are present. Suppose a person wants to start a new business venture, knowledge of the particular trade is an external requirement. The courage to bear the risks involved in starting a business and the capacity to endure the up and downs of trade fluctuations are inner psychological requirements. When both these are present, the person starting the venture is sure to become a success.
Quadrant II: In this quadrant the external conditions are met but the internal conditions are lacking. The person starting a business may have the funds and the required infrastructural facilities to operate the business. But he may not have the courage or perseverance to endure the ups and down in conducting a business. So he may get frightened if something goes wrong and pull out of the business. Or he may not have the leadership abilities or the commanding strength to get work extracted from the people working for him. As a result though funds are there, work does not get done as efficiently as possible and that leads to eventual loss and failure of the business.
Quadrant III: In quadrant III the proper inner conditions are there but the external requirements are lacking. In this case, work picks up very slowly and faces many delays due to lack of external support. But eventually it becomes a success as the inner readiness succeeds in bringing about the conducive external support. This is in line with the emphasis that “Secret” lays on the importance of inner conditions which are the ultimate deciding-factors.
Quadrant IV: In the fourth quadrant both the inner and outer conditions are lacking. In such a case it is no wonder that any effort fails to yield a positive result.
When “The Secret” says that anybody can get any of their aspirations fulfilled it only means that the methods advocated by “Secret” will take any person to the first quadrant where failure is unheard of. Those whose decisions lie in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quadrants can move into the first quadrant by developing a strong faith, keeping cheerful and feeling grateful and by envisioning the kind of situation that they want to enjoy.
The methods advocated by “Secret” actually pertain to the process of creation used by the universe. Still the same process can be used by individuals, organizations and communities as well to secure what they want. As the methods of “Secret” will help us get what we want in the future, so will it also help us understand how events happened in the past. Past accomplishments also were very much dependent on inner readiness as well as outer conditions.
The battle of Austerlitz in 1805 during the Napoleonic era was a memorable event in Napoleon’s military career. It gave him a decisive victory over his rivals and broke the third coalition against him and gave France the domination of Europe for a decade. Though the armies were evenly matched in size, Napoleon’s superior strategy and battle tactics led to a rout of the enemy forces.
Historians who study wars, elections and other national events forget that there are hundreds of factors that could have changed the outcome at any moment. What decides the outcome is the power of inner determinants that bring about the favorable external circumstances.
Mahatma Gandhi who adopted non-violence as a political tool succeeded in winning independence for India in 1947. That was followed by the granting of independence for another 45 Asian and African nations. When he launched Quit India Movement in 1942 he was thrown in jail by the British along with thousands of other Congress Party members. Attempts by the party to get him out of jail were stiffly resisted by the British and ended in failure. Soon Gandhiji came down with malaria and though seriously ill refused to take any medicines. The British became very alarmed that should he die in prison serious riots would break out all over India. Therefore they quickly released him. When serious political efforts had failed to secure his release, a simple mosquito bite got him the release. It is the occurrence of such unexpected events that should make us believe the truth that the universe can get us what we want in ways unknown and unimaginable to us.
Savithri is a legend taken from the Hindu epic Mahabharatha in which a princess named Savithri marries a prince named Satyavan who happened to be living in a forest in exile. He dies of snake bite and his soul is being taken to heavens by the lord of death. Savithri follows the lord of death and recovers her husband’s life by the power of her chastity.
Sri Aurobindo has slightly changed this legend to suit his purposes. In his epic poem he has made Savithri the daughter of the Sun. When her husband dies, she has a confrontation with the lord of death and by the power of her personality transforms him from being a figure of darkness into a being of light. The spiritual message that he delivers through this poem is that an individual can conquer falsehood, suffering and darkness by conquering the limits of his ego. Sri Aurobindo also explains how miracles can take place on earth. He says,” a prayer, a master act and a king idea can link a man to transcendent force. Then miracle is made common place”. This makes us understand that all those who aspire using methods of “Secret” are linking themselves with the Universal plane and thereby making miracles occur on the physical plane.
Authors of “The Secret” have been asked many questions that go beyond the immediate scope of the book. They have been asked how to apply the law of attraction to such tragedies as September 11 and Katrina. Is it possible to use LOA to harm some one and how will Secret respond when two people aspire for the same post using LOA etc? On these and similar issues “Secret remains silent or gives answers that are not very clear. This section proposes to deal with such unexplained issues and promises to show how the methods of secret work in such situations.
How long will it take to achieve?
The secret does not spell out in clear terms how long will it take to fulfill any goal or wish by using its methods. Obviously duration will depend on what is being sought after, how intensely is the prayer voiced and who is voicing it and how are the other conditions fulfilled etc. Time seems to be a very physical entity for us. But the truth of the matter is that it is a psychological entity and is only an extension of Mind. The intensity of our interest in any goal determines the speed of accomplishment. Therefore the greater the interest the shorter the time and lesser the interest the longer the time. So it turns out that each person will accomplish according to the intensity of his personality.
Our mentality assumes that bigger tasks need more time to be accomplished than smaller tasks. When we undertake a small task we are tempted to believe that it will be finished soon and that is how it happens. On the other hand when we undertake a bigger task we are daunted by the size of the work and feel that it will take longer time to complete and therefore it turns out to be that way. But for the Universe size is not a limiting factor. The Universe is capable of achieving a big task in as short a period as is required for completing a small task. But then we are under the illusion of size and it takes a very long time for us to believe that bigger tasks can be completed quickly also.
Does “The Secret” work for everyone?
People are naturally curious to know if “Secret” will fulfill the aspirations of two people who are contending for the same post at the same time. This question was asked during the Larry King Live session to proponents of Secret. But the reply given was vague and not satisfactory. Certainly the Law of Attraction works equally for everyone. But not everyone applies that law in equal measure. So the result goes to whoever is more serious in the application of that law.
It is not very common for two people to be evenly matched in these types of competitions. In India there is an actual case of two top ranking politicians who competed for the presidency of India during the 1970s. Their respective supporters sought the blessings of a great spiritual figure in India at that time. The blessings were given to both the candidates. One who valued the blessings got elected immediately and the other who was not very keen on receiving the blessing got elected to the same post much later.
Can the Secret be used for harm?
It is a fact of life that there are people who wish ill for others and want them to come to harm. They also succeed on many occasions. The process of creation that they use is the same process employed by positive people. Only that they are using it for the wrong purposes. Such people who attract negative vibrations ultimately end up destroying themselves due to the overload of negativity.
What does “The Secret” tell us about the nature of the Universe?
“The Secret” depicts the Universe to be a friendly entity that can give us many benefits. In the previous section we saw that the universe can also deliver harmful results. These two observations make us wonder what the real nature of the Universe is. The truth is the universe contains both these sides and what we get depends upon which side we relate to.
The Universe can be compared to society in the sense that like society it also has many layers. In a society at the highest level there will be people and organizations dedicated to peace, world unity and promotion of prosperity etc. At the lowest level there will also be criminal elements that are eager to make money through whatever means available out of their greed for money. Those who are positive and good natured would like to connect themselves to people who are also at a positive level and avoid those who will bring harm.
Like the society the Universe also has many levels. The highest levels are beyond the range of our human consciousness and they can be said to be superconscient. The lower levels of consciousness are lodged deep in our subconscient and can be taken to represent our primitive and animal past. It is forces that issue from this level that are responsible for destructive wars and genocides that give expression to human hatred and taste for violence. In between are the normal social forces that guide social activities and maintain ordinary social values.
Up till the first half of the 20th century society was very conservative and discouraged lower level people from moving upwards in social order. It is only in the 2nd half of the 20th century that society became liberal and started helping downtrodden people to move upwards. It has guaranteed fundamental political and civil rights, given equal opportunities for all people in the area of education and employment, gives monetary support for business ventures undertaken by people from lower levels of society and takes care of the weak and the disabled. The universe that people who seek help appeal to through the methods of “Secret” is this supportive and positive social milieu prevailing in the society. It is a real power and has the capacity to fulfill our aspirations. When our aims and aspirations fall within the circle of this supportive social atmosphere, society has the power to grant our wishes through people, organizations, schemes, programs and even what appears to be chance coincidences.
But this supportive social milieu is not the highest level of consciousness in the universe. There are much higher levels than this in the universe and forces operating at those higher levels are working for the evolutionary progress of the earth in general and for the transformation of humanity in particular. Those who are working for human evolutionary progress can appeal to these forces and get their support. Even people who are aspiring for great personal accomplishment can get help from these planes because in that way they can emerge as a personal demonstration for the infinite opportunities that the universe has for humanity.
It is true the universe responds more to aspirations for the common good and for the impersonal evolutionary progress of the world than to aspirations connected with immediate personal gain. At the highest levels of consciousness the goal and secret intention behind the manifestation is revealed. That secret intention is the spiritual evolution of humanity to the point of manifesting the original bliss that is there in the Supreme consciousness. Moving to such higher levels proved to be a very difficult task till the descent of What Sri Aurobindo describes as the supramental force. That force is now on earth and is working in a subtle way to take humanity to the supramental level. Those who are idealistic in their aspirations can get help from this force. It will fulfill not only their declared aspirations but also undeclared ones as well.
Many people are intrigued by the sudden popularity of “The Secret” when the fact is that this knowledge has always been known by a select few down the centuries. The difference between then and now is that in the ancient days secrecy was cherished and dissemination of knowledge to a wide audience was frowned upon. But today, society allows dissemination of knowledge and more people are also eager to receive more knowledge and improve themselves. Though individuals can use the knowledge of the “Secret” for their personal benefit, in reality it is an impersonal knowledge that will work for anybody in equal measure. This knowledge can flower only in a social climate that allows everybody to flourish. As society has become very impersonal, those who offer this knowledge get all the support they need. Moreover society has also developed instruments for disseminating knowledge as far and wide as possible.
We are living in an individualistic age where people want to acquire knowledge by their own effort and not learn it from others. The publication of the book on “Secret” and the release of the DVD bearing the same name enable each person to acquire the required knowledge by himself. These impersonal methods are well suited to the individualistic needs and values of this age.
The “Secret” is popular today because those who support the theories of the secret are those who have actually applied it in their own lives and proved the truth of its claims. When such people speak about it carries a conviction and that is a major reason for its increasing popularity.
Summary of Strategy
When we accept and honor the conditions given below we can tune ourselves with the creative universal energies that is there all around us and accomplish what we want using that energy.
- Give your aspiration the maximum intensity you are capable of and it will be good if the intensity gives it almost a physical sensation.
- If the intensity is converted into gratitude it will be all the better.
- We can add support to our aspiration and gratitude by developing an intense inner joy.
- One has to ensure that the decision one takes is in the first quadrant in the decision making matrix. Or else one should take steps to move it to the first quadrant as soon as possible.
- The intensity of the aspiration should be such that the person feels as if he has already secured what he is aspiring for.
- One should be fully positive and patient also.
- One should shift his reliance on the inner consciousness and have more faith in the universal force than on outer circumstances and events.
- Move away from the ego as much as possible.
- Instead of accepting narrow personal goals leave that choice to the universe.
- Let there be perfection in every small act.