Accomplishment is a natural endowment of all human beings. All of us know how to accomplish and we apply that knowledge all the time for important and trivial purposes. But few of us feel that we know the secret for to ensure success in anything we do. The Secret offers a method for unfailing accomplishment. The method presented in The Secret is one expression of the universal process of creation and accomplishment. Any person can apply this method to accomplish any goal in his/her own life. The book and DVD explain the method but not the theory of why and how the method works. Knowledge is power. A full understanding of the theory behind The Secret will enhance its power. When applied with knowledge, conviction and intense aspiration, the method of The Secret is infallible. It cannot fail. Section One of this article presents and discusses the statements made in The Secret. The remainder of the article examines the theory behind the method.
Message of The Secret
The author state that the DVD and the book present knowledge that has been known through the ages, but is brought all together for the first time. That knowledge can be briefly summarized as follows: Human beings have the power to accomplish whatever they intensely aspire to accomplish, provided they adhere to the method advocated. The method is valid for achieving personal wealth, improving personal relationships, curing illness or any other purpose including service to society. Rightly applied, the method is infallible.
Law of Attraction
The book states that The Secret is based on an unfailing universal law, the law of attraction. This law states that whatever we focus our attention on is attracted to us. Our thoughts and feelings create our reality. When we consciously direct our thoughts and feelings toward the positive goals we want to achieve, we send forth a message to the universal consciousness and attract the results we concentrate on. The book does not explain the theory, process or mechanism by which the law works. It advises practitioners to concentrate on the result to be achieved and insists that method is infallible.
The essence of the method in The Secret is described in three steps:
- Ask: Intensely visualize and emotionalize the goal you want to achieve and continuously concentrate on the achievement of that goal. Avoid all negative thoughts that are contrary to the achievement of the goal. Especially avoid focusing attention on the problem or situation that one wants to change, since according to the law of attraction, attention to the problem reinforces the existing situation.
- Answer: Wait for the universe to respond. It is not necessary for you to know how your goal can be accomplished. Do not dwell on 'how', only on the goal itself. Your task is only to intensely aspire and wait for circumstances to turn in your favor.
- Receive: Align and attune yourself to the universe. Put your thoughts and feelings in harmony with what you want to accomplish. Express only positive feelings. Feel cheerful and enthusiastic. Avoid all negative emotions of any description. Try to feel now as you will when your goal is achieved. Feel gratitude for what you already have.
The book states that fragments of The Secret can be found in earlier oral and written traditions, but that all the pieces of The Secret have been brought together for the first time. This knowledge can be found in traditional sources of wisdom. The Bhagavad Gita, India’s great scripture written thousands of years ago, states "you can achieve anything which you aspire to achieve." The Gita goes even further to state that "you can become whatever you aspire to become".
The book also states that "for the first time all the pieces have come together." It may be more accurate to say that these truths have now been presented in a manner that is more accessible and understandable by the general public. All the elements of the formula have been brought together in writing long ago. Sri Aurobindo describes in detail the conditions for a conscious mastery over life in chapters 13 to 24 of The Life Divine. He also explains the Process of Creation, which is the means by which that mastery is accomplished. The emphasis in his writings is on the application of this process for self-perfection and spiritual evolution. Since 1970, the application of this process to accomplishments in life has been extensively studied, codified as a practical methodology and disseminated under the heading Life Response.
Scientific Validation of The Secret
It is easy for people to dismiss the claims of The Secret as irrational and unscientific and to feel a sense of satisfaction in not falling prey to patent ‘non-sense’. Those of the positivist school of science who are proud of their insistence on empiricism reject the idea of a conscious, responsive universe prima facie as unscientific and unworthy of serious consideration. But that is not a rational or a scientific response. Equally bizarre, contradictory and inexplicable concepts have been embraced by physicists during the past century, including Relative Time, Curved Space, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Black Holes, and Dark Matter.
Science, according to the renowned scientific philosopher Karl Popper, is not concerned with the source or rationality of a hypothesis, only with its capacity for validation. “Every discovery contains an ‘irrational element’, or a ‘creative intuition’ in Bergson’s sense…Scientific discovery is impossible without faith in ideas which are of a purely speculative kind, and sometimes even quite hazy; a faith which is completely unwarranted from the point of view of science, and which, to that extent, is metaphysical.”
Science is only concerned with the rationality of the methods used to test the hypothesis. It is not at all necessary that we understand ‘how’ The Secret works in order to evaluate its validity from a scientific perspective. It is enough that we determine whether or not it works, i.e. whether controlled application of the methodology advocated actually achieves the anticipated results. Testability, not plausibility, is the sole valid criteria for scientific investigation.
“I shall certainly admit a system as empirical or scientific only if it is capable of being tested by experience. ..I hold that scientific theories are never fully justifiable or verifiable, but they are nevertheless testable…The objectivity of scientific statements lies in the fact that they can be inter-subjectively tested.” Testability means inter-subject repeatability, i.e. the capacity of the same results to empirically validated by numerous independent scientists applying the same procedure.
That is precisely what advocates of The Secret claim. They claim that the method works, that it cannot fail to work when the required conditions are fulfilled and the method is followed precisely. They do not insist that practitioners must believe in their explanation of how the method works. They do say that greater faith in the method enhances the intensity of the psychological effort taken to practice it and, by the same logic it can be implied that, strong disbelief in the method can prevent the method from working. That is because the method is based on the power of mind to realize what it conceives to be possible and aspires to achieve. This position is internally consistent with the entire thesis and cannot be contested on rational grounds.
Scientifically, the issue reduces to a question of whether the method works. Advocates invite everyone to apply the method and test it for themselves. Therefore, it is neither necessary nor relevant to consider whether or not their explanation of how it works appeals to our common sense or is consistent with our view of the universe.
Nevertheless, it is only natural that those who apply the method, either for personal benefit or the pursuit of impersonal knowledge, would also like to understand the mechanism by which it works. This article presents an explanation for The Secret which is entirely consist with the knowledge that can be gained by an acute and objective study of the character of life in history, biography or literature or by direct empirical experience through psycho-spiritual methods of yoga. The explanations given here are based on the writings of Sri Aurobindo and on research conducted over the past three decades by | The Mother’s Service Society of Pondicherry, India.
Regardless of whether the objective is to personally benefit from The Secret or to impersonally test its validity, the first essential condition is to clearly understand the conditions and steps required to achieve results.
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