The Secret

Just finished reading Andy Wibbel’s comments on The Secret,
the latest new internet movie. I pretty much agree that this
extravaganza has high production values, very much along the same lines
as What the Bleep. But the whole time I was watching, I kept waiting to
hear ‘who’ was behind it — a church, the Rosicrucians, another sub rosa
plug for the teachings of some cult? Was pleasantly surprised that the
message seemed to be the whole flick —you get what you sow and we need
to “come from where we want to go”. Actually that seems pretty close to
truth to me, so I don’t discount the producers of the film at all, even
if the message is an ‘oldie but goodie’.

What
I didn’t like is that many of the examples were pure materialism
101—think and grow rich. I think if you really mastered the stuff they
were talking about, you could do a lot more with your mind than make a
killing in real estate.

When all is said and done, I have learned along this highway of life
that people get to deeper meanings in a lot of ways. I think the
biggest gift I ever received from AA was the idea that “A Higher Power,
as you understand it” is about our need to escape the prison of our
minds and the self-referential demons that can destroy the possibility
we are and make life hell for those around us. There are a million
notions of what the ‘higher power’ is—God, the Universe, a
philosophical abstraction, Jesus, Mohammed, a Group of Drunks. The main
difference between being 64 and being 50 is now I don’t care what the
“right” interpretation is, and I relate to all of them from time to
time. Probably the only thing worse than having an ‘ism’ is being self-
righteous about your point-of-view.

I wrote about Curiosity
recently and noted that, as I gain in years, I’m becoming aware of my
tendency to lose a real sense of curiosity and that my responses to
most everything I hear is some version of “I know that” (which is, in
effect, a great strategy for not listening). So as I read Andy’s blog,
I could hear the little voice in my head chanting “I agree, I know
that”. Upon reflection, it occurs to me that perhaps I don’t really
know ‘the secret’. And even if I do, it wouldn’t hurt to embrace the
point-of-view that maybe there is something here that, if I knew it,
could transform the quality of my life.

I am not saying to go online and spend the five bucks to see the
film. But if you do, see if you can sit through the 90 minutes as if
you never knew or had heard any of it before. It is a good lesson in
humility and an opportunity to cultivate a beginner’s mind. After all,
being able to listen non-judgmentally is a skill we can all use in the
years ahead.

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