Monday Oct 16 2006
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.