Special Note: If the previews for Pirate Master, the new reality show on CBS, make you sit up a say “Wow, I really want to watch Pirate Master!” please don’t read my blog… ever… I am serious… and please don’t breed or engage in activities that may result in breeding. Oh wait, if you are a Pirate Master fanatic you probably don’t understand words like “breed.” Let me use terms you might understand: Don’t do what boy dogs do to my leg when they are feeling funky… ever… and now the blog…
Judging from the lack of bulge in my wallet, I’m thinking I didn’t win the Powerball this past weekend. (Speaking of lacking bulges… oh, never mind... my wife has suffered enough.)
Anyways, slap me upside the head and call me “Sally.” I asked, I believed, and yet, I did not receive… OK, so I didn’t do all that much believing. Well then, you scoff, how can you doubt the power of “The Secret?” if you admit not believing?
Simple. I’ve tried to apply that “Genie-in-a-bottle” view of the Universe many times in the past. Did I mention that I am diagnosed Bipolar I with psychotic episodes and delusions of grandeur? My wiring, sans a daily does of Geodon, is like the wiring on Albanian electric treadmill… (“No dad, it wasn’t a bargain! That treadmill you bought me for Christmas launched me though the bedroom wall!”)
Seriously, with faulty circuits like mine do you think maybe, just maybe, I over thought Matthew 21:22 when I first read it? (Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.) I was on that passage of scripture like a fat kid on deep-fried, State Fair Oreos.
I am so vehement in discrediting “The Secret” not because I can’t open my mind to it. At several points in my life I insanely pursued the very same ask, believe, receive formula the film/book outlines. Mix a little scripture reading with a manic episode and my “believe” vibrations were more powerful than the bowels of that fat kid after a day long, grease-laden eating binge at said State Fair.
I chased the Genie-in-a-bottle Universe into the gates of madness. Positive thinking? Yes, it works. I land almost every job/contract I pursue because of it. But does the Universe grant your every wish as you sofa surf and chant? Of course not.
“The Secret” purports that men like Winston Churchill and Henry Ford were practitioners. But were they? Consider their actual words:
Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Sounds like Churchill favored a little elbow grease.
There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
Ditto for Ford. Maybe the “believers” of “The Secret” actually believed in backing up your dreams with a little action.
But Rick, you say, what about the Bible? “The Secret” is clearly laid out in the Bible. Yeah, well that Bible also says “faith without works is dead.” Hmmm.
Or consider an alternative take on Matthew 21:22 from those womanizing Mormons. The Mormon’s claim that Christ visited the America’s centuries ago and left a more accurately translated account of his teachings. In the American-ized version Christ said: “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it will be given unto you.” If I had read that version maybe my religious episodes wouldn’t have been so memorable (and amusing to my children… they think “crazy dad” was pretty funny.)
So am I just a hater or do I offer an alternative? I have found my personal secret to a happier life… though I forget it often. Consider the actual words of another supposed keeper of “The Secret.”
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Service and love are far more powerful than any secret. Remember my claim in part one that I finally found the key to selling my house in the stagnant Arizona housing market. Well it was a complete accident. For months that house sat and drew nary an offer. I was at the end of my very short wit. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to drop everything I was doing and fly out to Arizona to help a friend in need.
As I, for a change, stopped thinking about myself and helped another, my world brightened in many ways. For a moment I was not the self-absorbed turd that I usually am. I cared about another human being instead of worrying about poor little greedy me. There were many small miracles. Not the least of which was that on the same day a woman visited my house and made an offer. Hmmm.
But Rick! Oprah and Ellen and all my favorite daytime hosts love hosting the “teachers” of “The Secret.” True enough. But they also love ratings. Do you think the promise of a wish granting Genie of a Universe might capture a few eyeballs?
But Rick! “The Secret” is spreading like a gymnast on an oiled mat. True enough. But since the “teachers” of “The Secret” relish in quoting the famous dead (and conveniently un-interviewable) let me dig up another actual quote from Sir Winston:
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.