Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Secret Isn't

Up until now, I haven't written any negative book reviews. The main reason for this is Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap. The main purpose of this blog is to sort through all the crap so you don't have to. Therefore, if you don't see a book reviewed here, you can assume that either: I haven't read it yet; I don't understand it well enough to write a review yet; or it's crap (there's also the case where I haven't gotten to it yet -- ed.). So this will be a positive review with reservations.

My primary reservation about The Secret is that nothing in the book was a secret. If I'm proven wrong I'll happily delete this post and post a public apology, but there's nothing in this book that couldn't have been found somewhere else in the same shelf at Barnes & Noble or Borders even at the time the book was written.

That said, there is a lot of useful information in the book. The key concept, focus on what you want, is very important for recovering materialists. Not for the reason you may be thinking about, namely, "how can I get ...?", but more importantly, knowing that you can get (fill in the blank), and that it won't just be a matter of colliding Newtonian billiard balls. Practical demonstration is essential to spiritual development. Even if most, if not all, of what's in this book has been said before, if it takes yet another book for some people to get it then it takes another book.

You may have heard complaints that The Secret is superficial and simplistic. That's fine by me. A lesson that most of us learn, sooner or later is: "Be careful what you wish for; you may get it." Those who read this book will undoubtedly learn this lesson the hard way, if they haven't already. Besides, superficial and simplistic is just what is needed for a certain subset of the population. By the way, I do own a copy of the book and video, so just call me superficial and simplistic.

The bottom line? If you're a total newbie and haven't read any other books on the subject, or The Science of Mind or The Master Key System scare you, you may as well start with this book (or the video for the tl;dr crowd). Otherwise, save your time and money for something better. I guess that wasn't very positive after all. Oh, well.

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