1: The Secret : Introduction , selected, 1 of 10

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1. The Secret : Introduction

The Secret is a self-help book about the power of positive thinking by Rhonda Byrne. The book is based on a pseudo-scientific theory called the “law of attraction” – the principle that “like attracts like.” Specifically, Byrne focuses on the idea that your dreams do in fact come true – thinking about money and wealth will attract these very things, causing them to manifest in your life. Likewise, fretting over a worst-case scenario will only cause your fears to be realized. Hence the importance of positive thinking. There are no accidents and bad luck. Instead Byrne writes, “Your life right now is a reflection of your past thoughts.”

Throughout the book, Byrne intersperses quotes from proponents of the law of attraction, such as Jack Canfield, creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. These experts believe the law to be supported by quantum physics, arguing that it is a law of nature like gravity. According to Byrne, the mind is a magnet, emitting and receiving frequencies to and from the Universe. Each thought sends out a signal, which is turn gathers similar frequencies – due to the law of attraction – before returning back to you. In this fashion, your mind can bring you anything you desire – dream of a new house, and somehow, someway, it will come to you. On the flip side, dwelling on war and poverty will only perpetuate these evils. Byrne even proposes that too much negative thinking can put you in the path of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

The rest of the book explores different methods of using the law of attraction to your advantage. The primary technique is “ask, believe, receive.” This process involves imagining what you desire and pretending that you already have it. For example, Byrne suggests filling out a fake check and pretending to buy all the things you’ve always wanted. Doing so, she says, will make you wealthy.

Aphoristic and repetitive, the book does more than emphasize of importance of positive thinking. Byrne argues that everything is controlled by your thoughts, even your health. Food, she writes, only makes you gain weight because you believe it should. In the end, the book is a hymn to the power of the mind. Whether you know it or not, your thoughts, Byrne warns, will eventually come true.

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