Consider the following:
“The Secret,” a book (and film) released in 2006 about using the Law of Attraction to attain “health, wealth and happiness,” is one of the best-selling self-help books of all time. Among other things, The Secret promises “massive wealth” along with “dream homes” and new cars to those who apply its principles. In less than six months after The Secret was released, nearly 4 million books were in print with more than 2 million DVDs sold in a year. The Secret exploded into the mainstream media, was translated into nearly 30 languages, and became a commercial empire in itself. Spiritual teachers and healers (and opportunists) in the New Age community quickly joined the throng and adjusted their own ways of doing business — often by greatly increasing their fees and promising their clients material wealth and happiness … for a price.
In September of 2008, a meltdown in the U.S. mortgage market occurred, followed by the demise of such venerable financial institutions as Lehman Brothers (the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history). Billions of dollars are provided in emergency federal loans to banks and corporations that are “too big to fail,” and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777 points — the largest drop in the Dow’s history. Trouble in the U.S. financial markets has spurred a global economic crisis. By the end of 2008, a record-breaking 12 percent of American homeowners with mortgages were either behind in their payments or in foreclosure. In October of 2009, the nation’s unemployment rate reached 10 percent, the highest in 25 years.
Also in October 2009, James Arthur Ray, a “spiritual guru” and prominent contributor to The Secret, held a “Spiritual Warrior” retreat outside Sedona, Arizona, that cost participants $9,000 each, and ended tragically with the death of three people during a ceremony modeled after a Native American sweat lodge. The Spiritual Warrior retreat was one step of Ray’s “Journey of Power Experience,” which began with similar offerings called “the Harmonic Wealth Weekend” and “Creating Absolute Wealth.”
Now ask yourself these questions: Are these phenomena — the success of The Secret, the global economic crisis, and the rise of “spiritual gurus” who promise financial gain for a high price, related in some way? Do they tell us something about where we are in this Great Transition to the New Age? Perhaps they suggest the following:
A sizable segment of the “New Age” spiritual community1 has bought into the prevailing capitalist paradigm of our society that emphasizes money as a primary indicator of personal value, worth, and happiness…a belief system that has led to greed and the lust for material possessions, which, in turn, has led to joblessness, homelessness, and even a crisis in health care that deprives individuals and families from meeting some of the most basic of human needs.
This obsession with money has led to an imbalance of epic proportions, an imbalance that is not only illustrated by national and global statistics related to the economic crisis, but also in stories and events like the “Spiritual Warrior” debacle, an event which promised miracles but caused tremendous suffering, not only for the people who were sickened during the ceremony, and not only their families and loved ones and the families and loved ones of the three who died, but also the others who were in attendance that day who witnessed this tragic event.
So my questions are these: Why are so many members of the New Age community now obsessed with personal wealth? Why have high-priced “gurus” like James Ray been so successful in the past two years? Don’t we have better things to do at this point in our collective history than to focus on individual material gain?
To explore these questions and the issues they raise, I’d like to examine the phenomena associated with The Secret. Much of what the book and film has shared with an estimated 7 million people is indeed true — the Law of Attraction is a universal principle. We, as human beings, have an amazing power to manifest our thoughts in the world and to manifest an abundant life. We attract what we put out into the world, and “thoughts can become things.”2 The Secret has been successful in “popularizing” the Law of Attraction and getting it into the mainstream culture at a time when people the world over need to become more aware of our place in the Universe and our power to bring about positive change.
This message in itself is revolutionary (even evolutionary) for those uninitiated in the knowledge of how we can use the energy of our intentions , for those who are not familiar with spiritual principles that could indeed be put to miraculous use to recreate ourselves and our existence on the planet during the Transition to a new world.
One application of the Law of Attraction used in The Secret is the generation of personal wealth and material gain. This focus has been adopted by many New Age healers and consultants who are now using the popularity of The Secret to promise their own clients that they will manifest all the money they want — in exchange for fees that are not only much higher than they once were, but must typically be paid in advance or through a contract-like arrangement in which healers/consultants are paid before the true experiences and any actual results occur.
One sign of the primacy of materialism in The Secret is how often “dream homes” are mentioned. Jack Canfield tells us he lives in a four and a half million dollar house. Of course we wonder, why does someone need a four and a half million dollar house? What does the emphasis on manifesting luxurious houses say about the millions of people who once believed in their own right to own “dream homes,” who believed their lenders’ misleading manipulations, and overextended themselves with mortgages they couldn’t afford? Many of them may have thought they were manifesting their dreams, only to awake and find their homes disappear as a result of the mortgage crash, unemployment, and other lost investments.
Ultimately, The Secret promises readers and viewers that, by using the Law of Attraction, they can build fortunes in the millions. By questioning this premise, I am not suggesting that we, as members of the New Age community, shouldn’t live abundant lives with the wealth we need to pursue our visions and share our gifts — we should be paid, and paid well, for the services we offer — but it’s not necessarily true, on this physical plane, and interacting with others in our current economic paradigm, that we as individuals can have as much money and material wealth as we could possibly want without negatively impacting others — or the planet.
Take the quote from The Secret’s contributor Bob Proctor:
“Why do you think that 1 percent of the population earns around 96 percent of all the money that’s being earned? Do you think that’s an accident? It’s designed that way. They understand something. They understand The Secret, and now you are introduced to The Secret.”
My answers to his first question:
Because our society, and our civilization, has worked itself into a grave imbalance, one that rewards greed and corruption, and is helping to bring forth environmental destruction and the crumbling of institutions that once helped us maintain some degree of social stability.
Because there are a lot of people who know the secret of capitalism — that you can amass a lot of money by oppressing or exploiting or manipulating others (like the 99 percent of the world’s population who shares only 4 percent of the world’s wealth).
And, in further response to Proctor’s comment, No, I don’t believe the disparity between the rich and poor is an accident, and yes, I do believe the world economic system has been “designed that way” — but not by Spirit or through the Laws of the Universe, but by human beings. Particularly, human beings with egos focused on their own aggrandizement and on building power by controlling others as well as natural resources.
Does Proctor believe that members of the top 1 percent (including the corporate CEOs and heads of financial institutions whose compensation packages reach into the millions) amassed their fortunes without exploiting or manipulating others? How many of the “lower tier” employees working for their companies or institutions (or their suppliers) are unable to afford adequate health care or decent housing? How many of their families are suffering because they work long hours and invest their best energies at work instead of in their human relationships? How many workers, in other parts of the world, are working in unsafe and unsanitary conditions so that American businesses can keep profits as high as possible and to make the rich even richer?
How many “spiritual gurus,” in their own desire to manifest wealth, subtly manipulate others using Law-of-Attraction-oriented approaches to “power marketing” and payment arrangements that guarantee they make money, regardless of their results, or whether their approaches are in alignment with those they serve?
The creators of The Secret acknowledge on their website that the Secret doesn’t work for everybody. But their explanation — that it doesn’t work because people don’t know how to use it correctly, or that the principles are too advanced for many readers/viewers — is not adequate.
What’s another possible reason The Secret doesn’t work for everyone as it promises? Because it ignores the fact that making a million dollars or materializing a sports car (or even having perfect health or being the perfect weight, other purposes mentioned in the book and film) may not be in alignment with a soul’s purpose for being on the planet at this time in history. Amassing a personal fortune may or may not be in alignment with the intentions of a Soul Family or in the best interest of the planet during this Great Transition. The real issue is what we do with what we have — how we use our thoughts, our time, and our money for things that may be even bigger and better.
Just think what would happen if we harnessed the tremendous amount of energy generated by the publication of The Secret, the release of the movie, and the use of the Law of Attraction for personal wealth, and turned it toward manifesting something greater than dream homes or new cars. Just think if we were all in alignment with our souls’ purposes and focusing on the good of the planet as we embark upon the New Age. What if we focused on a healthy standard of living, a cure for disease, healing for the environment, or an end to poverty — not just for ourselves but for human beings across the planet?
Now that’s the kind of thinking that can cause miracles.
Now is the time when being in alignment with our soul’s purpose is more important than ever before in human history. We are living the “end times” which have been prophesied by indigenous cultures and prophets the world over. But these are not the end times of life on earth — if we choose them not to be — but the end of a way of life, of economic, political, and social systems that are broken and not even remotely sustainable. Our lives — and the lives of the plants and animals and elements of the earth — are hanging in the balance, and it’s time we stepped forward and took collective responsibility for creating a new way of life on Planet Earth.
What does that mean? It means collectively turning our time and energy, as well as our wealth, to co-creating a new future for the benefit of all beings — indeed, for the benefit of the multiverse. It means shifting our attention from using the Law of Attraction for individual gain to using this same powerful principle (and others like it) to manifest a new world.
So how do we begin? It may sound like a tall and overwhelming order, to bring forth a new world through our minds. But “the truth beyond the secret” is that, when we are in alignment with our soul purposes, and we join forces with others who are also in alignment, that the miracles really start, and accumulate, and energize the grid that connects us all, until we are all co-creating our heaven on earth.
A beginning step is to take some time during your meditation and/or journaling sessions, or during your work with your spiritual guides, or teachers and healers on the physical plane, to consider the following questions:
What is my soul purpose?
What are the gifts that Source has given me to enact my soul’s purpose?
Are the ways I use my gifts and invest my energy — including my time, my thoughts, and my money — in alignment with my soul purpose? Are there ways I can shift my thoughts and activities to bring all the different parts of myself, and the different roles I play in this lifetime, into better alignment?
Are the ways I use my gifts and energy benefiting others and supporting the environment? What can I do to further support the health and well-being of the planet?
How can I join with others of similar soul purposes to bring about the change our planet needs right now?
Investing time and energy into this process will lead to surprising results. When you are in alignment with your soul purpose, the Law of Attraction works at hyper-speed, bringing you a kind of abundance and joy you never thought possible. It’s true that it may not get you a fortune in the millions, a fancy car, or a dream house — but it will “get you home” to a new way of being. Connected to Source, supported by your Soul Family here on earth, and lovingly surrounded by your Spirit guides, you are the light you came here to be.
To support you on your continuing journey, I’d like to leave you with these affirmations:
My life is in Divine Alignment.
I am One with All I See.
I am the Light I came to be.
1. My definition of the “New Age community” includes those who have gone beyond traditional religious structures to learn and experience spiritual truths in a variety of ways, and who believe the planet is undergoing a massive shift that will result in the birth of a new age when life on this planet will be dramatically different than it is today.
2. The Secret, p. 9.
About Leslie Scheuler
Leslie Scheuler, PhD, is a writer, consultant and university professor based in St. Louis, Missouri. With a background in music, social work, social science research, and diverse energy healing modalities, Leslie specializes in working with individuals, groups and organizations to remember and express their true purposes and to live in alignment with these purposes for the good of individuals, communities, and the planet as a whole. Leslie believes that the time is now for stepping up in full Divine power to manifest a New World. (Source: http://www.spiritofmaat.com/feb10/truth_secret.html)