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The Secret Hardcover – November 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Supporters will hail this New Age self-help book on the law of attraction as a groundbreaking and life-changing work, finding validation in its thesis that one's positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, happiness... and did we mention wealth? Detractors will be appalled by this as well as when the book argues that fleeting negative thoughts are powerful enough to create terminal illness, poverty and even widespread disasters. The audio version of this controversial book, read by Byrne and contributing authors such as John Gray and Neale Donald Walsch, is uneven at best. The cheesy, obvious sound effects will not do much to add intellectual respectability to a work that has been widely denounced as pseudoscience. Mostly, this audio is hampered by its confusing and disjointed organization—techniques that worked reasonably well in the print version and the movie, such as cutting every few seconds from one enthusiastic expert to another, make for a choppy and somewhat bewildering listening experience. The gentle cadences of Rhonda Byrne's breathy, Aussie-infused voice are certainly the best part of the audio, but her material is scarce and provides mostly connective tissue between the testimonials.
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From the Publisher
The Secret is truly the most outstanding book to date that we have published. I am so pleased that Rhonda Byrne was able to bring together this life-changing information so masterfully. She first did it for the movie of the same name that she produced, which has been a phenomenon in its own right. She then added, in only ones month's time, incredible additional content to the transcript of the film that brings even more clarity to the reader. This is absolutely a book that people from all walks of life can read and then "get" the concept of The Secret. It allows them to then take it and apply it to their lives. Children, teenagers and adults of all ages are reporting miraculous stories of positive changes as a result. Rhonda Byrne is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of The Secret and to making sure that now, finally, the whole world knows about The Secret. You will want to share this with your friends and family and they will be grateful for it. This book gives hope for what many have been waiting for-- a shift in the way the world thinks. Its a very exciting time that we are living in, and I as well as everyone at Beyond Words and Atria Books are grateful to be a part of it.
--Cynthia Black, President, Beyond Words Publishing
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Top Customer Reviews
I had heard about the law of attraction before, but never took the time to investigate what it truly meant. As the book unraveled and began to reveal "The Secret," and how to apply it into my life immediately, I allowed myself to be open in receiving whatever insight I could in order to help me overcome several difficulties in my life and achieve a better quality of life overall.
By the middle of the book I chose to practice some of the techniques that were briefly described through the text just to try it out. For the past 3 weeks I have had pain in the middle of my back. I had even recently gone to a chiropractor to help alleviate my symptoms, which only worked temporarily. The moment I tried the technique of closing my eyes, clearly my mind, and speaking affirmations of confidence and healing something changed. I did not realize the pain in the middle of my pain, which I had been experiencing for weeks, was gone until about 5-10 minutes later when I stopped to stretch. I am not a blogger, I do not receive free books, or any type of compensation for this or any review I ever write. I also am usually one to dispel instant claims of miraculous effects occurring just from reading a text or saying a chant, so when I tell you my pain left and has not been back since I am shocked in a way. I still am secretly wondering when the pain will reappear, but by the continuation of applying the law I highly doubt it will. From that moment I figured if it's that easy then I wonder what life will be like once I apply it to every area of my life.
By the end of the book and my own personal testament, I was hooked. This is a life changing book and I see why it has sold millions and millions of copies around the world. It really works if you apply and believe. After previewing The Power and The Magic, I intend to read those two as well. This has easily become one of my all-time favorite books and I highly recommend it. Just try it. What do you have to lose?
1) Present it's premise clearly
2) Since it's a self-help book explain clearly what you need to do
3) Provide compelling evidence that it's ideas work
4) Be credible.
The book does a decent job of explaining its premise, which is that everything in your life is the result of the law of attraction. I quote, "the law of attraction says like attracts like, so when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you." In other words, think good thoughts and good things will come to you and if you think bad thoughts then bad things come to you. I've simplified this a bit but not a whole lot as the concept isn't rocket science.
Now, does this book explain clearly what you need to do? Actually, for a self-help book it does a very poor job of this. How do you control your thoughts? What kinds of practices and thinking produce the best results? The author and contributors basically tell you a bunch of stories about how "so and so did something and you can too by changing your thinking".
And that's it for the "how to" part of the book. There isn't any.
Now, if I wanted to prove something worked from a scientific perspective it would seem to be easy to test this stuff out. You take two groups of people, teach one the secret, let the other go on with their lives and see what happens. In theory those that know the Secret would be happier and more successful than the control group. It might not be perfect but it'd be a whole lot better than what we get in this book. But, of course, you'd have to have an actual methodology to test.
Instead the authors cite numerous anecdotes of how the Secret worked. One person's cancer went away. Another individual walks after a brutal accident. Still another finds romance. That's all fine and perhaps it's evidence but it's not proof. Cancer can be misdiagnosed. How many people who were injured like the "Miracle Man" never walked again despite the best attitude and trying the approach perfectly? The problem with anecdotes is that it's easy to start with a result, work backward and assume the conclusion. It's also very easy with anecdotes to only present the ones that make your case and ignore those that don't (when someone dies of cancer while practicing the secret for instance). It's just not good enough to use anecdotes for large claims like those made in this book.
The following quote struck a nerve.
"People hold that for awhile, and they're really a champion at it. They say, `I'm fired up, I saw this program and I'm going to change my life.' And yet the results aren't showing. Beneath the surface it's just about ready to break through but the person will look just at the surface results and say, `This stuff doesn't work.' And you know what? The universe says, "your wish is my command,"
I thought it was interesting that the universe instantly manifest failure but isn't quite so fast with success. In fact, a cynical individual might conclude that what they are really saying is, "when this program works it's because the secret always works, but, on the off chance it doesn't work, well, that's your fault." An even more cynical person might think, "gosh, I wonder what would help a person who failed? Maybe, a seminar with Bob Proctor would be just the thing to get them over the top?"
Lastly, is the Secret credible? On the one hand, I think a lot can be said for the idea that if you change your thinking you'd change your life. In many ways that seems obvious to me.
On the other hand, if the secret actually was true, especially at the scope claimed by the book it would mean that everything that's happened is the result of your thinking. So, when a child dies of pneumonia, well, it's because they brought pneumonia into their lives. Michael J. Fox, not only did you bring Parkinson's into your life but change your thinking and it will go away. Obviously these things aren't true and they obliterate, in my opinion, any credibility in the book.
Not only does the book go too far but most (I'd argue nearly all) of the contributors aren't credible. On a topic of this scope: the ability to 100% change your life and the world in an incredible fashion, does anyone really think you couldn't find psychologists, top flight scientists, therapists and thousands of mainstream individuals to support it, if it worked? Wouldn't there be tons of research instead of anecdotes? Instead we get a Feng Shui Master, a chiropractor, motivational speakers (err trainers), a metaphysicist, etc. combined with a half dozen anecdotal stories. So the most powerful like changing idea ever and you get it from the crew in this book presented in this fashion? I don't think so!
If this idea really worked, at anything other than giving material to self-help speakers and generating repeat students, it just wouldn't be found here. The book wouldn't even have to be written because we'd all already know it and be practicing it. Remember, this is not a new idea, it's been around for a very long time, and it's been the topic of literally thousands of seminars and hundreds of books.
In conclusion, I'm not opposed to the idea on a small scale but this book just goes way too far and I'm left with the feeling that all that's really going on is a bunch of people trying to get their name out and get you to pay for their seminars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
. The summaries after each chapters are very useful to summarise and memorise the lessons.