The Secret... is it selfishness? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have watched the Secret a few times, I have used it a lot. I feel that it works, but to what end? I felt that most of the movie encouraged selfishness, and materialism. How to get a bigger house, more money, more things. It touched on how to develope health realationships and get the love or whatever you need. It also touched on health a bit and healing yourself. But I felt the over all pull of the movie was selfishness.
I have been thinking... what about lets say a woman in Africa who is in a terrible spot, her husband maybe is dead, her daughter is raped, her sons are being forced to fight at young ages, maybe she is in a refugee camp, your telling me she doesn't ever put out enough good energy to get something going? It seems that the Secret really only works if you are in a developed country and have access to everything.
How can we all watch it and wish for only green lights or a good parking spot or that we get a bigger and better house when other have nothing at all... no clean water, no food, no clothing. Your telling me these people never put out enegry that they have these things?
And how much does one person need? Do you need a milion dollar house? Do you need a swimming pool? when other have no house and no water to drink? Do we need big cars when others have to walk 20 miles barefoot to a clinic to get medicine?
How about looking at what we do have, how blessed we are. I am not talking about how rich we are, but just the general stuff. Your tap water may have a nasty taste but you won't get the runs from it. You have food everyday, you have heat, you have shelter, most of us don't have to worry about our kids being raped while getting water from a well, we have access to medical help in the ER (they can not turn you away). I know someone will come on here to refute all of this, but in reality 99% of us can get all that we need all the time when we need it. Most of the world is not so blessed. You can throw out that in America you need to make more money then someone in Africa but that doesn't take away from the fact they are suffering way more then we are.
This has been eating away at me alot. I don't feel that filling up our houses with things will make us happier. That putting out the Law of Attraction to get stuff is a good thing to do.
A friend and I have been talking about this and she sent me a great quote... "He is poor who does not feel content" (Japanese proverb). Maybe we need to work on being content, feeling our blessings and using the Secret to put out into the universe that EVERYONE have fresh clean water, food and shelter. That all children are safe from harm and disease. That all women are safe. That men don't have to kill each other and hurt women and children. That everyone gets the basics... medical care, education, free time, rain, whatever you can think of. And then when you are done, sit back and look at all that you DO have. Because we do have alot. We do. You canb try and denie it, but we are all very blessed. The fact that you can get on the internet proves that... even if it is only at work or at the library, you have access. Most people do not.
Blessings to all of you.

H

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#2 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
Maybe we need to work on being content, feeling our blessings and using the Secret to put out into the universe that EVERYONE have fresh clean water, food and shelter. That all children are safe from harm and disease. That all women are safe. That men don't have to kill each other and hurt women and children. That everyone gets the basics... medical care, education, free time, rain, whatever you can think of.

H
:

In "What the Bleep do We Know" they talked about a study/project in Washington DC, where 4000 people prayed/meditated on reducing crime. I can't remember how long this went on for, but the crime rate dropped my 25% (I'm hoping my #'s are right), and even the police chief was amazed.

We have the power to do things like this collectively.

Great post Mamaofthree
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#3 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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I agree somewhat and disagree somewhat.

I think that if you asked everyone on the secret forum here at mothering what they are creating in their lives...no one is dreaming of a multi-million dollar house or a fancy sports car. I doubt anyone here is really asking the universe for a lot of *things*.

I do think the movie is slanted a little more towards the materialistic side of things, I agree with you in that regard. It does seem a bit like they are encouraging people to accumulate *things*...and yet, there is also a message in there that people who use it to create things, thinking it will make them happy, may end up rich but not happy. If someone wants to attract fancy and expensive things into their life that's okay....but it's certainly not where I'm coming from. I think when people really get the message of the secret, they move to a different vibration where things no longer are all that important and we are looking to make the world a place of peace and abundance for all.

I have found that I sort of tune out the materialistic part...because I personally, use the law of attraction in other ways. I use the law of attraction to remind myself to be appreciative of everything I have and attract more positive energy into my life.

The basic idea of the law of attraction does happen everywhere in the world, including developing countries. That is how change happens. I guarantee that if we travelled to some remote part of Africa, we would find there are people who just have a drive, a passion, a deep seated belief that they are going to live. They just know that they are going to stay alive, despite their conditions and be able to be part of creating change. There would be people who have visions of how to help their country, their children, their poor. I know there are people all over the world creating things using the law of attraction. It is not about materialism, anyone can use the law of attraction to attract anything...including the strong desire to live and help others.

I have thought several times about why they focus so much on attracting material items. I like the message of gratitude, of feeling what you want and I know the law of attraction really does work. But, I too have wondered why they felt the need to focus so much on the money/materialism side and have considered that it may be because they know it will attract more people in American/Western cultures. The good part about that is the more people who *get it*, the more people who will be able to create the changes our world is desperate to have happen.
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#4 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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I've had very similar thoughts.

A couple of weeks ago I was at my homeopathy study group and we were talking about LoA and it just felt so silly...we are a group of upper-middle class (mostly) white women in America talking about all the things we want to attract into our lives. It just felt so shallow.

But I think there is SOOOO much more to The Secret/LoA than attracting material goods. And I definitely do feel that we can manifest for the greater good.

I know that since I started studying LoA, my life is changing in amazing ways. I am experiencing more grattitude and more joy and having more fun, which is freeing up energy for me to be more productive in my life and my community.

I just accepted a volunteer position at our church. I have been manifesting the need to be more involved in our church and spend more time with our minister because she is just absolutely amazing. Out of the blue (not really of course ) she called me and asked me to head up our canvas for next year. If I was not in the more centered place that I am in now thanks to studying/practicing LoA, I would have quickly said no...I am the mother of two young kids. I don't have the time/energy etc.

But instead I felt like...huh. Well Universe. Chairing the canvas was NOT what I had in mind when I was thinking about being more active in our church but this is what manifested and I'm going to take this opportunity.

My chuch does amazing work in our community and throughout the world, so by me doing my part to first be more centered and grateful and peaceful myself...I am able to contribute energy to my church...which contributes energy to the larger community and world.
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#5 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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It's funny, but I don't even notice the materialistic parts of the movie - it doesn't seem to be something that speaks to me. To me, it's helping me learn to appreciate/be grateful for that which I have (if you've read the other threads, I've been moaning about my house for a while, which I will be the first to admit is a beautiful, big, lovely house and by all "specs" is my "dream house" with the exception of backyard size ). I digress ... the things I want to attract to me are not big cars (I'd love to fit all three car seats in a hybrid small sedan actually), a bigger house (dh and I could work on manifesting our farm in the middle of no where but honestly that would not bring contentment/happiness), or lots of money (though I am working on manifesting about $10,00 so we can pay off our 2nd/home equity line - but other than that, we don't carry debt). I am working on manifesting complete joy being where we are; dh and I are working on manifesting a job where he is happy, respected, and loves going to in the morning (which very well could be where he is now ... it's a matter of what he is vibrating out there regarding it, yk).

I was toying with LoA in regards to one of the MIN raffles; I was imagining winning it and feeling all excited for winning. But, yk, if I don't, I still find joy seeing the paypal receipt. It was better to donate the money than win the prize - it's finding that true joy and happiness, and that's what I get from the movie.

I think we have been taught (we as a global society really) that wanting things, anything, for yourself is selfishness, and that it is better to deny oneself. (JMHO) And I think that is where negative energy comes from. Like what is said in the movie - we are told that there is not enough to go around, so that belief breeds jealousy, strife, and negative energy. And that is what is manifesting itself in the world every moment. We go to war because we fear there is not enough (look at the Middle East issues ... there's not enough oil, so we better make sure *we* control it least someone else controls it and cuts us off). But, there is more than enough love, joy, and true happiness to go around.

And I don't believe that this *works* only if you are in a developed country. I think that sells human kind short. If we flew to the middle of subsaharan Africa, we may not find people using LoA to get the latest BMW, but they are using it to ensure health, food, shelter for themselves or their family. It's not about things, it's about one's outlook on life. Are you going to go through life down, negative, thinking the world is out to get you? Are you going to shift your focus and feeling, and start feeling happy, *believe* that things are improving. Are you going to manifest change for the better or for the worse? That's the message I get from the movie ... Today is a brand new day ... what are you going to work on manifesting? And how is that going to impact your personal world, thereby impacting the entire world?

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#6 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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My point exactly.
This is why I am sending my copy for free to another mother who needs it.

There may be people who need to think positively and may help them greatly.

But the whole movie was about parking, and bikes and money.
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#7 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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I think the reason they focused on material things in the film (houses, cars, etc...), is because those are common wants- most people would like a new house or a new car. But what makes us truly happy, is different for each person. One person may find joy by having a large family, another may find joy by working 12 hours a day. It's up to us to decide what will make us happy and focus on that. What I got from The Secret, is that we should do what makes us happy. We should focus on what we already have that brings us joy, and in turn, that will bring us more of the "things" that make us happy. "Thing" doesn't automatically mean a material object- things can be happiness, joy, peace.

The secret hasn't (so far!) brought me any material gain. It has, however, brought me out of a very serious depression. It's helping me build better relationships with those around me, and not be so negative all the time. I consider those the most important things the film can bring someone.

It's all what you make of it. But, if any of you choose to get rid of your copy of The Secret, would you mind PMing me? I have a friend who's trying really hard to get a copy.

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#8 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 04:09 PM
 
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I disagree. I've been to many places in the world (working for Oxfam) where getting enough to eat or clean water is a major issue. I've treated children who had kwashiorkor, a malnutritive disease caused by a nutritional imbalance. I've seen true, absolute poverty (as opposed to the relative poverty people in the US usually experience) and here is my conclusion...

Westerners (especially Americans) need to adopt LOA far more than non-Westerners. As a whole we are the most fearful, unhappy people on the planet. I swear to you, many people in what we would call terrible circumstances are happier, more grateful. We think we have everything, but in fact we are missing the basic human spiritual need - a life of gratitude.

The *reason* the movie is so heavily focused on material things is because it is the ONLY way it can wake the average Westerner out of their materialistic slumber. If you would make the film for other cultures, it would look and sound very different. But it is the US - the richest people in the world - that NEED to follow LOA before the rest of the world can have an end to their suffering.

Why? Think about it The Secret wasn't written for MDC mamas - it was written for a person that lives for STUFF, who strongly feels that things that things are the key to happiness.

Mr. Joe Average doesn't care about starving children in Africa. He's already got enough stress. He's got that monster mortgage payment, car payments, plasma screen TV payments... you get the picture. He works a 60 hour week. His kids barely see him, but he's pretty sure they despise him. He knows his wife despises him. His primary thoughts? Work, bills, stress, lack, work, bills, stress, lack... He NEVER gives a though to what he HAS, only thinking of what he does NOT have, about his worries, about how everything SUCKS. He can feel that something is deeply wrong, but he keeps reaching in the wrong direction. He spirals with fear and anxiety, all the while thinking if he can just get more STUFF things will get better somehow.

Now Mr. Average sits down to watch The Secret. There are people telling him he can have EVERYTHING he's ever wanted, if only he can learn to be grateful for what he has. So he thinks, why not? He slows down. He starts thinking about the amazing stuff he has, FE~ELING gratitude for maybe the first time in his adult life. AND, the great part is, it works! His gratitude is reinforced with the material things he has craved.

The thing is, if you go far enough down the rabbit hole, the materialism falls away. It has to. You practice gratitude long enough and the need for all the STUFF you thought would make you feel better just falls away.

Zip ahead five years. Mr. Joe Average has saved his failing marriage, reconnected with his kids, downsized his house so he can enjoy life, lives without fear, can pay his bills and then some. And he is profoundly grateful. NOW he can open his eyes and his heart to the rest of the world. Now he can reach out and help others. Now he knows The Secret.

Until the average Westerner wakes up and realizes the power they have to live without fear, to truly know how blessed they are, they will contintue to feel powerless to alleviate the terrible conditions in other parts of the world.
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#9 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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like anything... I guess it depends on your perspective.

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#10 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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Excellent post darwinphish..... ITA!
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#11 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even though I started this thread, I am going to bow out. This is exactly what I was talking about here. No one wants to see that someone who has NOTHING is worse off then us. We want to justify our over all greed. I never said that we all had to live in shanty towns and eat only rice once a day. I am saying that millions upon millions do this everyday. And when you sit and wish for a parking spot or enough money to pay off a big loan you are devaluing (IMHO) the actual needs that others really have. You don't NEED a parking spot 10 feet from the door of a store. But you do NEED food, clean water and shelter, to feel generally safe and to have good health for your children. You can say that the Secret helps the average westerner learn to be happy with what they have, but I don't see that. I see that most of the people in the movie talked about getting stuff (a big house, a parking spot, a million dollars).
I don't think everyone should live in poverty, but I don't believe that anyone should live in poverty. No one should have to put their babies to bed hungry. No one should worry about being raped or murdered, yet millions live this way all the time.
We justify our greed by saying that it is OK. That else where people are happy. That just us Westerners are not knowing this and this movie will help us.
How about the makers of the movie pushing social responsiblity, or using LoA as a way to make massive social changes... say what you want, watch the movie again, it does focus on selfish gains of each person for over half the movie.
rebecamaryll: I remember hearing about that. That is what I am talking about. Thank you.

H

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#12 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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i'm sorry to see you go, this is a great discussion and one that i've been pondering myself of late.

i don't think that the true core of LoA is about materialism, it's about gratitude and changing your attitude.

that said, the secret is a movie. it focuses more on the concrete/material because that is what the medium calls for. also, since this is such a 'new' concept to most people, i think the producers did a good job of balancing out the true spirituality behind the LoA while also making the movie palatable to the masses. it's not meant to be the be-all end-all of LoA philosophy, it is the springboard for action, reflection and personal growth.

yes, i completely agree with you that this could be the beginning of true social change, the end of 'band-aid' solutions and the start of a new age of consciousness. and like you, i'm impatient for this to happen...SOON! i think that the growing popularity and awareness of the secret and the principles of LoA are just the beginning. i think that change will happen, but i'm sorry to say that the average american IS out mostly for themselves and philanthropy and activism to help the disadvantaged is not really on their radar at the moment. but i can see great things happening down the line, when the type of spiritual growth and awareness that practicing LoA calls for, becomes more and more prevalent in the mainstream.

i am an optimist, and i do believe that things are unfolding in a positive way. it may not happen in our lifetimes, but it will happen.
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#13 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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I am still baffled about the materialistic thing, especially coming from the moms who have posted to this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree
No one wants to see that someone who has NOTHING is worse off then us. We want to justify our over all greed.
Who here said this? I'm confused to say the least. I don't know if any of us said we don't care about others. But, just because someone has it worse than I, does that mean I don't deserve to dream? Does that mean I am incapable of dreaming for me and for the rest of the world? Does that mean that I am a selffish you-know-what? IMO, dismissing the whole thing by saying it's all about "materialism" is a knee-jerk reaction to the bigger picture. It's like when you are unsure of something or deep down don't think you deserve something (general *you*), so instead of embracing a new way of looking at something or a gift, you come up with reasons why it's bad. I guess I'm just sitting here scratching my head as to where the negativity is coming from ... instead of anti-Secret, why not pro-positive manifestation? (And really, that's meant in a very sincere way.)

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#14 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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I also refuse to believe that the average American is only out for themselves ... I think that kind of thought/belief only recreates itself in the life of those that hold it. I believe and seek and hope to help manifest the belief that there is more than enough to go around and that abundance will rule this world. If one goes through life seeing the negativity (selffishness), then it will only continue to manifest itself, yk?

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#15 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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mamaofthree... I'm sorry this has impacted you so negatively, but I can't help but think you're only seeing what you want to see. People on this thread are saying that they are very grateful for what they have, and do not at all intend 'greed' for their own lives. Yet you still see talk of greed and want, yes? ETA: I think this might sound meaner than I intended! I don't mean to be critical.

Quote:
And when you sit and wish for a parking spot or enough money to pay off a big loan you are devaluing (IMHO) the actual needs that others really have. You don't NEED a parking spot 10 feet from the door of a store. But you do NEED food, clean water and shelter, to feel generally safe and to have good health for your children.
I agree that others in the world have less, but if I'm not allowed to attract more because of some sense of... shame? social injustice?..., then how exactly does that help anyone? People that have money aren't evil! Money isn't evil! There are many wonderful people that use their prosperity to reach out and help others. Are they wrong for keeping anything for themselves? If I plan to attract a million dollars so I can help get clean water to a community that has none, does that make it better? What if I decide to keep a little of that million dollars so that my kids can have some wonderful learning opportunities? Or so that I can have a hot tub? Now that's probably wasteful. Does it make me any less of a person, or my intentions for the world any less good?

Quote:
How about the makers of the movie pushing social responsiblity, or using LoA as a way to make massive social changes...
I think this movie is about massive social changes!! People that are grateful and happy for what they have are going to do better for themselves, their families, their communities and the world!

Melanie
Magical Mama, joyfully home educating my three wonders: FR (12/02), EG (05/05), DK (06/09)
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#16 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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I also refuse to believe that the average American is only out for themselves ... I think that kind of thought/belief only recreates itself in the life of those that hold it. I believe and seek and hope to help manifest the belief that there is more than enough to go around and that abundance will rule this world. If one goes through life seeing the negativity (selffishness), then it will only continue to manifest itself, yk?
i do see your point, and what i said in my previous post wasn't to deride americans in general. i actually think that most people are trying to make it in this world, and realistically as a whole, early 21st century american culture is very materially driven. i also think that it has to do with the way money and work are structured, the majority of people not only live paycheck to paycheck, but also struggle with massive amounts of debt compared to their income. how is a society made up of people who are worried THEMSELVES about how to pay for bills etc. going to pick their heads up and look around at the world at large and to help others?

i also completely agree that there is more than enough to go around, and that abundance is everywhere in my life and for that i am so grateful. honestly it wasn't until i took a good hard look at my life, and also began my journey with the LoA, that i internalized this concept and started to see more and more of this amazing stuff manifesting all around me.

as for the other comments regarding greed and materialism, we see what we want to see. money is energy. so is a relationship. so is health. why is it ok to wish for a loving relationship with a wonderful partner, or health, healing and vitality but it's somehow not ok to wish for a convenient parking spot in a busy lot or other material things? it's all energy, my friends...and when you invite it ALL in, isn't that truly acknowledging and appreciating the abundance that the universe manifests for us?
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#17 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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I don't think it's selfishness. Life is meant to be abundant for everyone, and it is faulty thinking to think that focusing on abundance for yourself is going to create lack for others. There is more than enough for everybody. If you're sitting around focusing on what others don't have, then you're focusing on lack. That will bring lack into your life and won't help anyone. If you focus on abundance for yourself you will be in more of a position to help those without. JMO.
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#18 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 07:00 PM
 
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I disagree, the concept that having things is bad is the problem, it comes from an idea that we live in a limited universe and that having something results in lack for someone else. Many people touch on this idea, including Deepak Chopra in his 7 spiritual laws of success.
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#19 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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I respect your feelings and I have to admit, I shared them with you when i saw the movie for the first time. I felt it too, was too focused on the material things. Later, I learnt that it was not the movie that focused on the material things, it was me! I was in a huff.. WHY does it always have to be about the moeny, and the nice cars and the beautiful houses?? WHY for PETE sakes can't they talk about collective energy being focused on EARTHLY positive changes??

Well, after my initial Spiritual temper tantrum, the answers came to me. And they will eventually for you too becasue I think that despite your personal beleifs standing int he way you are an open minded person who tries to see all sides of the coin, no matter the situation. This will come to you in your own time when you are ready for it. For now I will add my experiance here for anyone who wants to read it.

It suddenly dawned on me that...

The movie was trying o reach out to MAINSTREAM viewers by tugging at those issues that weigh most on our minds here in western society . Money, fame, big cars and houses..If they were to have success with this information getting out there they would HAVE to focus on this stuff a bit ( although now, like Tracy wisely said, I beleive it IS well balanced once you change YOUR perception on the info in there). The ppl who already consider themselves Spiritual on any account already KNOW this. We were already the audience, tho a smaller number of us. I think it was brilliant for the makers of the movie to put it out there just as it is!

The movie IS making it's way to mainstream ppl all over the planet! And do you know what the Secret really is about?? FEELING GOOD! It raises your vibration because it makes you FEEL GOOD when you think positve. Under the whole message of the show they ALL said over and over again... DO NOT EVEN THINK OF THE NEGATIVE. This is the message that mainstream ppl need to hear the most. And, I beleive they do. In order to make change in the owrld, we MUST firrst start with us.

In my buisness i cannot tell you how many ppl are shrouded in sadness, guilt, hurt, anger. Almost all of my clients are IN the negativity. HOW can we help the wrold if WE are transmitters of neg power? Is the world negativity not a manifestation of our emotional signals? If you feel that we can collectively make change by using this information ( our vibrations) for the good on all mankind, then you MUST beielve the opposite is true as well.. If we are dwelling in the negativity then we too are sending out out there for all of MANKIND too.

THIS is where I think the Secret will change the Universe, by getting ppl to focus on their innerselves, and to get the neg out and bring the positive in. It is only then, that we will see more peace. When you are FEELING GOOD the ppl around you can't help but feel good too! Think about it.


Now I know for FACT that the MDC members that are involved in this Secret movement are anything but selfish. Take a look at Mamapits, she is a member of a www site I own and is one of the most beautiful souls I ahve met,and is responsible for bringing the Secret to light in our little corner of the www. And then there is GIVING Tracy, whom with HER OWN BEAUTY created the HH thread, and continues ot help far far beyond any reason expectations to continue to help the MDC FIN. She also with the help of mamapits started the Secret movement at MDC and other places. Now tell me.. what exactly is selfish about them and all the other ppl involved in this? NO THING. They both ( and all of us) want to see ppl on live and light! To FEEL GOOD.
You could say well..selfish ppl will get their hands on it and use it for only their own gain. Sure, there may be but I bet your bottom dollar they will NOT manifest anyhting out of it that they desire becasue the LAO does not work if you are in a neg place, and that is where greed lives. It will not work!

So, really.. what are your worries?
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#20 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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kidspiration - I didn't mean to make it sound like I was attacking what you had said. What you wrote just sparked another thought in me.

And I am thankful for those of you who can express things I believe better than I (especially when I have a 5 year old speaking very loudly into my ear while trying to type! ).

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#21 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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I don't think it's selfishness. Life is meant to be abundant for everyone, and it is faulty thinking to think that focusing on abundance for yourself is going to create lack for others. There is more than enough for everybody. If you're sitting around focusing on what others don't have, then you're focusing on lack. That will bring lack into your life and won't help anyone. If you focus on abundance for yourself you will be in more of a position to help those without. JMO.
: : That pretty much says it all for me. My dh had those feelings about the secret at first as well... but I said again and again and again, yes the MOVIE may focus on that, but it's what the individual does with the LOA that counts. That's where it's at!

I'm working on attracting some land (10acres or so would do me), and the finances to be able to build ourself a tandem yurt, have my dream veggie garden, a good close job for my dh and a happier more relaxed life for us all. Greed? nah... the movie focuses on what it needs to focus on to get people to buy/watch it, like a pp said... they may start out thinking car/house/boat.. but eventually a lot of them will move towards more gloabal manifesting, and all those minds vibrating the same things can't be a bad thing! Some may continue to be focused on a mansion, fancy car etc and that's ok... there IS plenty in the universe for all, and just because bill gates has way too much doesn't mean it's preventing another from getting THEIR 'enough' :

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#22 of 63 Old 12-16-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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We justify our greed by saying that it is OK. That else where people are happy. That just us Westerners are not knowing this and this movie will help us.
How about the makers of the movie pushing social responsiblity, or using LoA as a way to make massive social changes... say what you want, watch the movie again, it does focus on selfish gains of each person for over half the movie.
These are all GREAT ideas. But they don't preclude making 'selfish' gains at all. Check out the work of E. Said. He's a nobel-prize winning economist, and he's proven that food insecurity (and resultant poverty) is due to inadequate distribution of resources, rather than a finite lack of resources.

Just to clarify - I never said that "elsewhere people are happy". I've seen a lot of misery in the world. I've done what I can to alleviate that misery. I've also seen people with incredible power in their resilience, hope, gratitude - even in the face of horrible circumstances. I'm not speaking from some mythological stance about the "happy poor" I'm speaking of the fact that our society needs as much repair as any if we're going to make the world right for EVERYONE.
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#23 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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Personally? I am very excited that I am generating and creating a way for me to be a social philanthropist. Oh there is lots of stuff I want, but no object (besides the basics) I really need. I do know that on a profound and deeply spiritual level I have come to this earth to help people, that I have come to this place because I *need* to help people (just like some people need "stuff").

I have always known it, and therefore I have been slowly and steadily attracting it to me for decades. So by gosh golly you mark my words, I am going to do just that. The Secret is just here to remind me of that vision, and to work on creating it with each breath in and out.

So, in sum, not all of us are using The Secret as a materialistic grab bag. But lots of us know that that very grab bag will help us in our dream to help others.
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#24 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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Oh and darwinphish - would you be my girlfriend?
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#25 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 01:18 AM
 
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I disagree. I've been to many places in the world (working for Oxfam) where getting enough to eat or clean water is a major issue. I've treated children who had kwashiorkor, a malnutritive disease caused by a nutritional imbalance. I've seen true, absolute poverty (as opposed to the relative poverty people in the US usually experience) and here is my conclusion...

Westerners (especially Americans) need to adopt LOA far more than non-Westerners. As a whole we are the most fearful, unhappy people on the planet. I swear to you, many people in what we would call terrible circumstances are happier, more grateful. We think we have everything, but in fact we are missing the basic human spiritual need - a life of gratitude.

The *reason* the movie is so heavily focused on material things is because it is the ONLY way it can wake the average Westerner out of their materialistic slumber. If you would make the film for other cultures, it would look and sound very different. But it is the US - the richest people in the world - that NEED to follow LOA before the rest of the world can have an end to their suffering.

Why? Think about it The Secret wasn't written for MDC mamas - it was written for a person that lives for STUFF, who strongly feels that things that things are the key to happiness.

Mr. Joe Average doesn't care about starving children in Africa. He's already got enough stress. He's got that monster mortgage payment, car payments, plasma screen TV payments... you get the picture. He works a 60 hour week. His kids barely see him, but he's pretty sure they despise him. He knows his wife despises him. His primary thoughts? Work, bills, stress, lack, work, bills, stress, lack... He NEVER gives a though to what he HAS, only thinking of what he does NOT have, about his worries, about how everything SUCKS. He can feel that something is deeply wrong, but he keeps reaching in the wrong direction. He spirals with fear and anxiety, all the while thinking if he can just get more STUFF things will get better somehow.

Now Mr. Average sits down to watch The Secret. There are people telling him he can have EVERYTHING he's ever wanted, if only he can learn to be grateful for what he has. So he thinks, why not? He slows down. He starts thinking about the amazing stuff he has, FE~ELING gratitude for maybe the first time in his adult life. AND, the great part is, it works! His gratitude is reinforced with the material things he has craved.

The thing is, if you go far enough down the rabbit hole, the materialism falls away. It has to. You practice gratitude long enough and the need for all the STUFF you thought would make you feel better just falls away.

Zip ahead five years. Mr. Joe Average has saved his failing marriage, reconnected with his kids, downsized his house so he can enjoy life, lives without fear, can pay his bills and then some. And he is profoundly grateful. NOW he can open his eyes and his heart to the rest of the world. Now he can reach out and help others. Now he knows The Secret.

Until the average Westerner wakes up and realizes the power they have to live without fear, to truly know how blessed they are, they will contintue to feel powerless to alleviate the terrible conditions in other parts of the world.

Great post among many other. ITA.
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#26 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 02:00 AM
 
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You don't NEED a parking spot 10 feet from the door of a store. But you do NEED food, clean water and shelter, to feel generally safe and to have good health for your children.
What if you HAVE food, clean water, and shelter? How is it selfish then to want a good parking spot? How is my parking 200 feet from the door going to help starving children? I don't understand your reasoning. There's nothing I can do to help the millions of people in poverty, so I don't see how wishing for things for my own life (and like I said, I use The Secret to gain happiness, not material things) makes the situation any worse.

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#27 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 02:12 AM
 
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goodcents - frost me and I'm yours! :

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#28 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 03:08 AM
 
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mylittlewonders...no worries, when i read what you wrote i wanted to clarify a bit. .

thanks everyone for this thread, you are all so articulate!
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#29 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 03:22 AM
 
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I have to admit I couldn't even make it past the first half of that movie. It seemed very...hokey? psuedoscientific. and yes, materialistic.

Some people I know online and IRL who are very near and dear to me have reported it helping them in some way and in that respect, I believe in it and am glad that someone was able to get something out of it, but I just expected.....more. Simply, it is not in line with my spiritual beliefs, not necessarily because it promotes materialism, but because it implies that if someone experiences an increase in negative events in their lives, it's their own fault. (Certainly, that's true sometimes, but not for people living in desolation like the op described, or children in abusive homes, or disabled people, or those suffering from a genetic disease, etc.) There were just too many "yeah, but"s for me to get on board, if ykwim.

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#30 of 63 Old 12-17-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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I actually agree with what the OP has had to say about The Secret. I watched (a friend had a copy) and thought it was sort of silly, hokey, and like a 70's EST redux. "If you too can become this self absorbed, then all of your wildest dreams will come truuuuue...."(insert crazy genie voice here).

I have always been a positive person, and I have a great life. But I am savy enough to know that as much as that is by my design, my birth place social standing in the world creates a great deal of comfort and happiness for me that others in the world are not privy to.

I actually went through the original Secret thread, looking to see if anyone else felt it was as hokey as I did, and was surprised by the almost unilateral following this show has here at mothering. I am not saying that following is a bad thing at all, I just found it interesting.
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