Move over J. K. Rowling. Thereâ€™s a new book thatâ€™s taking the world by storm, surpassing even the popularity of â€œHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,â€ the seventh and final episode of the J.K. Rowling series.
The book is â€œThe Secretâ€™ by Rhonda Byrne. Published in November 2006, it has now sold more than 3.75 million copies â€“ outselling the orders for â€œThe Deathly Hallowsâ€ on amazon.com.
A DVD documentary on the book was released earlier on the Internet in March 2006. Although it was not shown on theaters, had no marketing campaign, and relied solely on word-of-mouth endorsement, the DVD has sold more than 1.1 million copies.
Byrneâ€™s appearances on TV with Larry King and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as the bookâ€™s endorsement by Oprah Winfrey, the most influential woman in America, have moved â€œThe Secretâ€ into the top of the charts.
The basic concept in the book is the Law of Attraction. If you think positively, you become a magnet that pulls everything you want toward you. The Law of Attraction tells you how to attract unlimited wealth, success, awesome relationships and anything else you desire. With the Secret, you can lead a happier, rewarding life.
The book itself is the best living proof of the efficacy of its teachings.
According to Byrne, people need only visualize what they want in order to get it. The book reveals a time-worn but suppressed truth known by such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Ludwig van Beethoven and Abraham Lincoln. And that truth is that we literally are what we think. That we create our own reality, simply by asking.
Believe and know that riches are yours, and feel the feelings of having them now. The more you can feel it, the more power you will add to bring it to you, Byrne says.
The book shows the secrets to everything — the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything we want.
The wonder of it all is that the authorâ€™s ideas are not really new. She borrowed ideas from philosophy and science to suggest that thoughts and feelings are real, with their own frequency of vibration. And those thoughts attract things — or people, or circumstances — with which they are synchronized.
But the way Byrne presented the ideas and packaged the book is where the beauty of the book lies.
At the heart of â€œThe Secretâ€ is the certainty that our thoughts are real. They send out magnetic signals that are drawing the universe back to you. When you see yourself living in abundance and feel intensely the thing you desire, without a smidgen of doubt, you will attract it. It always works. It works every time with every person.
Not everyone endorses â€œThe Secretâ€ though. Medical professionals worry that people will now prefer indulging in positive thinking to seeking treatment in clinics or hospitals. Even if what they have is cancer or some other serious disease.
To this, Byrne says â€œThe Secretâ€ is best used in combination with conventional medicine. She mentions the placebo effect as evidence of â€œThe Secretâ€ at work in healing.
Other critics say that the idea of all wishes becoming true is a dangerous childhood fantasy.
Yet, even these critics know that many times wishes really become self-fulfilling.
Religious leaders say the idea that we can tap into the energy force and create our own world preempts divine power. They say the book is just another version of what some TV preachers have taught for decades, namely, if you sustain the right thoughts, words, and feelings, you will receive whatever you want.
But, according to the religious critics, â€œThe Secretâ€ adds this important twist: your thoughts can bring anything into your life because you are actually a god. Byrne proclaims to her readers: â€œYou are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planetâ€ (p. 164).
Byrne also says: â€œThe earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. You are the heir to the kingdom. You are the perfection of Life. And now you know The Secretâ€ (p. 183).
The religious critics claim these are blasphemous words.
I donâ€™t know what you think. But for me, â€œblasphemyâ€ could be another word for â€œconflict of interest.â€ Anything that challenges and shakes the foundations of a long-established faith will quite expectedly draw vicious denunciations.
One thing is clear though: We all want love, money and health. The road which best points the direction towards those goals will of course draw the biggest attention, even if it is named â€œBlasphemy Roadâ€ by its critics.