Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Law of Attraction ...or...Getting the Taco you Want

Finally, we've been introduced to The Secret. A neighbor insisted we watch his copy of this film that is sweeping through America claiming to reveal the secret of the universe. Dozens of metaphysical teachers, healers, and authors are ready to let us in on the secret, a secret that has been known to only a few through the ages. The time has come to let the rest of us in on it. Now that Dan Brown went and revealed the DaVinci code, are we now ready for The Secret? Sure, I'm curious; pop it in. Robert and Allison and I cuddle up to watch what in the beginning looks like a scary movie. Medieval-looking graphics, ominous music and whispering voices sent Allison under the covers and me wondering if the secret lies in the supernatural world of the Exorcist. But when the dramatic introduction dissolves to a head shot of success coach Bob Proctor's doughy mug, I suddenly remember what all this is about. I'd seen him with several other healers and motivational speakers on Larry King Live months ago. Indeed, they had a beautiful message: If you send out positive thoughts, you receive back positive energy and you will get the things you want. So this is that movie!

Outside of a presentation that presses hard to emphasize mystery, the message and the messengers are straight-forward: Ask the universe for what you want and you'll get it. In this presentation the power of positive thinking is re-packaged as "The Law of Attraction." The Law of Attraction insists that our thoughts are energy that attracts similar energy: Therefore if we think positive thoughts we attract positive energy. And positive energy is good; it brings us good things. With positive energy we have more to give, more to offer; we are better people for it. This message itself is inspiring and uplifting and would be enough, but the film pushes further to give the message a new purpose. The secret becomes a tool for acquisition. Now, the law of intention/manifestation gets a modern day interpretation: It says, "Go ahead, be specific. How many zeros do you want to see on that check?

If you want something like a mansion in Beverly Hills you should draw up a vision board with photos or sketches and then ask the universe to deliver. A fun thought, maybe worth a try. Hard for me though, since I'm conditioned to cloak my desires for opulent things and try not to want them. But in the film the sky's the limit. Ask away, the world is your smorgasbord , gobble it up because there's plenty more where that came from. I know I'm making fun, but I wonder if some of the presenters on the film, good people that they are, are not a little perturbed by the marketing twist of what is essentially a beautiful message. It can be put a hundred ways, this message: You get what you give. You are what you think. The world is abundant and overflowing if you have the correct perspective.

A boy wants a bike. He envisions himself on that bike. He doesn't have to worry how it will materialize or what steps he might take to procure it, but merely keep wishing. Eventually, his positive thoughts will align with real matter and one day a bike appears on his footstep. Wah-lah! We're told that, we too, can wish for material things and make them appear if we only concentrate on the getting it. It reminds me of the "ask and ye shall receive" verse I learned in Sunday school, but even that I accepted with a sly grin knowing full well God gives only what he decides to give. And why is God going to give me a pony when some poor kid in Mississippi is praying for shoes?

In spite of my criticism, the movie did have its positive affect on me, on all of us. We felt a little nicer and wiser having listened to the timeless wisdom of the ages. Robert and I nodded in agreement that the world is a good place and we have benefited greatly from positive thinking. Allison went to work on a wish list of her own that included a new hamster. This morning we were still in the mood of positive thinking when we headed into town even though our plans to spend the day on the beach were ruined by the heavy winds and subsequent dust storm. Robert saw that El Rey del Taco was miraculously open and felt happy that a beef taco would soon materialize for him. Everybody was in line for their tacos which put a chink in our immediate gratification, but we waited against the wall for a seat to become available. When it did another group of Mexicans stole our seats and for some reason Robert lost his patience with Mexico altogether and we left with him vowing he'd never eat at the King of Tacos again primarily for the humiliation he's suffered due to the arrogance of an owner who keeps irregular and unposted hours which forces Robert into a habitual surveillance over when the place might happen to be open and then rewards him with neglect when he finally gets in the door. Allison didn't get her hamster and I thanked God I hadn't asked the universe for anything this particular morning because from the looks of it the universe wasn't planning on delivering much to the Mc__ family today.

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