The olden pedigree of the Law of Attraction is signposted by quotes from famous men throughout history. It’s billed by Rhonda Byrne as ‘The secret’ that has been travelling for centuries and only after the release of her book following the film: The Secret (2006) is it finally available for public consumption.
In the DVD version, you see flashes of ancient civilisations depicting frantic actors scurrying about looking possessed in togas, chain mail and renaissance ruffs. This is punctuated by regal photographs of world leaders and genii, with their quotes delivered in a hushed whisper.
It’s only after this truly cinematic introduction that you start to realise what The Secret actually is. It is the power of positive thinking and that by visualising yourself as successful and remaining steadfast and relentlessly upbeat in your mood, your innermost desires can be actualised. The thought is certainly nothing new and has been bandied around since the early 19th century. It certainly is hard to disprove that the valiantly optimistic often find the most success.
The DVD is narrated by a host of beaming Americans from across the professional spectrum. They’re all utterly convinced by what they’re saying and most importantly believe in You as well. It’s easy to be sceptical of the dodgy graphics and unabashed confidence in what is essentially pseudoscience but their positivity is contagious and as much as it’s impossible to prove through science it’s also tough to disprove.
This is because, as one particularly zealous pastor is at pains to point out: this philosophy is about emotion and how you feel. The cerebrally inclined may struggle to rationalise the utmost faith in positive thinking but their scepticism is exactly what lets them down, we find out.
Just as positive thoughts reap positive outcomes the same is also true of negative thoughts. It is a power only bestowed to those who actually believe in it and its champions advocate a leap of faith policy.
Many modern-day advocates like Kanye West, Jim Carey and Connor McGregor have undoubtedly seen great success in their lives and this success is down to their hard work and positive thinking.
The scientific aspect has drawn heavy criticism by claiming that the basis for the theory is ‘energy’. In the simplest terms energy is the amount of potential there is within an object or system for a change of state. You can keep witling it down but as the philosophers, doctors and physicists on The Secret all agree, there is no answer for what energy really is.
Interpretation is key and if you pay little heed to the parts about scientific explanation (which is thin on the ground) you can find a genuinely helpful way of existing.
Believing in the power of positivity isn’t all that irrational anyway. Who doesn’t want to be happy all the time?