The Secret - Faith for Faith's Sake

There has been a lot of buzz about The Secret. A book, a movie, a movement. The essence of The Secret is that if you want to control the outcome of a situation you visualize it, actually feel that success emotionally, and that creates an energetic vibration with the universe that makes it happen. So if I am looking for a parking spot near my apartment, I should visualize it; feel the success of parking right in front of my building, getting out of the car and giving myself a high five; and auto-magically the parking space would appear. Perception becomes reality.

As a science geek, I found the scientific explanation to be lacking, though there are some interesting, though shallow discussions about energy and vibration. But what about the theory itself. I decided to give it a whirl. About a month back I decided to start using The Secret (sorry it begs to be underlined). I actively used it at a club, actually saying to myself “Use the Secret”. I focused on winning the Grey Goose bottle service raffle, believed in my heart that I had already won, and voila, I won! Since then I have gotten mixed results. Some eyebrow-raisers. I can’t say there have been uncanny coincidences. But I haven’t been hit by a truck either.

Cynics would argue that I am not really suspending my disbelief and hence not truly harnessing the power of The Secret. That’s probably a bit true. But that is also why it is such a questionable technique. It’s simple and dangerous: If you have faith in the outcome it will happen. If it didn’t it was because you didn’t have faith. How can your argue logically with that?

What a brilliant idea. All you need to do is imagine and it will happen. What an easy concept to sell to people who want more for themselves. It feels so much like a scam, but the problem is that it has a lot of basis in truth.

There have been several interesting studies done where teachers were told the smart kids were the slower kids and the slower kids were the smart ones. The result was that the "slower kids" started doing better on the tests than the "smart kids." Just by treating someone a certain way, or believing they are a certain way, makes them become that way. This makes the classification of the kids as slow or smart not something intrinsic but transient, and questionably accurate at all.

Visualization techniques are common in sports. In one case, a weightlifter who had maxed out at about 400 lbs was asked to do some visualization techniques. Less than an hour later, he lifted 500lbs for the first time. All he needed was faith in the ability to do it.

So in the first example, it was a mistake. Believing the wrong thing, made slower kids smarter. In the second, faith and visualization was used intentionally to achieve a specific goal. What if you did both? What if you intentionally believed in something you knew was wrong, but it was what you wanted? Could you manifest the seemingly impossible? Is the reason that you are where you are because of what you believe, whether right or wrong?

Could you make your life better by believing in the right wrong things? Maybe. Try it …