Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sell me a Secret

If you’re ready to go beyond the astonishing insights of What The Bleep Do We Know? (see my Aug. 3 post), you just might be ready for The Secret. This DVD is featured, among many other places, on the What The Bleep? web site. But for the real whiz-bang special effects, I’d go straight to the source if I were you. Or should that be Source, capitalized?

What is The Secret? you may be asking. Well, I could tell you, but then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, would it? But since you asked, let me let The Secret people tell you, for they tell it better than I ever could. This is from the "Synopsis" page on The Secret official web site:

The Secret has existed throughout the history of mankind. It has been discovered, coveted, suppressed, hidden, lost and recovered. It has been hunted down, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money. Now for the first time in history, The Secret is being revealed to the world over two breathtaking hours.

A number of exceptional men and women discovered The Secret, and went on to become known as the greatest people who ever lived. Among them: Plato, Leonardo, Galileo, Napoleon, Hugo, Beethoven, Lincoln, Edison, Einstein and Carnegie, to name but a few.

Fragments of The Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation which will be life transforming for all who experience it.

Some of today's greatest teachers will be presented in The Secret and will impart this special wisdom that has been known by so few. They include some of the world's leaders in the fields of business, economics, medicine, psychology, history, theology and science. Each of these teachers is living proof of The Secret; each of them a walking marvel of achievement and success...

The Secret reveals amazing real life stories and testimonials of regular people who have changed their lives in profound ways. By applying The Secret they present instances of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

The Secret reveals how to apply this powerful knowledge to your life in every area from health to wealth, to success and relationships.

The Secret is everything you have dreamed of... and is beyond your wildest dreams.

Are you excited yet?

It should come as no surprise that quantum physics is mentioned more than once in The Secret. Or at least in the promo stuff I looked at. Just in case you’re wondering.*

I did find it surprising, or at least worthy of note, that even though we are told that The Secret has been known to a number of exceptional men and women throughout history, not one of the historical "great thinkers" mentioned in the synopsis is female. Nor are there any women among the contemporary "great teachers" whose mugs are featured on the home page. I thought I glimpsed an animation in which a pair of breasts and female genitalia temporarily sprout on Leonardo’s "Ideal Man" – you know, that nekkid guy who’s flapping his arms and legs – but it’s a transient phenomenon. There are women in the movie, but the producers don’t seem to think they are a selling point. (This despite the fact that the brains behind The Secret – and the person who actually "rediscovered" the big Secret in 2004 – is a woman, Aussie TV producer Rhonda Byrne.)

The amazing thing about The Secret revealed in this DVD seems to be that if you master it, whatever it is, you can be, do, or have anything you want to be, do, or have – and more. And there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience The Secret right in your own living room, or, for a mere $4.95, right on your own computer screen for a limited period of time. Or you can just tease yourself by watching the trailer. And that’s not all! The DVD is for sale** for an amazingly low price on numerous web sites of people who make a living showing people how to be, do, or have anything they want. Want to "own your life?" You can, if you own this DVD. Want to effect an amazing change in yourself and the world around you? You can, for seven bucks and change. (Or if you really want to change, you can fork over a thousand bucks or more to one of "today's great teachers.")

These days The Secret DVD is a hot MLM item on many sites. You know how MLM works; you experience The Secret (or whatever) for yourself, get all giddy about it, and then quit your day job to devote all your time to badgering your family, former coworkers and former friends to experience it as well, until they're ready to shoot you. Or themselves.

The real message in The Secret seems to be that you really can have it all, and the more money you give to the people who can show you how to have it all, the more of all of it you can have. It sort of brings to my mind the Wasis Diop tune that was playing in The Thomas Crown Affair remake during that scene where Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan were getting it on for the first time. Or, rather, it brings to mind the title of that song, which is "Everything Is Never Quite Enough." Hot song, steamy scene. And then that naturally makes me think of the line in the old Doors song, "When The Music's Over": "We want the world and we want it...NOW!" Which, it goes without saying, brings to mind yet another Pierce Brosnan movie, the James Bond flick, The World Is Not Enough.

And to me that pretty much points out the problem with having it all, or paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for people whom you imagine to be more enlightened than you to convince you that you can have it all. Even if you think you have it all, there's always more to be had – for a price.***

As for movies...well, frankly, I’d rather look at Pierce’s butt, and even Rene’s breasts, than a bunch of great thinkers. So if you’ll excuse me for a couple of hours…

* Here's more on the "science" in What The Bleep.
** Unless you happen to live in Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea.
*** But at least you get had as well in the bargain, so someone benefits, anyway.

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Blogger Steve Salerno said...

Connie, I now see that we are indeed talking about the same Secret--see my SHAMblog post of Jan.10--but I was unaware of a lot the behind-the-scenes stuff you present here. Congrats on scooping me!

The sad part of all this, as my editor reminded me early in the writing of SHAM, is that the folks who really need to read these posts (and take it all to heart) would be extremely unlikely to go looking for the kind of rebuttal material you and I present, and then--even in the unlikely event that they found it--would reject it on its face. There are so many people out there who just want and need so badly to BELIEVE.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Steve, and I am sorry I hadn't previously seen your Jan. 10 post about The Secret. I haven't yet had a chance to get through your entire blog, but I'm working on it!

(Notice to anyone here who hasn't yet paid a visit to SHAMblog: Follow the link next to Steve's smiling face. You'll be glad you did.)

Unfortunately, Steve, I have to agree with you and your editor. For the most part, we're preaching to the choir here. Well, I'm not exactly preaching, I'm just hamming it up, but our messages are basically the same.

I do, however, feel that there are a number of SHAM believers who look for rebuttal and criticism of SHAM material -- but only as a "know thy enemy" sort of thing. I've seen how some of them pick you apart on your own blog, accusing you of being overly negative, or envious of the hustledorks.

It's a thankless job, being one of those who (to use an already over-used metaphor) announce that the emperor has no clothes.

Inevitably there will be those who say he does have clothes, but you're just not perceptive or evolved enough to see them. Or you're just envious because his clothes are nicer than yours.

And there are those who will say, "Well...maybe he doesn't have clothes in the traditional sense of the word, but it all really depends upon what you mean by 'clothes.'" (Sort of like "It depends upon what the meaning of 'is' is.")

And naturally there will be those who say, "It doesn't matter if he has clothes or not. We like him, and we believe what he says."

Never mind that the emperor's entire message in the first place was that he is, in fact, wearing a splendid suit of clothes. People get so caught up in their need to worship or believe in something or someone...

And you and I, Steve, are party poopers.

But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with this stuff. Thanks again for writing!

Saturday, August 12, 2006 9:28:00 PM  

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