Heart of snarkness
I hope everyone to whom the holiday matters had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, or, as some would have it, Fourth Chakra Day. I definitely felt the love yesterday; my email in-box was positively bursting with sweet Valentine’s offers and love-related messages from my favorite New-Wage spam service. There were, for example, several ads for books about soul mates, Twin Flames and eternal love. One message that really stood out was an ad about a couple of twin flames calling themselves Antera and Omeran, who have, naturally, been together for thousands of years. They have written a book and created a musical play and a CD about their twin-flamation.
I also received a notice from a Kansas woman named Debbie King, who makes and sells personal altars that can help bring on love and a feeling of unity with all that is, and, by so doing, can ultimately create world peace. "Peace starts with you, to have peace in our world we must first become and allow peace in our lives," Debbie explained. "One Song Peace Boutique has beautiful and unique personal peace altars, One Heart I AM tee shirts, and good people bracelets all of original artisitc (sic) design." (The altars sort of reminded me of the company I blogged about a couple of months ago that manufactures makeshift memorials.*)
There was also the latest of several reminders about World Sound Healing Day, which, frankly, didn't seem at all sound to me. The event was described as a "Sonic Valentine to the Earth," with the intended result being a projection of "the energy of Light & Love throughout the Planet." The idea was that people all around the world would let out a big "AH" sound to heal this ol’ planet. But I know how easily these things can go awry, and, of course, have blogged about it, though admittedly my blog concerned a worldwide "OM" chant rather than the "AH."
The World Sound Healing people said it didn’t matter when I did my AH, as long as I did it within the 24-hour window. "You will actually experience generating a field of transformational energy as this occurs," they wrote. "We have found that creating a Global Sacred Sound any time within a 24 hour period on the planet will create a coherent waveform that will affect the entire Earth. Through sounding together we will make a difference."
But I totally forgot to AH, because I was too busy Cosmic Con-tificating on other people’s blogs to AH (not to mention too preoccupied with doing my "real" work). Heck, I didn't even have a chance to write an official V-Day post on Whirled Musings. So now the big day has come and gone, and I’m not sure if the world is soundly healed or not. I’d say probably not, but then I’m just a negative whiner, so what do I know?
As for personal celebrations, I’ve pretty much let The Rev off the hook when it comes to Valentine’s Day, since the holiday falls a mere three weeks after my birthday, and my b.d. celebration generally continues for weeks at a time. It just ended, in fact, and this year I was treated to not one, not two, but a total of six special birthday dinners and assorted other sweet surprises. Of the dinners, I have to say my favorite was the one I enjoyed with The Rev at an Empire, Colorado bed-and-breakfast called The Peck House. Here’s their dinner menu.
So…Valentine’s, Schmalentine’s. I have more important matters to think about now. F’rinstance, it’s been far too long since I’ve blogged about The Secret, the New-Wage infomercial that’s making waves all over the world. In the brief time that Whirled Musings has been up and running I’ve blogged several times about The Secret; just type "The Secret" into the Blogger search field at the top of the page and you can see for yourself. But lately I’ve been quite negligent, particularly in light of the fact that The Secret has now officially been endorsed by none other than Oprah, who on February 8 turned her show into an infomercial for the infomercial.
I’d heard disturbing rumors that Oprah’s Secret show was so popular she decided to do a follow-up show on Friday, February 16, and I needed to find out for myself if the rumors were true. So I went to Oprah.com, which, according to the description that appears on the title bar at the top, is my leading source for information about love, life, self, relationships, food, home, spirit and health. I wish I’d known that! For years I have been making all sorts of life-, love-, self-, and food-related decisions without consulting Oprah.com. No wonder I am so messed up.
Anyway, there on the home page at my leading information source was this blurb: "One week later…the reaction to The Secret! Your emails poured in and Oprah.com went off the charts! The secret to making more money, losing weight, falling in love, landing your dream job...and you want more! The questions, the successes, and the lives changed. Stories you have to hear. A follow-up to the show everyone is talking about!"
So, yes, The Secret is coming back to The Oprah Winfrey Show by popular demand. Was there ever any doubt? Oprah herself seems positively awed and enchanted by The Secret and its creator, Aussie TV producer Rhonda Byrne. As do her fans. I popped on over to The Secret forum on Oprah’s discussion board to see firsthand the enthusiastic viewer responses to the February 8 hypefest. One of the first things that caught my eye was an amazing true story of a woman calling herself Soul Angel, who had put the principles in The Secret to work in her life. She said she’d asked her genie for a whole bunch of things, and one of the things she asked for was for Oprah to do a follow-up show on The Secret. And…ta-da! Oprah is doing it!
Who says, "Ask, believe and receive" doesn’t work?
However, Soul Angel still had a few issues:
Here's My Question regarding "The Secret": I am an overweight, single - never-married, unemployed for the third time in 4 years, and on government assistance 46 year-old woman who is looking to change careers who has always lived in rental apartments, but who wants to financially improve her bank account in order achieve her goals to own her own home, have savings for retirement and travel.
So what do I focus on first - Career? Getting any job? Abundance of funds? Healthy relationship with a life long partner? Health and feeling whole?
Where does a woman start with -what area of her life? Teachers do tell??????
PS I now re-phrase my needs and desires to the positive - "I am a healthy and whole, intelligent and attractive woman who is successful in all areas of my life and love myself and my creative life and those I come in contact with everyday!"
Another participant answered her:
Soul Angel, Start wherever u feel the most energy or desire but know u can work on it all. U don't have to choose. One of my favorite activities to do is work on my creativity box. Find a beautiful box that u enjoy looking at, get a piece of paper and write or type "what is in this box...Is!" Then leaf thru magazines, write on pieces of paper, look all around u for the things u want and enjoy and put them in the box. Then let the universe create them for u. Just stay focused on the good things that u want and not where u've been. U r a beautiful child of God and deserve all the things u desire. One of the things I love to do now when i get a little down is to dump everything out and one by one put them back in reminding myself of all the beautiful things I now have or soon will. Good Luck and Feel Good!!!
All righty, then! I’m going to go make a creativity box of my own.
Not quite everyone who participated in Oprah’s board discussion was enamored of The Secret. A person using the name "cosmophilo" wrote, "In any upcoming show about The Secret, ALLOW SOME DEBATE. Instead of just having 5 people singing from the same hymn-book. That is called an INFOMERCIAL for the DVD."
The only thing Cosmophilo left out was that the DVD itself is an infomercial. Cosmo continued:
This is not a Hollywood movie, so it need to open up DEBATE. So allow on a few learned critical thinkers, who can point out some of the flaws in the philosophy of The Secret…
Also, for BALANCE, also allow on some Christians, to give their point of view. I myself am not a Christian, but I realize that their critical point of view has value to this discussion, even though I personally disagree with parts of it. Its healthy to look at all sides of an issue….
Otherwise, Oprah is going to be severely criticized, like the James Frey incident, when the stuff hits the fan with The Secret, as it will very soon, once people are able to think about its implications over time. The Secret is going to get severely criticized once people take the time to really think it through, and get passed the fuzzy soft-peddled sales-pitch.
Does Oprah want to be associated to being an Infomercial for a product that could lead to serious problems for people, like people with Manic-Depression, or mental health issues?
Its already being reported in the LA Times that therapists are saying...
"...they're starting to see clients who are headed for real trouble, immersing themselves in a dream world in which good things just come."
Cosmo concluded the message by saying Oprah had better get smart and at least have some qualified psychologists talk about the potential dangers of some of the principles taught in The Secret.
In response mainly to Cosmo, a person going by the name of plillian wrote:
…Yes many people have mental health issues, what if you watched the secret and learn to help these people?
I believe Therapist are afraid people won't need them anymore.
If there are "testimonials" how is it that it's not a fact? Why would someone tell a testimonial and it's false?
This is something completely different than James Frey.
Just to let you know, there are millions people who knew about the secret long before Oprah presented it on her show.
It's obvious you haven't watched the secret, or you would know that there are professional psychologists on the DVD.
Dr. Phil would tell you that the secret does work, it's how he lives his life.
It's ashame that you have your rose colored glasses on and you have a hard time believing that you could have a life you truly want and actually be happy, instead of critizing others for trying to make changes in their life. If it's not working, stop doing it. Give it a chance.
Ahh…ummm…hmmm. As Meg Ryan’s flibbertigibbet character Angelica said in Joe v. The Volcano, I have no response to that.
Fortunately, and notwithstanding Oprah, Larry King, et al., not everyone in the media is singing the praises of The Secret. Time magazine ran a critical article last December, which I blogged about. And on his SHAMblog yesterday, Steve Salerno, another assertive non-fan of The Secret, provided a link to a piece by one of Rhonda Byrne's fellow countrywomen, journalist and commentator Anita Quigley. Quigley described The Secret DVD and companion book as…
…basically the self-help book and DVD to end all self-help books and DVDs.
In other words it should be called The Scam. And it’s such a good one that it’s making all those other life coaches that have gone before Rhonda such as Anthony Robbins and the author of The Celestine Prophecy green with envy.
Pop psychology. The modern art of making money. Where you pay a group of clean-cut Americans with big white smiles and impressive titles and letters after their names to tell you what you already know.
And the thing about those impressive titles and letters is that in some cases they’re just made-up, and they’re not all that impressive anyway, at least not to me. But Anita is right about those big white smiles, and about the clean-cut Americans’ propensity to tell you things you already know. And most of all, she’s right about it all coming down to "the modern art of making money."
Fans of The Secret who’ve visited my blog have told me I’m closed-minded, that I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about, that I just need to "get over it." One implied that my criticism of The Secret and the Secretrons stems from heart-chakra issues. And one even said I was a hate-monger, no better than Nazis (that would be related to the heart-chakra issues, I imagine).
When it comes to The Secret, though, it’s not my heart chakra that’s the problem. It’s that my crap-detection meter is getting way overworked, which in turn makes me inordinately snarky, which inspires yet more sanctimony from the Secretrons. And so it goes.
And speaking of the latter, I’ve noticed that Cosmophilo, the naysayer on Oprah’s board, is getting the obligatory pop-psychology analysis as a result of criticizing The Secret:
Cosmo, You have so much anger, and Jealousy. It's really said. Re read what you've written and listen to the anger.
You may want to consider something new in your life. It's no secret that you are filled with so much hatred for others being successful.
This all sounds so eerily familiar…
Well, Cosmo, I hope you someday discover Whirled Musings and SHAMblog. I think you’ll feel much more at home among those who aren’t quite so attracted to the Law of Attraction.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I really have to get back to work. Besides the books we’re working on – and we just got yet another new project in – my big project now is trying to convince The Rev to publicly come forth as the real father of Anna Nicole’s kid. Claiming paternity of little Dannielynn seems to be a hot growth industry, and I want The Rev to get in on the ground floor. Since Anna Nicole is from Our Town, I figure The Rev has a better chance than many of being believed.
Wish us luck!
PS (added on Sunday, Feb. 18): The Rev just sent this my way. It's from the very inspiring web site Despair.com; it somehow seemed appropriate to the discussion of The Secret:
* I made up the makeshift-memorial company; it was part of a blog post. However, the personal-altar company mentioned above is real. Or at least as real as things get in the New-Wage world.
** I was dismayed to find out that in 2005 a UK psychologist declared my birthday to be "the most depressing day of the year."