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.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

I know it's not Sunday, but here's a hymn anyway

It already has a tune. *


Come, Thou long expected sequel
So the world may once more Byrne
With the scam that knows no equal.
(Will the sheeple never learn?)
Rhonda's trials and Death Ray's charges,
Billy's
lame-assed threat campaign,
Schirmer's shame and Fireboy's follies
Failed to wreck The Secret train.

Now slinks Rhonda from the shadows
With the latest seekrit key
L.O.A.? That's soooo outmoded
Now
The Power will set you free.
"Just one thing" is all it takes to
Change your life (for realz this time!)
All you need to do is soak in
Imitative New-Wage slime.

Come, Thou long awaited encore
Milk the cash cows till they're dry
Lure the narcissistic masses
With your glossy little lie.

Aaaaa-men.

* Purists might note that the rhyming pattern is not strictly faithful to the original, and that there's a bonus verse to boot. But what the heck: my blog, my rules.

* * * * *

PS ~ The official release date for The Power is 17 August, 2010. Judging from the fact that the title was #449 in Books on Amazon when I checked a while ago (and #3 in Religion & Spirituality > Occult; #12 in Health, Mind & Body > Self-help > Personal Transformation; and #2 in Religion & Spirituality > New Age > New Thought), the sheeple have NOT learned. And the publisher, anticipating this, is doing an initial press run of two MILLION copies. (Here's a link to the book trailer.)

PPS ~ Speaking of Death Ray: As many of you may know, the long-awaited trial, originally scheduled to begin on August 31, will be even more long-awaited. It has been postponed till some time in 2011. James' defense team is working for a change of venue as well. As Terry Hall at Bizsayer wrote, it wouldn't be great timing to have the trial possibly still going on during the one-year anniversary of the deaths in Sedona (October 8).

PPPS added 19 August 2010 ~ As expected, The Power is selling briskly, though the Amazon reviews from regular readers (not the h-dorks who benefited so handsomely from The Secret) are lackluster.

And here's a big surprise: Mr. Fire thinks Rhonda's new book is GREAT, even though she doesn't quote him and the other living "masters" as she did in her previous opus.

Instead, she quotes from the legends — Jesus, Buddha, Einstein — all dead authorities. None can argue with her. And they all seem to say you can have what you want if you practice love. Well, I agree.

I noticed, however, that Joe felt compelled to repeatedly give himself credit for being the fan of the late New Thought writer Neville Goddard. He seemed to be strongly implying that Rhonda acquired her obvious Neville fixation (he says she quotes Goddard repeatedly in The Power) because of him. And maybe she did. But if so, she should have at least acknowledged Joe for his wisdom. Shame on you, Rhonda. You seem to have a habit of not giving proper credit where it's due.

This was the part that caught my eye about Joe's "review," though:

But I still take issue with Rhonda’s stance that you don’t really have to take any action to attract what you want.

I was the guy in the movie The Secret stating you needed to act on your ideas.

Uh-huh, but he was also the guy who said the Universe is like a mail-order catalog that you can just leaf through and pick out what you want, and "It really IS that easy." That's the bit that people really glommed on to, and that's the part Joe put on his own sites. Granted, this may have been the only Vitale segment that Rhonda's company released for promotional use, but he sure didn't hesitate to use it, and use it, and use it again. (And, assuming that his original statement was not heavily edited for the film, why would he even utter anything like the "It's that easy" bit in the first place if he didn't want to use it to attract wishful thinkers to The Secret and, most importantly, to himself?)

Joe continues:

But Rhonda still believes what you want will just come to you if you feel it real. I’m sure for the person who created a movie sweeping the globe, who made over $300,000,000 in sales, and who has been pursued since 2006 for her next projects, that for her it seems like it’s all coming her way without effort...

He goes on to say that he feels Rhonda took action anyway (e.g., an email blast just before the release of The Power), and that her actions were also wise marketing.

Now, I'm thinking that, provided Rhonda is not fibbing about it all seeming "effortless" to her, maybe it seems so either because she is seriously reality-impaired – a distinct possibility – or because the really hard work has always been done by others. For instance, at the beginning much of the creative and marketing stuff was done by people such as Drew Heriot and Dan Hollings. The "teachers" in The Secret did a lot of the marketing too, of course. And additional real (and dirty) work was perhaps done by Rhonda's scoundrel American bidness partner Bob Rainone (whom Rhonda described on the Acknowledgments page in The Secret as "delivered to us from heaven"), not to mention the legal team that worked so hard to keep people such as Drew and Dan from getting what Rhonda had promised them. Rhonda hardly had to lift a finger. But Mr. Fire didn't mention these factors.

Also amusing in Joe's "review" of The Power was his digression into bragging about his car(s) and about appearing again in a magazine devoted to egomaniacs and their fancy cars. I had thought the post was supposed to be about Rhonda's new book, but, silly me, it's really all about him. Even the picture of Rhonda's book cover leads to the site for his Attract Money book (which in turn is a not-so-subtle lure for the apparently ill-named Miracles Coaching), rather than to a page for The Power. Overall, however, his post is a blatant kiss-up to Rhonda. I expect we'll see more of that from other "teachers" in The Secret. That cash cow isn't dry yet by any means.

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30 Comments:

Anonymous Yakaru said...

From the amazon description: "Rhonda Byrne reveals the single greatest force in our Universe."

Well that's nice, I'm glad someone has found it, and is even ofering it at $11.02 less than the listed price. Yes, you read that right! $11.02 off the listed price, and delivered to your door!

Embarrassed by your species? Sign up for our "Activated Species Change Program"! Now with quantum encoded DNA implants! Limited offer. Book now!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

There are days, Yak, when I would sign up for that species change program in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 7:03:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

So much for the adage about judging a book by its cover. Ouch.


One of the early authors in the New Thought movement, Thomas Troward, defined mental science as "the study of the principles governing the relation between mental action and material conditions." He's essentially claiming there is a cause-effect relation between what or how we think and the resulting conditions, circumstances, experiences, etc., that result therefrom.

I think most would go along with the notion that there is some degree of cause-effect relation between what or how we think and the resulting effects. For example, a person who spends a large amount of time thinking about and looking for opportunities to make money will probably fair better in life financially then one who spent a commensurate portion of their life watching cartoons. Another example would be a person who's either been told by others or thought to himself that he is stupid and will never amount to anything versus one who's been encouraged by others or thought better of himself. I would think the latter's life would be more fulfilling, rewarding and turn out better overall than the former.

What I'd like to hear are the opinions as to what degree solid cause-effect reasoning, in regard to our mental action and the resulting material conditions, turns into vaporous New Wage fantasy. Or, of course, any arguments as to why there are no principles governing the relation between mental action and material conditions.

Best Regards,
John

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 9:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Yakaru said...

John: "...turns into vaporous New Wage fantasy"

What you describe about someone thinking about money and then going out and earning it is all straight forward common sense. It's straight forward planning and motivation stuff. There is nothing mystical about it at all.

People often think that is also the message of The Secret etc, but it isn't. Rhonda Byrne says that by thinking you send out thought waves which affect the universe in such a way that the universe sends you exactly what you were thinking about. She goes further and says that Einstein also said this and that quantum physics proves it.

Of course, quantum physics says no such thing, nor did Einstein ever say anything even remotely like that.

So here's a question for you: do you think Byrne is deliberately misrepresenting Einstein in order to profit from his reputation, or do you think she is genuinely ignorant?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 6:01:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Yakaru,
I'll vote for ignorance, which would somewhat exonerate her on the deliberate misrepresentation charge. Byrne would have to actually understand Einstein and quantum theory before she could misrepresent that understanding and I doubt that's the case. Like others, what she says seems in harmony with what she believes, whether those beliefs correspond to reality is another matter, though.


Cosmic Connie,
Rereading my earlier post I can see how the reference to judging a book by its cover could be taken as you criticizing a book you haven't read. That was not my intent. It was an attempt at humor regarding the mocked-up cover and the caricature on it. No offense taken, I hope.


Best Regards,
John

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

John, no offense taken at all. I just got busy and sidetracked and hadn't yet had a chance to respond. I thank you and Yak for bringing a little serious discussion onto my Whirled.

I'll try to address the questions in more detail in a little while but for now, Yak and John... where Rhonda is concerned I would cast my vote for calculated ignorance -- that is, ignorance in the service of turning a profit. My guess is that she is not deliberately misrepresenting quantum theory in the way that certain New-Wage hustledorks might, f'rinstance, misrepresent Buddhism. But she does know a good marketing op when she sees it. And she knows how to take a few airy-fairy ideas and dress them up in scientifical clothes -- or a few scientific ideas and dress them up in airy-fairy clothes -- and hawk them at her spiritual flea market.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:44:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

With all respect Connie, you need to keep up with the times. Quantum theory is so 20th Century, it's all about zero-point energy…


http://www.iyashiwand.com/index.html

If you have been wondering what all the hype is about with the zero point energy wands and which one is the best, read on. We have made some startling discoveries which will explain why some of the zero-point wands don’t appear to work while some seem to work miracles. Some companies claim their wand is the only true wand, all the rest are knock-offs! We’ve got the inside scoop, we’ve done the research and we are here to tell you the truth about what we’ve found.

The Original Iyashi Wand contains piezoelectric and infrared stones, crystals and minerals and other components, which act as a storage depot for scalar and zero-point energies. As you know from the scalar energy article, it can renew itself as it retains the memory of the filling pattern and zero-point energy exists everywhere and is drawn in and focused by the wand, in combination with its contents.

Scalar waves were first theorized in the early 1800 by using mathematical formulae. Almost 50 years later Nicola Tesla build devises that used scalar energy without leaving any appreciable records when he died. It has taken another hundred years for science to reconstruct Tesla’s technology so it could be tested and applied to practical applications today.

Like any framework, your zero-point field is subject to damage and when that happens, you end up with health problems, pain, illness and disease. There is a disruption in your basic electromagnetic framework. What if there was a way to restore your framework to its ideal state? Well, thanks to scientists again, we know that everything has resonance and can be restored back to its original condition by bringing two tuning forks together, in other words, bringing a zero-point field generator close to the area of disruption. When we do that, your zero-point field is restored. The Original Iyashi Wand is exactly that. It restores your electromagnetic blueprint where you point it. If you clip the wand or wear one of our pendants, the effect will be increased. The theory of the zero-point field is brought into play by harmonizing your field with the zero-point field in the wand. The wand field is not influenced by other factors so it remains fixed. Your field moves to become in resonance with the wand and change happens… naturally.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, goodness, that zero-point wand looks like it could easily have been a Joe Vitale and Kevin True-dough joint-venture product. Joe's into Zero this and Zero that, and Kevin is into products that offer protection from electromagnetic mischief, and that repair one's damaged energy fields, and so forth. Or maybe that wand would be more of a Joe-and-Pat-O product. Anyway, zero seems to be THE trendy number among the New-Wagers. Joe's buddy Mark Joyner named one of his latest enterprises Construct Zero.

But you're right, John: I gotta keep up with the times. Scientifical progress is moving way too fast for me. I'm still wondering whatever happened with dark energy, which I blogged about more than three years ago. Why haven't the hucksters done more with that? http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2007/05/move-over-quantum-physics.html

And I wonder what, if anything, they'll do about the newest thing to shake up the physics world...
http://tinyurl.com/2g2qyu5

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 5:46:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Funny you should mention dark matter. In my forthcoming DVD, "Weight-Loss Secrets of the Ancient Egyptians," I touch upon the subject.

We all look with envy at the slim and trim depictions of the Ancient Egyptians, yet until my amazing discovery researchers have been at a loss to explain how an entire population could remain so thin. Briefly, what I discovered with my research into dark matter is that the pyramids weren't built by a primitive people as portals to the afterlife, no, but at the behest of benevolent Pharaohs concerned with ridding their people of obesity once and for all!

How can a pyramid help one lose weight? Good question. Through years of research, what I found is that a thin, healthy and fit body is composed entirely of light matter and that fat is composed entirely of dark matter. Pyramids exert an attractive force, pulling in all the unhealthy dark matter nearby while leaving the healthy light matter intact. So just being in the vicinity of a pyramid will help one shed those unwanted pounds and best of all it happens without restrictive diets, rigorous exercise programs or risky surgeries.

(Now don't run off to the rock quarry and spend centuries trying to replicate the giant pyramids. Remember, those pyramids were built to help the entire population of Ancient Egypt lose weight. All you need is my patented Pyramid Pendant ($99.95 plus S&H) to start shedding those unwanted pounds. The body of your dreams is just one phone call away. Call today.)

Best Regards,
John

Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Genius, John. Wanna joint-venture with me? You bring the venture, and I'll see if I can bring a joint.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:17:00 PM  
Anonymous abalanceofhope said...

[Part 1 of 2 -- due to Blogger character limitations]

I'm a-comin' into this debate.

You know, I've never been really concerned about self-help being that much of a problem within our society today. I figure that, when it comes to self-help products and supposed gurus, well.. what comes up, must come down (take note, James Ray).

Realistically, my first clue is that self-help experts and teachers of LOA and the likes make their living on marketing the secret / LOA / anything else. Very few of them make their living any other way. Very few of them applied their own 'ask believe receive' in any other area of their lives.

I think that all self-help products and teachers are nothing more than expressing their own opinions, and NEVER know what they're talking about. I've researched all the quacky
secret teachers who appeared on the DVD, and the only one that has any real qualifications is Dr. John Hagelin. Even though his methods and thoughts seem over the top, he is qualified to talk about quantum physics. But I digress.
Back to self-help products and teachers not knowing what the hell they're on about, I like to think that the ONLY way their success and teachings could ever be measured is in
the customer satisfaction to the service they provide.

I remember back to 2007. I recall that I, along with no less than 50 people I knew were heavily wowed by "The Secret". It was a cultural thing, everyone was talking about it. We all went to "LOA" parties.

Over time, the impact factor waned, and the entire premise behind 'ask, believe, recieve' became something so abstractly unobtainable that inevitably, everyone I knew that was
into it gave up hope. I mean sure, one or two people I know had some success with The Secret, but in my opinion this could be put down to chance and hard work. One was a 5
dollar lottery ticket that brought her 200 dollars - hardly a life changing event.

Another ran into a friend he hadn't seen for 10 years out of the blue, and was reunited. Hardly the result of positive thinking, though.

Some of my friends thought it was their fault, that they weren't "positive enough". Another told me she felt guilty when her brother died, and "she wasn't grateful enough for having him in her life", and felt further guilty that "she wasn't positive enough during and after the funeral".

And the list goes on. Over time we all came to the conclusion that it really wasn't as simple as it was being told in "The Secret". Other friends of mine were fascinated still, and embarked on the multitude of courses, seminars, and LOA parties
from visiting LOA teachers who more often-than-not charged no less than 2000 dollars for the chance. Yes, a few of my friends are still trying to obtain that pesky "missing link" that will allow them to master LOA. Meanwhile, these supposed teachers are
STILL saying 'it's oh so easy! Join my class / group / seminar / course / retreat and get ready for life changing knowledge!'

Where does it end?

Yes, it's long been known that Rhonda Byrne has quoted famous people - philosophers and scientists, as Yakaru points out. It's also given that these quotes are often misinterpreted, grossly exaggerated, and often made to appear as if those famous people "knew the secret". Last I checked, none of these supposed famous people had any real religious or spiritual connections that made me believe they were initiates of LOA or 'the secret'.

[to be continued below]

Friday, July 23, 2010 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous abalanceofhope said...

[Part 2 of 2]
Moreso, the information suggested within 'the secret' is neither supported nor backed by scientific research. Michael Beckwith said - "It has been scientifically proven
that an affirmative thought is hundreds of times more positive than a negative thought". Which source was he referring to? Where did he hear this information? Where's the scientific paper to enforce his information?

Show me non-biased success stories of ordinary individuals that have used LOA in the manner and method described by Rhonda Byrne or any other LOA teacher; as well as statistical evidence that the majority of consumers who use these LOA 'products' have some form of success with it; and finally, provide to me a written guarantee that these LOA products will work in accordance with the instructions and methods set out by these 'LOA experts' and / or offer me a refund if they don't - and then I'll consider buying these products.

Failing that, these products are nothing more than speculation and someone else's opinion, completely devoid of scientific fact. Judging a book by it's cover? It seems to me there's more evidence that the LOA scene is a sham, than there is to the contrary.

And yes, recent history is living proof that those that "think" they know it all often end up doing more damage than good. We only have to look at another supposed "LOA expert" - James Ray - who took it upon himself to tell people he had the way, the answers, and promised them everything under the sun, took vast sums of their
money, and put them through vigorous mental and physical torture to the point where some of them died. That's the real danger, John; making everyone "believe" that your point of view is right, and at the same time not knowing what the hell you're doing; because at the end of the day there's no real scientific evidence that LOA works. As I said before, show me the proof.

I'm all for motivation and positivity - a key element in the secret - but I'm not for submitting my gullibility to a secret teacher for commercialism and financial gain on unproven scientific quotes, techniques and theory.

What bothers me, is that these supposed teachers consistently claim that they have "the answers" and will preach as such "All I wanted to do was to share the secret with the world". So they set up their marketing campaigns, make their videos, and hire other supposed experts to "preach the word". Yet, these are also the same people that are selling their product, marketing their product, distributing their product as their own - but when crap hits the fan, they will absolutely refuse to be accountable. They cleverly pass the blame back onto the consumer 'you are responsible for your own actions'. Then they will essentially take the money and run, backstabbing all the people that helped them to get there in the first place (sound familiar, Rhonda?).

And as for James Ray, I'm not so sure the trial will be delayed. It seems to me there's a hearing on the 11th August or thereabout to hear the matter - apparently the judge had
a conflicting date on James' trial date and has offered to step aside so another judge can take over. I think that's the more likely scenario. At least I'm putting out that thought in the hope that it will magnetically influence the universe and bring it all back to me.

Coincidentally - and the secret doesn't believe in coincidences, remember - the friend that first told me about 'the secret' in 2007 called me up while I was typing all this up an hour ago. He's just told me that he's filing for bankruptcy next month. I know for a fact that he's spent close to $15,000 on self help seminars, courses, books and dvd's.

Another one bites the dust.

Friday, July 23, 2010 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

"That's the real danger, John; making everyone "believe" that your point of view is right, and at the same time not knowing what the hell you're doing; because at the end of the day there's no real scientific evidence that LOA works."

I wouldn't go so far as to say they made anyone do anything. I would say they enticed people, by dangling the carrot of gain, and those people then made the choice to believe.

The thing is, there are probably more people that read The Secret and rejected its premise than those that read and accepted it, so at some point we need to ask why some were able to see through the hype and others were not.

Friday, July 23, 2010 6:38:00 PM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

Sorry to knock down the only reputable person associated with the Secret, but Dr John Hagelin, particle physicist, is rather better known for his championing of the 'maharishi effect' than his deep undestanding of the quantum physics of LOA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagelin

How he squares the Phd with the burger king crown is mind-boggling to contemplate.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 3:06:00 PM  
Anonymous MarieBo Solutions said...

Hi Connie,

Today, I was attracted, (hum), by a book about The Secret and its so-called scientific beliefs.

Then, Googling away, I discovered that Rhonda Byrne strikes again, with « The Power », this time.

So I thought, Connie must have noticed ! I reached for your blog and of course, you couldn't resist. ;)

So I put a link with your article here, http://mariebosolutions.com/2010/07/arnaque-enquete-sur-le-secret-et-la-loi-de-lattraction/, even if my readers are mainly french speaking.

I hope they will enjoy your "prose" as well as I do.

I thought of a title for her next « opus » : The Mooooooney :D

Your faithful reader from … Montreal, Qc.

MarieBo

Monday, July 26, 2010 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Duff said...

"MY PRECIOUS!"

Where is Mt. Doom when you need it?

Monday, July 26, 2010 6:19:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Wow, look Connie, doomer self help. I knew Heinberg was good for something

http://www.postcarbon.org/article/122340-you-can-be-a-billionaire-without

I know, off topic and all, but he has the essential style down pretty good doesn't he?
It reminds me of one of the reasons I like you Connie, because when everything is going to shit it's still possible to get a laugh.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 7:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, everyone: sorry for bailing on the conversation. I was otherwise occupied for a few days but I am back. I'll try to catch up, and then it's on to my next post, in which I announce the FOUR-YEAR Blogaversary of Whirled Musings!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Abalanceofhope: Thank you for your comment of July 23, which, as you see, I had to publish in two parts due to Blogger's silly 4,096-character-per-comment limitation.

Your story of initial enchantment and subsequent disillusionment with The Secret craze is, I imagine, one that has been played out many times by many people over the past few years. A close friend of mine whom I'd known since high school had much the same kind of experience as you did. And he too observed that the person who had introduced *him* to The Secret, and had been so enthusiastic about it, also ended up worse off financially and every other way, apparently as a result of his wholehearted embracing of the teachings of Rhonda and the gang. Seems that this whole LOA phenomenon has brought out some of the worst traits in many folks -- greed, narcissism, and a hugely exaggerated sense of entitlement being among those traits.

The deep disenchantment with The Secret and its teachings was predicted by many folks even before the world's most famous New-Wage moviemercial became such a mega-hit. My own prescience in this matter was not due to any great gift of prophecy or observational skills, or even to a lucky guess. It was due to having been through the same type of enchantment/disenchantment cycles with similar phenomena in the past. So even though I have been snarky from the beginning about The Secret, I have also been sympathetic to those who were sincerely seeking and found The Secret utterly lacking.

Abalance, I think you neatly summarized the M.O. of the New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality hustledorks in this passage:

"What bothers me, is that these supposed teachers consistently claim that they have 'the answers' and will preach as such 'All I wanted to do was to share the secret with the world'. So they set up their marketing campaigns, make their videos, and hire other supposed experts to 'preach the word'. Yet, these are also the same people that are selling their product, marketing their product, distributing their product as their own - but when crap hits the fan, they will absolutely refuse to be accountable. They cleverly pass the blame back onto the consumer 'you are responsible for your own actions'. Then they will essentially take the money and run, backstabbing all the people that helped them to get there in the first place (sound familiar, Rhonda?)."

###

You NAILED it, Abalance. Having known or known of several of the "stars" of The Secret, and being familiar with the way they work, the way their individual scenarios are playing out comes as little surprise to me. (I do have to admit that Sweatgate took me somewhat by surprise, though. I never expected people to DIE. In retrospect I probably should have.)

And now Rhonda's back for another round. At this point I am not even going to try to predict if "The Power" will be as successful as its predecessor, or if the publishers will lose their asses on this one. The latter scenario would somewhat restore my faith in our species.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

John [July 23] wrote:

"The thing is, there are probably more people that read The Secret and rejected its premise than those that read and accepted it, so at some point we need to ask why some were able to see through the hype and others were not."

John, I think it all boils down to people's level of experience. I would venture a guess that many if not most who were able to see through the hype had already 'been there, done, that' and knew a bunch of recycled tripe when they saw it. Of course there were some who were able to capitalize on the basic messages of The Secret, and even if they didn't buy into all of it -- or any of it -- they put on a good show of doing so, because they knew that's where the money was.

One example of the latter: Bob Proctor, who sang The Secret's praises to the mountaintops for as long as it suited him, but later threw it under the bus and said it was simplistic and fluffy, and that HE had the key to the stuff The Secret failed to mention:
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-reposition-your-boner-and-other.html

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

disillusioned said...

"Sorry to knock down the only reputable person associated with the Secret, but Dr John Hagelin, particle physicist, is rather better known for his championing of the 'maharishi effect' than his deep undestanding of the quantum physics of LOA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagelin

"How he squares the Phd with the burger king crown is mind-boggling to contemplate."

###

LOL, Dis. Yes, as I recall, Dr. Hagelin has been the presidential candidate from the Maharishi-based Silly Party...oops, I mean Natural Law Party.

No, I think Silly Party was correct.

Or maybe the Scary Party. I never can decide.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

MarieBo: Merci! I do appreciate your continuing support. And thank you for the link from your blog.

(Ron and I were just talking again the other day about how we would love to visit Montreal someday. It's a city that has always fascinated me.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Duff said...

"'MY PRECIOUS!'
"Where is Mt. Doom when you need it?"

Oh, I imagine it's somewhere in the blogosphere -- maybe several different somewheres.

In fact I think I see it now, that Big Eye of Sanity, shimmering through the unicorn-infested clouds. It is here on my Whirled, it is down in the Salty mines, it is on the road to SHAMblog-la and in the realm Beyond Growth.

It's everywhere. ;-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hhh said...
Wow, look Connie, doomer self help...
http://www.postcarbon.org/article/122340-you-can-be-a-billionaire-without

==
Great link, HHH, and not at all off topic. The only thing missing is a "clearing audio" to offset all of the horrendous global stuff the author mentions. But I'm sure that gap will be filled in by the World Cupple to whom Salty recently paid homage.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

What's love got to do, got to do with it

You know some claim that the alchemists weren't trying to convert lead into gold but the transmutation of base emotions into more noble ones. Say, starting with a base emotion of greed and transmuting it into the more noble emotion of love.

Friday, August 20, 2010 1:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Interesting theory, John. I'm sure different alchemists had different agendas but I suspect that many had literal gold in mind. Even so, the concept of alchemy always makes for a good metaphor when one is waxing mystical or metaphysical.

In all too many cases, though, I see a reverse alchemy of sorts going on with New-Wage gurus. Some start out with the noblest of intentions -- and all that nobility transmutes to greed and narcissism. Then again, perhaps that transmutation is only on the surface, and the greed (and, in some cases the nobility) were both always there.

Friday, August 20, 2010 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

In regard to going from the ignoble to the noble, I wasn't referring to the purveyors, but the recipients.

For example, take a person whose constitution is all greed and no love. Titles like Think and Grow Rich and subtitles like how to get whatever you want would naturally appeal to such a person. So he buys the books, applies the teachings… and nothing. So he buys a few more books and gradually the themes start shifting from getting to giving with less emphasis on having and more on being. After a bit of this he's probably not perfect but probably no longer all greed and no love. Higher more refined states and emotions have replaced the lower ones that dominated his being and he'll probably never go back to his old self.

I suppose we can and should question the means to the ends because some people develop delusions of near omnipotence and a sort of psychosis when the universe (whatever that denotes) doesn't respond the way they think or wish it would.


Best Regards,
John

Saturday, August 21, 2010 1:56:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"After a bit of this he's probably not perfect but probably no longer all greed and no love."

John, from what I've observed (and knowing one Secret "star" far better than he would like), the frustration with a given program or scientifical process is met with an ever-expanding search for a process or program that actually works; a search that typically leads only to further frustration.

Continued belief in a process that repeatedly and continually fails to bring the desired results is quite often borne of an unwillingness to admit that the emperor was naked in the first place. Some folks have a tough time acknowledging - much less, admitting - that they've been duped. And as long as the hustledorks can get people coming back to the table, most will continue serving up "products," even knowing that their latest and greatest works no better than any that came before it. And that cynical opportunism is what is ultimately transferred to the marks.

Thankfully, the trend nowadays is for more and more people to see through the sham, and reject nonsense out of hand before spending a lot of time, energy, and money on things that distract from a search for truth, rather than enhance the search.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Hi Ron, just noticed your reply.

Continued belief in a process that repeatedly and continually fails to bring the desired results is quite often borne of an unwillingness to admit that the emperor was naked in the first place.

I had a similar experience when I took up golf. There just had to be a secret and I spent some time and money in search of it but eventually I discovered the secret was hitting 500 golf balls a day for a few years.

I have a different take on The Secret in question, though. The process that some of these gurus endorse is really just an abridged and albeit slightly distorted version of what is taught to millions of Freemasons in tens-of-thousands Masonic Lodges throughout the world along with two or three times that number engaged in similar practices. The origins of the process in question, at least in terms of Western Mysticism, go back to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. From him the process took root in and then branched out into Rosicrucianism, Masonry, New Thought, Divine Science, Religious Science, etc., along with various occult forms of magic, tarot and the like.

However, the process isn't about gaining material wealth and worldly possessions; it's theurgy: a way back to Plotinus's One. Now that process might not be of interest to you or anyone else, but personally I find it both interesting and beneficial. So, I can look at The Secret and see it causing "an ever-expanding search for a process" that ends in frustration or one that ends somewhere, well, less frustrating.

I'm not so blind to all this that I can't see the damage pursuing the process can inflict. It's just that I haven't really found a way to balance the potential good with the potential bad in regard to forming a judgement. Some I've seen approach this whole thing with a materialistic motive, eventually get it, and end up better off, IMO, for the whole process. Others go off into mental la-la land, end up broke and believing that a little Jewish baby attracted the Holocaust.

From my experience I believe the law of attraction works but it works directly only on the mental and emotional plane, not directly on the physical. I think most would agree that like thoughts attract thoughts of a similar or related nature although a more accurate way of saying this might be that focusing on one thing/concept/idea brings similar things into focus. Anyone can close their eyes, think of the color red and then open their eyes and see how their attention is attracted to the red objects in the room. The distinction between our mind being attracted to something and that thing being attracted to us, as some would teach, should be obvious. However, if one continues to believe that those things are attracted to them, it's not too hard to deduce why nothing seems to transpire with the material conditions of their life.

Anyway, that's my two-cents, no change required.

Best Regards,
John

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

John, I don't think we're that far apart on this. A core element of Rinzai Buddhism, which I happen to follow, is that "the Universe" doesn't "do" anything; it simply "is." Our task is not to affect or control anything but our own thoughts and actions, and to strive to respond to the events in our lives in a manner consistent with the Path.

The Law of attraction, as presented in The Secret (as well as in the plethora of coat-tail products that have arisen in the interim) is geared toward affecting the events and essentially creating a "universe" to one's liking.

While I might consider this to be little more than misdirection in the authors' search for material gain, it is a misdirection, nonetheless, and serves to impede the progress of individuals who are genuinely seeking spiritual advancement. As to those individuals whose primary objective is to achieve the kind of affluence the scammers claim to have achieved, my take is that so long as they are focused upon such a mundane path, their misdirection is clearly of their own choosing, and their (hopefully eventual) awakening to their folly is entirely in their own hands.

My strongest objection is to those like Vitale who claim that such obsession with materialism and accolades is consistent with Buddhist teachings, when it is diametrically opposed to those teachings. Furthermore, the notion that one's spiritual growth is fostered only by focusing upon the "positive" and turning away from the "negative" is contrary to the path that the Buddha followed and taught, since he achieved his Buddhahood only after facing the suffering - the "negative" - in the world. So long as he lived a life sheltered from that suffering, he had neither the motivation nor the ability to seek anything more. Once he faced the suffering, he was able to learn its true source: the very desire which the current LOA teachers encourage.

I feel little sympathy for those whose greed ends up making them victims of scammers, since the source of their problems lies squarely within that greed. But for those whose hunger is for spiritual evolvement, awakening, and a sense of being at peace with the greater universe, I see the intentional misdirection as being nothing short of a spiritual crime. My desire is not to punish the scammers (though I have to admit that such emotions do rear their head on occasion), but rather to do my small part to educate seekers and help them become immune to the scams.

Thursday, September 02, 2010 1:09:00 PM  

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