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The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
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The Secret (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Rhonda Byrne

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4,5541351,051 (3.26)102
Member:Rfaulk
Title:The Secret
Authors:Rhonda Byrne
Info:Atria Books/Beyond Words (2006), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 198 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:inspiration encouraging

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The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
The Secret
by Rhonda Byrne
Atria / Beyond Words, 2006
ISBN 1-58270-170-9 (hardcover), 198 pp.

Review date: April 2016

When Rhonda Byrne's bestselling book, The Secret, was at the height of its marketing campaign in 2006, I first thought it was one of those Da Vinci Code wannabes that were springing up like weeds in the aftermath of Dan Brown's international success, and I felt a mild tinge of interest. But only a mild tinge. Brown's novel wasn't great literature to begin with, and the copycats generally weren't any better—and often were worse. Once I discovered that The Secret wasn't just another Da Vinci copycat, but instead a bunch of self-help hokum, even that mild tinge went away, reduced to a single quantum of interest, whatever that entity may be, and I mostly forgot about it. But now, a decade after its release, copies keep popping up in the book department of the nonprofit thrift shop where I volunteer, and so I finally relented and allowed myself to part with a dollar and see what all the hype has been about. And it's even worse than I imagined.

Basically, Byrne's so-called “secret” is this: Like attracts like. Known as the Law of Attraction, this is not a new concept. It's basic magical thinking, and it's likely that our prehistoric ancestors believed this maxim. More recently, it forms a central tenet of the New Thought movement, from which Byrne draws the vast majority of her work. Just think hard enough about something, and your thoughts will attract it. That's what Byrne claims to believe—backed up by anecdotes, fellow wackadoos, out-of-context quotes by historical figures, and faulty science. The implication being that not only can, say, thinking about wads of cash cause wads of cash to drop into your lap, but also that when bad shit happens it's because you were “vibrating on the same frequency” and could have avoided it. That's right, folks. Victims of, you know, genocide, rape, domestic abuse, murder, natural disasters, etc. etc. etc. aren't actually victims; they perpetrated these atrocities and misfortunes against themselves!

Of course, the book isn't written in such explicit terms. In fact, it's carefully written to appeal to readers, and indeed I even found myself getting caught up in the promises of the power of positive thinking—at least until I reached the end and put the book down. The reason for this is because at its core, the argument makes sense—but only at its core. That is to say that positive thinking can work, but only when it motivates you to work hard toward your goals. In truth, though, this book just promises good things to come in no time at all without any work to speak of. Anybody with any tiny amount of critical thinking ability can see right through it. Alas, what does that say about the average human being, given its rampant success? Hint: we're doomed.

I'd like to give The Secret no stars at all, but I do have to give Byrne credit both for her ability to pull a fast one on so many people with such a flimsy thesis and for the production quality of the book itself. The layout, the graphic design, the materials—it's all well worth the dollar I paid, and would even be well worth the $23.95 cover price if the content were pretty much anything else. So it gets a star and half. And I might even shell out a dollar apiece for its sequels if they happen to come through the thrift shop as well—because sometimes I'm just in the mood to torture myself, you know?

——————————

Rating:

1½ stars: Points for effort, but the work is less than satisfactory. There may be serious technical errors (spelling, punctuation, grammar, typography, layout, etc). Fiction and poetry conventions may be seriously flawed. For nonfiction, information may be poorly presented or incorrect. A 1½-star work has many of the problems of works rated with only one star, but wasn't quite as bad as many of those one-star works—yet it certainly wasn't deserving of two-star status. On a school scale, this would be a 'C–' grade, or slightly below average. ( )
  tokidokizenzen | Apr 13, 2016 |
ZERO stars
OMG! This REALLY works! While I was listening I thought I would win the solitaire game I was playing – and I DID. Then I thought of chocolate, and I ate some! Then I thought of Coffee Ice Cream, and I remembered I had some in the freezer, so I had some of that!

Okay … all kidding aside …. Not only did I NOT learn anything, but I think part of my brain has atrophied from listening to this.

The Audio book is narrated by the author, and several other contributors. First it starts out with this “eastern” meditation music and a deep-voiced male (ala the voice of God). Really? I know this is supposed to be inspirational and motivating, but I really do not understand the immense popularity of this drivel. There’s nothing new here, nothing that most of us (if we paid attention in school or life) wouldn’t have come across on our own. All Byrne is doing is regurgitating the thoughts and philosophies of many others … over and over and over and over again, ad nauseum. Kudos to her for making a living at this. Still, it just gave me a headache.

Here are a couple of my “favorite” quotes: “We used The Secret to create The Secret.” “The Secret has been used to attract all manner of things, from a specific feather to ten million dollars.” Like I said … absolute drivel.

Okay … I’m off to “change my frequency” and transmit only good thoughts. The next book I read will be FANTASTIC! (Repeat to self, until it comes true.)
1 vote BookConcierge | Feb 2, 2016 |
I had to put this one in as one of my favorites. I read it a while back, but continue to listen to parts of it every day. I filter the content through my own faith and beliefs, but I think this "power of attraction", call it whatever you will, is a real thing.

I also wanted to add, though, that I believe the gospel contains the more complete and unadulterated version of this, and it comes down to faith, hope, charity, and gratitude. And the fact that God really does want our lives to be abundant, even though we will have real trials. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
The law of attraction - when you want something the whole universe conspires to help you have it. As in you can REALLY control what you get. ( )
  ecoprob | Apr 25, 2015 |
This is the biggest case of "don't judge a book by its cover" you will ever come across. From the cover, it looks like a pretty damn good fantasy novel, or perhaps a nice bit of historical fiction. But no. It's some self-help bollocks that is some of the most pretentious self-loving twaddle I've ever encountered. There are self-help books for everything, and only 1 in 10000 are worth anything. This is not one of them. The Secret is to not read this. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
“The Secret” is not really a book but a series of misquotations from historical figures and fraudulent maxims from no-count hucksters. And yet something in that gooey red waxy seal on the front of “The Secret,” and the book’s believe-in-magic glitter, takes me to a happy place.
 
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Epigraph
As above, so below.
As within, so without.

The Emerald Tablet, circa 3000 BC
Dedication
Dedicated to You

May The Secret bring you love and
joy for your entire existence.

That is my intention for you,
and for the world.
First words
A year ago, my life had collapsed around me.
Quotations
The most common thought that people hold [about fat], and I held it too, is that food was responsible for my weight gain. That is a belief that does not serve you, and in my mind now it is complete balderdash! Food is not responsible for putting on weight. It is your thought that food is responsible for putting on weight that actually has food put on weight.
If you see people who are overweight, do not observe them, but immediately switch your mind to the picture of you in your perfect body and feel it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
tr bestaat een eeuwenoud Geheim: The Secret. Het werd gezocht, gevonden en weer verloren, het is gestolen en voor vee] geld doorverkocht. Tot nu tot-was kennis van dit Geheim voorbehouden aan een kleine kring van ingewijden, Plato, Galiieo en Einstein kenden The Secret, net als de succesvolste uitvinders, denkers en ondernemers in de geschiedenis. Dat juist zij de wereld konden veranderen is geen toeval... ; '.->" '. ''':. ":"?" •• -/f./*.*
Zij begrepen dat, net zoals er atoomkracht schuilt in een korrel zand, er " ook in ieder van ons een ontzagwekkend vermogen schuilt - een verborgen; kracht waarmee je wensen werkelijkheid kunnen worden. Oude en moderne meesters onthullen in dit boek hoe zij The Secret hebben ontvangen en toegepast in hun leven. Hoe zij alle tegenslagen konden overwinnen en rijkdom en succes verwerven die ze niet voor mogelijk hadden gehouden.
• >'• .;.,...
Zij willen dit Geheim nu delen met jou.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074356619X, Audio CD)

YOU HOLD IN YOUR HANDS A GREAT SECRET.

It has been passed down through the ages, highly coveted, hidden, lost, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money. Fragments of this Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. It has been understood by some of the most prominent people in history: Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Carnegie, and Einstein, along with other renowned inventors, theologians, scientists, and great thinkers.

For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life transforming for all who experience it.

In this audiobook you will discover The Secret . . . and you will learn how to have, do, or be anything you want. You will learn how to use The Secret in every single area of your life. You will hear from modern-day teachers -- men and women who have used The Secret to achieve health, prosperity, relationships and happiness. They share their incredible stories of using The Secret to eradicate disease, acquire massive wealth, overcome obstacles, and achieve what many would regard as impossible. Through them, you will begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that is within you, and the true magnificence that awaits you in life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Argues that The Secret, a way of thinking, has been found in oral traditions throughout history and that by understanding it and using it in every aspect of life, money, health, and happiness will follow.

(summary from another edition)

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Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Beyond Words Publishing

6 editions of this book were published by Beyond Words Publishing.

Editions: 1582701709, 074356619X, 1582701962, 0743571789, 158270208X, 1582702160

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