Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Secret-Bashing

Readers chimed in on my pan of The Secret. Kenny rightly pointed out that action is not only the primary means of changing your mind, it is also the primary measure of determining whether you really did change your mind:

If you say "I really want to (lose weight / help the poor / find God)" enough,
you may start to believe that you really want that. But do you really want it,
or are you fooling yourself into thinking you want it? Once you ask that
question, you start into an endless cycle of self-questioning, re-examining, am
I being too easy on myself, am I being too hard on myself, is that my mother's
voice in my head, blah, blah, blah. The way to cut through all that is to watch
and see what sacrifices you are willing to make: are you (eating right and exercising / giving money and time to the poor / praying, reading, meditating, joining a group)? That is the easy way to see how much you *really* want it.

I didn't even scratch the surface of all the contradictory notions that were present just in the short section of the book from which I quoted. For instance, Rhonda Byrne doesn't stop to question the nature of the desires people are trying to fulfill in the first place. Why, exactly, would I want to ask the Universe to make me a "perfect weight"? Why, because people believe that changing their physical circumstances (lose weight, get rich, find a mate) will change their state of mind -- that is, make them happy. But if someone had the perfect mind control that Byrne prescribes, loving their body completely and accepting it totally, then they don't need a "perfect weight," because they have already achieved the thing that they sought to get by having a "perfect weight."

It's rather like the old saw about investing: "How can I make lots of money in the stock market? Well, start by putting a lot of money into the stock market." You can only get what you want by already having what you sought to get. Oddly, people immediately see the contradiction with material things, but don't see it when something as intangible as the Mind is invoked.

My new guru Puppetji cuts straight to chase: "It is true: you can have anything you desire. But ask yourself: who is desiring?"

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