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Books - The Secret

self harm in young peopleOn March 2, 2007 the publisher of The Secret announced that it had ordered another print run of the book - nothing new for books that sit on national bestseller lists for several weeks. What astonished the industry was the number of books being printed: 2 million. This was reported to be the largest single reprint in the history of Simon & Schuster. The new print run brought the official number in print in the United States to 3.75 million. In addition, the audio version of the book and the DVD version of the film also sit on top of the bestseller lists. The Wall Street Journal to Newsweek, Oprah, Larry King have done pieces on the book. Several book publishers have put out their own books based on the concepts contained in The Secret. There is even a book by Karen Kelly a prolific author called "The Secret of The Secret" And that's just the tip of the iceberg. All this attention adds up to a worldwide phenomenon.

So what's all the fuss about?

As Karen Kelly says in her book, "when something stirs the masses, its not trivial - it means something". The Australian author of The Secret, Rhonda Byrne, introduces the book by admitting, "A year ago, my life had collapsed around me". Through searching for answers in a variety of books new and old, she began to trace what she believed was a common thread in them all. She dubbed it the "Great Secret—The Secret to Life".

Byrne became convinced that this was the key to explaining the success of "the greatest people in history". As she started practicing this secret, Byrne says that her life immediately began to change in ways nothing short of miraculous. She decided to make a video called The Secret to share her discoveries with others. In March of 2006 it was released on the Internet, but soon went to DVD. By late autumn, the phenomenal success of the video placed it on two episodes of Larry King Live. Shortly after, two of the teachers featured on The Secret were guests on Ellen Degeneres' daily TV show. Before Christmas, The Secret DVD had spun off a book by the same title which Oprah Winfrey catapulted to the top of the charts in February of 2007.

The essence of The Secret is "the law of attraction." According to Byrne and the twenty-nine co-contributors whom she quotes extensively, everything in the Universe (which is always capitalized and usually synonymous for "God") vibrates on a particular frequency. When you think in harmony with the frequency of something, you attract it to you. If you think about wealth, you will receive wealth. If you think instead about your debt, you will receive more debt. You attract what you think about; your thoughts determine your destiny.

Byrne restates the law of attraction in various ways: "Nothing [good or bad] can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts". "Your thoughts are the primary cause of everything". "Your current reality or your current life is a result of the thoughts you have been thinking". According to the product description on the DVD, "This is The Secret to everything—the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted.

Regarding the thought life, The Secret reminds us that there is a powerful connection between our thoughts and our actions. Byrne wants us to repeat positive thoughts, she rightly observes that the thoughts we constantly affirm influence our feelings and our behaviour.



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