Feb 282011
 

FuturePower

The Secret: The Power by Rhonda Byrne. I had previously reviewed wildly popular book “The Secret” by this author. I gave a mixed review of that book, in which I noted that a book on how to get anything you want can send an entirely wrong message to someone in the grip of powerful ego drives.

The newer book hit me wrong right out of the gate. It was only as I continued to read (in this case, listen) that I started to appreciate what the author was actually saying.

I’ll give away the “secret” of the book by saying that the “power” mentioned is Love. A wonderful message. However, in proving that everything in the world is created and obtained through love, Rhonda equates a fervent desire for a pair of designer shoes with “love” for those shoes. Unfortunately, spiritual teachers such as the Buddha identify desire as the root of all suffering.

The Power

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As the book went along, however, I realized that Rhonda means something different by “desire” than the Buddha means. What she’s actually suggesting is not a desperate longing for material things, but an awe, appreciation and gratitude for material things. This puts her program on an entirely different (and spiritually helpful) footing. For example, she shares a remarkable point of view for dealing with envy. Rather than having negative feelings about good things coming to other people, we are to consider this as a sign that we are on the same “frequency” as these good things, and that the universe is presenting them to us to enjoy, love, and HAVE if we wish. By this rationale, we should be as happy and grateful for someone else having good things as we would if he had them ourselves.

I found this a unique approach. While perhaps not as pure as being grateful for other’s good fortune because we are spiritually one with them, it’s a good start. And there is much to praise in the book. It’s well written, easy to follow, full of helpful quotations and excellent summaries. It encourages us to practice love, gratitude and positivity in every situation – and that can’t be bad. I found that simply listening to the book on audio while commuting improved my entire day.

The audio version, by the way, has lots of interesting music, sound effects, and Rhonda’s own unique voice. I found these helpful and engaging, but it’s easy to see how some people might find them distracting. Such people might prefer the book instead of the audio.

The original point I made in my review of The Secret still applies here I think. You have to begin with a good perspective on who you are and what your purpose is to avoid being sucked into an ego trap. As Jesus put it:

So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Matt 6:31-33, NET)

In a sense, however, the Power is much better on this point. An approach of cultivating love and gratitude is already a long way along the road of seeking the Kingdom than simply trying to practice the “law of attraction”. I think this book rounds out and corrects some of the potential problems with the first, and I’d recommend it over the Secret.

Feb 072010
 

The Soulmate Secret by Arielle Ford. As I am coming up on my 28th wedding anniversary, I wasn’t particularly in the market for a book on attracting a soulmate. But I saw this book in the “New” section of the library and thought it would be worth reviewing for the benefit of the many people who ARE focused on finding a soulmate. I’m glad I did, because the ideas and techniques are an excellent roundup of ways to manifest anything at all. They are tailored for finding a partner, but they are also good basic manifestational practices.

The author has been closely involved with many people in the “manifestational” movement, including working on “The Secret”, so its hardly surprising that the book reads like a workbook for “Secret” readers. But the additional detail and examples make it well worth reading.

Arielle deals with techniques like a treasure-map (or vision board), The “List”,  Feng Shui, mandalas, and exercises, activities and visualizations for preparing yourself, releashing old attachments, “feathering your nest”, forgiving yourself, releasing your desires to the universe, and enjoying the waiting time. She illustrates all these points with wonderful stories and quotations along the way. Some of the stories are quite remarkable, such as the man who, in the course of trying to attract his soulmate, woke up from a dream with a phone number running through his head. He sent a text message to that number, and the back and forth conversations with the woman on the other end led to a meeting and falling in love. And lest we think she’s only an armchair expert, she shares the story of how she used her own methods to attract her soulmate and husband Brian.

If finding a soulmate is a big need in your life, I’d highly recommend this book. Anyone who wants to manifest anything at all would also find it a good summary of manifestational methods.

Below is an interview with Arielle about her book.

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