A Review of Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret” -- By: Mark Pretorius

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 06:1 (Sep 2008)
Article: A Review of Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret”
Author: Mark Pretorius

A Review of Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret”1

Mark Pretorius2

Byrne R 2006. The Secret. New York: Beyond Words, 190 pages.

Since The Secret debuted in 2006—and was given widespread exposure on the Oprah Winfrey show—its sales have exceeded the four-million mark. Celebrities from all genres are endorsing it. At the writing of this review, it is even reported to have outsold the latest Harry Potter book by JK Rowling’s. Clearly, this book is attracting much attention, and people are prepared to spend money to read it. The question is: what is The Secret that so many people are clamouring to find out about?

The ‘secret’ is simply the law of attraction. It is a method developed—perhaps I should say ‘discovered’—by Rhonda Byrne after facing a particularly difficult time in her life. In her forward, she explains that she was only able to come out of this difficult time after discovering ‘the secret’ and applying its principles to her life (pp. ix-x).

According to Byrne, the law of attraction is a powerful law within the universe. If properly used, the law of attraction can make all our dreams come true. It has to do with how we direct our thoughts, and how we lock into the power found within this law of attraction. Because it is an absolute law, it will always respond to our thoughts, no matter what they may be. In her view, and in the view of the many contributors to her book, we human beings are the most powerful force in the universe. This is simply because whatever we think about will come to pass. By what we meditate on, we shape the world around us, either positively or negatively.

In her view, you shape your own life and destiny through the power of the law of attraction. Through positive thinking and visualisation, you can attract wealth and health, and anything else you may desire. These are two of many keys that, when properly applied, cause the law of attraction to work. Byrne states that “nothing [good or bad] can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts” (p. 28). She expands on this thought on page 33: “Your thoughts are the primary cause of everything”. Your current reality or your current life is the result of the thoughts you have been thinking (p. 71).

Doubtless, there are aspects of this law that are attractive to the human heart. We all like to think that we have ultimate control over our lives and that we can have anything we want. We all want to control our destinies and to feel that the universe is ...

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