In Pursuit of Happiness – A critic about the film “The Secret”

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for

And certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

 

 

The film The Secret tells about the law of attraction or how to achieve success in life through the management of feelings. Even though it is a very controversial film with structural problems, it is an important message that needs to be spread continuously. It is a self-help, full-length documentary that seduces the audience with the idea that everything is possible if positive thinking and positive attitude is the focus. This message is important to society, because it contradicts what mass media message of today’s world preaches.

 

People in today’s society are told how and what to feel. The reason for that is to keep the status quo. To begin with, let’s take a look around and analyze what messages and philosophies of life are being offered through mass media, such as billboards, posters, movies, TV, fashion, and commercials. Every second, every moment, something is being suggested. “Eat this, do that, buy this, look at me, envy that,…”. I his essay Information as power, the United States Army Colonel John R. Robinson explains that “Persuasive Media Message provides or changes meanings, and meanings give direction to action.”

 

Whether we like it or not, we all listen to the vibrations of our environment. We walk through life every single second using our five senses. We want to see amazing images, taste good flavors, feel good, smell nice fragrances, and talk about attractive subjects. Everybody wants to satisfy bodily pleasures. Businesses today have the power of utilizing this need of satisfaction in their favor, so we would only feel complete if we have their products. When people are unhappy with what they have, they feel the necessity of acquiring happiness by buying products. They need to have the newest computer, that particular perfume, the perfect lifestyle, the newest car, the icombo (ipod, ipad, iphone, imac, icrap…), and every little thing that would make them feel better about themselves. However if they are honest with themselves and able to crawl out of their material bodily consciousness, they will realize that the real happiness is not coming from outside. Nothing really satisfies as much as the real truth about things around us. The real truth that is never changing, no matter what year, what nation, what technology. Happiness is found within. The Film The Secret reinforces this notion that we are responsible for our happiness and nothing and no one can change our destiny besides us. This movie points into a direction of thinking that strengthens the philosophy that thoughts create things. As Mahatma Ghandi says “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”

 

The Secret is often confused with religion due to its psychological fundamental theory. Because of that, the film generated controversy among the viewers. There was an overwhelming press over the release of the film and book, and the over media coverage created polemical discussions to the subject of The Secret. The good part of this discussion is that it raised arguments that would make the film or book better if the author had knowledge of them prior to release The Secret.

 

Although on the surface this movie is a bit excessive and over-simplifying, there is an important point to consider in the roots of the main idea. The word “roots” is used here because the way the documentary is represented is rather foolish: here it is a “secret” that is being revealed, something like a magic key that is handed over to the viewer during the viewing. The same tools used by the mass media to make someone slave are used in this film to get the point across. The use of famous people’s quotes for example is misleading. It gives the idea that there is a secret society where everyone who is successful is part of and knows how things work in their favor. The secret is not about getting stuff. It is about developing a sense of true identity and being unafraid to go after feelings in life and being open to many possible ways of achieving it. The documentary it gets to a point of being one note. The beginning of the film presents the story of an older woman telling about her life being a total mess after a divorce, a death in family, and broken home. The film sets up for a question that is never answered because the woman is never mentioned again. It was a creative decision that should not be done, therefore showing that the director of the film did not have enough experience making movies. It is plain and simple documentary about positive thinking. The message is not as secret as the film tries to portrait. This concept is around for a long time. It is a different perspective, using commercially filmmaking to express old ideas. If we look at every quote that is in the film we realize that these people understood the positive thinking theory, but they did it because of natural and personal reasons, and not because at a certain point in their life they got across with a book that contained the secret. Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, one of the people interviewed in the film, had even declared in his personal website that “The Law of Attraction seems to imply that merely thinking such thoughts will attract the object of those thoughts to you. I don’t think the universe works this way. There is no magic field ‘out there’ or magic genii ‘out there’ that will answer those thoughts by granting your wishes as the film seems to imply.”

 

The Secret is an important message that has to be told, but it is not the complete way to find happiness. The Secret focuses our hope self ward. It is all about self-empowerment, self-fulfillment, and getting whatever we want. But what does it matter profit, if a man loses his soul? Life is meant to be abundant, but money is only a part of wealth. If we want to be completely satisfied we have to find balance in life, exercise our positive thinking towards our body, mind and soul, and take actions to get what we want.

 

 

9 Replies to “In Pursuit of Happiness – A critic about the film “The Secret””

  1. I dont believe that it says that the people from history discovered it as a ‘secret’ in a ‘book’. It just says that they knew it. They probably learned it through their own experiences or by others telling them how powerful positive thinking is.

    As far as the rest of the movie and the message it contains are concerned, it depends on how you view the people in it and whether you trust their word. Even so I view it in the way in that I am much happier as a person for having watched it. Even if it cant transform my thoughts and feelins into reality, I am still better off in my life for watching it.

    1. You couldn’t be more right Jack. I think that this is an important film to watch and it sure make life of people better. I wish we had more films like that.
      I also watched What the bleep do we know and it is kind of like this one too.

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