Updated: Nov 16
With over 35 million copies sold as of 2020, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is one of the most popular law of attraction books of all time.
But why is it so popular? What is it even about? And is it worth your time and money?
Let's find out.
First and foremost, The Secret is a book that discusses the law of attraction, which the author refers to as "the secret."
It's a pretty simple book, divided into 11 different chapters. The book begins by explaining what the law of attraction is, how to use it, and recommends powerful processes that can help you manifest your desires-such as visualization and feeling gratitude.
The following chapters then get a bit more specific as they discuss the law of attraction as it pertains to money, relationships, health, the world, and life in general. Along the way, the entire book is filled with quotes from successful people of different professions who have used the law of attraction to their advantage.
Each chapter also includes a helpful chapter summary with some important bullet points at the end.
I would recommend this book to a law of attraction newbie, however I would highly recommend reading The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks instead. This is because The Secret is a much simpler book that doesn't go nearly as in depth as The Law of Attraction.
Plus, I have a small bone to pick with the book...
In The Law of Attraction, Esther Hicks explains how the entity named Abraham came to her, what this entity is (infinite intelligence), and thus we know where all her information is coming from. The book also includes tons of specific answers and questions that allow the reader to gain a better understanding of the law of attraction.
However, in The Secret, the author gives extremely vague details as to how she discovered the law of attraction as she simply claims she first got a glimpse of the law of attraction in a hundred-year-old book, given to her by her daughter Hayley.
Ummm...which book? I think that would've been nice to know.
She then states that she began tracing the law of attraction back through history, and couldn't believe that many really important people knew all about it. (More on this in a sec.) Then she says was fortunate enough to find modern day teachers of the law of attraction. But nowhere in the book do these teachers explain where they got their information from.
So to clarify, I'm not suggesting that these teachers or the law of attraction itself is not credible, I know they are. I'm just saying that I think it's important to share where all the information is coming from, especially since we know there are going to be tons of skeptics that will challenge these claims.
What's more, she makes some pretty hefty claims with no sources or references to the sources to back them up.
The author writes, "The greatest teachers who have ever lived have told us that the law of attraction is the most powerful law in the universe. Poets such as William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, and William Blake delivered it in their poetry. Musicians such as Ludwig Van Beethoven expressed it through their music. Artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci depicted it in their paintings. Great thinkers including Socrates, Plato, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Pythagoras, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, and Victor Hugo shared it in their writings and teachings. Their names have been immortalized, and their legendary existence has survived centuries."
Let's dissect this.
Although we know the law of attraction is working at all times, whether one is conscious of it or not, the information the author has on these people does not indicate that they knew about the law of attraction. Some may suggest that some of them understood the importance of getting into the flow state, but this still doesn't prove they knew about the law of attraction. Plus, if you're going to make such a strong claim, I think it would be in order to provide the information and sources that "proves" said claim. She doesn't provide a single quote to back this up.
I won't go through every single one of these, but I'll do a few.
Let's begin with Plato.
The only quote of Plato's that I can think of that could possibly hint at his awareness of the law of attraction is from The Republic. Plato exclaims, "It would seem, Adeimantus, that the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life. Does not like always attract like?"
This does not at all prove he was aware of the law of attraction. This could simply mean that people who have certain interests are attracted to others who have the same interests, hence why "the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future."
Isaac Newton on the law of attraction?
I have no idea where she got that from. I can't find anything he's said that even hints at his knowledge of this law. That's why I really would've appreciated a source.
Next, let's have a look at good 'ol William Shakespeare.
Yes, we know that no one knows how he managed to write so many plays in such a short period of time. But we don't even know if he actually managed to write everything himself. That's a mystery. Either way, the only quote of his that I presume hints at any knowing of the law of attraction is a line from Act II, Scene 2, in his play Hamlet. While pondering upon his actual imprisonment by Denmark and metaphorical imprisonment of his mind, Hamlet exclaims, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Again, this does not prove that Shakespeare knew of the law of attraction. This sentence is largely open to interpretation, and in the context of the play, it probably means that the way we experience anything depends on the meaning we choose to give to it.
Lastly, there is a famous Albert Einstein quote that many people in the manifesting community love to use. It goes like this: "Everything is energy and that's all there is to it. Match the frequency of the energy you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way."
Makes sense, right?
Except, here's the catch: there's no proof Einstein ever uttered these words.
In the Princeton Press', The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, this quote is not mentioned. I actually couldn't find any evidence, anywhere, of Einstein using these words. So again, a reference to a specific piece of info and its source would've been much appreciated. Maybe I'm analyzing the wrong "quote," but since Byrne never refers to where she derived these conclusions from, I wouldn't know.
Just because I'm passionate about all things LOA doesn't mean I support making ill-supported claims that suit the narrative passionate manifesters want to hear.
And I also feel like it makes us look bad to the skeptics.
All in all, the book is a good read. I love all things law of attraction, so I feel like I can never get enough of it. I like that the author fills the book with living examples of master manifesters, and instructs the reader how to use the law of attraction. It's a super simple introduction to the law of attraction, so if you're looking for a more in-depth explanation with more specific examples, as I mentioned before, I would recommend reading The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks instead. It's a longer read, and at times more boring, but totally worth the info you get from it.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Hope you have a wonderful day.