Revealing the Truth About the Secret
An Editor and a Psychologist
The Secret adopts the veneer of science to make itself sound legitimate, but it doesn't actually use any real science correctly. It's easy to throw out scientific terms and ideas and say that visualization reflects the natural law of the universe -- which makes it sound as though The Secret is based in hard science, but actually, it would just give physicists a good laugh. That's particularly true of this "law of attraction" that says the energies you send out draw the same kinds of energies back to you. In science and physics, it's opposites that attract. So if the laws of science were relevant here, you'd have to say that if you think positively, negative things will happen to you.
Benjamin Radford, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer, "The Magazine for Science and Reason"
This is modern packaging for positive psychology. When you are receptive to experiences and seeing things in a positive light, you open yourself up to all kinds of opportunities. I teach people to be optimistic, focus on the good instead of the bad, and be grateful for things that happen to them. But if you put your goals down on a piece of paper, they don't automatically come to be. Writing down what you want helps you focus on it. Knowing where you are going helps you get there. But a cosmic force isn't going to make you reach your goals.
Phyllis S. Zilkha, PhD, practicing psychologist in New York City
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, July 2007.
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