Time and size do not exist for the law of attraction

Thanks to James Croft I’m now aware that there’s such a thing as a Facebook page for The Secret. What is The Secret? Some positive thinking “you can get rich by fantasizing about it” book or movie or brain implant. Anyway whenever you have an impulse to dive into a source of Modern Absurdity, it’s right there for your viewing pleasure.

Top item on the page right now:

Time and size do not exist for the law of attraction. It is as easy to heal a pimple as a disease. The process is identical; the difference is in our minds. So if you have attracted some affliction to you, reduce it in your mind to the size of a pimple through your thoughts, and then focus on health, health, and more health. Rhonda Byrne

Ah the law of attraction – let’s ask Oprah about that.

Millions of people have now heard of The Secret , a theory which brings phrases like “positive thinking” and “the law of attraction” to everyday conversations. Although the The Secret is a fairly recent phenomenon, spiritual thinkers say they’ve been studying the concepts for years.

Acclaimed author Louise Hay is considered the mother of positive thinking. She is back to continue the conversation about the law of attraction, which is the basis of The Secret . “The law of attraction is that our thinking creates and brings to us whatever we think about,” she says. “It’s as though every time we think a thought, every time we speak a word, the universe is listening and responding to us.”

Or you could ask Barbara Ehrenreich about it by reading Bright-Sided.



  1. says

    Too much Star Wars, maybe?

    Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.

    Still, always nice to be able to claim that the reason it’s not working for someone is that the someone is “doing it wrong”. Who needs falsifiability, anyway?

  2. Randomfactor says

    ; the difference is in our minds.

    In the original Yoda, better this was stated.

  3. Trebuchet says

    Oprah has done incalculable harm to this country and to the world. Doctor Oz, Doctor Phil, The Secret…It goes on and on.

  4. Blanche Quizno says

    Oprah: Error 🙁

    Interestingly enough, it is the people who fantasize about having what they want who seem to be least successful in getting what they want!

    Visualize Success if You Want to Fail

    But could it be that the self-evidence of positive visualization is little more than a bookstore mirage? Though assumed true, it’s hard to say exactly why the practice works–if it works.

    Enter the latest round of research aimed at testing the mettle of self-help platitudes. Researchers Heather Kappes and Gabriele Oettingen, publishing in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggest to us that not only is positive visualization ineffective, it’s counterproductive. A practice proffered to help us succeed may do just the opposite.

    During the course of four experiments, Kappes and Oettingen demonstrated that conjuring positive fantasies of success drains the energy out of ambition. When we imagine having reached what we want, our brains fall for the trick. Instead of mustering more energy to get “there,” we inadvertently trigger a relaxation response that mimics how we would feel if we’d actually reached the goal. Physiologically, we slide into our comfy shoes; blood pressure lowers, heart rate decreases, all is well in the success world of our mind’s making.

    From a “proof is in the pudding” standpoint, the research showed that participants told to visualize attaining goals throughout the course of the week ended up attaining far fewer goals than a control group told they could mull over the week’s challenges any way they liked. The positive visualizers also self-reported feeling less energetic than the control group, and physiological tests supported their claim. http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/06/08/visualize-success-if-you-want-to-fail/

  5. John Morales says

    This may seem trivial, but I’m amused by self-refuting titles — in this case, the dissemination of something as a “secret”.

    (To paraphrase, “One who would keep a secret must keep it secret that they have a secret to keep.”)

  6. ursa major says

    The True Secret (TM) is that The Secret works best when you have a visualization partner. For a small fee I will join in your happy thoughts.

  7. Al Dente says

    It is as easy to heal a pimple as a disease.

    I had pimples as a teenager and nothing would make them go away. I still have the occasional pimple even now when I’m in my sixties. I’ve had diseases which were cured in a reasonable amount of time by the actions of medical personnel and BIG PHARMA!

  8. WCLPeter says

    I’ve been wishing so hard to win the lottery without luck for over 20 years now, thanks to “The Secret” I totally know I’m gonna get it.

    Of course I’ll be 95′, in an old age home, in a coma, on life support, with no family but a really happy doctor and wet nurse who will totally inherit all.

    Thanks “The Secret”!

  9. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    My cousin has to have accutane for his acne. I think that’s the drug. Anyway, I just had a pimple INSIDE my ear. Dear Jebus, did it ever bug the crap out of me. It was worse than having one right on the edge of your nostril. I’d rather have rabies treatment before I get another one like that again.

  10. cactuswren says

    The Washington Post printed a terrific takedown of “The Secret” the year it was published:

    Self-Help’s Slimy “Secret”

    In February, Los Angeles Times editorial writer Karin Klein reported that local therapists were seeing “clients who are headed for real trouble, immersing themselves in a dream world in which good things just come.” Klein told me in an e-mail that she had heard from readers who were worried about friends who “suddenly start buying things, certain that the money to pay for them will just show up.”

    Still worse is the insidious flip side of Byrne’s philosophy: If bad things happen to you, it’s all your fault. As surely as your thoughts bring health, wealth and love, they are also responsible for any illness, poverty or misery that comes your way.

    That isn’t just implied, it’s spelled out: “The only reason why people do not have what they want is because they are thinking more about what they don’t want than what they do want.” By this logic, Holocaust victims brought it on themselves, as did those who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. Come on, New Orleans, get over it! Think positive!

    Read the whole thing, it’s definitely worth it.

  11. Brucc says

    Of course, if you want the “Christian Science” version of The Secret, it has been busy not healing anyone since it was started in 1868. Just deny physical reality and only believe the ideal situation you wish to have, and it works (or, mostly not). But in almost 150 years, they did manage to pass laws in almost every state to allow parents to send their kids (like me) to public school without any vaccinations. I apologize if I gave any of my classmates whooping cough, but I kept my lack of vaccinations a Secret from them.
    But that was back in 1970, so I hope everything is all better now.

  12. Dunc says

    Whenever I encounter a proponent of this bullshit, I always get the urge to punch them really hard in the face, and then ask them why they made that happen. So far, I’ve managed to resist…

  13. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Whenever I encounter a proponent of this bullshit, I always get the urge to punch them really hard in the face, and then ask them why they made that happen. So far, I’ve managed to resist…

    Thus proving the power of The Secret! Hallelujah!

  14. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    I guess all the starving people in the world just don’t want food enough. Thinking too much about their hunger. Their own damn fault then, isn’t it.

    If the universe actually operated like that, that would be a nightmare. The same holds for religion.

    I always wonder about those sports teams that pray before games, or people who credit their prayers being answered for the most trivial things. To imagine that an allegedly loving god would grant these people their minor victories while remaining deaf to the pleas of the starving is a pretty good argument against the existence of said loving god, or at least a loving god that was also supposed to be omnipotent. A capricious, limited god, yes. A god whose ways are “mysterious”, yes. I wouldn’t want to live in a world with a god like that, just as I wouldn’t want to live in a world that was governed by the “Law of Attraction”.

  15. shari says

    Aside from the loathesomeness of ‘the secret’, I am interested in the visualization findings.

    From athletes, I’ve heard that a key aspect of training success is visualizing the plays, moves, and outcomes in winning a game or event. I’ve also seen training footage of the Blue Angels where they talk and visualize every move of the throttle, flaps, etc. before they rehearse and perform a show.

    Is the difference in reinforcing the correct steps/sequence already in mind for sports (or flight, as with the B.A.s), whereas the Secret instructs to visualize the ‘positives’ (the wanted baby, the windfall, the right ….oh whatever it’s supposed to be) divorced from effort?

  16. NitricAcid says

    If visualizing success brought success, then I would have lost my virginity in grade 10 instead of college. I suspect that is true for nearly every other male.

  17. johnthedrunkard says

    17. There is a huge difference between mental rehearsal, which actually effects the muscles and nerves that will carry out the eventual ‘real’ activity, and waffly fantasies of unearned triumph.

    ‘Bright Sided’ is wonderful and does trace the New Thought sewer part way back. To make a fuller, but still short, reading list, I would add Martin Gardner’s ‘The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy,’ which traces the fantasy back beyond Quimby, and forward into the ‘positive thinking’/salesmanship culture of the 20s.

  18. Dunc says

    If the universe actually operated like that, that would be a nightmare.

    If the universe actually operated like that, it wouldn’t make any goddamn sense at all. It’s pretty much impossible to see how you can square these beliefs with the existence of other people with their own desires. Anybody who truly believes this rot is either a solipsist or a very shallow thinker.

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