Sunday, June 24, 2012

The secret: The Law of Attraction and Einstein

Rhonda Byrne, author of "The Secret" is an expert when it comes to grabbing quotes from dead scientists to make it sound as if their quotes support her crazy idea that what you are thinking affects the universe. By the way, Byrne when stating her "Law of Attraction" doesn't just mean that what you think changes how you behave which changes the way people interact with you (a statement even I would agree with). Rather Byrne wants us to think that there is a fundamental, universal law (like the law of gravity), which entails that everything that has ever happened to you (at least that is how I interpret it), came about because of what you thought - happy thought lead to good things and negative thought lead to bad things...

Byrne writes that: 

"The law of attraction is a law of nature. It is as impartial as the law
of gravity."

"Nothing can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts. "

"Often when people first hear this part of the Secret they recall
events in history where masses of lives were lost, and they find
it incomprehensible that so many people could have attracted
themselves to the event. By the law of attraction, they had to be on
the same frequency as the event. It doesn't necessarily mean they
thought of that exact event, but the frequency of their thoughts
matched the frequency of the event. (p.28)"

Anyways, back to quoting dead scientist turning and twitching in their grave. On page 40 Byrne writes that:

"Marci Shimoff shared a wonderful quote from the great Albert
Einstein: "The most important question any human being can ask
themselves is, 'Is this a friendly Universe?'"
Knowing the law of attraction, the only answer to give is, "Yes,
the Universe is friendly." Why? Because when you answer in this
way, by the law of attraction you must experience that. Albert Einstein
posed this powerful question because he knew The Secret.
He knew by asking the question it would force us to think and
make a choice. He gave us a great opportunity, just by posing the

To take Einstein's intention even further, you can affirm and proclaim,
"This is a magnificent Universe. The Universe is bringing all
good things to me. The Universe is conspiring for me in all things.
The Universe is supporting me in everything I do. The Universe
meets all my needs immediately." Know that this is a friendly Universe!

Seriously? Does asking whether we have a friendly/magnificent universe mean that you believe in the (crazy) law of attraction. Of course not! What Einstein likely meant is how easy/difficult it is for us humans to live in this universe. Why have we not been blown up by a supernova already? For how many more millennia will we be able to live on earth like we do today?

Besides, I hardly think that the Universe Byrne is describing in The secret is a "friendly universe", rather it is a universe which gives back what you think. Those African children in Darfur must really have some nasty thoughts...

The next quote can be found on pp. 62-63:

"Time is just an illusion. Einstein told us that. If this is the first time
you have heard it, you may find it a hard concept to get your head
around, because you see everything happening—one thing after
the other. What quantum physicists and Einstein tell us is that everything
is happening simultaneously. If you can understand that
there is no time, and accept that concept, then you will see that
whatever you want in the future already exists. If everything is
happening at the one time, then the parallel version of you with
what you want already exists!

It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want. Any
time delay you experience is due to your delay in getting to the
place of believing, knowing, and feeling that you already have it. It
is you getting yourself on the frequency of what you want When
you are on that frequency, then what you want will appear."

I guess that the only real quote here from Einstein is that "time is an illusion", and there is actually some truth to this, although Einstein would not agree with the conclusions. What Einstein showed was that "the constant" in the Universe was "c" which is the speed of light in vacuum. The faster something moves the slower time will go. From this idea there is a theoretical, mathematical possibility that time travel will be possible but that idea is also associated with many difficulties. Why have we not been visited by someone from the future yet? Furthermore, even if time is relative, that says nothing about "The law of attraction". Does Byrne suggest that you need many parallel universes for the law to work?

The last Einstein quote associated with Einstein is on page 79-80 in The Secret:

"The great scientist Albert Einstein revolutionized the way we view
time, space, and gravity. From his poor background and poor beginnings,
you would have thought it impossible for him to achieve
all that he did. Einstein knew a great deal of The Secret, and he
said, "Thank you" hundreds of times each day. He thanked all
the great scientists who had preceded him for their contributions,
which had enabled him to learn and achieve even more in his
work, and eventually become one of the greatest scientists who
has ever lived."

Right... I invite anyone to show me that Einstein literally said thank you "hundreds of times" everyday. That sounds like a lot to me. However, even if Einstein did say thank you often, maybe he was just a positive dude who thanked people when appropriate. Regarding his thanks to his predecessors, it is clear for scientists that the work done by scientists through the ages is a very important foundation for modern science and we should be thankful for their contribution. Also, if we go by "The Secret" why not just wish for and think positive thoughts and then let the universe bring you a fantastic scientific theory, why all the hard work?


Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

45The movie “The Secret” was a good introduction to the basics of the Law of Attraction but it downplayed the hard work that is needed to make things happen. Thinking or affirming things into being is not really how it works. But change is possible if the Law of Attraction is combined with action. It is amazing what can happen with focus and persistence. I continue to be impressed by the power of the universal message of the “New Thought” teachers of the last 100 years, and the relevance of their ideas today. I always go back to William Walker Atkinson’s book “Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World” when I need an explanation of how the Law of Attraction REALLY works. Check out the new updated gender neutral edition at

Anonymous said...

Hey! much thanks for the link you mentioned ! :) Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I think it's more abstract in the way she interprets Einstein's thoughts and quotes. It's not to be taken literally. Off course we can't control absolutely everything that happens to us. But we can affect it greatly. If you have positive thoughts, use positive words, commit positive actions the positive grows.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thought when I read the book. That book is littered with quotes that have been taken out of context. It's the quotes from Einstein that annoyed me the most. I googled "Einstein did not believe the secret" just to see if there's anyone out there with similar thoughts. This webpage is all I managed to find.

I think that the main idea of the book isn't bad, really. By changing your attitude to a more positive one, you could for instance see opportunities in situations where, if you were in a more negative state of mind, you would have found none. Also, people can see by your body language and the subjects you talk about, whether or not you are "partner-worthy", and someone who "beams" of positivity is almost always going to be chosen over the depressed emo.
A positive mindset is healthy, and changing your mindset to a more positive one can change your life dramatically, but what this book suggests is complete ignorance. Just ignore everything that could go wrong and only focus on the good. And on top of being a typical self help book, it goes a step further into saying that you can make basically anything happen, and get anything you want.

It's insane how many people buy this.

rasmussenanders said...

Thank you for the comment anonymous,
I couldn't agree more with what you said. Being an optimist is certainly beneficial in many circumstances in life, and a positive attitude is likely to have good outcomes, just not for the reasons suggested in this book.