Author Topic: "The Secret" from an esoteric perspective  (Read 7204 times)

Offline Spiral Out

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"The Secret" from an esoteric perspective
« on: January 26, 2008, 07:53:06 PM »
I've been reading Mouravieff's "Gnosis" trilogy lately. I wrote this post in relation to the the film "The Secret" and today's new age teachings in general. Writing it out helps me to understand "the work" better and do a self-check on this forum so to speak. Any feedback is appreciated, especially if there are any concepts I misunderstand. I wasn't sure where to post it, either here in "The Work" or the"New Age COINTELPRO" section. If it's the wrong place, I apologize. Feel free to move it, or I can repost as well.

"The Secret" from an esoteric perspective

I suppose most of you are familiar with the film "The Secret". It's been hyped on "Larry King" and "Oprah". The marketing machine of that film is quite impressive and that should have raised some questions to being with.

First of all, I think there are some good points in that film (like taking responsibility of one's state of affairs as well as state of being and health, understanding the power of the Mind in that context). I understand that it can help people in various ways. However it is not all that simple as portrayed in "The Secret".

As usual with the new age mainstream "teachings" there is lies mixed with truth and half-truths. Don't wanna throw out the baby with the bathwater. But looking at the gullability of the mainstream (with a strong inability for critical thinking/self-reflection and sucker for "good feel" hypnotic messages) I don't think that most people go beyond the "create your own reality" aspect of just "manifesting one's desires". When I say beyond, I mean going beyond the "I" of the personality and asking where these desires com from, gaining true self-knowledge and objective knowledge of the world, which actually entails confronting all the "dark/negative" aspects (and transmute them, for that is when true healing occurs in the world and inside of us) which "the secret" tells us to ignore. That's where the deception comes in. "Bad" things (in oneself or in the world) don't go away just by focusing on "good" things. Good/bad are highly subjective judgments to begin with. What is "good" for one, may be "bad" for another.

Question is, where are these desires coming from to being with? Who is this "I" thinking? Who is to decide what is "good" and what is "bad" for the world? Who is the judge? How can we say what we want if we don't even know ourselves? How can we know how to "improve" things in the world if we don't really know what is golng on in the first place from an objective point of view and see the world as it IS? Before deciding what we need to "create", one needs to know oneself, understand the "I" , the conditioned personality-machine with its rising desires and asking where they come from to begin with. One needs to see the world and oneself as it/one IS, without assumption, belief, wishful thinking or projection of what we "think" is going on.
What is truth, what are lies?

"If we only knew what Illusion is, we would then know the opposite:
what Truth is. This Truth would liberate us from slavery"

- Boris Mouravieff

Most of the desires and wishes people have are conditioned into them through education, culture, media, peers pressure, parents, etc....
These are desires based on illusions, feeding a bottomless hole called the ego, so man will never ever reach true fulfillment and certainly not enlightenment.
The concepts in "The Secret" are a great excuse or twist of spiritual truths to nourish ego and let it go rampant with its desires, just focusing on the Self, STS, Service to Self. Very clever form of spiritual distortion, as most folks seem to fall for it, focusing on "their" reality and themselves, ignoring anything that may be "negative" or "unpleasant" in the world or in oneself....thinking/hoping it will just go away. I'm not talking about some mood swings here but deeper issues that we need to confront in the world and in ourselves if we want to make "The Shift".
"The Secret" is based mostly on fulfilling ego desires, the "me" and what "I" want. It is a great reflection of the American Mindset : Me and my desires first, everything else second or will be ignored anyway.

What is called "prosperity" and "abundance" in the new age circles and CYOR schemes these days seem to be just cover-up/excuses for what it has become: Greed.

So what's the real Secret, what is the real "I", how do we know what we REALLy want?

In esoteric work the ego needs to be refined and used as a "vehicle" or "tool" for the higher self/spirit or what one may want to call the "source". The ancient esoteric teachings talk about different level's of "I".
In "Gnosis I" Mouravieff talks about the Self ("I") with its active and passive potentials. Everyone is born "asleep" so to speak with dormant qualities of the real "I", which one can awaken through esoteric or spiritual work. But it doesn't happen just by itself. As long as man has not activated the higher centers he's victim to the "Law of Accident", not truly having free will but subjected to his own mechanic and automatic reactions. This can be compared to man's conditioning which he's not aware of and so he acts blindly and his desires are based on this conditioning. In other words he thinks he has free will but he doesn't. The desires and thoughts he has are not really his own, as they are based on the lower centers of his being, his illusionary personality. Hence Gurdijeff's and Krishnamurti's concept of the "prison man is in and is not even aware of". The prison meaning man's mechanical conditioned reactions and desires he is subjected to, mistaking this limited personality "I" for the real "I".

Mouravieff talks about the three centers man has:
- The Intellectual Centre registers, thinks, calculates, combines, researches etc.;
- The Emotional Centre has for its domain the feelings as well as refined
sensations and passions;
- The Motor Centre directs the five senses, accumulates energy in the organism
through its instinctive functions, and with its motor functions governs the
consumption of this energy.

By balancing out these three centers through esoteric work, man has the possibility to develop a "magnetic center" which activate the higher centers and so he rises above the "Law of Accident" and acquires true free will.

Mouravieff writes:
Quote
"As he gradually acquires mastery and control of his Personality, man,
with the aid of this complex instrument, succeeds in Knowing the Universe
in all its parts—and in establishing conscious and organic links with
it. This occurs according to the principle of Plato which says that: 'Like can
neither be grasped nor understood except by like.'"
Objective Self-Observation is needed in order to gain Self-Knowledge (also very emphasized in Krishnamurti's writings) to become aware of the real "I".

Quote from: Mouravieff
"In fact, we have neither a pure thought nor a pure feeling: nor are our
actions pure. Everything in us is mixed and even entangled, often by all
sorts of considerations which either come from the intellectual centre, tarnishing
the purity of our feelings by its calculations, or from the emotional
centre, which clouds the calculations of the intellectual centre.
Because of this, unless we have first deeply studied the structure of our
Personality, it is impossible to create any order in our mental life or to
make it emerge from its state of continual anarchy and its profound
senselessness. It is by this study that the searcher can go on to regulate
and tune this organism.There is no other way to reach
the goal except by working on oneself by self observation."
Mouravieff describes the different levels of consciousness in relation to the "I" and the work that needs to be done in order to access the higher centers:
Quote
"Esoteric science however distinguishes two levels of consciousness
higher than waking consciousness. We do not have these by right of
birth, nor do we acquire them by normal education or instruction. But
they can be reached as a result of special efforts properly directed.
The first higher level is that of self consciousness: alternatively called the
consciousness of the real 'I'. Above that, there is the level of Consciousness—in
the full sense of this word.

From bottom to top we can define the four levels in other terms, as follows :

1) Subconsciousness is the twilight consciousness of the body. Its force does not
depend on the cultural level of the individual. We often find that elementary or
primitive beings have a much stronger consciousness of their bodies than
intellectuals.
2) Waking Consciousnessis the daytime consciousness of the Personality. Putting
pathological cases aside, its scope and its amplitude develop with the cultural
development of the individual: it is the subjective consciousness of 'I'.
[ this is the state of consciousness the majority of people are in, conditioned through culture, education, etc....and not being aware of that conditioning]
3) Consciousness of the real 'I' s the consciousness of the Individuality, otherwise
described as objective consciousness of the individual 'I'.
4) Consciousness is absolute consciousness: the consciousness of the Absolute."
He writes about the real "I" that his hidden behind our "personality":
Quote
"We know it as the only permanent point which
exists within us, hidden behind our ever changing personality; always
dragged along by the torrent of our thoughts, our feelings, our passions
or sensations, which pass through it and involve the whole man in unpremeditated
acts which he himself would later condemn. This permanent
point is the impartial Referee within us who judges our own acts; the Referee
whose soft voice is often obscured by inward uproar or by events.
Although weak and passive, this evanescent form of the consciousness
of the real 'I' is always just and objective.
Because the real 'I' does not manifest itself in man as he is born except
in passive form, this inner Judge does not pronounce his verdict except where
the personality itself submits its acts for his evaluation."
..which basically means to refine the "ego" or "personality" (through self-observation and gaining Self-Knowledge) to make it a "servant" to the real "I" (the higher self so to speak"), aligning the little "I" with the big "I", or in other words, so the desires of the "ego" become one with the "higher self".

Esoteric Science emphasizes the need of work to activate the real "I" permanently. That is where all the new age material these days deceives the seeker with its distorted versions of spirituality, where it is promoted to "do nothing" , just imagine "positive thoughts of love and light", "bathe in the photon belt", "let things flow and happen", "Ignore the unpleasant", etc..,etc.....Typical new age literature (if you can call that) is easy to swallow half-truths which do not require much effort on part of the seeker, except (blind) belief. In that sense he's pushed even more into Unconsciousness, Sleep and the mechanical behavior of his personality, being victim to the "Law of Accident", as Mouravieff calls it. That approach only feeds the little and false "I", the personality with its conditioned mechanical reactions, needs and desires.

Conscious Evolution consists of doing "The Work" and not just "create" realities for the desires/pleasures of the ego, which will just keep man asleep in his constant illusionary drive to pleasure the Self. (STS) - Service to Self, promoting the blind desires of the personality and we can see the result in the world we live in.
Acting out of this false "I" is like being dead, asleep and unconscious. It is what makes people zombies and machines, not being aware of their conditioning, they do not progress in spiritual evolutionary terms and they do not even realize they are in a "prison", but locked in a timeloop, so to speak until one breaks free by doing "The Work".

Quote from:  Mouravieff
"But before what he pretends he already possesses can become his,
man must carry out a considerable amount of conscious work upon
himself. The third level of being, which corresponds to the consciousness of the
real 'I' is that of esoterically evolved men, properly called alive: that is, of
those who have acquired permanent, unshakeable real 'I'. Lastly the fourth
level belongs to the perfect or complete man: he who has arrived by his
esoteric development at the summit of evolution possible within the conditions
of our planet."
Very interestingly Mouravieff sees "lying", especially lying to oneself, as the big block in evolution and one can see that the New Age is filled with opportunities to lie to oneself and having excuses not to do the "work" so to speak. The film "the secret" very much promotes that potential of lying to oneself by shutting out anything "negative" or "unpleasant" and focus on "wishful thinking" and (ego/ lower center/STS) - desires. Lying to oneself is like making sure one stays asleep, caught in the prison of the lower centers of the conditioned personality:
Quote
"It is this faculty of lying which makes our lives less of a
rattle, and contributes greatly to the impression of continuity life gives us.
We are brought back once again to the fact that we attribute to ourselves
faculties which we do not possess — except as possibilities for development:
we pretend to be truthful because telling the truth and living a
truthful life are possibilities which can become real; but they can do so
much later, after we have worked hard and long upon ourselves. In the
meantime we are condemned to lie. Whoever denies this only testifies to
our difficulty in facing the truth.

[...]

He is therefore asked to stop lying to himself— and this in a definite way. This
requirement is absolute, and we can easily understand why. The objective
of esoteric work is the march towards Consciousness, which means towards
Truth. It would be a contradictio in objecto to try to approach the truth while
continuing to lie to ourselves or to believe in our own lies. We must
therefore eliminate any attempt to lie to ourselves: on this point no compromise
can be tolerated, no excuse admitted."
Gurdijeff also states in that regard:
Quote
"To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know."
Further on Mouravieff distinguishes between A and B influences. A influences are "worldly" influences, the desires of the ego, the effect of the "external" world, culture, race, nation, country, family, profession, entertainment, current ideas, customs, education, ......on us and the resulting development of the Personality, the false conditioned "I". Those who live strictly by A influences are what Gurdjieff refers to as "nullities.' This is your "average man" in life. B influences differ from A influences because they are CONSCIOUS in their origin and have been created consciously OUTSIDE life by conscious people for a definite purpose. These influences are the "soul" of any culture and they are embodied in the form of religious systems and teachings, philosophical doctrines, art, etc. True B influences are not form this "world" but come from the Esoteric Center, guiding man to Ascension of realizing the true "I". A and B influences are also at times mixed with each other, like in religion and the new age.

from  Esoteric Glossary

Quote
In some people there is a discriminatory power within them that allows them to discriminate between these two kinds of influences and they discern from this that there are certain influences that come from a source that is outside the mainstream of life. This person remembers them and FEELS them together and they begin to form a certain whole, a certain kind of magnetic "presence" within that person.
Not being aware of the difference between A and B influences make man subject to the "Law of Accident". And even if man may be successful in worldly terms he has not evolved one bit. Or in relation to "The Secret', one can "create" one's life according to ones desires as much as one wants and "fulfill" oneself with all kinds of "dreams", be rich and "stable" but as long as one is operating from the conditioned personality man is going in circles, staying in "prison", while lying to himself that he's actually progressing.

Quote from: Mouravieff
"If man spends his life without distinguishing between 'A' and 'B' influences,
he will end it as he started, one could say mechanically, driven by the
Law of Accident. However, according to the nature and the intensity of the
resultant forces to which he is subjected, it can happen to him to make a
brilliant career, in the meaning the world gives to this expression.
Yet he will come to the end of his days without having either learned or
understood anything of Reality. And earth returns to Earth.
In life, every being is subjected to a sort of competitive test. If he discerns
the existence of the 'B' influences; if he acquires a taste for gathering and
absorbing them; if he continually aspires to assimilate them better; his
mixed inner nature will slowly undergo a certain kind of evolution.
And if the efforts which he makes to absorb the 'B' influences are constant
and sufficient in force, a magnetic centre can be formed within him.

To the measure of its growth, the man will escape the dominion of
the Law of Chance/Accident and enter the domain of Consciousness.
If he reaches this result before his death, he can say that his life was not
lived in vain."
Now very interestingly and highly significant in relation to New Age "teachings" (and the New Age Movement) such as "The Secret" is what Mouravief has to say if man mistakes A for B influences:
Quote
"Man can delude himself and, believing he is absorbing 'B' influences
and making the necessary selection all the while, he in fact absorbs 'A'
influences. This will put him into contactwith people who possess
magnetic centres of the same nature: who are themselves duped or
who dupe others, and who have no direct or indirect link with the esoteric Centre.
What guarantee can man have that he will not dupe
himself and that he will not fall into the latter situation? The answer is
simple. The purity of the magnetic centre must be scrupulously maintained
from the start and all through his evolution."
One can see now very clearly how the film "The Secret" is based by far more on 'A' influences, which people mistake as 'B' influences.
The same goes for a whole ton of New Age junk that is in actuality 'A' influences packaged in a 'B' wrapping. Truth mixed with lies, which divert the seeker from his real "I" and true Knowledge/Enlightenment. Example would be the whole abstract new age bits of "sending love and light into the world" or "imagining balls of light", focusing just on "good" thoughts, visualizing the "light body" as a means of ascension, or just "being open", avoiding anything "bad" or "negative", ignoring the "unpleasant" and just focus on our rising "desires", etc, etc,......
None of that helps the evolutionary process really at all. As long as one has not established the purity of the magnetic center through deep self-work and self-observation, one just acts in STS, putting the personality's (ego's) subjective will on to the world. Who is to say what is good for the world or not? Which "I" is the judge?
In that sense many New Age material is just like fundamental Religion. It works on faith, wishful thinking and Belief, not Knowledge and Truth. And so many new age followers are developing a false magnetic center, "who are themselves duped or who dupe others, and who have no direct or indirect link with the esoteric Centre."
You find them everywhere these days, as if a "new religion" is emerging....and the one's promoting just to focus on "love and light" and ignore the "bad", "negative" and just "create your own reality" the loudest are the ones most heavily duped, more duped than the average sleeping man, because the former actually thinks he has awaken and can "see" now.......little does he know that he's going in circles.......distracted by 'A' influences. Or as stated in the Cassiopaea material. I'm paraphrasing:
"Gaining false Knowledge is more dangerous than gaining no Knowledge."

True Esoteric Path is a spiral upward , it is conscious work, "the path of the Warrior" according to Don Juan:
Quote
"Impeccability begins with a single act that has to be deliberate, precise and sustained. If that act is repeated long enough, one acquires a sense of unbending intent which can be applied to anything else. If that is accomplished the road is clear. One thing will lead to another until the warrior realizes his full potential."
One can say that the development of the true (objective) "I" through "the Work" of creating a pure magnetic center is what the traditions call "ascension", aligning the will of our little "I's" with the true "I", the personality with the real "I", or as Mouravieff says:
Quote
"The permanent link which must be introduced between the Personality
and the real 'I' is esoteric Knowledge. The knowledge and savoir-faire that it
permits us to acquire represent the philosophers' stone of the medieval mystics.
They are capable of provoking in man the transmutation to which he
aspires."
Once the Magnetic Center is in place, one's true "I" shines through man's personality and he's able to do he came here to do.
Or in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Quote
Every man has his own vocation. The talent is the call.
There is one direction in which all space is open to him.
He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion.

He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over God's depths into an infinite sea.

This talent and this call depend on his organisation, or the mode in which a general soul incarnates in him. He inclines to do something which is easy to him, and good when it is done, but which no other man can do.

He has no rival.

For the more truly he consults his own powers, the more difference will his work exhibit from the work of any other. When he is true and faithful, his ambition is exactly proportional to his powers.

By doing his work he makes the need felt which only he can supply.
On a note, there is nothing "wrong" with desires of the ego/personality and just creating reality based on unquestioned desires of the "I".
Nothing "wrong" with shutting off anything "bad" and "unpleasant" and keep living in a subjective tunnel vision and wishful thinking based Service to Self.
Nothing wrong with that at all. Enjoy! It's a free will universe. Everyone can do as they want to, be it you, me, Bush or anyone else.
What needs to be kept in mind though is that this "approach" has nothing to do with spiritual evolution or the "path of ascension" and is the reason why the world and its people are on a course to Self-destruction. It's not a spiral upward, it's a circle that repeats itself, and that grinds itself into an abyss. Humanity has evolved technologically, but not spiritually/consciously really at all and is still mostly driven by his lower centers and mechanical personality.
As Mouravieff writes:
Quote
"What strikes us from the very beginning is that man confuses moral
progress with technical progress, so that the development of science
continues in dangerous isolation.
The brilliant progress that has come from technology has changed
nothing essential in the human condition, and will change nothing,
because it operates only in the field of everyday events. For this reason
it touches the inner life of man only superficially."
Life on Earth as we know it, this 3rd density experience is based on STS, Service to Self. STO, Service to Others is something man can aspire to through conscious evolution. STO doesn't determine what is good for another or the world, it simple sees creation/the universe as it is, objectively, motivated from beyond the little "I"/personality and its various distortions. Hence "The Secret" promotes STS, it serves self in its subjective view of reality.
In this time of Transformation, the choice to be made is really between STO and STS and truly understanding what that means, differentiating between A and B influences, separating lies from truth, inside oneself and outside. This is also the age of deceit and deception, not only through the obvious political circus, but through spiritual "teachings" as well, be it dogmatic religion or New Age Hype. "The Secret" is one of them.
Quote
"The next is manipulation of spiritual values and tendencies.It is no accident that in the last four years that we've seen in new religious thought the religion of acquiescence and passivity: trusting in the process; whatever happens is what needs to happen; everyone is right where they need to be; if the extraterrestrials are here it's because they're supposed to be; you don't resist; you acquiesce; to resist is to be negative, is to be fearful, is to be unconscious. A great prescription for convincing the natives to give over the keys to the kingdom, a very good, clever form of manipulation."
-M.V. Summers
It's like taking the read or blue pill, truth or illusion, waking up or staying asleep. There is no "right" or "wrong" choice. There is only choice, as it is, respecting free will. However, most people do not even know that there is a choice  ay all and are in the dark about what is happening on this planet (manipulated through STS forces like government, religion as well as STS based new age "teachings", channeled material, etc...)Interesting times......wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Bernhard:-)
"Illusion, thinking it is reality, takes reality for illusion" - Boris Mouravieff

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - Carl Gustav Jung

Offline Dawn

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"The Secret" from an esoteric perspective
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 08:53:15 PM »
Quote from: Bernhard
:
It's like taking the read or blue pill, truth or illusion, waking up or staying asleep. There is no "right" or "wrong" choice. There is only choice, as it is, respecting free will. However, most people do not even know that there is a choice  ay all and are in the dark about what is happening on this planet (manipulated through STS forces like government, religion as well as STS based new age "teachings", channeled material, etc...)
This paragraph struck a non-truth in me.

One either does with these separate 'I's' those things that are aligned with searching for truth/Truth, or they allow the world to build their 'I's' without self questioning. I guess that does define a choice of some sort, but not if you can't choose for some reason or another.

These actions of question and asking opens 'doors' to greater and greater truths, or the opposite, illusions.

There IS a right and wrong. Wrong being yourself a part of the illusion for others. Lying is wrong. Telling the truth when asked... is right (if you don't know, say so). Telling yourself the truth and asking for truthful answers (but not expecting truthful answers, because it has to be checked out first) is good and right. Even if we don't know what Truth is, we can work to find out what isn't true, and then see what's left over, then question that as well.

edit: trying to spell things correctly.
Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.

- Kahlil Gibran

Offline Ursus

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"The Secret" from an esoteric perspective
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 10:05:17 PM »
Quote from: Nawd
There IS a right and wrong. Wrong being yourself a part of the illusion for others. Lying is wrong. Telling the truth when asked... is right (if you don't know, say so). Telling yourself the truth and asking for truthful answers (but not expecting truthful answers, because it has to be checked out first) is good and right. Even if we don't know what Truth is, we can work to find out what isn't true, and then see what's left over, then question that as well.
There is good and evil, right and wrong, and then there is the specific situation that determines which is which; the Law of Three. It isn't so cut and dried. If somebody chooses a creative life, based on principles of truth and free-will for all, then lying in certain situations - where those principles are at risk of being opposed - is right, and lying in others is wrong. It's the exact same for those who've chosen the entropic path.

These are the two fundamental pathways - or modes of being - of the Universe. Whatever helps the individual to grow and better serve that path is good and what inhibits it is bad. It's been discussed in a variety of ways here on the forum and the website, so take a look around.
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. -- John Powell

Offline NormaRegula

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"The Secret" from an esoteric perspective
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 10:42:26 PM »
Quote from: Nawd
There IS a right and wrong.
That depends on the situation. There are times when something you have been taught (ie:programmed) to be morally wrong is in essence right in an STO way for the circumstances involved. The devil is in the details.

Quote from: Nawd
Wrong being yourself a part of the illusion for others.
Again, one has to be cautious when doing the Work. Sometimes a strategic enclosure is needed to offset the General Law turning on you. External consideration of others who have not awakened may involve a bit of strategy that may appear to be "part of an illusion for others."


Quote from: Nawd
Lying is wrong. Telling the truth when asked... is right...
Lying is not always wrong. Telling the truth when asked is not always right. Truth telling can be a form of weakness if the particular situation does not warrant it. Truth told to the wrong people because one is convinced that lying is wrong can lead to disaster.

An example of this most often given on this forum tells of the French Resistance fighters during WWII who made the conscious choice to lie to others (neighbors, authorities, sometimes even their spouses and family members) in order to protect themselves and their colleagues from harm.

When one begins to do the Work, one must be like a resistance fighter...and be careful not to cast ones pearls before swine.

Quote from: Nawd
Telling yourself the truth and asking for truthful answers (but not expecting truthful answers, because it has to be checked out first) is good and right.
Good and right are subjective. Again, it depends on the circumstances. Telling oneself the truth and asking for truthful answers is an iffy proposition until one has confronted the many programs that are instilled within and garnered enough discernment to know what is good and right for the situation at hand.
"War, under any circumstance, is not a 'core value' of humanity; in fact, it is the ultimate failure of humanity." - Cindy Sheehan

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood" - Marie Curie

Offline Dawn

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"The Secret" from an esoteric perspective
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2008, 01:59:05 AM »
Quote from: Craig
There is good and evil, right and wrong, and then there is the specific situation that determines which is which; the Law of Three. It isn't so cut and dried. If somebody chooses a creative life, based on principles of truth and free-will for all, then lying in certain situations - where those principles are at risk of being opposed - is right, and lying in others is wrong. It's the exact same for those who've chosen the entropic path.

These are the two fundamental pathways - or modes of being - of the Universe. Whatever helps the individual to grow and better serve that path is good and what inhibits it is bad. It's been discussed in a variety of ways here on the forum and the website, so take a look around.
Yes I do think I may have simplified my post way too much. A bit of a reaction there I do see now. The same reaction in me can set off a similar over simplified response when people say concepts like, "there is no such thing as love or soul." Maybe I need to ponder on these reactions a bit more, and figure out where they came from.

Actually you were really easy on me. I could have been called arrogant or trying to think that I know something about such things, and that would have been accurate too. I'll watch myself in this area with much more critical eyes.
Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.

- Kahlil Gibran

Offline Adaryn

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Re: The Secret
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2009, 02:00:59 PM »
http://www.charter.net/news/read.php?id=15955316&ps=1011&srce=news_class&action=1&lang=en&_LT=HOME_USNWC00L1_UNEWS&page=1

Retreat leader speaks out over sweat lodge deaths

By DAISY NGUYEN and FELICIA FONSECA Associated Press Writers The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:03 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The self-help expert who led a spiritual retreat in Arizona where two people were overcome in a sweat lodge and later died has spoken out about the tragedy, saying it has left him "frustrated and confused."

At a seminar outside Los Angeles, James Arthur Ray [one of the guest speakers in the movie The Secret] broke down in tears as he addressed the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee.

Authorities say Brown, Shore and more than 50 other people attending the retreat near Sedona, Ariz., were crowded into a 415-square-foot sweat lodge during a two-hour period Thursday.

Brown and Shore died, and 19 others people were hurt. One remains in critical condition.

"This is the most difficult time I've ever faced," Ray told a crowd of about 200 at a hotel in Marina del Rey Tuesday. "I don't know how to deal with it really."

An audience member asked Ray to describe what happened at the retreat, but he declined, saying only that he has hired his own investigative team and is cooperating with authorities.

"We're looking for answers," he said. "I'm as frustrated and confused as other people are."

Ray, who said he is "being tested" by the tragedy, added that he wrestled with whether to go through with Tuesday's seminar. He said it had been scheduled weeks before the Arizona retreat.

"My advisers told me, 'Don't do that. You don't know who'll show up. They're going to eat you alive,'" he told the audience. But he said it was important for him to keep his commitments.

"I'm grieving right now," said Ray. "I'm grieving for the families."

The comments followed a demand earlier Tuesday from a spokesman for Brown's family for more accountability from Ray.

Tom McFeeley, Brown's cousin and family spokesman, called on Ray to assure that the retreat's participants "were not mistreated and not put in a reckless situation."

McFeeley also said he is concerned that Ray exhibited a "godlike complex" during the event that might have kept people from opting out of activities that Ray acknowledged could cause "physical, emotional, financial or other injuries."

Ray's spokesman, Howard Bragman, declined Tuesday to address McFeeley's concerns.

Fire department reports released Tuesday show the incident wasn't the first involving a sweat lodge ceremony at the resort, the Angel Valley Retreat Center. Verde Valley Fire Chief Jerry Doerksen said his department responded to a 911 call in October 2005 about a person who was unconscious after being in a sweat lodge.

Angel Valley resort owner Amayra Hamilton confirmed that Ray was leading the sweat ceremony during the 2005 event. Ray's spokesman declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office continued to investigate last week's ceremony to determine if criminal negligence played a role in the deaths or illnesses. Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said Tuesday that authorities have not yet spoken with Ray.

No charges have been filed.

Participants paid between $9,000 and $10,000 for the retreat, and police said they were highly encouraged, but not forced, to remain inside the crudely built sweat lodge the entire two hours, authorities said.

Autopsies on Brown and Shore were conducted, but the results are being withheld pending additional tests. Carbon monoxide poisoning was ruled out as a cause of the deaths and illnesses.

A statement released by the family of Liz Neuman, who remains in critical condition at the Flagstaff Medical Center, said she is in a coma and doctors are working to stabilize damage to multiple organs.

Two others remained hospitalized. Fire officials said the victims exhibited symptoms ranging from dehydration to kidney failure after sitting in the sweat lodge.

Officials say the sweat lodge, built specifically for the five-day retreat, lacked the necessary building permit.

Online clerck de bonk

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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2009, 03:09:29 PM »
Authorities say Brown, Shore and more than 50 other people attending the retreat near Sedona, Ariz., were crowded into a 415-square-foot sweat lodge during a two-hour period Thursday.
A sweat lodge, is that something like a "lesser" sauna? Even so, to keep that amount of people inside a small room for two hours!!? With the heat on! Where've all the neurons gone?!
Brown and Shore died, and 19 others people were hurt. One remains in critical condition.
I'm surprised there were no more casualties. :O
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Offline Jonathan

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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2009, 04:04:41 PM »
A sweat lodge, is that something like a "lesser" sauna?

yea, it's essentially the same. the term "sweat lodge" basically implies a ritual/spiritual component.

Brown and Shore died, and 19 others people were hurt. One remains in critical condition.
I'm surprised there were no more casualties. :O

yea, no doubt.  it boggles my mind that the people running this show thought this was anywhere near "safe."  i grew up taking saunas, and it's not that hard to become overwhelmed sitting in one just by yourself if it's hot enough, let alone with 49 other people and only a 2'x2' space for each person!
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Offline Hildegarda

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Re: \
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 04:09:14 PM »

A sweat lodge, is that something like a "lesser" sauna? Even so, to keep that amount of people inside a small room for two hours!!? With the heat on! Where've all the neurons gone?!


my thoughts exactly.  No need for an esoteric or supernatural explanation, this is a health hazard, and practicing it, in a way that was done, is a lack of common sense.  
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 04:10:47 PM by Hildegarda »
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Offline truth seeker

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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 04:11:31 PM »
So they basically paid 9/10,000 dollars for what amounts to torture...
"[...]Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.[...]" ~ W.H. Murray

Offline anart

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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2009, 04:13:49 PM »

my thoughts exactly.  No need for an esoteric or supernatural explanation, this is a health hazard, and using it is a lack of common sense. 

Yes, but if you don't deal in reality on any level - if you truly think you can create your own reality - you can attract whatever you want into your life, using 'the secret' - if you are that fundamentally deluded and out of touch with objective reality - common sense has nothing to do with anything you do or think, since common sense tends to be rooted in reality! 

This should be an enormous wake up call to all those so trapped in illusion that they would consider James Ray an expert on anything (or Oprah!!!) -- I doubt it will, though, since when you're so deeply ensconced in illusion that you believe 'the secret' - waking up is so unlikely - though perhaps this will stir some from their slumber?   :/

OH - and this guy is such a monumental narcissist that he says he's being tested!?!   Unreal...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 04:16:12 PM by anart »

Offline Jonathan

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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2009, 05:08:17 PM »
my thoughts exactly.  No need for an esoteric or supernatural explanation, this is a health hazard, and using it is a lack of common sense. 

health hazard indeed.  here's a youtube clip from the AP showing the "sweat lodge" - _http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeuISNqmgLs

it's basically canvas draped over a frame, there's obviously no proper ventilation, and the ceiling is low which would keep the hot steam right at head level, even sitting down.  they said no carbon monoxide was found after testing, but i find that hard to believe.  that structure is basically a death trap for the unexperienced.

they also said there were "more than 60 people" crammed together (!!!)  total insanity. 

Yes, but if you don't deal in reality on any level - if you truly think you can create your own reality - you can attract whatever you want into your life, using 'the secret' - if you are that fundamentally deluded and out of touch with objective reality - common sense has nothing to do with anything you do or think, since common sense tends to be rooted in reality!

perfectly illustrated by the fact that no one had the common sense to just get up and walk out of there when they realized they couldn't breathe.
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Offline Endymion

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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2009, 06:44:44 PM »
Quote
Ray, who said he is "being tested" by the tragedy, added that he wrestled with whether to go through with Tuesday's seminar. He said it had been scheduled weeks before the Arizona retreat.

"My advisers told me, 'Don't do that. You don't know who'll show up. They're going to eat you alive,'" he told the audience. But he said it was important for him to keep his commitments.

"I'm grieving right now," said Ray. "I'm grieving for the families."

So James Arthur Ray is ‘being tested’ by the tragedy. Sounds like a narcissist to me. And even after his advisers strongly warned him against the event he went ahead!  :O

The language he uses is just like the Christian minister who is caught in bed with his secretary or with a bank account full of his flock’s donations.

These types always resort to ‘I’m being tested’ by something or other as a way to get people to pity them. When will their followers wake up? As Anart says, this really should be an enormous wake up call for many people, but I do wonder if it will be.

Quote from: JR
Quote from: Anart
Yes, but if you don't deal in reality on any level - if you truly think you can create your own reality - you can attract whatever you want into your life, using 'the secret' - if you are that fundamentally deluded and out of touch with objective reality - common sense has nothing to do with anything you do or think, since common sense tends to be rooted in reality!
perfectly illustrated by the fact that no one had the common sense to just get up and walk out of there when they realized they couldn't breathe.

Indeed. What happened to his followers' neurons? They must have been convinced that they were doing something deeply spiritual. The mind boggles. The native Americans always treated the sweat lodge with a great deal of respect.

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Offline Galahad

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2009, 07:27:22 PM »
What strikes me is the hunger in these people to latch onto anything to give one's life meaning, to follow any charlatan.

Just think if we could reach these people and the many others out there who are searching with the  Éiriú Eolas breathing programme.
The signs of the times herald a new age. It is close at hand. Will it be better, will it be even more dreadful than the present one? The precipice is within inches of the summit. Every one of us contributes in a certain measure to the course events takes. Let us be conscious of our responsibility

Offline Divide By Zero

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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2009, 08:55:53 PM »

Indeed. What happened to his followers' neurons? They must have been convinced that they were doing something deeply spiritual. The mind boggles. The native Americans always treated the sweat lodge with a great deal of respect.


Yep, and the Native Americans didn't believe that we create our own reality.  So why does he need to use their traditions to peddle his beliefs?

I can imagine what some of his fanatic followers would think about this death: "He helped ascend a person!"