Discrimination used to be taught as one of the fundamental qualities of mind needed on the spiritual path. Popular versions of spirituality seem to have dropped this inconvenient idea – witness the awful The Secret – a DVD and book that is selling in the millions.
After the disheartening experience of discovering just how truly dire The Secret is – and then finding that friends have been taken in by it – my faith has been restored! Wikipedia has a balanced piece on it, Newsweek, the NY Times, the LA Times, The Guardian all have incisive reviews. And in a blog by Julian Walker he goes into detail about the reasons why it really is so terrible.
I could rant on about it – but these guys have done it very well already! Here’s a quote from the Newsweek Review:
‘On an ethical level, “The Secret” appears deplorable. It concerns itself almost entirely with a narrow range of middle-class concerns—houses, cars and vacations, followed by health and relationships, with the rest of humanity a very distant sixth. Even some of the major figures in the film confess to uneasiness with its relentless materialism.’
Julian Walker’s blog goes into the detail of exactly how The Secret distorts spiritual teachings (and therefore isn’t even useful as an introduction for ‘beginners’) but on Youtube you can see a number of spoofs, which work best if you’ve actually seen the film. Try this!
I have seen “the Secret” and read and seen The Celestine prophecy, of the two id go for the latter, full marks for blogging this Philip )0(
Yes, this is appalling, but hardly surprising.
For ‘the authorities’, the risk of losing individual and public discernment becomes a necessary evil when the goal of transforming them into mindless, unquestioning followers cannot be achieved otherwise. We have certainly seen this since WWII, when “The New World Order” was first conceived and began to shape official policy in America, and public institutions were employed to shape the new Order’s “followers”. Such an “Order” demands conformity; the sort one can only achieve through a lack of discernment. If it means risking people being duped by a few charlatans along the way, well, that’s a risk “the authorities” here seem willing to take.
You are lucky that the UK is relatively small, as only a few Druids can make a substantial impact. Here, it will take a lot more than a few thousand Druids who seldom collaborate across group boundaries–especially as American Druids have not yet drifted towards the centre of American society… However, this does not make the goal of reclaiming our powers of discernment unattainable (as I know you realise, Mr. Carr-Gomm).
I believe the core of this issue, wherever we encounter it, is the loss of authentic identity (identity that is rooted in ancestry and in living relationships with each other and the land) and sovereignty. Both of these concepts have been co-opted by mainstream overlays; false corporate and nationalist identities that support and uphold the status quo. The cure, I believe, lies in reclaiming authentic identity through self-empowerment, and rebuilding authentic bonds of community.
Self-empowered people think for themselves. They are not afraid to question even the most basic assumptions or look for unexpected answer or facets to the truth. They do not always need instant answers; they are willing to let the truth unfold. Self-empowered people would not simply watch “The Secret”, accept its claims, and follow without question. They would question and investigate it, and in so doing they would discover how “The Secret” preys upon people’s basest instincts and vices and offers them nothing of real value in return.
One would think this would make self-empowerment valuable to mainstream societies. However, I doubt we will see much support for this idea from governments or mega-corporations, who are hoping to entice us into working from home (working 24/7, but being paid for a normal work week) and taking “Worlidays” (working holidays) instead of well-deserved time off. So I guess you could say I see more of a ‘grass roots’ solution. :o)