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Off topic: The Secret
Thread poster: Elena Robles Sanjuan

Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:57
English to Spanish
Sep 30, 2008

Hello everybody,

I have just finished reading this book by Rhonda Byrne and, as I have a couple of friends who are already rather influenced by it, I would like to know your opinion on the following (pick what you´d like to comment on):

+ The book states that, according to quantum physics, the origin of the Universe is in a thought. Now, are there different trends under the label "quantum physics" or has this discipline shifted from the Big Bang theory rather drastically?

+ The idea that both our happiness and our misfortunes are down to our thoughts (the way we look at things can change the way they are) is present all through the book. This idea implies having a strong faith in our thinking. Is this a religious belief in essence? What I mean is this: those who believe in God, for instance, "fear" the lack of faith, as if by having doubts they were "betraying" God. Is "The Secret" then another way of practicing a religion?

+ Is it within reasonable boundaries to change your way of thinking, or even the way you live, out of reading a book?

Many thanks in advance for your comments

[Edited at 2008-09-30 09:29]


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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:57
German to English
my thoughts Sep 30, 2008

I haven't read the book but I've heard quite alot about it. To throw my two cents in, it sounds like old "new wave" repackaged. IMO it's a type of religious sekt/cult ideology. Anytime I hear people talking about this book, I think: don't drink the cool aid!

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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 11:57
French to English
+ ...
I haven't read the book, but... Sep 30, 2008

The first point is a load of [stuff suitable for putting on roses].

The rest of the points may be more valuable but I wouldn't put much trust in them after point 1.

I think the way we react to our environment can have an effect on it (what you measure is what you get) but it's not 100%. If a rock falls on you, it won't matter how you feel about it

Terry.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
German to English
Books can have a deep impact Sep 30, 2008

Elena Robles Sanjuan wrote:

+ Is it within reasonable boundaries to change your way of thinking, or even the way you live, out of reading a book?



I think what we read in books can have a tremendous influence on our lives and our way of thinking, but only if we think about what we read critically. It's not just agreeing with an author that can change the way we think, but disagreeing too.


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Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:57
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
That is a very clever answer Sep 30, 2008

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:

Elena Robles Sanjuan wrote:

+ Is it within reasonable boundaries to change your way of thinking, or even the way you live, out of reading a book?



I think what we read in books can have a tremendous influence on our lives and our way of thinking, but only if we think about what we read critically. It's not just agreeing with an author that can change the way we think, but disagreeing too.



I agree, thank you very much for your comment.


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 02:57
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Quantum physics Sep 30, 2008

Elena Robles Sanjuan wrote:
+ The book states that, according to quantum physics, the origin of the Universe is in a thought. Now, are there different trends under the label "quantum physics" or has this discipline shifted from the Big Bang theory rather drastically?


Given that my dislike for The Secret can reach epic proportions (long story), I'll keep from making any direct comments about it. I will, however, say that Rhonda Byrne has no idea what she's talking about when she mentions "quantum physics." I could be wrong when assuming that she doesn't even have an engineering degree that included studies in the area, but then again, the probabilities of me being wrong there, given her assertions, are approx. 0.0000000035% - unless she does know something about quantum physics (beside the name, that is) and is flat out lying...

In fact, I'm amazed Byrne doesn't live in the new age haven of Santa Monica, CA (nothing personal against Santa Monica; it's just that this new age stuff seems to thrive there). That would have made much more sense to me....

So no, the book is not a reliable resource for information on the advances of (serious) quantum physics.


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Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:57
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Quite understandably... Sep 30, 2008

Marcelo Silveyra wrote:

Given that my dislike for The Secret can reach epic proportions (long story), I'll keep from making any direct comments about it. I will, however, say that Rhonda Byrne has no idea what she's talking about when she mentions "quantum physics." I could be wrong when assuming that she doesn't even have an engineering degree that included studies in the area, but then again, the probabilities of me being wrong there, given her assertions, are approx. 0.0000000035% - unless she does know something about quantum physics (beside the name, that is) and is flat out lying...

In fact, I'm amazed Byrne doesn't live in the new age haven of Santa Monica, CA (nothing personal against Santa Monica; it's just that this new age stuff seems to thrive there). That would have made much more sense to me....

So no, the book is not a reliable resource for information on the advances of (serious) quantum physics.


Thank you very much, Marcelo. I suspected that she found quantum physics a wonderful excuse to give some scientific support to ideas that she never gets to demonstrate throughout the book. But then, I don´t read about quantum physics on a regular basis, and that´s why I was wondering if its theories were changing.

[Edited at 2008-09-30 11:44]


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chaman4723
India
Local time: 16:27
English to Urdu
+ ...
Practice is the real crucible Sep 30, 2008

I endorse Niraja's view that after going through a book we must critically examine its content. But at the same it is very important to examine it in real life. Practice is the real crucible.

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Jean-Pierre Bergez Saretzki  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:57
English to Spanish
The era of Mumbo-Jumbo Sep 30, 2008

In my view, this seems to be another example of how the age of reason is dying and being taken over by the era of mumbo-jumbo.

Some examples of the age of reason dying are:

Medicine– Acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, ayurveda, naturopathy, and any other so-called “alternative” medicine not approved, checked and guaranteed by the health regulators. There is only ONE medicine. In this context, the use of “alternative” is a sly way of hiding that is NOT medicine; should it be, there would be no need for calling it “alternative”.

Religion– Aside from the fact that religion is based on belief and not reason or facts, we are currently witnessing the revival of all religions and the worrying trend of extremist behaviour. But we are also seeing an increasing number of people joining the ranks of scientology, creationism, fundamentalism, etc., as well as others going for UFO, Satanism, voodoo, freemasonry, pantheism, relativism...

Politics– The politics of fear, the use of the Orwellian newspeak or modern doublespeak, terrorism, climate change or economic crisis as forms of propaganda, and any other means of persuasion based on make-believe.

I have not read The Secret, but from your short explanation, I gather that it falls in the religion mumbo-jumbo category. I would not be surprise if the premise were that the truth of the book is based on belief, and not reason.

Today, anybody claiming any medical, religious or political solution does not need to prove it. They only need to sell it to potential believers who are currently very open to this type of mumbo-jumbo. And if you dare to question or criticise, you shall be labelled as an atheist, a racist, a liberal, a fascist...


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Similar to other new age philosophies Sep 30, 2008

It is scientifically true that phenomena seem to change according to who is viewing them, but my problem with "The Secret" is that it appears to promote selfishness and greed, i.e. "If I concentrate hard enough on that red bicycle, then I'll have it."

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Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:57
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Spot on Sep 30, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:

problem with "The Secret" is that it appears to promote selfishness and greed, i.e. "If I concentrate hard enough on that red bicycle, then I'll have it." [/quote]

And not just that: if you can´t concentrate well enough to get the red bicycle, well, you´re on your own. Therefore, children from the thrid world who die of starvation and poverty must be really making a huge effort to have negative thoughts...
But then, the author is rich enough not to have to worry about them.


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Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:57
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Same ideas in a different box Sep 30, 2008

Jean-Pierre Bergez Saretzki wrote:

In my view, this seems to be another example of how the age of reason is dying and being taken over by the era of mumbo-jumbo.

Some examples of the age of reason dying are:

Medicine– Acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, ayurveda, naturopathy, and any other so-called “alternative” medicine not approved, checked and guaranteed by the health regulators. There is only ONE medicine. In this context, the use of “alternative” is a sly way of hiding that is NOT medicine; should it be, there would be no need for calling it “alternative”.

Religion– Aside from the fact that religion is based on belief and not reason or facts, we are currently witnessing the revival of all religions and the worrying trend of extremist behaviour. But we are also seeing an increasing number of people joining the ranks of scientology, creationism, fundamentalism, etc., as well as others going for UFO, Satanism, voodoo, freemasonry, pantheism, relativism...

Politics– The politics of fear, the use of the Orwellian newspeak or modern doublespeak, terrorism, climate change or economic crisis as forms of propaganda, and any other means of persuasion based on make-believe.

I have not read The Secret, but from your short explanation, I gather that it falls in the religion mumbo-jumbo category. I would not be surprise if the premise were that the truth of the book is based on belief, and not reason.

Today, anybody claiming any medical, religious or political solution does not need to prove it. They only need to sell it to potential believers who are currently very open to this type of mumbo-jumbo. And if you dare to question or criticise, you shall be labelled as an atheist, a racist, a liberal, a fascist...


I think the mumbo-jumbo has existed for a long, long time, and so have those who are its perfect "buyers". The difference today is how it´s sold. With the help of internet, more sofisticated marketing techniques and the enormous fear that we feel (life is harder and more complicated by the minute), we´ve never been better preys to ideas like the ones expressed in the book. The more fear we feel, the more gullible we´ll be.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 11:57
English to Hungarian
+ ...
re:quantum physics Sep 30, 2008

A good thinker and scientist once said that whenever an "alternative thinker" cites quantummechanics as an explanation for observable real world phenomena, you know they're trying to scam you. The field is so unfathomable and complex that only people with the relevant degrees and serious brains get what it's about - and they know better than to say idiocies like the origin of the world is a thought. A thought of whom for god's sake?
Just like homeopaths claiming that quantummechanics explains how water remembers what substances it had been in contact with.

It's the textbook example of how unscrupulous liars and diagnosable nutcases abuse/confuse the gullible, and makes it crystal clear that the book in question does not have a word worth reading.



"+ Is it within reasonable boundaries to change your way of thinking, or even the way you live, out of reading a book?"
Yes of course, if you happen upon a profoundly insightful book. Hopefully that won't be a random pile of comforting platitudes and filthy lies like the secret seems to be, or else you're SOL.


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:57
Spanish to English
Don't know the book but... Sep 30, 2008

If I were to have a religion, I would like one of the old tried and tested ones

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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:27
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Napolean Hill says pretty much the same thing Sep 30, 2008

I haven't read the book you mention, but have read several of Napolean Hill's books including his main one, Think And Get Rich.

He says pretty much the same thing and in a hell-of-a persuasive manner.

He says everything is in our thoughts. If we think of something we can make it happen, however weird or impossible it might seem at first sight. All that we need to do is dream desparately about as if the world would end if don't get what we want, and we would get it.

A lot of religions also say the same thing. What is faith, if not belif in the thoughts that are put into our minds by religions?


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