“The Secret” reinforces an important message of taking inventory of our thoughts and focusing them in a positive direction to create life changes that we desire. This is a wonderful message, yet without critical examination and thoughtful application, the ideas can prove unskillful in our interactions with individuals who suffer.
The idea that we attract everything through our thoughts is on the one hand a powerful message. However, it can also be a dangerous message when taken to an extreme perspective. We can end up blaming victims for their plight, such as: Individuals in poverty, survivors of disasters, the disabled or the abused.
I believe that at critical moments such as with Hurricane Katrina or with the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, our desire to alleviate suffering is most important. The extreme perspective can also assign wrongful thinking for causing diseases or illnesses. I feel uncomfortable when positive thinking is taken this far because it can allow us to become distant from another person’s need or suffering, since we can at some level just say, “Well, they must have brought this upon themselves.”
If taken to an extreme this perspective of our thoughts alone ultimately influencing the universe can approach arrogance. Certainly our thoughts, intentions and our ability to select our reaction to events are powerful tools for personal transformation, yet this message needs to be balanced with humility and compassion. Thoughts play an important role, yet at times our response needs to come from the heart not the head..
At a human level, we need to balance our positive thinking attitudes with compassion for ourselves and others. When individuals are in need, our hearts need to respond to them with empathy, care and understanding. If our positive thoughts disconnect us from compassion, then even if we succeed at an individual level, we may fail at a social level – we may achieve material success but lose our “soul” in the process.
When we approach positive thinking or “the law of attraction” with a mechanical attitude, then we risk limiting our growth to self-interest rather than growing in our compassion. From a higher perspective, we know that spiritual growth starts within our hearts and is not limited to our thoughts alone. The mind and heart work in harmony in order to create a life that is fulfilling at all levels.
In “NEXUS: A Neo Novel” our focus has been on personal transformation of people who in one way or another are stuck. Through the journey of people in our book, we discover many insights to expand both our mind and our heart – to develop a positive mind along with a compassionate heart.
Peace & blessings,
Co-author of Nexus