Book Reviews

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – Book Review

The last review that I published was of the celebrated self-help book called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I love reading novels (check out my 10 reasons why novels are so awesome!) but am not a big fan of self-help books. Even The Monk… book was picked up by me because it was so famous that I wanted to be able to claim that I have read it. 

However, after that dose of philosophy, spiritualism, and self-help commonsense, I was in the mood of some real entertainer. I looked at my bookshelf. The list of still-to-be-read books on it is getting longer and longer, as the free time on my hands is getting shorter and shorter. Anyway, the book that urged me most insistently to read it was The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. And you know well, where there is a secret, there always exists an urge to unravel it. (This is an old review that was first published on a book review site which is now dead. It was written when The Secret was still very new. And I hadn’t purchased the copy that I had, so I knew nothing about it.)

The Secret book review

So, I chose The Secret to be my taste-changing, mouth-watering entertainer after the somber lessons of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I fluffed my pillows and perked them up against my bed’s backrest. Then I settled down, pulling my quilt right up to my ear, and keeping my fingers just enough out of it to enable them to hold the book. 

The mood was set for me to delve deep into the thrilling mystery and to unravel some exciting, surprising secret.

Alas, the very first page told me how mistaken I was. For open before me was yet another self-help book! And this one didn’t even make a pretence at any sort of fiction, unlike ‘Monk…’ It didn’t even have unified prose. Instead, the book proceeds by bringing before the readers various messages and words by the followers of The Secret. And by these various teachings and words of various masters of the ‘The Secret,’ the book urges the reader to learn the secret and tries to convince that this secret is so powerful that it can make the Universe to obey your whims and fancies. With the Secret in your possession, life would be like browsing through a catalogue of wishes. You just name what you want, and the universe would do everything to get it to you.

And now, of course, we come to the question, what is that Secret? The Secret is that our thoughts have a great power of attraction. If we think negative thoughts, the Universe will think negativity is what we want and that is what it will give us. On the other hand, if we think positive thoughts and really FEEL and BELIEVE that we will get what we want, then the Universe will catch those positive signals and give us what we want. Kind of like what Shah Rukh Khan said in Om Shanti Om, ‘Kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho toh poori kaynath tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.’ Same thing says the book, only SRK looks cuter saying it.

Now, I do sincerely believe in the power of positive thinking and a positive attitude and know the value of having trust in one’s abilities and hopes in one’s future. But my belief stems from reason more psychological, than metaphysical. Besides, the incidents mentioned in the book like a boy visualizing a unique feather and then finding the same feather at his foot two days later because of his power of thoughts sounds too good to be true.

However, the book does make you feel good. I felt that just reading that my thoughts could be so powerful filled me up with cheer and positive energy. And it basically teaches the value of positive thinking, positive feelings, power of self-belief, and the value of gratitude and appreciation of life. And no one can deny the positive effects of any of these qualities. So, even if we leave the metaphysical, the book would still teach you a lot and make you feel good about yourself.

Now comes the question of whether I believe in the Secret revealed in the book. Well, I do, for the time being. Everything is worth giving a try. And for a change, it would be fun opening up the catalogue of wishes and ordering the Universe what we desire. So, dear Universe, take a pen and paper please, here comes my list of demands…

* Despite this being an old review, and despite the fact that the Universe seems to be taking her royal time in fulfilling my orders, I do still believe in the power of positive thinking. If nothing else, it is still a great way to keep yourself strong.

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