Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Secret... of Assumed Mechanisms

Having learnt recently of the forthcoming visit of The Secret interviewee and chiropractor John F Demartini to London I thought I would finally get round to posting on the dread subject astral calling.

Astral calling, or the law of attraction, or whatever you want to call it follows, in all its guises, the following stages; the window dressing may differ, but the core is the same.

1) write down what it is that you want.
2) consciously permit yourself the thing that you want
3) look out for and pursue any opportunities to achieve what you want.

As I say, the rituals of 1 may vary. Tell everyone, tell no-one, stick it in a box, write it in a tin and bury it, say it out loud to the stars at midnight. The point is, though, that most people's goals are woolly and vague. Generally speaking people know that they don't want whatever it is they already have, but rarely get to a point where they sit down and establish something that they would like to have. Within the context of astral calling, then, point 1 serves two important functions - it allows the person doing the calling to establish concretely what it is they want but it also lays down a parameter of success.

Once the person has decided what it is they want, then they must allow themselves to have it. This is a fair bit of deprogramming - to tackle one's own guilt at, or fear of, achievement. More important than this, the person is taking their pipedream and changing their attitude to it so it becomes an achievable goal. This becomes absolutely vital for the next phase.

If we return to our average non-achiever, another thing holding them back is the likelihood that they are risk-averse and non-opportunistic. Even if they've decided what it is they really want, they are probably pessimistic enough to believe their ambition is unattainable, so they simply will not try. We can, rather sadly, add fear of failure to fear of success, pushing an individual into a position where they daren't even make an attempt. Astral calling breaks that by instructing its advocates that once a goal has been decided on, opportunities will be drawn to them, that success will virtually fall into the person's lap. What occurs, though, is that people will start to recognise opportunities that were always there, and will even be in a position to take things that aren't prima facie opportunities, that don't have anything directly to do with the goal, and turn them into stepping stones towards achieving that goal. The last aspect of this phase is that individual failures are shrugged off but the pursuit continues. The knowledge that the opportunities are out there means that the individual moves away from the "you only get one chance" mentality, and failure really can become a learning experience on the way to success.

So here, in summary, is what is happening - someone is defining their goal, they are creating an attitude whereby they will pursue that goal, they will take opportunities and risks in order to achieve that goal. What amazes me about this is that it is so simple, and in a sense so humanist. There's an aspect of freeing oneself in order to achieve success which is actually quite moving. It seems, though, that it isn't moving enough. What I have described is the mechanism of astral calling, but most sources of astral calling suggest this is not mechanism but method, that the mechanism lies elsewhere.

Here's the other side of the three phases.

1) you describe what you want - something out there listens to you
2) you allow yourself to have it - something out there listens to you
3) you take opportunities and risks as they arise - something sends them to you.

Opinion varies on the something. Some say it's the universe (which is kind of a handy get out considering you're part of the universe too). Others, like Joel Osteen, will tell you that it's God listening and responding. There is a strong and definite suggestion by many of its proponents that whatever is out there responding to what we have written on a bit of paper and buried in the garden is a universal and intelligent force. But this process does not require the existance of such a force. It is akin to saying that God powers your bicycle, and you call on God to power the bicycle by working the pedals. Not only is it a ludicrous suggestion, it's also demeaning to the pedal-pushers, robbing humankind of achievement so that those laurels can be handed to a fictional genie.

Oh, and because I couldn't fit it in anywhere else, The Secret is not quantum mechanics. What are they talking about?


  1. One of my favourite Jon Ronson pieces touches on astral calling, or 'cosmic ordering' as Noel Edmonds describes it:

  2. There was a book called Name it and Claim it that my mom read that had all the "secrets" explained: You must not have a single doubt that what you've decided you want will actually occur. The woman who wrote it had such strong faith that if she entered a sweepstakes that had a kitchen remodel as the prize, she started tearing out her kitchen as soon as she posted her entry.

    Great blog, enjoy it, will be back.

    A couple of anti-scn blogs you will undoubtedly like:

    Both are excellent, very articulate and very specific.

  3. I realise I never thanked you for this comment, Cathy. You did well to recommend the blogs!


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