Last year’s film release, The Secret, makes no secret about it’s intentions: to let the world know that humanity is on the brink of a new era. This new era will open up to humanity unleashed power, riches, creativity and all that we ever dreamed of. A “secret” that has been locked away for centuries is now available to all.
The film, available only on DVD or online, is promoted by celebrities like Oprah and Larry King, and according to one celebrity on the film (Dr. Joe Vitale), in just a few days (Feb. 8th), Oprah will air a special about the film. Such promotion has helped to make the film an incredibly popular one, as can be seen by Amazon ranking, which puts the DVD in the #1 position for DVDs. According to a News & Observer article, “‘Secret’ Spreads Around the World,” 700,000 copies of the DVD have sold since its release last March.
News & Observer explains just how this “Secret” works:
In the film, viewers learn to ask for what they want. And, if they believe it, they will receive it.
It sounds simple enough, but here’s the catch: If you’re cynical, sad, depressed and resigned that nothing will change, nothing will. Thoughts are so powerful, the teachers insist, that you attract what you think about, even if you don’t want it. Get it?1
It’s these “teachers,” both ones from the past and present day ones, that The Secret uses to reveal this hidden knowledge. Present day teachers include Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), John Gray (Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus), and an assortment of philosophers, writers, and visionaries who share their insights on the “Secret”:
“We have a magnificent inner calling, vision, mission, power inside us that we are not honoring and harnessing,” says philosopher and “Secret” teacher John Demartini in a recent telephone interview. “This movie brings it to the forefront that we can [harness that power].”2
Larry King calls the DVD the “most profound information he has run across in 40 years.”
The film focuses on the “law of attraction” and was produced by Australian-born screenwriter and producer Rhonda Byrne, who after a series of setbacks in her own life, discovered that past personalities like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and others had this secret knowledge, and Byrne came to believe that it “was part of every religion, including Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.”
In the trailer of the movie, it begins by showing a genie from a lamp, who tells the beholder “your wish is my command.” Research analyst Ray Yungen explains this concept:
[T]the genie represent[s] the Higher Self, who was reached through meditation by staring at the flame of an oil lamp. It was believed that a person could have whatever he or she wanted, once in touch with it. Our word genius comes from this Latin word for spirit guide and now means a person with great creative power.3
The premise of this is that we all have a divine essence within us, and we just need to get in touch with it. In other words, as panentheists teach, God is in all of creation, including all human beings, and once a person becomes aware of this, there are no limits to what he can achieve. Yungen elaborates:
Once a person merges with the Higher Self, he is on his way to empowerment, meaning he is capable of creating his own reality. Basically, all power is within the Higher Self, so when one is in tune with it, he can run his own show….
Metaphysicians believe that we all create our own circumstances anyway, so when we are guided and empowered by our Higher Self, we can consciously co-create with it.4
What is so alarming about The Secret is that it shares the same mystical view as the contemplative prayer movement, which is that all is one. The Secret film constantly makes reference to “the universal mind.” This is the same mindset that Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Tilden Edwards had. Listen:
“The human family is one in God’s spirit”–Edwards5
Thomas Merton said he believed that all religions share “the experience of divine light”6
Nouwen believed that “it is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is”7
The “universal mind” in The Secret is the same as the unity of all that exists and this is exactly what is found among the “Christian” contemplative masters.
With the church’s fascination and embracing of meditation through the contemplative prayer movement (i.e., spiritual formation), the film further gives the green light to millions of Christians to be ushered deeper into mysticism. While less than a million people have thus far bought the DVD, everyone knows that when a product has Oprah’s signature of approval on it, sales automatically soar to astronomical levels, and Christian women are a huge segment of Oprah’s audience.
Without exaggeration, meditation is becoming an integral part of our society, in every facet: education, business, government, entertainment, health and religion. And with most Christian leaders promoting contemplative spirituality to at least some degree, Christendom is being affected dramatically. When Alice Bailey, who coined the term New Age and was instructed by her spirit guide, said that the age of enlightenment was going to come, not around the Christian church but rather through it, her “prophecy” may be coming to pass. Just last year, Fox Home Entertainment released a film called Be Still, an infomercial for contemplative prayer, in which numerous well known and highly respected Christian leaders took part. And nearly every major online Christian bookstore is selling books that promote New Age style meditation, which has a premise that all paths lead to God and divinity is within every human being thus removing the need for a Savior. If this promotion and embracing of meditation keeps up, then there really will be “a new era for humankind.” But it will be an era that the Bible warns about when it says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
This coming week, when Oprah shows her special about the The Secret, please be praying that women (and men) watching this show will see this as further seduction into a mystical realm that is void of the gospel of the true God and Light, Jesus Christ.
3. For Many Shall Come in My Name, 1st Ed.,p. 14.
4. Ibid., pp. 11-12.
5. A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 43.
6. Ibid., p. 60.
7. Ibid., p. 63.