After this deeply discombobulating introduction, the rest of the DVD contains interviews with experts boasting such titles as Visionary, Philosopher, Feng Shui Consultant, Metaphysician and Quantum Physicist, intercut with footage of miracles or disasters befalling an extremely unattractive cast of actors. Oddest of all are the cameos from other self-help sages - Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul pops up, as does John Gray of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus fame. The message is clear. Leaders in a variety of fields endorse the Law of Attraction.
"Do you want to be a millionaire?" demands one of the interviewees, apparently oblivious to the fact that there is a levitating silver key rotating incessantly beside his head. Behind him, and all the others, is a sepia backdrop adorned with Da Vinci-esque quill-and-ink scrawls to emphasise their wisdom. The leaders of the past wanted to keep us ignorant, the experts explain, but thankfully now The Secret's out. Cut to an inexplicably sweaty Aladdin rubbing his lamp, from which the genie emerges - a metaphor, we learn! Our wish is the world's command. We just have to begin commanding. Whatever we think about will come into our lives, and once again it is equally true for our negative thoughts. Car accidents are referenced frequently. When your Audi was scratched last month it was because you were too focused on the negative - one presumes that when a child is killed in a hit and run, his parents have only themselves to blame for not teaching him to think positively.
Dismissing the Law of Attraction need not require that we resign hope, or abandon a more traditional concept of positive thinking for a perpetual and Eeyore-ish state of gloom. But its encouragement of self-delusion is destructive; as is the wholesale dismissal of the value of work and investment; as is the insidious insistence that we are all responsible for everything, all the time. Learning the boundary between self and non-self is one of the newborn's earliest lessons, and returning to an infantile state of unrelenting egocentricity cripples generous human interaction while making a sense of failure unavoidable. Readers can do nothing but feel disappointed in themselves for poor effort whenever life is anything other than perfect, meanwhile anxiously awaiting the sequel in order to learn how to vibrate better. A more modest volume that offers instruction on time-management is ultimately likely to make you happier.
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