You really know that people or ideas have reached a meaningful level of familiarity when they make an appearance in pop culture. But when jokes fly, what does that mean?
I caught a commercial the other day for that TV series 30 Rock. One of the characters is trying to start a secret Santa gift exchange at the office and right away the objections came.
“But (so and so) is Jewish.”
“And Jenna practices The Secret.”
Cut to Jenna, who recites her positive affirmation “I’m going to marry George Clooney!”
Whoaaaaahhh! Yeah, Jenna is portrayed as the stereotypical dumb blonde, a self-centered and flighty actress. Jenna, simplistic follower of the Kabbalah, possibly involved with Scientology, is of course the one on the show who would embrace something as ridiculous as the ideas presented in the The Secret, right?
Is that how pop media views The Secret?
Yes, pop culture tends to poke fun at many belief systems that in themselves are respected by a large following (such as the Jewish Kabbalah and the Church of Scientology). Apparently, many are under the unfortunate impression that the Law of Attraction as presented in the movie The Secret is just the latest New Age fad.
The movie The Secret does not present a new belief system, but has only repackaged a concept that has been around for a long time – perhaps thousands of years. You see ideas based on the Law of Attraction in Vedic teachings, Judeo-Christian writings, and in the writings of businessmen in the early 20th century. It is a life concept that can be apparent to anyone who takes the time to notice.
My son has been driving for only a couple of years, so he is still learning how to deal with various traffic situations. There is one lane-merge situation that he encounters every day on the way to school that has caused him a lot of stress. After turning right onto a major street he needs to merge left in order to get out of a lane that becomes a freeway on-ramp. During regular commute times this can be a bit of a challenge and he’s mentioned coming close to having an accident several times.
So the other day we’re talking and tells me “remember that intersection that I’ve been having trouble with? Well, I decided that instead of dreading how hard it’s going to be each time, I told myself that it will not be a problem.”
Apparently, he did more than just tell himself – he actually believed that this would have some effect.
“It’s weird, but ever since then the traffic has not been bad. The same situations that made it so difficult don’t come up any more.”
And then came the revelation.
“Heyyyy, this is just what that DVD you had us watch was talking about!”
Of course he was referring to The Secret. Then he asked how all these people got together to come up with these concepts for the Law of Attraction. I told him that each person is relating information based on their own experiences, and many people just noticed how things worked in the course of their lives – much like he took note of his own small experience.
So, the movie The Secret has slickly packaged the ideas behind the Law of Attraction and contributed to spreading these concepts throughout modern society. But the ideas are not new. They’ve been experienced by people throughout history – some in small ways while others have worked to gain mastery over the process with great success. I’m sure you’ve noticed events in your own life that indicate that life is not a jumble of random events in which we are helplessly swept along. We see these ideas in most religions, too, in the emphasis on prayer and faith.
It’s not confined to any particular religion, faith, or movement. And it’s definitely no joke.
Check out this one minute intro into recent studies in the power of intention.