Tuesday, February 20, 2007

SECRET #4: The House on the Hill

One of my largest issues with The Secret were the examples used. A couple of people talked about how they manifested these huge houses. Houses that are, in no way shape or form, sustainable for the planet.

Now, I’m not stupid. I know why they used them as examples. They’re very tangible, demonstrable examples. They make good examples. And that’s fine. - I don’t fault them for that at all. What I fault them for is the lack of conversation around it. There’s not even a footnote saying, “okay, huge houses are just an example - but let’s not manifest those because they’re so unsustainable.” In fact, the implied message (given the fact that the manifestors still live there) is that living in this sort of luxury is fine. Desirable even. It’s evidence that you’re using “The Secret.”

Utterly lacking in the film is any conversation about “what exactly should we be manifesting.” And because of the lack of that conversations there’s actually a very clear message - the status quo is okay.

But the status quo is killing us.

So, here’s the point. The whole movie is about the incredible power of “The Secret”. It tells us that unlimited power is right at our fingertips if we’ll only learn to direct our attention, feel the feelings of it being manifested and then give thanks for it coming to pass.

Another implied message here is that “everyone can and should enjoy the north american standard of life”. Of course, if you contest this then you might be told that you are into fear and scarcity. That the world is abundant and that the ‘invisible hand’ of the new age will work it all out.

But, and it’s depressing to have to restate such basic things, it would take seven planets just as mines and waste dumps to do that.

The status quo is capitalism, the free market and the corporation etc. And by not commenting on them (in fact by subtly supporting them through a myriad of choices) the film supports them.

* * *

Let’s be real: civilized humanity is about as mature as a 4 year old. We’ve become profoundly narcissistic, self involved and selfish.

If you were dealing with a spoiled four year old, would you give them more power? Is that what they need? Or might you need to have a conversation with them and set some limits? There’s a reason that the four year olds are not the village chiefs. There’s a process of being raised up with the wisdom and love of the community required before they are ready to lead their people. To give someone power does not (and this is so obvious I can’t believe I’m writing it) give them wisdom. Great power may come with great responsibility - but this doesn’t mean that the responsibility will be honoured. It’s axiomatic - “if you want to know someone - give them power.”

Well, civilized culture has had power for almost 10,000 years - how are we doing?

So, is the conversation we need really about how to become more powerful?

Or is there perhaps another conversation about the nature of power and the responsibilities of it. Perhaps we need to first face what we’ve done with our power. Perhaps we need to understand how profoundly sick and traumatized we’ve become in this system.

Maybe we need healing.

And this is part of the issue - the fish are always the last to discover water. How do you know when you’re in the Matrix if it’s all you’ve ever known?

The truth is that we’re profoundly, deeply sick and colonized. But we don’t recognize it.

One symptom of this: we see the world as full of resources we are entitled to exploit (and if we’re really, really progressive then we see the world as full of resources that we have a responsibility to steward well). But what goes unquestioned is that these are resources. In traditional communities the trees and water would be considered relatives not resources.

* * *

We are sick.

Imagine this: infinite power in hands of the traumatized.

Imagine this: infinite power in the hands of a rapist.

Of course - our culture isn’t raping the planet. And our culture is not traumatized.


Anonymous said...

Kudos to the last three lines here....

Laurie Varga said...

This a great post, as is the one before it. I'm relieved (and yet still saddened at the state of things) that there are at least a handful of us who are not so easily deceived by this new age "wisdom". Immaturity and a lack of responsibility are so rampant that they, at the very least, need to be named for what they are.