The extract below is excerpted from the blogpost that I linked underneath it.
The difference between The Secret (law of attraction) and The Work of Byron Katie:
The Secret: “You can have whatever you want.”
The Work: “You can want whatever you have.”
The Secret: “My will be done. I know what’s best for me.”
The Work: “Thy will be done (=Thy will is done). What’s best for me is what actually happens.” (In A Thousand Names for Joy, Katie says, “God’s will and your will are the same, whether you notice it or not.”)
The Secret: “You can control your thoughts.”
The Work: “You are not the thinker. It’s not possible to suppress your stressful thoughts. But when you question them, they let go of you.”
The Secret: “You can manifest your positive thoughts as reality.”
The Work: “Reality already is the best thing that could be manifested. When you realize this, you’re home free.
— By Stephen Mitchell, Byron Katie’s husband
The Difference Between The Work and The Secret - Blog for The Work of Byron Katie
Dear Katie, I've been hoping "The Secret" craze would pass as quickly as the Hula-Hoop, then this afternoon I saw it…
“You can have whatever you want.” … no you can’t. Or well you might be able to. It depends on how skillful you are at getting it.
“You can want whatever you have.” … no you can’t. Or well you might be able to. It depends on how skillful you are at your emotional management. It’s clearer to talk about accepting what you have than wanting what you have (because “wanting” is implicitly about something you don’t have). Jordan Peterson asserts that humans are, in our very nature, goal directed, and being oriented towards goals stabilises our emotional management. And the whole point about goals is that something that is not currently the case is better than what is currently the case.
“My will be done. I know what’s best for me.” … no it won’t. Or well it might be, but it depends on how skillful you are.
“Thy will be done (=Thy will is done). What’s best for me is what actually happens.” … If we’re talking about the universe, I don’t think it has a will. The universe is not a human being. I guess it could have something that might be analogous to will.
“You can control your thoughts.” … This is approximately true, although not directly. Humans can control their actions, at least within certain parameters, or possibly better said: humans are their actions. And your actions, in particular the things you say and the things you listen to, give rise to your thoughts.
“You are not the thinker.” … This is also approximately true. Although it is much easier to say things that humans are not than what they are. I think a good first and easy to understand approximation is to say that humans are the actions they take in the world.
“You can manifest your positive thoughts as reality.” … yes, as above, this depends on your skillset.
“Reality already is the best thing that could be manifested.” … hmmm. Reality certainly is astonishingly impressive. The tricky / mischevious word here is “could” … what is that supposed to mean? As opposed to what?
So why am I making such a big deal about skill?
The following article shows why…