Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saturn in Virgo Calls Bullshit on The Secret/Law of Attraction Phenomenon

(Here's one last purge of old Piscean energy as Venus, Mars and the Moon sit on the final degree of the zodiac. By the time you've had your first cup of coffee tomorrow morning, the Moon and Mars will be in Aries. By the wee hours Friday morning, Venus will be in Aries, too...)

As one of my forays into the world of the New Age movement, I worked at a New Age wellness centre in Calgary a few years ago (for a split second) that preached "wholistic health" (yes, they spelled it with a "w"). 

At that time, most of the people there were over the moon for The Secret and fervently promoted the crap out of it, day in, day out. They had regular screenings of the low budget video and had a 20-year-old "Belief Repatterning Practitioner" at the ready to cleanse you of your "negative beliefs." (For about $80 per session or so - should only need three to six sessions!)

When I wouldn't submit to a "belief repatterning session," the owner of the business whipped out the New Age passo aggro in record time, telling me she was sorry I wasn't "open to new modalities" but she hoped that one day I would be. She also snuck a snide little dig in there about my unfortunate "inability to manifest."

God. What a fucking hack.

That dissenting view was the beginning of the end for Willow at "Love and Light Central."

The thing I couldn't get behind then - one of many things - was the absolute lack of any sociological context involved in the promotion and application of these ideas. The large majority of people who bought and/or provided services in that place were middle to upper-middle class, urban, white people (or identified with that group).

So to have them saying, "Oh, people in bad situations are choosing it for themselves. They're keeping themselves there due to their negative thinking, etc. My life is great! I've manifested everything I ever wanted because I know how to apply the law of attraction 'positively.'" That just didn't fly with me. And still doesn't.

These people seemed to have absolutely zero understanding of their own societal context (upper-middle class urban white folks - even the hippie lookin' motherfuckers) or of the influence of systemic roots related to human conditions. There was no understanding of any kind of interconnection between/among conditions, either. IE. that an owner might be rich because his labourers are poor. He is rich because of a power structure that allows him to reap the benefits of the labour and effort of other people, not because he "manifested his abundance" magically.

So you know that brand new Escalade you're patting yourself on the back for "manifesting?" Well, think about all the people who actually made that Escalade happen. There were the workers in the factories shaping the raw materials. Then the people in the auto plants who built the thing. These people do manual labour day in and day out (and many have been laid off at this point). Then there are the truck drivers who loaded 'er up and drove the thing to the car dealership, hopping themselves up on speed so they can meet their mileage quotas. There are the guys out working on rigs, being hurt and killed to drill oil to run the thing, drinking themselves silly to get through another -20 day of work in the winter. There are soldiers fighting and dying (and killing, of course) for access to Middle Eastern oil to run that big bitch. And there are women who are expected to somehow emotionally deal with the results of all this and prop their husbands/boyfriends up for another day or week or year of this stuff while raising kids and holding down jobs of their own. Then there is the damage to Mama Earth that running these big luxury vehicles causes.

Point being, there's a lot going on with this whole "manifestation" process that people don't see, regardless of what it is they're "manifesting." And the disconnect from it fuels all the thinking that it just magically appears one day. 

Sorry, but you success stories are being propped up at every turn by people who are getting the fuzzier end of the lollipop. Pluto in Capricorn disposited by Saturn in Virgo knows this stuff.

Following this application of The Secret's ideology, it doesn't matter if you're a poor black kid born into drug-and-violence infested projects or if you're a female born into Taliban-ruled Afghanistan or if you're a rural farmer treated like a labour slave your entire life who had to leave school at 13 to work or whatever the circumstances an individual struggles with. If your life is difficult or depressing, it's the workings of your own negative thoughts and you are somehow choosing this life for yourself because you alone are "creating your reality" and you alone are responsible for changing things. If you were more "positive" and knew how to "manifest," you would be one of the success stories, instead of the failure that you are.

There's little to no concept that the deck might be stacked against. Or that it might not be solely about figuring out how to "successfully" work the same old structures, capitalizing on a bad situation for your own personal gain. Or that it might be of collective responsibility to improve conditions for all people. That THAT is the real meaning of holistic health, not just eating overpriced organic food, recycling and having a colonic flush once a month. If you refuse to look at social justice issues, if you refuse to look at the power systems/structures that aid in determining who is a winner and who is a loser (and the collective beliefs holding those systems/structures in place), you're missing the point. Because those are things that need to be improved to actually create a real, meaningful holistic health.

As long as the New Age movement is happy to make its coin treating the symptoms of a sick culture, it's just capitalizing on a bad situation.

And it's just a group of navel-gazing privileged people patting themselves on the backs for being so damned successful and enlightened.

It was actually funny because that New Age business owner was a perfect example of the lack of understanding of the owner-worker sociological context. She was a person who brought new people into the fold, milked them for their talent, energy and ideas and then, once they became an ego threat to her, turfed them from the organization. All the while glorying about what a visionary success she and her business were.

Again, using and abusing other people to manifest your Grand Success is a total load. But as long as the Emperess has no clothes and no one will speak up about it, it continues.

Well, you know what? The Emperess has no clothes. She's naked as a fucking jaybird.

I decided recently, after a 1.5 year hiatus, to start posting again on an astrology message board.

Within two days of being back, I had received e-mails from three different people promoting The Secret and the so-called law of attraction to me. Of course, they don't come right out and say this. They tell me they are offering to "check my perceptions" or some such drivel.

So I was thinking, wtf? Three years later, The Secret still has this much sway?

Within a day, I see ads plastered all over the website for Beyond the Secret. Oh, yay! The Secret has a sequel. Well, blessed day.

From what I can surmise, the original created so many people blaming themselves for their "inability to manifest" and so much depression over their "inability to create the exact reality they desired" (not to mention being blamed by those shiny, happy people who DO know how to create their every desire, mostly through social privilege) that they are now shlepping a sequel with the premise: Oh, um, yeah. About that instant manifestation thing. Well, it helps if you have a plan to get your every desire! And let us show you that plan for another $29.95 in yet another seminar or yet another video/book.

So now the shame spiral created by the original has an antidote. Uhhh, yeah. And if that doesn't work, never fear!

**The Secret - $29.95
**Beyond the Secret - $29.95
**One Last Secret - $29.95
**Seriously, This is the Last Secret - $29.95
**Oops! We Forgot About This Secret... - $29.95
**OK. Really. This is the Final Secret - $29.95
**Wow. This is Getting Embarrassing, But This Is REALLY the Last Secret - $29.95

Have your credit card ready, folks, and we'll show you how to manifest a huge bill...almost instantly!


Jeannette said...

Social/Societal context is a big fricking humongous piece that is often neglected in evolution and personal growth..

Thanks for calling out the joys of having societal privileges to "manifest" whatever you want without thinking too deeply about it. Or a need to invest your personal power and wealth into a system that constantly plays into your perception of brokenness which only they can fix for about $10,000 ;) (You can't afford that-- better get to manifesting!)

I have still not fully recovered from the idea of an Ascended Master named Afra.. yes many New Agey things began to come apart for me at that point.

I sincerely hope that we all get to a point where we examine what advantages and disadvantages our socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, and country of origin bless us with in our evolutionary path... but I digress-- great post!

Willow said...

Thx for your comment, Jeannette.

I'll also add that I'd like people to look at the concept they have of success, altogether.

Is figuring out how to work the same old structures for personal gain really what we should be striving for? Is the ability to capitalize on a bad situation/other people really what a successful person is? (And then to believe you made it all happen yourself...) Not to me.

Anonymous said...

Again, your post hits the nail on the head, especially because I just had a conversation about this VERY topic with someone failing to admit that it is her husband's $200,000 plus income per year which allows her the privelege to do nothing but play. It is not Law of Attraction. I am continually amazed by what people can can justify.

Willow said...

"I am continually amazed by what people can can justify."


TammyD said...

Excellent post :)

Anonymous said...

This is why I don't have my own blog -- there's you!
Thanks once again for not only saying something important, but saying it in an amusing and profane way that comes out just about the way I'd say it to boot. Love it.

FuzzerWuzzer said...

Thank you, Willow. I know I'm a bit late to this post, but I was doing a search on Saturn in Virgo, which opposes this bad-luck-as-of-late little fish. Pisces have been getting the short end of the stick lately, and I was happy to see your comments on the Secret, which is a bunch of horsesh*t, if you ask me. I got rid of a roommate last year (which led to my eviction, actually) because she was trying to shove this "manifestation" b.s. down my throat. I come from an alcoholic and drug-addicted family and had my own therapist for years. Hence, I am not a drunk nor a drug addict (although Oreo cookies continue to be a problem). This girl was positive that I was just an evil, selfish, liar with a bad attitude. Upon her returning my key, I received a CERTIFIED--yes, you read that correctly--letter that was 17 pages long telling me what kind of person I was. Meanwhile, I was always the one who saved this girl's ass--I gave her advice, took her late night phone calls and texts, and actually saved this person from being physically attacked from a family member. Like the law says, "No good deed goes unpunished." But because I was in a bad situation financially and expected her to give me a whopping $300 rent a month--try and get a rent like that in NYC--I was a lying, manipulative, backstabbing person. Can you say "sheltered princess?" She loved the Secret because Oprah told her to read it. If Oprah told her to blow her brains out with a semi-automatic, she'd do that, too, I'm certain.

So, thank you Willow, for your common sense. It's refreshing to see that 1) I was right and 2)I'm not the only one with a brain to go with my spirituality. And no, Oprah DIDN'T tell me to write to you.

Keep up the good blogging!

Anonymous said...

I keep on loving on your old posts :)


Jo said...

Oh i agree with you wholeheartedly. Thing is, when you pose the slightest sliver of disagreement with "the secret"/law of attraction crowd, the answer is always "you just don't understand it"... I mean, I think the holocaust argument for instance, is a perfectly valid one. ( The implications of the LOA dogma are clearly uncomfortable in this example. ) However, it tends not to sit well with the LOA crowd, so the answer is always "you just don't understand it"....well... hogwash. That's just sidestepping... willful avoidance of something that is just aching for further examination. In this case, the doctrine doesn't resonate well, so the issue itself is simply overlooked. It doesn't make any sense.