Like Po the Kung Fu master wannabe discovered in ‘Kung Fu Panda’ – there is no secret ingredient, so shall the readers. The power that has created such frenzy lies in one word.
Rhonda Byrne believes everyone has power over their circumstances, and yet their lives careen out of control. Throughout history, anyone with a good life has, knowingly or unknowingly, used the ‘Power’. The rest are oblivious to its life changing potential and mope around sadly.
The premise here is simply – if you want something – it is yours for the taking; health, wealth, happiness, career, successful relationships – all yours.
Finding this power does not require any major suspension of disbelief. Ancient records attest to its existence. It manifests itself in the form of inexplicable moments like a charmed life, that incredible comeback, a miraculous recovery, an unexpected stroke of good fortune. Those who have seen it in action may know it by different names – will power, faith or serendipity.
For Ms. Byrne it is simpler. The secret that the world has been waiting with bated breath to hear is the love that resides within each of us.
Wait what? Love! At first the revelation comes across as a bit of an anticlimax. All the secrecy, that incredibly moving you tube video, the label announcing that this is the ‘handbook to the greatest power in the universe’ – that was about l’amore?
Rhonda does not refer to love in vague terms but equates it with other forces of nature like gravity or electromagnetism. Their existence is indisputable and love happens to be in the same category but is far more formidable.
This love is not just a feeling but a positive force, the only one of its kind and governed by laws of attraction which happen to be the most powerful laws in the universe. Properly harnessed, it can give complete control over every little aspect of life. She assigns extraordinary powers to emotions. ‘Positivity’ begets ‘positivity’, and vice versa.
Apparently, this is science and not some kind of voodoo. “Whether your thoughts and feelings are good or bad, they return as automatically and precisely as an echo”. She asserts that such emotions have magnetic frequencies and this magnetism attracts everything towards you. Feelings also determine the polarity of this field (good feelings = positive frequency of love), attracting people, events and circumstances that happen to be on a similar frequency. Job (3:25) backs her on this. “For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me”.
It is like that old adage “you are what you eat”, only here “you are what you feel” and what you feel is what you get. Taking feelings off auto pilot is therefore recommended because reacting to the negative with bad feelings attracts more negativity. She then takes it further – one can have anything just by visualizing it. “Imagine it, feel it, receive it.” Personal experiences follow on the heels of this startling observation.
This sounds suspiciously easy. One just has to be happy and give happiness to receive happy things, and by occasionally wishing peace and goodwill for mankind, ones hearts desires will magically appear at the door?
Well, yes. And no.
There is a process. Using ‘The Power’ calls for engaging with the Universe and making it a part of every day life requires major adjustments. One must take hate, greed, envy, malice, irritability, despair, doubts & insecurities out of business and put love in charge.
This is not the first time Rhonda Byrne has made such claims. A few years ago she came across a secret that had been passed on through centuries. Sharing that knowledge in her bestseller (appropriately named ‘The Secret’) made her an instant phenomenon. That knowledge has reportedly transformed tens of millions of lives across the globe. ‘The Power’ unearths patterns in seemingly random events adding another layer to the tale.
As for financial security that everyone craves but not everyone gets – her analysis is that majority of the worlds’ wealth is in the hands of a few percent and redistributing the money will not alter this ridiculous fact. Money will find its way back to a select few who magnetize it back to them. “The force of love moves all the money and riches in the world and it moves it according to the law.”
The solution? “Change the way you feel about money, the amount of money in your life will change. The better you feel about money, the more money you magnetize to yourself”. Apparently desire for money is not enough. Money will stick only if it is not being repelled by ones insecurities. Constantly worrying about it is a repellent. Generosity is always nice.
Her guide to getting career, relationships or health back on track advocates letting love dictate terms instead of other emotions. She is joined by historians, prophets, philosophers, scientists, poets and playwrights who appear to have some inkling of the Power’s potential.
So if people were to subscribe to this notion, they would go around being nice to everyone – all the time. They would stop complaining and be grateful for every little thing. They might get their dream house, job, spouse, car, horse, life simply by willing it. They would be able to manipulate their age and take control of their health by reprogramming their bodies. Jet lag, for instance would be a thing of the past. Mind over matter would always be in style. Sporadic acts of kindness would be the rage. Man would be one step closer to finding salvation.
‘The Power’ promises to help everyone who has a rendezvous with destiny, keep their appointment just by changing their outlook.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Price: Rs. 1,495.00
Available at Liberty Books
Afrah Jamal is a Columnist for Daily Times & former Editor Social Pages