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The Theory of the Secret

Feb 25, 2007

The film ' The Secret ' speaks of the Law of Attraction by which anyone can solve any problem and accomplish anything by intense aspiration. It says it is an unfailing law and adds, "Don't ask how it is accomplished, but you will have the result".


The Indian tradition is fully aware of it and also knows HOW it is accomplished. The Theory of this accomplishment was written in 1920 as part of the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. In his The Life Divine in the chapters between 13 and 24 the whole Process of Creation is detailed. Its application to human accomplishment is known to most of the followers of Sri Aurobindo. Since 1970 this knowledge is in writing under various heads, especially Life Response whose essentials are

  1. The Energy of the Universe is in an equilibrium and is creative by Self-conception.
  2. Man who is in tune with this can make Life Respond by his initiative.


The famous Indian Scripture The Bhagavad Gita says, "You can achieve anything which you aspire for." It goes further to say one can become one's aspiration.

Sri Aurobindo in the 3rd chapter of the 4th book in The Synthesis of Yoga explains this as the principle of Self Perfection and adopts this idea as the central principle of his Integral yoga.

The Ocean of creative energy hyrdya samudram is a Vedic description of the universe which the unegoistic visions of poets all over world have seen. Sri Aurobindo describes it in The Synthesis as the vision of universal consciousness of William Wordsworth. Man's ego separates itself from this universe and it is not important to him if he cannot put it to his use. But man is important to this universe (as it does not have the distinction of sizes) and wants to accomplish for him if only he permits. It is willing to accomplish for man in the universal dimension. This is the process 'Secret' does not explain.

The following are the conditions by which man can tune himself with the creative universal energy to accomplish in his life.

  1. He must intensely aspire for what he wants till his aspiration becomes a physical sensation.
  2. This sensation becoming gratitude is desirable.
  3. His initiative in outer life must be happily endorsed by his inner emotions.
  4. The decisions he takes for this must be in tune with the rules of accomplishment by being in the 1st Quadrant.
  5. The aspiration must reach the height of intensity and saturate his emotional being. The indication of that is one feels as if he has already achieved.
  6. He must be entirely positive and Patient.

In the light of these principles, this article explains the events narrated in 'The Secret' to pronounce HOW the accomplishment is arrived at. There are several other aspects of life that arise in this endeavour. To describe all those aspects theoretically will be right before taking up the examples for 'The Secret' and a few others.

            1)         Conscious vs. subconscious seeking.


            It is a common experience that past aspirations given up or forgotten come true in later life.

An idea becomes an accomplishment when the energy, organisation, and skills that serve as strategy are all in place simultaneously in adequate measure.

A young man of 20 desiring to reach a high position, in spite of his aspiration does  not have the required energy, the organisation that comes from experience, the skills that are to be patiently learnt. At the age of 55, when these are there, he attains that position even though he gave it up as impossible. Rather, it was accomplished because it was given up. When it is achieved he is taken by surprise and often does not even remember his aspiration at 20. The required conditions matured subconsciously and surfaced at 55.


'The Secret' which is aware of this process suggests to him at 40 - any time between 20 and 55 - to convert this subconscious process into conscious by an inner initiative. Hence the unfailing results. The truth is all accomplishments are first achieved in the subconscious that is subtle and emerge on the surface later. Man can by conscious intelligent intervention convert the subconscious into conscious which is abridging Time and Space.

2)         Aspiration vs. Expectation.

Both are the same, one is strong and the other is weak. They rise from the depth and surface. Each fulfils according to their structure of consciousness and strength. Sooner or later, even in the next birth they never fail to realise themselves.

3)    All the methods suggested here as well as by 'The Secret' are ways of outgrowing one's ego or at least keeping it in abeyance.

4)         Inner and Outer.

Mental consciousness sees the world as objective outer event and subjective inner feelings. As one rises to higher levels of the Mind where it can be silent or develop a vision or directly receive knowledge through intuition, the distinction becomes less. At the Supramental level they become one.

            All these methods can be described as the outer and the inner becoming one in different measures.

5)         Gratitude

The awareness of the universal energy, which is sometimes called God by the body's sensation, is Gratitude. The body thrills by that Touch. Yogic philosophy says that Mind is a smaller part of the human being and the body is a greater part of the embodied being. Obviously, the knowledge of the greater part is more powerful to accomplish. Even an idea of gratitude can initiate the process of its reaching its fullness in the body. All masters of Spirit have dwelt on this aspect copiously.

6)         Complete Act


            An act is complete when the mental idea, vital energy, physical skills are in the required measure in the plane of the act which we see only partially.

7)         The Principle of Exhaustive Effort.


            The initiative of this effort actually completes the incomplete portions of the result   one is aiming at. Such an effort completes the insufficient effort or partial organisation or imperfect skills and helps in accomplishing.

8)         Importance of the Infinitesimal - Perfection in detail.


An act is accomplished when the mental idea moves to the body's sensation via vital emotions. All the mental ideas must be rational in the context of the act, the vital enthusiasm should sufficiently energise the idea and the physical sensation of the physical skills exercised must be perfect.           

  • All men of accomplishment know the importance of the details.
  • The infinitesimal forms out of the infinite through the details of small acts.
  • At their perfection, the act completes itself.
  • In men who do not have this, life gives him through long experience subconsciously these requirements.
  • The methods of gratitude, goodwill, exhaustive effort, visualisation, feeling the joy of having the result long before it comes indirectly help the infinitesimal detail become perfect. Hence the importance of avoiding negative thoughts.

9)         The act of Self-giving.


            It makes one's Self move away from selfishness to selflessness. In the process of Self-giving one's being expands. The expansion plugs the loopholes, as it is an expansion of energy as the waves on the shore wipe out the footprints. Everyone may not be able to practise self-giving but anyone can raise the level of efficiency.

  • Efficiency is a physical method that is laborious.
  • Self-giving is an enjoyable method of the Spirit.
  • Being on the plane of the Spirit, it is inclusive of the powers of the lower plane.
  • In practising this, one goes to the depth of his being.
  • Good will is a minor mental version of this spiritual method.
  • To feel the Joy in the Joy of another is Good Will.
  • To grow by giving is Self-giving.
  • All methods of the Law of attraction can be seen as methods of blighting the Ego.

10)       Silence.


This is not one of the methods 'The Secret' advocates, but is a powerful method of accomplishing what one desires. Let us take it as Silent Will, one aspect of Silence. Suppose one has a strong wish. Ordinarily one speaks it to others as Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice does. In the same story Miss Bennet, Jane did aspire very strongly to marry Bingley, but it may be observed that in spite of participating in several balls in such a fashion as to raise the general expectation of her marrying Bingley, she never once spoke out her wish, even to her confidante Elizabeth. She could not bring herself to speak out to anyone her strong desire to marry Bingley. Her fortune travels through many ups and downs. The general expectation was belied. Circumstances changed, Bingley was brought to her and the wedding comes off.

Spiritual knowledge says thoughts are universal, and travel all over the world. It enters into the minds conducive to its entry when a man considers the thought his own. He has an urge to express it. The rule says when one refuses to express a thought that presses for expression; it chooses another for that expression often the one whom we desire to speak it out. This phenomenon known as Silent Will in spiritual life explained elsewhere is capable of accomplishing our wishes as powerfully as other methods. In fact, being of the plane of silence, which lies above the human mind, it carries a greater power of accomplishment. As there is a Silence behind speech there is a Silence behind acts. By being silent of one's aspiration the Silence behind that wish acts on the atmospheric forces and brings to fruition one's wish. It may be observed that a good number of achievers are men of few words. Silence is there behind words, ideas, thoughts, feelings, sensations and acts. Their powers vary according to the plane where they act.


11)       Life Response.


The universe is an ocean of creative energy in equilibrium. It creates by its own choice, Self-conception, by a movement. Its rhythmic movement is an equilibrium of existence in cosmos. It does not permit any other movement except what it chooses for creation. Such a movement will be a disturbance, which it readily dissolves by restoring its equilibrium. Man being the conscious tip of this energetic existence, can, by his initiative make this ocean Respond with readiness. It creates a new development of an opportunity. We call that Life Response.

  • Thus, Life can respond positively or negatively.
  • Positive Life Response creates opportunities for Man.
  • Negative Life Response that restores its equilibrium is expressed as nature's cataclysmic catastrophes.
  • Man is capable of making Life Respond.
  • Man can do so not by his surface thoughts or ideas.

                  Man can do so from the depths of his real emotions.

            In many cases in the film 'The Secret', the results are achieved by Life Response.

Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is a story about the family of Mr. Bennet. His five daughters each have an annual income of £50 and are awaiting marriage. Bingley and Darcy  come to their place. Bingley is a pleasant young man of exceedingly agreeable qualities with an annual income of £4000. Darcy with £10,000 is a stiff, aloof aristocrat of selfish character. His unthinking comment alienates Eliza, the second daughter with whom Darcy falls in love later. Neither knows the other's attitude. In this context Darcy's proposal is vehemently rejected by Eliza who changes her mind on receiving Darcy's explanation through a letter. She now loses all hopes of his renewing his proposal. By an unpremeditated action, she happens to visit Pemberly, Darcy's estate. The magnificent estate and the reports she hears there about Darcy make her shed her lingering hesitations about his character and she tells herself, "I could have been the mistress of this place". A few minutes later when she walks out of the place she runs across Darcy who has returned to Pemberly a day early. This leads to their marriage. Her own deep resentment when shed brings him face to face with her in a few minutes. This is a rare act of Life Response; an inner change brings about the outer act.

12)       Ego vs. Non-Ego.


Life Responds pleasantly when the initiative is Non-Egoistic. An egoistic initiative produces the opposite results. Here another rule acts.

  • The same act in the same circumstances produces opposite results to the initiatives of an above-average man and a below-average person.
  • The justice of Life is amoral as it is the justice of forces, not energies of goodness.
  • The above average man has strength to whose initiative Life Responds with a positive result. The below average man is weak. Life punishes him for his weakness.

            A strong employee receiving a minor punishment turns angrily against the employer who cancels the punishment and apologises. A weak employee in similar circumstances attempting the same approach loses his job.

13)       Self-conception.


The universe is Self-existent. It creates by Self-conception. Man, especially the soul in him is of this universe and therefore, he too can create what he wants once he conceives of it. Normally he lives on the surface i.e. in Nature, which does not have this power of Self-conception. The methods here suggested as well as those of the 'The Secret'' take the normal man from his surface mind to the Soul buried inside. Hence, Life responds to his initiative.

14)       Power comes from the vital energy.


Mental thoughts carry clarity, not power. The body, which is far more powerful, is inert and releases no power. The vital that accepts the idea of mind and draws upon the powers of the body is the centre of human existence. In effect, the most powerful initiatives come from the vital energies. That is why one has to initiate his acts from there.

15)       Attention to the negative energises it.

.Attention is energy. Whatever gets attention is energised. Energy is neutral whereas attention is not. Mother says it is not depression that holds on to Man but it is Man who is clinging to depression, as it is taste of ignorance.

16)       Kalyana Shraddha - Working  faith.


There is knowledge; a knowledge of the whole, that takes for granted the final outcome in spite of the present appearance. He knows the final outcome will be good.

The man who was earning $8000 a year had some kind of such a faith, which, by its power, raised him to $92,000, and 1 million. There are people who have subtle faith in their health. Often it is a subconscious faith. When the doctor finds all his efforts vain, a smile lights up their faces and they decline further medical help. When the medical help is removed, the innate health asserts itself. An asthmatic patient was so given up by the doctor. When the doctor lost hope and withdrew; she removed all the tubes from herself and quietly went to sleep. On waking, she found she was free from the malady to the doctor's surprise and they came forward to take advantage of the positive turn. For the next twenty years she never suffered again to the same extent. Something in her told her, "I know I will be all right at the end, medicine or no medicine."

The methods advocated by ‘The Secret', if believed in thus, have the power to yield the result in the end whatever the present position.

17)       In the criticism of Wikipedia it says, "people who want material wealth and happiness without having to invest any energy - or put money at risk - to achieve them. Contrary to the producer's claim that it has become ‘the fundamental philosophy of entrepreneurs', 'The Secret' is quite the opposite of the entrepreneurial mindset".

  • Intense emotional aspiration is more than equal to investing time, money or energy. He invests energy. It is noteworthy that Time is Money and Money is energy. The truth behind the examples of ‘The Secret' is energy achieves.
  • The entrepreneur believes in himself and therefore achieves. In 'The Secret', the members believe in the formula given by the film. The power issues out of the belief.

18)       Illusion and Reality.


It is a very common experience of teachers that their dull students achieve in life and brilliant ones often fail. The Reality here is the academic education is an illusion as far as achievement in life is concerned. The innate ability achieves, not the academic credentials. On hearing the formula of 'The Secret', one subconsciously shifts his centre of action to that Reality in him. It succeeds.

19)       How long it will take.

Time is an extension of mind. It is the seriousness of the mind that determines the duration taken. Each man achieves by the strength of his personality.

  • The method offered gives a more durable and strong energy to his personality. For example, visualisation needs a lot of mental energy in a concentrated form.
  • A very striking illustration of abridging ages into an instant is given by an Indian story that compares knowledge and emotion. Jnana is knowledge. Bhakta is one whose yoga has emotions as its field. Narada is a Puranic god or a sage. He met a Jnani and said he was going to Vishnu, the God and asked what he wanted from Him. The Jnani wanted to know how soon he would attain moksha liberation. Narada asked the same question to the Bhakta and he too said the same. On his return from Vishnu Narada told the Jnani that he would take a lakh of births to attain liberation. That answer made the Jnani despair and he was lost in depression. When Narada gave the same answer to the Bhakta, his face lit up and he started dancing in joy. He felt that he had already attained it. He was liberated at the end of his dance. 'The Secret' suggests that one should now feel as if he has achieved the result.
  • Time is not the same for all. To each person Time is different. Sri Aurobindo says when the outer changes into the Inner ages become a trice.

20)       The concept of an Immensity that Responds.


Mind conceiving of an Immensity expands, lifts one out of the surface mind and pushes him into the Timeless plane. The power of that conception, aided by the other parts of the method supplies the energy needed for the accomplishment.

  • Conception is of the mind.
  • Mind controls Time.
  • Mind generates power by the conceptions of Infinity or Immensity.
  • Their methods push one to this conception.
  • What achieves is power.
  • That power rises from the conception.

21)       Churchill.


There are events in the life of the world or in our own life that cannot be explained even after they happen. Scholars are at pains to know why the two World Wars were won by the Allies. Innumerable books have been written about the 1929 crash till now but they all say the cause is still not precisely known. Science that is knowledge must know the answers to that question. The Theory of Social Development framed about thirty years ago has answered those unanswered questions. In the field of literature the question of why Hamlet delayed killing his uncle is still an unanswered one. Looking at life as a whole, i.e. considering literature as part of Life, the Theory has arrived at an answer. That was the period when Mind was born in the common man, though it was first born in Socrates before the birth of Christ. This wider perspective makes the answer self-evident.

There are other events that are baffling, which are ‘simple' once some one explains them. In every adventure of Sherlock Holmes the victim, the police, newspaper readers and Watson are unable to know what happened or how Holmes discovered it. After Holmes tells what he did, everything looks simple.

  • Each one of the 53 adventures of Holmes can be easily explained if we see the event as part of a whole context. Holmes observes the whole of life, sees each detail in the context of the whole event and wherever necessary extends his quest to the whole of Life. In "The Red-Headed League", it was clear to Holmes that there was a conspiracy from the beginning. The description of the half pay assistant brings to his mind a famous criminal. The proximity of a bank raises a suspicion. The hollow sound below the road confirms it.
  • Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, Churchill's winning the World War may now be explained from historical circumstances but one who does so faced with a similar situation now may not know how to proceed or take similar decisions. The Secret gives him a method. We try to explain the process. While Churchill delivered an inspiring speech he felt as if he had won the war. His listeners on the radio received the same sensations from him. They were exhilarated as though the war was won. Thus the result was created in the subtle plane first. Later it became a Reality. Those who now can explain the ‘cause' readily forget that in any event there are hundreds of parts, each of which could have taken a different course. The Decision taken earlier directs the cause of events as it actually happened.
  • Churchill was a dynamic hero. He was not one who is thrilled by an adventure at the front. He belonged to the Marlborough family, which distinguished at Blenheim. He constantly sought adventure for its own sake. He did not even think of the outcome. It was inconceivable for him in terms of surrender. So he said they would fight in the land, in the sea, in the air, in the towns, in the villages, in the lanes and in their graves. The British public and soldiers responded from the same depth in them. They felt the JOY of fighting; they actually felt they had won. At that moment the war was won. This is the method recommended. No wonder it is unfailing.

22)       Why NOW?

Why does the world listen to the Truth known for so long is a question that needs an answer. An answer to this question itself will help us utilise this method more fully.

  • A selfish man tries to possess his discovery, preventing the world from benefiting.
  • A small personality cannot serve a wider cause.
  • It is not a mere thought but a lived experience of the author.
  • Man does not so much seek knowledge as prestige. He can accept knowledge from those who are valued today. Maharishi's Yoga became popular only when he acquired American disciples. His yoga was age-old in India but never spread here.
  • So far the great teachers wrote or spoke in the physical plane whose reach is small. Now media can reach all over the world and it is not in the physical plane but is bordering on the subtle plane.
  • This is the period when all the psychological infrastructure is available for a certain knowledge to spread.
  • An impersonal knowledge cannot be received by a population that is personal. Now the population is becoming less personal and more impersonal.
  • A universalised knowledge is more powerful and spreads widely, not one possessed for one's own gratification.
  • Man does not want to learn from another but wants to learn by his own effort. Individuality, at that level, is being formed recently.


23)       Austerlitz.


Napoleon devised a strategy from the widest perspective with a full knowledge of the details and believed in it, which made the impossible possible. It has gone into history as a wonder. An ill-provided small army was able to defeat a bigger opponent because of a well-conceived strategy.

  • What ‘The Secret' offers everyone is the general version of such a strategy. It is unfailing. Not even one occasion of failure is possible. But even such a result from 8000 dollars to $ 1 million is the minimum result as it is a general version.
  • To avail of the maximum benefit,

▬  The general version must be made particular to your own personality.

▬  There can be a particular version suited to the goal you have chosen.

▬  Instead of seeking your goal, you must leave the goal to the universe.

▬  Ego in any form must be dissolved.

▬  Reliance must be entirely shifted to the inner consciousness.

24)       Mahatma Gandhi.


For the first time in history Gandhiji conceived of non-violent satyagraha to achieve Indian freedom. His faith in his method got India freedom in 1947 and 45 other Asian and African nations. In 1915 he believed in a method, which the world would advocate after 1945. What acted was the power of the future ideal of the world. In 1942 Gandhiji launched the Quit India movement. The British arrested about 10,000 Congress leaders and the movement petered out soon. Indian National Congress exhausted all its efforts in sending 10,000 leaders to jail. They could not achieve their goal, nor even get Gandhiji released. The rule is when one's efforts are exhausted, the wider world forces begin to act. Gandhiji got malaria and he refused to take medicine. The British never wanted a situation of Gandhiji dying in jail and being accused of it. They promptly released him to disown their responsibility. How the goal will be achieved is not our concern, but it will be achieved, says The Secret. After the accomplishment The Theory can explain how it happened.

25)       Decision Making


            There are 4 types of decisions.

1) A decision that is directly fulfilled.

2) A decision that leads to a good start that fails in the end.

3) A decision that is difficult to begin but will accomplish itself later.

4) A decision where no beginning can be made and is sure of failure.

I     Any accomplishment has its many outer material physical requirements. Each such outer requirement has its inner emotional counterpart. In the first decision, all the outer and inner requirements will be present.

II    When all the outer requirements are in place and that enables a good start, one or many of the inner readiness being absent prevents its fulfilment in the end.

III  When all the inner requirements are there but some outer components are missing, the launching is difficult but the weightier inner strength by its force brings the missing outer components and completes the act.

IV  There are situations where neither the outer nor the inner is ready. It is like the longing of one for a house who is intimidated inwardly by that suggestion and outwardly he can never complete all the requirements.

These four situations can be graphically represented by the four Quadrants as below: ─



     II                            I


                                                                  +, -                      +, +




                                                             -, +                -, -                                                                                                                  

                                                           III                          IV


When The Secret says anyone can achieve anything, it only means that wherever Man is in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Quadrants, their methods will bring him to the first Quadrant where failure is unknown. To review each item the film in the light of the above 4 Quadrants is possible. This is to explain the process of a material accomplishment in the light of an inner mental emotional process.

26)       Ph.D & Fellowship.


Indian philosophy as explained by Sri Aurobindo says the Unknowable formulates itself according to the human consciousness and withdraws. Nature created the human ego to achieve in ignorance an organisation that will help entering knowledge. The animal has no ego. Its life is of instinct. It is not conscious enough to transcend itself and evolve Man. The animal evolves into Man by the action of Nature, its evolution. Nature created the ego so that Man can concentrate on one point to create sufficient intensity for the universal to transcend itself. In this phase ego was a help. Now that this phase is over, ego is a bar. Sri Aurobindo says the universal Mother has granted him more than he ignorantly asked for. Man acts from inside his ego and sees his limitations. Let us move from philosophy and cosmos and see society in its place. Today society is moving towards man to achieve in him all its goals in global dimensions, if only he does not resist with his ego. The Secret has seen this age-old Truth and offers it to all. What is outside Man's ego is Society, which is part of the universe. The universe extends itself to the Unknowable, the Absolute.

  • That which is more than Man's ego is called universe by The Secret.
  • In the measure Man suspends his ego, That acts.

It acts minimally in response to his initiative.

Its maximum is achieved if Man does not take initiative.

That is not the maximum of That.

That is the maximum That can accomplish in the existing personality of Man. In Jack Canfield, that accomplishment was from $ 8000 a year to $ 1 million and 65 books that reached 100 million copies in print. It is the human maximum, minimum of the universe.

  • A Dutch youth in his spiritual quest realising the value of education took his first degree in his 40th year. He further took his M.B.A. after a long interval. He is one who does not know his inner potential. His idealism made him offer voluntary services to a distinguished World Organisation. After about ten years of such service they made him an Associate Fellow, a thing he never dreamt of. He was devoid of ambition. He only wanted to give. Another desired he could take a Ph.D. so that in ripe old age his sustained services might win him a full fellowship. As he was intimidated by the intellectual effort required, the other well-wisher gave up his idea but maintained his own aspiration. Some years later he overcame the fright and consented to register for Ph.D. Over a period of a year he was preparing his proposal. He has not yet submitted the proposal for Ph.D. The World Organisation granted the full Fellowship.

27)       Savitri


Savitri is an epic poem of Sri Aurobindo written in 1950. In the Mahabharata this story is in a few lines. Savitri, a princess, marries Satyavan, a prince. One year after her marriage  Satyavan dies. Savitri follows Yama, the Lord of Death, and by her power of chastity and will wins back the life of her husband Satyavan.

Sri Aurobindo took this story and changed it to give spiritual body to a Vedic conception. His epic made Savitri the daughter of the Sun. On Satyavan's death, she pursued Death and transformed him into a being of Light from being a being of Darkness. The Message of this epic to Man is he can abolish Death, suffering and evil if he can emerge out of ego. A line from the Poem is

A Prayer, a Master act, a King Idea

Can link man's strength to a Transcendent Force.

Then miracle is made the common rule.


The Secret gives instances when such a link was made at various levels of life and existence.

28)       Acts take shape first in the subtle plane.

            Whatever we do, we first conceive as an idea in the mind.

            For the physical body, mental thought is subtle.

  • Before speaking, we think.
  • Before launching a project, we plan.
  • The fuller the mental preparation, the richer is the accomplishment.           

Visualisation, drawing the picture of a house, imagining a car he wishes to own are such subtle acts. How soon, how full the result will be is determined by the level of Perfection in the thought conceived. It can be anywhere from several years to a few hours.      

29)       Federal Express.


How an idea and a Master Plan based on it is fully seen in the founding of Federal Express and its growth.

30)       In The Three Musketeers, Charles II gave up his last hope when Louis XIV was unable to help him either with a million gold coins or 200 gentlemen. Within hours he got the news of his father's hidden millions. In one month the million came to him by the good offices of a devoted gentleman. He was restored to his throne without spending his million gold coins.

When the last hope is lost, one exhausts his efforts and forgets it. Forgetting the goal is to withdraw one's own mental inference allowing the universe to accomplish in his life as it chooses without the limitations of his own egoistic understanding.

story | by Dr. Radut