Have you ever wandered why the other popular name for the Law of Attraction is “the Secret”? If the Law is universal and if all of us can master it, how come it’s being perceived as a secret and clandestine teaching; if it has been around from the beginning of time, how come we only heard about it a few years ago?
Rhonda Byrne seems to imply that the knowledge was kept from us (the majority of people) deliberately throughout centuries. Let’s talk about this and see what’s so secret about the Law of Attraction.
A Short Trip to History
If we look at the history of the Law of Attraction we can notice that people have been aware of its existence practically since the beginning of written history: the different expressions of the same concept that we can affect the material world with our thoughts and beliefs have been found on ancient Babylonian tablets, Egyptian pyramid hieroglyphics and in every great culture and society throughout history (Buddha, Jesus, all major prophets have spoken of it).
As the human societies and human consciousness evolved, this concept evolved as well, and different societies have been approaching it differently, calling it different names and developing different systems to explain it and to put it to use (we can see that trend today as well, as different LoA teachers and coaches have somewhat different approaches).
So, each human society that had knowledge about the principles of LoA had their own system. Now, have in mind that the LoA isn’t something that is easy to explain to everyone and that we all have different ways of understanding things. Also, it takes time and practice to really learn how to apply the principles for successful manifesting.
Imagine what a life of a peasant in the Middle Age was like – even if you don’t know anything about it, you can assume that they didn’t have much time to devote to spiritual practice and self-improvement. They went to church and that was about all they had the time for.
Also, don’t forget that the vast majority of people was illiterate and had absolutely no idea nor interest for even the most basic philosophical issues.
So all the thinking was reserved to the elite: the rich people, the monks, scientists and artists, those who had time to reflect on these things.
Now that we established a basic prerequisite, we can move on. Not all the members of the “elite” knew about it – the knowledge about the Law of Attraction was of no interest to many of them, especially those involved in a more frivolous way of life. And you can probably understand the next point from your own experience: when you first discovered the Law of Attraction, you probably wanted to let everyone around you know about it and apply it to their lives. How many of them actually understood what you were talking about?
That’s right. Those who knew about it soon realized that not everyone will understand it, and even if they did, not everyone is willing to put the effort. So they probably decided to keep the knowledge for themselves until they see that someone has a natural ability to understand and to apply the principles.
Also, as the LoA also has a deep spiritual aspect, some societies have decided to teach it only to those initiates who had proved their purity of motive – knowing that most people, if this knowledge was revealed to them, would use it for the wrong reason.
In the case of extremely wealthy families, the knowledge was probably passed from one generation to another as a means of keeping and growing the family wealth.
And let’s not forget one more thing: even if someone decided that they wanted to teach everyone about the LoA – how could they pass their message? There were no means of mass communication back then 😉
For those who were willing to understand, even the official religion had clues for them to ponder. In some cases it was certainly the question of not wanting to share the knowledge, but in other cases it was only the impossibility to teach it on a mass level.
As for the term “the Secret”, it was introduced for the first time in the sense that we use it today by Napoleon Hill. Hill came to write his book Think and Grow Rich! after meeting a steel magnate and one of the richest people in the world, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie had the idea that the formula that he himself and hundreds of other wealthy people used could be studied and taught in schools, so that people who don’t have time to study and investigate how to make money could easily use it.
After Andrew Carnegie asked him to teach the principle of wealth to the world, Hill spent 20 years interviewing wealthy people of that time and developing a formula for success. He named the formula “the secret” – but it was the Law of Attraction, it’s clear from reading his book.
It was in 1937 when Hill published his work. It was a huge success, but soon the World War II came and people forgot about it. The next time it gained popularity, the Law of Attraction was also called “the Secret” – this time it was in 2006, thanks to Rhonda Byrne and her documentary.
So there’s nothing really clandestine about the teaching of the Law of Attraction, it was just the way that history worked. Today when we can access information much more easily, it’s becoming known to more and more people every day. What they will do with this knowledge, that’s another question.