“I’m a woman without a future — I don’t need one.”
SOUL’S CODE — We don’t mean that Byron Katie is literally beating up on Oprah. The only reason we make the comparison between the two is that Byron Katie, who is a post-modern mystic, made a rare live appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area the same day that Oprah’s show hyped the movie The Secret and its gospel, the “law of attraction.”
The difference between Oprah and Byron Katie is that Oprah explicitly caters to America’s victim-culture — millions who don’t like their looks, their job, their love-life, their personal history, etc. Oprah pitches a grocery list of prescriptions to fix the personality’s grievances.Byron Katie, on the other hand, offers a radically different way out of pain.
Why would you care? Katie, as she goes by, comes as advertised. We won’t write that she has ‘achieved enlightenment’ — that is, a person who is free of internal conflict — because we can imagine her rejoinder. Katie would turn one of her famous four questions back on us, and ask:
“How would you know? Can you absolutely know that that’s true? Do you have any proof?”
No, we don’t. We have an impression from being in the hall this past week in her presence. This woman is utterly fearless, and radiates a clarity of mind that electrifies through the room and sparks mini awakenings in the audience.
Katie’s point about the “law of attraction” business is that it’s likely another forum for the mind to be at war with itself.
If you make your ‘spiritual’ practice a meditation visualizing the more money and happiness mantras from The Secret . . . the reason that self-messaging feel like such a chore is because you have a whole history of not believing that things will work out for you.
The above is paraphrasing of Katie; Better to put it in her own words:
“You’re thinking that you should believe in this (positive laws of attraction), what you’re visualizing up here, but you really don’t believe in it,” Katie told the audience. “What you really believe is these other thoughts deeper down that you keep having. And after a while you’ll think, ‘Oh, I’m not manifesting success and all these other new things — I’m failing.’
“Or alternatively, your life might suddenly get better and you’ll say, ‘See! I manifested that — and I’ll show you how you can do it, too.’
“Man, you can build an identity out of that for a lifetime.”
Actually, that ego-building exercise sounds exactly like the “story” that The Secret’s main producer, Rhonda Byrne, puts in her online brochure-ware:
And on that spring day in 2004, when a small, old book called The Science of Getting Rich was put into her hands, and Rhonda’s whole life suddenly pulled into spectacular focus, she knew exactly what her mission was to become. She was going to take this knowledge to the world. She was going to make a movie to carry joy to every corner of the Earth. And so the great journey that was The Secret began.
In early 2005, when The Secret was simply a name and a (momentous) vision, Prime Time Productions was made up of Rhonda, Producer Paul Harrington, and Director Drew Heriot. Paul, who had worked with Rhonda at Prime Time Productions virtually since its beginning, and Drew, who had directed several projects for the company as well, became, with Rhonda, the foundation for The Secret team.
As for Katie, she said she had no personal interest in practicing the tactics touted by The Secret.
“I’m a woman without a future,” she said. “I don’t need one. If I needed a ‘tomorrow,’ I’d imagine one.”
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