Magical Thinking: The Gospel of Narcissism
There's been a lot of 'buzz' recently about a book - with a DVD, of course - that claims to teach people how to control the universe.
"The Secret" markets an amazingly transparent form of egocentrism: infantile magical thinking, which can be summed up as "I'm So Important, I Only Have To Think of Something To Make It So".
This is terribly immature. Magical, all-powerful thinking is the hallmark of the Terrible Twos, the age at which children expect the universe to serve and please them, and them alone. This is the province of tantrums, childish spite, infantile rage, and zero tolerance of frustration because we believe that We The Almighty Should Never Be Denied, But Always Get Whatever We Want, Whenever We Want It.
There are already people walking this earth in adult bodies who have never emerged from this stage; there is more than enough narcissism on the planet already to blight many human lives and all human societies quite sufficiently. We don't need more, and we certainly don't need this type of dysfunction marketed as a 'good'.
The We-Are-All-Omnipotent thesis is also obviously untrue. If we were each really omnipotent, wouldn't we all be (a) rich (b) beautiful (c) brilliant (d) successful (e) in perfect health (f) entirely free of all physical and emotional pain and (g) immune from the aging process? [Not to mention (h) able to recognize an obvious scam when we see one?]
A person has to be on the far side of sanity to be willing to believe, as the book's author apparently advocates, that the reason none of us have achieved this state is not that she's peddling a load of obvious codswallop, but that we all - every one of us - really want misery and heartbreak in our lives; we all actually crave and desire aging and death and pain and loss - after all, if our thoughts control the entire universe, then if we have these things in our lives, we must want them to be that way.
This is breathtakingly abusive. To imply that a shaken baby wants to be damaged and killed in infancy, that hit-and-run victims want to be struck down and abandoned, that child incest victims want to be raped by their parent, that people in places like Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda, and Baghdad want their homes bombed out, civil war in their streets, and their loved ones dead in senseless violence - is cold, cruel, calculating evil.
Which leads beyond the psychological aspect, to the spiritual aspect. This way of thinking is blasphemous.
If magical thinking really worked, it would be possible at any time for a group of us to get together for fifteen seconds and visualize world peace, a stable global economy with everyone paid fairly for their work, and no abusive workplaces; not a psychopath or narcissist on the planet, no child molesters, no murderers, no violent crimes of any type, no pollution, no famine, no homelessness, no poverty, no disease. We could prevent, even undo, tsunamis, tornadoes, and hurricanes. We could resurrect the dead.
We would be God.