Saturday, May 17, 2008

Author of "The Secret" Needs to Learn to Give to Avoid Attracting Law Suits

It has recently become apparent that Rhonda Byrne, the author of "The Secret," a best-selling motivational movie and book based on the "Law of Attraction," has missed an important step in the manifestation process. The process of receiving what we desire also involves giving – especially to those who help us create our desires. In this case, Byrne appears to be refusing to give the film's co-creator, Drew Heriot profits from sales to which he says he is entitled, a fact that caused her to receive – or attract – a big, fat lawsuit.

On April 26, the New York Times reported that four days earlier attorneys for Heriot, who co-authored the screenplay and directed "The Secret" movie, had filed a federal lawsuit in the UnitedStates District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois/EasternDivision. However, Heriot didn't file suit against the universal principles of "The Secret" but against the corporate principals behind "The Secret," who he claims "promised at the outset that profits would be shared and who have not kept faith with 'The Secret's' tenets of gratitude and integrity."

The lawsuit alleges that Rhonda Byrne, executive producer of "The Secret," and Robert E. Rainone Jr., a Chicago businessman, conspired to deny Heriot's rights to co-ownership and profits from the movie and related works. The combined gross revenue from DVD and book sales of "The Secret" currently may exceed $300 million.

According to Heriot's attorney, evidence exists that Byrne and Heriot collaborated and shared source materials to produce the original film and book. Heriot simply wants to be compensated for his work and creative contributions.

"I am very disappointed to hear that Ms. Byrne is not sharing her wealth with Mr. Heriot, who seems deserving enough if his claims are true," said Nina Amir, author and maggid (Jewish inspirational speaker) who focuses her work on practical spirituality and human potential and personal growth from a Jewish perspective. "I was very excited to see ‘The Secret' book and DVD hit the stores and to watch its ‘stars' appear on Larry King and Oprah. I had long ago heard about combining thought and feeling to manifest desires, although I had first heard it called conscious creation and creative thought rather than the Law of Attraction, and I knew and respected many of the people Byrne chose to feature. It was wonderful to see these concepts, which really were no secret, go mainstream."

Originally released in March of 2006 for DVD and online sales, "The Secret presents what is called the "Law of Attraction." Embraced by many self-help experts and the subject of extensive media coverage, the film and the corresponding book teach that thoughts and feelings attract real events into individuals' lives, creating a basis for a higher sense of personal and spiritual fulfillment.

Many people have criticized "The Secret" for being too ego-centered, never mentioned God, and failing to tell people how to use its "secret" to help others and or heal the world of its problems. "The fact that Ms. Byrne has attracted these legal issues despite her knowledge of the Law of Attraction does seem to indicate that some element is missing in her teaching. I would agree that she needs to add in a spiritual focus that makes her want to give as well as to receive," said Amir.

Amir, who currently is writing a book called "The Kabbalah of Conscious Creation, Four Steps to Tapping into the Divine Flow of Giving and Receiving," focuses on similar concepts to those put forth in "The Secret." She takes the popular subject, which Byrne and others call the Law of Attraction, and puts it into a Jewish mystical framework. Additionally, she draws on the teachings of Kabbalah to show how God fits into the picture.

"I realized quite a number of years ago -- before "The Secret" mania -- that Kabbalah and Judaism encompassed the same basic ideas but in a much more holistic manner. Within my framework, we move from a place of simply being, where we find desire or inspiration, through the ‘worlds' of thinking, feeling and doing," Amir explained. "We also have an opportunity to use this model, which is based upon the Kabbalistic story of creation, to learn about God, our desires, and our soul's purpose, and to connect with God through the act of learning to both give and to receive."

This approach to the popular topic of wish fulfillment encompasses another popular topic these days: higher consciousness. Indeed, from a Kabbalistic standpoint, the goal revolves around manifesting a desire for a higher consciousness that wants to receive not for the self alone but for the sake of giving to others. "Through the giving we tap into our real ability to ‘attract' what we desire into our lives," Amir explained. "Although, by then we care less about that then we do about giving. By then, we simply want to give, because we feel so many other benefits from this process -– the primary one being that giving removes the separation we often feel between Giver and receiver, Creator and created, God and man."

Byrne, it seems, has missed a lesson integral to her so-called "secret": It's much better to give than to receive. In fact, the whole point really should revolve around giving, and by giving we access the Divine flow that allows us to receive. "Giving and receiving become one and the same. In fact, receiving becomes an act of giving, because we give pleasure to the one that is giving when we accept what they give us. Plus, in the process of accepting gifts from our Creator, we achieve unity with the greatest Giver of all," said Amir.

Source: Nina Amir, author of The Kabbalah of Conscious Creation

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