Sunday, February 24, 2008

Imagine The Secret Of Life

Anyone watch the BBC programme "The secret of life" last week?With so much tosh on the TV these days I must admit to being quite excited at the prospect of seeing this - SAD BUT TRUE!

Starting with a look at the latest self-help phenomenon, The Secret, Alan Yentob sets out to learn from the big hitters in the self-help world: Susan Jeffers, author of the bestselling Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway; David Burns, whose book Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy has sold over 5 million copies, and Anthony Robbins, who fills stadiums with his can-do performances. “Most people see things worse than they are so they never have to try,” says Robbins. “People say to me ‘I’m sceptical’ and I say no you’re not, you’re gutless.”

Robbins has been the personal coach to a raft of celebrities including Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton. At last year’s Wimbledon, Serena Williams, another Robbins follower, was spotted with her own self-help notes: “My good thoughts are powerful. Any negative thoughts are weak. You are number one. You are the best. You will win Wimbledon.”

“But let’s face it, none of us are going to win Wimbledon,” says Yentob. “And anyway, we keep being told it’s not all about winning, so why do we need these books?” “I think we all have pain,” says Amy Jenkins, writer of This Life and a self-help fan.

David Burns, a pioneer of cognitive therapy, challenges pain head on with the idea that “your thoughts create your feelings, so your thoughts can change your feelings.” This is not just a fad; his self-help book on cognitive therapy is now prescribed by doctors around the world instead of antidepressants.

Yentob’s optimism is bought crushingly down to earth by the Freudian psychoanalyst Adam Philips. “Freud said the purpose of psychoanalysis is to turn neurotic misery into everyday unhappiness, and what he meant by that is that people aren’t going to be transformed magically.”

In search of the roots of the self-help genre, Yentob discovers Self Help by Samuel Smiles, which was published in 1859, the same year as Darwin’s The Origin of Species. “Guess which one was the bestseller?” The next blockbuster was How to Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936, during the Depression.

“Now we live in a culture of constant change and turnover,” says the self-help critic Micki McGee. “You not only have to be employed, but constantly employable. Not only married, but constantly marriageable. And that is the moment self-help emerges as a powerful literature.”

The episode ends with The Wizard of Oz, the ultimate self-help film. All the characters - the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion and Dorothy - think they have to look to the Wizard for the answers; what they eventually realise is they were within themselves all along.

I found the programme well written with a good pace given the length of the piece
My comments - all the authors featured could have sat down together and written one book instead of consuming our planet's treasured resources
The sadness conveyed by all the groupies roaming about the countryside desperately yearning for a glimpse of their GURU left me empty
My utter confusion regarding "self help" has been dramatically magnified - do we measure success by how many millions of dollars we earn each year?


david icke is kind of right said...

Elizabet,I remember you mentioning once that you are a big conspiracy theory fan.I recommend then you check out the site below.The guy who runs it is a bit of a genuis.He doesnt use gimmicks/carrots of UFOs and reptilians like some he just gives you the facts in a refreshingly honest and commonsense way

david icke is kind of right said...

You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear i suppose.I'm sure if those at the top did have the answers to anything they would never share it with us the plebs.Isnt the Wizard of Oz really just an Illuminati mind-control programme anyway like most movies and TV are by exploiting the fact that the mind has no firewall and as the unconsious mind has no reasoning capacity either anything pumped into it becomes gospel and actual fact?

Elizabet said...

Thanks for the website signpost
I have read a little of Alan Watt's work
I agree that "The wizard of oz" is as much "pap" as any of the other "bullshit" talked of within the programme and that it is indeed another form of "brainwashing"
I was trying to make the point that most of the current "self-help" gurus hailed as the second Messiah espouse regurgitated concepts
Those at the top would definitely NOT share any answers that they may have. They're too busy filling our heads with nonsense so that we don't think about the answers
Generally I believe that those "thinking" human beings, aware of the game, already have the answers!

david icke is kind of right said...

So in your opinion then do you think the stuff Alan Watt talks about is all true?

Elizabet said...

No I don't believe that the stuff that anyone talks of is all true.
I agree with his principle that we are all products of conditioning, designed from our nature and consequent nurturing developed by our parents, schooling, government etc.
The difficulty of conveying our total beliefs, whether in written, video or verbal formats is extensive. One has to rely on the perception, interpretation of the receiver or listener
At best one can only hope to convey the essence of our thoughts. This is one of the underlying principles that I apply whenever I read or listen to anyone else
I therefore agree with some of Alan Watts concepts but would not totally agree with him
He mentions that an individual once aware of the "conspiracy", friendless and paranoid, either publishes their findngs or withdraws completely from society. I really don't believe that it is possible, particularly in the West, to withdraw totally from society. One can only strive to control how much society permeates ones life. For example, purchase only goods that are NEEDED with cash, don't complete the electoral role, limit TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, bin "pap" mailing lists thereby reducing adverts, guard your ex directory telephone number with your life, trust no one unless your gut tells you otherwise!
My God I am paranoid!!
Reading this back I realise more than ever that what I have previously said is true - one can never adequately convey ones true thoughts because although I live my life as a paranoid recluse I actually care deeply for humanity and where we humans are going.

david icke is kind of right said...

so what things specifically do you think he is definitely wrong about?

david icke is kind of right said...

i definitely do agree with him when he says the control freak elite do want us all tracked and all our movements logged.Maybe via devices like these

Elizabet said...

I too agree that the controllers would not be able to control the masses without monitoring on a massive scale
I don't think any of us "plebs" can begin to imagine how far the control has developed over the last 5 decades or so
As individuals we have to play the game. Without a western revolution we are not able to change the current system
I do not believe that "democracy" exists and wonder whether it ever has. Each of us needs to exist within a personal comfort "zone". As I said previously we know the game and know how to play the game

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