Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Secret Behind … the Secret Behind the Secret

Since the debut of the wildly successful video, The Secret, and the followup book, both produced by Rhonda Byrne, a TV-mogul from Australia, and since the incredible TV exposure for the video and several of its “stars,” on Larry King, Oprah, etc., etc., there has been a rush by others offering material in the same genre to offer that material as “The Secret Behind the Secret.”

One of the best of these “Behind the Secret” DVDs can be found at the Abraham-Hicks Publications website, If anyone has a “right” to talk about the “Secret Behind the Secret” it would be Esther and Jerry Hicks. Rhonda Byrne, and the teachers on The Secret DVD, owe much to the Abraham-Hicks material, which most readily acknowledge, especially Ms. Byrne, who attended many hours of Abraham Workshops. Indeed, the original version of The Secret DVD had much screen-time for Esther Hicks and Abraham, and a heartfelt acknowledgment to them in the credits. But, intellectual property lawyers and marketing types ended up creating a situation where the Hicks had to bow out of the production, distribution, and marketing of the DVD, and the version now being offered does not include them. They profess ongoing appreciation for Ms. Byrne and seem to have moved joyfully on with their own marvellous 25-year mission to introduce the Abraham-Hicks material to the world. Moved on successfully, too, with their most recent book, The Astonishing Power of Emotions, topping at #1 overall during the first week of its release and appearing on the New York Times Bestsellers list. [How - and why - these folks continue to offer themselves for 50+ workshops a year, all over the world, when they certainly don’t need to do it to earn a living, is a wonder.]

But, as much as I’d enjoy the writing of it, this is not just a paean to Abraham-Hicks. [Don’t get me started. The A-H material helped me beat years of alcoholism, almost overnight.]

What I want to do is take my own crack at The Secret Behind … the Secret Behind the Secret.

I want to talk about the astounding similarity at the core of three very effective approaches to personal illumination and transformation, offered after the profound and sudden illuminations and transformations of the founders of these approaches. Then, if you’re interested, I want to offer my own “version” of this simple, but not easy, “Secret.”


The “Releasing” technique, whether it’s the one touted by Larry Crane ( or Hale Dwoskin and The Sedona Method ( has a very non-complex, very effective technique as its centerpiece. This technique evolved from the experiences of Lester Levenson, a man with an amazing story. [See either of the websites cited above for elements of that story.]

Lester Levenson was a middle-aged man with much professional and financial success, but at a price of gut-twisting angst and suffering. This culminated in the physical manifestation of life-threatening disease.

After being told to retire to his New York apartment and await The End, he determined to find a way to save his own life. After a few weeks of pondering and reading and experimenting with various spiritual “practices,” he happened upon the practice that saved his life and started a whole spiritual movement.

He methodically recalled, as he was able, every major trauma and the who/what/when/where/whys of these traumas. For each event he could recall, he held it in his focus and awareness and, to use my own words, “suffused” the event with love and acceptance. When he felt that he had drained the negative feelings from each event, and replaced them with feelings of love, acceptance, even appreciation, he moved on to another recalled event.

This continued for weeks, until he was completely healed and began experiencing rather startling “side effects,” including telekinesis of objects and remote viewing of events going on thousands of miles away. He became possessed of amazing vitality and energy and creativity in his daily affairs, and spent the rest of his long life offering what he had discovered to others, typically free of charge, since he also found an ability to create real estate opportunities that gave him all the financial stability he required. (He allowed the paranormal phenomena to fade away, as he was much more interested in helping people find the lifelong happiness that he had found for himself.)

The Work

Byron Katie was a housewife / mother / real estate agent who was so overcome with mental/emotional suffering and stress that she wound up bedridden, then institutionalized. (Read her story at

At some point during her institutionalization, she experienced a literal overnight metamorphosis that re-created her life:

I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.

The technique, The Work, that she offered after her own experience, couldn’t be much easier to do. It’s based on four straightforward questions:

After identifying a particular troubling thought or belief or concern, a person asks themselves these questions:

1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? 3. How do you react when you think that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought?

Katie has amplified these questions, and added a few more helpful elements, but the 4 Questions are the heart of The Work.

Abraham - Esther and Jerry Hicks

About 25 years ago, Jerry and Esther Hicks became willing, then eager, to consider the authenticity and helpfulness of the experience called, at least by some, “channelling.”

Almost everyone interested in spirituality and “consciousness as cause” has heard or read about The Seth Material. In the 60’s and 70’s, Robert Butts and his wife, Jane Roberts, transcribed and wrote about “trances” Jane experienced, during which she “spoke for” a non-physical being identified as “Seth.” The Seth Material was vastly influential in the community of those interested in the transformation of personal reality, and has been curated by Yale University since Jane’s death in 1984.

Jane Roberts was never certain what, exactly, she was experiencing. She reached no final conclusions about the “source” of the wisdom she received and offered to listeners and readers, from “Seth.” For all she knew it could have been some “deep” wisdom of her own consciousness, accessible only in trance, or some other phenomenon she didn’t understand. She certainly didn’t call it “channelling.”

Neither does Esther Hicks. She only describes how she experienced an unmistakeable, undeniable connection with a source of wisdom and inspiration that she didn’t recognize as her own. She has learned to establish this connection at will, and offers what she “receives” from the nonphysical “beings” called, collectively, “Abraham,” in her own words and her own voice.

Here’s a bit of that wisdom:

“You can be fully satisfied with where you are, understanding that you’re eternally evolving. When you get into that place of feeling appreciation of where you are and of who you are, and appreciation of what you are, and you accept that you are a never-ending, always unfolding Being, then you can stand in that delicate balance of being optimistic about what is to come, without being unhappy about where you stand. Find a way of eagerly anticipating future changes, while at the same time you are in love and satisfied with who, what, where and how you be.” …

We want you to not get so hung up on the manifestation, and start taking pleasure in the incremental relief. Pleasure in the fact that this feels a little better. Pleasure in the fact that you can actually, with your own will power and your own determination, choose a thought that feels better.

Because this blog post is intended, really, to just steer you toward your own exploration, especially by visiting the websites of the people mentioned, I have made no attempt to be thorough or complete or comprehensive about The Release Technique, The Work, or the Abraham-Hicks Material.

That said, I hope I have offered enough to also offer the proposition that follows: A proposition that is transforming my own experience and could transform yours:

Esther and Abraham, and even Hale Dwoskin with the Sedona (Release) Method, talk about something called The Law of Attraction. The gist of this “Law” is that whatever is the predominant element in your consciousness, in terms of thoughts or beliefs or, especially, feelings and emotion - sometimes called your “vibration,” since even quantum physics theorists acknowlege that “matter” is more oscillating wave-form than anything else - whatever that “vibration” is becomes an attractor of similar “vibrations,” so that you “attract” more of what you are primarily “focused on” or conscious of.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I suppose, depending on your own experience, the Law of Attraction has been mostly perceived as a “tool” for “manifesting” what one desires: Money, Relationships, Health, and so forth. Fine. Those are all things that turn out to be important for Time and Space dwellers, which most of us are.

But, I submit, this understanding of The Law of Attraction is not The Secret. The Secret is much more wonderful than that. The so-called “Law of Attraction” is just how things work, like the “Law of Gravity.” There’s nothing “secret” about universal laws.

The Secret is that you can change your “vibration” NOW. You can be happy NOW. You can lose your anxiety and stress, your self-doubt and shame, your feelings of guilt and unworthiness … NOW. No matter the who, what, when, where, or why.

The fact that changing your “vibration” will begin attracting a different flavor of experience is just how things work. The Law. So, the best place to focus is not on what you are fearful of, ashamed of, angry about, or even what you “desire.” The best place to put your attention is on your NOW “vibration,” so that you are “setting” the vibration, and not allowing fear, shame, anger, or the lack (want) of something to set it by default.

That’s the profoundly IDENTICAL core of each of the offerings of the three teachers briefly presented in this post.

Lester Levenson learned how to “bathe” whatever he was experiencing or conscious of, in the moment, in Love, Acceptance, and Appreciation … no matter what. This resulted in a release from the negative emotions that had gripped him for so long, and attracted healing, along with lots of other wonderful experiences.

Byron Katie teaches us how to get free from beliefs that create suffering by asking - NOW - Four Questions. The result is an almost immediate sense of relief and wellbeing. And, she maintains, once there is freedom from these beliefs, Life turns out to be quite worthy of our love, acceptance, and appreciation. (Her first book was called Loving What Is.)

Abraham and Esther Hicks talk, often, about “reaching for the best feeling or thought available to you NOW,” then continuing to do that until, (like Lester Levenson or Byron Katie), you find you have “loved” and “appreciated” your way to relief and freedom from suffering: i.e. Happiness. This change in “vibration” must “attract” more happiness. It’s the Law.

And, that, brothers and sisters, is the Secret Behind … the Secret Behind the Secret.

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