The Greatest Secret
By Rhonda Byrne
I was already a fan of the previous book, The Secret, and it’s movie/audio, so I was intrigued to read the follow-on book, The Greatest Secret.
The original book, The Secret, was an explanation of how our thoughts create our lives, and it explained how this works with talks from several different NLP ‘experts.’ I loved it because it was entertaining as well as informative.
The Greatest Secret, is on the same subject, but it goes deeper to explain that we are all, by default, happy, yet for reasons no one can explain, we spend our lives looking for things to be miserable about.
You only have to look at a young child or a baby to see that they are naturally happy and can be content on their own. When something makes them cry (like their toy being taken away) their tears and sadness are short lived and they soon return to being happy again.
I know that we all use the word ‘happy,’ but what we really mean is ‘content.’ We want to spend our lives being content, yet we allow our minds to stress over things in the past that we can do nothing about, or worry about things in the future that may or may not happen.
That’s why it’s important to live in the moment, to live moment to moment. It’s what the Buddhists call ‘Mindfulness’ which means to concentrate on the moment, to be mindful of where you are and focused on what you’re doing, with no thought to the past or the future. And this is what The Greatest Secret is all about.
It talks about Awareness. This is different from being mindful. We spend our time being driven by our thoughts and our emotions. Awareness, on the other hand, means being aware that you are having thoughts and emotions without attaching feelings to them. It’s like being outside of yourself and seeing yourself experiencing emotions and having thoughts without attaching any feelings towards them. This is Awareness. To be aware without being swept up in it.
The book conveys this information using quotes from many spiritual leaders with a few quotes from the author herself thrown in now and again, which kind of disrupts the flow of reading because each of the writers have their own style so it makes the whole experience of reading the book kind of jumpy because you just get used to reading one author’s style, when it suddenly jumps to another author.
But it still has plenty of useful information and the hardcover book is beautifully formatted and the pages are aesthetically pleasing.
Here are just a few quotes from the book:
Awareness does the observing; thought does the judging.
If you only thought about what you wanted, your life would be amazing.
A thought is like a bird flying by. Let the bird fly past without analysing it.
The mind only has three different kinds of thoughts. The mind measures, compares, and describes.
When you are free of all negative feelings, what remains is the infinite Awareness that you are, and your life will be absolutely breathtaking.
“Whatever you resist, persists.”
~ Carl Jung
“The moment you accept the troubles you’ve been given, the door will open.”
“You need nothing to be happy. You need something to be sad.”
~ Sri Pouja (Papji)
This review was written on 31st January 2024