A friend of mine recently introduced me to the audio program The Missing Secret by Dr Joe Vitale. Vitale was one of the contributors to the phenomenally successful video about the law of attraction, The Secret. As you might have guessed from the title, The Missing Secret promises to fill in the missing bits you didn't get in The Secret, the bits that meant that the law of attraction didn't work as well as it said on the wrapper.
There's a lot of this sort of stuff around, so I didn't have particularly high expectations when I listened to The Missing Secret. It therefore came as a pleasant surprise to find that it's a sensible, honest and comprehensive guide which happens to echo a lot of what I said in my own series of posts on the law of attraction, The Heart Of The Secret, and which provides exhaustive information on the various techniques you can use to defuse the problems which can get in the way of success.
I still have reservations about the practical use of the law of attraction for those of us who aren't either a) naturally positive people or b) enlightened - and to give him his due, Vitale pretty much accepts its limitations himself. But if you still want to give the law of attraction a go (and why shouldn't you?) then I can't recommend The Missing Secret too highly.
But what really excites me about this program is the third of the six CDs. This covers a Hawaiian technique with the unlikely title of 'Ho'oponopono', which in my opinion has implications of far greater importance than the kind of creature comforts we so often associate with the law of attraction. It has the potential to literally heal the world.
Vitale first came across this technique when he heard about the work of the Hawaiian psychiatrist Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len, who was in charge of a hospital for the criminally insane, the inhabitants of which were generally considered to be beyond cure or redemption. Eschewing all orthodox methods, and without even speaking to the patients himself, Dr Hew Len apparently used the Ho'oponopono technique to cure all but two of the patients to the extent that they could be reintegrated into society. The hospital was eventually closed because it was no longer required. Perhaps surprisingly, this remarkable and heartening chain of events appears to be well corroborated.
The version of Ho'oponopono used by Dr Hew Len was developed in the 1980s by Morrnah Simeona and is based on an ancient Hawaiian practice. Its underlying concept takes the law of attraction to its ultimate conclusion. If we do indeed create our own reality, then it follows that we create everything in our world, even (for instance) the things we hear about on the radio. It entails taking total responsibility for whatever there is in our life.
Yet this isn't about a pointless guilt trip. It is all about healing what has happened. At the heart of the technique, there are four simple phrases: "I'm sorry", "Please forgive me", "Thank you" and "I love you". Through these phrases, the healing (or 'cleaning') can be achieved.
The first two phrases are about expressing regret and requesting forgiveness for whatever in us has created the circumstances we wish to heal; "Thank you" is said in anticipation of the forgiveness we know will be forthcoming; and "I love you" reestablishes the original, natural relationship with God - or 'the Divine', as Joe Vitale and Dr Hew Len prefer to call It. If you have a problem with either of these words, you can of course substitute a word of your choice: the universe, consciousness, the quantum field, the source, whatever you'd like to use instead...
The Missing Secret has a section which repeats these phrases over and over again so that you can play them in the background whatever you are doing; while Vitale himself likes to keep repeating 'I love you' as he goes about his day, which is a powerful exercise in itself. Alternatively, you may prefer to use the phrases to work on specific issues. In earlier posts, I've talked about dissolving away negative emotions using both Nick Roach's approach and my own welcome breath. I still use both of these, but I find that Ho'oponopono usually works even better. I focus on the emotion and then repeat each phrase in turn until the energy changes and the emotion dissipates.
I suggest you try using the phrases in various ways and find out what seems to work for you. If you are drawn to the technique, then do investigate The Missing Secret and/or Joe Vitale's book Zero Limits (which is all about Ho'oponopono) to find out more. Or if you are within traveling distance, consider signing up for one of Dr Hew Len's seminars on Ho-oponopono, details of which which you can find on his web site.
Of course, you may be asking why you should believe a single word of any of this stuff. Given its unlikely nature, this is a fair question. I guess it comes down to the same as everything else on this site. Just give it a try and see what you think. Judge it by its results or any gut feeling you may have about it. I'm impressed by Ho'oponopono because it helps to dissipate my emotions, and I sense a feeling of power when I say the phrases. But you really have to try it for yourself...
You may also be wondering exactly why you should be expected to take responsibility for all this stuff on the news that you never thought had anything to do with you. You may not buy the idea that this is the ultimate consequence of the law of attraction. You thought that the law of attraction was all about getting a nice new house and that sports car you always wanted. You weren't aware of the little-known sub-clause that, along with the house and the car, come total responsibility for worldwide war, famine, earthquakes, crime, anti-social behavior and bad TV.
But the way I look at it is this: if we are all truly One (as I have argued on this blog), all part of a single field of energy, then of course we share responsibility for everything that happens in this world. If we are all interconnected, then collective responsibility follows.
But even if you don't believe in this spiritual stuff, if you prefer to ignore quantum physics and insist that we are all entirely separate from each other, then perhaps you will be willing to accept that we are nevertheless united by chains of cause and effect. Other people are affected by the way we interact with them, and this in turn affects the way they behave with others. Bearing in mind the widely held belief that there are, on average, only six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on the planet, it can be argued that the way we act has an important effect on the world in which we live.
All these actions are stored in memory, and for most of the time - in our current state of consciousness - it is these memories which shape events in our world. It is memory which elects governments, which makes those governments fearful of others, which promotes and prolongs war - because of who did what to whom in years gone by. And if we look in our hearts, perhaps we can come to understand that the emotions which arise within us when we come into conflict with others in our daily lives stem from the same source as those which cause others to kill, abuse, and exploit other people across our planet.
According to Ho-opnopono, all actions arise from one of two sources: from memory or from inspiration. The answer it presents is to heal or 'clean' those memories, to clear away those centuries of accumulated grievances, passed down through the generations, once and for all: to clear away the collective karma of the human race, so that all that remains is inspiration, connection to source, connection to love...
I have written before about the way in which our emotions get in the way of our natural connection to joy. Well, here is more of the same, yet for 'emotions' read 'memories', for it is memory from which those emotions spring.
Remember the four simple phrases: "I'm sorry", "Please forgive me", "Thank you", and "I love you". They can be used to clean away those memories and reestablish our connection to joy.
Find the best way you can to use them. They are ten words that can heal the world.
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