Philosophy of 'The Secret' nothing new, says OKC minister

Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret" has become one of the fastest-selling books of all time with 3.75 million copies in print, saying thinking good thoughts brings about good and thinking bad thoughts brings about bad. The book is an extended discussion on how this power can be harnessed in a person's life.

Shelley Heller, the senior minister of United Life Church in northwest Oklahoma City, said Byrne is simply restating a religious philosophy that has been around for almost 100 years.

Ernest Holmes' "The Science of Mind," published in 1926, heralded the beginning of the movement now known as religious science.

According to Heller, the philosophy Holmes espoused was meant to be nonsectarian: Christians, Buddhists, Jews, agnostics, et cetera, could use it.

"It's the principle of the law of attraction. It's the belief that you can create your life," she said, meaning that you can choose the kind of life you have based upon what you think or meditate or reflect upon.

"The world is created by energy," Heller said, "and God gave us power to effect energy by our thoughts."

"The goal isn't just physical or material benefits," Heller said. "It's about a connection to God, to the world and to each other. We believe religious science is a heart-opening, mind-expanding truth."

The wanting shouldn't take the form of selfishness, though, according to Heller.

"Whatever you think, you attract," she said. "That includes greed, selfishness and hate." "Greg Horton

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