What Krishnamurti calls the problem, The Secret© calls the solution.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on May 19, 2011
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The Secret vs. Krishnamurti.

“Ask, Believe, Receive?”

Mind can never find happiness. Happiness is not a thing to be pursued and found, as sensation. Sensation can be found again and again, for it is ever being lost; but happiness cannot be found. Remembered happiness is only a sensation, a reaction for or against the present. What is over is not happiness; the experience of happiness that is over is sensation, for remembrance is the past and the past is sensation. Happiness is not sensation…

What you know is the past, not the present; and the past is sensation, reaction, memory. You remember that you were happy; and can the past tell what happiness is? It can recall but it cannot be. Recognition is not happiness; to know what it is to be happy is not happiness. Recognition is the response of memory; and can the mind, the complex of memories, experiences, ever be happy? The very recognition prevents the experiencing.

When you are aware that you are happy, is there happiness? When there is happiness, are you aware of it? Consciousness comes only with conflict, the conflict of remembrance of the more. Happiness is not the remembrance of the more. Where there is conflict, happiness is not. Conflict is where the mind is. Thought at all levels is the response of memory, and so thought invariably breeds conflict. Thought is sensation, and sensation is not happiness. Sensations are ever seeking gratifications. The end is sensation, but happiness is not an end; it cannot be sought….

The moment you are conscious that you are happy, it is not happiness, is it? So you cannot go after happiness. The moment you are conscious that you are humble, you are not humble. So happiness is not a thing to be pursued; it comes. But if you seek it, it will evade you.~from The Book of Life by Jiddu Krishnamurti

What Krishnamurti calls the problem, The Secret© calls the solution.

Krishnamurti disagrees!

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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


11 Responses to “What Krishnamurti calls the problem, The Secret© calls the solution.”

  1. Dace says:

    For everybody happiness means something different. However one cannot deny that a mastered mind and pure intentions in life to serve others not only live self centered existence brings inspiration, joy and peace.

  2. Joe Sparks says:

    Human beings inherently have complete power to have the universe around them respond to them in any way they wish it to respond. It may take a long tmie and much effort, it may require the attainment of immortality or the cooperation of future generations, but anything that a human being rationally wishes to accomplish can eventually be accomplished even happiness.

  3. yogiclarebear says:

    Thanks Benjamin. The Secret always bugged me. I get the whole "power of intention" ideas, but presented in the way it is, bringing "happiness" in the form of "stuff" really skewered the beauty of the concept.

  4. I have wondered about exactly this question many times! Just for fun, here is a snippet from an article I wrote for Buddhadharma in '08:

    "During that same period, committed to my own recovery, I attended one of those popular seminars on the theme of creating the kind of life you always dreamed of. The hopeful audience in the closed-in, artificially lit hotel event room, was told to imagine their desires fulfilled and were asked, after being pumped up with dance music, and asked to hug those around them, in what felt like a pep-rally atmosphere, to visualize their desires becoming a reality. I participated; I projected my wish into the universe, and envisioned a time when that wish would be materialized. We, the audience, were told we could have and be, and do, any thing we desired. We were told we were “awesome.”

    Zen told me I was nobody. And it called me back to the ordinary, rather than affirm my desires and fantasies of a certain kind of future, in a certain way, and at a certain point in time."

  5. Claudia says:

    Hm, this is very interesting, a very interesting comparison… however they are targeting people at different levels of awareness, a person that has never been exposed to spiritual principles or who has never sat or meditated will obviously want things like the car or the money or whatever it might be, I actually think that following that desire and finding a way to make that happen is a way to get to the new level of awareness where you realize that after you get it you are still not "happy", so there is something more.

    I think there is nothing wrong with desire, it leads people to finding that all that we have is this right now, i have trouble being fully present to, but I only found out and went deeper once i was able to secure food on the table.

    I appreciate the post

  6. yogijulian says:


  7. yogijulian says:

    magical thinking focused on greedy materialism and supported by pseudoscience arguments is straight-up anathema to authentic spirituality, critical thinking, psychological honesty and engaging skillfully with life and world.

    there is no "level of awareness" for whom the secret is anything but confused nonsense.

    we should also never mention this movie without pointing out that one of the 'teachers" featured in it will most likely be in jail for life because his "power of intention" went awry on the 1O K per person retreat he led based on his exposure via the secret. people died, people were hospitalized – true story…. look up james arthur ray.

  8. Vanessa says:

    Completely agree with you Claudia……..

  9. Scott says:

    I agree that this is a bit of a riddle for those of us who ponder the balance or simultaneity of the essence of renunciation (understanding the difference between the corporeal and Absolute and moving toward identifying solely with the Absolute, bereft of attachment and aversion to worldly things) AND enjoying the human experience fully without adopting any erroneous neuroses around not doing so for "spiritual reasons" (or at least creating the conditions within which the cultivation of liberation from conditions is more readily available).

    I appreciate both men cited above greatly, and have been inspired and enriched by both. I attended a speaking engagement by Dr. Beckwith shortly after The Secret's release, and was relieved by what he had to say regarding The Secret's being geared toward our materialistic predilections.

    Upon viewing the final cut of the film, he said that he recoiled at how much it focused upon manifesting "stuff" rather than cultivating a relationship to, or rather an identification with, Universal Principle and opening to its ability to move through and as us. However, after sitting with the reality of the situation, he took solace in the fact that the film would likely reach a greater mass of people who are currently more externally referenced, and that it may act as a "trojan horse of consciousness" by which people are hooked by the shiny and sparkly promises of working with the "law of attraction" (one of many Universal Laws), but then can't help but be pulled deeper into themselves and an awareness of the greater Universal Imperative by so doing.

    I'm not a member of his church, but do enjoy his work. His weekly services are more laden in this kind of message, and can be live streamed at agapelive dot com if you're curious about a more rounded consideration.

  10. Scott says:

    I would also like to mention that the Vedic notion of Sankalpa, full-stop resolve, seems the yogic equivalent to manifesting a la the law of attraction. When a Master makes a Sankalpa, the Universe is capable only of conforming to it. This does, however, venture into the arena of whether one's intent is selfish or for the greater good sense of Self.