Thoughts Can Actively Create Things:
- energy and matter are related in quantum physics
- thoughts/consciousness, which are a form of energy, can directly influence the material world.
Misleading Quotes About Thought, Consciousness, and Quantum Physics:
"Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought!" (p.15)
"Quantum physics ... says that you can't have a Universe without mind entering into it, and that the mind is actually shaping the very thing that is perceived." (p.20)
"The amazing work and discoveries of the quantum physicists over the last eighty years has brought us a greater understanding of the unfathomable power of the human mind to create." (p. 21)
Matter is Energy:
This statement is true. Einstein famously showed that all matter is, indeed, a manifestation of energy. This has been most dramatically demonstrated through nuclear weapons, and it's also a key insight in quantum physics. Matter is energy.
Does Consciousness Affect Reality? And How?:
This speculation is based on experiments where the presence of an observer determines whether the physical system shows wave or particle behavior. But in no way do any of these experiments demonstrate the observer's ability to determine by thought the precise physical outcome!
Time Doesn't Exist:
"Time is just an illusion. Einstein told us that."These are just not true statements, as I discuss in our article "Does Time Really Exist?"
"What quantum physicists and Einstein tell us is that everything is happening simultaneously."
"There is no time for the Universe and there is no size for the Universe."
Physicists in the Book:
My Stance on the Secret:
However, that doesn't mean I think it's necessary, or helpful, to misrepresent the status of physics in order to bolster the claims of any ideology. If someone makes factual claims about the status of modern physics, that person should make the claim in a way which clearly and honestly represents the true status of the field. Skewing scientific terminology to support any belief system is intellectually dishonest, and should be avoided.
For example, in recent series of interviews by ABC News (linked at the aforementioned recent blog post, Deepak Chopra appears to genuinely believe that the non-locality in physics means that all points in the universe are simultaneously connected to each other. While there is a line of reasoning that can get this interpretation out of physics (a rather convoluted argument based on the idea of quantum entanglement), it's not the way most physicists interpret the findings. Chopra appears to have somehow missed that the "woo-woo" he's spouting is based on physics that isn't widely accepted.
I don't particularly care if anyone wants to believe an unproven, fringe scientific interpretation, but I do care if the person is being misled into believing that their viewpoint is not fringe ... and this is standard operating procedure throughout The Secret when physics is brought into things.
The book would have been powerful and helpful if there had been no mention of physics at all. The addition of physics weakens the argument, because it can so clearly dismissed as untrue by anyone with an understanding of the current state of modern physics.