The Greatest Secret is the fourth book in the ‘The Secret’ series by author Rhonda Byrne. Her first book has a cult status. It taught people the law of attraction, of attracting all that you want in life, actually into your life. I am sure many people benefitted from that book and the two others that followed it. The biggest beneficiary is of course the author herself, who attracted all variants of prosperity in her life through her work.
This book came to me for review and I was happy to read it. I obviously hoped to remind myself of the power of attraction that lies within me. The book essentially talks about Advaita or Non-Duality. The audience for this book is a person who has no idea of what Advaita or Non-Duality is. You could say it is Advaita 101 for those who have never heard of it before.
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The book is essentially a collection of quotations of all possible teachers – past, present, or online, that the author has come across. When I started reading, I thought maybe Introduction or the initial chapters have quotes, but that is what the whole of the book is all about. People whose quotes have been used are introduced at the end of the book.
There is very little that the author has added from her own experience. She does talk about how being aware of the awareness helped her let go of all her fears. However, she rarely talks about her own practices. This takes away the authenticity to a large extent, and you are merely jumping from one quote to another.
One big connection I saw while reading the introductions of the authors or philosophers was the India connection. There are obvious names like J Krishnamurthy, Ramana Maharishi, and Deepak Chopra. There are lesser-known names like Papaji. However, even the western philosophers quoted have a strong rooting in Indian philosophy. Most of them have spent time in India. Of course, we know that concept of Advaita is a very Indian concept. In the process, The Greatest Secret ends up giving you the original authors you ought to read to understand the subject.
I received the lovely hardcover edition of the book. The production quality of the book is great, but I am not sure if the same can be said about the quality of the content. Illustrations are nice. The book is heavy to hold but feels goods to hold. It seems that the author is leveraging her initial success and her huge readership for the next level of success. She probably feels a burden on her shoulders to keep serving her readers, lest they forget her.
There are bullet point notes at the end of each chapter, which can be read and understood quickly. This would reduce the book to about 12-14 pages, which is the essence of what the author wants to tell you. I wish she had put much more of her own experiments and experiences in the book.
Unless you are a Rhonda Byrne fan, you can read something else.