The Real Secret
The Real Secret
By Kathleen McGowan
Instant Manifestation. Unlimited Abundance.
Ask, Believe, Receive!
So many books, DVDs and other programs have promised
all of these things over the last few years. Millions of people have flocked to
the teachings of "The Law of Attraction" in hopes of transforming their
lives and attracting love, money and fulfillment.
And millions of people are
also finding that these programs don't work. And if they do work, the effects
are temporary. Why? Because the lessons of these programs are incomplete and totally
out of order. They skip the important steps, the elements of personal and spiritual
transformation which are necessary to provide a solid foundation to build upon.
"Law of Attraction" techniques do not require any kind of accountability
and therefore they do not work.
One great truth of the law of abundance
is this: We cannot manifest something that is not in the best interest of the
world around us. We do not live in a vacuum, we live on a planet with almost seven
billion other people. In order to manifest everything that we desire, we must
learn how to live in harmony with the bigger picture, and find our own place in
God's plan as a member of the human family. Of course, becoming aligned with our
own spiritual nature and destiny will likely change the specifics of what it is
we truly desire, making it that much easier to attain.
What we are reaching
for here is something that endures in our lives. That is the essence of transformation.
Before manifesting abundance, we must dig down into the deepest recesses of our
hearts and souls. We must examine our beliefs about ourselves, about a Higher
Power (whatever we choose to call it -- God, Spirit, the Universe, the Goddess,
Divine Intelligence) and about our fellow human beings. Because it is in understanding
the synergy of those relationships -- that we are all connected and must work
together -- that we will find dramatic results. It is not enough to know what
we want, you must also know why we want it, and what we will do once we have it!
All of those elements impact the world around us, and therefore must be considered.
real secret to changing our lives dramatically and permanently is service: service
to something that is greater than us, whether that is God, our community, the
planet or its people. And it is not until we embrace our place in a world of seven
billion people, and make a commitment to better this world, that we will gain
access to our own personal -- and lasting -- abundance.
Jesus did, indeed,
say "Ask and it is given, knock and it is opened to you." But that phrase
has been misinterpreted and taken out of context in a way that diminishes its
ultimate power. Unfortunately, those who quote the "Ask and it is given"
verse for the purposes of instant manifestation rarely discuss it in the context
that Jesus, our master teacher, presented it. The passages that precede "Ask
and it is given" contain extensive instructions for living a good and responsible
life first, so that we may then "ask" -- and subsequently receive"
-- as a reward for living in harmony with God's plan.
There is extraordinarily
good news here, even if it takes a little more work to find it than we may have
originally been led to believe. Jesus was giving us the key to unlocking the mysteries
of the universe through perfecting our souls and answering to God. He did teach
us that we can manifest everything we need and want in our lives, if we follow
the rules set out for us. And he also gave us the tools to use for that purpose:
it can all be found within the fifty or so words that make up the Lord's Prayer.
my own journey as a writer and researcher, I came across an amazing prayer practice
that was taught by a Christian sect in France during the Middle Ages. For these
medieval Christians, the Lord's Prayer was not only the cornerstone of their faith,
it was the guidebook to living a perfect life. They understood that every word
of the prayer was carefully considered by Jesus, and given to us as a loving and
careful instruction for building our faith while living a joyous life through
God. I began to work through this prayer as a spiritual practice in the medieval
manner, which breaks the prayer down into seven lessons about life: Faith, Surrender,
Service, Abundance, Forgiveness, Overcoming and Love -- in that order. The results
were astounding and immediate. My faith was strengthened and my life transformed
in ways I could never have imagined prior to learning how to live through this
The Lord's Prayer is now, as it was when Jesus lived, the incorruptible
formula for personal and global transformation. But the lessons must be accomplished
in order or they do not work.
Only after working through the first three lessons
found in the prayer -- Faith, Surrender and Service -- will the request for Abundance
be effective. We cannot have effortless abundance unless we earn it -- and it
is earned through getting clear on our faith, surrendering our ego and embracing
our place as a member of the global human community through a commitment to service.
is a reason that abundance is the fourth teaching, and not the first. Putting
abundance first is similar to sending a teenager into a master's or doctoral program,
before he completed basic college courses. The student is simply not ready and
doesn't have the foundation necessary to master the more complex teachings to
come. Manifestation programs that tell us to skip directly to asking for whatever
we want are not only misleading, they actually set back our spiritual growth and
make it much harder for us to find enduring abundance.
While this prayer was
first taught by Jesus Christ, one does not have to be a practicing Christian to
use it. One of the more revolutionary aspects of Jesus' life was that he did not
discriminate in his teachings, and preached that the kingdom of God was for everyone.
Jesus found everyone worthy as he recognized us all as his family under God. Thus
there is a pure, universal nature to this prayer and the practice that accompanies
it. It is essentially non-denominational, and I have shared this approach to friends
from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and even pagan backgrounds.
In Jesus' time,
his words inspired people who lived amidst great chaos and disillusionment. In
the 21st century, we find ourselves in trying circumstances of perhaps a similar
nature: war, famine, genocide, crime, economic collapse and corruption fill the
headlines of our newspapers. Jesus provided a tool of grace for his own embattled
world and he provided one for us in our time. The Lord's Prayer is timeless, and
yet it has as much application now, if not more, than it had when it was first
spoken in Galilee and Jerusalem.
The Lord's Prayer is our instruction manual
for creating heaven on earth, and while the prayer is only a few lines long, the
layers of meaning within it could fill volumes. The greatest of the medieval minds
knew how to find that meaning, and they have left that gift to us as their legacy,
in the stone of their cathedrals and in the memory of their teachings.
is no mystery here, no secret. Jesus literally shouted from a mountaintop the
only magic words we will ever need, to live a life of perfect joy and unlimited
Two thousand years later, isn't it finally time that we listened?
Kathleen McGowan, author of The Source of Miracles: 7 Steps to Transforming Your
Life through the Lord's PrayerAuthor Bio
Kathleen McGowan, author of The
Source of Miracles: 7 Steps to Transforming Your Life through the Lord's Prayer,
is an internationally published writer whose work has appeared on five continents
and in at least fifteen languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and
three sons. Kathleen is a dedicated activist, and commits a portion of her time
and royalties to causes that protect women and children from the horrors of human
trafficking and sexual slavery. She has teamed with The Emancipation Network and
Made by Survivors to fund and participate in programs which provide shelter and
safety for victims of abuse, and raise awareness of this global epidemic.
Spiritual Guide> Spiritual
Articles> The Real Secret