I'm inclined to agree with Ananda's assessment of the idea of "The Secret".
That said, I'll note two, seemingly slightly differing views/opinions on this that I've been exposed to relatively recently that I am not too quick to dismiss.
One is ET. In the PON he discusses the phenomenon of how someone with an active pain-body, who, even though they might be suppressing it and showing no outward signs of distress, can attract a violent and seemingly random attack by someone whose pain-body "resonates to the same frequency". Not exactly the same idea as trying to get something by wishing for it but I see a relationship, and I've actually witnessed and experienced this for myself.
The other is a discussion of the topic by Thomas Campell. Andy was the first to mention this author to me and Wanderer posted this link to a presentation of his a few weeks back:viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7181
I haven't finished watching the whole thing yet, but about halfway through is a discussion of the topic. He starts his discussion of the topic by reference to the mid-century work on "positive thinking" and doesn't refer to "the Secret" ... If I recall he makes a passing reference to the term "law of attraction" ... the context for his discussion is how "conscious intent" effects our reality.
In any event, I'll quickly paraphrase and digest that part of his presentation now, as there is one specific point he makes which I think particularly applies to this thread. When I'm done listening to the whole thing, I'll edit this post and if necessary add another with the exact timestamp within the two-hour presentation corresponding to the start of his bringing the subject up.
Campell starts with the premise that the Universe and Life form a system which is constantly evolving toward a state of lower entropy, and he further equates that state of lower entropy with "Love", and contrasts it with the state of imagined separation, or Ego. He presents the idea of the effect of "conscious intent" similar to the idea behind "the Secret" and postulates that the Universe has a tendency to respond to our intent ... in effect, to grant wishes. This is very quickly followed by an emphatic statement of Caveat Emptor.
His point is that if one wishes for something, essentially prays for something, and that something is material, and the goal of the wished-for material object is ego aggrandizement, then we create a conflict within this Universe/Life mechanism for responding to our intent (granting wishes, ala "the Secret").
The reason for this is that when we ask for a big car or lots of money or a big house or an attractive mate to make others envious or power so that we might inflict pain on enemies or grant favor to friends, we are asking this mechanism of evolution to contradict itself.
You see, on one hand the mechanism is designed to respond. It is set-up to try to fulfill our wish just based on the fact that we are wishing for it. On the other hand, fulfillment of our wish would result in an increase of the the total entropy of the system, as it would re-enforce our ego, our sense of separateness.
He resolves this with that bit of folk wisdom: "Be careful what you wish for, as it might come true". He concludes that while wishes for such material ego aggrandizement might indeed be granted, they will come bundled up with a lesson so that the total entropy of the system decreases.
Essentially, he gives an explanation to underlie the even older folk wisdom underlying the tales based on the ancient character of Aladin. Reading the wiki on this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aladdin
), it seems appropriate to me that the name Aladin translates to "nobility of the faith". My apologies if someone has already covered that idea in this very long thread.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.