I picked up the Japanese version of I Can at at Sanseido, a Japanese bookstore in New Jersey.   The Japanese title of Ben Sweetland’s book is 自分を生かす 「魔法の杖」.  According to the internets [sic, man, sic] 生かす can mean:  to make best use of, leverage, capitalize on, to let live, or to resuscitate.  The subtitle means the magic wand.   So my inexpert translation would be Capitalize Yourself:  The Magic Wand.

I bought the English version for cheap on Amazon  (if you buy, buy used–at the time of this writing the price for a new version was $211 for some weird reason), and I am taking my time reading it, because it actually asks you to do some “work” as you read it and because I’m trying to stick to my goal of playing  in order to actually learn Japanese.  The Japanese version (2010) is obviously not a complete translation of I Can.  Last night, I skipped over the chapter about the physiological and psychological benefits of the slanting plank in the English version.  I guess in the 50 years since the last English edition, the slanting board hasn’t been a big hit.

However, the whole idea of Law of Attraction has been a big hit, as the success of “The Secret” has shown.  I’ve shied away from The Secret.  Not that I’ve got a problem with that.  No really, some of my best friends have read the The Secret.  However, the principal of my school includes quotes from different Secret books into our morning memo.

To be frank, at first, I was annoyed.  We live at a time when people’s rights are being assaulted, and it seems like feudalism is being reinvented and re-branded.   Schools are being disemboweled and democracy seems to be going to the highest bidders.   The idea of reading passages of The Secret seemed like whistling on the way to the slaughterhouse.

But the passages kept coming and I made a decision to let them in for a second, even just for the amount of time it took to read to my students.  The world throws out enough negativity, so why not just take a break from it and play with it.   (More recently, I’ve also been thinking that world changers like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were able to change conditions around them not just because of their depth, but also because they radiated “positivity.”)

It’s in the spirit of a game that I am reading 自分を生かす 「魔法の杖 and even playing around with some of the ideas.  Sweetland’s ideas about how to tap into the magic of the subconscious kept me reading and therefore I kept learning more Japanese.   一石二鳥 (one stone, two birds)!  In that vein, I will share the main sections in Japanese with my own translations (dose of soy sauce on my translations, please).

  • 「人生の黄金の法則」意外に簡単に「夢は実現できる」Use the Golden Law to Easily Turn Your Dreams into Reality.
  • 「欲しいものすべて」を手に入れる「人生の地図」Life-Map:  Everything You Want is In Your Hands
  • 人生が驚くほど好転する「心」の話し方  How to Speak to Your Heart for Amazing Life Results
  • どんな難問 「眠りながら」答えが出る!  Solve Difficult Problems While You Sleep
  • 「あなたの悩み」が必ず克服できる七ステップ   Seven Steps for Always Conquering Your Worries
  • 「成功する人しない人」の違い  The Difference Between Successful and Non-Successful People
  • 「自分のための人生」をつくる四つの法  Four Steps for Making The Life You Want
  • 「魔法の杖」はあなたももっている!  You Have a Golden Wand!
  • 大勢を引きつける魔力のある人、ない人  Why Some People Attract Many People, While Others Don’t
  • 「記憶力は衰える」は幻想である!It’s an Illusion that Your Memory is Declining
  • たったいまから、あなたの寿命は百二十五歳だ!  From Now On Think of a Life-Span of 125 Years!

The basic message is that you can use the power of your subconscious mind to transform your life by learning to consciously direct its creative powers.   Books like this seem to be falling on my lap all over the place.  Recently, I found The Power of Your Subconscious Mind on the book- sharing shelf in the laundry room.

Right now I Can is just plain fun, especially because the English version is so retro.  Its “Thot-o-Meter” diagram explains that whenever your meter goes into the negative, you need to move it to the positive.  Does it work?  I don’t know.  I just started.  If you see me wearing a ring on every finger while hanging out with the Rolling Stones you’ll know it works :).