The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is simply stated as ‘whatever we focus our minds upon we attract into our lives.’ It has become popular – dare I say fashionable – as a result of a best-selling book, CD set and DVD called ‘The Secret’. But it’s nothing new. King Solomon, the Buddha and Socrates said the same, and in recent years, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Barbara Mohr, Dr Wayne Dyer and many others have written about it.
‘The Secret’ promises, among other things, that you can ‘learn to have, do or be anything you want – eradicate disease, acquire massive wealth and achieve the impossible! Wow! And the amazing thing is, it works. The Law of Attraction is as precise as the laws of mathematics.
I first became aware of it in the mid 1980’s when I was invited to a talk on Napoleon Hill’s masterwork, ‘Think and Grow Rich.’ Before then I had been a habitual negative thinker without knowing what I was doing to myself. I had twice lost job (my employers were so unfair!), and been divorced (she was to blame, of course!). My health deteriorated until I suffered a complete breakdown (my parent’s fault for not loving me enough when I was a child, naturally!).
I decided to apply Napoleon Hill’s blueprint. I joined a Mastermind Group of people intent on making themselves rich. I diligently recited my affirmations every day but nothing much changed – except my level of frustration.
Now I realise that for everyone I know who say it has worked for them I know several others who say it hasn’t. This blog is about why.
What ‘The Secret’ says – or rather what people think it says
The first part of ‘The Secret’ claims that the Law of Attraction doesn’t discriminate between good or bad, it simply gives you what you think about. Therefore you can literally ‘think’ your desires into existence by choosing your thoughts. Just quieten your mind, ‘feel’ your desires coming true, and they will.
It makes no difference whether you were born into an impoverished background, physically or mentally impaired, in a wealthy country or the Third World, received a first class education or none, nor whether you are talented, creative, intelligent or not. Just let the universe know exactly what you want.
- Believe that it’s already yours. Let the universe take care of the details. The means to acquire will be shown to you.
- Affirm, ‘Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.’ (Mark 11:24) (Note – I have always been convinced that this passage is about spiritual gifts, not money.)
Good stuff! But then the next part goes on to urge the reader to use the Law of Attraction to become wealthy. The more you ask for, the more you’ll get. Why ask for $1? It’s as easy to manifest $1 million as $1!
So overwhelming is this message that you have to listen very carefully to pick up a subtle caveat – happiness will come only if your thoughts are accompanied by love. Miss that, and you easily get the impression that you will attract money like bees to a honey pot and be happy and contented ever after. Implication: money guarantees happiness.
Of course it’s not that simple.
I think there are three main reasons why it doesn’t necessarily work in a holistic sense, to bring health, happiness and wellbeing:
First, our lives are not just shaped by our own thoughts. There are vibrations in space related to the underlying energy and intelligence that holds the universe together. Everything is in vibration; sound, light and thought are vibrations. There is thought-energy coming from the universe itself. There is thought-energy coming from our own minds and from other minds. We humans are part of all creation and cannot isolate ourselves.
Imagine tossing a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples. When two pebbles are tossed into a pond, two sets of ripples spread out. Where they intersect, they create a variety of patterns. Imagine tossing a third pebble into the pond. Now three sets of ripples intersect and create a pattern. Similarly with thought-waves. Where the three sets of thought waves intersect, a pattern is created. This is how your world is formed.
So this is my first observation – it is not just my thoughts that create my life. It is the interaction between my thoughts and the sum total of every thought that is and has ever been thought throughout the entire universe!
The second reason relates to the nature of Creative Intelligence (CI), the source energy of the universe. It emits a constant wave of positive thought-energy including growth, creativity, peace, and life-affirming oneness. Imagine for a moment if CI were capable of thinking bad thoughts about creation – the universe would not be able to exist.
And this is the point. If we use the Law of Attraction for greedy and selfish gain we are going against Creative Intelligence. We become like a droplet of water trying to fight the ocean. We may get what we want, but, like King Midas, we will not enjoy it.
Selfish thoughts attract selfishness (ours and other people’s) and greed attracts greed and greedy people. When our thoughts do not align with the good, we feel dissatisfied and unhappy.
The third reason is much more practical. To manifest, thoughts must be backed up with action. Every action is preceded by an intention and a thought, and every thought is conditioned by our intentions, imagination, our actions and their results. I’ve written widely about the I-T-I-A Formula – intention, thought, imagination and action. We need all four to create the life we want.
So there we are. The Law of Attraction is powerful, but if used manipulatively it can bring great pain. And I have no doubt that somewhere in another dimension, Robert Maxwell, Howard Hughes, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein are listening to my words and nodding in agreement! And one day maybe Donald Trump will too!
©David Lawrence Preston, 3.8.2016
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How to Books, 2007