Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why I hope the Law of Attraction isn't real

When individuals talk about certain paranormal things, I enjoy hearing how they believe these things work.  If the nature of the universe is consistent, things like ghosts, UFOs, and ESP, if they do exist, are parts of a very complex systems, the same as moss, earthquakes and sexual arousal.  Much of the time, though, the explanations I read, while the author is confident in them, seem woefully incomplete.  One example of this is the Law of Attraction.

From what I've read, and watched on television, I understand that the Law of Attraction is an omnipresent force of the universe, as dependable and predictable as gravity.  What this force does is bring similar things together.  The most famous property of the law of attraction, especially since the release of the film The Secret, is that the images you hold in your mind will attract the real-life analogues of those images.  So, if you're a negative person, always pissed-off, you'll be bringing more upsetting things into your life.  If you feel happy, healthy and wealthy, then you'll get more of that.

Those who teach the Law of Attraction are quick to let you know that, since our world is solid, we don't materialize things as quickly as we think about them.  They are brought to us through the usual channels, which might be a friend, or a boss, a random stranger, or a strange coincidence.  All of this is choreographed by the universe.

It's hard to prove, but I get it.  In the end, it amounts to a reversal of cause and effect.  It's not that people think about poverty because they're poor, they're poor because they keep thinking of poverty.  

When considering the Law of Attraction, free will is not the first issue that comes to mind, but on deeper consideration of it, the role of free will in the process can't be ignored.  No man is an island.  Virtually everything you own came to you because of the actions of others.  People who work at the store, people who employ you, even the people that made the car that you used to make a purchase.  So, let's say someone without much money wants to use the Law of Attraction to manifest a new car stereo.  A month later, he talks to someone at a bar who works for Pioneer, and the man gives him a tip that the company has a small warehouse full of "factory defect" stereos, that were set aside because they were the wrong color.  He gives our character the phone number for the factory, and he ends up getting the perfect car stereo for a fraction of the price.  

What if this is because of his mental work, and that the universe provided the stereo for him?  So, we'll make the assumption that, if he hadn't held the stereo in mind, the employee for Pioneer would have gone to a different bar that night, or perhaps would have stayed at home, watching television.  As he put his nice shirt on that night, he had no clue that the real reason he was going to the bar was because of what some stranger had been concentrating on in his spare time.

But the Law of Attraction is supposed to bring everything into our lives.  It's as consistent, and ever-present, as the law of gravity.  Maybe you honked at that guy on the interstate because he'd been having negative feelings.  Maybe you gave the panhandler a dollar because he believes he is a very effective panhandler.  Maybe you met that special someone because she (or he) conjured you!  The inevitable conclusion is that virtually every decision you make during the day, every step you take, is because of the expectations of the multitudes around you, and around the world.  You're floating in the breeze, with only an illusion of free will.

So, while The Secret was a very inspirational film, when I really sit and think of what it implies, I prefer to believe that my day is a series of dice rolls, and that I have the free will to react to things as they come, and to use my actions to create my own luck.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, nice post, although I don't agree with your last statements. The LoA is supposed to work only for YOU. Meaning that you don't do things because other people are trying to manifest them. The Universe only responds to YOU (in a subjective reality kind of sense).

    Recently I've written a post about How To Use The Law Of Attraction If You Don't Believe In It. Want to check it out? (here's the link:

    I'm going to check out the rest of your blog now.