I have recently re-discovered the Law of Attraction as discussed in the book The Secret. I have mixed feeling talking about this in public. I take great pride in being a somewhat well-educated, intelligent person – trained in science and rationality and being self-aware. I don’t like to be fooled. Yet there are lots of things about the Law of Attraction that are compelling.
Obviously the ideas are very nice, and I am fully aware that it is somewhat wishful thinking that this stuff works. But I have recently begun to understand these ideas much more profoundly and am not sure if I can articulate this.
One aspect that is very compelling this is not just some cheap new age feel-good hedonistic ideal. The basic idea behind the Law of Attraction is found in many instances in the Bible and is also attributed to the Buddha. The basic idea is you attract into your life what you think about.
As a man thinks, so is he
– Proverbs 23:7
If thou can believe, all things are possible, to him that believeth.
– Mark 9.23
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours
– Mark 11:24
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened
– Matthew 7:7-8
According to your faith, shall it be done to you
– Matthew 9:29
And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believe, you shall receive it
– Matthew 21:22
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind
He is able who thinks he is able
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thoughts, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him
Perhaps, as some claim, these quotes are taken out of context and so lose their real meaning. Or these quotes are so vague that you can read anything into them. Maybe… I know in the past when I’ve tried to apply these ideas I feel it didn’t work.
Have you ever noticed how certain people are generally happy a lot of the time, even when things go wrong they might fret for a while but they still come out on top? Others are always unhappy and miserable and one bad thing after another seems to happen to them. Even when something good happens it is not enough for them. Now the question is do the circumstances create the person’s disposition or does their disposition create the circumstances they find themselves in. The scientist in me thinks it ludicrous to believe that a thought can create a physical thing – but why is this idea so pervasive in teachings from around the world?
But really, it’s not as simple as wishful thinking, or positive thinking. This is just a starting point. I have started to understand that, like those happy-go-lucky people for whom things always turn out, you have to act on those thoughts. Feel and act sincerely and in alignment with your thinking. So start with thinking perfect health but then also behave like someone with perfect health, feel like someone with perfect health. Someone with perfect health would probably not crave a donut. So maybe what this does is help you change your behaviours so that you are living a healthier life. Or it helps you think health so you worry less about your ailments, thereby reducing your stress levels.
This doesn’t mean you ignore the practicalities like seeking medical treatment, or keeping your job to keep bringing in money but your job is to focus on health and let doctors look after your disease, or focus on wealth and let your job pay off your bills. My grandmother told used to tell me this story… A man was drowning in a lake. In desperation he called out to God for help. God replied ‘I will help you but you also need to mover your arms and kick your legs!’ Help is at hand but you still need to do your part.
The hardest thing for me has been to suspend critical analysis and to align my feelings and beliefs with my goals. It’s all about balance. If your goals are lots of sex and drugs then you’re probably not balanced – so you’re energy is blocked somewhere.
I am still learning and putting these ideas into practice. If anyone reads this I’d love to know about your experiences.