March 06, 2007
More on The Secret's Law of Attraction
It is remarkable to me how many people find The Secret offensive or respond with comments like, "yeah, I was forced or dragged to see that movie, or people have been bombarding me with it."
Bombarding you with what -- a different way to look at the world, where you gain insight into how your thoughts and actions impact your destiny? At a basic level, they may as well be saying, "the power of positive thinking" has no merit, it doesn't work. If that's the case, why not continue a life with negative thoughts and resist ever learning or hearing something new??
Of course The Secret or Law of Attraction is more than positive thinking = good things in your life. I wrote about it before seeing the movie a few weeks ago and because I don't have the time to engage in blog comments, I often don't see many. One short post uploaded before actually seeing the movie garnered six comments and numerous more emails.
The Law of Attraction theory is far from new. From wikipedia: "commonly associated with New Age and New Thought philosophy, it posits to never dwell on the negative, as the metaphysical principle of life is embodied in a 'law of attraction:' you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your destiny."
"According to proponents, this law is always working whether you want it to. Feelings, emotions, and appropriate thoughts, they say, make the law work faster on your behalf. Thoughts penetrate time and space, acting as 'personal magnets' with their own electrical vibration or frequency.
These thoughts reach out and grab other similarly charged thoughts, attracting physical reality, which is merely a slower vibrating energy frequency; one's thoughts are faster more subtle vibrations of the same energy frequency. Advocates of the law claim that quantum physics confirms the existence of this law.
This claim is based on the consciousness causes collapse interpretation of the phenomenon of wavefunction collapse. This interpretation does not actually confirm the law of attraction but provides a link between physics and mysticism."
I have been seriously exploring the Power of Now and Law of Attraction for awhile now and have seen incredible results again and again. The more you 'practice' (sounds like a formal New Age exercise, but its really not), the more it just becomes who you are.
Someone at a party recently, who while admitted living in Marin and the New Age aura around him was driving him a little batty (like me, he has lived in several countries and was influenced largely by European culture from early on), agreed that thinkers and coaches like Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer had huge merit.
What upset him most about The Secret was this: "I felt that they were saying regardless of what happens to us in our lives, we have subliminally attracted it. According to The Secret, people who died in 9/11 attracted that event into their lives."
Another, who left an extensive comment on my first blog post about The Secret felt that they were saying "not to live in the now," that by following their theory, "we would not be attuned to the blessing of the feast right here, right now, today." That somehow it was about postponing life.
After hearing both comments, I couldn't help but think: did we actually see the same movie? One philosopher who was interviewed suggested that my friend's comment about attracting a disastrous event into your life could in fact be true. This was not however what I took away from the movie or the philosophy, nor was it about postponing life. Quite the opposite.
When you think positive energizing thoughts, i.e., where you want to live, who you want to be, who you want to spend your life with, business or personal, the state of your finances, etc., it is important to continue with that energy. Ultimately what happens is that the Universe DOES respond and then "it," i.e., the thought and way of 'being' as well as way of 'thinking' just becomes an integral part of you. This begins to happen even if you don't initially believe in the concept.
Every thought has a frequency, which sends out magnetic energy. These thoughts ultimately become things. Once you get clarity around what you DO want rather than what you want to avoid, focus on THAT vibration and you'll draw it to you. Your life is a physical manifestation about what goes on in your head.
When I waver and don't follow through on positive or energizing/forward thinking vibrations, the opposite results show up. Time and time again. Whether it is event related, or around physical or emotional states.
Cynics who want to tear this theory apart will say things to me like, "why didn't you make a million or more last year then?" My thoughts are not solely around money although 'some of it' certainly is. My vibrations have been more heavily focused on authentic relationships, serenity, nature and health.
It's not surprising that I (and many people I know) attract people into our lives who have come from similar backgrounds. Familiar and aligned vibrations attract the same, especially powerful emotions such as love and money. This is particularly evident to me with the baby boomers who have grown up in post WWII households that hoarded rather than spent, saved for a rainy day, rather than invested in a future dream they desired.
Negative emotions around money often come from a feeling of lack and deprivation rather than from a place of abundance and trusting somehow, somewhere, that the Universe will provide everything that you currently need in the present and in the future.
I'm also a huge fan of visualization techniques which they discussed in the movie. They interviewed a man who created a visualization journal on the house he wanted his family to live in one day......it was stored in a box for years and one day his little boy pulled it out. When he opened it, he realized he had created that outcome. The house in the journal was in fact the very same house they were living in.
I have had similar experiences in my life. I created a visualization journal when I was living in South Africa as a teenage girl. I didn't "know" that this was what a New Age movement was going to call it a decade later, but it is essentially what it was. I rediscovered the journal, as he had, in a dusty box under a childhood bed when I was preparing my grandfather's house for sale a few years ago.
Sprawled on a double page spread were images and names of countries from around the world. They filled two complete pages and as I looked at each of them carefully, I was amazed that I had been to every place except for one, which I traveled to this year. I created that in my mind and it became reality in my life.
It didn't stop there - the book was filled with things that I created in my life without even realizing I was doing it - through a combination of the Law of Attraction, the Law of Intention and the Law of Visualization, all of which are interconnected.
The list of countries were names/words that I cut out of magazines. Occasionally, my teenage penmanship threw in a happy face. There were two exceptons: England and Israel, both countries I lived in for awhile.
Next to England was a brick townhouse. It was uncanny how much it resembled the very same Surrey-base townhouse where I spent most of my time. Next to Israel was a girl with brownish auburn hair lying over a horse without a saddle, sun beating on her back. Bareback riding on a southern Israeli kibbutz was how I spent my free time there as a young girl with brownish auburn hair.
At 16, I had no knowledge that I would someday be living in either country; my family had no connection to either country nor did any of our friends. The rest of the journal presented similar results. Coincodence the cynics may say. Time and time again? If you choose that your mind has no power to shape your outcomes, then it will likely respond to that negative vibration. "It cannot happen rather than it will happen."
A little over two years ago, I created another visualization journal. I opened it a few days after watching The Secret and was astounded by what I saw. While some of the things I drew, pasted or wrote on a page had not yet been realized, I could clearly see that I was on a path to achieving many things I created in my mind and on paper. Several positive outcomes had already become a reality in two short years.
Dr. Denis Waitley has used visualization techniques with Olympic athletes. The athletes ran their events only in their minds. What they learned is that if you go there in your mind, you'll go there in your body. Said Einstein, "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
Jack Canfield suggests an exercise, "Close your eyes, decide what you want, believe it can happen and that you deserve it. Visualize what you want and 'feel' the feelings of already having it or owning it. Add the feeling of gratitude, then trust that the Universe will provide it."
Fred Alan Wolfe, a Quantum Physicist says, "The mind is sharing the very thing that is being perceived." Author Lisa Nichols on focusing on positive feelings: When you celebrate good feelings, you'll get more of the same vibration."
Adds metaphysician Dr. Joe Vitale, "You are the Michelangelo of your life. The sculpture you are shaping is you and you do it with your thoughts."
While the interviews are mostly with 'specialists,' authors, physicists and philosophers, they weave in traditional and ancient greats, such as Buddha: "All that we are is a result of what we have thought."
Those interviewed included the likes of John Gray, Dr. John Demartini, teacher Lee Brower, psychologist Dr. Denis Waitley, Reveran Dr. Michael Beckwith, physicist Dr. Ben Johnson, authors Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield, Hale Dwoskin, Neale Donald Walsch and Bob Doyle, philosophers Bob Proctor and James Authur Ray, writer Mike Dooley, Investment Trainer David Shirmer, feng shui consultant Marie Diamond, financial strategist Loral Langemeter, quantum physicist Dr. John Hagelin and entrepreneur John Assaraff.
Dr. Beckwith says, "you'll begin to feel prosperity, good health, abundance and love -- even if its not there. It will begin to manifest itself the moment you go to that feeling. Whatever thought has done in your life can be undone in your awareness." He's right - the mind doesn't really know the difference.
Place an order with the universe and just believe that it is already yours. This can be done with relationships or physical things. The real key here (and often an obstacle for sustainable success with the Law of Attraction), is that you do NOT need to know how 'it' will come to you. Trusting that it will happen is an integral part of the Law of Attraction's success.
For those not familiar with this concept, way of thinking or frankly even the language, its a hard first step. 'Some' more traditionally-schooled pals, think I've been living in northern California for too long. Could it just be that I am inclined to think this way naturally and have always engaged in aspects of this concept throughout my life?
Some people have a natural (even DNA) tendancy to move towards than away from -- people, energy, ideas.....Additionally, mentors, professors, philosophers, authors, coaches, and thinkers have somehow made their way into my world and consciousness over the years and these encounters too have been as natural as a flowing river. For some people in my life, it's natural and without resistance and for others, it's a battle.
Remember that this is not a new concept just because the movie recently came out, nor is the list of successful leaders who integrate this philosophy into their lives on a regular basis. It was also not just eastern gurus like the Dalai Lama and Gandhi who tapped into its power, but leaders and inventors like Winston Churchill, Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell -- "What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists."
Notice how good inspiring leaders are at turning doubt around during times of crisis. Is it an accident or the fact that they are often incredibly wise? Is it blind faith? Knowing? Courage? All of the above? When doubt comes into your awareness, try replacing the doubt with unwavering faith and it will come. I don't mean religious faith here - I am referring to having faith that the strength, the clarity, the insight, whatever is needed at the moment, will come simply because you have faith that 'it' will show up.
They also talk about two other steps in this process -- gratitude and being prepared to 'receive.' Gratitude goes without saying, does it not? Anyone who incorporates gratitude into their lives will know what I'm talking about. Try writing down 1-3 things you are grateful for on a daily basis for two weeks and see what happens. Email me. I'd love to know. Through this process, pay attention to what you think you are paying attention to.
The Secret could have communicated this ancient wisdom using more mainstream language, in other words, showing examples that may correspond with people's daily issues and problems so there is context. Examples are often more useful to people when they are first learning about a new concept or idea than the concept itself. For example, if this were new to you, what would resonate more?
"Visualize healthy relationships. Visualize a harmonious home. Visualize yourself in those new relationships and in that new home. Trust that those feelings and those images are possible and will come into your life. Do it daily. At the same time, write down three things you are grateful for daily."
"Have faith that the Universe will simply provide. The Universe likes speed. When the intuitive nudge is there, just act. That is all you need to do and the Universe will show you the way to get there."
All of it makes sense to me because I have experienced it many times, but if someone never has, imagine their response to Approach 2. Back to the simple law that The Secret is trying to convey: you get what you think about and your thoughts determine your destiny. There is also a mantra that I remind myself occasionally that seems to work for me: Energy Flows Where Attention Goes. Have an open mind: give it a try.
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I don't think people are responding negatively to the law of attraction as much as they are The Secret's interpretation of it. The Secret gets it wrong when they preach blaming the victim. If you were raped, it's your fault. That genocide you're experiencing, yeah, that's your fault too. That's where it gets completely reductionist and out of control. I've written about what an integral law of attraction would look like and I truly think that integral theory is required to make the LOA work.
Posted by: Graham English | Mar 6, 2007 12:23:10 PM
Thanks for your comment. Personally, I did not walk away with a sense that the victim is at fault for something tragic like a rape or attracting a 9/11-like disaster into their lives.
I think its more about what you DO with it when something like that does happen. Look at how Oprah turned a horrible past into the successful and joyous life she has today? She gave 'it' a different meaning and as a result, a different life showed up.
How we define that meaning is a choice we all have. Changing that focus CAN change your life. While I'm not saying the movie didn't have flaws, I do think that this was a main point they and 'most of the people' interviewed were trying to make.
I don't think my grandfather's focus or attention necessarily brought about his stroke. Sadly, I DO think some of what he chose to focus on after the stroke led to a slower healing process. He gave up hope, he stopped growing, he stopped believing.
I knew some of the speakers and have read some of their books, but not all, so don't know if anyone had an ill-serving motive.
I did think that the movie was a great thing to be brought into a mainstream audience's consciousness however - so many put this into a New Age category and if they don't see themselves there, they ignore it or don't take the material seriously.
Thanks for your insights - I look forward to hearing more.
Posted by: Renee Blodgett | Mar 6, 2007 12:58:30 PM
I think a lot of the backlash you may be hearing right now comes from the Newsweek interview with Rhonda Byrne where in response to a question about how villagers could have avoided being massacred in Rwanda, she said they attracted this.
To me, this is where it goes too far. The law of attraction becomes dogma rather than a principle to live by. There's no room for compassion in a world where victims are to blame for their misfortune.
I'm happy that so many people are into The Secret right now. I think it's a good sign that people are beginning to look within and take some responsibility for their own lives. But when the LOA becomes a religion and a rigid law, then I can't condone it personally.
I'm not worried about any of it though. I know people will reach further and discover something deeper in their lives when the LOA fails to work as advertised. I was once a rigid believer in the LOA and my opinions about other people and their situation in life showed little compassion. And I ended up hurting people close to me with my close mindedness. But I grew.
...and I read some Ken Wilber. :D
Posted by: Graham English | Mar 6, 2007 2:42:01 PM
Those proponents of the Secret claim that you have attracted everything into your life that happens to you. So resultantly it was the fault of the 9/11 victims present in the Towers and in the planes that they died on that day. This follows logically from what is claimed by the supposedly scientific law of attraction and you cannot gainsay that in anyway, although you chose to completely ignore it while watching the DVD, Ms. Blodgett. Oh, and here's a fun thing since most have refused to use their critical faculties. Look for Churchill's quote that, "You create the universe as you go along," you'll be surprised to find that he did not believe in this ridiculous idea of proposed in the Secret.
Posted by: Jonathon Pease | Mar 10, 2007 1:16:11 PM
Does anyone know if this law of attraction is supposed to work on specific people in terms of getting your soulmate or if it's to attract your ideal mate without reference to someone in particular? I was confused about this in the DVD and CD. Hmmm.....
Posted by: AJ | Mar 14, 2007 8:05:44 PM
The problem I have with the way some promote the Law of Attraction is the absolutism with which they do it. No matter what it is, you attracted it. Then you hear the inevitable questions from the true believers like "what about the abused child?"
I hear the true believers saying you don't need to do anything to make things happen. Just send out the vibrations and wait for things to manifest. The thing you want, the new car or whatever should arrive in a couple of weeks.
Well, thats nice. But some things do require effort. Many things actually. Years of struggle. Just ask really successful people.
Then there is the way they speak of it like its a law of physics or something. Yes, we broadcast messages to others that repel or attract people. We also filter what we see so that we see what we're focussing on. That's all thats happening. No magic. Still pretty great and quite sufficient. Tune your own brain and your own mouth and wonderous things can happen. But there's no message sent out to the stars. No waves of magnetism.
Is this stuff necessary to buy into the Law of Attraction? Absolutely not. I hung out with the true believers and did feel more powerful. Its a pity the baloney has to be there. I could not stomach it for too long.
Posted by: Alan Brown | Mar 17, 2007 12:17:20 AM
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Posted by: rajamaheswarg | Mar 22, 2007 1:04:03 PM
For my part, I am grateful for all of the criticism - it grants me the opportunity to practice the Art of Allowing, and just reinforces for me how LOA works - the critics believe what they want to believe, and this is what they attract!
My thoughts on the matter are at http://blog.highvibeit.com/loa/the-secret-and-the-law-of-attraction/.
Anyone who gives the real Law of Attraction material an HONEST go of it - really feels the difference in their lives. Who cares what the mechanices are?
As my father always said, if it works, don't fix it :)
Posted by: Roger | Mar 31, 2007 7:51:19 AM
There is lot more to positive thinking than what people generally know. below is a good site if you wish to know more about the power of thoughts.
Posted by: Nitin | May 1, 2007 5:23:41 PM
This presents a fine dilemma. What you are up against with all of this isn't whether or not an effort like "The Secret" is valid, or worthy of consideration, but coming to grips with what you really are.
"The Secret" has been around in one form or another for a long time. It can, and has been, dangled in front of people like a piece of bait on a hook. From that, a person can easily be pulled into a "hall of turning mirrors" where, logically, everything seems to make sense but, in fact, nothing positive can be verified to have taken place on a major and lasting scale.
Is the aim of "The Secret" really to help you find a more luxurious house? or a better paying job? How shallow, indeed. But isn't it a wonderful idea that such small things could induce one to a larger Faith?
And how would that play out? Would realizing some Greater Truth about one's self, one's mind, body and emotions, one's apparatus, result in her just being happier in her better home and job? Or maybe in relationships that begin to more closely resemble the illustrations on the front of a religious pamphlet extolling the virtues of a faith-based life? Is that the destination?
The reality of the situation is that there are relatively very few who have more than the general understanding of the masses. The story of Jonah explains, psychologically, what such people are experiencing while they wrestle with their prior nature, deciding whether to safely blend back into the masses of "movie-goer" mindsets or to take a step up on the path of spiritual progress; which is, necessarily, lonely and cold for a short period.
The challenge, afterwards, for the one who steps up is in dealing with people, like yourself, who are still dreaming about things like "The Secret" as if it was presented for nothing more than to make your concept of life a much better version of what it already is.
Yet your shell remains intact; you have yet to have ceased dreaming; you are easily disturbed and you are quick to be offended were it suggested that you are still pretty much a child playing dress-up in your parents' clothes.
And were you unable to hold it all together with some expression of feigned civility, you would instantly revert to the mannerisms of that child, tantrums and all.
But, of course, you have "The Secret" now. You are safe. No longer wandering. You are now special because you know "The Secret." And it was revealed to you in a movie house for only $9 because you brought your own candy and soda.
Posted by: Sam Freedom | Jul 8, 2007 1:08:42 PM
Sounds more like the law of attracting your money so that they have it. What the heck is Mr. Beckwith a doctor of anyway?
Posted by: Brian H. | Sep 17, 2008 9:45:53 AM
It's true, the Secret Law of Attraction is more than positive thinking. Just saying affirmations are not going to help much. It requires to be in harmony with the wishes. The way to do it is to visualize having what we want and believe it's already ours. Thanks for sharing your expriences on the Law of Attraction.
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