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The Law of Attraction Is A Con

The law of attraction in actionLet me start by saying, I am not attacking Law of Attraction believers because I think that we’ve barely scratched the surface of what the human brain is capable of.

I’m not even sure whether I believe stuff like levitation, mind reading, and yes, even manifestation are beyond the realm of mankind, after all I’m a Life Coach not a soothsayer..

Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t.

The one thing I am sure though, is nobody truly knows otherwise they would have proven beyond any reasonable doubt by now. A Nobel Prize and as much cash as you can carry to the bank is awaiting you if you can do so.

When I originally posted on this subject the first comment left was this:

“I AM a believer, but I’m not going to argue with anyone. I don’t need that sort of negativity in my head, or in my life, so I just won’t go there.”

It beautifully summed up exactly what I find most frustrating about the Law of Attraction, or more accurately, the people that believe unequivocally in the Law of Attraction.

The person in question did in fact go on to post some more detail, but it was vague at best and didn’t even come close to answering some of the bigger questions and inconsistencies.

My Law of Attraction Background

I’ve read several books on the Law of Attraction including material by Wayne Dyer, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Michael Losier and Thomas Leonard. I’ve also watched and listened to hours of video and audio footage on the topic trying to understand it in detail.

I say that to point out I wasn’t always coming from a position of skepticism. In fact, in 2005 after listening to some Thomas Leonard material given to me during NLP training, I started to embrace the idea quite fervently. I really wanted it to be true.

So how do I now know the Law of Attraction doesn’t exist? The answer is, I don’t, I’m just being contrary with the title.

It’s impossible to prove a negative which is why you get such raging debates around such diverse subjects such as God, UFO’s, Ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster and of course the Law of Attraction.

If you found a real life living Alien camping out in your garden shed you could then prove that there were such things.

No doubt you would have to show him to the authorities, introduce him to the media and make sure you apply for the correct Alien permit from the local Sheriff’s Department.

Then, presuming men in black cars don’t spirit the little fella away to Area 51, you would have concrete evidence that Aliens do indeed exist. You’d even have the paperwork to prove it.

To prove there are no Aliens however, is slightly more complex. Not only would you have to check your own garden shed, but every other garden shed the world over.

And that would only be the beginning, because then you’d have to check the rest of the globe inch by inch, all the while checking the rascal has not deviously doubled back behind you.

Once that task is completed you would then have to do the same with the rest of the Universe. A tall order I think you’ll agree and the reason you’ll never be able to prove in any scientific or conclusive sense, Aliens do not exist.

Therefore, I nor anybody else can prove the Law of Attraction does not exist. Yet it would be possible to prove it does, even if that task has been beyond anybody to date.

Can Meditation Defeat Crime?

IN 1993 there was an attempt to prove that mass Transcendental Meditation could reduce the crime rate in Washington DC. Depending on which report you believe and on which day of the two month experiment it was, between 2,000 and 5,000 people attended the event.

I can’t tell you as somebody that abhors violence and strongly believes in meditation how badly I wanted this to one be true.

However, if you try and research this event you are deluged by the same very official looking report in a myriad of different guises. Every time I read something supporting the story it always linked back to this page which on closer inspection isn’t the Government body it appears to be.

When I first heard about this experiment in the cult movie (and one I love by the way) ‘What The Bleep Do We Know’ I was stunned and not especially surprised. I do believe that thoughts have power, even if I have no idea what that power can do or even if we have the capability to harness it.

Then last week I was reading the interesting book, ‘Nudge’ and my belief was shifted.

According to the authors Professor Cass Sunstein and Professor Richard Thaler, the reports are fabricated nonsense. In fact, they insist the murder rate hit record heights during the period of the meditation.

I cannot substantiate that, but I can find evidence that confirms 1993 was a record year for homicide in Washington DC.

This would suggest that if the crime rates did dip so steeply in June and July (crime usually drops during bad weather) it must have been an absolute bloodbath of Biblical proportions for the rest of the year in DC.

Even so, this story has developed a life of its own online. Why do you think that is?

It’s because people want to believe it. It gives hope. How amazing to think we can meditate crime away, wouldn’t that be absolutely fantastic? Damn straight it would, and as a pacifist I’d be the first to sign up.

Outrageous Claims

In 1988 a British politician and Margaret Thatcher wannabe named Edwina Currie, decided that she wasn’t satisfied with having a face that merely looked like an Ass, she wanted to talk like one too.

At the time she was a Junior Minister for Health looking to make a name for herself within the Tory Party. Well she certainly achieved that when she made the asinine statement:

“Most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now affected with salmonella”

Even if it were true and even if she did believe it, it’s not the kind of thing you’d expect a Minister of the Crown to be spouting off about.

As you can imagine egg sales plummeted, farmers revolted and Currie had enough egg on her face to kill her stone dead in seconds if her words had been true.

That is the epitome of making an outrageous claim without outrageous evidence to back it up.

As it happens, most eggs weren’t infected with salmonella it was about as true as the Easter Bunny, but the damage was done nevertheless.

Of course a lot of people rolled their eyes as they tucked into their egg and soldiers for breakfast that morning, but a great many didn’t. They took what they heard at face value and stopped buying eggs or eating products that contained eggs.

Think of any major conspiracy theory and you’ll usually find outrageous claims with little or no outrageous proof to substantiate them. I was a huge JFK theory conspiracy theorist for many years. I was almost obsessed by it and JFK is still one of my favorite movies.

Then about 5 years ago the BBC ran a program on the magic bullet theory. I settled down eager to have my theories confirmed only for a computer simulation to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it could have happened as suggested at the time.

I and many others had an outrageous claim, but no outrageous proof and I was genuinely devastated.

Confirmation Bias

I wanted it to be true and as such I went out looking for proof to back up that belief.

We all do that, it’s human nature. and it’s called ‘Confirmation bias’ and is summed up beautifully by Robert Anton Wilson:

“What the thinker thinks, the prover proves”

As well as confirmation bias, a lot of people are heavily invested in the idea of the LoA too. To change their mind now would mean a huge loss of face and nobody likes losing face. Do not under estimate the power of investment in an idea.

A lot of people have been, and still are, making outrageous claims about the Law of Attraction, without scientific proof to substantiate those claims.

There are a million and one anecdotal stories about how the LoA worked for this person or that person, but nobody has proved a damn thing.

Does that mean it’s nonsense? Of course not, every major scientific breakthrough was preceded by a period of doubt and often ridicule.

However, it does increase the likelihood it’s nonsense and suggests a much closer investigation is needed if it is going to attain any credibility.

I think we can all agree, The Secret was the reason most people became familiar with the LoA.  Unfortunately it’s not cool to admit that, so everybody I speak to about it seems to have got into it just a tad before The Secret came out.

The fact the film is littered with inaccuracies and contradictions seemed to have bypassed most people’s critical judgment on first viewing (including my own).

That may well be because like the meditation experiment people WANT to believe in it.  The Secret sold it as a short cut to success and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a short cut to success?

Let me know if you ever find one.

But for every person that stuck a picture of a house on a cork board and then bought that house, how many tens of thousands didn’t?

For every person that mocked up a fake headline and it came true, how many didn’t? For every person that was cured miraculously from a life threatening illness, how many died?

I can point you to at least 2 graves that contain people who eschewed medical intervention until it was too late because they believed in the Law of Attraction.

You’re Just No Good At Manifesting

The rebuke to that question elicited the response along the lines of “Yeh but the ones that didn’t get it didn’t really believe it”

Oh please. Does that mean that all those American Idol wannabes don’t actually believe they are good enough? If so, then they are damn fine actors and Oscars await them all.

Taking that a stage further, does that also indicate the person that wins American Idol each year is the ONLY one that genuinely thinks they can win it?

Do you think every person that survives a life threatening illness believed they would do so?

Or is it more reasonable to believe some people genuinely and wholeheartedly believed they were going to die and didn’t. And of course vice versa.

It makes you wonder how hypochondria even exists because these people would be ravaged with disease sent to them courtesy of the LoA.

What is the deal with people who suffer from mental illness that genuinely believe with all their being they will become movie stars? If they are sending out the right vibes wouldn’t the LoA deliver the goods?

Or does it know the difference between a pure and not so pure vibration? Did it send them their mental illness in the first place for vibrating at the wrong frequency? Serves them right for having a chemical imbalance.

And what about huge sporting upsets, how are they explained? I don’t know a St Louis Rams fan who didn’t believe they’d beat the New England Patriots in the 2001 Superbowl. They were the biggest favorites in Superbowl history, yet they lost.

The LoA would go some way to explain that if the Pats fans thought they’d win, but they didn’t. They were more amazed than the Rams fans.

Rams fans, players and all the media thought they’d win. Pats fans and undoubtedly some players thought they’d lose.

That’s a fairly prosaic example, but it still doesn’t make much sense to me. Was the LoA having a day off or had it just had a tidy wager on a New England upset?

Coincidences Happen…..Every Day!

And what about big lottery winners? Are they the creme de la creme of the manifesting world beating out millions of others, or did they just get lucky? If that happens to be you and you believe in the LoA, you’ll undoubtedly claim that was the reason.

Yet for every 10,000,000 people that don’t win the lottery, one has to, and to them it may well ‘prove’ the LoA. Coincidences have to happen in nature, they’re an absolute certainty, even if they can seem very weird and very personal at the time.

A lot of people believe in manifestation and as such some of them will win the lottery, it’s a given, but it doesn’t prove squat.

Have you ever heard an amazing story told by somebody that was booked on a flight that later crashed and everybody on board was killed? Often the lucky soul will believe it wasn’t their time or that their guardian angel was looking out for them.

They seem to forget that almost every major commercial flight that takes off has at least one passenger missing for some reason or other.

The businessman that misses his connection isn’t thanking his guardian angle at the time; he’s just pissed off that he’s’ going to miss his important meeting and his luggage is now on its way to Delhi.

Except of course if the plane goes down, then he forgets he was pissed off and realizes he was the chosen one.

Before The Bullshit Called ‘The Secret’

Prior to The Secret the ground had been laid by the likes of Thomas Leonard and of course by Esther and Jerry Hicks.  Leonard the co-founder of Coachville and ICF (International Coaching Federation) is often described as the father of modern day life coaching and was without doubt a highly influential figure.

He wrote an interesting book called The 28 Laws of Attraction (formerly 28 Principles of Attraction).

It begs the question though, how useful was being able to manifest abundance to Thomas Leonard? Well not much as it turns out, because as the more astute of you will have noticed I referred to him in the past tense.

He died in 2003 at the tender age of 48. I would have thought manifesting a bit more life would have been higher up on his to do list.

Esther Hicks the poster child of the LoA movement, is undoubtedly a brilliant live performer and her use of the Milton Model of Language is brilliant.

She may indeed be a conduit for a higher being called Abraham.

On the other hand, she may be a highly skilled con artist.

When I say con artist, that would still apply even if she has positive intentions because she would be knowingly deceiving people.

And there is also a third option, that she has lost the plot completely and is doing it all unconsciously.

Putting aside any beliefs you have for a moment, which of the above is the most likely, statistically speaking?

Or as Scottish philosopher David Hume more eloquently put it:

“No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish”

I have not seen or heard of anything she does that cannot be explained by cold reading, artfully vague language and a shit load of confidence.  So is  that the explanation, or does Esther Hicks weave miracles?

One of the most distasteful aspects or more accurately byproducts of the LoA is the high and mighty attitude of some of the devotees when you have the temerity to question their beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong; there are of course some thoughtful, considered and highly intelligent people such as Wayne Dyer that support the LoA, and they have my respect.

However, there are also a lot of evangelical drum beating, smug types that hang around on message boards and think non-believers are heretics deserving of their wrath and occasional patronizing sympathy for not ‘getting it’.

As the risk of seeming flippant, what the hell are these people doing on message boards defending their position. Can’t they do something more productive with their unearthly powers? Maybe they could manifest food for the starving, shelter for the homeless or a head of hair and waist size less than 40” for Joe Vitale.

There has been a noticeable shift over the last year or so brought on by backlash against The Secret. Whereas a couple of years ago there seemed to be few dissenters, now in the aftermath of people like Wayne Dyer coming out publicly and saying “they (The Secret makers) missed the point” they are everywhere.

Trying to find a LoA advocate that likes The Secret is trickier than finding an athlete that openly admits to taking steroids. Yet the thing sold millions of copies, and after all, Oprah loved it.

Is It Just Visualization?

The backlash has resulted in people previously claiming you can manifest something into your life by thought alone, to you can manifest something into your life by thought and then some action too.

Er, yeh right. So let me get this straight. You think about something and then do it and that makes it more likely to happen? Cool, that certainly is a radical concept and food for thought, I must mention it to my clients.

Visualization is a very valuable tool and there is no doubt whatsoever that it does work. I have written an entire section for How To Be Rich and Happy in which I explain how it works and why anybody can benefit from it.

There has even been successful research led by Dr Nick Hall into using visualization to defeat cancer. Whereas the results were not conclusive they were very encouraging.

It’s not especially complicated to grasp the basics and doesn’t require divine intervention to make it succeed. When we focus on something we want there are a number of reasons that make it far more likely to happen than if we give it scant consideration.

The same goes for optimistic thinking. Over twenty years of groundbreaking research done by world renowned expert Dr Martin Seligman in the field of Positive Psychology, has proven beyond any reasonable doubt the benefits of adopting such behavior.

So before anybody accuses me like the last time I posted on this topic, of being negative, I’m not. I’m inquisitive, intrigued and doubtful, but that is not the same as being negative.

Show Me The Science

We all know the LoA isn’t a law in any scientific sense of the word and thankfully even the most hardcore supporters seem to have now begrudgingly accepted that.

In actuality it’s a theory that few scientists take seriously.

Just because it’s been embraced by so many people, doesn’t necessarily make it true. And yes out of the tens of thousand of scientist worldwide, I’m sure you can fine one or two that are LoA advocates, just as you can find some that think the link between smoking and lung cancer is tenuous.

Lot’s of people believed witches floated, the earth was the center of the solar system, mentally ill people were possessed by the devil and Orson Wells was announcing a real life Martian invasion that happened to coincide with Halloween.

Millions of people still believe the self development urban myth that we only use 10% of our brain when science had proven beyond doubt the decimal place is in the wrong place and the true figure is 100%.

I know it probably doesn’t seem like it, but I honestly have mixed feelings about the LoA. However, it concerns me some supporters are too quick to brush off legitimate questions about natural and not so natural disasters like the Asian Tsunami of ’04 and the Holocaust.

It also worries me that some people see their lives as a mess and think it’s all down to them.

The mother that loses a child in labor and thinks it was her fault or the life coaching client that sits down and says “My life is shit and I know it’s my fault because I’ve seen The Secret” I’ve now heard the latter or words to that effect, three times from clients, although thankfully not recently.

On the other hand I know some people that have made extraordinary changes for the better in their lives and site the LoA as the reason.

Belief is probably the most powerful thing known to mankind and if these people believe so strongly in their ability to change, then it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest they will. We really don’t need a LoA to explain such incidents.

Is The Law of Attraction A Religion?

To me the LoA is religion for people that don’t believe in religion. It gives hope, it helps make sense out of a world that doesn’t make much sense a lot of the time.

The human mind is conditioned to look for order, to see patterns where there are no patterns and none of us are immune to that.

The skeptic in me wants to say this:

If you believe in the LoA read up on stuff that contradicts it. Look for examples that you attribute to the LoA and see if you can explain them in any other way.

Read with an open mind, and if you are unsure exactly what that entails, watch this:


Then if you still believe, that’s cool, go with it.

The idealist and hypocrite in me prefers to say this:

It has been proven that faith gives people meaning in life. In fact, people with strong religious convictions (without going over the edge into evangelicalism because then it reverses itself) tend to live longer.

So if believing in the LoA makes you feel good and gives you a sense of purpose and control in your life, why upset the apple cart?

So there you have it, I have ended up with a complete cop out. And the reason is because I simply don’t have an answer. I think I do, but that’s not the same thing at all, is it?

What’s your take? Are you a believer or a non-believer. Interestingly enough, when I was asking around on Twitter for a counterpoint a few months ago, only one person stepped forward and the resultant post In Defense of the Law of Attraction was somewhat less than convincing.

70 comments to The Law of Attraction Is A Con

  • Hi Tim,

    There are people who believe or don’t believe in the LOA. But what I think matters is that if they think the LOA benefits them, it doesn’t matter whether the LOA is true or not.

    Vincent

  • @ Vincent – Not so sure about that mate. Extrapolating that out would suggest it’s ok to believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus as long as it benefits you.

    I get your gist, but there has to be a danger of being delusional, where do you draw the line?

  • I’m pretty sceptical on the LoA, I gotta admit. I’m reading Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles” at the moment, and every time he talks about “positive vibrations” or the “Law of Attraction”, I mentally translate it into something like “the power of visualisation and positive thinking”.

    I’ve been having to think a bit why “energy vibrations” makes me have a knee-jerk reaction of “what nonsense!” whereas I do believe in the power of prayer … I think it’s because I see prayer as going outside and beyond the physical world and natural laws, whereas I’m supremely unconvinced that brainwaves can get any further than bouncing around inside our skulls.

    Anyway, thanks for a rather bold post, Tim (not that I wouldn’t expect that from you!) I suspect that the LoA does help people with what you’d teach as visualisation — eg. having the picture of your desired house on the corkboard.

    Also, is it just me, or do LoA folks have a disconcerting obsession with attracting material possessions? Whilst I’m getting a lot of great thinking from the Success Principles, I’m a bit bothered by Canfield constantly quoting million-dollar sums – as though “success” = a huge house and a ton of money.

    Hopefully you will redress this imbalance in the Rich & Happy book! :-)

  • Anything LoA related alerts my ‘uh oh’ detector, like Ali pointed out, I have also noticed it attached to wanting monetary things. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting a pot load of cash.

    I have been in the blogging world for quite a while now and have noticed blogs cropping up that are mapping their success as they follow the strict 30 day plan of thinking positively and blocking out ALL negative thoughts. What happens if something negative does happen in those 30 days?

    Scary stuff.

  • OMG, somebody just posted this on the Pavlina forum. I think I could have written it myself, it was EXACTLY what I expected. Absolutely classic and she is right I am bitter!

    Ok, so what’s new? Another non-believer who couldn’t get it to work so he, rather than go deeper down the rabbit hole and figure it out, decides to become a naysayer? Yawn…dime a dozen.

    There are some things that cannot ever be proven. Needing proof assumes doubt. Doubt cancels manifestation. Simple. If that is unacceptable, move along. This isn’t your destiny. Why drag down and slander people that are finding success with it?

    Bitterness. Plain and simple. If you are a decent person and you see that some people seem to love marriage but you had a terrible experience with marriage, do you run around trying to make all the happily married people look like fools and idiots? Do you slander their sanity every chance you get? Do you try and “prove” that marriage is a sham because so many people end up divorced?

    No. If you are a decent person, you choose the “live and let live” option and get on with your own quest, whatever it may be.

    Not LOA naysayers. They aren’t happy unless they are smearing their personal LOA misery and failure all over every blogspot or forum they can get their hands on.

    I send you all love vibes.

  • “rather than go deeper down the rabbit hole and figure it out, decides to become a naysayer? Yawn…dime a dozen.”

    This is what I find ludicrous, how deep do followers of LoA go? What if they happen to dig up something traumatic and shock horror something Negative!

    More to the point, why go down a rabbit hole? Its another expression for an hallucinogenic trip after all.

  • I think you can err on either side of this issue. If you believe anybody with a charismatic personality you are at risk of “drinking the kool-aid,” or being naive. But if you dismiss the less rational, less explainable, less pragmatic forces at work, you rob yourself of the nuances of life experience.

    The Law of Attraction might work for many people, but as they say, be careful what you ask for you, just might get it. If you ask for a big house and a rich spouse, you just might get it, along with as Martha Beck says, “all the friends money can buy.”

  • @Hadley: What do you mean by if you dismiss the less rational, less explainable, less pragmatic forces at work, you rob yourself of the nuances of life experience? I’m genuinely curious.

    As somebody with a chronic debilitating disease I think the “law” of attraction is utter nonsense. I hate the way people often use it as an excuse to act nastily. I hate the way the LoA has at its foundation “if it didn’t work it’s your fault”. Blaming the victim is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it still sucks.

    On the other hand, I certainly recognise that by concentrating on achieving something I’m more likely to notice opportunities, work at it, be motivated, and so on. All of that makes succeeding more likely, and all are perfectly easily explainable via existing science and I take advantage of it to help me achieve the things I want to achieve. And I do damm well at achieving things which are within the realm of possibility.

    I’m still curious about these “nuances of life” that you think rationalists are missing, though.

  • Gb

    Heya Tim,

    Mate, it sort of reminds me of the Faith Healers classic fallback line, “YOU didn’t get healed because YOU didn’t have enough faith.”

    Sometimes the line between Positive Thinking and Religion can get a bit hazy. Say what you like about him, L. Ron was no fool, you don’t have to pay tax when you are identified as a religion.

    Maybe you’re just scared of taking the next step, The Church of Tim? Um, Brother Tim, could I work the door perhaps…

    Cheers,

    Gb

  • @ Ali – I know what you mean about JC. I actually liked that book because of its look at belief systems, but the guy is obsessed with acquiring wealth.

    He does have very nice teeth though.

    @ Claire – It is simply a way of saying ‘I have no idea what I’m talking about but if I talk in riddles you’ll hopefully not notice ;-)

    @ Hadley – I’m not sure I understand what you mean at all. The LoA either works or it doesn’t there is no middle ground. And what nuances are you referring to?

    @ Ricky – Yeh, I’m wondering what nuances I’m missing too. I feel really happy and lucky with my life, but maybe I shouldn’t be?

    @ GB – Or maybe The Spiritualist movement started by the Fox Sisters. Even after they admitted they were con artists their followers refused to believe them and the ‘religion’ picked up steam. Amazing!

  • I, like you, believe in the power of belief, of visualization, and of positive thinking (and, knowing me at all, you know I’m big into translating that into action).

    But I see the same things that others have mentioned here — some similarities with *some* religions out there.

    I think the difficult lies in their being a ‘bit of truth’ to it. (The positive thinking, thoughts changing how you behave and therefore the results you see.) So it becomes difficult to just dismiss it out of hand.

    But no, I’m not a person who buys the whole LofA thing. Wish for it and it will come to you (and by the way, most of the info I’ve seen on LofA is all about what you can get for yourself and leaves out what you can do for others or being a contribution in the world or….you know….giving.)

    But I’ve also found that arguing with people who believe in it deeply is about as effective as arguing with those who believe in some religions. ;-)

    All the best!
    deb

  • Tim, You must have been attracting me to write my article :-). Anyway my favorite argument of all time for the LOA by Joe Vitale:

    “People who don’t believe in the LOA, attract evidence against it to themselves and thus by trying to disprove it are actually proving its truth.”

    Joe Vitale is actually a quite intelligent man, but for something like that to come out of his mouth just demonstrates to me how deeply he has fallen in.

    When I read things by Jack Canfield for example, what I see is a whole lot of good principles for achievement that work for obvious reasons, none of which have anything to do with the LOA. I listened to Jack describe how hard he and Mark Victor Hansen worked to get the Chicken Soup for the Soul book published. “Worked” being the key word. He talked about action, action, action.

    When I read about vibrational frequencies, I just ignore it. As far as I can tell any of the new-age mystical parts of the LOA are simply assertions with zero evidence provide to support them.

    I think Eckhart Tolle has some brilliant insights about being in the moment and psychological time. At the same time much of what he says of a philosophical nature sounds like a theory that was put together on an acid trip. He provides zero evidence of any of it.

    It disturbs me that so many people who are successful and who have some really good ideas, want to go off the deep end of new age mysticism. I think there is a lot of benefit in some eastern ideas such as meditation and to some extent Chinese and herbal medicine, but I don’t have to swallow them whole hog.

    I love your long article!

  • This article gave me a good laugh a couple times.

    No, I do not believe in the LOA. Though… like you… I do believe in the power of positive thinking. Big difference, though.

    People who believe in the LOA, appear to believe that there are no other forces in the universe except for themselves and their mind. Well, I simply don’t believe in that notion. And I think that notion is also, inevitably, incredibly oversimplistic.

    You write,

    “It makes you wonder how hypochondria even exists because these people would be ravaged with disease sent to them courtesy of the LoA.”

    Well… There has been, I think, some very compelling evidence that our thinking can profoundly effect the state of our health. That indeed we can make ourselves sick and beyond by what we think about our health or expect.

    That said… This has NOTHING to do with the law of attraction. This, instead, is a testimony to the mind, body connection. That our healing system is connected to our mind. That’s really all it underscores.

    And though there is definitely a mind, body connection–that doesn’t mean that by definition every medical condition can necessarily be healed by our mind. That would be too far reaching of a conclusion to make I think.

    But our mind can have a significant impact and in some cases, I do believe our mind can contribute to healing serious diseases. Part of it is simply a matter of will, which is mind. You hear all the time when people lose the will to live, they end up dieing. The body does respond to the mind. So it’s wise to harness this power.

    That said… you did mention how visualizations can be used to help combat cancer. Just wanted to clarify what I believe in response to that single quote. I know that quote was for effect and yes… definitely… not all hypochondriacs are going to become diseased, heh. They will, though, feel anxiety ladened.

    You also pointed out the ugly side of LOA. Self blame for all circumstances! Or, blaming others for difficult circumstances. It is, very,very ugly and I think it should be pointed out instead of ignored.

    By the way… I strive to think positively–because I know my performance will be significantly enhanced by this. But we can be positive thinkers while rejecting the LOA. The LOA doesn’t have a monopoly on optimism and thinking positively and in an enlightened fashion.

  • Hi Tim. Yeah… this got me all revved up! I used to worship the LoA, but a few months ago I tore up my vision board — it felt great! I don’t know… it just seemed so kindergartenish suddenly. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking but I think too many people get “hooked” on something just because so many people ARE hooked on it. It MUST work then right? But, IT becomes the main focus… whether or not IT works, or how they can win or how they have screwed up.

  • Hi Tim,

    I tend to think that the LOA has a couple of useful premises and the widespread nature of it has had people believing in themselves in a consumer-friendly manner (albeit a rather consumerist fashion too).

    To have people engaging their imagination in the process of their own development and aspiration is a good thing in my opinion.

    Yet what most LOA advocates seem incapable of doing is offering up any substance by which people actually take some action towards the things they are busy manifesting.

    The LOA basically says you think of the dream vehicle you want to be driving around. You get a good feeling about it and feel grateful for it.

    So what about a formerly disillusioned young man who has not had a girlfriend ever before, decides he wants a good looking girlfriend leading to marriage. He visualises her, feels good about it and is grateful for it.

    He runs into her at the library. They go out on a date. They get married.

    She turns out to be a compulsive liar, unfaithful and seeks escapism by using recreational drugs.

    How could this possibly have happened?

    The man received exactly what he wanted.

    He forgot to do what lots of LOA advocates tell you is a bad thing to do… He just forgot to go through what he didn’t want.

    I tend to think it’s really fairly easy to get what you want. However, I think it is more difficult to actually intelligently avoid what you don’t want.

    I know someone will give me that over-used example of “don’t think about a pink elephant” and then follow it up with “I know you just did” and then explain that positive or negative, all thoughts are there in your mind creating your life…

    These days, I think that náive.

    This last few months has seen the government here in the UK pump billions of taxpayers pounds into banks and instituions…

    Yet I can remember interviewing for my own website less than year ago a lady who had just gone out and got her dream car (a very flash and expensive one), she had manifested it, despite not being able to afford it…

    She told me, that when it came to payment, she was going to “trust the universe.” Hahaha, the absurdity of it!

    LOA believers look on the world and life as being connected and so when they connect their minds to the outcome, they manifest it and “hallelujah” it arrives…

    If you believe there is such a connectedness in the universe and that we are all connected …then why does the person who is connected to you get to die of starvation in Africa? Because they didn’t read The Secret??

    But the Law of Attractioneer believes the Africans have attracted the life they were meant to have. If not in this life then in some previous one perhaps.

    I’d love just one LOA advocate to support the LOA theory and principle with some good advice, support and life-enhancing information that looks beyond imagining good stuff and waiting for it to be sent by lightning bolt into your life.

    My good friend Kevin Hogan once said:

    “If there is anyone you know that has the ability to heal cancer, cool global warming, attract profound wealth (or even a little) with only their mind, please feel free to NOT write, YET, but better, please help them find their way to the local Children’s Hospital. Please don’t tell anyone why the visit… Simply heal the kids that are dying and attract in money for the medical bills given to the parents for those who are not.

    THEN please do write and let me know about the multiple healings the person has performed and where they will be tomorrow, for I will be there too, to observe and report back to the world, to CNN and ABC and FOX and the BBC….”

    Best wishes, shall go wipe the foam from my mouth,

    Adam.

    ps. We’ve got you Rams on the 29th Tim…

  • CT Olson

    OK without falling into the “here’s the One Answer and I have it” trap. I’ll say a couple things

    I believe it’s possible (here we go) that positive attitude will effect others around you, because we are social creatures, in verbal and non-verbal ways or cues to react positively. For instance – ever notice how being around a so-called negative or depressed person makes you feel bad and how you generally don’t like being around them? So anyway, I think to that degree you may attract people to you if you have an uplifting message and for lack of a better term spirit than if you are someone who is being critical all the time, mean spirited or humiliating to others. So positive/negative and LOA has some real application to human relationships.

    Another example is exercise – there are endorphins produced when you exercise vigorously which lift mood and according to some studies make us smarter and happier, certainly healthier in our daily lives.

    But I don’t think we can then make the leap in logic to controlling events or random occurrences in the universe. Or should I say there is no evidence of this. There is evidence that random events that we have no direct control over affect our daily lives. Accidents happen, randomly, there may always be a reason or a way to avoid (other than say an asteroid collision) but we have to deal with them and we never know when or where the next one will happen. It’s called entropy, chaos theory describes it, it’s a force in nature. LOA or not. Life’s more interesting that way IMO anyway ;).

    I do also think that for many of the reasons stated simply believing things is more of a let’s say palliative thing for people in pain. So there is some ethical reasoning for tolerating this in our human relationships. People in pain, depression or sense of loss, maybe a traumatic experience need to be tended to and helped when needed. Stress has a devastating impact in the body, on the immune system and releasing cortisol.

    But when illogical approaches affect longer term decisions like political policies (fear mongering producing abrogation of civil liberties for feelings of security is a great example post-911) we have to keep a level head.

    We need logical approaches to decipher the appropriate responses to solve problems – let reason be our guide there. And, as an engineer, I believe we are solving more of the problems of the world than say an astrologer, long term problems, that make us happier and live more fulfilling lives.

  • Lisa

    Since i was a child I noticed that i always got what i wanted. Not by my parents since they were actually fairly poor but from my grandparent or through a contest or even family friends. I didnt think about much as a kid, its not the kind of thing a child ponders, it only crossed my mind vaguely until i heard about ‘the secret’ several years later, it made total sense to me, id always been a happy and positive person, and my life was always good… things just seemed to go well for me, i also had some friends who were what i like to call ‘whiners’ they complained about their luck and things did always seem to go wrong for them, this made it make even more sense to me.

    I spent a lot of time looking into it, some things wouldnt make sense, some of the things i have read in this post are good examples. But i couldnt deny what i knew to be true in my own life. I still search for more info on how it ‘works’ from time to time. The only thing i havnt been able to manifest is a lotto win, everything else has come almost as easily as i asked for it. But then again.. its really the only thing ive asked for that i cant go out and fetch for myself if i so desired…

  • So glad to read something with some common sense. Not that, as a Christian, I’m against faith per se. It just depends what or who you have faith in.

    I wrote something similar, though less erudite, about Norman Vincent Peel’s The Power of Positive Thinking – now debunked by scientists. http://tinyurl.com/m5fuls I believed in its merits for years, but – like you – I’m a curious creature and open to new things. So when psychologists say that concentrating on trying to convince yourself of the truth of something that’s not, I can see some mileage in that. The mantra for positive thinking was: I must, I must, I must increase my bust. Mine, sadly, has remained the same as it ever was.

    My money’s on knowing who you are – the real you; the you God created – and majoring on making the most of fulfilling your potential. Much better than trying to adhere to a law of attraction which may, actually, mean being something you’re not!
    Mel Menzies, author of A Painful Post Mortem

  • Anonymous

    It’s funny, but from my perspective, what you’re saying is “The law of attraction is absolutely bullshit, but I absolutely believe in the law of attraction!” :)

    That’s because there are a lot of very disparate approaches to using the law of attraction; there is no one, universally acknowledged Truth about that term that everyone who uses it agrees with. When you lump together everyone who refers to the LoA as having one set of beliefs, perspectives, and ways of communicating, you squash that baby right down the drain with the bathwater. Yecchhh.

    What I refer to as the law of attraction sounds quite a lot like what you believe, Tim. Actually, it may even be identical, minus the moniker. You get more of what you focus on, so focus on what you want. Think thoughts that feel good when you think them. Feeling good tends to attract more good feelings. Focus on solutions rather than on problems. Bring the unconscious to consciousness, distinguish your highest values, and get your unconscious commitments aligned with your conscious desires, so your toes and nose are headed in the same direction. Notice what works and what doesn’t, and take appropriate action. Take responsibility for the results you get.

    There’s nothing supernatural about what I’ve noticed works well and what I sometimes refer to as “the law of attraction,” although, interestingly, I am almost always inspired by the things Esther Hicks has to say, and she does claim to be speaking for a supernatural entity. I’m okay with that; though I don’t believe what she has to say has a supernatural source, I haven’t come across any of “Abraham’s” suggestions that haven’t made sense to me. She may or may not be a con artist — she does, after all, make a pretty fabulous living doing what she does — but I haven’t paid her a penny and yet I enjoy and find useful what she (“he”?) has to say, so I don’t feel “conned.” It’s possible, even likely, to me that she really does believe she is channeling a supernatural entity, and that just doesn’t matter to me, because I so enjoy what she says and how she says it.

    I’ve spoken with quite a few people who think as I do, that the LoA as we understand and use it is a natural phenomenon, like the “law of reciprocity” — people tend to want to reciprocate when you give them something — it’s not a “law” like an immutable rule without exception, but a tendency that it works well to count on.

    You’ll hear more defensiveness and explanation from the supernatural kooks, sure; that’s because their buttons get pushed by criticisms, while others don’t get reactive to it. They’re just quietly going about making their positive difference. You won’t hear them saying things are your “fault” if the LoA doesn’t work for you, because for some of us, it’s about responsibility (and respond-ability), not blame. You may hear us explaining our point of view, though, because when you find something that works well and is fun, you tend to want to share it with others.

    That Pavlina member who went all frog-in-a-blender on you, I think, was just expressing something that’s common over there — exhaustion with what seems like an unnecessary attack mentality by attackers who don’t fully understand what’s in that crock that appears full of shit, and how many vastly different crocks there are, all bearing that same label, “The Law of Attraction.”

    I don’t know what that particular poster’s beliefs are, but it looks to me like with her rather negative and defensive reactions, it makes sense to me that she would attract someone like you who keeps those reactions alive. She may or may not learn how to respond more effectively, to get more of what she wants and less of what she doesn’t consciously want (e.g., YOU). You’re her soul mate. ;)

    Phew! That was a long response, huh? Thanks for listening! It’s fun to articulate this stuff.

  • Oops! That got posted as “Anonymous” but it was me, your pal Angela.

  • @ Deb – I think the thing is it’s either true or it isn’t. You can’t have a bit of a law. There are things that explain aspects of it quite well, so why try and wrap something up with a bow and say Ta Da! It’s a law now?

    @ Stephen – LAMO, I’m just imagining Eckart on acid!

    That quote by Vitale is hilarious. If somebody from the middle ages had said that and people nodded their heads sagely in agreement we’d have laughed our asses off!

    @ BF – I think what we thing definitely effects our health, but there are logical medical explanations for that. Not least of which the way stress attacks the body and how we create that stress through worry.

    Beliefs are awesomely powerful and I think we do have the ability to self-heal a lot of the time. How much? I have no idea.

    @ Davina – Sshhh, there is an entire industry building up around vision boards that could come crashing down.

    I actually don’t think VB are a bad thing per se because they can help people focus, but i get your drift entirely.

    @ Adam – That’s interesting because I never stopped to think about that. You’re right sometimes the myriad of permutations means we need to know what we don’t want as much as what we want.

    Nice one red dog!

    @ CT “And, as an engineer, I believe we are solving more of the problems of the world than say an astrologer, long term problems, that make us happier and live more fulfilling lives.”

    No shit! Lol, yes I think you are too. I totally agree about moods too. I can easily be dragged back into negativity if I’m not on my guard.

    @ Lisa – I think the last bit sums it up quite nicely, we can make things happen without it being manifestation. Also, I know plenty of whiners that do very well and happy people that bad stuff happens to.

  • I’m not really much for anything that seems new agey or religious or faith based. Dirty old cynic, I am. That said, I do believe that being positive, having clear goals that you can articulate and visualize and a lot of hard work can benefit anyone.

    Maybe going off on a bit of a tangent here, but it seems like people are very reluctant to admit how much of their life has come down to luck. NOT that I believe that we are all powerless automatons with our entire fates written in the stars before we were born, that’s just as silly as LoA, however our position today has a lot to do with things that happened before we were born. I did nothing to manifest myself being born into a middle class, first world family with the ability to provide me with proper nutrition and a sound education. Just that alone started me off in a better position than what percent of the world’s population?

    I suppose this is fresh on my mind because I had a conversation this morning with somebody about the dismal state of our city’s schools and how so much of the problem is that such a huge, overwhelming, heartbreaking number of our system’s kids are coming from impoverished backgrounds and starting off behind and falling farther and farther as the years go by.

    Do I think it’s helpless? Hell no and if I had the money I’d make sure every high school student in my city had some life coaching before they graduated! But looking at those kids who are no different than my own except that mine were born into more privilege, it makes me realize how much dumb luck played into our circumstances.

    Bringing it back around to LoA, I have a real problem with any philosophy that either blames or glosses over the very real background issues and problems that have led to people being in the position they are today. With all my heart I do believe that pretty much everyone could improve their happiness and circumstances if they were given the right tools and support and put some work into it. But I don’t believe that there is some universal law that is responsible for pulling or repelling things to us. Maybe gravity, but I’m not sure how that works.

    BTW, I will be a bit mushy-lined here and say I do think our attitude can make a difference in what we are able to achieve, but there is always, in my experience, a much more prosaic reason than LoA.

    PS There is a picture of some sort of frowning hedgehog/dinosaur mashup on my bulletin board above my desk right now. Let’s hope I don’t manifest that.

  • @ Anglea – Went ‘frog in a blender at you’ is my favoritest thing I’ve read in weeks. I really did LOL, honest! I am going to steal it.

    Do we really need a label though. Until 10 years ago nobody felt the urge to have to label positive thinking anything other than that, or lump it together with belief systems and visualization, did they?

    And if it is a law (ok few really believe this anymore) why should there be so many disparate opinions?

    It has been interesting that nobody has dived in and explained any of the inconsistencies. Where is a LoA devotee when you need one. I fully expected to have a few of them here ripping into me. I am so shit at this manifesting malarkey ;-)

  • Well, we don’t *need* a label, but it does come in handy because it’s fun to recognize and connect with other people who share similar beliefs, and to have a phrase at hand to refer to this approach, even though there are many shades to it.

    Kind of like “BDSM.” :)

  • Hmmm. “It’s either true or it isn’t…..There are things that explain aspects of it quite well…”

    Isn’t that 2nd statement saying that ‘parts are true’? That aspects of it are valid? But not the whole?

    If they didn’t include things that made people feel better as a part of the package, portions that made sense, it could be dismissed summarily out-of-hand.

    Why try to wrap something up with a bow and say ‘Ta Da! It’s a law now’?
    Marketing, of course. Those people who made ‘the Secret’ sure attracted lots of money into their pockets, didn’t they?
    ;-)

    All the best!
    deb

  • @ Mel – Oops sorry Mel, missed your comment the first time! LMAO at your mantra, that sounds almost Pink Pantheresque

    @ Angela – It seems to me a lot of them spend their time bickering. That’s the LoA crowd not the BDSM lot, I have no idea about them, although I guess they could whip some sense into each other.

    @ Tracy – Luck eh? You do realize you’d be tarred and feathered on some message boards for such heresy, right?

    @ Deb – Did they ever, that was an awesome job or marketing. They even had thousands of affiliates that they didn’t pay a dime too!

  • “@ Angela – It seems to me a lot of them spend their time bickering.”

    That sounds a bit disingenuous, as the title of your thread, “Into the Lion’s Den,” and saying it’s religion for people who don’t like religion, seem pretty calculated to push the frappe button on that frog smoothie. I think you knew you’d stir up some bickering over there. And how do you know that “a lot of them” spend a lot of time bickering? As I mentioned, I reckon there are plenty of people, maybe even a majority, who believe in what they call the LoA but keep pretty quiet about it. The ones who bicker about it among themselves are, I suspect, the people who are bickerish in general — and go on to forums to find some bicker-mates. You’ll find lots of bickerers in any group that uses a general term to describe their beliefs or practices — christians, republicans, 12-steppers, dominatrices, you name it.

  • Diana

    I think this is a great article. It is a subject that deserves attention because there are many people who are feeling like “what’s wrong with me because…it’s not working”.

    How much is true, how little is true…I don’t know. But what I do know is that “what” you place your attention on, does typically bring more results than what you don’t place your attention on. That our own energies are our own energies and if you are trying to shift someone or a city or a cultures energies, you better have most everyone one the same page. For example if I want to attract peace, I can create it in my own space, but I cannot create it for the world, because I am only a small part of the whole.

    The only thing I know I can control and change on a consistent level is my own attitude about my life, it’s circumstances and how I view those circumstances. I have seen people freak out when the movie they wanted to see was sold out, and another person, when they lost the ability to use their legs after an accident, go back to work 6 months later as if nothing has happened.

    Those are the real miracles or lack of. The Secret, the Law of Attraction, holds truths in them, but they are not ultimate truths. Life is much to complex, unique and interconnected. ~Diana~

  • @ Angela – Well I didn’t expect them to bicker amongst themselves although I knew there was a distinct possibility they’d turn on me.

    That isn’t my first experience with LoA either online or in person. In fact it’s a loooooong way from being so. You can’t swing a kitten in an NLP meeting without hitting somebody that wants to talk about the LoA.

    Then you have Wayne Dyer and others sniping at The Secret and all sorts of contradictory statements. BTW, Dyer actually directly contradicts the think of it once and let it go school of thought, he suggest manifesting on whatever it is daily, or at least on the CD I have he does.

    Are you wanting to share something with us btw? You’re amongst friends you know ;-)

    @ Diana – Thanks a lot and of course you are right, ultimately we only have control of our own attitude toward life.

  • Just don’t go swinging that kitten at a PETA meeting, okay?

    Yes, “The Secret” and “What the Bleep Do We Know” were actually SCREENED during my NLP training, which surprised me, and most people in there were very enthusiastically pro-Secret. It struck me as having a pretty shallow focus: that is, on getting things ‘n stuff. There are quite a few LoA people I’ve come across who tout the miracle of finding a blue feather, and it seems like the same sort of thing to me: why are you messing around with blue feathers when you could be focusing on generating your heart’s desires? Dumb.

    What is it I should I be sharing? What I want for my birthday, you mean?

  • Tarek

    Where does it say that just believing in the Law of Attraction is all you need? You need to put effort and change yourself. It is the ability to open oneself up to possibilities and ideas outside of the daily grind that each person may be in.

    This is like saying I believe that there is a fire when I see smoke, but I cannot be bothered to move.

    The issue with the Law of Attraction is the
    Do Onto Others As You Would Have Them Do Onto You.

    It is not magical mumbo jumbo. It is about being prepared. It is about putting in the effort. It is about daring to imagine outside the mundane day-to-day and then putting effort and a plan bigger than your experience.

    Truly, does anyone think things change without the person changing something within themselves?

  • Laurie

    LoA? ha ha ha ha ha ha! :o)

    If LoA were real, I would be rich, skinny, and very attractive. I’ve sure thought about wanting that for years! I guess I’m going to have to settle with working, dieting, exercising, and lots of make up.

    I have heard similar arguments with Christians who are ill or whatever bad thing is going on in their lives. People have said, “oh your faith is not strong or you wouldn’t have this problem.” I wanna slap them for saying that. Bad things happen to all kinds of people no matter what their beliefs are. It’s embarrassing….

    I still can’t figure why you would want to turn off Fox News….

  • Uplift

    Gidday, your article and stand are based on, and reek of the same thing you criticize Tim. The tiny window of ‘facts’ and supposed research you offer as support, are extremely biased, very narrow and limited. And,incorrect. They are self fulfilling and serving, and entirely unprovable.

    Open, thorough, factual, provable research ?????

    Silva, Everrett, Maltz, Gawain, Cayce, Hill, Haanel, Watkins, Brown??? In fact;

    http://norimuster.com/writing/positivethinkingtimeline.html

    ???? Overlooked? Forgotten? Unknown?

    I have been passionate, active about this field for over 30 years, and have experienced much that can’t be explained ‘rationally’. I blabbered enough about it on Steve Pavlina’s site.

    Regardless, there is so much incredible info before us right now, that is, and has been glaringly ignored. There is logic/rational defying proof before us, yet i highlight again, glaringly, comparitively no research is carried out;

    ”In a way, savants are the great enigma of today’s neurology,” says Prof. Joy Hirsch, director of the Functional M.R.I. Research Center at Columbia University. ”They exist in all cultures and are a distinct type. Why? How? We don’t know. Yet understanding the savant will help provide insight into the whole neurophysiological underpinning of human behavior. That’s why Snyder’s ideas are so exciting — he’s asking a really fundamental question, which no one has yet answered.”

    Why. Seriously, why? Not usefull!!!!??? Too much to lose if proven wrong? Piltdown again? Just totally on the wrong track?

    Explain away Tim, show us the rational, easily explainable explanation you have for everything in this field. A nobel prize and endless fortune and riches await you, its easy, explainable as you say.

    My observations of this field are that, profit can dominate it, blind some. It is a highly emotional subject, so is highly profitable. Controversy, emotion, drama sell… soapies. If the site is stalling, profit slowing… controversy sells, attracts. But there are and have been some amasing people doing amasing breakthrough stuff. So strong, so persistant. Look at Jose Silva for example. I met Everrett, amasing guy, amasingly frank. The last thing he said to me was, basically, ‘I know nothing, I have been shocked to the core, my beliefs completely questioned. Go see a guy named Sai Baba… if you can get near him.’

    Doubt, confusion is common, normal, to even those that eventually breakthrough and defy belief. Giving up is the choice of many. Every now and then some people just don’t quit, bingo the impossible becomes possible.

    Isn’t that savant draftsman amasing!!?? How?? Honestly, how!!?? Never heard of him? And all the others? How about them, amasing what they can do isn’t it. Mind bending, belief defying stuff! What can they do, are there some we don’t even know about? Funny you don’t here much about that eh?

    Explain away.

  • Tarred and Feathered – I float in water, I am sure I would have been a goner long ago!
    Several random thoughts:
    when my husband and I got married 32 years ago we took a money management class called “your money or your life” part of the class was to write down 100 things we wanted to accomplish…we started out to do the assignment and got to 88 – with some funny and strange ones listed to keep us going – well when we moved 20 years ago we found the forgotten list and all 88 things had been accomplished – all of them even the silly ones.
    I am hopeful, because I have beat a number of serious bouts of cancer and I am getting healthier at 60 than I was at birth….
    I am working, exercising, and eating at the top of my game to get rid of pre-diabetes, hypertension and excess weight – and it is big time work and lots of money and and now my massage therapist and medical intuitive say I am just working too hard at it…I do not wish to die of any of these “ugly American” Diseases or cancer….
    It is about hope – big hope and dreams…and one’s hope that they can carry out their life purpose and succeed.

    My Father knew he was going to be Secretary of Education for the USA but President Kennedy was shot…the Naturalized American could not move forward and was dumped out – when he could not find work for 5 years cancer developed and although he still founded two award winning programs for the Intellectually and Physically Disabled before his death he never recovered and died at age 64. Could he not believe enough or was it just his time? His 5 minutes of fame.

    These ideas raise a number of thoughts for me. It is good to roll around in this stuff – it does bring up values and beliefs so that you can see them clearly.

    Hope is big…and so needed

  • @Uplift: How is the neurology of savants related to the Law of Attraction? You completely lost me there. Sure, there are heaps of things in the world that we don’t understand yet – that doesn’t mean they’re unexplainable, just that they’re currently unexplained.

    [Tangentially, I always imagine that knowledge works like an ever expanding circle - the things inside the circle are the things we know, the ones at the border of the circle are the things we know that we don't know. So as the circle grows, so does the number of things we know we're ignorant about. This metaphor works for individuals as well as for the sum of human knowledge, etc.]

    The page you linked to was mostly a list of books about positive thinking. It isn’t scientific research as you suggested it was. Also, most of it is about perfectly rational stuff which follows reality and requires no changes of current understanding of the universe to explain. I’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s books listed there, I don’t agree necessarily that they’re balanced but they’re just stuff based on research and never once claim that anything studied is beyond explaining.

    As Tim originally said, there’s no doubt that positive thinking has major psychological effects. It also triggers of several known mental biases such as the confirmation bias and the selection bias which makes it seem to have bigger effects than it actually has. Similar mental bias to that which makes horoscopes seem to be true, no matter who you show them to.

    [Minor tangent: Look up mental biases on Wikipedia sometime - it's extremely educational in general.]

    This thread is very interesting. Thanks Tim!
    r

  • Uplift

    Gidday Ricky, you totally missed the point. Tim read a couple of recent books about LOA, creating, manifesting, miracles, whatever you want call it, and watched some video.

    ‘I’ve read several books on the Law of Attraction including material by Wayne Dyer, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Michael Losier and Thomas Leonard. I have also watched and listened to hours of video and audio footage on the topic trying to understand it in detail.

    I say that to point out I wasn’t always coming from a position of skepticism. In fact, 5 years ago after listening to some Thomas Leonard material given to me during NLP training, I started to embrace the idea quite fervently. I really wanted it to be true.’

    Then cited them as some sort of authoritive supreme figures, and infers because he has read the few recent things from them, and watched ‘what the bleep’, he is justified in reaching a logical, rational conclusion.

    ‘Prior to The Secret the ground had been laid by the likes of Thomas Leonard and of course by Esther and Jerry Hicks. Leonard the co-founder of Coachville and ICF (International Coaching Federation) is often described as the father of modern day life coaching and was without doubt a highly influential figure.

    He wrote an interesting book called ‘The 28 Laws of Attraction’ (formerly 28 Principles of Attraction). It begs the question though, how useful was being able to manifest abundance to Thomas Leonard? Well not much as it turns out, because as the more astute of you will have noticed I referred to him in the past tense. He died in 2003 at the tender age of 48. I would have thought manifesting a bit more life would have been higher up on his to do list.’

    Esther Hicks the poster child of the LoA movement,’

    This quote is totally untrue, and regardless completely unprovable, unrational, unscientific, and displays the exact qualities he doesn’t agree with.

    As I said, I’ve been passionate about, and extremely active in the field for over 30 years. Charles Haanel was talking about LOA in 1912. His work was becoming so popular and well known it was banned. How many of the works have you, or Tim, actually studied, and explored trialled, on the website I posted. (Which is just a personal view, and leaves out many leading figures, as the compiler indicates.) I posted it to highlight the falseness, the lightness and shallowness of Tim’s statements about Leonard etc, and his ludicrous inference of some type of in depth authoritive knowledge and experience in the field. Not at all very scientific or rational… ‘bunkum’ maybe?

    Jose Silva, the first to really promote and research the alpha state/brain rythms and Alexander Everett were huge influences, and made use of modern media to spread their message. They spawned the likes of Shatki Gawain (creative visualisation). Maltz was a huge influence then as well. Cayce material was big too. The period prompted Lyle Watson’s string of best sellers as well, investigating the field. Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain was extremely popular at the time too. Barbara Brownes stuff is pretty heavy going, but really interesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Brown_(scientist)

    There are many more, but, I think the point is made.

    However, as I said much earlier figures promoted LOA, whatever you call it. Actually, some assert that the book of Thomas, and other like teachings were left out of the Bible for the same reasons.

    You are following Tim’s lead, and making unscientific, irrational, illogical statements and judgements, by in your case, merely browsing at a book title/information heading, and assuming intimate knowledge of the contents and message of the book. From experience, I can tell you that authors, presenters in the past, often had to use much caution presenting their material, and were subject to harrassment and threat. Positive thinking was a safe catch cry of the time. Read the books, study the material then comment.

    What have savant abalities to do with LOA? What has memory to do with subconscious… what is memory… Tim, rational, easy explanation please? Brain hemispheres, areas? Beyond ‘normal’, beyond belief information accessing? Attracting? Retrieving? Creating? Again, Tim…

    Come on you guys,(off that couch Tim!), do some actual real, in depth research, and get some practical experience, if you are actually truly interested. That is, unless you’re just out for a bit of back fence blabbering and gossip.

    ‘Did ya hear they reckon Leonard said’…

    ‘No kiddin!!! He started the whole thing didn’t he?’

    ‘Well, its bloody obvious then… just as I suspected’

  • I just spent half an hour responding to everybody here and shut the wrong frickin tab and lost it.

    Thanks everybody I really haven’t got time to do that all again so I really do apologize.

    A quick note to Uplift.

    Even though you grammar and use of language is truly horrible and I was struggling to even understand what you were asking at times, and even though you are as patronizing as hell (that post took me about 8 hours to put together and I have read about a dozen books on the LoA) I’d like to give you a shot at making your point.

    From what you are saying, it seems the likes of Dyer, Chopra, Hicks, Leonard, Dooley, Vitale, Canfield et al have all got it wrong and have been talking bullshit and there is a secret clique of lesser known people that ‘get it’ and you are a member of that clique.

    If you want to write a post of between 1500 and 3000 words I’ll run it here and allow you to make a counterpoint.

    I can’t say any fairer than that. I won’t edit other than maybe grammar and to fit in graphics and if it attacks individuals cuz only I’m allowed to do that on my site ;-)

    One thing though. I don’t want a post on visualization because I know that works and how incredibly powerful it can be and it has nothing to do with a law of attraction.

  • I enjoyed this article Tim.

    I find it a fun game to point out the inconsistencies and logical flaws in what I have come to understand as the “law” of attraction.

    And I was going to do just that in this comment, in fact, until I realized that I was only really trying to make myself feel smug.

    So instead I’ll just say this…

    I don’t have a problem with people adopting beliefs with little supporting evidence. If the beliefs are helpful then this is a great foundation for change.

    My main problem with people adopting the “law” of attraction as a belief system is not that really that there’s little supporting evidence, but rather that acting in line with these beliefs can often cause people to do some really dumb stuff.

    One of the things I do is to help coaches and other small-business-folk with their marketing and PR. A coach I was talking to this morning has gotten herself in a large amount of debt setting up a coaching practice without any clients.

    When I asked what she had spent the money on she informed me that she had rented space in an office, bought stationery, hired a professional to design a website for her. She’d really gone the whole hog.

    It turns out that her mentor (who clearly had watched the secret so many times that the critical part of her brain had seeped out of her ears) had told her “if you build the business, the clients will come. The universe will make sure of that.”

    That’s just dumb thinking. What happens is you spend a load of money on stuff you don’t need.

    You don’t need any of that stuff to do life coaching. You just need clients. Deep down, my friend knew this, but the law of attraction is a treacherous siren. It sounds great. It’s easy. It’s the way we want the world to work when we’re five. And I think it can be a dangerous belief system for the reasons you’ve mentioned in your excellent post.

    Pretending to be rich when you’re not won’t make you rich. It’ll makes you poorer and slightly deluded.

    Oh… and I’m loving Uplift’s creative punctuation style??????!!!!

  • The LOA Stems from We become what we think about. Its the realization which states every thought we think becomes a reality sooner or later. As long as you keep this thought in your conscious mind, it will happen. So keep your mind on positive results for positive outcomes.

  • Bob Whitney

    Hi Tim,

    First time on your website. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to voice our opinions. This will be the first post for me on the internet. I’m an old person who has been through the ups and downs of life. I don’t know if my longevity qualifies me for wisdom or just being a habitual fuck-up; I guess time will tell.

    The Laws of the Universe have been with us since day one. I can’t say that they are understood or the favorite topic of conversation at the local coffee shop, barber shop or city hall meeting. That does not mean they do not exist.

    The Law of Attraction is only one of many Laws. Since I have not read any of the ‘popular books’ or viewed any tapes on the most current (any money making) ideas promoted by the current phenomenon of the ‘Laws of Attraction’, I can’t comment on their beliefs.

    Here is what I believe:

    1. The Laws do exist, although they are not readily apparent to everyone.
    2. Understanding these Laws is the first step, internationalizing the Laws is another giant step.
    3. This giant step is not that hard.
    4. So how do you make this giant step; that’s the hard (and easy) part. Many of your responders have come so close. I only read as far as Angela (August 16) to find someone that ‘get’s it’.

    The Law of Attraction is a Universal Principle just like the Law of Reciprocity. There are many others. Just because these Laws are not common knowledge does not mean they do not exist. If you truly want to know how things work on this planet, ‘Google’ Universal Laws’. From there, read and make your own conclusions.

    Of course, just my opinion. I’ve been wrong a few times before.

  • Uplift

    That’s funny Tim! Patronizing the patronizer!

    Nice changing the subject, well avoided, well beaten around the bush! Then, unconsciously, or consciously pulling the sympathy trick, gee folks, I work really hard at… making up things.

    Leonard and the others didn’t lay the groundwork for LOA, as you broadcast and claimed, it’s in your face, you got it wrong. That’s all right.

    A dozen books, that’s funny, is that all, what, one a year? Savants could knock that over in no time. And so what if you read 12 books, really? What’s that really prove… nothing. I went to University with some people that read a hundred books, and they flunked. The point you avoid is, you made some very false, totally ungrounded statements about a couple of the authors, and said a lot of things totally impossible to prove, (Hype, sensationalism), and based your whole post on it. Your post that was simultaneously having a go at others, about how wrong it is to do that which you just did in spades? Your foundation was dribble, so the rest didn’t have much of a shot.

    I never said anything anywhere about any of the authors getting anything wrong. (What do you reckon Ricky, classic case of advanced, terminal mental bias?) This ‘bunkum’ pattern of yours constantly repeats.

    And, that’s it, the whole crux. It’s a game, patterns. Like this one, repeating, that you unconsciously follow… wake up, drive, don’t fall asleep at the wheel!

    Everywhere, repeating. The board is simultaneously a pattern with no pattern, ingenious, infinite, you can’t run out of playing field, out of space. The players are patterns on the board, so same rules, one, yet infinite. Our role? Join the dots, make some patterns, and see how they interact with other patterns, forming more patterns.

    Mandalas.

    If you don’t like it change it. You have infinite choice. Imagination is one of the skills, hone it… determine it… determination, another skill. Create a pattern. Let some one else do it. Or don’t, it’s all the same, a pattern.

    What’s a wave, a vibration? It’s a series of joined up points. It’s a pattern. We’re on the same wavelength. LOA. Infinite patterns. Notice them, or don’t.

    The more you look, focus, the more you get. You know, there’s a pen, hey look, its blue, hey look it has a lid, hey look it has dirt on it, hey look atoms, hey look waves, hey look… (Here’s one to think about though, what if you don’t look?) Narrow focus equals narrow pattern. What about peripheral vision, it can be developed.

    Relax, open, enlarge your focus, suddenly, there it is. Practice.

    Oneness appreciates the whole thing. Separation fights for its little pattern, notice me, mine’s best. Which is just a repeating pattern.

    Ingenious. The result is infinite, endless, relentless change, interacting patterns, variety. And, infinite angles to appreciate. The spice of life. Each point is awesome.

    LOA. Join the dots. Go with the flow, simultaneously never ending sameness… relentless, inevitable change. Each point is awesome. Imagine how awesome the creator is. Imagine who the creator is.

    Here’s a free coaching session Tim. If you like something, enjoy it, really get into it, focus on it, don’t waste your energy focusing on what you don’t like. Otherwise, things like wasting your time, you, by answering all the posters, then actually deleting all your energy, cancelling yourself out, wasting yourself, are inevitable. It’s Tiger Woods. The secret. It’s so simple. Focus on your putt, not on Joe Blog’s putting style that you don’t like. Some call it LOA. Patterns. A little bit different though.

    PS. Oh yeh Tim, one more thing, relax, don’t struggle, you function and comprehend much better in a relaxed, yet alert state. You’ll view things much differently, and feel great too. Focus on relaxing. Alpha is best. I’m not sure what book you read, but it should be in there somewhere. Silva is the expert there. Top performers in all fields exhibit it and practice it.

    That’s it Tim, just relax, feel good, focus on feeling good, away from that… that… that…don’t say it… don’t, no, that patronizing hell…aarggghhh!!!! There it is!!!!! Again!!!

    Gidday JJ, you’ll love this post then. (Its a visualising tactic, out of the ordinary,draws energy,attention).

    People do ‘dumb stuff’ in all fields, in all styles of living. You must totally reject science then. Take Piltdown for example. You gotta love Piltdown Man. It’s pretty much the ultimate classic. It’s got every facet of human bungling and egos cornered. A bit like Tim’s post, they swallowed it hook line and sinker, for ages, it’s hilarious. Well, there is a sinister side, Colonialism ran with it. Surely, based on dumb stuff, you must completely reject our legal system then? Wrongly convicted? Innocent but in prison? Not as bad as dumb stuff in LOA? At least in LOA its not dumb stuff by brute force.

    Seriously though JJ, I have experienced this stuff, passionately, daily for over 30 years, and I have experienced things that defy our logical, rational beliefs. I would be a liar, and a coward to myself to say otherwise. I don’t totally get it, but honestly, I totally stopped reading at one stage, because I knew we have access to all answers about anything in us, and that that is an ability we need to practise. And all these ideas, insights come along. So, when I now read something, or when I post sometimes, I get a buzz, I realise thats what expert X is saying… I already have discovered that myself. You can think what you want of this, I’m trying to be sincere, I am being sincere. It’s like anyone that does anything long enough, passionately enough, they’ll gain experience, they’ll learn, they’ll get relaxed enough to really get into it. But the learning never stops, change is relentless.

    Honestly, look up into the sky, seriously, look. What do we know? What science says? And where does the sky end? And where did whatever is where the sky ends come from? and that? And that, and that?

    I have had some mind bending, beyond belief things happen, so have plenty of people. They are not all liars, and deluded about everything.

    And we are human, its a gift. What does unconditional mean?

  • Tim,

    So, now you’re saying there’s no Santa, no tooth fairy? If you go after the Easter Bunny, you’re fired…..

  • A few things…

    This is a blog about life coaching. That’s why Thomas Leonard was mentioned. Let’s forget about him now for a while.

    More importantly, these comments illustrate how difficult it is to have a sensible debate about this subject because there is such an enormous disagreement between what the ‘laws’ actually mean.

    Most of us ‘skeptics’ here don’t need convincing that visualizing, adopting positive beliefs, transforming our language and ‘letting go’ will lead to positive personal change. I, for one, see evidence of that everyday.

    What I see no evidence of is that my thoughts and internal representations change anything other than my own behavior.

    Does visualizing being rich actually make the rest of the world conspire to make me rich or does it simply help me direct my attention towards strategies and action that brings me closer to that goal?

    The former is magic. The latter is logical and scientific.

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t test the magical assertion in a scientific way. How about we put a couple of believers in a locked room for a couple of days and see if they can manifest themselves some chocolate or a fluffy elephant or a key?

    Or have I missed the point? If so, how? What have I missed?

    Uplift, thanks for replying to me. I do appreciate that, as well as the energy you put into your writing.

  • @ Jonathan – So how come every 15 year old boy doesn’t become a 17 year old girl if we become what we think about? I used to play squash with a guy that ALWAYS thought he’d beat me. He was crap, but his belief and` onfidence was unbelievable. He never did by the way.

    @ Bob – You are very welcome! And thanks a lot for posting a comment.

    That’s the nice bit, here’s the evil blog owner attacking his commenters ideas part ;-)

    It’s interesting that you started off calling it a law and then said it was a principal. Obviously if it were a law it would work every time as per gravity and it seems to me it doesn’t. It’s equally interesting that nobody has bothered to explain the questions I posed re the holocaust etc.

    I read a cool book called ‘The Go-Giver’ recently about the ‘law’ of reciprocity. It’s a lovely idea and oh how brilliant if it were true.

    However, good people get murdered, criminals live long and healthy lives. Natural and not so natural disasters wipe out generations of people and kind acts go unreciprocated.

    If that is changed to do unto others etc, then I think it is a good maxim to live by, but as for a law of physics I don’t think it’s even close.

    Thanks again and I’m damn sure you’re not a fuck up!

    @ Uplift – If you can put that into English I’ll gladly respond. I stopped reading halfway though because it was gibberish. You are to English what Britney Spears is to motherhood….and music come to think of it.

    @ Mike – Don’t worry we still have the fairies at the end of the garden.

    @ JJ – He’s a flamer mate, he’s not looking for reasonable debate, he just wants to wind people up. Thanks for some cool comments and I’d love to have you do a guest post at some stage if you’re up for it.

  • @ JJ – Uplift did respond to this, but his posts are getting more and more unintelligble and starting to verge on hysterical.

    His obsession with Piltdown Man hit new heights. I think he has recently read the book Sway.

    I think it’s the first time I have deleted a comment like this, but it detracts from intelligent conversation of which there has been a lot including that of the LoA supporters.

    I gave him the platform and he didn’t respond, just carried on ranting and raving. Not sure what that is doing to his LoA karma.

    He also never responded to any of the major issues.

    Strange dude, but I honestly can’t be bothered to have to keep my eye on him any longer. He can rant elsewhere to his hearts content.

  • Bob Whitney

    Once upon a time in a land not too far away Mothers would warn their children,”don’t go too far or you will fall off the edge of the earth.” I guess since there were no electric sockets around, they had to find something to warn them about.

    With that fallacy finally solved, we can next turn to the Sun revolving around the Earth. This belief was supported by the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle and the powerful Roman Catholic Church. This belief was so fully endorsed that in 1633 Galileo Galilei, an aging Italian astronomer was taken before the Roman Inquisition, tried, convicted of heresy and sentenced to spend the rest of his life for suggesting the Earth actually moved around the Sun. People sure had strong beliefs about how things worked back then, huh.

    Skipping ahead a few centuries to the time of the great German scientist, Al Einstein. Al called Galileo the “father of modern science”. Too bad Galileo wasn’t around for the positive feedback.

    I could go on, but for everyone’s welfare, I’ll stop.

    I guess one last thought, ‘when an idea pops into your head, where did that idea come from?’

  • @ Bob – True enough, but for ever Galileo there are 1,000 others suggesting everything under the sun.

    The US Government attacked the Twin Towers you know and I have seen ‘proof’ to support that.

    Science moves slowly and carefully as it should, but according to uplift, the LoA has been science fact for many decades. A petty the rest of the scientific world don’t concur.

    Where do ideas come from? Not totally sure what you mean Bob.

  • Bob Whitney

    Should I be doing an @Tim when I respond. I’m not sure what that means. Obviously, I’m old and not ‘with it’, however, I would like to respond with the appropriate computer-speak or whatever the enlightened call it. This is as bad as answering a singles ad that says SWBF looking for a good time. I don’t know when I answer the ad if I’m going to have the ride of my life or be soaking in a tub the next morning. Anyway, if I tell you where ideas come from, you won’t believe me. If you discover it on your own, you might. More to come unless you cut me off, or whatever you do when someone gets impossible or irrational.

  • @ Bob – Nah, I do that so the person I ma talking to knows it’s aimed at them. Only do the @ thing if it isn’t clear who you are talking to.

    Profound stuff!

  • Tim

    First time on your site – this is a very interesting article.

    You make some compelling points – but the fact that the LOA is not scientifically proven, in my opinion, doesn’t make much difference one way or the other.

    I don’t live my life purely on principles that Science can prove. Science, and scientists, are fallible, and I prefer to test these more unusual theories out myself, and then personally analyse the results. Whilst this is undeniably subjective, I think that given, for example, the quantum physics “double slit” experiments and its implications for objective observation, it is hard to imagine an “objective” way of Science being able to prove or measure the LOA’s existence one way or the other.

    Anyway, my experience of the LOA is as follows: When I truly believe something is going to happen, and I have visualised it, drummed up the feelings I would expect to get when I attain it, got excited about it and held it in my head continuously – it tends to happen.

    Conversely, if I doubt myself, worry about results, or imagine a less-than-ideal outcome, I tend to “attract” that too.

    Whilst this may just be communicating a clear target to my subconscious, which is then unconsciously acted on, the reason why the LOA fascinates me so is because of the unusual coincidences that tend to occur when I’m totally focussed on a certain goal. Things tend to go my way, strangers will somehow bump into me and provide a piece of information I needed, I get a call from someone out the blue who helps me get what I want…. ad nauseum.

    I’ve tried to explain these repeated coincidences to myself with many other theories. You see, I’m a rational, logical law graduate who used to rely on “proof” to believe anything. Over the last few years, however, I’ve caught myself laughing at so many synchronicities, and at my ability to “attract” money, (for example, by working less hours and less “hard” than anyone I know), that I just can’t comprehend the idea that there is some kind of higher force at work. If there ain’t, I’m just one lucky bastard!

    In conclusion – great article, I appreciate your critiques (particularly of The Secret – shit film), but maybe the next time something totally flukey happens to you, wonder whether this might be the help of some Carl Jung-esque consciousness database, the LOA, or something “planned” or “attracted” by you – as opposed to just dismissing it simply because you can’t prove it.

    Admittedly, it does spice life up a bit when you think like this, so maybe it’s just a “coping mechanism”. Christ, who knows?!

    Cheers
    Carl

  • Hi Carl and everyone else,

    I don’t want to single you out, put you down, or appear to be giving a rant. What follows is merely my opinion, but I hope it will be taken in the spirit it is intended: as another viewpoint – one which I hope you will be open-minded enough to think valid and worthy of consideration.

    I can’t disagree with much of what you say. I’m sure that if you (if anyone) visualise something, feel positive about it and hold it in your head, and you’re totally focussed on a certain goal (I’m using your words), then things tend to go your way. Where I dispute what you’re saying is when you suggest that coincidence causes strangers to bump into you, and phone calls to be made. (Or worse, some people seem to think that they exert a power over the universe which compels others to respond to them.)

    I’d like to suggest that you perceive the stranger and the phone call as relevant to your cause, precisely, and solely, because you are focussed on that one thing.

    Where I really, really fall out with the LoA is its fundamental aims and methodology. It appears to me, when I read what is written by its proponents, that it is entirely selfish and narcissistic. “Success” and “riches” are cited as the primary focus (with conquest over the female sex a secondary one – though thinking about it, I suppose that success and riches could be construed as a means of conquest). And to my mind, psyching oneself up to grasp hold of these aims and turn them into reality is ruthless – no other word for it.

    You finished your comment with these words: Christ, who knows?! And here, I think, you have hit the nail on the head. Because he does know! Nothing fairy-tale-ish: whatever you think of him, he was a historical figure. And how very different is what he promoted: selflessness; thinking more highly of others than of yourself; giving to receive.

    Give me Mother Theresa any day. One of Christ’s followers, her focus was on the poor, the sick and the needy. Her success and riches were evident worldwide. And her Law of Attraction was far more compelling and attractive than anything I’ve seen lately. I rest my case.

  • Mel

    Thanks for that, very interesting view!

    I believe that Jesus was a human being (i.e not the son of God), and was simply a guy operating at a crazily high level of consciousness. He promoted compassion, peace and love – which is a bit tricky for the layman to do, although I am trying :-) PS – The Power of Now and Power v Force are two good books that go into this, but this is a lot easier said than done, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    In terms of coincidences, etc, all I would say is you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but a vast number of successful people I have read about and met DO believe that you are able to “invoke” luck, and I side with them.

    To give you an example, yesterday morning I put out the intention for somebody to help me with a current dilemma – whether to continue my current path of generating lots of money, or whether to follow a more spiritual path. On the tube home last night, at around midnight, I started a conversation with a guy who was reading a book I had read who I felt somewhat drawn to. It turns out that he had forsaken material possessions to live a life of travel and spiritual enlightenment, and he was one of the happiest people I have ever met. He went on to give me some advice that I’m currently digesting.

    Sure, this could be a coincidence, but when a feeling inside me resonates and tells me to talk to the guy, and then I get help with the very question I had asked only that morning, I can’t help but think that something a little strange is going on. As I mentioned in my last post, this happens so often for me that I’m either the luckiest sod on the planet, or something (or someone?!) is giving me a nudge in the right direction.

    In terms of unscrupulous folk and the LOA, I’d wholeheartedly agree – but then I’d say they are nowhere near on a par of tricking people like organised religions do. Whilst LOA proponents advocate attaining success (and if you read a lot of the books they explicitly focus on attracting love, compassion etc, and not just material goods), religions promise you an “afterlife” in exchange for a lifetime of servitude. I’m pretty sure that this is much worse, and there are many more billions of people under the spell of “ruthless” religious leaders ;-)

    Finally, I’m not sure how it is “ruthless” to try and attain success. In my opinion, an abundance of money is necessary to both live a rich and fulfilling life, and to also to be in a position to “give something back” and help people. Additionally, I’m only 25, and I think a focus on acquiring a significant income now will benefit not only me, but my family, friends, children (later!) and many thousands of people (hopefully!) In fact, I currently feel as if it would be irresponsible not to try and attain a level of success, particularly if I (or anyone else) has a talent in a certain field.

    I believe that a moral and ethical approach to success is key – i.e whether you are willing to lie, cheat or steal to succeed. I am not – for I believe that if I have the best intentions, and aim to provide value to people and help them, I can generate significant amounts of material success without going anywhere near being ruthless.

    Sure, I’ll probably earn a load of money, realise it’s pointless, and then move up a bit in terms of the levels of consciousness. As I’m sure you’ll relate, however, it’s very hard to do this without experiencing a disatisfaction at things you have already achieved, and then being compelled to do something about it.

    Thanks again for your comments, I look forward to your retort!!!

    PS – I don’t think men need the LOA community to try and get them to “conquer” females – that’s kind of in our genes ;-)

  • Bob Whitney

    I like the fact that there are people in this world that can respectfully disagree on a topic that most likely will not be resolved by us in this forum. Congratulations to all.

    I thought Carl wrote quite eloquently about his thoughts and tend to favor his way of thinking rather than Mel’s, which was equally well stated.

    Mel is obviously uncomfortable with the ‘power over others concept’ which creates in me the crazy desire to break into an off key version of “Smile and The World Smiles With You”.

    What is the substance of this Universe that we live in? Is not all ‘stuff’ made up of energy, from the tiniest quark to the largest mountain. Do your words (energy) not have an effect on people. Does your smile not warm someone’s heart and then possibly someone elses as it is passed on. Why would the 160,000 thoughts you have go through your head every single day not be of the same stuff (energy) as a word or a smile. This stuff makes up the chair you are sitting on, your body, a rock and your socks. This is scientific ‘stuff’ we’re talking about here. Albeit, all from someone that barely made it through college (they said I was supposed to go to some of the classes).

    Lastly, I’m not sure Jesus had anything against wealthy people. My understanding is that when He talks about a person being ‘rich’, He is talking about a person that is so full of his own ideas or beliefs that there is no room for exploring other thoughts.

    Of course, rich could mean exactly what it means now, just as ‘Born with a silver spoon in his mouth’ could mean just that. Ouch!

    Everything is Energy expressing itself as Love.

  • I believe that Jesus was a human being
    SO DO I

    YOU BELIEVE IN INVOKING LUCK. I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER

    or something (or someone?!) is giving me a nudge in the right direction. YES!

    In terms of unscrupulous folk and the LOA, I’d wholeheartedly agree – but then I’d say they are nowhere near on a par of tricking people like organised religions do.
    WHO MENTIONED ORGANISED RELIGION? NOT ME!

    Whilst LOA proponents advocate attaining success (and if you read a lot of the books they explicitly focus on attracting love, compassion etc, and not just material goods), religions promise you an “afterlife” in exchange for a lifetime of servitude. I’m pretty sure that this is much worse, and there are many more billions of people under the spell of “ruthless” religious leaders ;-)
    CAN’T DISAGREE THERE. BUT EQUALLY, THERE ARE MANY MORE WHO ARE NEITHER RELIGIOUS NOR IN SERVITUDE, BUT ARE SIMPLY BELIEVERS AND FOLLOWERS.

    Finally, I’m not sure how it is “ruthless” to try and attain success. In my opinion, an abundance of money is necessary to both live a rich and fulfilling life, and to also to be in a position to “give something back” and help people. Additionally, I’m only 25, and I think a focus on acquiring a significant income now will benefit not only me, but my family, friends, children (later!) and many thousands of people (hopefully!) In fact, I currently feel as if it would be irresponsible not to try and attain a level of success, particularly if I (or anyone else) has a talent in a certain field.
    WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT WEALTH BEING WRONG? NOT ME!
    BUT YOU MIGHT FIND AN ABUNDANCE OF MONEY LESS FULFILLING THAN YOU THINK. I’VE LIVED THAT SORT OF LIFE AND BELIEVE ME, IT’S PRETTY VACUOUS.

    I believe that a moral and ethical approach to success is key – i.e whether you are willing to lie, cheat or steal to succeed. I am not – for I believe that if I have the best intentions, and aim to provide value to people and help them, I can generate significant amounts of material success without going anywhere near being ruthless.
    DELIGHTED TO HEAR IT.

    Sure, I’ll probably earn a load of money, realise it’s pointless, and then move up a bit in terms of the levels of consciousness. As I’m sure you’ll relate, however, it’s very hard to do this without experiencing a disatisfaction at things you have already achieved, and then being compelled to do something about it.
    YOU SOUND TO ME AS IF YOU HAVE YOUR HEAD SCREWED ON CARL. AS I SAID AT THE OUTSET, MY COMMENTS WERE NEVER INTENDED TO BE PERSONAL.

    Thanks again for your comments, I look forward to your retort!!!
    HARDLY A RETORT, METHINKS ;-) MY DISPUTE IS WITH THOSE WHOSE FOCUS IS ON MAKING MONEY FOR MONEY’S SAKE. AND WHO BELIEVE THAT THEY CAN INFLUENCE THE ‘UNIVERSE’.

    PS – I don’t think men need the LOA community to try and get them to “conquer” females – that’s kind of in our genes ;-)
    D’YOU KNOW, I THINK YOU’RE RIGHT. TO MISQUOTE THE SONG: THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE BOYS!

  • Tim,

    This is brilliant. I am so glad that I brought up the question and that you decided to revise the article. I completely agree with all of your points and now I know what you meant in that tweet response.

    Like you, I do believe that positivity begets positivity, that visualization and willing something to happen are all good ways to reach your goals; BUT for those who believe they can wish there way to winning the lottery, I bid them good luck.. ; ]

    Truly,
    Dena

  • Well, this thread has certainly generated some diverse commentary. I thought I might submit my thoughts on the subject for critical evaluation and feedback.

    I suspect we are all utilizing the “Law of Attraction”, except that it is a well established process.

    Take, for example, an engineer tasked with building a bridge. He will conceptualize (visualize) a design for the structure. This is the point at which the “Law of Attraction” proponents would have us release the visualization to the Universe and wait for it to “manifest”.

    The process, however, is that the Engineer then puts the design out for bids for its construction. A company is accepted to undertake its construction and, over time, work is completed in order for it to be constructed. This is the “Action” component which most “Law of Attraction” proponents work hard to de-emphasize or, even, eliminate. It sells so much better if one doesn’t have to work for anything – “Something for Nothing”.

    I believe that if we look hard and realistically at everything we have received, there has been an element of work underlying it, in order to “manifest” itself.

    Charles Haanel was, indeed, an early proponent of the “Law of Attraction”, however, he also advocated work to achieve the goal.

    The “Law of Attraction” is a man-made artifice, not a natural law. The Laws of Thermodynamics, the Law of Conservation of Momentum, the Law of Conservation of Momemtum … these are quantifiable laws of nature, repeatable, demonstrable and, to the extent we have been able to determine at the microscopic to the macroscopic (even cosmological) scales, Universal.

    Man has been able to send satellites to planets, moons, the Sun and even comets through the use of our knowledge of these laws.

    My personal favourite is the Law of Gravity, commonly used as an analogy for the “Law of Attraction”. The Law of Gravity works irregardless of whether or not I believe in it, it can be measured everywhere and its effects can be quantified.

    In contrast, in order for the “Law of Attraction” to work, I must have faith. The Law of Attraction is fickle, unmeasurable, unquantifiable and, if it doesn’t work, I do not have enough Faith or have not pursued it far enough down the “Rabbit Hole”. It can’t be, or rather hasn’t been, proven and yet, if it doesn’t work for me, the problem lies with my application or understanding, not the “Law” itself.

    I argue that the “Law of Attraction” is not a natural law, but an internal mind-set. I focus on a goal and then undertake work toward that goal. The more I desire it, the more determined I am to realize its success by recognizing opportunities when they present themselves (“Luck” – Earl Nightingale – Luck is When Prepardeness meets Opportunity). If I am determined enough, I can find numerous innovative ways to attempt to make it happen.

    If the “Law of Attraction” was as simple as Visualizing for a manifestation, then I suspect there would be few women left in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan (as I propose in The Effort Required to Manifest Your Goals – http://xi4sb.th8.us).

    Jose Silva’s Mind Control Method is a method for “programming” your sub-conscious in order to realize your goals, not a method for using the “vibrational energy” of the mind to manifest material things. The sub-conscious mind and its associated Brain-wave activity has been documented. The electrical energy of the mind, let alone an individual thought (even if it could be separated from the multitude of electrical impulses occurring every second in the mind) is vanishingly small. Energy decreases as the cube of distance – another quantified, proven law. So the possibility of this tiny electrical signal propagating out into the Universe, let alone beyond the skull, to manifest anything is highly unlikely.

    Finally, Einstein demonstrated that energy and matter are interchageable forms. The important fact, however, is that it is interchangeable through the equation E=mc2. Simple enough equation, however, do the math. Calculate the energy required to manifest a pile of money worth $1 million. Take the mass (m) and multiply it by the square of the speed of light (186,000 miles / second). That is the energy (E) required. Now try that for the car, or bettre yet, the house desired!

    The “Law of Attraction” is a well tested process by which you identify your goal (your Definite Chief Aim) and then implement the series of actions required to achieve it. The “Law of Attraction” itself is programming the internal mindset, so as to develop the “intestinal fortitude” to see the plan (and accompanying, required actions) through to completion, thus realizing (manifesting) your desire (goals).

    My opinion on the matter.

  • Lea

    I found your article interesting as well as entertaining in parts and agree with your analytic views. It’s like someone found a piece of truth that now is being sold as being the complete truth. Where in actuality, more information and understanding is needed.

    As far as the Ester and Jerry Hicks Abraham, I saw one YouTube video by them and at the end I was wondering why a bodiless being, such as Abraham, would be promoting a book? By this I mean, in the video Ester had “channeled” Abraham and before Abraham proceeded to deliver his talk, he reminded the audience of a new book that was being released by Ester and Jerry Hicks. That’s when I questioned their authenticity.

  • Just brilliant. Question, try it out, if it works for you great. Blind faith in anything is just plain dodgy!

    Thanks

    Kate

  • Kristi

    Thanks for this post. I have a REALLY big button about the Law of Attraction and The Secret. You’d be amazed at the cruel power plays that such things can be used for, and someone really did a number on me. So I, sadly, was one of those people who, after listening to this person and reading Carolyn Myss et al. and seeing The Secret, believed that I had caused all the misery in my life and therefore might as well just throw in the metaphorical towel.

    It is astonishing to me just how many “healers,” therapists and coaches now utilize The Secret and the LoA in their work. You’ve created your problems, so you can fix them. And if you can’t fix them, then you’re not trying hard enough. They neglect to take into consideration some important factors: 1) While you are “manifesting your intentions” so is everyone else — there just might be some conflict there. 2) Sometimes bad stuff happens that is beyond our control. If it happens early enough in life, patterns can be set in motion that are pretty darn hard to undo without some serious examination and work. 3) Denial doesn’t work. You have to face your reality in order to change it.

    Personally, I think the LoA and The Secret are simply the most recent phase in spirituality. We’ve gone from believing that God had all control and we had none (and therefore had no responsibility) to believing that we are ALL-POWERFUL, that there is no God, and we ourselves have sole control and sole responsibility. Which is basically saying that we are the center of our universe — rather narcissistic when you think about it.

    Rather than say that we create our own reality through our thoughts and intentions, I like what Stephen Wolinsky has to say: that we create our subjective reality. You, as the observer, create the subjective reality you are observing.
    We don’t create our ACTUAL reality, we create our SUBJECTIVE reality. Makes much more sense doesn’t it? I see what I expect to see. The more I expect to see something, the more likely I am to see it. It’s all a matter of attitude and perspective. He also says that emotions are just energy – that there’s no such thing as a “negative” emotion. I’m sick of people judging my emotions, so I like that a lot.

    Again, thanks for being “controversial.”

  • Law of Attraction is simply giving yourself the most opportunities to be where you want to be. I.e. I want be XYZ then you have to be doing ABC every day, every second of every day to be precise.
    Call it luck or attraction but the simple fact is that you have to get off your butt every day and do it to get where you wanna be.

  • Beau Branson

    I haven’t even gotten through this yet, but, being a logician by training, I couldn’t resist pointing out that YES, you CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE. That just irritated me.

    (Think about this: “You can’t prove a negative” is a negative. So, if it were true… no one would ever know it. But it’s not true. We do it all the time. “There is no highest prime number” is a negative, and that’s a pretty easy thing to prove.)

  • Beau Branson

    Maybe part of the confusion stems from confusing “exist” with “being true.” Nobody doubts that the Law of Attraction *exists*. The question is whether it’s *true*.

    Consider: nobody doubts that the *idea* that “2+2=5″ *exists*. Of course it exists. I’m thinking it right now. That doesn’t mean it’s *true*.

    It’s certainly *more difficult* to prove that some *thing* (like a unicorn) doesn’t *exist*. It’s not nearly as difficult to prove that some *idea* (like 2+2=5) isn’t *true*.

  • Wouldn’t a more correct statement be:

    The “idea” of the Law of Attraction “exists” (and is being actively marketed), but that the “Law of Attraction” does not exist.

    It is not a “Natural Law”, as it has not been proven and, in all likelihood, cannot be proven and, therefore, does not exist.

    The “Law of Attraction” is a man-made law is inconsistent in its results. Everyone conceptualizes a goal and works toward it, however, I would argue the goal will not “manifest” without some work toward it, unlike the Natural Law of Gravity which applies everywhere, is predictable and consistent, whether I believe in it or not.

    Despite using the “Law of Attraction”, I cannot make $1 million in cash appear in a suitcase on my desk no matter how hard I visualize it.

  • Great post Tim. I think the Law of Attraction is valuable if it gives people hope. What I’ve noticed missing from some of my colleagues who preach its virtues is the part where people take action. It’s important to think positive thoughts and envision success but it doesn’t tend to come without constant and deliberate action. I think the Law of Attraction would be far more valuable if it also emphasized the need for people to actually do stuff in addition to dreaming about it.

    Take care,

    Guy

  • Peter Knight

    I’ve seen many writers try to disprove the law of attraction with many types of arguments. But the arguments don’t really qualify as arguments against loa itself, they are arguments against the common understanding of what loa is or does. It’s an argument about how we think about loa. That’s a huge difference.

    This article is a list of arguments against the common perception of loa. One perception is that loa seems to give people the impression that there is a thing out there called the universe which has a personality, that will hand you stuff you want to attract if you ‘use’ the law correctly.

    I’m familiar with all the cognitive arguments and many of the psychological theories (I studied psych) that help explain why people believe in the loa. It’s easy to point out why people tend to think of loa from a belief point of view much like any other religion or dogma. From that basis you can cast doubt on anything. The thing is, the cognitive arguments say nothing about loa, just about how people tend to think about it.

    What I see is lots of statements that are irrelevant to the idea of loa as an underlying law governing our reality. Yes if LOA is a legit as gravity in terms of laws (my case is not to prove loa here), it’s problem is that is impossible to prove with our current way of proving and verifying (although if you do some ‘real’ research you will find a lot of studies and people that are making some real headway with this). To scientists it is unacceptable and well, that’s for good reasons, but at the end of the day it doesn’t prove or disprove loa as a law.

    The problem is much like the cognitive counterarguments that have been put forth (‘if you use this law, then shouldn’t you be able to win every lottery’, ‘did we attract this disaster’, ‘x and z study have been proven to be false’. And the other arguments try to disprove the sources expounding loa and thus imply if the source isn’t seen as credible than the loa isn’t true either), the arguments for loa are just as filtered by how we think, i.e. looking for evidence to support it (confirmation bias). The end result is just a ping-pong match between beliefs.

    But the loa claims to be a law, like other natural laws. If you understand what the law of attraction is stating it isn’t that outrageous and it also becomes clear why proving it to others is a futile exercise. Especially with the arguments that are cognitive in nature and thus are prone to how humans think, filter and process information. So yes it’s kind of convenient to some that it can’t be proven in ways we’d like to prove it.

    My nuance to the law of attraction is simply this:
    We are always a match to our reality, by law there’s no disharmony possible. On a macrolevel, or on an energy level. The takeaway with that is that we can change our own version of reality by changing our selves. To change our attitudes, how we feel, our thoughts, actions and beliefs, is to change our reality.

    It encourages full responsibility for what we have control over – not what we don’t have control over.

    Most people take offense to loa because the common perception of loa is that it provides some recipe to manifesting things. It’s as if we have direct control over what we manifest and that’s why we should ‘apply’ loa – to get stuff. But loa simply clarifies that you need only influence the one thing you can control: thoughts & feelings.

    Controlling outside circumstances is exactly what someone with a good grasp of loa knows is ‘not the point’. It’s about controlling your inner reality, regardless of circumstance. Just about every criticism toward LOA I’ve seen always talks about the falseness of having some magical influence over the world (that’s how one get’s comments like ‘why don’t you just loa a whole hospital to health?).

    What I find slightly ironic is that both proponents and opponents string together a bunch of reasons that aim to persuade an audience and then that audience will say yeah, that’s what I thought to etc and pat each other on the back. We get some satisfaction out of collectively agreeing about some interpretation – yet we feel that interpretation is factual – it’s just an opinion.

    What I feel strongly about is having an open mind. The real takeaways from loa teachings for me personally are that it encourages taking agency over how we feel and think. To stop living from the outside in, but living from the inside out. My ‘issue’ with critics are that in their criticism they often have the effect of closing a persons mind and embracing ways of operating in this world that are far more dangerous than being a little loa nutty. You see, living as most people do, dictated by outside circumstances and our subsequence urge to control it by force, is a pervasive cause of human (unnecessary) suffering.

  • Peter,

    Although your comment is well intentioned, you have inadvertently fallen prey to the misinformation surrounding the man-made “Law of Attraction”. It is not a “Law” as it has not been quantitatively proven, let alone even physically detected. It is a man-made artifice and is, in no way, a recognized “Natural Law”, like the often quoted Law oof Gravity.

    The reason it has drawn so much negative information is that, for “believers” of this pseudo-religious following, it places responsibility for EVERYTHING in one’s life on the believer. That is it’s danger.

    “Oh, I must have somehow visualized the run away gravel truck that ran the red light and killed my entire family”.
    An extreme example, but it demonstrates the fallacy.

    The “vibrational energy” of our thoughts does not have the measured capability of extending much farther than our skull and yet the proponents of the LoA would have us believe it extends out into the Intelligent Universe, which awaits our every wish.

    The energy required to “manifest” our desire from the raw energy of the Universe is stupifying. In my post at http://www.squidoo.com/Law-of-Attraction-Fails, I calculated that the energy required to “manifest” a 26 lb briefcase containing $980,000 is equivalent to that required to send the Empire State Building almost to the Moon. The calculation is not wrong, the belief that you can “manifest” physical objects from a pool of energy is wrong. There is a phenomenal amount of energy tied up in matter, hence the power of atomic bombs (which, incidentally, do not entirely consume the matter contained).

    The “Law of Attraction” is not a Natural Law, it has not been proven (and so there is no body of “Research” surrounding it as you reference), it hasn’t been detected and cannot be verified. As such, it remains a pseudo-science (in this context).

    You are correct, however, in the latter half of your post in which you state we create our reality. Our beliefs our based on our perceptions, which we receive through our five senses. Our beliefs are culturally biased and can be changed (through active effort, chemical means (i.e. hallucinogens), physical trauma to the head (and, subsequently, brain) and mental illness. Perhaps others means as well.

    We can change our reality, how we perceive our physical surroundings and the manner in which we respond to our reality in order to “manifest” into our reality. We can change our behaviour, appearance, attitude, etc. in order to attract a mate, but we cannot “manifest” our ideal mate from raw energy.

    The power of metal visualization, essentially the core of the “Law of Attraction”, is very powerful indeed. However, in order to “Manifest” the desired goal, one must implement a plan directed toward achieving that goal and this is the critical point at which reality diverges from the “Law of Attraction”.

  • Peter Knight

    Re: Rick

    >>Although your comment is well intentioned, you have >>inadvertently fallen prey to the misinformation >>surrounding the man-made “Law of Attraction”. It is not >>a “Law” as it has not been quantitatively proven, let >>alone even physically detected.

    My comment didn’t comment on the existence of conclusive scientific proof of loa. I did talk about the difficulty in proving it. However please note that there is no real scientific proof against it either b/c of the same reasons. There are plenty scientist investigating the influence of intention, Lynne McTaggart, William Tiller to name a few. To say that Law of Attraction is man-made is an assumption you have, not a fact.

    Responsibility in it’s most common meaning IS man-made. Responsibility is something we can differ about, as people are continually doing. It can imply guilt and causality. But a better look at the word responsibility in terms of loa is simply the ability to respond to reality. Even on a pure scientific level every single unit of matter is a ‘responder’ to its environment, if the unit changes, so does the environment and vice versa.

    >>It is a man-made artifice and is, in no way, a >>recognized “Natural Law”, like the often quoted Law oof >>Gravity.
    >>The reason it has drawn so much negative information is >>that, for “believers” of this pseudo-religious >>following, it places responsibility for EVERYTHING in >>one’s life on the believer. That is it’s danger.

    This I would classify as many of the cognitive arguments. It’s about interpretation of loa, not loa itself. But responsibility in the loa context doesn’t evaluate the quality or reason of the reality we live in. It doesn’t care about what caused what. But people are in the habit of doing that. The problem is a person’s interpretation.

    >>“Oh, I must have somehow visualized the run away gravel >>truck that ran the red light and killed my entire >>family”.

    This is just an example of the outside-in counterreasoning people use. Loa doesn’t state it directly causes external events at will – like I said in the previous comment, it’s not the point. People interpret it that way, the problem is not loa, but how people think about it. Many reasons against loa use real world events and actions, they are always looking at external events and trying to force an interpretation on them for others to accept. That’s what we do naturally, but someone with a good grasp of loa knows that is an exercise in futility. Yes it can be seen as convenient insulator to criticism – but what more can me made of it.

    >>”The “vibrational energy” of our thoughts does not have >>the measured capability of extending much farther than >>our skull”

    And you have measured this yourself? You’re making an assumption about how reality works, simply because you don’t know how it might.

    >>The energy required to “manifest” our desire from the >>raw energy of the Universe is stupifying. In my post >>at http://www.squidoo.com/Law-of-Attraction-Fails, I >>calculated that the energy required to “manifest” a 26 >>lb briefcase containing $980,000 is equivalent to that >>required to send the Empire State Building almost to the >>Moon. The calculation is not wrong, the belief that you >>can “manifest” physical objects from a pool of energy is >>wrong. There is a phenomenal amount of energy tied up in >>matter, hence the power of atomic bombs (which, >>incidentally, do not entirely consume the matter >>contained).

    Your scientific reasoning is just as confusing and missconstruing as some of the examples in what-the-bleep.

    >>The “Law of Attraction” is not a Natural Law, it has not >>been proven (and so there is no body of “Research” >>surrounding it as you reference), it hasn’t been >>detected and cannot be verified. As such, it remains a >>pseudo-science (in this context).

    You assume it needs to be proven by our scientific methods in order to be valid. So there wasn’t a law of gravity when people were carving out pyramids?

    >>You are correct, however, in the latter half of your >>post in which you state we create our reality. Our >>beliefs our based on our perceptions, which we receive >>through our five senses.

    Actually, if you are approaching this from a scientific/materialistic position, you’re wrong. You might have 5 senses, but the typical human uses a great deal more (proprioception, nociception, thermoception etc). I’m just making a point about how easy it is to use scientific language to influence people about the validity of an interpretation. You’re no different than any other proponent or opponent of loa or any other interpretation.

    >> However, in order to “Manifest” the desired goal, one >>must implement a plan directed toward achieving that >>goal and this is the critical point at which reality >>diverges from the “Law of Attraction”.

    Loa is just a law (existing or not), movies like the secret make people think it’s a recipe for causing manifestations out of the blue. It’s a human’s tendency to look and interpret things in terms of causality. What loa states is simply that we’re always in harmony with out environment, and scientifically even with our ways of measuring you will never find a situation where there is disharmony. On an energy level, everything is always in harmony. When things happen we can’t explain, it doesn’t mean any of our natural laws aren’t working. It simply means we don’t know how to apply a satisfying cause and effect explanation, which again, is a human tendency.

    >> However, in order to “Manifest” the desired goal, one >>must implement a plan directed toward achieving that >>goal and this is the critical point at which reality >>diverges from the “Law of Attraction”.

    I think having a plan can help, but it’s certainly not needed. Most of our manifestations, good or bad, happen without plans. Loa, or even just common sense wise, you will reach any goal simply by becoming a match to it. I.e., if you want to become a doctor, figure out what it takes to be a doctor. To get to such a place, you’ll probably want all the training and knowledge typical doctors have, so you can take the studies and the training. You can’t manifest something you’re not a match too, that’s why loa is not magical at all. (good) Loa teachers on the subject of manifesting essentially just say, you can get there much faster when you match up with what you want using your thoughts and feelings. It’s living from the inside out.

    When you say ‘active effort’, that is a western philosophy almost, emphasizing that all ‘rewards/manifestations’ must be earned by effort. This is why Loa irritates some, because we don’t like the idea of people getting stuff without earning it. We’re littered in real world life experiences that prove reality and natural laws doesn’t care about effort. You get what you’re a match to. Most of us work incredibly hard all our life, yet some have crappy lives and some have pretty good lives and only a minority have exceptionally abundant lives. Is that a limitation of what can be supplied to us? No, it’s actually in large part in our own hands and the answer is not more effort or more plans.

    Lastly, consider the opposite. If people are not creators of their reality, then we’re victims. That premise is a far more dangerous type of idea than the few people that interpret loa in ways that cause suffering. And mind you, even without their own interpretation of loa, they will have something to be foolish about and cause suffering about other interpretations (case in point, wars in the name of religion or power or money).

    If everybody would buy into materialist interpretationso f the world we would be in far more danger. It would mean we don’t have free will and thus aren’t responsible for our influence in society. All acts of violence would be purely natural thus not our fault. It would mean we’d limit our thinking in terms of science.

    Consider someone who takes loa to heart. They are conscious of how they feel and what they think, affirm seeing abundance and take responsibility instead of resulting to blame. They become good at feeling good – regardless of circumstance.

    A large bulk of human suffering is caused because people don’t feel good and thus do themselves harm or others. People that feel good don’t typically commit acts of violence.

    A large bulk of human suffering is caused because people blame others and don’t believe in their own ability to create a life worth living. People that believe in their own abilities don’t need to result to blame and are more likely to change their situation.

    A large bulk of human suffering is caused because they believe in scarcity and limitation which doesn’t exactly improve world conditions. People that believe in abundance are more generous, feel less anxiety and have less reason to control others.

    A large bulk of human suffering is caused because people live from the outside-in and allow their environment to reflect their self-worth and self-esteem. People that live from the inside-out see their value and love-worthiness as a given and are not dictated by outside circumstance. They are empowered and those that feel empowered have a greater positive influence for all of us.

    Loa-interpration-caused- suffering is what happens when people evaluate their external results and judge them. Just because we have shitty days, experience crappy events, experience crappy feelings and thoughts, doesn’t mean we failed or are lesser of a person. Just because one knows about gravity doesn’t make you any less prone to experiencing the pain of falling down nor does it care if you do or don’t. It’s just gravity, it’s just loa. Humans can fall, humans can elevate. That’s the human experience.

    If one calls LOA a con, what are we then affirming exactly?

  • “A scientific law or scientific principle is a concise verbal or mathematical statement of a relation that expresses a fundamental principle of science, like Newton’s law of universal gravitation. A scientific law must always apply under the same conditions, and implies a causal relationship between its elements. The law must be confirmed and broadly agreed upon through the process of inductive reasoning.” Wikipedia.

    Therefore, by definition, “… no real proof …” does, in fact, eliiminate the man-made “law of Attraction” as a scientific law.

    Scientific American, vol. 296, Issue 6, pg. 39 The magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the barin “… are miniscule and can be measured only by using an extremely sensitive superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) in a room heavily shielded against outside magnetic forces. Plus, remember the inverse square law: the intensity of an energy wave radiating from a source is inversely proportional to the square opf the distance from that source. An object twice as far away from the source of energy as another object of the same size receives only one-fourth the energy”.

    The law of gravity wasn’t quantified and defined until Isaac Newton, but there was a common observation from day one of mankind’s existence – whent he support for something is removed, it ALWAYS falls down. The Law of Gravity existed from the first moments after the Big Bang and was repeatedly observed to act in exactly the same manner, repeatedly, regardless of whether one believed in it or not.

    People ARE creators of their reality, as I stated in my earlier post, however, they cannot “manifest” physical objects using thought energy.

    “”Reality” is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.”

    The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukov

    In short, we mentally define our own respective, individual “realities”, manifesting a physical reality is something entirely different.

    To conclude, the “Law of Attraction” has not been detected or measured, it is not universal, or consistent and is not repeatable. It is not a scientific law and is, by definition, a man-made artifice.

  • Focault

    What does science tell about the Law of Attraction? It tells that LoA doesn’t work. Do you need a proof by scientific evidence? Read this:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-van-edwards/law-of-attraction_b_2082921.html
    http://www.heatherkappes.com/?page_id=68

    But if you are a hard die believer in LoA, affected by cognitive bias, then please refuse to believe in science. For instance refuse to believe that your personal computer was built by using science knowledge, refuse to believe in Newton gravity law, refuse to believe in scientific evidence in general. Program your brain with positive thinking like a robot. Don’t accept your feelings as they are. Don’t love yourself as you are. Throw your life experience and your own judgment into the trash. Never desire to save your emotions.

    Cheers!