Like Attracts Like: Law or Lever?

April 24, 2008

I have decided after some years of trial and error,  soul searching, and observation, that the ever popular New Age darling of the moment, the Law of Attraction, is nothing more than a marketing ploy, and not a “secret” law of prosperity and happiness.

 Granted, positive thinking can improve how you feel about your circumstances. We always have a choice of how to react to a situation, and to look for the positive in any circumstance will open the heart and broaden one’s perspective.But talking yourself into being happy about something in your crappy life doesn’t change your crappy life.
 
 The claim that our thoughts— at least those that are driven by strong emotions and beliefs, will manifest as real things or events is not a demonstratable, repeatable, proven phenomenon.And please don’t tell me about Lynn McTaggart’s Intention Experiment. Have you read the list of criteria that must be in place in order to send out one’s intention? She advises her readers to check NASAs weather report about the sun’s activity, and to make sure your environment has enough negative ions before you set to task. Funny; gravity, which is a pretty weak force, seems to work without much preplanning and ceremony.
I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though. The principle that ‘like attracts like’ is not a law, but a tool that some people can use effectively some of the time. It may be a lever that some people can pull, but it’s not a law that applies to everyone in all situations. Otherwise, I’d be in a relationship with the man in my visions,  and I’d be pulled over for speeding all the time, not to mention that my fear of dying in a car accident would have at least brought about a fender bender. I’ve had ‘unwavering faith’ that I would have won at least one writing contest and been published.  I’ve been certain that I would have received at least one unexpected check in the mail. But none of these things have come to pass. Not one. 
As I stated in the updated post about LOA and depression, if the law of attraction were impartial and constant, you know, like a real law of physics, then people suffering from psychoses would, in reality, be chased and hounded by real demons and other creatures. People who believe that spiders are crawling underneath their skin would actually manifest spiders. These people really belive these things are happening to them–but they haven’t manifested their beliefs for all to see. They are delusions. This could open up a discussion about subjective reality, but I’m talking about objective, observable facts.
Proponents of the ‘secret’ promise that one can manifest money, cars, health, relationships–things that are observable. They don’t promise that ‘it’ll seem real to you, and that’s all that matters.’ Hell, LSD could do that.
 The folks that have made the ‘secret’ to prosperity and abundance work for them are the people who’ve written books, made CDs and DVDs, who offer ‘life-coaching’ and workshops to those of us who just haven’t figured out how to make the LOA work. And they’re not giving any of this prized information away in spite of the fact that they could theoretically manifest all the money they want just from applying the LOA.
 
 So what kind of control do the rest of us have on our lives? Perspective is always in our control. How we see things is always a choice. How we react and the action we take is always our choice. We can be grateful for our crappy lives, or we can blog about them.

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Depression and the Law of Attraction – updated 4/23/08

April 11, 2008

I’m curious about organic and chemical diseases and a person’s ability to create reality. I’d prefer that my fate were left to a benevolent magical being, especially as I have difficulty mustering strong positive emotions around things I want, but as time goes by, I don’t believe there is a cosmic saviour, and the idea that each of us creates his or her own reality makes sense to me. Mostly.

I have difficulty with some aspects of the Law of Attraction, like its seeming random timing between intention and manifestation, and the rationale behind negative intentions/thinking not manifesting immediately because the energy driving those intentions is supposedly weaker. The proponents of this theory have never witnessed my road rage.

While the basic concept that thoughts become things seems logical, and it sounds perfectly reasonable that desire and emotions have an energetic pull, attracting circumstances into our lives, the claims of infallibility irk me.

I’ve noticed that some believers in the LOA qualify the ‘absoluteness’ of the like-attracts-like theory with such statements as, “You musn’t’ doubt for one second!” and stipulating that the intention contains the wording “for the highest good of all,” and “in God’s perfect time”. So how is this creating your own reality if there are variables still left up to some supreme cosmic overseer? These qualifiers basically negate the position that our fate and circumstances are up to us.

And, what are you supposed to do if you’re clinically depressed,  manic-depressive, or schizophrenic, and can’t control your thinking or emotions for chemical reasons? It may be a simple thing if you’re not clinically depressed, to tell someone who is to just think happy thoughts, or to not conentrate on the situation or things or people that seem to be triggering negative thinking, but people who are really, clinically, chemically sick, can’t just switch their feelings from dark to light. People who are depressed because of their brain chemistry aren’t depressed about something, which is the frustrating thing about the illness. If they were bummed out about a particular thing, they could reason their way to a solution. It an external trigger is the cause, one’s  mood darkens around a thing that can be fixed, remedied, rationalized, paid off, or ignored, but the cause is a real thing.

And if thoughts become things, why don’t we see the demons and wild creatures manifested bodily in the lives of psychotic people? They’re feeling and believing these scenarios are real; so where are they? The theory of subjective reality aside, other people can see the physical product of my poverty mentality. Are we protected from the delusions of the mentally ill by some sort of safety mechanism?

If it doesn’t work all the time, for every person, in every situation, then it’s not a law. It’s a marketing ploy. But maybe the law of attraction isn’t the only force determining the outcome of our lives.

Karma patches the holes in the law of attraction theory, if one believes that we created at least a basic fabric or plot to our lives in advance, either by actions of previous lifetimes or having designed a blueprint before birth which arranges for us to meet certain people, have particular experiences, in order to accomplish a preordained mission, then this ties everything up nicely. My god that is a long sentence.

Is it possible that our lives are governed by more than one force? Are our lives expressed as a combination of pre-incarnation mapping, intention manifestation, and divine intervention in emergencies?