A Look at the Law of Attraction

September 29th, 2014







– http://www.thesecrettolivingthelawofattraction.com/



The law of attraction is a popular concept that has been influencing a lot of fields in recent times from personal development to multi-level marketing. It attempts to explain how we can identify the factors that allow us to attain what we want.




It postulates that any dream or desire is attainable by reprogramming the way we think both about ourselves and our relationship to what we desire to achieve. Superficially at least, it appears no different from any other ‘positive thinking’ movement since Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book about how to change people’s behavior towards us by changing our own behavior.1



The basic premise of the Law of Attraction is that a positive mental attitude attracts positive experiences and circumstances while a negative mental attitude attracts those conditions that we deem negative or unwanted.




Yi, Qi, Li



Putting aside for one moment the more materialistic applications some interpretations of this principle has seen over the last few years (more on this later), there is an ancient precedent for this concept.


In Taoism and its application in traditional Chinese medicine in particular, there is a concept demonstrating the link between thought and manifestation: Yi, Qi, Li.



Literally translated it becomes: Intention, energy, result. Therefore it is not only ‘the road to hell’ that are paved with good (or otherwise) intentions but everything we attract and create. The software phase of this equation lies in the directive programming of intention. Intention directs our energy-consciousness to do the work or actions that leads to manifestation.



In the microcosmic universe of the body our thoughts coupled to the drive of the emotions direct the software of qi to affect physical processes in the body. We have discussed specific examples of this many times in the Monday Conscious Health blog. Click here for a recent example about how anger affects physical health.




Conscious versus unconscious


© Marcus Soderland/Barcroft media

© Marcus Soderland/Barcroft media



The elephant in the room in discussions about the law of attraction is the unconscious. This is largely ignored in the more modern and materialistic interpretation and application of this principle.


‘Dream it, believe it, attain it!’ schools of thought may sound attractive or inspirational to those who feel powerless and marginalized but it does not tell the whole truth. Time for a review then about chi-consciousness:



  • Consciousness is creative. That is, it attracts and creates
  • Consciousness is always striving to know itself; to become fully conscious.
  • What it attracts and creates then are situations that will serve that purpose
  • The sum total of consciousness includes:
    • what is conscious
    • what is unconscious
  • Therefore we create consciously and unconsciously
  • Our conscious creations are based on what we think we want
  • Our unconscious creations are based on what we need to create, attract and experience in order to become more conscious.



The experience of our conscious creations is one of attainment – albeit often with a somewhat hollow, or strangely anticlimactic aftertaste. The experience of our unconscious creations is one of resistance – something often called ‘suffering’. The ‘Why does this happen to me?’ scenario.


Because it is unconscious suffering we then suffer twice as a result (click here for more about that)





If we do not immediately learn and become more conscious or aware of what we have been unconsciously creating and attracting we will have to keep creating and attracting scenarios to us until we begin to recognize our role in it and change our behavior. Otherwise they will quickly turn into ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ dramas, tragedies and comedies.




Spiritual materialism



Although the law of attraction is often cloaked in quasi-spiritual terms its proponents are usually advocating it as a tool to further material desires. “You can get what you want if you only believe it!”. “If you can dream it, you can have it!”





Of course those that don’t achieve miracles in this way are tacitly admonished for still having too much negative thinking. Because these principles are presented as spiritual it also implies a spiritual failing. The implication then is that unless we can manifest materially we have failed – at all levels.



Now that may be true if the law of attraction was about materialism.




The trouble with materialism



Here’s the thing:



Every material thing we think we can possess – our own body (or even the bodies of others near and dear to us like friends, lovers or children) money, houses, cars, businesses, possessions, bright, shiny trinkets of desire and so on – will be separated from us. If for no earlier reason (death, loss, or simply a loss of interest) this separation will occur with our own death.



This is not a philosophical argument. It is simply a mechanical fact of the material universe. It is not hidden from us. It is in plain view yet our attachment to material things can be so strong that we simply ignore it like the elephant in the room.



There are however, several things we gain in our travels through the shifting sands of the material world:


  • Experience
  • What we become through that experience



Of course we can manifest materially and there is nothing inherently wrong with it but that is just one experience our personal evolution may choose for us. We can use each experience to understand our Self more deeply. Everything we attract, manifest and experience can be used as grist for the mill of understanding.



Material gain or loss are then just experiences we can use to that end. The ‘stuff’ of life becomes less important than what we become through the experience of it. What we really gain is not material at all but spiritual.



Therefore we can never make a ‘mistake’ or ‘fail’. Whatever the experience, we have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves. If we don’t learn the first time then rest assured our ever evolving Self will create and attract more experiences.





The law of attraction therefore serves the purpose of creating and attracting those situations that will best serve us in knowing ourselves.



That includes situations and manifestations that our materialistic, controlling ego may not always like. Even things we may view as negative like illness, loss – and not forgetting those failures and mistakes – can turn out to be the making of us.



We can only understand this when we drop our materialist ideas about manifestation. Once we release the twin illusions of gain and loss we become free to grow from whatever we experience.





Till we are free to experience another Monday – and whatever it may attract,



1‘How to win friends and influence people’ Dale Carnegie. Publisher: Simon and Schuster 1936.



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com







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