The Law of Attraction – for real?

Law of AttractionThere is so much talk about “The Law of Attraction”, especially since the success of the book “The Secret”. The purpose of this post is to briefly ponder whether this law could be true as it seems to defy all conventional common sense.

I first came across the Law of Attraction some time ago and I’ve since read a few books related to the subject – Loi d’Attraction, Conversations with the Universe, The Map & The Intention Experiment. And then there are some interesting videos like Power of Subconscious MindInterview with Jack Canfield, Finding Joe,  How to Transform Your World with Your Mind and ‘The Ultimate Secret’ Beyond The Law Of Attraction.

What is the Law of Attraction?

The Law of AttractionIn my own very rough words, the Law of Attraction says that we attract things into our lives that have the same “resonance” and “feeling” that we ourselves are having. That is, if we have strong feelings of love and happiness, we’ll attract things to love and be happy about. If we have strong feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, we’ll attract situations to feel inadequate about. Many people talk about the concept of “vibration” and that the manner in which our energies are vibrating causes the universe to resonate in the same way.

Many people might think that this sounds just like the power of positive thinking, but it’s not. The Law of Attraction people are clear that just positive thinking is not enough to attract things from the universe. It requires a change in the energy fields that we create and interact with, something along the lines of a true, deep feeling or intention.

All a bit vague, I know, and it’s easy to dismiss this all as mumbo-jumbo. The world doesn’t work like that! – I hear people saying. Well, it seems like we don’t know how the world works anyway. Quantum physics has thrown a lot of doubt into how much we really know (see Double-slit experiment defines weirdness – and there’s a lot more where that comes from).

Oprah Winfrey and The Law of Attraction

Here’s a short 3 minute video of Oprah Winfrey being interviewed by Larry King where she talks about the Law of Attraction. Of course, Oprah is very high profile and this is being discussed on prime-time US television.

What have others had to say? 

Many things that Buddha said imply that the Law of Attraction is for real, if you take his words literally. Here are some examples;

Just as a picture is drawn by an artist, surroundings are created by the activities of the mind.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.
– From the Dhammapada

Then Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote the book “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937 and is considered to be one of the early proponents of the Law of Attraction. Here are some of his quotes;

What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.

Bob Proctor is famous person in the circles of the Law of Attraction. His life turned around when he read Napoleon Hill’s book (mentioned above) in his early life. Here is a video of Bob talking about the Law of Attraction and how fear is the most common thing to hold us back. Here are some of Bob Proctor’s quotes;

Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.

See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it. It always works.

Let’s start with what we can be thankful for and get our mind into that vibration, and then watch the good that starts to come, because one thought leads to another.

Everything you are seeking is seeking you in return. Therefore, everything you want is already yours. It is simply a matter of becoming more aware of what you already possess.

But it’s not just Law of Attraction people that have said relevant things along these lines. Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein;

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

and a quote from Max Planck (Nobel Prize for physics in 1918);

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.

and another one from Werner Heisenberg (one of the founders of Quantum Physics, awarded a Nobel Prize in 1932);

The atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.

The Law of AttractionWhat does all this mean?

Well, of course, this is a topic which nobody can prove of disprove. But it’s interesting to consider, especially when eminent scientists make the unusual quotes like those mentioned above. When Albert Einstein says “reality is merely an illusion” and Max Planck regards “matter as derivative from consciousness” and Walter Heisenberg says “elementary particles themselves are not real”, then the world is potentially way stranger than conventional knowledge has led me to believe. I’ve been led to believe that matter is real, our daily existence is reality and that consciousness is some strange thing that only weird people talk about.

Maybe the concept of The Law of Attraction is not so weird after all.

I’d love to hear your opinion!

5 comments… add one
  • Jess June 24, 2014, 1:26 pm

    Do you know which is the seminal book on the law of attraction? A friend was recommended to read ‘The Law of Attraction’ and I helped her to sift through the many books of this title that have been published. We picked ‘The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham’ by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

    Reply
    • Pete June 24, 2014, 7:04 pm

      Good question, Jess. I’m not a deep scholar on this topic and I’ll bet others could weigh in with some of their knowledge.

      When I read some of the quotes of Buddha, it seems like he was definitely aware of it.

      In modern times, Napoleon Hill was quite early on the scenes, but it looks like there were others before him.

      Thanks for reminding me about Ester & Jerry Hicks. I want to look into their work as well.

      Reply
    • Pete August 6, 2014, 8:50 am

      I’ve just started reading Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”. My first impression is basically “wow!” and I can’t wait to keep read more. Amazing to think it was written in the 1930’s.

      Reply
  • Bob September 3, 2014, 7:55 pm

    Hi Peter;
    Never thought you would be this far into philosophy! But good on you!
    Many years since I did my own research into such subjects, and to be honest it took me in a different direction.
    For me the spiritual is a function of the mind, or rather, “the minds”, but having said that, not just a mechanical and causal function. Next 100 years will see a fuller understanding gradually emerge.
    We have a lot to discover about the spirit, and it’s been a neglected subject mostly because religion has had a near monopoly, and because spirituality doesn’t seem to drive the economy. But it increasingly will.
    Good luck with your journey
    Regards
    Bob

    Reply
    • Pete September 3, 2014, 10:41 pm

      I’m honored to get a comment from you Bob. Thanks a lot. I’d love to get the benefit of the things you’ve learnt. There’s so much we can learn from each other. I’m still reading Napoleon Hill’s book and really enjoying it. I’m reading (and re-reading) it slowly and deliberately because it has so much to take in.

      Reply

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