Do you have no idea of this ‘law’? No? It might be a good to get updated on this ‘latest phenomena’ which is running its rounds like wild fire in many circles on the internet, coaching, motivational, and soft-training and amazingly even in spiritual circles. Some people think it’s a ‘fad’ and a ‘hype’, some vouch and give their life to prove its truth. Please google and check it out , lest somebody rushes it all into your subconscious mind as a ‘revolutionary law’ without giving you a chance to critically think about it.
The law of attraction was largely advocated in a movie called the ‘Secret’. It was quite a long time back, I was facing a rough patch in life and wanted solutions, when I had decided on buying the movie and I have been very intrigued by it ever since. Today this law has made up a million dollar industry and it gives huge promises for the most commonly experienced needs of all and sundry humanity. Well, all marketable products do that, nothing shocking there.
So if you didn’t google about this yet, the law of attraction says….please desire, desire, desire and you get what you desire and you get infinite happiness and its easy…all you have to do is to keep desiring, albeit in a very positive way. And run from your lack and suffering..they are not supposed to be there in the larger design and scheme of things. Well, that’s their claim to ‘spirituality’, and even more shockingly so, they claim the Buddha also advocates this law. Quite contradictorily I believe that the Buddha proclaimed that desire is the CAUSE of suffering and that suffering is inevitable in life.
Can you imagine: You will get whatever you want: is it a bike, is it a car, is it a booming business, is it your dream love …who doesn’t want this? Now that there is a law which will make you get it and also be spiritual. Now that’s called life isn’t it. The law of attraction tells simply ‘Ask’, ‘Believe’ and ‘Receive’…. Its like a magic wand.
You ask anybody who doesn’t know the LOA, I am sure, people say that at least a few things in their life, which they wished for, they got it and at least a subset of that few was ‘exactly’ as they wished. Some other things are something they never wished for yet were made to ‘suffer’ them. We know nobody wishes for ill-health, or loss of life, or abuse, or misfortune. Well, if we go by the laws, what you get by wishing is through the law of attraction, what you get out of ‘luck’ without efforts ( a lottery, a gift etc ) is through either or both law of attraction and law of karma, and if somebody gets raped, abused etc..its the law of karma, some say even that is ‘attracted’.
I personally am neither a sage nor a seer nor a clairvoyant or a prophet with visions. Neither do I have the expertise to say this law is wrong or right. Do I have personal evidence? Well, as mentioned earlier, definitely there are things that I wished and got it, but no, till now I have not got what all that I have wished. I really wonder if this law can help with this wish to fly in air or at the least like how another friend of mine wishes: to stand on a wing of a flying airplane along with him on the other wing…;-).
We all know somewhere in the corner of our hearts that perpetual wanting is counter-productive. We know that when we get that dream house or a dream job, its not necessarily a cake-walk for our lives or the end of sorrow for us. The normal human habit of ‘ignorance’ as spelt out by the wise remains the same…whether the law of attraction is true or not. If you ask me, my conscience would rather believe in the law of karma, which at the least says that you better keep restraint on greed.
The law of attraction shockingly says that you have a right to desire and get every damn thing that you desire,…well as long as you desire the ‘good things in life’. So once you believe this..please dream big and get it and that’s all there is, to be spiritual as per this law. The corollary, is to keep dreaming and keep getting till you are abundantly filled with infinite wishes fulfilled. One reason you should eliminate fear, is that you anyway will get what you desire from your true heart, so why worry that something will not work….? And further, the moment you fear something, you attract what you fear, so goes this law.
“I recall an article by a physical fitness expert critiquing The Secret; she noted that the secret which works isn’t “ask, believe, and receive”, but is rather along the lines of “ask, plan, work, apply discipline, endure disappointment, believe, work more, learn from mistakes, adjust your plan, work more, persist, celebrate small successes, overcome moments of despair, and don’t give up – and your chances of receiving increase.” An honest look at those who have accomplished something truly inspirational indicates that this is closer to the formula they applied. “- a comment in the Skeptics Dictionary website.
And I like this even more, again from the Skeptics Dictionary: “If you want to succeed at something, draw up a plan of action. List what you want to achieve. List what you must do to achieve your goals in the order you must do them. Specify how you are going to measure success at each step along the way. Anything on the list that requires you to passively wait for somebody else to act must be eliminated from your list before you continue. If you can’t achieve your goals without the help of others, pick the best people possible to help you and listen to them when they offer advice. Go down the list and check off each item as it is completed. If an item can’t be completed, don’t blame others. Come up with an alternative plan. Then move on to the next item. When you’ve accomplished all your goals, make up another list of goals and start over. Reaching one’s goal is usually not as satisfying as striving to achieve it. Anyway, some goals aren’t worth achieving. You’ll do well to re-examine your goals regularly and weed out the worthless ones. ”
Visioning and Visualizing is good in some ways. Feeling optimistic is good in some ways. Positive thinking is good for goals, good for life in some ways. But many times, if we do not use our discernment and discrimination, it can become delusional positivity. Its important to realize that it can potentially reduce an acknowledgement of our innate human capacity to endure suffering with a calm mind, which is one trait that humans are born with for a very important reason I presume.
The truth of life is that ‘suffering is inevitable’…the positive truth about that truth is also that ‘all suffering can be eradicated’…but that requires efforts… and it definitely does not prescribe unrestrained desire , perpetually wanting things for happiness.
The Buddha gives a strenuous 8 fold path for it and I am sure almost all spiritual masters from all ages and spheres have mentioned something on similar lines. And how might this law reconcile with another law called ‘renunciation’ that so many spiritual masters have prescribed for true and final emancipation and ‘moderation’ or what is called as ‘middle way’ for householders?
The fact that goal or ‘intention’ setting is good, the fact that visioning big dreams makes us reach for the best, the fact that simply getting things or even success is not really happiness, the fact that negativity hinders goal attainment, the fact that we all know true happiness is elsewhere yet we mortals still pursue all those fascinating material things…doesn’t really change much with the knowledge of this law even if its true. But I suspect we might become delusional in thinking that indeed now we can get everything that we want, and that’s actually the way to our true liberation and freedom! and that’s the danger that I see in advocating this law, personally.
The intensity with which we love a thing, creates an innate potential to cause us an equal or much more than proportional intensity of suffering if we cannot get it or if we loose it after getting it: most of us can relate to that and vouch for that right? Our happiness is inevitably a package that comes with a potential of suffering, is that wrong? Yes it is according to this law which states that we are sure to get it from an ‘infinitely abundant source’ as long as we follow all its prescribed ‘secrets’.
Most religions say that material attainments are inevitably ephemeral… but today this law seems to say…no it isn’t….because this law includes a sub-law called law of infinite abundance, which means all resources are infinitely available, whether that is money or health doesn’t matter. And that’s what we all intrinsically wish to be true isn’t it…even if that’s counter to our common sense. Could the proclaimers of this law, especially those who make millions by ‘teaching this law to us’… be exploiting this very human fallibility of wanting an infinite land of free and ever lasting happiness? I wonder.
Laws are laws, when it comes to that. I neither advocate this law though nor dispel it as nonsense. I just stand back, study it and watch it with the same intrigue at what it is going to do to humanity, as it kind of stung me the first time I watched it in the ‘Secret’, :-)….well…its only human of me…I feel…perhaps more sillily so …. Because I still check out every new freely available detail of this secret and update myself with it to see if there is really not something that I am perhaps missing to see.……. I have unanswered questions on the law for sure.
Well, you can also check out stories about the success of this law here:
I follow the stories with keen interest….