TL;DRThe Law of Attraction documentaries, books, and Law of Attraction articles have taken the world by storm with promises we can have whatever we wish if only we believe in them enough. While some insist one must only use the power of attraction and positive thinking to manifest whatever they want with no other effort, some others swear the Law of Attraction is fake. Does the Law of Attraction really work? Yes, but not in quite the way some people would like us to believe it does.
How It All Started
First published in two volumes in 1890, The Golden Bough; A Study in Magic and religion was proudly released by Sir James George Frazer, a Scottish anthropologist and folklorist. In The Golden Bough, he wrote:
“ If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based,
they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first,
that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and,
second, that things which have once been in contact with each other
continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed.
The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact
or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity,
the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it:
from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object
will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact,
whether it formed part of his body or not.”
Sympathetic, or imitative magic is another term for this and it just means that we create energy that in turn creates other similar things to happen. It is believed ancient man would draw portraits of successful hunts, believing if they emulated it before the hunt, it would help assure success during the hunt. Frazer wasn’t the only one who wrote about this. Helena Blavatsky , Phineas Quimby, and Prentice Mulford all wrote about this, Mulford calling it The Law of Success and Blavatsky calling it The Law of Attraction. Finally in 2006, The Secret about how to master The Law of Attraction was released being marketed as a self-help program, and Law of Attraction numbers for the film and books by that author earned over $ 65 million. Suffice to say, people are attracted to this Law of Attraction science.
Is The Law of Attraction Fake?
Depending on whose writings you read, and certainly more recent Law of Attraction reality writers would say you have to believe you can have whatever it is you want, then “put the energy out there” to the Universe- interpreted as saying a prayer or making a wish- and then simply wait for the opportunity to present itself, take that opportunity, and BOOM it’s yours! Critics of this say the issue with this thought process is that all you have to do is wish for something and if you believe it will come true, you don’t have to do anything more, but that’s not reality. They say that normally, we have to work for what we want, not just sit and wait for it. It has been called a gimmick, a get rich quick scheme, and it has been said this mindset teaches that the Universe is a catalogue that gifts material things with no work on our own part and that’s the Law of Attraction’s job.
Others say facts about the Law of Attraction don’t match what pop culture authors claim it is. Helena Blavatsky wrote “ The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards.” This says that our thoughts help create our reality. Another writer, Wallace Delois Wattles stated “By thought, the thing you want is brought to you…” and he championed visualizing our goals. Hardly anybody to sit and wait for success, Wallace’s daughter Florence wrote her father earned a lot of money for the family. Blavatsky was a prolific World traveler, writer and occultist, and having escaped from an unhappy marriage through hard work, she was hardly one to wait for results to be handed to her either.
Are some critics right? Is the Law of Attraction fake? The Law of Attraction itself isn’t fake, a gimmick, or a get rich quick scheme, but some people have a law of Attraction belief that everything will be handed to us simply based on how we think. Wouldn’t that be nice! Unfortunately, there is more to it than that.
How Does The Law of Attraction Work?
It’s all about being open to possibilities. If we tell ourselves we cannot POSSIBLY achieve what we want to, we won’t even try. Even if we feel like it’s a longshot, if we say to ourselves, “ I will give this my all, and do my best, and see what I can accomplish” that is still being open to achievement. We attract possibilities when we are open to them, and we attract results when we try for them. In the simplest terms, this is how to master the Law of Attraction.
Is the Law of Attraction and results something the Universe gifts us as reward for belief? No. The Universe itself does not shower us with wealth and abundance based on our mindset. We gift ourselves success based on our attitudes and efforts. These things don’t necessarily guarantee everything we hope and try for. Nobody, including the whole World owes us everything we want, no matter if we do, think, and believe all the “right things”.
The Law of Attraction operates as Frazer said. Like attracts like. What we are doing is what Frazer called contagious magic- or creating result by emulating it. If we want to be successful in Stock Trading, we emulate what those who we know have succeeded have done. If we want to succeed as a police officer, we follow the teaching of the top instructors, and police who are successful. The presence of belief that we CAN achieve creates the optimism to motivate us to keep trying even if there are obstacles to our successes.
Likewise, if we believe we cannot possibly get the job we want, we may skip the interview, or show up at the interview with a negative attitude, repelling the potential employer- and that’s no way to get hired. Positive affirmations when working to attract- or achieve something can be the number one way to make the Law of Attraction work for you. Mysticsense has explored the power of positive affirmations and you can read more here:
The Law of Attraction Vision Boards
Another popular method besides just watching your thinking is to make a Law of Attraction Board also called the Vision Board. Law of Attraction believers sometimes take things that represent what they are seeking in life and assemble them into a mosaic of sorts reminding them of what they are working towards. One Law of Attraction speaker stated he made a board with a photo of a house he wanted, and somehow put his Vision Board away someplace. Sometime later, while unpacking after moving into a dream house, he came upon his Vision Board he’d made- and he said the very house photo glued to that board was the house he had just bought and moved into!
Not everybody will buy the exact house they put a photo of on their Vision , or Attraction Board, but making a physical visual image of what we want is one way to remind us. Another method of using this technique is to sit down and make a list as a reference. Some people do so by listing everything they want to accomplish or experience in life by a certain date, and they call this their “Bucket List”. As they work down their list, they cross off accomplishments! Single people who are open to long term love sometimes sit down and draw up a list of all the personality attributes they are looking for in a partner. Using your imagination and this technique, creating a physical representation of what you are looking to accomplish is a great way to use sympathetic magic and motivate yourself to meet your goals.
The Law of Attraction and Dreams
Every day, we see people meeting goals they worked hard for, extolling the virtues of perseverance, and telling us not to give up, because if they can make their dreams come true, so can anybody else. Then again, we see people whose dreams crumble, leaving them feeling at least temporarily broken. We could be tempted to assume that the people who can’t manifest all they want just didn’t try hard enough, or just didn’t believe enough, but that’s not always the case. People who are terminally ill who have gone through every medical treatment, with a positive mindset and believing they would be healed are not to blame if their bodies don’t accept the treatment, and people who are in poverty who struggle to escape it are not necessarily “lazy and refused to pull themselves up by the bootstraps.”
While using positive affirmations, working hard, and doing all we believe we need to in order to achieve our goals, let us not fall into the trap of victim shaming people who are not lucky enough to accomplish theirs. We must also keep this in mind during times when we try our best and simply can’t “Law of Attraction” a job offer or anything else as ours. Sometimes, things are tragic or not meant to be, and that is nobody’s fault. Sometimes you gave it your all, and it’s time to move on to the next thing. That’s not the Law of Attraction crushing your dreams, but what you are meant to do drawing you towards it and away from that which actually isn’t yours.
The Law of Attraction and Sex
How many self-proclaimed “nice guys” and “nice girls” have you heard complaining about being “in the friendzone” not understanding they cannot “Law of Attraction” sex up everybody they want to? They have forgotten that people don’t owe a date or “Law of Attraction” sex to them just because they believe they did all the right things to make people do what they want. However, the Law of Attraction absolutely will help you find the right people to be romantically involved with. Your crush might not feel the same way about you, but seeing what it is about them you like can help you to identify what you seek in a partner, and confidence that your Mr. or Mrs. Right is out there will keep you open to meeting them. Whereas if you believe things like “Nobody will EVER love me” then the right person can be right in front of your nose, and you will walk away from them!
Expectations versus Reality
A good grasp of what is realistic is necessary in using the Law of Attraction. Overly pessimistic thoughts lead you to believe nothing is possible, while overly optimistic thoughts can convince you that you can breathe underwater with no gear. You would drown! Some say they believe the human mind can transcend all physical limitations. If this were so, humanity would live forever, never suffer, and never need or want for anything. A terrible tragedy befell three people who were convinced they could control their bodies needs with the power of their minds, and it was fatal.
On October 8, 2009, at the Angel Valley Retreat Center nearby Sedona, Arizona, James Arthur Ray, New Age motivational speaker, and co-author of The Secret was leading a group in a heat exercise, he mislabeled as a sweat lodge ceremony. There had been days of fasting, in which participants had gone without water for up to two days prior to this. After being in the non-traditional sweat lodge style ceremony for hours, two people died, and eighteen people were hospitalized for things ranging from burns, breathing issues, kidney failure, and of course dehydration. A third participant died after being in a coma for days.
Both the group leader and the participants were strong believers in The Law of Attraction, and did not understand that some physical things cannot be controlled with the power of thoughts. This is an extreme example of the danger of unrealistic expectations, and most of us won’t put our lives in peril, thankfully. It’s very important to understand that while our thoughts put us in a mindset to either work towards what we want or give up, we still need to be realistic and accept that we have no control over something sometimes.
The Law of Attraction and Magical Workings
Aside from what has been listed above, there are other ways you can use magic to unlock the Law of Attraction and make it work for you. Metaphysical shops will have candles and oils you can purchase, but some people like to make their own oil blends. If you are looking to increase your income for example, a simple money attraction oil you can make is a blend of cinnamon which attracts success, and frankincense, which is associated with wealth. Put a few drops of each into some light olive oil or grapeseed oil. Drop a small piece of gold into it, and do a money attraction spell chant over it saying something like “ Money comes, lean times go, may all I touch be as valuable as gold!” Then use that oil on whatever you want that money draw energy on. You can even put it on yourself, or a small amount on the tools you use in your work.
The Law of Attraction Debunked?
Have we debunked pop culture’s “Law of Attraction” as just another sales pitch that sly businesspeople throw at those who engage in wishful thinking? Hardly, but it is important to understand that you can’t just throw out a wish and expect it to automatically be granted to you. However, that’s no reason to assume we can’t dream, wish, and hope, believing in our own ability to manifest our will. It is extremely important to be fully open to acceptance of success, and a positive outlook during an uphill climb up that ladder of accomplishments will keep you trying no matter what things get in your way. Knowing what the Law of Attraction is and what it isn’t and how to use it is your key to a satisfying, successful life. Sounds good, doesn’t it?