Spirituality is a powerful term encompassing a way of thinking about, feeling, and living in the world. Essential to spiritual life is mindful thinking and experiencing the many different aspects of human existence and conscious interaction with others and our environment. With a spiritual view of life, we can see the divine in the mundane, the miraculous in each and every day, the extraordinary in the ordinary. One of the most important ways to think spiritually involves a broader and deeper understanding of energy than “gas makes my car go” or “electricity powers the lights in my house”.
The Law of Attraction, as a spiritual concept is not new. First presented by Helena Blavatsky in 1877, it had a number of peak moments before its breakout revival in 2006 with the film The Secret, which was made into a book in 2007 (eschewing the more traditional route of a book to film). Proposed as a “way of thinking” that helps us understand what we attract in our lives and why, while also offering the construction and activation of a mindset that encourages us to attract what we want and deflect what we do not. This article will explore the creative energy generated by its spiritual precepts.
It Is Not Wishing; It Is Not Science
The wiki article that provides a nice summation of the history of the actual phrase “law of attraction” drops the pejorative word “pseudoscience” in one of the opening paragraphs to point out that adherents attempt to use more flexible forms of science, like quantum mechanics, to bolster its credibility. As with most things spiritual, it’s a bit of a red herring to worry about scientific support. Science is constantly looking for what “works for all or most” in consistently testable and retestable situations, while spirituality looks for what is unique and, well, not easily testable.
There was a time in my life when I was an atheist and a very good one. I used to teach critical thinking to university students in beginning English composition classes and I had all the books by Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens (they were the big guns in the 1990s, maybe they still are today). I was young and full of myself and no particular fan of organized religion. Still not a fan. I will not try to argue that spirituality is “real” in the sense of measuring and defining something like gravity or the engineering to build a bridge from the mainland to a nearby island, but will be happy enough to say that my life is much richer taking a spiritual perspective instead of an atheistic one.
That said, I still enjoy a lot of atheist humor. And one of my favorite t-shirts reads something like this, “if you believe in telekinesis, raise my hand!” You see, I actually do believe in telekinesis, just not the “raise your hand” kind. For me, the Law of Attraction is a sophisticated form of using my mind to move objects and people close to or away from me, sometimes by taking actions and sometimes by allowing actions to come to me. It is subtle, indirect, and surprisingly powerful.
Simple wishing does not get it done and sophisticated efforts to rope science in to support the theory really are not needed. Results vary, just like reviews of popular movies.
How Do We Attract?
Attraction brings objects or people together. The questions we must constantly ask are “who do I attract?”, “Why are they attracted to me?” If I am doing something or behaving in some way to attract someone, I want towards me, then how do identify the quality, action, or behavior and improve upon it or refine it. If I am attracting something or someone I do not want, what changes do I need to make to reduce these unpleasant results? The Law of Attraction is, therefore, rather individualistic, and not a Law in the same way as we would describe, scientifically, the Law of Thermodynamics.
My father actually taught me a Law of Attraction when I was 15 and getting my driving permit to prepare for getting my license. I was also looking to start working for someone other than my father. One day he sat down with me at lunch and said, “I am going to tell you something that will make your life easier if you decide to believe it and live by it.” I was curious and replied, “which is?” Rather matter-of-factly my father said, “never be late; always be early and life will be easier for you.” I believed him, and to this day I am rarely late and often very early (even as much as 30 minutes to an hour). It turns out that being early is very attractive, especially to potential employers. It’s a Law, and I have hiring and work success to prove its value.
To make this Law work, in the beginning, took a fair amount of effort. I did not “wish” to be early, or “not to be late”; I made a point of getting ready well ahead of time and actually waiting to leave. I would shower and dress an hour before going to work, leave early enough to read a book while I was waiting in the parking lot for the restaurant or the bookstore to open. This one behavior made me a very attractive employee, among other qualities.
The Laws of Attraction in business are surprisingly straightforward, as are many Laws we can implement around money and finances. So, to think about the “Law of Attraction” really means to consciously realize that we are sending out signals that attract people in various ways; and the more unconscious we are about it, the more we are likely to attract problems rather than good results. At the heart of the Law of Attraction is responsibility. If you have a pattern dating narcissistic men or women, the Law of Attraction will put a bullseye question mark on your head and ask, “what makes you so attractive to these kinds of people?”
Once you become conscious, you can “change the law” and shift your energy to push away what you do not want to attract and create “space” to attract what you want that is truly healthy for you.