Is The Law Of Attraction Real?

by Scott Morrice on 04/24/2012

Have you ever heard of the Law of Attraction? Has anybody NOT heard of the Law Of Attraction? Is the Law of Attraction real?

Wikipedia defines that law of attraction as

a pseudoscientific belief or theory, that “like attracts like,” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results.

For example, writer Lisa Nichols suggests that if a subject opens an envelope expecting to see a bill, the envelope will “confirm” those thoughts and contain a bill when opened. A person who decided to instead expect a check might find a check instead of a bill.

I first ran into this topic when I was hit full in the face with all of the publicity surrounding the book The Secret, a best-selling 2006 self-help book written by Rhonda Byrne. This book is based on the law of attraction, and it takes the position that positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness.

It looked interesting, and out of curiosity more than anything, I bought the book just after I started on my own journey of exploring the field of mind/body/spirit.

With full apologies to everyone who has embraced what Byrne has written, my first (and surviving) reaction to the book was one of deep skepticism. To me it was preaching a “something for nothing” approach to your problems (which are usually, I suspect, financial in nature). As far as I can tell, this, and many other books and articles on this topic, offer unto us the idea that you can manifest wealth, success, health, rich relationships by embracing the abundance of that particular quality or thing in your life. Which means, again as far as I can tell, believing and acting as if that particular thing or quality is already there in your life. As you can imagine, this involves quite a large leap of faith in some cases.

What worries me about this principle is that it can be very exploitive. First of all, it appeals to the “something for nothing” in each of us. For someone who is really down on his luck financially to hear that all he has to do is buy the book The Secret, or some other book or article like it, and learn how he can achieve great wealth merely by assuming and acting that he is wealthy, well this has to sound quite appealing. It is going to be pretty hard for him NOT to buy the book, or whatever he has to buy, to get on that road to riches.

I this whole idea very problematic. He is being offered false (my belief only) hope, the hope of wealth in exchange for his money for “the formula”, and more than that, this offer of hope is preying (targeted almost) upon a person who really does need help, and at a time when this person is at his most vulnerable.

And then there is my natural, in-born skepticism. This path to wealth just seems too easy to me. I am a big believer in the truism—if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Replace money in the above example with good health—say freedom from a frightening cancer issue that is affecting you—and you have exactly the same situation.

Now at this point I am not taking a position on whether I think the law of attraction is a credible idea or not. I keep putting you on notice that this Blog is a journey (my journey) of exploration. And I am at the very beginning of this journey. There is much for me to learn. And I know that I have to be very careful and move forward with an open mind. Many (most) of the ideas talked and written about in the field of mind/body/spirit are new to me, some are very strange indeed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t good and credible ideas.

But as I pointed out in my Mind, Body, Spirit Issues post, there are a lot of scary characters out there (not just in the field of mind/body/spirit). And I do think that this field of interest attracts many to it precisely because they are looking for guidance, for assistance, for a new approach with respect to certain of life’s difficulties they are experiencing. I am worried that this provides the unscrupulous amongst us with opportunities to take advantage.

Now against all of that I have read some very powerful supportive pieces on this issue authored by people in this field who I personally find very credible, and I will return to this topic with a discussion of the law of attraction, and whether it is real, from their viewpoint in a subsequent post.

I’ll keep you posted.

  • Lmmd

    OMG!
    Do take a position, Scott. There is a huge difference between “the beginning of a journey” and the wrong path.

    • scottmorrice

      Thank you for your comment. I’m not really sure what you are saying–but in any event let me try to respond as follows: 1. I’m sorry, but I don’t really see the difference you mention. If I hear you correctly, I think you are just saying that “clearly” the Law of Attraction represents the wrong path. Which is fine. But I am saying, it is worth examining before discarding. 2. I have taken a position–if that is what you are asking—see my subsequent The Law Of Attraction Explained? post. Good to hear from you!

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