Flaws in the Law (of Attraction)

The Law of Attraction (LOA), popularized in the movie, The Secret, is a metaphysical postulate that holds significant influence in the way many people think about life or, more specifically, the things that come their way in life. This is unfortunate, for what the LOA purports is an illusion built upon an egocentric view of the universe and God.

The LOA maintains that individuals can control their destiny through the power of their conscious mind. Its basic program is as follows: imagine the future you want, believe with complete certainty that it is already yours, and the power of your thoughts will transform your subconscious mind, leaving the universe and God no choice but to comply with your chosen vision. Through the LOA, it is maintained, everyone can exercise dominion over their lives and destiny.

Proponents of the LOA see a more or less causal relationship between the power of their consciously held beliefs/expectations and what the future will bring them. They propose to create a science and methodology by which people can control their psyche and, thereby, their lives. God and the universe become nothing more than a cosmic gumball machine. Input the appropriate coin and out pops your fantasy future.

Individuals who practice the LOA method to obtain a life goal sometimes get what they work to conjure and sometimes don’t. When they don’t, it is often assumed that they did not properly apply the method. For example, maybe their confidence and trust in their expectations fell short in some way. However, a more spiritually and psychologically honest explanation would be that their chosen fantasy was: 1) not something that the universe or God intended for them or 2) was not something intended for them at that time.

For many of those who seem to find their fantasies fulfilled comes the unhappy realization that what they wanted was not all that they thought it would be, giving witness to the old adage: be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. They received what they worked to attract, not because of some law of the universe (the LOA), but because the universe or God accepted the conjurer’s unintended invitation to teach them an important lesson.

I don’t believe there is an actual LOA operating in the universe. I do, however, recognize the reality of synchronistic events. In contrast to the LOA which proposes a causal relationship between an individual’s conscious beliefs and expectations and what comes their way in life, a synchronicity is a non-causal connection between an inner psychological process and its symbolic reflection in the outer world. To illustrate, consider a formerly egocentric and arrogant man who develops a softer, more receptive and cooperative attitude towards his inner feminine. He stops and listens to this part of himself more than he used to and develops more respect for it. He becomes more humble. He may then encounter a woman in his outer life with whom he is able to develop a positive, harmonious relationship. His outer life thus resonates with and reflects changes in his inner life. The man’s changed attitude towards his inner woman did not cause a certain type of woman to come into his life. It may, however, have opened a door to such a possibility. It was in the hands of God and the universe as to whether such a relationship was the next and necessary step in his psychological and spiritual development.

The LOA, conversely, proposes that the conscious mind, or ego, can drag the rest of the psyche along with it through force of will. Law of Attraction proponents (e.g., various authors and workshop presenters) think that unconscious attitudes, values and attachments can be changed by simply contemplating preferred scenarios—the light—rather than by owning, wrestling and coming to terms with their shadow—the dark—and the inner unknown. They don’t realize, or don’t want to accept, that the psyche and universe give the ego what it needs, not necessarily what it wants.

The fact of the matter is that we believe things we do not realize we believe. We value things we do not think we value. We are motivated by attitudes and attachments we do not see. Therefore, we move towards destinations we do not consciously intend. And, as much as we would like to, we really cannot choose our personal path to wholeness. We do not know all the lessons we are meant to learn, or the sequence in which we are meant to learn them. The unfolding of your life path and the revelations of your psyche are a mystery that must be lived and can never be fully known in advance.

We are to the psyche as a part to the whole, and the part may experience the whole but will never fully appreciate or comprehend it. The proper attitude towards it is one of humility, service and respect, not arrogant, ego-stroking manipulativeness.

Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
Excerpts may be used provided full and clear credit is given author with link to original article.

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