The Law of Attraction, for science-heads and Secret-haters

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Five or six years ago the Law of Attraction was presented to the masses in the form of a bad film. The LoA isn’t new and wasn’t new to me when I’d first heard about The Secret. Napoleon Hill was talking about how to Think and Grow Rich in the thirties, and there’s talk of the principle all the way back to before Christ.

I think when I first heard about The Secret I had recently finished Think and Grow Rich, and the afterglow had just worn off and I hadn’t really run with it. So much about the movie turned me off: the presumptuous title, the self-important wax seal motif, the whole new age vibe of it. So I never watched it, and I think its existence alone killed any urge I had to makes something out of Napoleon Hill’s take on it.

Somehow, planets had been aligning in such a way that I found myself in front of it last week. A flu/food poisoning combo had me incapacitated in front of a television, and the film was recommended to me at a time I was doped up on Neo Citron and very vulnerable.

It was really exactly like I’d expected. Terrifically cheesy. It was almost offensive. Actors, in the throes of dazzling positive intentions, shoot CGI shock waves out of their foreheads into the outside world, presumably to fetch them money, girlfriends and tropical vacations.

The action is interrupted frequently by whispered, out-of-context quotes from A-list historical figures such as Ben Franklin, Shakespeare, Emerson and Einstein, none of whom probably would have been too crazy about their posthumous involvement in this project.

But just because The Secret is profoundly cheesy and easy to dismiss, it doesn’t mean the Law of Attraction ought to be tossed out with same bathwater. I did watch it right through and by the end I was interested in the whole Law of Attraction concept again. I saw something in it I didn’t before, and in hindsight I am thankful to have watched it.

There are two basic camps on the LoA issue:

1) Those who believe that the universe (“the outside world”) is bound to do its own thing, as determined by its own internal laws, regardless of what you think about it or intend for it to do.

2) Those who believe that the course of the universe, or at least what any one person experiences of it, is altered by one’s perceptions, by their thoughts about it and their intentions for it.

By default I think most of us fall into the first camp. The world seems pretty stable in the way it works. I had been hoping for riches, fame and uncanny luck my whole life, and whether I got them (I didn’t) seemed to depend on what I did and not what was in my head.

There were too many contradictions for it to make sense. What if two of us were “intending” to win the same one-on-one ping pong match? It didn’t make sense. I used to feel these questions trapped me in camp 1. I couldn’t believe in a subjective universe if I wanted to. I knew better! 

The upside to ignorance

If you want to believe in a benevolent or subjective universe, but can’t because your logic won’t let you, the solution is to recognize that we are ultimately ignorant about how the universe works.

We’ve built models that seem to explain a lot, but they’re limited by what human beings are capable of understanding, they’re skewed to what we are good at measuring, and they are subject to biases we don’t know we have. Every advance in physics shows us that the universe is far weirder than we had previously imagined. Space is curved now? What?

So it’s foolish to believe you have any kind of certainty about how the universe goes about presenting itself to a human being. The world’s top physicists are probably more aware of their ignorance than you are of yours.

It’s probably incomprehensible anyway, so it’s kind of a relief to settle back into our only real certainty: that we are vastly ignorant of what we’re dealing with when it comes to consciousness and the universe.

Working from there (a presumption of ignorance above all else) it’s not hard to allow for the possibility that your intentions and thoughts do affect the course of the universe, that reality is indeed subjective, and that the way you’re used to imagining cause-and-effect is not necessarily the way it really works.

By letting go of our rather misguided certainty that consciousness does not affect the concrete parts of the universe (matter and what it does), then we can be open to moving through our lives as if the Law of Attraction might actually be at work.

Your thoughts and intentions may indeed be making a difference in what the universe around you does. Unless you claim an airtight understanding of consciousness and its role in the universe, you have to allow for the possibility, at least.

On one level, there’s no question that thoughts and intentions do have an effect on what happens to someone. A man who is acting as though the universe is poised to deliver his true love is definitely going to be a happier person than he would be if he didn’t believe that.

It would change how he feels when he wakes up, probably how he dresses, certainly the look on his face and the air of desirablility he carries. All of these would contribute to his chances of attracting someone, regardless of whether it was his intentions that were deciding what comes along, or whether it was his resulting bright demeanor and posture.

For that reason alone it’s worth at least allowing for the possibility that the law of attraction works, if you can suspend your doubt enough to let yourself do that.

Science doesn’t disagree

For the proud skeptics out there who aren’t satisfied with taking an agnostic stance on the law of attraction, one can find more compelling, empirical reasons to believe that consciousness affects and directs the outside world.

Science is already showing us that observation invariably affects whatever’s being observed. You can do experiments in a high school science lab that demonstrate that how you observe matter and energy changes how they behave, even if everything else is the same. You probably have, it’s called the double slit experiment.

One of the bigshots of 20th century physics, Dr. John Wheeler, focused his studies on the biggest question of all: why does the universe even exist? In his work he found that he couldn’t escape the conclusion that for the the universe to even exist, something was required something to observe it. Consciousness and the universe were fundamentally interrelated. You couldn’t have one without the other.

His theories had strange implications — that the universe didn’t exist before you began looking at it, but it looks as though it did; that observers create the observed; that nothing exists except as it is relative to whatever is aware of it.

In 1984 an experiment based on Wheeler’s work demonstrated that how we choose to observe a particle determines not only what it is doing now, but what it did to get to where it is now. This means present-moment observations can change the past too. If you’re skeptical, read this article about it, and enjoy at least a healthy chin-scratch.

Now, none of this proves that visualizing a pile of money will necessarily recruit the entire universe to deliver that pile of money to you, but it does show us that consciousness itself can affect the behavior of the world outside it.

This leaves the door open for all kinds of possibilities for the question of what we are creating when our minds are at work expecting, evaluating and visualizing. Redirecting ourselves to a different future is easy to imagine, but perhaps with our intentions we’re actively creating a different present, or a different past. It’s no longer as easy to dismiss as it once was, when we thought time and space and consciousness were much simpler than they really are.

The LoA crowd seems to be rife with fruit loops, which has naturally made us skeptical of the whole thing. It’s interesting to wonder, though, if maybe our skeptical thoughts have created these crackpots, only to deliver reasons for us to be skeptical.

In other words, if reality were indeed subjective, as the LoA camp says it is, then skepticism would naturally create incentives to be skeptical. If life seems to be unfolding as if your mind itself has no leverage over what happens to you, perhaps it’s unfolding that way only because you believe it must.

The bottom line is that we don’t know what our consciousness is doing to the world out there. And the knowledge that you don’t know is a valuable thing, because it allows for more possibilities for you.

I would bet money that if you know enough to know that you don’t know how the universe works — if you can acknowledge that our understanding of the universe’s systems of delivery are tenuous at best — you will find that cultivating positive expecations alone will make a concrete difference in how life goes for you, especially if you are habitually prone to negative expectations like I am. There are a thousand ways it could work, but it will work.

So in spite of my low opinion of the film The Secret, I’ve been experimenting with acting as though my intentions and thoughts are detectable by the universe at large and that it does react to them.

It hasn’t been long, but the first change was immediate. The world appears the same, but looks different. It looks benevolent. Details seem rife with significance, and so I become more attentive and less distracted as a side-effect.

I am also experiencing a consistent bout of optimism — very conspicuous for me, which made me realize how consistently negative my thoughts and expectations are normally. My negative thoughts seem a lot dumber now, when before they made me feel clever.

Most significantly, for the first time I feel responsible for my thoughts. I recognize that I am actively creating concrete experiences with them, even if it’s only because it changes the decisions I make.

Responsibility for my thoughts — I can’t believe that was a new concept for me. Somehow I used to reason that my thoughts didn’t really matter that much, because my only interaction with the universe is only through my actions. But the entire experience of being me feels different. There’s much less weight given to negative possibilities, and so I act differently. The quality of my moments is better.

Even if this feeling doesn’t last, I’ll still have that insight: I am far better off if I decide to take responsibility for whether I harbor negative expectations or positive ones.

I used to reason that it made no sense to act as though the universe heeded the Law of Attraction unless I knew that it did. Resoundingly, it makes sense to act as though it does, regardless of your confidence in it. Pascal’s Wager for the new age.

Detractors often dismiss positive outcomes experienced by LoA proponents as “just placebo.” But the skeptics are missing a crucial point about the placebo effect: the effects aren’t imaginary. They are real. Sugar pill or not, the patient did get better. So what if they aren’t sure exactly why?

***

 Photo by sleepyneko

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{ 102 Comments }

Leul September 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I was wondering when you would post about the Law of Attraction. I first came across it when I was WWOOFing and I have read many books on the subject since then. “The secret” is a more recent book and it has a more Hollywood feel to it but it still conveys the same message: Your thoughts are the basis for which your world is created. What they fail to address is the fact that thought is action, in the same way you raise money for something you want through work, putting yourself in a mindset to receive that something is also work. It takes conscious attention to your thoughts to be in a state where your desires can come to you.I believe in the law because I experience it everyday, in the way people treat me, the opportunities that come my way, and the way I see the world.

I suggest you read the books by Esther and Jerry hicks if you want to continue your research on the topic.

Marilyn September 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Hmm… Having blindly stumbled upon this website only this morning, I feel overwhelmingly humbled and thoughtful and–cheesy as this may sound–as I type this I have to wonder if perhaps my stumbling onto this site is proof of the law of attraction. Without boring anyone with the specifics of my personal worries and woes–I experienced such monumental doubt and sadness earlier this week about the direction in which our culture–and my life–is headed that I thought incessantly about how I needed to change that. I should note: I’m not a depressed person but 6 people I knew died this summer; life is fleeting. We are all supposedly responsible for our own existences; yet, I really dislike the way I’ve been living. I ruminating on this, then surrendered these incessant thoughts doing yoga; a few days later, I stumbled upon this site. Coincidence? Attraction? I didn’t watch The Secret–but I skimmed it. It’s nothing new–philosophers, some religious leaders, and writers have said this all before. And I can’t help but believe–not think but feel–that there’s some core truth in it all that cannot be explained but must just be practiced and believed. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy … and as someone is is regularly accused of over-analyzing, I can scarcely believe I’m writing it… Anyway, all of this is to say: thank you and I’m grateful that people like you all–thoughtful enough to engage in deep discussion–exist in this world.

Michael Dickens September 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

> Science is already showing us that observation invariably affects whatever’s being observed. You can do experiments in a high school science lab that demonstrate that how you observe matter and energy changes how they behave, even if everything else is the same. You probably have, it’s called the double slit experiment.

What? No. This is completely wrong. In terms of quantum mechanics, observation has nothing to do with consciousness. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

Michelle October 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

so, I was thinking about money when I read this, and afterward decided to go buy a couple of lotto tickets with the 8 quarters in my desk drawer. On the way to the lotto vendor I say hello to a man at the vending machine, he asked how much change I had because he needed a soda (he heard me playing with the change as I walked down the hall). I said $2, he said, “it’s your lucky day” and handed me a $5 bill. No lie.

Scientist October 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm

> “Your thoughts and intentions may indeed be making a difference in what the universe around you does. Unless you claim an airtight understanding of consciousness and its role in the universe, you have to allow for the possibility, at least.”

This is an incredibly weak argument. You can allow for the possibility, but it no more likely true than the possibility that thinking very intently about elephants will have the same effect. You have to allow for that possibility too. This is the fundamental flaw in any sort of pascal’s wager argument – you’re failing to recognise that its not one or the other, its one out of an infinity of possibilities.

So why aren’t you also testing thinking about elephants? Or red pens for that matter?

PS. Your reference to the double slit experiment as a model is a poor one, modern physicists reject the “human observation causes wavelengths to collapse” theory – you are promoting a relatively discredited theory.

PPS. The placebo effect is very interesting because it does in fact make people better. It is, in this way, a very solid scientific theory which explains why positive thinking can improve human health. In this way it does rather neatly present a much more likely (occams razor) explanation of any “success stories” coming out of notions such as the Law of Attraction.

Devlin October 9, 2012 at 1:05 am

Another one seduced by The Secret eh? I was hoping for something better from the title. You seem to be basically saying “We don’t know anything, so anything is possible.” This really feels like a copout. You’re entitled to that if you like, but there’s nothing deep or “scientific” about it…it seems like a weak argument for justifying wanting to be in with the LOA crowd and hoping to reap all the promised benefits, while protecting your ego by trying to appear to be more intelligent and rational than the “fruitcakes”. IMHO, yes LOA works just fine…for as long as things seem to be going well and confirmation bias is working in your favor. But sooner or later, at some point something major will come along and kick your ass, as life has a tendency to. And then, by the demands of LOA logic, you’ll need to justify “attracting” this terrible thing to you. After all if you’re responsible for attracting all the good stuff, you must be responsible for the bad too. And then watch yourself go into paroxysms of convoluted logic trying to reason out this paradox. All the best. We’re all trying to find our path.

Alex October 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Doesn’t the Law of Attraction require itself to be false? Provided it is already true, then those who believe it is true are not having any additional affect on its truth, as it would have needed to be true to begin with for their faith to engender the law anyway. This leaves only those who are neutral toward it and those who deny it. Neutrality wouldn’t have any affect on the law either, so we’re really left with those who believe it is false. Thus, if what we believe to be true affects what IS true about the universe, and there are those who affirmatively believe this law is false, shouldn’t the law become false? And once it IS false, all the faith in it’s being true won’t help bring it back. Just sayin’. Would definitely find it engaging to hear why my proposition doesn’t follow.

Alex October 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

oops, “effect on” x2.

Pheobe October 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm

The Secret taught me 2 very valuable lessons 5 years ago that changed my life. I am not embarrassed that the information came to me from this particular book either.

1. I am not my thoughts. My thoughts don’t control me– I read The Secret when I was 18 and had never considered this before. It was a revelation for me. An epiphany. I knew it was true immediately and couldn’t un-know it. I had been reacting to my thoughts instead of changing them my entire life.

2. Everything is connected– I had heard it a thousand times… Everything is made up of energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. I am made up of the same things as the inanimate objects all around me (mostly empty space). What makes us special as components of the universe is that we have the capacity to recognize ourselves for what we are. I don’t see this as hokey. Science backs it up.

If everything is connected and changes with observation then the simple answer is that the LoA does have an effect. Is it so outlandish to claim that what you choose to do and believe is directly correlated to the components of your life? There is also randomness in the universe. It can’t all be controlled, but there is something real going on here. I’m not too arrogant to admit it.

Oliver November 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Fantastic Article, and very well written…

I think, ‘The Secret’ was a good intro into the loa, but missed many crucial points. And being cynical tends to lead to more cynical realities, so you need to give the possibility that a, ‘positive’ thought, ‘might’ manifest.

Also, being in the, ‘Now’ helps;-)

Thanks for the good read

Karl January 8, 2013 at 12:02 am

It is the way in which the concept of the law of attraction and positive thinking are sold to the public that cause many to dismiss the idea and become cynical. Unfortunately, authors have to use attractive titles such as “think and grow rich” and make absurd promises of an overnight drastic change for the best in peoples lives in order to drive sales and profit.

I think the best approach to this subject is to quickly establish what we know to be rubbish and then talk about what we know to be fact! So here is my rubbish list:

The Rubbish

1: If we constantly believe with conviction that we will win the lottery and take the positive action of putting it on, it is only a matter of time before we win. Everyone knows this to be rubbish, and only lunatics on the far end of each scale will use this argument for or against the concepts of PMA or LOA.

2: If we constantly remain positive, we will never experience misfortune or the loss of loved ones because we refuse to think negatively and therefore will never attract negative events in our lives. This again we know to be nonsense, and falls under the area of our lives that we have no or very little control of in life.

3: If we think negatively and sad, we will attract nothing but misery and misfortune. This I find to be the most disturbing idea pushed forward by what I would term the lunatics again. For example, grieving for the loss of a loved one is a very important process in life which involves going through the cycle of many negative emotions and reflections, anyone who tries to block these emotions out for fear of more misfortune is heading for a major breakdown or personality disorder. I would refer to the case of James Ray who starred in the secret.

Summary of the rubbish

When reading through the rubbish list, we see that most of the list is concerned with those things that we have absolutely no control of in life, and so, any idea of our thoughts in anyway controlling or helping to shape the destiny of these events is simply absurd.

The facts

1: Our thoughts have a direct impact on the nature of our health!! How can I state this as fact? Simple, only a few hours ago, I read an article on AOL about a student who found chicken brains in his kfc, and when I was exposed to the picture, I actually vomited! My perception of the idea and picture caused a pyshical response from my body! Many people also suffer with IBS despite healthy lifestyles, and if you look into this, they know that stress alone can be the single cause of this condition. The placebo affect for positive health promotion has already been discussed here.

2: Working with dogs! It may well seem a little funny at first, but if you have ever watched the dog whisperer (Cesar Millan), you will know exactly where I am coming from. On countless occasions, Cesar has clearly demonstrated that the way in which dog owners think and anticipate situations is the result they will get! Look at how he controls a pack, it is all the result of his positive energy and thoughts that attract the dogs to him and make them follow his commands! This is a clear example of the LOA in action.

3: Getting a date. I had a mate who was not really brad pitt, but was always pretty successful at pulling the birds. One night we asked a few of the girls why he seemed to pull alot in what seemed like an effortless manner? They said, “He’s not great looking, but he is confident and outgoing and lets off a nice vibe”. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that if you are the elephant man you can go out and pull a stunner, just that inner confidence shows on the outside and definetly helps towards the goal.

Overall summary

Their will be times in life were we have no control over the difficulties we face and the pain and anguish that results, but, on the flipside, their will also be plenty of times in life were we do have control, were we do have choices, and these are the times I believe we should all approach with belief, hope, optimism and hardwork! For how can any positive results possibly occur from approaching them in any other way?

Anya January 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I really liked this post. I always suspected that our world is what we make of it. I know that everything is relative to my perception, knowledge, and beliefs. If I don’t know about something or someone, they do not exist for me. After all, I have no other way to experience the univers, but through my conciesnes. Douglas Harding’s idea that I am the source of everything in my world is the best one I found, thanks to you David. It is mind-bending, but also magical. The spoon bends for me.

shane February 2, 2013 at 8:05 am

I have found myself amongst a puzzle. It seems that all my actions are monitored by the universe. Accordingly ta that there are consequences from the universe. Oh you want to eat healthy. Suddenly the world begins to offer less opportunities to binge. One after the other there are cases that show that you should eat healthy. It seems the universe thrives with thought. Thought in its purest form must manifest tirades of possibilities!

Jon Ray February 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for this. I had a very similar experience with The Secret—cheesy yet intriguing. A couple of things that you said really resonated with me:

1) It’s interesting to wonder, though, if maybe our skeptical thoughts have created these crackpots, only to deliver reasons for us to be skeptical.
2) My negative thoughts seem a lot dumber now, when before they made me feel clever.

Personally, I believe you’re right on with those statements. In my own life, I’ve found that when I want to be skeptical, then wackjobs abound. Yet, when I keep an open mind, the “right” information I need to further understand something appears. With the Law of Attraction, my longing for a better understanding led me into quantum physics and some of the work being done there, which as you mentioned, mimics some of the LoA marketing messages out there.

Anyhow, enjoyed the article. Thanks for writing.

Megan March 13, 2013 at 2:17 am

First of all, you’re writing style and message is wonderfully real and intelligent. As a great believer in the LoA, I’m also aware of the flack that The Secret always gets. It seems to have a pretty clear divide. People love it or hate it. Reading your article has given me a much better understanding of why that is. But it also conveys, very well, I might add, that no one can ever be truly enlightened to how the universe works. So why not choose to get on board with thinking that your positive thoughts can create a positive reality? It’s awesome that individuals that were once resistant can still find themselves on the road of manifestation. But again, I’m always reminded of the possibility of another universe. But it’s a great realistic and most likely the best way to convey the LoA. Through openness and on a positive outlook, not closing off any one side of the spectrum completely.
Thanks for this article.

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Sarah Brooks April 21, 2013 at 1:13 am

Hi David,

Thanks for this. I made a comment about The Secret on Amazon (how stupid of me!) and I already got a comment back disagreeing with me. Ridiculous really. I belong to both camps on the LoA issue. I think I can too because I am an individual with my own thoughts, freedoms (here in the US) and personal beliefs.

My personal beliefs had a major problem with page 28 of the book where they are claiming that mass killings are caused by people being on the same “frequency” as the event. This goes against common sense and everything I believe in. I mistakenly (or wisely) used the Serenity Prayer in my defense. I don’t think you can control what other people do, their actions, and such. Could we control Hitler…probably not! Could we control John Wilkes Booth for killing Lincoln…I really don’t think so. As for innocent children being killed like what happened at Newtown…well we can’t control that either. The person did it and it is there responsibility period!

You are very brave in having this website because there are so many people who to be FOR The Secret and have to accept the damn thing in it’s entirety and not read it with the same objective mind you should use when you read anything.

Peace out.

Sarah

bj bowen April 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Very great read. Comments too. I’m with Sarah. This “law” doesn’t isn’t a universal law. Universal laws, gravity comes to mind first and foremost, apply to every single thing the exact same way. Inanimate objects, plants, animals and humans… doesn’t matter.

I know forests, mountain ranges of forests full of dead trees, and if this “law” of attraction is true, then those trees really need to quit worrying so much.

Maybe I’ll hold a $95/tree workshop and teach them how to raise their vibration.

Thanks for the read and the discussion.

RAM May 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

Good post. Taoists and buddhists knew that we are not separated from the whole. Think of me (the ego) and the outside world as two different things, for them, its just an illusion or maya as Buddha said. Modern physicists knows that on the atomic level the matter behaves as they observe it. Einstein said all models of the science and mathematics are just our impression of the nature, a creation of the mind, not the truth. That not means (for sure!) my thoughts can change the universe, the nature, etc. But it can do changes on my perception of that same universe. What Napoleon Hill did was new fashion of old wisdom, especially from the Bible and LoA is the lean version driven to money.

BigmeBrainsBiggerMeBalls June 14, 2013 at 5:43 am

As a big time skeptic i once thought of the law of attraction as nothing but some pie in the bull,nut since the start of last year ive been gradually opening up,researching and doing my own strict experiments with the law of attraction,the results thus far has been,well,interesting to say the least,a few times ive also been totally gob smacked by the string of incredible co-incidences,it seams to give much credence to those who believe in a universal consciousness that interacts with everything in the the universe

that one guy August 15, 2013 at 12:31 am

Who cares about all this. We do!!. But it is Idiotic to pretend we know what’s going on. Probably worst top try and explain it. Here is what we know, . Just enjoy the moment, there’s so much more to wonder of and please let’s not explain things we don’t know / can’t prove.

Drusilla September 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Generally I don’t read article on blogs, but I would
like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so!

Your writing taste has been surprised me.
Thanks, very nice article.

Focault October 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

What does science tell about the Law of Attraction? It tells that LoA doesn’t work. Do you need a proof by scientific evidence? Read this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-van-edwards/law-of-attraction_b_2082921.html
http://www.heatherkappes.com/?page_id=68

But if you are a hard die believer in LoA, affected by cognitive bias, then please refuse to believe in science. For instance refuse to believe that your personal computer was built by using science knowledge, refuse to believe in Newton gravity law, refuse to believe in scientific evidence in general. Program your brain with positive thinking like a robot. Don’t accept your feelings as they are. Don’t love yourself as you are. Throw your life experience and your own judgment into the trash. Never desire to save your emotions.

Cheers!

George December 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

The only thing these experiments prove, is that the LoA doesn’t work in the naive way represented in “The Sercet”. Which, of-course, isn’t surprising given the fact that the version of LoA presented there makes no farking sense whatsoever.

But the LoA does work, in more subtle ways. The simple fact is, that if you transform the way you look at the world, your experiences of the world will change and drastically so. Even if it is nothing more than a placebo effect (which I doubt), it is still very real – subjectively.

And frankly, I don’t particularly care if my healthy attitude towards life actually creates more opportunities, or I’m simply noticing them more because of my mindset. The bottom line is that it works, and that – really – is the only thing that matters.

David Cain December 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm

That’s really what my point was here — that going into it with even an agnostic attitude is likely to have benefits, because it will at least transform your outlook.

katie December 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

“The LoA crowd seems to be rife with fruit loops, which has naturally made us skeptical of the whole thing. It’s interesting to wonder, though, if maybe our skeptical thoughts have created these crackpots, only to deliver reasons for us to be skeptical.”

Thank you for this sentence. Perhaps one of my favorite sentences in relation to LoA. I am a total believer by the way

George December 25, 2013 at 2:24 am

“1) Those who believe that the universe (“the outside world”) is bound to do its own thing, as determined by its own internal laws, regardless of what you think about it or intend for it to do.

2) Those who believe that the course of the universe, or at least what any one person experiences of it, is altered by one’s perceptions, by their thoughts about it and their intentions for it.”

Those two statements are not necessarily at odds with one another. In fact, I happen to believe that both of them are true.

I think that 400 years of science have proved, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the universe *is* operating according to immutable natural laws. The part the so-called skeptics aren’t getting, is that our minds are part of this system. And the LoA (in its more sensible versions) is simply one the ways our mind can interact with the material universe – according to natural laws.

At any rate, I personally have no doubt that some form of the LoA is real. This belief is based on both my knowledge of modern physics and my personal experience. And as a rationalist person, I actually think that this view makes much more sense then the “materialistic” alternative.

Focault January 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Jerry Hicks passed away because of cancer. Although he believed in LoA he used the mainstream medicine for trying to heal. Why? Perhaps because several people used LoA and died faster then the ones who used the mainstream medicine (eg. Kim Tinkham)? Just type on Google “law of attraction” & “cancer death” and you’ll find out so many sad stories. Do you still think that using LoA is a good and rensponsible advise? When it is useful? When it isn’t? Do you feel rensponsible when you suggest people to use LoA? Are you really offering a good service to humanity?

Sharaz January 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I read the article above and all the comments. Many of you truly do not understand the LoA. For myself, I watched the movie the Secret and I too thought it was just a really watered down way of showing people how they can change their lives. I think it did more harm than good.

LoA goes far beyond just thoughts and that that think it’s just positive thoughts then all they will have is positive thinking life. Still a good thing than being a negative person all the time but it will not create the life they want.

Many should learn some of the simple parts that are powerful givers in the LoA – Appreciation, Gratitude, Thank You, understanding abundance… there are so many things that I can write a book on.

I live my life engulfed in the LoA. Great things are constantly flowing into my life on a daily basis.

Remember, not because you practice the LoA doesn’t mean you won’t die. We all will die, it’s inevitable. What matters is when you are capable of creating the life you want you do it to the fullest.

A starting point to truly start living life using the LoA is to learn to tame the ego within. Understand the difference between the subconscious and the conscious mind. Tip, Conscious mind = EGO.

Those of you who want to live a life creating the joyous outcome that you want and desire I will suggest, study the complete works of Abraham-Hicks, read Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, read the books based the lives of great men like the Buddha, Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Einstein, etc. Read the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita and many more great books. Read with a non-judgmental mind. Once the ego out of the way then an open mind is all that is left.

In light my dear friends, we are within the universe and one cannot exist without the other, mould it your desires as it awaits your command.

Gina Corcoran February 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Hi David. It’s been a while since you
Wrote this. It’s 2014 now. I actually
Saw the secret when it first came out.
At first I was really pumped on it and
Then not long after I started to have my
Droughts. Like you, I have negative
Thoughts and I began to think all of
These LOA peeps where just nuts. Now
Recently I’m interested again because
A friend brought it up and she herself
Is all pumped on it. So I got online and
Started reading all sorts of blogs, articles
And stuff and came across yours. Guess
What? Yours is what has got me thinking
Of giving it a try. I am so all about thinking
I know about how the world and universe
Works and that I’m just one of those
Unlucky negative jaded suckers, but then
After reading this you made it very clear
To me that I don’t know shit. How can
I say that LOA for the good things doesn’t
Work when all along I could have been
Practicing it myself my whole life. Who’s
To say that my negative attitude and hard
Times haven’t resulted from the LOA
Thing in the first place? You said so much
More that made so much sense but this
What you made me realize and it’s so
True. So after all the research I have
Been doing trying to convince myself
That this thing is worth trying, I wished
I would have come across your reasonable
Words of wisdom first. It would have
Saved me so much more time this Sunday
Evening and I still would have come away
With the motivation to try this and that
I really don’t know as much as I think I
Do. Thanks :-)

Linda February 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Excellent article David! Coming from a long career in medicine I concluded I will never know how the universe really works. For me personally, the incidents of patients arresting on the table under general anesthesia verbalizing details occurring during their arrest was difficult to wrap my head around. This phenomenon goes against everything I had learned about consciousness vs unconsciousness under general anesthetic agents, and cardiac arrest. This doesn’t mean I can discount the validity of the experiences, only admit that I
don’t understand them scientifically with the current knowledge that I have. Taking thesame agnostic approach to LOA, so far it’s serving me well!

David Cain February 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm

That’s about where I’ve settled. I just don’t know, and I no longer believe I have a very complete understanding of how consciousness works. And I don’t think we need to in order to experiment. In fact, we need to admit that we don’t know in order to experiment.

aastha February 21, 2014 at 7:53 am

great article… I’ve always wanted to read about loa from an unbiased perspective. made a great read. I’m a believer for the simple reason that it makes me a better me. Cheers! :D

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