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Lying with the Law of Attraction

Lying with the Law of Attraction

I didn’t realize how much I stretched the truth when I was an avid Law of Attraction follower, until this past weekend when I reviewed some of my old correspondence. Reading my own LOA-fueled words was a strange experience. I am thoroughly grateful my mind isn’t permeated with that dogma anymore.

In one case, I told my Aber friends that my body changed. I had proof to back it up: I noticed this, then my boyfriend noticed that, and this is what my body has felt like, and these are the changes I am seeing. It’s really happening!

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New article on the “Links” page

New article on the “Links” page

I’ve just added an excellent new article to the Links page.

I highly recommend stopping by the Links page, by the way, and visiting some of the articles by David Stone, Kelly Martin, Spirituality is No Excuse and the other writers listed there who have boldly offered opinions other than what is trendy.  There are different perspectives represented, from skeptical to spiritual to a combination of both.

Check out the latest article on the list, along with an excerpt below (the whole article is very much worth a read):

Cri de Coeur: Why I hate the New Age – a tirade seven years too late

As a former psychotherapist, I have witnessed people’s remarkable capacity to unconsciously create realities that recapitulate the conditions of their childhoods, seemingly attracting the same emotional drama again and again. I’ve seen this too in my own life, and marvelled at the apparent magic of it. I’ve also seen how people can transform their lives through conscious efforts, through mindfulness and increased self-knowledge. And there is no doubt ‘reality’ is a mutable and ambiguous thing…

But the notion that we can ‘attract’ whatever we want by focusing on it and visualizing it, that the universe is a kind of giant wishing well that only serves up nasty stuff because we secretly wanted it that way, is a poisonous idea. There’s a scene in The Secret that epitomizes how shallow and toxic this philosophy can become: a man ‘meditates’ in an armchair while making gear-shifting motions with his hand in order to ‘manifest’ for himself the BMW of his dreams. It’s this wedding of ostensibly spiritual practice with consumerism that is particularly insidous. It is the very inversion of the Buddhist precept of nonattachment. Far from encouraging the mindful observation of one’s ego’s desires and fears, New Age-ism places them at stage centre and suggests we really can ‘have it all’…

 

No Law of Attraction Mindset Necessary

No Law of Attraction Mindset Necessary

I had been meaning to call my internet provider. The last deal I secured came to an end a couple months ago, and I didn’t like that my bill was back up to more than $70 a month for nearly the lowest internet package available.  I needed to call and re-negotiate a better deal.  But I was putting it off.

Negotiating is not my comfortable place.  Quite the opposite.  But I finally called my provider, and after going back and forth with the customer service rep, I ended up with double the internet speed for $20 less per month.  Instead of the offer ending in 3 months like the last few offers, I have the deal locked in for a year, saving me the trouble of going through this again until the end of 2017.

The deal was much better than anything I was expecting.  I was pleasantly surprised and pretty excited about the outcome.

Strive for Aligned Action?

This event caused me to reflect on how I would have interpreted and handled this same event if I were still an avid Law of Attraction fan.  This would have gone quite differently if I were still in my Abrahaze (Abraham-Hicks haze).  The RESULT could have been exactly the same, but there would have been a lot of extra, unnecessary mental efforts and superstitions in my head.

I feel that old strain now, just imagining that old lifestyle of believing all success and failure rests upon my inner energies.

As a mighty deliberate creator, I would have either waited until I felt aligned to make that call, or I would have deliberately worked up a feeling of alignment prior to calling.  After all, Abraham-Hicks says, “Nothing is more important than that you feel good,” and “Get aligned, and then.”  I feel that old strain now, just imagining that old lifestyle of believing all success and failure rests upon my inner energies.  I was always directing and conjuring thoughts and moods.  Non-aligned action was a big no-no.

If I made this call to my internet provider in my Abrahaze, I would have found it necessary to saddle myself with extra responsibilities like visualization or positive self-talk or reaching for belief.  If I received the same deal, it would have been a huge, gratifying hit, “proof” of the good work I had done with my thoughts and emotions, and “proof” of Abraham-Hicks and the Law of Attraction.  Then I would have tried to milk that feeling of success as long as I could to stay in alignment. I’m exhausted even thinking about the way I used to live.  At the time, I couldn’t see how forced and depleting it was.

Take Normal Action

Does every action require some sort of fancy alignment?  Of course not!  Keep it simple. If you need to call your internet provider to negotiate a better deal, call your internet provider and negotiate a better deal. Do the necessary reality things for this task.

My attitude when I made the call could best be summed up as:  “Uuggh, I don’t wanna.”  That is a terrible mindset, from a Law of Attraction perspective.  But when it comes to actual reality, there is no need to have goals about feeling perfect.  Skip the inner work and take the appropriate actions.  In this case, have your account number ready.  Be armed with a little awareness about your current plan versus the deals that are out there.  Maybe look up the direct number for the loyalty and retention department to avoid more time on the phone being transferred.  Oh, and please remember to be courteous to the customer service representative.

It is a waste of time and effort to go about life attempting to influence events with mind control, which is essentially what Law of Attraction philosophies are about.  In fact, living a misunderstanding of how the world works will eventually lead a person further into superstition and further away from powerful action.  Overemphasis on inner feelings to create perfect circumstances will undercut a person’s power to accomplish things out in the world.

In my internet provider scenario, what is it that helped me much more than striving for internal alignment?  Clear, honest communication: “That sounds like a good deal, but I don’t need the highest plan.”  “Five dollars off for 3 months is not quite what I’m looking for.”  “This third party internet provider charges $45 a month for the same service.” I could have done the same thing using a Law of Attraction spin every step of the way in an attempt to feel more in control, but this conversation only required me to voice my needs and concerns and communicate respectfully with another human being.  It did not require me to attain and harness perfect internal energies for some matching manifestation.

Why Law of Attraction Teachings Are So Comforting

Magical thinking can help a person to feel in control when in an uncomfortable or uncertain situation.  It is something to reach for to feel powerful instead of feeling insecure.  And you may have noticed, it doesn’t take that much to trigger a feeling of insecurity.  From making a phone call to asking for something you want to going to work in the morning to having relationships with other people, insecurity happens.

Being given mental and emotional busy-work via Law of Attraction teachings can do a lot to soothe this.  Like a pre-game ritual to win the big game, Law of Attraction techniques can be used as the ultimate ritual to reach for, giving people a way to feel powerful and in control.

Law of Attraction teachings tell people they can avoid vulnerability through reaching for inflated states.  It is not a path to being one’s best self, but to being superhuman, which isn’t wise or even possible and creates tension over time.  It’s important to be empowered, but also wise and reasonable to be OK with vulnerability and occasional human discomfort as par for the course here on Earth.

Leaving Old Habits Behind

After turning away from Law of Attraction teachings as a way of life, the habit of waiting for aligned action stayed with me in subtle ways.  A bad day might cause me to superstitiously wonder what I was doing to “attract” the circumstances.  Sometimes this can be a useful question for reflection when it comes to ongoing life patterns.  But otherwise, bad days happen.  Sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes people are unpleasant.  It’s not life without that stuff, and trying to control everyday life experiences through mental power (or constantly wondering, “what is it about ME that is causing THIS?”) is a giant waste of time.

Living a misunderstanding of how the world works will eventually lead a person further into superstition and further away from powerful action.

After Law of Attraction teachings, I also found it harder to take steps forward into unknown territory if I wasn’t feeling quite confident yet.  Launching a business, meeting with clients, doing new sessions–I wanted to feel perfect before moving forward.  I would give more significance than necessary to my uncomfortable feelings.  Feeling nervous and vulnerable is normal and expected in new situations, not, in fact, a cue to stop and initiate a round of positive affirmations so that life will go your way.  It is a curse to believe that perfect feeling must be achieved before doing anything.

Obviously, it is more comfortable to feel perfectly good and perfectly in control.  And obviously, we do need to pay attention to our thoughts and emotions.  But striving for alignment could also be called striving for perfection.  Law of Attraction philosophies have people striving for perfect actions and outcomes by way of perfect internal states, and this handicapped me more than it helped me.

Abraham-Hicks: Cult, Scam, or Legitimate? A Reference Guide

Abraham-Hicks: Cult, Scam, or Legitimate? A Reference Guide

Abraham-Hicks, the popular Law of Attraction ideology, is touted as “The Secret Behind the Secret.” Their bestselling book on manifesting your desires currently has a nearly 4.2 star rating on Goodreads from over 17,000 ratings. But is this actually a legitimate way to unlock the heights of success and human potential? Or is it a cult or scam?

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has a list of characteristics that are associated with cultic groups. Below, I have included the entire list (in blue text) and given my own description (in black text) of the Abraham-Hicks ideology based on my years involved and my observation of others who were also deeply committed.

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Cult Parallels: Unquestioning Commitment to the Abraham-Hicks Leader and Ideology

Cult Parallels: Unquestioning Commitment to the Abraham-Hicks Leader and Ideology

I cringe to think back on the many past conversations I have had that were centered around the words: “Abraham says…”

“Abraham says this about relationships… Abraham says that about money…”

Like other devoted followers, I automatically stamped all of Abraham’s proclamations as valid.  Whatever came after “Abraham says” had to be wisdom and truth, in my eyes.  This leads me to the next characteristic I’d like to point out in this series where I compare Abraham-Hicks with known cult tactics.

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Cult Parallels: Abraham-Hicks, Encouraging Laziness and Passivity

Cult Parallels: Abraham-Hicks, Encouraging Laziness and Passivity

Why is it that so many people who become disillusioned with Abraham-Hicks come away feeling like they were brainwashed or part of a cult?  In no particular order, I will be comparing components of Abraham-Hicks with known cult tactics in a series of blog posts.  First up:

Encouraging and Reinforcing Laziness and Passivity

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Wasting a Whole Lot of Time with Abraham-Hicks

Wasting a Whole Lot of Time with Abraham-Hicks

How I (mis)spent my time as an Aber

When I was an Aber, I spent my time in foolish ways.  I was mainly concerned with feeling good, taking it easy, soothing negative emotions, and tending to my “vibration.”  I filled endless notebooks with feel-good exercies, “virtual reality” fantasies, gratitude lists, Abraham quotes to inspire me, and Abraham-recommended emotional and psychological exercises.

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“Ultimately more harmful than helpful.” My Amazon Review of Abraham-Hicks

“Ultimately more harmful than helpful.” My Amazon Review of Abraham-Hicks

This blog was born after I wrote a long, one-star review of the Abraham-Hicks books on Amazon and realized I still had much more to say.  For you readers that did not find your way here from my review on Amazon, here is the review copied below.  Headings added.

Screenshots of the discussion on Amazon are located here.

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Digging a Financial Hole with Abraham-Hicks

Digging a Financial Hole with Abraham-Hicks

Now for a question on the mind of many Law of Attraction enthusiasts.  How can I create a “vibration” of abundance and attract more money?

Abraham promises a simple and appealing route to financial success:

When I was an A-H devotee, I thought there was a simple equation for financial success–for everything in fact:  financial abundance, just like everything else in my life, was simply a factor of my “vibration.”  This was great news, especially since it just so happened that Abraham had all the answers for how to improve this all-important vibration and thus improve every area of life.  Even more good news, the path to this was all about ease, feeling good, faith, and all sorts of other internal factors I could control.  I believed I just had to understand the Teachings and find my own happy way to allow more than I was resisting.

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