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!

People joined me in celebrating the success. Some people told me I had inspired them to try the same thing! You can always count on other Law of Attraction fans to excite each other into more belief and hype, and raise each other’s expectations. I told them the only thing that I had used to manifest this change was vibration and alignment. It’s all true! It happens just like they say! We can do anything!

Telling It Like You Want It

Looking back now (without forcing myself to tell the story I like best, as per Law of Attraction dogma), I find myself thinking, “huh!?” That was not the plain truth of the situation. Yet my enthusiasm was genuine, and I never consciously exaggerated. Instead, I was taught to look for signs and interpret them through a filter.

It’s called “telling it like you want it,” and most everyone who studies popular Law of Attraction teachings is taught to do this.

 

“Castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually.”

I believed in a world where I controlled each outcome through the power of belief. As a result, I looked for what I wanted and mistakenly attributed every event in my life to the truth of The Teachings.

A Faith-Based Ideology

Law of Attraction is a faith-based ideology. Followers need to foster faith and resolve all doubts in their hearts in order to be raptured when the saviour comes, be spared from hellfire, harness the power that creates worlds and manifest a life without limits. Followers have to stay internally reassured, lest they energetically repel their desires.

A Law of Attraction follower may adopt the following rules in the name of being a deliberate creator:

  • The only thing that matters is that I feel good.
  • Reality is totally subjective. We are all experiencing completely personal realities that are nothing but the sum total of our beliefs. Therefore I choose to look for and believe only that which I want to experience.
  • The truth is whatever I believe it is.
  • If I don’t have what I want, it’s because I am focused on lack rather than belief (faith).

There are some enthusiastic and compelling stories attesting to the power of Law of Attraction teachings. But first of all, Law of Attraction is largely based in success and personal development principles that can empower people, but with an added magical spin. And second, can you trust people who, as an integral part of their ideology, must condition themselves into seeing only positive signs and confirmation? People who believe reality is whatever they say it is?

Seeing Reality Clearly

I have noticed that the success stories that go around in Law of Attraction circles (where people reinforce their beliefs together) tend to fall into these categories:

  • Things happening on the mental/emotional plane. Feelings, thoughts. Internal shifts that are the regular result of self-examination and personal development.
    I shifted my vibration and woke up feeling wonderful and positive.” “I got goosebumps listening to music.” “I had a breakthrough about why I’ve been blocking my ideal relationship, and I’m thinking about love in a new way.”
  • Selected experiences interpreted as being related to a bigger manifestation.
    I’m vibe-ing love! I saw happy couples everywhere, then I had a great interaction with the cute clerk at the store! It’s all unfolding!”
  • Manifestations that aren’t actually the magical successes that people present them as. “I’m super wealthy! Because I feel abundant when I look around at my life.” “I experienced time travel! In a dream.” “I manifested clear skin! After working with a dermatologist for months.”
  • Normal resolutions and progress. Problems getting solved. People defining goals and then achieving them. Life just being occasionally extraordinary or fortunate as it tends to be. But told through an LOA lens.
    “I’ve been focusing on everything I appreciate about my ex, and now I’ve attracted her back and we’re trying to work things out.” “I stayed in the vibration of appreciation and my cat started to get better.” “I defined my new job and then attracted it.” “I got a great deal from my internet provider, thanks to my alignment.”
  • Impressive-sounding proclamations without details that tell what really happened, how, or why.
    My teeth straightened themselves.” “I make 5 times the amount of money I used to.”
  • And sometimes they are just exaggerations, because the individual is determined to see it the way they want it. That is the work, after all.
    “My body is changing! This stuff really works!” “I have everything I want and I manifest things instantly! People are literally amazed!”

I’m not saying there aren’t larger forces that operate in our lives. I’m not saying that people can’t build exceptional lives or that focus and mindset don’t matter.

But when you are taught to use magical thinking to harness a fictional cause-and-effect relationship (mood + belief = Everything?) what is the actual outcome? The outcome is striving for perfect faith, policing thought and emotion, telling yourself whatever feels best to believe, and endlessly receiving “mixed manifestations” that must never be evaluated in a way that could undermine The Faith.

 

Bonus screenshot from an Abraham-Hicks Facebook group. This illustrates the misguided, “tell it like you want it” approach that law of attraction devotees are taught:

9 thoughts on “Lying with the Law of Attraction

  1. Magical thinking seems to be the hallmark of the New Age, not universal goodwill, global peace & love or better stewardship of this planet, plenty of good food for all. So, there’s much room for people to believe in ideas that make the individual magical. As you say, there are many truths mixed with lies, half-truths which trap those who are seekers.

    Do you think AH is just a hoax, then? Many Xtians now espouse similar beliefs in a magical god that delivers all things, if only you’d tithe, pray & believe “right”.

    1. Thank you for the comment here. I really like your point about how much room there is in this for people to believe in ideas that make the individual magical. On that note, I think the individualism of today is ripe ground for ideologies like LOA to flourish. The belief systems that rise within a culture tell you a lot about that culture.

      I do think that AH is predatory and not just accidentally/benignly irresponsible. I’m thinking about your words about the similarities with other faith-based systems and have also seen some religious folks come away with that sort of understanding of how life should go if they are good/faithful. Maybe that’s even just human to expect life to go well if you do the things you think are right. However, I think individuals who follow traditional religions are nowhere near as primed for the “magic god/universe will deliver everything I want” interpretation compared to an LOA follower who is explicitly primed for a superhuman life where no limits apply to them.

  2. Abraham Hicks ….very dodgy con people who got their business model (for their fake channeling ) from working at Amway ..

    1. Yes, thank you for mentioning the Amway connection. Jerry Hicks sure knew how to tap into the dreams and desires of hopefuls. LOA and network marketing seem to be part of the same animal in ways, as far as creating hype and expectation (I mentioned this in passing in the blog entry here).

  3. The New Agey Philosophy is very sketchy- particularly from A-H. In essence she teaches people to ignore the sufferings of others, teaches them to be selfish, often does a great deal of victim blaming and does nothing to teach the role of compassion and sacrifice for others. I truly believe people manifest what they NEED in specific moments, and I do follow loosely Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity. But understanding the true laws of spirituality would actually be the complete opposite of what this woman is proposing. In spirituality we embrace the crisis, or the change, the shift and the negative to consider taking a different path, one that humbles us and makes us more compassionate and helpful to those around us, thus focusing on ways to contribute to the collective whole, not just ourselves. Negative experiences are usually an opportunity for people to come together and take action towards social, civil and psychological issues, not for us to avoid them. If someone is seen crying we should be there to comfort them, not ignore them. Her advice “just focus on yourself and screw everyone else.” She views other people’s problems as ‘their problems’ and something to be avoided. She encourages people to be materialistic and to attain everything they want in life, whilst ignoring the suffering that is happening in this planet because hey- that’s just negative energy and it’s just going to weigh you down. She told a man who was bipolar that he was bipolar because HE couldn’t figure out what his purpose in life was. How awful is that? So every time he gets depressed, guess what? He gets more depressed because now he thinks that depression is HIS fault. And I suppose every child raped and murdered ‘attracted’ that energy- but hey the men doing it were just ‘attaining what they wanted in life’ so … guess we can’t blame the men right? Must those pesky children ya know DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG. Anyone with a brain would abandon A-H asap. The woman is a plague.

    1. You nailed it. Thank you for the great comment. To make it worse, followers do feel tapped into the greatest love and care for humanity, essentially believing they do the world the ultimate service. It is a rude awakening to realize you have been feeling like an enlightened humanitarian but the methods you’ve been following actually do the opposite.

  4. Thank you very much for your review on Amazon and the mention that we could find this blog. I am very appreciative that you took the time to review the book and that you have this blog. I am a Christian and I firmly believe two things:

    1. The body is miraculous and is capable of a lot more than we give it credit for, and
    2. The mind is also miraculous

    If there is anything at all to the “Law of Attraction” it is because God created it. That doesn’t mean “magical thinking” is a good idea at all and you spell out why. I do believe that our subconscious minds can do so much more for us than we ever knew and I believe we should learn how to use them. But to live “head in the clouds”, denying reality and not actually dealing with Real Life? Nope. That’s not good at all.

    I am also very bothered by this “channeling” business. I don’t personally believe that Esther Hicks is “channeling” anyone; I think she’s getting information from various sources and then re-writing it and claiming it came from “Abraham”. But “channeling” an entity is a very dangerous thing to be doing and I don’t recommend that anyone have anything to do with it.

    Again, thank you very much for your excellent review and for this blog.

    1. Angela, thank you for these wise thoughts here and also for your kind words. I am in agreement with you on the miraculous potential of the mind and body and the folly of denying reality & real life as a route to harnessing this power.

      I also agree about channeling entities. In many ways, New Age ideas have people playing in the spiritual sandbox without understanding or caution, or misleading people to think that everything is “God energy” or “Christ consciousness” or pure love. It is my opinion that Esther is channeling, but even if she is just a very cunning and rhetorically talented individual, one result is that she has many people essentially worshiping Abraham and themselves. There was a time when I regarded Abraham (whatever Abraham is: entity, entities, one human named Esther) as no different from God. My Aber friends still do the same – asking Abraham for help, thanking Abraham, endeavoring to open up to channeling their own “inspiration,” (not caring if this means God, entities, whatever) because this system promotes the fallacy that everything is perfect as long as it feels good.

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