May 23, 2017

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. I didn't see the depth of it until I reviewed some of my old correspondence. Reading my own Law of Attraction fueled words was a strange experience. I am thoroughly grateful my mind is no longer permeated with that dogma.

In one case, I told my Abraham-Hicks 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, raising 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 that I like best, as Law of Attraction dictates), I find myself thinking, "Huh?"

What I had written was not the plain truth. Yet my enthusiasm was genuine. And I never consciously exaggerated. Instead, I was taught to look for positive 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.

I believed in a world where I controlled each outcome through the power of belief. As a result, I looked only for what I wanted, and I 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 must 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 completely subjective. We all experience personal realities that are just 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 of my focus and beliefs (so because of faith or lack thereof).

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 personal development principles that are empowering. But then it adds a few extra magical spins.

And second, how much can you trust the stories of those who, as an integral part of their ideology, must condition themselves to see only positive signs and confirmation? How much can you trust the version of reality reported by those who believe reality is whatever they say it is?

The Truth Behind the Success Stories

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:

Changes they experienced on the mental or emotional plane: feelings, thoughts, internal shifts.

  • "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. Now I'm thinking about love in a new way."

Selected experiences that are interpreted as a sign that a larger manifestation is approaching.

  • "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 are not actually the magical success stories they're presented 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."

Problems getting resolved, goals being achieved, and occasional good fortune. That is: normal events 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."

Grand proclamations with no explanatory details. These statements impress without giving the full picture.

  • "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!"

Learn to see the spin that's being applied.

Upholding the Faith Replaces Actual Reality

I'm not saying there aren't larger forces that operate in our lives. I'm not saying 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.

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  1. G. JonesmithAugust 22, 2017

    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".

  2. Responsible SpiritualityAugust 25, 2017

    Thank you for your comment. 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 the A-H Teachings are a clever concoction 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 a similar 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 "right" things. However, I think individuals who follow traditional religions are not 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.

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

  4. Common SenseOctober 29, 2017

    Yep. :)

  5. Common SenseOctober 29, 2017

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Responsible SpiritualityNovember 26, 2017

    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.

  8. Responsible SpiritualityNovember 26, 2017

    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.

  9. Responsible SpiritualityNovember 26, 2017

    Angela, thank you for these wise thoughts and 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.

    Regarding channeling, in many ways, New Age ideas have people playing in a spiritual sandbox without understanding or caution. It's misleading people to think that everything is "God energy" or "Christ consciousness" or pure love. There was a time when I regarded "Abraham" as no different from God.

    My Aber friends still do the same: Asking Abraham for help. Thanking Abraham. Trying to open themselves up to channeling "whatever," because they are taught that anything that feels good is good.

  10. Indeed. You WILL feel good at an Abe workshop, and while "flying high" in your day to day life. You will also completely disassociate from a crucial part of your humanity- the ability to love and embrace ALL of your emotions. Oh, the time I spent (i.e. wasted) leaning in the direction of what feels good, regardless of reality. It's quite the crash landing to realize that those disowned feelings were actually the key to a well-lived life, NOT an indication that you are in the process of "miscreating". If you validate your current emotional state, i.e. the way you are actually feeling, THAT'S what causes your path to light up. Not by turning your back on yourself. And others, for that matter. The really seasoned "Abers" tend to have massive, disowned shadow selves. And since they've become such masters at "flying high", they can't even see that part of themselves anymore. It's like it doesn't exist (yay!?). But contrary to popular Aber belief, it doesn't "peter out" from lack of attention. It festers under the surface, until life eventually pokes it with a stick.

  11. One problem that *I* have with this "Abraham Hicks" business (besides those that you have pointed out) is that Abraham is supposed to be some "spiritual entity" that Esther Hicks "channels". Now, I don't know about you, but in ALL of the religious teachings I've had for my entire life, entities who are not human and no longer live on the Earth DO NOT GIVE A CRAP ABOUT MATERIAL WEALTH!!! Why would they? WE care about material wealth because we need that stuff to have a decent life here. But we "can't take it with us" and those things won't matter one iota to us once we're "gone" from the Earth. Has no one EVER thought to question Esther Hicks about this??

  12. Responsible SpiritualityFebruary 19, 2018

    Haha yes, you make a good point Angela. I wonder, but no I can't think of a specific time someone asked Esther about the money topic like this! I have heard at least one person challenge the idea that financial success can be about attraction not action. Then of course there have been many, many questions about trying to make wealth work the way A-H says it does.

    "You can have everything you want" is such a fundamental part of Law of Attraction teachings that I think people probably wouldn't be drawn in without already wanting to accept the wealth + spirituality blend. Then, from that starting assumption (the assumption that wealth and spirituality are not separate), I guess Abers would assume channeled entities here to improve human lives would also then care about helping humans make money, since LOA preaches abundance is our birthright, etc. etc. It's really interesting to me to consider where LOA and traditional religions match in some of their teachings and where they diverge.

  13. Responsible SpiritualityNovember 18, 2019

    Comments are closed, but please check out RethinkingNewAge on Reddit and join the discussion there