The Law of Attraction

A major component of the early Meetups I attended, often believed in with a manic, religious fervour. Not to do with dating! Well, not directly.

Positive thinking in a magical, manifesty way goes back to Buddhism, Hinduism, the Bible- a lot of sayings of Jesus and Paul might be interpreted that way.

The “Law of Attraction” itself can be found in Helena Blavatsky’s “Isis Unveiled” before mentions of the term or at least its principles in Thomas Troward, James Allen, William Walter Atkinson, Wallace Wattles, Charles Haanel, Napoleon Hill, U.S. Anderson, Neville Goddard, Norman Vincent Peale, Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, Bob Doyle, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale, Bob Proctor, Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho and the teachings of Abraham Hicks.

Basically the idea is thinking of positive things and feeling happy will magnetize more of the same. Zap! This can then be extended into practices such as creative visualization, sticking pictures of things you want to acquire on your fridge, vividly imagining feeling being in the desired situation etc.

Some people write and speak as if the Law of Attraction is proven. It is not as if it is science like the Law of Gravity, but even scientific laws are sometimes overshadowed by new ones, such as Newton’s by Einstein’s and then quantum physics.

Surely feeling positive is a win win anyway?

Even if delusional, why not have a happy belief system and not a shaming and judgy one?

Not everyone would agree…

The Stoics, beloved of Tim Ferriss and many others, practised the art of negative visualisation, imagining losses to make you appreciate what you have. Seneca wrote of this, it is reflected in some Freemason and Samurai practices, and Stoicism was acknowledged as forming the philosophical basis for Albert Ellis’s REBT and Beck’s CT which were forerunners of today’s dominant cognitive behavioural therapy.

A famous book in recent years was “Bright-Sided” by Barbara Ehrenreich, critiquing some of the more eyes-glazed-over uber-positivity.

But what do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts. But do thoughts become things?

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