Dangerous Consequences of the Law of Attraction
If you’re into spirituality and self-improvement, you probably heard of Law of Attraction (later sometimes referred to as “LOA”).
I was an on and off devotee of the Law of Attraction for about 5 years. When I first heard about it, I was about 15 and I was excited to stumble upon such important secrets that promised to unlock all doors for me.
After I’ve been practicing what the authors of bestsellers on the Law of Attraction advised, I noticed no improvements and, after a while, I gave up. This was a process I went through several times because I thought that this time, I’ll get it right. After all, I wasn’t mature enough the last time I tried it, I didn’t have the necessary life experience, my will and beliefs weren’t strong enough…
I would always find a flaw in myself that is to blame for the techniques not working. It never even crossed my mind that the theory itself is flawed or, worse yet, that it is a complete scam targeted at those who are in need of a helping hand.
Principles of the Law of Attraction
“Experts” on LOA, such as Rhonda Byrne, claim that whatever you think you attract. They imply that LOA works every time and without a fault.
This is mentioned in the very preface of Byrne’s popular book The Secret:
It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, The Secret can give you whatever you want. (xi)
And is again referred to throughout the book:
…whatever you choose to think will become your life experience. (28)
If you remain positive, if you think about something long and hard enough, visualize it, feel it, pretend that it’s already there, put your total trust in the Universe and never doubt the LOA – you’ll surely manifest whatever you want into your reality.
Where’s the Proof?
I tried to test LOA multiple times. I conducted silly tests such as visualizing my phone ringing as I pass by a particular object. I did all that the authors advised: I imagined the feeling I would get when my phone rings. I put my faith in the Universe and had no doubt in my mind that the phone will ring.
This, however, did not happen. In fact, it didn’t happen on any other occasion nor with other thoughts about things that were much more important to me.
Practitioners of the Law of Attraction don't offer any proof, either
There are many LOA followers who claim that they did successfully manifest everything they wanted. Well, as I mention in my article 5 Techniques to Get Inspired to Write, Quora is a treasure trove of information, so I headed on there to find out what kind of examples of manifestations LOA followers had for me.
As an answer to a question about wishes that were granted to those who practice LOA, one Quoran decided to single out her manifestation of a free parking spot. Besides that, this Quoran also mentioned how she successfully manifested talking to a person at her University.
Isn't this just an example of synchronicity that Carl Jung was talking about? Or just a mere and actually quite irrelevant accident? On the other hand, are these really the prime examples of manifestations that LOA practitioners have to offer?
Another Quoran mentioned that you should have a great knowledge of related practices to be successful with LOA. This contradicts what many authors claim in their books, which is that reading their bestseller is the only thing you'll ever need.
Feel free to browse through other "examples".
I didn't cherry-pick what I'll show here. I didn't have to.
No one gives any direct proof of LOA. LOA believers will excuse this by saying that proof will not make up for your personal belief and understanding of LOA and, thus, won't contribute to your power of manifestation.
And, of course, there is no science backing up the scam that is the Law of Attraction.
Why Is the Law of Attraction So Dangerous?
After being a devotee of the Law of Attraction for several years, I am now utterly convinced that it can be extremely harmful. Here are the reasons why:
Byrne, Hicks, Doyle and other self-professed channels of deeper secrets from the non-physical realm all claim that, as Byrne put it:
You see, you can have whatever you want in your life, no limits. But there's one catch: You have to feel good. (32)
This is the last thing that people with severe physical and mental conditions need to hear. Here is an excerpt of testimony about a woman so deluded by these messages that she denied having cancer for such a long time that it eventually led to her death:
My mother came to live with me 6 months ago because she had suddenly lost her vision and of course thought this was a spiritual thing... Well, we took her to real Physicians and found out she had metastatic cancer. Hmmmm, guess she manifested it in herself. Upon finding this out she was in denial and became frantic to listen to her audio Abraham-Hicks tapes, meditate, etc. (...)
As for my mother, as her illness progressed no matter how hard she tried to will it away, she could no longer deny it. She decided to stop listening to the tapes. She gradually started changing back to the person we knew and reconnecting with her family. We can never get those 5 years back and we have no future. She passed away on Jan 7.
("Experiences", n.d., para. 6-7)
Disclaimer: The reason why I don't refer to books by Esther and Jerry Hicks is that I found their (or Abraham's?) writing nonsensical and unscrupulous from the get-go and just couldn't bring myself to reading it.
You don't have to suffer from any mental or physical illness for LOA to still have damaging effects on you.
One is constantly asked to fight their natural emotions (which, by the way, are never negative nor positive but are only indicators of our current inner state and should never be ignored or bushed off).
This can lead to a highly subjective perspective of oneself and the world that may not even slightly resemble what is objectively there.
Authors of books on LOA will straight up lie to you, just as Byrne did:
Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought! (15)
Like all the laws of nature, there is utter perfection in this law. (17)
By no means is LOA considered a "law of nature" by quantum physicians, and I'm still waiting for Byrne to point the exact place where a quantum physicist states that the Universe emerged from thought. This statement resembles more a typical religious depiction of how the world was created.
Law of Attraction Experts Lie about Themselves, too
Bob Proctor, one of the leading figures in the self-help domain, is featured in Byrne’s book The Secret and is given the title of a “philosopher”. I’ve found nothing in his bio that would even slightly imply that he ever studied philosophy, and he is nowhere near to being recognized in the philosophy community. What he and others like him write about can be considered a pseudo-philosophy at best.
These people give themselves arbitrary titles to create an air of authority around their works. But should you really put your faith into someone who lies to you at the introductory pages of their book?
I saved the best for last.
As David Stone already mentioned in his article, when Jerry Hicks battled leukemia, he was more than willing to undergo chemotherapy, something that he and his wife proclaimed to be completely unnecessary in their many books and talks because, you know, you have the power of your thoughts to heal you.
I wonder if Esther would claim that Jerry wished cancer upon himself as she claimed other cancer victims did.
Empathy Level Zero
What the Law of Attraction teaches you is that whatever happens to you, you brought it onto yourself.
In such (imaginary) world, there is no place for empathy.
First of all, whatever hardships your loved ones are going through, they are to blame. The best you can do is be a prat who tells them that they should think positive thoughts.
Secondly, you cannot spare even a moment considering what they might be going through because you will attract the same difficulties in your own life.
Is this pseudo-philosophy really one of love and joy or one that goes hand in hand with a capitalist mindset?
No Secret to Begin with
Lastly, what the Law of Attraction has to offer isn’t really much.
LOA is a cluster of used up clichés resembling motivational quotes.
Dream it. Wish it. Do it.
Seems familiar? The LOA just leaves out the “do it” part so that more people jump on board because, let’s face it, sometimes we just want to take the easy road.
We already knew that if we think positively, we are more likely to succeed. But this isn’t because the Universe will deliver whatever we want to us.
It is because when we believe in ourselves and believe that the world is our oyster, we are more inclined to take steps towards achieving our dreams.
When we focus our energy on something we really want, we are more likely to recognize opportunities that present themselves to us and to never lose track of what we’re working towards.
The LOA experts’ expertise lies in repackaging knowledge we already had into something grand, spicing it up with promises of easy success.
To Sum up
Do objects and people have vibrations and energy? Yes. Is there a non-physical realm? Yes. Can we use thoughts as tools that lead us to our desired results? Yes.
Does the Universe operate as our personal assistant? A firm no.
You see, I believe in the power of affirmations, rituals, meditation.
I even believe in astrology and numerology, and this is considered wacky by most people I know.
However, none of these have anything to do with reprogramming the Universe to be your servant. They do, on the other hand, have everything to do with reprogramming yourself to be your own strongest ally (even astrology and numerology).
Each one of us needs to take responsibility for our well-being. Thinking positively and acting as your own personal cheerleader is a part of that.
Another part of that is taking concrete steps that take you to your goals.
You can achieve anything and shape your reality, but visualizations just aren't going to cut it.
Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?
Experiences. (n.d.) in Abraham Hicks Skeptic. Retrieved from http://abrahamhicksfraud.blogspot.com/p/experiences.html
Byrne, R. (2006). The Secret. New York, NY: Atria Books.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Dina Sostarec