Posts Tagged ‘Law of Attraction’

The Law Meets the Compulsion to Control

August 24, 2008

I have been working with it and teaching it for many years. Abraham provides a beautiful, simple description of it. The Secret made it a household name. What is it? The Law of Attraction.

I have a theory about why the Law of Attraction has become so hot: It feeds the human compulsion to control. It’s not that there is anything misguided or wrong with the Law of Attraction. It’s just that it tells only part of the story. And the part of the story it tells makes people fantasize that if they just have the right thoughts and if they just have the right feelings and if they just do the right things, then they can control everything around them.

Recently, I have been getting questions and complaints about the Law of Attraction from people I know. Some complain that it just doesn’t work or that it might work for others, but they cannot “make” it work for them. Some are confused about how, when, and in what way it works. Others suspect there is something important missing about it.

From my experience and vantage point, the Law of Attraction is real and valid. One of the most common problems faced by those trying to consciously understand and employ it is that they want to jump to the desired experience without acknowledging exactly where they are in the present moment. That’s one step that cannot be skipped. Another problem is the strength and consistency with which the person chooses the supportive thoughts and feelings. But both of those issues are dealt with beautifully by others, so I’m not going to spend time addressing them. There are a few other things going on that I will address?

So what else might be coming into play?

Among other things, there is the energetic impact of others–other people, other creatures, and everything else outside of us. We might have a certain amount of control over ourselves (and, in my opinion, we overestimate how much that is), and it is true that our energetic state impacts everything around us. But we cannot control everything around us. Change yourelf and you begin to change your experience. Believe that you can energetically wrestle the world around you by using the Law of Attraction as the equivalent of a half nelson and you are going to be disappointed with what you experience. At best, you will fail. At worse, you will experience a boomerang effect sock in the jaw.

There is us and there is “the other” impacting our experience. What else?

In my model of the Cosmos (formed, among other things, through mystical experience), there is also the larger energetic source of which we are a part, the numinous presence that is both imminent and transcendent. Might we have made some agreements before we came into human form that impact our experience here? Yes. Might there be larger plans at play? Yes. Is there something called Divine Timing? Absolutely.

We love to focus on our part, the part that has to do with our thoughts, feelings, and actions. We hate to accept that our part is only part of a larger body of influences that impact our experience. We hate it. We try to manipulate others. We try to beat Mother Earth into submission. We try to make deals with God. We want control over everything and the truth is, we don’t have control over everything.

There is a good reason to support and practice the principles that make up the Law of Attraction. For a species that has such a compulsion to control, we tend to exert control over our own thoughts and feelings shockingly little. Just attending to what we think and how we feel can change your life. Don’t believe it? Try it.

But our thoughts and feelings, along with our actions, make up a sweet little package that is only one part of the complex mix of energies that is the creative soup of our experience. So if you are struggling with the Law of Attraction, it might help to step back, take a deep breath, and accept the fact (shocking as it may be) that you are not in control of everything. And if you contemplate that for very long, you just might come to like the idea.