The "Law of Attraction" is a phrase that has become very popular lately especially in the New Age, or "New Thought" scene, and it deserves some attention. I will quote wikipedia's definition here:
...the Law of Attraction says people's thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) dictate the reality of their lives, whether or not they're aware of it. Essentially "if you really want something and truly believe it's possible, you'll get it", but putting a lot of attention and thought onto something you don't want means you'll probably get that too.
There is some truth behind this "law". Experience has led me to believe that we do indeed co-create the reality we experience, at least to a certain degree which varies from one person to another, from one moment to the next. We can influence our lives in ways that go beyond the usual laws of cause and effect (a-causally), and the nature of our influence largely depends on what aspects of life we focus upon.
However, the phrase "Law of Attraction" and the variety of writings I have read on the subject make the mechanics involved behind a-causally influencing our lives sound far too simple.
If you were to google the phrase, you would see quotes such as (my own emphasis added) "Learn the Secret to attracting everything you desire in your life using this Universal Attraction Law" and "If you focus on success you will attract success and repel failure".
I have at least two inter-connected observations that argue why the "Law of Attraction" is not guaranteed to work.
Firstly, the belief that we can attract "anything we desire" through our conscious focus does not take into account having an inner path or an underlying purpose in life, even if that purpose were simply to explore various aspects of human experience.
If the object or goal of our conscious focus contradicts this inner purpose, no matter how much we may believe in its possibility or how much we obsess over it, the goal in question will most likely either not be reached or prove to be a temporary achievement. What's worse is that it could prove deleterious to our path in the long run.
Thus, it is extremely important when practicing the "Law of Attraction" to establish ongoing communication with one's deeper aspects of self and to be aware of one's innermost desires, at least to a certain degree given how difficult this can be to achieve. Ideally, our innermost desires should be the fountainhead of our will and focus.
Secondly, it is from within the deeper layers of consciousness that we can affect reality a-causally. This is a downright magical phenomenon, although it may indeed work in certain circumstances with great ease, or apparently so. If one's deeper self does not resonate with one's conscious focus, and one is effectively derailed from the inner path in the pursuit of superficial goals, then conscious focus has little power beyond the usual ways that cause-and-effect laws operate.
(Naturally, conscious focus alone has great potential to change our lives and should not be underestimated. The "Law of Attraction" can be demonstrated as a mechanistic, causal phenomenon just fine. But, when the conscious focus does not resonate with that of the deeper self, it has little abilities to influence our reality in a-causal ways.)
I believe that the clearest indication that we are indeed affecting our reality in an a-causal manner lies in the awareness of synchronicities, specifically those meaningful coincidences that relate to the object(s) of our focus. And a penetrating scrutiny into the synchronous elements of our lives can illuminate what our deeper self is focused upon, which can almost be entirely out of sync with our conscious focus although synchronicities occur nevertheless.
A Real Life Example
The following story of mine illustrates what could occur when one consciously focuses on a goal that contradicts one's inner purpose. It is interesting to note that the related synchronicities were striking and they surfaced as messages that were in direct contradiction to my conscious intentions. The synchronicities did not occur while setting out to achieve my goals, but came as a slap-in-the-face wake up call once they started failing.
As should be quite obvious from surfing my websites, I busy myself with many creative projects. I simply have a ton of things to say, in varying modes of expression. Shortly after graduating from college and embarking on my professional career as a computer scientist, I became convinced that it was not my purpose to be spending 8 hours a day enslaved to work, the result of which only makes my rich boss become even richer. I was sure that there had to be a way to make money on my own so that I could free up my time and work on my creative projects full time. I was convinced that it was my purpose to find this way of making money.
What fell upon my lap at the end of the year 2000 was an idea for a website which once implemented would potentially generate all the income I needed in a relatively automated fashion, thus freeing up my time for my creative work. Even though I felt no inner drive that resonated with my goal, I dove into the website's implementation head first, working part-time at a regular job just to keep me afloat. My focus on my goal was absolute and I truly believed it would work because it was the only destiny which made sense to me.
Eventually, the website did provide 100% of my income and I was able to quit my job entirely. But, one evening, a few months later, I suddenly witnessed my website's traffic drop by 50%. This "horrifying event" was extremely synchronistic because it coincided with the beginning of a period of struggle for a number of my closest friends, one of whom had been informed by her doctor on the very same day that she was terminally ill with cancer and she had little chance of remaining alive for much longer than a year.
Around that time, I was told that Jesus Christ had lived till the age of exactly 33 and a 1/3rd. Not knowing or caring whether this were indeed part of the official story, I became intrigued to see what would happen on my own 33 and 1/3rd birthday which was coming up soon.
Over the next few months, my website's traffic kept on diminishing, I lost all my savings, and I finally gave up and asked for my old job back.
Without intending it, I was scheduled to start again full time on the day before my 33 and 1/3rd birthday. As I was heading towards the office that day, my visions told me that I was to find something quite amusing when I arrived at work. When I got there, I found out that they were off on holiday that day. Thus, my official starting date was indeed on my 33 and a 1/3rd birthday.
The symbolism was quite striking. I gradually understood that rather than living a life of luxury in my freedom and solitary creative efforts, my inner purpose was to live life as the majority lived it, spending the bulk of my time and energy at work. This was my sacrifice; my hope lost, I died pyschologically, just as Christ was killed on the cross on his 33 and 1/3rd as a sacrifice to humanity.
Also synchronistically, my cancer-battling friend's date of birth was 4 months (1/3rd) before that of her boyfriend. (Not sure if anything special happened on exactly her 33 and a 1/3rd.) Her relationship had proved to be a failure, despite her complete focus upon it and the illusion that it would some day work out. Sadly, she passed away around the time I shut down my website for good.
What we had in common was disillusionment. And despite our belief and focus, the "Law of Attraction" did not materialize our goals. We were led to experience the tragedy of disappointment instead.
My upcoming posts will compare the "Law of Attraction" with my own ideas of "warping the existential matrix", what I call "existential vorticity", and how attraction should be understood in terms of desire/proclivity/focus in relation to archetypes and/or archetypal patterns.