The Law of attraction – New age bullshit or is there something more to it?

intentionWe’ve probably all experienced the law attraction at some point in our lives. You know how it goes – in the morning you’re thinking about a friend who you haven’t seen or spoken to for a long time and low and behold they call you that afternoon. This is the very basis of the law of attraction, that we have the ability to create our physical reality with our thoughts.

Whether we use the law of attraction to create what we want in life or it brings our attention to unconscious beliefs that create repeated circumstances we’d rather avoid I will attempt to give you the rest of the story that new age spirituality does not. Once you get the whole picture you might just realise that we are no Harry Potter!

New age spirituality has run with the law of attraction (it certainly is a good way to sell books and fill workshops). For any of us that have been involved in personal development for some time you will probably have seen or heard of “The Secret”. The documentary that had numerous scientists and spiritual teachers who purport that we have the power to create exactly what we want in life by just aligning our thoughts. Sounds great right? Yes and no. Yes if you use the power of your intention for good in the world and no if you use it to gain materialistic wealth.

Spiritual materialism is one of the lowest forms of spirituality. It’s narcissism of the highest order. Using spiritual laws to create personal fortune. It’s not what spirituality is about. Fortunately most of the materialistic seekers where missing vital parts of the law of attraction and failed in their pursuit. Below is a paragraph which will explain exactly what was missing.

“Intention is a finite commitment and it is also a process that requires our love and attention. In the beginning, it expresses a true possibility in the world. In the middle, we must clarify it, uproot contradictory motives, realign it with new realities, and apply energy at opportune moments. In the end our intentions create powerful results. The old adage “be careful what you wish for” reminds us to be sure that our intentions will bring us what we truly desire. As the Buddha says, “have few desires, but have great ones”. Diane Musho Hamilton

So if you believe that we have the power to create our own reality then surely we can’t just lay claim to the good stuff that happens in our life. This then opens a whole can of worms when it comes to the less than desirable circumstances that we experience in our life. Have we created this as well? According to new age spirituality we have. This particular belief has created a lot of neurosis in my life and continues to this very day. Every blip in my business, relationship and life in general I turn my gaze inward and ask how I created this reality. Useful to a point but downright narcissistic if taken too far.

The classic new age one of this is that we somehow have created the disease process we have. I have cancer I must have caused this by not honouring my inner voice blah blah blah.

Having said all that though I think we would be somewhat naive to totally write it off as new age codswallop. There’s certainly something to it and I have 1st, 2nd and 3rd person experiences of it as testament. Deepak Chopra has written a very good book on it called Synchro-Destiny. He uses flocks of bird and shoals of fish to describe how there is a “zero point field” that connects us all and allows non verbal communication between all beings. I believe that there has been are fair bit of study done on this that continues to create evidence of the power of our thoughts.

With the practice of intentionality it’s important that we look at the big picture though. We are literally swimming in a universal soup of intentions, some of which may harmonize or conflict with our own. All of those around us, known and unknown, have their own intentions. There are many forces at play around us – universal, biological, evolutionary, cultural, individual etc. When you begin to see reality with a broader lens you can start to see the limits to these so called spiritual laws. We have to make peace with the limits of our personal power and not take everything so personally.

We are not Yoda. We don’t have super powers although when used properly and maturely the power of our intention can make our dreams come true.

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