Law of Attraction for Skeptics


Whether you think it's 'the bomb' or complete and utter BS, there's no doubt the 'Law of Attraction' has hit mainstream consciousness.

This 'theory' that we humans are able to create our own realities by fleshing out  a vision of what we want to that reality to be: prosperity, vibrant health, fulfilling relationships, and then positioning one's mindset in an expectation that these experiences are already coming to us, making it irresistible to the ever-responsive Universe to 'make it so', has understandably attracted many, many followers, and of course, many critics and detractors.

I have been intrigued by the idea of "deliberate creation' for some time, say around 12 years. I can understand, from a naysayers perspective, how the idea of 'attracting' wealth, and success, and all good things, runs counter to the noble and traditional Protestant work ethic, leaving itself open to criticism, especially when these ideas always seem to be presented by spokespeople of the fringe, and with an air of total self-gratification, and just a little greed.

It's a shame that this potentially useful tool has become so maligned, particularly when probably all of us make use of its principles under other names.

I'm not so well-equipped with the scientific understanding or vocabulary of how this all works, and while I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me could fill in most gaps, I also believe there is still a realm of as-yet-undiscovered capabilities of the human nervous system that would account for the seemingly mystical workings of the law of attraction. 

But here's what I think.

For one, we got a heck of a lot more going on in our brains than we are aware of. I'm sure there's some scientifically-established number given to the particular bits of sensory information that bombard our brain in every moment. But suffice it to say that it's a lot more than we could process and still be able to function throughout the day. As a necessity, our conscious mind acts as a filter, and the parameters of that filter are determined by past experiences, beliefs, paradigms, expectations, etc. We are not, nor can we ever really be totally objective observers.

Life is undoubtedly full of endless variations and possibilities. Stuff going on all the time, with quite possibly no real rhyme or reason, or meaning, except we what we humans ascribe to it, once again, based on the parameters mentioned above. It's what we pay attention to and the meanings we overlay onto the events we notice that shape our unique experiences.

The foundation of the law of attraction, and really of anything we set out to do, is the setting of an intention. On a conscious level, this determines where we want our path to lead. On a subconscious level, a clear stated intention sends a message to the brain to adjust the criteria of the filter... allowing our subconscious to bring our attention to those things happening in the external world that will help us reach our goal that we might otherwise have missed. I think we grossly underestimate the feedback loop.. how our belief systems shape not only shape what we pay attention to, and how we interpret those things, but affect the subtleties in our words, tone, and actions that reinforce those beliefs. And then, of course, how the world around us responds in kind. People who 'magically' or synchronistically appear in our lives at the right moment may have actually been there all along, but through the power of intention (or expectation), we just happened to more receptive at that moment.

Believe me, I'm not discounting the wonder and miraculous nature of this process... on the contrary, I am in continual awe as I discover how much more capability we have in the human form that we've believed up until recently.  A certain prominent voice in the "Law of Attraction" field has likened the human form to a radio antenna, and setting our intentions is like adjusting our radio frequency. My Shin tai teacher, Saul Goodman, also believes in the resonant and vibratory nature of our central nervous systems, affirming the power of the mind/body connection, and radio frequency-like nature of our physical forms.  This is the aspect that I will refrain from going into here, but it offers continued support of the idea that our attitudes, beliefs, life experiences, expectations and moods shape and are shaped by our physical posture... we project out into the world our particular paradigm, and we are receptive only to that sensory stimulus which supports those paradigms.

The 'L of A' folks, in my opinion, are really only encouraging a challenge of those paradigms.

But we can talk about that in other ways as well.

When we hear about 'putting yourself in vibratory alignment with your desires' what does that mean? It means that no matter how much you may want the object of your desire, if your entrenched underlying beliefs systems run counter to attaining that goal, and your subconscious filters are keeping potential opportunities from entering your field of conscious awareness, the status quo will hold firm. I believe most of us have experience with self-sabotage.. the underlying need to keep things as they are, without threatening the dominant paradigm. "Vibratory alignment" also suggests that your actions, and your mind/body posturing have to reflect the belief and environment within which the outcome of your desire can exist.

I think too many people, both supporters and critics of the "L of A" have come to equate it with 'positive (or even, 'wishful') thinking". Sonia Simone, in her awesome post, "Are You Ready for Your Audition?" says:

"You’re getting more chances than you realize to strut your stuff for someone who could help you. (I’m convinced that this is how the “Law of Attraction” really works. Great stuff doesn’t show up because you focus on it. You’re just able to suddenly perceive all the great stuff that’s always been right in front of you, because you focus on it. )"

Which I guess I could have said just as simply.

So, the question is: Do you want to know what signal you are projecting? Start by listening to your own story about what you're receiving.

Feel free to email me your insights, or share them here.