The Secret was at the center of the biggest self-help phenomenon of the last few decades. And everyone knows the secret was all about The Law Of Attraction. The notion that, through cosmic law, whatever you focus on necessarily grows, so, rather than focusing on what you don’t want, hold what you do want in your mind…and watch it blossom.
But, what if the fundamental basis for the law of attraction was made-up? What if the law of attraction wasn’t a law at all, but really just a theory or hypothesis? What if it wasn’t as provable, self-evident or sacrosanct as Newton’s law or any of the other laws of physics that have been proven through verifiable, scientific study and replication?
And what if its effectiveness, if any, of the secret and the law of attraction was really much more about basic human nature and failing to acknowledge this dramatically limited, rather than strengthened its effect?
As proof of the law of attraction’s “law-ness,” a parade of visionaries appeared…
Each one was mesmerizing. Captivating speakers, from Joe Vitale to Jack Canfield and Neale Donald Walsch to John Assaraf. Fascinating to watch. They spoke to the impact the secret and the law of attraction has had on their lives and the lives of thousands of others. Then, explanations for the secret based in “science” were proffered. Because, for us to accept the secret as law, we need proof. It needs to work all the time, regardless of belief, for all the people.
It’s all about quantum physics…
Every thought, we learned, creates a measurable electromagnetic wave that is “perceivable” on a subtle level, by others. At least the first part of this is verifiably true, by modern methodology. And, the latter claim, that others perceive and have the ability to respond to these vibrations, I cannot prove…but, for the sake of optimism, I am open to.
We were then told that, in nature, like attracts like. So, if you constantly focus your thoughts on what you want to manifest, rather that what you want to avoid, those around you whose thoughts are also resonating at the frequency associated with that same positive intention will be attracted to you. And, the net-effect will be that through the secret and the law of attraction you will realize the manifestation of all you desire.
Interesting, though I don’t quite buy it
1) First, in nature, as a general rule, like does not attract like, like repels like. Magnetism and polarity is one of the purest examples of this. The same poles of magnets fight to get away from each other, while opposite poles desperately seek to connect. Same thing with electricity, like charges repel each other, while differing charges attract. So, if our thoughts emit electro-magnetic waves all day and other beings can, in fact detect and respond to them, the far more “natural” assumption is that others with “like” thoughts and similar electromagnetic waves will be repelled, not drawn to us.
2) Second, harmonic resonance doesn’t explain the law of attraction. Harmonic resonance says when an object vibrating at one frequency is placed close enough to a similar object that vibrates at the same frequency, the vibrations from the first object slowly entrain the objects around it to vibrate, too. A tuning fork is the simplest example. Strike it, and place it next to another tuning fork of the same note and they both begin to vibrate at a similar frequency.
Problem is, we are not tuning forks. Harmonic resonance assumes that those other objects (a) are at rest, before being exposed to the original object, making them “free” to adopt the other object’s vibrations, (b) vibrate at the identical frequency, and (c) do not actively generate their own conflicting vibrations of equal or greater strength.
Human beings satisfy none of these conditions. We are not “empty” of our own electromagnetic vibrations or waves, we are not identically structured to resonate at identical frequencies and, in fact, we create a non-stop stream of very strong vibrations all day long.
While these explanations seemed less than convincing, there was something that still nagged at me…
While I didn’t find universal truth in the secret or the explanations offered to explain the law of attraction, I’d actually experienced the effect of focusing on constructive outcomes. It worked. But, not because of electromagnetic waves or harmonic resonance.
The answer, in my mind, is so much simpler, so much more practical.
We are so much closer to dogs than we know. Subject to conditioning much the same way Pavlov’s pooches salivated at the ring of a bell. For us to take action, especially sustained and repeated action toward the attainment of any goal, we need to believe the outcome, no matter how remote, is on some level attainable. Without that belief, there is no action. And, without action, there is no accomplishment. And…
Repetition fuels belief!
Take the smartest people in the world and begin to repeat to them a conclusion that they know to be false. In the beginning they outright reject it. Over time, though, they not only become open to the idea, but, through, relentless repetition, it becomes incontrovertible gospel.
Repetition creates belief. This is the basis of all thought-conditioning…also known as brainwashing. It’s the fundamental tool of every cult. But, as much as it can be used for destructive ends, it can also be harnessed to form the basis of great achievement.
Repeatedly visualizing a deeply sought after goal, seeing, feeling, hearing yourself accomplish this goal, over and over, has a profound effect. It conditions you slowly away from self-doubt and disbelief and moves you increasingly toward belief. Could this be the basis for the secret force behind the law of attraction?
The more you believe, the more likely you are to act…
Not just big, life-altering actions, though. When you believe something, even marginally, you begin to do a thousand little things differently. You talk to people you’d normally avoid. You ask questions you’d have been to shy to ask. You help people you’d normally ignore. You dress a little better. You interact with more confidence. You carry yourself differently.
You invest time, energy, hours and funds in yourself and others without really noticing how differently you are presenting yourself to the world. To those who come in contact with you, you are different.
And the net result of those dozens of microscopic changes in your behavior, in a daily basis is two-fold:
1) People perceive you differently – they become responsive because they read in you a sense of confidence, commitment and raw-energy that they want to participate in.
2) All the little actions begin to add up – the thousands of nearly imperceptible changes in behavior and modest actions taken on a consistent, daily basis, begin to yield results to take you a step closer to your visualized goal. And, each positive interaction and baby step begins to further fuel the belief that was set in motion by your initial conditioning. This sets in motion a belief, action, attainment cycle that becomes increasingly unstoppable.
So, in the end, you really don’t need to leap down the quantum physics rabbit hole and buy into the secret existence of the Law of Attraction.
If you want to, that’s fine. But, it’s really so much simpler than that.
Repeatedly visualizing a goal as if you had already attained it conditions you to believe it’s possible. Over time, as that conditioning takes root through repetition, your belief in success leads you to act differently on many levels and take actions you’d never have taken.
Those actions increasingly deliver results and inspire you to believe your vision is attainable on a deeper level. Which inspires even more action. And, as people around you see you not only succeeding, but becoming more confident, they will respond to that confidence, too.
It’s all very concrete.
And, it also explains why even the most intense focus on the attainment of a goal will bring you nothing without an equal commitment to action.
So, what do you think, is the law of attraction real or is it bunk? Are the quantum physics validations behind The Secret valid?
Or, is something far simpler, yet equally impactful going on?
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Jonathan Fields likes to rock the boat with his profound logic and unique perspective on the things that shape our lives.