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Since late last year, we’ve been bombarded with news about The Secret, a quasi-new age book and video about the ‘law of attraction’. It outlines that the circumstances and situations that you find yourself in, are brought about by you and your thoughts.
Simple. And at first glance, quiet believable.
If you believe the author, Rhonda Byrne, the prescription for getting whatever you want in life is simple. All you have to do is repeat positive affirmations and force yourself to think positive thoughts. And poof! the universe will give you a shiny new Ferrari, or that fat offshore Swiss bank account you always wanted. If you’re in a bad situation in your life, it claims equally, it is because you’ve concentrated on the negative and ‘attracted’ bad things to your life.
Blame the Victim
First of all, for you to subscribe to this you would then have to agree with the warped notion that an innocent child somehow ‘attracts’ a sexual predator. Or that the victims of tragedies like Darfur, ‘attract’ their own demise. It isn’t the responsability of the persons perpetrating these heinous acts, but rather the very victims who suffer. So in such a philosophy we have the victim suffer twice. Once for the act itself and again for being guilty of bringing it on themselves.
Need I explain further how ludicrous such an assertion is?
Will Power - The Domain of the Conscious Mind
Second, affirmations and forcing yourself to avoid ‘negative thoughts’ is not only an exercise in futility, if it yields anything it will be the opposite. It is quite natural for our thoughts to wander during the day and cover the whole spectrum. But forcing our conscious minds to avoid something, through the use of willpower, always backfires.
I was talking with my (therapist) brother about this and he said: “Willpower is a spontaneous state of mind. It can not be forced. In fact, wanting the absence of something through willpower only intensifies the yearning for it.” No matter how powerful your willpower, you simply can not forget something by forcing yourself to do so. Rather, the more willpower you use, the worse the results. Still have doubts? Spend the next minute using your willpower to not think about a white cat.
So that explains why willpower is futile, and why the ‘law of attraction’ implemented through the conscious mind is useless. But what then is the real law of attraction? Quite simple. The real law of attraction is that our subconscious, determines most, if not all, our values, beliefs and behaviours.
Everything you have achieved is thanks to it and everything you have not achieved can be traced back to your own limiting beliefs.
Imagination - The Playground of the Subconcious Mind
But the subconscious, for all its power, is rather primitive. It obeys. It does not and can not analyze. Neither can it differentiate between real and imagined inputs like the conscious mind can. The subconscious simply assumes all is real. And since the inputs are perceived as real, they create real consequences. Even to the point of affecting physiology! If, for example, you read in vivid detail about a ripe lemon, with its thick and wrinkled yellow skin, its juice trickling down the knife edge as it is being cut and then slowly squeezing the half lemon inside your mouth… don’t be surprised if your mouth starts to water.
Our fears and beliefs use the same mechanism to affect our lives. This is how they hold such sway over us, even when they may be neither real nor logical. And why if you wish lasting and real change in your life, you must change the protocols in your subconscious that relate to it.
So eventhough I do believe that we can ‘attract’ circumstances in our life, I do not believe that it covers everything in our lives. There is certainly room for randomness in life, for tragedy and for serendipity. And most importantly it is not through the mechanism of will power or conscious thought (repeating affirmations). Rather it is through the vastly stronger and hidden subconscious mind that we create our lives.
So as a trader on a path of enlightenment, do yourself a favor and put away the shock pads and the empty affirmations & platitudes. Set yourself instead on the real path to personal development and change.
It may not be new-Agey pseudo-science/pop-psychology but it is real and it is being used by the best therapists in the world to create positive lasting change.
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