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The Flaw in the Law of Attraction

"You can't have it all... where would you put it?" - Steven Wright That term the law of attraction burst on the scene with the unexpected popularity of two movies, "The Secret" and "What the Bleep Do We Know." The Secret garnered the most attention and the term law of attraction became a part of everyday consciousness.

Though it held great promise 14 years later the world is in worse shape than ever, people are struggling more than ever and, with the possible exceptions of a handful of people, it hasn't worked. Is it totally false? Was it just magic thinking? Why were all those hopes dashed?

There is a flaw in this law. Actually it is not a law at all but a phenomena. There is a connection between our internal state and the quality of life we experience. I think that is self-evident.But when the idea gets entertained that "I can have it all" we embark on a path that leads us deeper into the self-absorption and materialism that is choking the world. When one struggling, it is common to believe that, if I only get

  • more money

  • more opportunity

  • a great relationship

  • perfect health

then I will be happy and free. This is demonstrably false but is so deeply engrained in our consumption based, materialistic culture that is it not scrutinized. We then set out to use something like this belief in a law of attraction to attain the things that have no chance of ever delivering what is hoped they will. And, when they fail to deliver, or they fail to show up as promised, we assume it is our fault, we have failed and we either give up or double down. The spiritual approach would be to question the source and nature of the desires themselves and of the "I" that is holding them. All desire arises from an acquired belief in lack, a self-image of a broken, lacking person. This deeply held conviction that I am incomplete, broken and something outside of myself is needed in order to be whole. Spirituality takes exactly the opposite view. You are already whole, complete and perfect, just as you are... but the image you are holding of yourself is not. The deep seated assumption of being broken, flawed and incomplete manifests as the relentless pursuit of whatever we have been taught to believe will supply the needed missing part. As a result we will act, think and feel as if we are broken and thus life will seem to confirm it. When it is discovered through deep, spiritual self-inquiry that none of those assumptions are true and the self-image that arises from that belief is not you, a new kind of harmony will emerge in the everyday affairs of your life. This emergence of harmony however, is not some metaphysical law of attraction or manifestation. It is grace.


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