Those who are familiar with The Secret know that it has to do with something called the Law of Attraction (LOA), which very simply put is; Like attracts like, or What you think about, you bring about. Of the thousands of people who claim to have positively changed their lives via LOA, you will find those who state that it was already an “instinctive” knowledge prior to discovering it was actually a long held, yet little known, theory. And then of course, there are those who have had none of the aforementioned experiences. Does the Law of Attraction truly exist, or is it merely the power of suggestion and coincidence?
There are varying explanations or circumstances for the diverse experiences of those exploring LOA; Lack of belief, synchronicity, self-sabotage, coincidence, misperception, psychosomatic illness, serendipity, etc… Indeed, it is certainly much easier to accept one or all of the labels above, than to believe the “Universe” is actually being effected by one’s thoughts. Surely, commonsense leads us to believe otherwise. It all seemed like laughable science fiction nonsense to me, but Harvard University graduate Gary Zukav made it quite clear that quantum mechanical phenomenon (attributed to LOA) often contradicts commonsense.
In his American Book Award winning work: The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Mr. Zukav states:
“Commonsense contradictions…are at the heart of the new physics…They tell us again and again that the world may not be what we think it is. It may be much, much more.” But how does this support the notion that we can influence our reality or the Universe, with our thoughts? So I began to dig a little and discovered that there is certainly more than anecdotal evidence to support such an outrageous claim.
The “digging” began when I ordered a certain book online and it came with a free gift book: Thought Vibration-The Secret of Success- Thought Force, a work of three books in one binding, by William Walker Atkinson published in 1906. This incident of serendipity provided my first true introduction to the effects of the mind and the first time I heard of the “Law of Thought Attraction”. But it was Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn that presented the Law of Attraction in a more casual writing style. The Power of Belief by Ray Dodd, also inspired me to continue my research into the possibility. And while I was still reading, The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier, Oprah Winfrey galvanized every viewer into talking about The Secret, both the popular DVD and the book by Rhonda Byrne. At the time of this writing, Oprah is preparing for yet another segment on The Secret.
What is all the fuss about? Could there really be something to this idea or theory? It was great that there were people in the past who seemed so totally convinced as to the validity of LOA, they wrote books about it. Yet, because they passionately believe it, doesn’t necessarily make it so. Although some of the authors of the books mentioned above affirm it, I still wondered if there truly was any scientific basis or professional support for the theory of LOA.
According to The Holographic Universe by the late Michael Talbot; University of London physicist David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein and one of the world’s most respected quantum physicists, has admitted in private conversation to believing the Universe is all “thought” and reality exist only in what we think.
In The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Mr. Zukav goes on to say; “…The implications of quantum mechanics are psychedelic, not only do we influence our reality, but, in some degree, we actually create it.”
In The Secret DVD; Quantum Physicist, Award winning author, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf states; “I’m not talking…from the point of view of wishful thinking or imaginary craziness. I’m talking…from a deeper, basic understanding….Quantum physics says…you can’t have a Universe without mind entering into it…mind is actually shaping the very thing that is being perceived.”
Although it should be noted that this is just one interpretation of the evidence and isn’t the conclusion of all physicists, the compelling evidence still exists that the only time electrons and other “quanta” (plural of quantum) manifest as particles is when they are being observed by someone. Otherwise, they behave as waves.
Michael Talbot used the analogy of a bowling ball in The Holographic Universe:
“This is as strange as owning a bowling ball that traces a single line down the lane while you are watching it, but leaves a wave pattern every time you blink your eyes.”
And Biologist/Scientist Lyall Watson, who has had years of firsthand experience of “miraculous” occurrences, states:
“I have no doubt that reality is in a very large part a construct of the imagination….I think we have the capacity to change the world around us in quite fundamental ways.”
Okay, so there is some mainstream scientific support for the LOA theory. Are we the only Oprah culture touting the Law of Attraction? What about other cultures or religions, can it be found there as well?
Hawaiian shaman, or Kahunas, believe thoughts are things composed of a subtle energetic substance they call kino mea or “shadowy body stuff”. This does not vanish after it leaves the mind, rather, it turns into thought forms that are used by the high self to create our future. Thus, Kahunas consider it extremely important for people to take time out and think about their lives and visualize in concrete terms what they wished to happen to themselves because in doing so, people can consciously make their own future.
12th century Persian Sufis believed in the importance of visualization to create or alter one’s destiny. They called the energy matter of thought “alam almithal”. For them, control of the heart chakra, or himma, along with visualization, was needed to steer the course of one’s fate.
Tibetan tantric mystics referred to the “stuff” of thoughts as tsal and asserted that every mental action produced waves of tsal. They believed the entire Universe is a product of the mind. (much like physicist David Bohm privately related to the late Michael Talbot) Tantric yogis repeatedly used visualization exercises, or “sadhanas”, for their desired life creations.
It appears there is a wide range of disparate sources for the theory of LOA as well;
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”
– Proverbs 23:7
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”
“All things in the world of nature are not controlled by fate for the soul has a principle of it’s own.”
– Iamblichus (4th century Greek philosopher.)
“As a man acts, so does he become. As a man’s desire is, so is his destiny.”
– the Hindu Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
“Therefore I say onto you, what things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
– Mark 11:24
Some may say it is simply coincidence that the presence of the idea that we can create our own destiny is in so many different cultures and times. But, is a recurring coincidence still considered a coincidence? Or can this actually be an indication or sign that it is something we all intuitively know to be true?
When the late Michael Talbot placed this idea within the holographic reality paradigm of his book The Holographic Universe he concluded, as I do; “In a holographic universe – a universe in which the mind participates with reality…- the notion that we are also the sculptors of our own fate is not so far- fetched. It even seems probable.”