*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
*Warning: Well-deserved cursing below!
It took owning my own naïvety to arrive at this conclusion.
For some, this may resonate. For others, it may trigger the shit out of you.
When I first embarked on my “spiritual” journey in November 2018, I read a load of books, blogs, articles, listened to a load of podcasts, and watched a load of instructional YouTube videos, seminars, and so on. I absorbed it all and lapped it all up, voraciously and unquestioningly. Why? Because I needed spirituality as a crutch to help me through a traumatic period of my life.
But as I began to heal, I started to encounter many contradictions and hypocrisies in spiritual concepts and philosophies. One of those is the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction is dressed up as some sort of mystical communication with the universe in which all we need to do is ask for something and it will magically appear in our lives by the law of quantum physics: material possessions, a loving relationship, a lottery win, a new car, a promotion, you name it.
The mantra from such proponents of the Law of Attraction, as the film and eponymous book The Secret, is “Ask, believe, and receive.” Name your desire and the universe will deliver, like some sort of cosmic genie.
Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it is.
If you’ve asked the universe for a Ferrari, and you expect it to show up at your door sometime soon without putting any effort into getting a Ferrari, then you’re in for a very, very long wait. Because the Law of Attraction paradigm, especially as it is espoused in The Secret, omits one vital element from the equation: the need to take massive action in achieving the outcome you want.
Instead, the Law of Attraction instructs us that all we need is desire—and the unshakeable belief that we deserve what we ask for—and it will magically appear before our eyes, regardless of whether we actually deserve it or not: there’s no need for hard work, just adopt a mindset of self-entitlement and the universe will grant you your every wish.
As if the universe has nothing better to do than bring us new cars, anyway.
The Law of Attraction has nothing to do with quantum physics. Not a single credible scientist supports the so-called quantum rationale of the LOA and refutes the claim that it is a natural law. The law of gravity is a natural law. The LOA is not; it is an example of quantum-mysticism or the tendency for new-age and spiritual concepts to be given a scientific bent, with no basis in science whatsoever.
So, if the LOA isn’t a law, and if it has nothing to do with the universe or quantum physics, then what is it?
The LOA is the power of intention and self-belief. That’s it.
When we set an intention to achieve a goal or outcome with clarity, specificity, and with complete certainty, then this forms a belief in our subconscious mind. Our subconscious then sets to work on finding ways to make that intention become a reality.
But, part of that process, as previously stated, is taking massive steps of action toward realising our goal. This process is innate to us and is widely used in such self-empowerment practices as neuro-linguistic programming. It is, therefore, rooted in human psychology.
It isn’t anything mystical, nor does it have anything to do with quantum physics or the universe: it is simply the process of setting an intention with the utmost clarity and determination, taking positive action, and allowing our subconscious to figure out how to make our intended outcome materialise.
So, there you have it. The LOA is nothing more than an innate psychological process that is natural to us all. No genies. No omnipotent universe.
Just the power of intention.
But a perfectly rational explanation for the LOA rooted in human psychology would be boring, wouldn’t it? And it certainly wouldn’t sell millions of books. Why not throw in a few mystical elements and present the LOA as the ultimate tool for personal empowerment, then allow it to become the crutch for the lost and disempowered? The masses will lap it up (I certainly did) as if it were the key to wish fulfillment.
It’s no secret that the key to realising our dreams is already there—inside us—in the form of clear intention and unwavering self-belief.
That is the LOA.