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Why the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work, Sorry
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Why the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work, Sorry

Why the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work

The ‘law of attraction’ is the new catch word these days. The law promises that you can attract anything into your life. The Secret that everyone knows about, making it not much of a secret – is the idea that you can have everything you desire – money, success, a perfect relationship, a beautiful house – simply by focusing on it with intention.

In other words, if you think positively and have the right emotion behind it, you can manifest whatever you want in your life.

If only it were that easy.

In the rush to jump on the bandwagon, very few stop to wonder, if it were so easy, how come everyone is not living in mansions and driving around Ferraris?

The problem with being positive

Positive thinking has been around for decades, and was used to build the empires of Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie – the forerunners of new-age positive thinking gurus.

Every new ‘positive thinking’ based formula seems to become a smash hit – after all, who wouldn’t want an easy approach to getting rich?

Its appeal seems to cater perfectly to the – get rich quick generation – and all the lazy armchair philosophies that come with it.

It’s easy to market and easier to sell. Because everyone wants to believe.

You do not have to be searching for very long to see that something fishy might be going on. For those who find out it doesn’t work, there are new books titled ‘Why the law of attraction isn’t working for you‘. At the end of the pitch there is a an add ‘buy my course for $999 to learn why the Secret isn’t working for you!’ All to easy.

The self-help and positive psychology industries do an excellent job at marketing to human desires. It is the perfect product for the perfect customer because these customers genuinely want to believe.

It just feels a bit too sales-y. Kind of like MLM – Multi Level Marketing – meeting. A bunch of people so convinced of a product – pitching to the un believers.

MLM buy into the whole lifestyle concept that is often packaged with a product. Financial freedom, possibility, a life of your dreams – all things that everyone wants, but if the guy at the door is selling something that sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

The law of attraction won’t make much of a difference

Positive thinking cannot change the way we are because it avoids looking at the rest of the mind – the unconscious mind – the parts of the mind that are filled with doubt, insecurity, jealousy, negativity…

Somehow we have gotten duped into believing if we repeat a catchphrase in our head, we will be baskets full of joy and positivity. Do you actually think the whole mind filled with negativity suddenly disappears just because we focus on positive words?

You cannot change something by wishing it to be different. The night will still be there, just as soon as it follows day. No matter how much you will it into existence, there will always be 12 hours of light and day. Light always follows dark, and dark always follows light.

Wanting it to be light for 24hrs a day only happens when you are sitting in the dark. Unfortunately for us, we all are sitting in the dark, waiting for the next guru to show us the light.

Don’t worry it’s not all doom and gloom. We do not live in a purely mechanical world. There is still possibility of change, just not the through the way they speak of it.

Fundamental change is something much more subtle than just repeating matras of positivity while looking into the mirror.

One of the more spiritually inclined scientists would agree, Dr. Bruce Lipton says that positive thinking does not work because it is done with the conscious mind. And the conscious mind is not what is running our lives.

Sorry to say it, but our lives are run by the unconscious mind, with just a fraction of our life being conscious.

The subconscious or unconscious mind runs our life 99% of the time, all the time, according to Dr Lipton – making the unconscious mind many times more powerful than the conscious.

The unconscious is processing and storing millions of bites of information every second. Every input of our sensory awareness is processed and it is only a fraction of that experience that we are actually aware of. 

Conscious vs unconscious mind

There would be no issue if our conscious desire corresponded with our unconscious ideas. Then the Law of Attraction would work with everything – there would be nothing extra to be done, as there would be a natural synergy between the two parts of the mind.

But because a large portion of our unconscious ideas (upwards of 70% according to Dr. Lipton) are harmful and destructive, there is a continual battle between the two brain segments.

And now that we have more of an idea of what is running our life, we can see why any attempt at conscious positive thinking is doomed from the start.

According to Lipton, the subconscious mind is like a tape player, playing out old tapes we absorbed in early childhood.

The tapes we received in our formative years, before the age of six, were influenced by our parents, peers, and culture and helped shape those recordings in the early years. The most common recordings go something like: ‘You are not good enough,’ ‘You will not succeed,’ ‘Other people are better to you.’

We absorbed everything we were shown and heard, whether these things were delivered to us directly or indirectly. Those messages left an imprint on our innocent, unconscious minds, turning them into truths.

Then the tape player began replaying those messages whenever we were in similar situations, and we responded accordingly.

Thus began the vicious cycle where we repeated those negative ideas, thinking they were true. To this day, we continue to sabotage our attempts at things we actually seek out. Things like happiness, love, and companionship we all self-sabotage, to the point where most marriages end in divorce, most people who we once loved – we hate.

We are just not aware of what we are doing because it is, well… unconscious.

And where is our ‘conscious mind’ in all of this? That tiny part of the brain that is supposed to be there for at least 1% of the day?

While it can appear to be there while helping us with a project, to get the groceries and pay the bills, but when we are not using it – it just daydreams.

It wanders off into the future and the past, and because we are almost entirely unaware of what is happening – it feeds into and becomes more of the unconscious.

Not only are we unaware when our unconscious minds tapes are playing, we barely have the ability to use our conscious minds to even become aware of what is actually happening. To even begin to see what our unconscious minds are running our lives – is a massive step – and one that many people in this world do not ever take.

However, all hope is not lost. There is a way out.

When you begin to understand that all this is what is actually happening – you begin to see the position you are in.

The philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful

Why do I say that the philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful? Well, if you have followed along this far, you might have already come to this same understanding, if not, let me explain.

While we are forcefully trying to inhabit a mental attitude, what we are really doing is repressing or denying all other emotions from arising.

If you feel one thing and want to feel something else, you are pushing that experience aside. The more we push, the more friction is generated, only perpetuating the very thing that we are pushing.

Trying to inhabit another experience is a subtle – f@ck you – to the present moment. It says, I want something else.

So whenever you are focusing on positivity what is actually happening is that you are affirming the opposite – that you feel like shit. Because the only reason you sought to focus on the positive on the first place was because you felt like shit. If you genuinely felt good, you do not need to convince yourself of anything – you just are.

So the problem is that when you continually tell yourself, ‘I am happy,’ ‘I am light’, ‘I am great’ what you are actually doing is rejecting your immediate experience.

If, for instance, you are feeling sad and you have this habit of trying to get out of the sadness by saying, ‘I am happy’, you are at odds with what you experience – with what is. And the reality – at that particular moment is – that there is sadness.

People try to smile and appear to be cheerful, but in their unconscious mind, behind the screen and mask of positivity, remains a twisted distortion that perverts that truth.

Sadness is not something to be transformed, erased, or shunned, but rather acknowledged, understood, and accepted. It is only when we are able to invite our experience into us that we can truly be ok.

Feeling this okayness in spite of the sadness is the ability to allow whatever is arising to exist. Any movement away from the sadness only perpetuates the same movement – more sadness.

In this context, the whole ‘think happy thoughts’ is just like child’s play. Just because you have happy thoughts doesn’t mean that you are happy. In fact, try it right now, repeat I am happy for 5 minutes and see what happens.

Not only at the end of 5 minutes will you not be happy, but you will have many moments, thoughts and emotions within those minutes where you would have been feeling a thousand other things.

To believe I am happy is actually a lie. If we have to tell ourselves anything, it means we already doubt it.

Practice the law of attraction & what happens is the opposite

I know this is another controversial statement. But hear me out.

Have you ever noticed one of your friends who has to tell everyone how awesome they are? The only reason they feel the need to say something is because they are trying to convince themselves (and others) that they actaully are awesome. This means they actaully doubt they are – and so need to repeat it, which means they probably feel – worthless.

Any time you say something you bring into existence the exact opposite.

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Any affirmative or positivist statement is actually reinforcing the negative. The moment you feel the need to say ‘I am rich, I am rich, I am rich’ is because at that moment ‘you feel poor’.

Only those people who feel poor need to repeat the mantra ‘I am rich, I am rich I am rich,’ because they are convinced that they are poor.

When you desire and hope to attract money into your life, what you are actually doing, is affirming your poverty. You are actually further reinforcing your lack of wealth. Positive thinking is just escapism. 

If you were actually rich, it becomes redundant. Similarly, with happiness, if you were actually happy, you need not affirm anything. The only time we feel the need to convince ourselves (and others) that we are happy is when in fact – we are not.

All of this is a philosophy of mind that does not want to accept the present moment for what it is. We would rather escape into some happy reverie in hopes that daydreaming will bring solace – some reprieve from our current condition.

We live in a state of continual flux. In this duality, you can not have one without the other. You can not only have the good. It’s impossible. Any affirmative statement brings into reality and affirms the opposite – which means you can never really, get exactly what you are looking for.

It’s not our fault though, we have been taught and fed to believe that this is the way to get things in life. In fact we know of no other way.

The very few human who have gone beyond this realm of doing things are considered to be the greats. They are the ones that we remember. They are the Einsteins, Newtons and Mozart’s of the world.

What about the people who can attract into their lives what they want?

The problem with this type of thinking is that it reduces a complex myriad of variables into nice bite-sized linear stories. Bob did A, and B, and C and became rich.

We are all hoping to find some repeatable pattern and so crack the code of life. As if we can reduce the mystery of life into a simple formula. Despite that we still go on trying and will continue too.

We are hardwired to look for codes, symbols and meaning in everything.

People study the stock markets in the hope of beating the banks. The next self-help guru promises they have found the key to ever-lasting life. And we buy it. Kool-aid and all.

Life is just not that simple as to being able to reduce it into a few variables. If that were the case then everyone would just copy-paste the same formula.

The difficulty of life is that there is no formula. And that is what is hard to accept because we yearn for a formula. We yearn for someone to tell us – this is how to get what you want –  this is the meaning of life.

When someone comes running down the street exclaiming I have found the code! We all come rushing, take up the flag to start our own parade.

There are just too many factors that contribute to success (whatever that means anyways). There are too many variables playing out every second of our lives to reduce it to a singular variable.

And yet despite that we go on looking for singularity – hoping to find that God particle – is just another search for trying to find the key to break the code.

In hindsight, everything is 20/20 making it easier to reduce a person’s success to a set of variables. If you stretch those variables over time, connect the dots, and disregard the rest – you have a story.

However, you can not reduce life to a few variables. We only do that when we want to tell a good story. And that is all that the law of attraction is – a good story.

The way out – is not with positive thinking

The idea of positive thinking is not something that will change you. It’s just a technique for suppressing your unpleasant characteristics.

For example, let’s say you repress a negative idea you have about someone, and make an effort to change that feeling and thought into something positive. You attempt to feel love or go out of your way to be friendly towards the person when you meet them; however, you know, in those moment you are deceiving yourself.

You know that behind the mask of positivity, you still dislike the person. Behind the thin veneer of love – you hate.

You are just fooling yourself. Except you can’t even fool yourself. You actually always know – you just pretended. And that’s all that positive thinking is – pretending.

Positive thinking is simply a philosophy of hypocrisy. It tells you to think one thing, when you feel another. 

The only way to end this cycle of repetition is to understand what is happening. To sit, look and inquire honestly into what is it that is actaully going on here.

The moment we see clearly, is the moment of insight, of understanding that comes when seeing the human condition.

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