Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting A Ferrari By Wishing For One

image by arte_ram, sxc.hu

Critiquing The Principle Of "Ask, Believe, And Receive"

There has been a lull, of late, in news on the "Law of Attraction". There are no new websites being launched around this concept, on the contrary quite a number of sites set up with much fanfare, since Rhonda Byrne wrote her book, are quietly being shut down. It has been more than a year, if not more, since any of the gurus have made any fresh pronouncements on the matter. Spam mail senders too stopped flogging this law to entice me to make use of their services long ago, and have already reverted to informing me of the great fortune that has befallen me as some gullible innocent woman somewhere wants help to remove the treasure of her dead father or husband, and can she have my bank account details, please, where she can deposit the money?

image by sauru, sxc.hu

Thanks to Ms. Byrne, several hundred careers got launched in the domain of self-development in these past three years. Suddenly, key words such as "ask, believe, receive", "attract abundance", "New Age" and of course "the secret" began being bandied about in the hip intellectual / semi-intellectual / pseudo-intellectual crowd at parties and social do's. Visiting cards proudly began proclaiming their owner's interest / expertise in the Law of Attraction. The book by Ms. Byrne began appearing on coffee tables in the drawing halls of houses of all economic strata, reminding the guests and visitors of the spiritual heights conquered by the dwellers. Never mind if even the first page has not yet been turned. Forums began being populated by discussion threads with members trying to outdo each other in their knowledge over the subject by quoting this or that author or expert, the discussion degenerating into slanging matches as it often happens.

image by arte_ram, sxc.hu

Seminars began to be organized by "Gurus" who claimed to have known the concept of the LoA "much before Ms. Byrne discovered it". People began practicing before the mirror the "smile of serenity" that has come to stand for those who have imbibed the law in their style of living and tasted success, if not direct communion with The One Who Wrote The Law. A stage came when you could recognize these people from afar just by the wonderful smile of serenity they wore, and you would search for alleys to escape into before they could catch hold of you to listen to their profundities.

image by lizevans, sxc.hu

And websites, ah websites, that great vehicle for generating money 24X7, blossomed forth like lilies in spring. The same wonderful smile now came attached to a face which had a halo behind it, which we would like to believe was bestowed by The One Who Wrote The Law, but was most likely created using the latest version of Photoshop - "Give the halo a touch of sunny yellow at the periphery, Jonny" -. All their home pages beginning with a personal sad story, just like Byrne - and how they achieved their version of enlightenment and how they want to share their "new-found" knowledge with the rest of the world. In fact, some doctoral research student might find it immensely interesting to base their thesis on the subject of the websites created during the period 2006-2009, all clones of the "The Secret" theme.

image by barunpatro, sxc.hu

Sensing the ebbing interest amongst consumers - if the seminar hall doesn't fill, then you end up paying for the hall's rent out of your own pocket; if the website doesn't generate money, then you end up paying for the site's rent from your own capital -, people did try to come out with mutants of the original LoA. "The things they hid from you in the film", "The second secret", "the untold secret"... grey cells went into overdrive coming out with the right turn of phrase that would keep them coming. However, every fashion has its expiry date; that is the Supreme Law of Nature; and the fashion of Law of Attraction is no exception. This is why the lull in the news about this New Age principle.

image by tilfeldig, sxc.hu

Now that the hype and the hoopla about the "Law" has all but died down, this might just be the right time, to dust the books and the material that got collected over these past three years and give them a relook. To blow away that which is fluff; and focus on that which is solid. To dip under the bonnet, so to speak, and understand which domain of knowledge this law fits in, what its axioms are, what its scope of operation is and where its limitations lie. It is sad when somebody launches a brilliant discourse on LoA, and recites entire passages from this or that author's work, but who grapples for words when they are simply asked to place the subject in perspective within the Body of Knowledge accumulated by mankind. Instead of being lulled by the beautiful quotes and sayings of the self-styled gurus and experts, it will do a lot of good if we reflect on how this "law" might have impacted one's own life in subtle ways already. And work out how we can use the principle to shape the quality of our thoughts.

image by eza1992, sxc.hu

[It is great to know that there exists a Law, called the "Law of Attraction", which governs our thinking. But is that the only law? Does this law fully and comprehensively explain all that there is to know about how Life functions in this Universe? Is this the only principle that one can base one's thoughts upon? As this article explains, there are several instances around us which the LoA does not explain, because they fall outside the scope of its operation: "The Law Of Attraction Is Not Enough!". Read, and reflect!]

image by xymonau, sxc.hu


  1. Its my first time here and I stumble upon an article that speaks out to me. Some might say that I attracted it but I will just take it that I stumble upon it for a reason. The law of attraction is a wonderful concept just like any other concepts do not come with a magic wand. Hard work and having the courage to persevere usually gets the person the Ferrari if he so desire. I have come across many clients who desire the rollerdex of gifts that the universe offers without doing what need to be done. I agree that there is more to life then just the law of attraction.

    Thank you for sharing and will drop by again, awaiting to read more of your thoughts.

    Think Alternative,


  2. I completely agree. Although the law of attraction has its place, there is so much more out there.

    Although I am not sure about the lull - I still get bombarded every day by people selling LoA spin-off products!

    Keep up the good posts!