New Civilization News: The Law of Attraction?    
 The Law of Attraction?13 comments
picture13 Jul 2006 @ 23:06, by D


"Moreover, though this is so,
flowers fall when we cling to them,
and weeds only grow when we dislike them."
—Dogen (1200-1253), Shobogenzo




The Law of Attraction is an idea that is widespread in New Age philosophy. It posits that a mental disposition will attract equivalent external circumstances and events. link

Books have been written on the subject by Michael Losier, Jerry and Esther Hicks, Penny Jordan, Sheryl Woods, Kristi Gold, Liz Gerstein and Sandra Anne Taylor, William Walker Atkinson, Robert Collier, Israel Regardie and Mark Allen.

Flemming Funch recently posted an excellent entry about this here on Ming The Mechanic.

Like many such concepts the problem with the Law of Attraction is not so much that the concept is naive or simplistic—it's not—the problem is that its interpretation can be naive and simplistic depending on what people read into it and on what use is made of it.

This is, alas, all too true of practically anything.

An illustration of this phenomenon can be found in Hinduism, for instance. There are Hinduists (the term Hinduism is heterogeneous as Hinduism consists of several schools of thought) who believe that a person's place in the world and a person's place in society (caste) is their own fault because it is determined by the way they acted in a previous life.

The problem with such thinking—as Gandhi well knew (and, as tradition has it, Siddhartha, before him)—is that it can become an obstacle to any systemic reform of society because it leads to the idea that those at the bottom of the system are responsible for their condition because they must have done something wrong to deserve being there.

Likewise, with The Law of Attraction, there are those for whom this philosophy leads to the idea that people's condition in the world and in society is determined solely by their own thought and the way they act in life and that ultimately where they are (or were they go or fail to go from there) is their own fault because they "attract that which they are emanating" and therefore they must be doing something wrong.

Clearly, there is more to the world than this.

I think, for example, that most people would agree that it was not the fault of six millions jews (and some 5 millions people belonging to groups that had been likewise deemed "racially inferior" or "undesirable") if they became the main victims of the Shoah in Nazi Germany.

Nor do I think that "they had gotten exactly what they were asking for."

By the same token, I am not convinced that The Law of Attraction is the reason, as Flemming seems to suggest it at one point on his post, that the "rich-get-richer" and the "poor-get-poorer."

There are other factors.

But Flemming has a point, "the hard part here is of course how to change one's direction, if one doesn't like it."

I also like his concluding statement:

"Wherever you currently are, you can do whatever you want, as long as you're clear about it and you focus on it."

Although the opposite has also been known to be true......



Wo-lun has skill, he can cut off hundreds of thoughts.
When facing the outside states, his mind is not moved.
The Bodhi in his mind is growing day after day.

—Ch'an Master Wo-lun
Hui-neng has no skill, he does not cut off hundreds of thoughts,
When facing the outside states, his mind moves often.
The Bodhi is just this.

—Hui-neng (628-713)



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• Related entry: Racism, Oppression, Poverty and Social Injustice


• Variation on a theme: Overturning the Law of Attraction by Jon Rappoport:


OVERTURNING THE LAW OF ATTRACTION

In what is loosely called "the metaphysical community," there has been wide dissemination of an idea called THE LAW OF ATTRACTION.

This has gained great popularity. The law is stated in various ways and with varying degrees of self-contradiction. It basically goes like this: BY YOUR THOUGHTS YOU ATTRACT SIMILAR RESULTS FROM THE UNIVERSE.

You think love and you get love. You think anger and you get anger. You think wealth and wealth comes in to you.

That sort of thing.

Overlooked is the fact that this tends to make the individual a passive entity. More than that, it introduces a cautionary note about what you should think and what you shouldn't think---because if you think "the wrong thing" you will attract what you don't want.

Let's see. PASSIVE. CAUTIOUS. Do you really want to build a castle on that?

More>





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13 comments

14 Jul 2006 @ 19:45 by Hanae @68.164.60.46 : Mindfulness

This plate of food,
so fragrant and appetizing,
also contains much suffering.

This gatha (verse) has its roots in a Vietnamese folk song:

"When we look at our plate, filled with fragrant and appetizing food, we should be aware of the bitter pain of people who suffer from hunger. Every day, 40,000 children die as a result of hunger and malnutrition... Before a meal, we can join our palms in mindfulness and think about the children who do not have enough to eat. Slowly and mindfully we breathe three times and recite this gatha. Doing so helps us maintain mindfulness. Perhaps one day we will find ways to live more simply in order to have more time and energy to do something to change the system of injustice which exists in the world."

[Thich Nhat Hanh, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment]  



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