What’s Wrong with the Law of Attraction

What’s Wrong with the Law of Attraction August 9, 2016

The idea that it’s possible to be spiritual but not religious has been growing for 20 to 25 years now, at least in the United States.

Although it represents a grab-bag of beliefs and practices, it seems to me the Law of Attraction has become its creed.

Something to hold onto, to agree about.

The principle that our thoughts have creative power has been explained and fueled in the past decade by The Secret and the burgeoning acceptance of Abraham-Hicks.

Others also teach that we are in human form primarily to learn to be creators. (Have you listened to the wacky and wonderful Bashar?) But of course, it’s an ancient idea.

And . . .

As bad things continue to happen to good people, it’s harder and harder to explain or believe that we really are creating with our thoughts.

Here’s the thing:

No matter what you are facing, you have two choices: How to think about it, and what to do about it.

Most of us jump immediately into doing something. Problems have to be solved, decisions made, maybe laws need to be passed. Or someone needs to be sued.

If actual change doesn’t seem possible, then protest is always available. March in the streets! DO something!

Or . . .

You can change the way you think about it.

Everything begins as an idea. That means your thinking has to change before anything in the outer world can change.

Just knowing you have a choice about what to think (and how to feel) is big news for most people. Simply making those choices can become a lifetime’s work. Never mind “creating” anything.

But here’s what happens: As you shift your thinking about whatever is occurring in your life, you might notice the actual circumstances seem to shift, too.

Thoughts not only determine how we see the world but, I believe, they influence what happens in the world.


Both of these approaches have problems.

Rushing into action doesn’t help if you don’t know what you want or where you’re going. That’s the value of visioning. It gives you a specific direction to go and helps measure your progress.

Exerting your will without wisdom can get you into trouble.

But simply thinking isn’t enough, no matter how wise you are.

photo by Ren Kuo on flickr
photo by Ren Kuo on flickr

The Law of Attraction has been so trivialized that some teachers seem to promise if you wish hard enough, everything you want will come true. They’re missing the action piece.

It’s both/and.

Unfortunately – well, no, maybe it is fortunate – our thoughts do not immediately take form. At our current level of development, we can’t create food or money or clothing out of thin air, simply by thinking about them. Human action is required.

But action doesn’t happen first.


Let’s say you want to build a house. You hire an architect and draw up plans. You move the pieces around – dining room here, bedroom there – until you are satisfied it’s what you want.

Obviously that’s not enough. At some point, a human being will have to use a hammer and nails – in other words, take action – to build the house.

That’s a simple example, but it’s true for everything.

Thought has to line up first, then action follows.

The great news is, you get to choose. You get to choose your thoughts and your actions.

And you don’t even have to figure out what to do. You can choose your thoughts, then wait to be inspired to action.

For instance, if you are worried about the current state of the world, but manage to shift those thoughts into peaceful acceptance, then you might be inspired to broker world peace, or you might simply be inspired to express more love for your family. There are many ways to change the world.

The beauty of this system is that we only have to choose what to think, knowing we will be guided in what to do.


Make it part of your spiritual but not religious practice to line up your thinking with what you want, creating a your vision for yourself, before you leap into action.

You can even write out the vision of your perfect world. Hold those thoughts and see whether circumstances begin to change, whether the malleable universe forms itself around the pictures in your mind.

That’s how the law is supposed to work. Although it expresses itself in sometimes surprising and unexpected ways, we really are co-creating with the divine source of all things.

It’s worth it to pay attention and do our part.


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