Jerry Hicks, who helped to bring the channeled Abraham-Hicks teachings into the world, passed away on November 18th, 2011 after a short battle with cancer. Rest in peace, Jerry Hicks.

Just in case you are unfamiliar with Abraham-Hicks and wondering who this Jerry Hicks guy is:

Jerry Hicks was married to a lady called Esther Hicks, who claimed to be channeling a group of entities that called itself Abraham. Their teachings have been extremely popular. They have written many books, including one which was #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list. Abraham-Hicks called itself the ‘Secret behind the Secret’ and says that their teachings ‘are that which is at the heart of all religions.’

Here are some of the tenets of their extremely popular spiritual teachings (taken from this page on their website.)

Individuals are physical extensions of the non-physical.

People are in their bodies because they chose to be.

The basis of life is freedom; the purpose of life is joy.

People are creators; they create with their thoughts.

Whatever people can imagine is theirs to be, or do, or have.

Individuals choose their creations as they choose their thoughts.

Emotions indicate what people are creating.

The Universe adores people; it knows their broadest intentions.

Individuals should relax into their natural well-being, and know that all is well.

Life is not meant to be a struggle, but a process of allowing.

People are creators of “thoughtways” on their unique ‘paths of joy’.

Actions and money are by-products of focusing on joy.

Individuals may depart their body without illness or pain.

People cannot die; their lives are everlasting.

I wasn’t sure whether to write an article on the Law of Attraction on the back of Jerry Hicks’ death as I didn’t want to be disrespectful. But then I thought, actually constructive criticism and disagreement aren’t disrespectful. Plus some outrageous things have been written about the Hicks’ by some adoring fans who expect Jerry to be able to manifest eternal life.

Here are some of the ideas above that I DO agree with:

You Are Here in This Body Because You Chose to Be Here

You Can Not Die; You Are Everlasting Life (i.e. your soul is immortal)

In this article, I am also going to talk about some of the aspects of their teachings that I personally think are unhelpful for having a great life. The following is not meant to convert anyone round to my way of thinking. We all have our paths to walk, but mine is definitely not the Law of Attraction path.

Our work as human beings is to experiment and find the path that is right for us.

I love this quote that a reader of this blog sent to me:

“Do not put your faith in traditions, even though they have been accepted for long generations and in many countries.

Do not believe a thing because many repeat it. Do not accept a thing on the authority of one or another of the sages of old, nor on the grounds of statements as found in the books.

Never believe anything because probability is in its favor.

Do not believe in that which you yourself have imagined, thinking that a god has inspired it.

Believe nothing merely on the authority of teachers or priests.

After examination, believe that which you have tested for yourself and found reasonable, which is in conformity with your well being and that of others.”

Kalama Sutta – Buddha

If you’re using the extremely popular Law of Attraction teachings and you’re no closer to where you want to be, then maybe it’s not for you.

Here’s what I disagree with:

You Are a Creator; You Create With Your Every Thought

We are not creators – we are co-creators. We do not just create through our thoughts, emotions or vibration. Our lives are partly created for us by our souls. We come into this lifetime with a family already in place for us and of course with a body.

How does this get put in place? Well, my personal belief is that our souls choose the circumstances, lessons, body and family before we even get here. I believe that as immortal souls, we learn through a succession of incarnations, and some may be difficult, while others may be easy and pleasant. As souls and as human beings we can learn a great deal from adversity.

But how much of this adversity do we create? I feel it is unfair to suggest that anyone consciously attracts hardship, suffering or illness. I believe that we can react and respond to the circumstances and events which are thrown at us, but we do not attract all of them according to our thoughts or preferences. Some of them are just going to show up for us on our path.  Because God, the universe, or our souls (or whatever you want to believe it is) decided that’s our path of learning.

(This is just my belief, of course.)

I believe that there are two forces at work in your life. Your soul or God is the force that throws lemons at you, and you as the conscious human being are the force that makes lemonade out of the lemons (if you wish to.) Obviously, this applies most when you experience something that you think is not what you wanted.

In February of this year, I went through a horrible earthquake that destroyed some of the city I lived in, and shook me to my core. Did I attract this, through a dodgy vibrational misalignment? Was my energy attuned to earthquakes and disasters, as the Abraham-Hicks teachings would say? I don’t think so.

I was just going about my business when an earthquake struck. The earthquake has been an amazing catalyst for growth in my life. This year I have made more serious plans for my life. I understand more fully what is important to me. I have found more courage and strength, because I have seen planet Earth at its worst (death and destruction!) Either you live or you die, and I survived and I feel I am living life more fully. The earthquake was a catalyst for this.

Basically, I’m saying that life is what you make of it, and some are dealt an easy hand and some are not.  Not all seemingly bad things are created by us because of a ‘vibrational misalignment’ – some are blessings in disguise (at least for me – it wouldn’t be right for me to suppose that those who lost loved ones in the earthquake also feel the same way.)

In my opinion, where some followers of Abraham-Hicks go wrong is that they think you can consciously attract everything through your thoughts and energy, including: illnesses, disasters, financial abundance or lack thereof, and all of life’s opportunities.

I’ve read some crazy articles online about how Jerry Hicks, as a teacher of Law of Attraction and a man in his eighties, should be able to manifest his way out of illness (after all, isn’t this what Abraham taught?). Maybe some people who follow the A-H teachings feel disappointed that he didn’t manage to manifest the illness away.

But you can’t necessarily manifest illness (or make it go away) through your thoughts, because it isn’t JUST you who is creating – it is your soul (or God) too.

Maybe your soul decides that in your life, you’re not going to live longer than 90 (bearing in mind that 90 is a grand old age – I heard that Jerry was in his late eighties). Maybe at age 90, your soul is done on its journey. And so around the age of 89, you get an illness and pass away. No amount of ‘manifesting’ is going to make that illness disappear, because your soul has made its mind up.

Those who follow the teachings of Abraham-Hicks are ignoring that our souls (the non-physical part of us) drive some of what we experience in our lives – the good and the bad. If we fight the reality and tell ourselves that we can make an unpleasant situation (like illness) go away by feeling really good while ignoring reality, or calling it something else, we are disconnected from reality, and less able to actually take the actions that CAN successfully shape our lives – like making the lemonade out of those lemons we were given.  We are also not honouring the fact that as souls we have lessons to learn, stresses that will inevitably show up in our lives, and as humans, we do get sick and die.

I am not saying we should always surrender to destiny as if we control nothing, but I am saying that life will sometimes send us something we do not like (such as an illness or a disaster) and that’s not within our conscious, human control.

I believe that the actions you take can shape your reality much, much more than your thoughts do.

Other aspects of the Law of Attraction teachings which have never sat well with me:

Anything That You Can Imagine is Yours to Be or Do or Have

I can imagine becoming an Olympic runner but I know I’m not ever going to be one, being a petite lady (around 5ft tall.)

My talents and capacities are restricted. So are yours. I am good at foreign languages, doing readings and healing sessions with people, and writing. I am not good at music or sewing or most sports. I can imagine being a concert pianist or sewing my own curtains beautifully but I’m better off leaving it to someone else.

I have learned that it’s more helpful to cast the net a little less wide and focus on what you are good at. Rather than imagining all the wild possibilities out there and getting distracted. That way you enjoy more success, waste less time and make more money (or “abundance” as Abraham-Hicks euphemistically calls it.)

Yes, part of our path as souls may be to overcome our limitations as we grow and learn. Maybe I could become amazing at sewing or music if I really wanted. But it’s not in alignment with reality to say that we can have anything we want. Having what we want requires much more than simply imagining we can do it, or visualizing it. It may require a shift in mindset and changing our beliefs about who we are. It may require therapy, healing, coaching and developing courage. Not to mention hard work and effort.

On planet Earth, there are most definitely conditions to what we can be, do or have.

As You Are Choosing Your Thoughts, Your Emotions Are Guiding You

A lot of the teachings of Abraham-Hicks are focused around the idea that if it isn’t fun, don’t do it. Because if you’re sending out bad-feeling vibes, you’ll attract more of that.

I personally don’t agree at all – I don’t always find it fun to do the things that make my life better and more enjoyable in the long run. But doing them makes life better than it was before.

Sometimes your emotions guide you, and sometimes they deceive you. Fear, for example, means you perceive a threat. It doesn’t mean the threat is real. In my experience, the more you can overcome your fears, the greater the rewards.

If you try to feel good all the time, and only do the things that make you feel good, you’ll have a very unremarkable life.

In my opinion.

What do you think?