Are Law of Attraction Teachings Helpful (or a Waste of Time?)

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?

 

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >

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44 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hello your article is very good, and I salute you for putting your own beliefs about the law of attraction etc.

    I would say that too many people take ideas as if they are totally proven and factual, and then it almost gets a life of its own. I am slightly familiar with Esther and jerry’s work and am not as you were not judging or slating them.

    However, no one person can be totally correct, because as of yet, no one has a way to prove 100% any of the spiritual teachings, we have our own experiences and that is fair enough for us to believe when we have a strong and compelling experience.

    When we go through a difficult patch, some of these teachers would say oh you attracted that to yourself, so in an earthquake all those people attracted that earthquake? The earth just quakes when enough negative thoughts in a certain region all get going?

    Until proven for me, the jury is still out. It remains very sensible for all of us to try and work on our faulty belief systems, because I believe we can project our problems onto others, and then attract problems back, not realising our thinking has set this up, but this I think is not so much a law of attraction, we are just not seeing our actual behaviour for what it is, you know we don’t see the great logg, right in front of our eyes:)

    I do believe we need to work on our thinking for our own sake, so that we can find peace, happiness and be a good person in society….

    I may have digressed a little, but I think its great to look at the works of others and discuss productively, no one has to believe something, just because the works are highly merited. Likewise this article by Anna was not slating, but a good discussion of her thoughts, great stuff.

  2. Avatar

    It is very hard to undo the something for nothing aspects of this philosophy. I have noticed the people who follow it the closest get better at first and worse over time. There is only so much low hanging fruit and at some point they seem to lower their standards as they are forced to settle for fruit on the ground or work harder to get the fruit higher in the tree and a kind of destructive envy sets in to the point where they become more conniving to get the results they need. They want your fruit and will do anything to get it. I love the fact that you respectfully pointed out some of the flaws and misrepresentations that cult leaders use to deceive their followers.

  3. Avatar

    Thank you, Anna!

  4. Avatar

    Great post! I once read: “you don’t manifest what you want, you manifest what you are.” Namaste!

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    Hi Anna,
    Finally someone that has the same ideas as I do. I do however believe that it’s how we approach each event or situation. It’s clear through my experiences that if we choose to remain positive and allow, I seem to be able to handle tough situations better. The idea of positive thoughts attract positive energy is fundemental and feel that if one allows the situation to get to one negatively, it just compounds the issue. Why do people die in a disaster such as you have experienced? I don’t really know but do not put it down to what people may or may not have attracted but rather to a decission that was made long before their souls choose this path. Its about what we can learn and improve on while we are on outing and if our attitude is right, then the obsticles we encounter make us wiser provided we trust and be positively grateful.

  6. Avatar

    I’m glad I read that article.

    It was always confusing and VERY FRUSTRATING when the law of attraction would be wishy-washy about when it would work or not in my life. Now I know that when it didn’t it was my soul saying, “come on, focus on your life purpose, man.”

    My angels told me that the ‘law of attraction’ belief system is based on myths, like religions, and while it is infused with much spiritual truths there are untruths mixed in for people who want to put a twist on reality, which can be a very satisfying thing to do but it is not for me.

    My angels say that accepting your limits and working with your soul, angels, and God using the law of attraction is VERY powerful. Not only are you showing them exactly what you want, you’re feeding them with spiritual power and inviting them to interfere in your life (which angels can’t do without permission and stuff).

  7. Avatar

    Hi Anna,

    Living in Christchurch I have endured the year of 9000 earthquakes, I wouldn’t say I attracted that, but I certainly know in most areas of my life I have moved forward more than any other year in ages. Not because I value life more, but things just seemed to have worked out better. For me the way forward to getting what you want is through healing. Thinking positively comes naturally then. Instead of putting icing on a rotten cake.

  8. Anna

    Hi Kate,

    Yes, I think you nailed it about the healing part. Feeling good definitely comes more naturally the more healed you are.

    And I love that phrase ‘putting icing on a rotten cake’.

  9. Avatar

    Good article, Anna! While I do believe in the Law of Attraction, I think it’s something that’s misunderstood (just my opinion); if a person says to the universe etc that they want something, but really believe deep down that they can’t have it, or have emotional blocks to that thing, it won’t manifest and then the person might become upset. And with the soul, I think some things are set up by our souls that we are very likely to experience, and some things are set up with options! In other words, it depends on what decisions we make as to which option we’ll experience. I like what Ricky said above about manifesting what you are 🙂

  10. Avatar

    Hi. I agree with you that we don’t attract bad things such as illnesses and natural disasters. I believe that God chose certain lessons for our souls and we live them out through our incarnations. For example, a number of years ago, I was diagnosed with a nasty case of depression that wouldn’t let up. Did I choose it? Heck no!In fact,if we choose to manifest illnesses and disasters, most of us wouldn’t knowingly choose to do that. However, through depression, I learned important lessons such as humility and self-acceptance. I also learned to take time for myself, but I would neverr, ever in a billion years consciously choos and manifest depression. However, I think it is possible for us to stay stuck in old patterns of negative thinking and other bad habits that keep us from learning certain life lessons, but with the right amount of healing and positive programming we can move past those blocks.

  11. Avatar

    Great article, Anna, and I’ve changed my thoughts on Abraham’s teachings after reading one of your Law of Attraction articles on it, which pointed out many of the flaws in their teachings.

    After Jerry passed, I was wondering if the connection to Abraham was actually beneficial or not to him and Esther. I’m constantly reminded of the image of Abraham being Phantom of the Opera and Esther being Christine Daae. I am wondering if this connection also robbed Jerry & Esther the opportunity to connect with their own Higher Selves, their own Spirit Guides & the Archangels and Beings who reside in a much higher vibration than Abraham. I’m not suggesting that Abraham deceived them in any way. I’m just saying that the reliance on Abraham short-changed them a bit in terms of connecting to higher guidance. It doesn’t seem like Abraham would ever suggest a cord cutting or an Akashic Record reading.

    In one of their Facebook status updates, Abraham said it isn’t necessary for people to seek therapy. I posted a comment of my own to disagree and then unliked their page. A lot of the Abraham followers are confused, broke and they go about life by plastering a smile on their face while a lot of things go overlooked, ignored and unresolved. They spout sayings like, “Love is all there is,” and while that may be true, their lives haven’t moved forward an inch.

    So yes, my view on Abraham has turned a complete 180 degrees. Thanks for your insight and the reminder for everyone to stay practical!

  12. Avatar

    A m ost productive discussion everyone is having. The bottom line perhaps is, do not be a slavish follower, of anyone or anything, take what appeals, what resonates, but never feel you have to believe or act exclusively on any particular teaching, especially if you give up your own power. I think some most interesting points are being raised and a respectful fashion.

  13. Avatar

    Jessica,
    Like you say, I would never choose to have had a car accident and dislocated the bones in my foot, fracturing it, tearing the tendons and having to have two operations to have pins in it for four months. But out of that I’ve got a brand new car (not on the insurance unfortunately third party only -purchase lease) and a new job. If it hadn’t have happened I’d still be in my dead end job now being too afraid to move on and get a proper job!

  14. Avatar

    Hi there, Anna!
    Wow, long time since I’ve been around.

    It amazes me how similar we are in some ways. Both of us have Aquarias in sun and Taurus in moon, and we’re both practicing intuitives and writers, plus good with languages! Oh, and we’re both short as well.
    Like attracts like, hmm?
    I love when I notice those things! Or maybe I’m just a bit too curious…

    Now, I must say I agree with your statement about our souls being part of our experience. This is something I know from growing up in the environment I was born in, and who I became who I am (and will become). Sounds a little dramatic, yes, but that’s what I’ve learned.

    Our souls change too, of course, and while destiny is up to us in many instances, there ARE rigid choices and events.

    I also found the ‘bad feelings equal bad things gonna happen’ a little vague. It made me somewhat fearful the first time around. I find that this isn’t necessarily true. I do believe we get what we FOCUS on, but that does not necessarily have to include whatever emotion we are feeling at a given time.

    Human beings have a tendency to make things more complex than they are.

  15. Avatar

    Hi Anna,

    if the law of attraction was 100% true, then it would mean, we’d all live in isolated personal universes that are not connected.
    I surely did not create everything in my life because other sources have a great influence on me too. I.e. when my twin soul calls for help, I don’t make him do that (because I can’t), he has his own life and makes his own decisions.

    But I agree that if I set my intentions consciously, I achieve it with an accuracy that is mind-blowing!
    In life, we are not just dealing with ourselves, we come across many different energies and that’s good.

    Nice post, thank you!
    Franziska

  16. Avatar

    Hi Anna, I enjoyed your article as my experiences have shown me and shaped my opinions to be similiar to yours. I feel I’m a co-creator and I also feel the power of destiny from the path of my soul in accordance with a divine plan and contract. I’ve explored and thought deeply about many schools of thought both secular and non secular. I love to observe and learn from many facets and as a result I’ve found Universal truths and Spiritual laws to be a strong thread and indeed the pearls of wisdom everywhere I’ve looked. My search and journey has been a fascinating one. Having said this I have infinite space and respect for mystery. Mystery! That should keep me busy forever!

    Thank you for writing your article.

  17. Avatar

    Yes. The Law of Attraction teachings are very touching, hopeful, and best of all, I agree to most of them!

  18. Avatar

    Anna,

    I just read your post, and many parts I agree with, particularly with the idea that not all bad things that happen to people are things they attract to themselves. I also agree that when your life has run its course, you can’t manifest your way out of that.

    However, anyone who has used visualization techniques and seen them work in miraculous ways knows that visualization / attraction does work on some level.

    To me, it is really the same teaching of faith that many religious leaders of different backgrounds speak about. I personally believe that if you have strong faith in certain things, many times (but not all times) you can manifest them. Whether you want to call it law of attraction or faith or whatever, I don’t really care what the current politically correct term is, but it is a concept that works. At least it has for me in ways that were quite convincing.

    The problem is that we can see it work 60-70% of the time in ways that are truly mind-boggling, and then it fails to work the remainder. Why is that exactly? Well, I don’t know and don’t expect to know while I’m on this earth. It’s one of life’s mysteries.

    But I do know that I have imagined/visualized things and then had exactly that thing, exactly the way I pictured it, drop into my lap straight out of nowhere. Other people have had the same thing happen, so it’s not a simple thing to say the law of attraction is bogus.

    I view us humans as “looking through the mirror darkly”, as said in the New Testament. In other words, we can only see a very small part of the picture down here and what we do see is distorted by the human condition. It’s truly only a guess for any of us as to what is beyond.

    It’s like that story of five men feeling an elephant — one feels the tail and describes the elephant one way, another feels the elephant’s feet and describes it differently, etc, etc.

    The longer I live, the more I become convinced how little we really know about who we are, where we come from, what control we had in coming to this earth. Every time I think, oh I get it, it’s “this” way, something comes along and blows that theory right out of the water.

    Perhaps with your ability to communicate beyond your physical/human limitations and reach those on the other side, it is more clear. Yet, even many of the renowned and clearly gifted psychics can’t seem to agree on exactly what is on the other side. I think it’s the whole “feeling the elephant” thing in that each of these very gifted folks who can reach the other side manages to do so in a unique way and they relate back to us what they see/feel/understand — but who knows if one is feeling the trunk of the elephant and another has his feet?

    Just my two cents on this…

  19. Avatar

    I have a similar issue with the Law of Attraction claiming that we attract everything we concentrate on. It can make people obsess over their thoughts. Similar to what religions do…they make you obsess with living by the book. So, if you think of illness, you automatically attract it. There’s a host of complex processes at work in creating our world. So, I ask Abraham what happens to people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder if they think they can get cancer, and obsess over it? Would they attract it even though they have almost no control over their mental challenge?

    What do you think about this Anna?

  20. Avatar

    Hi Anna, obviously I hold many of the same beliefs as you do or I would not be using this site. I do however have some leaning toward if we believe strongly (and purely) enough, we can acheive above and beyond what may seem possible. I have known children to acheive milestones they were not supposed to reach, adults to recover from physical illnesses that were supposed to be disabling and people who were said to be ‘not smart enough to make anything of themselves’ excel and now live comfortable lives. These things seem to have happened because they told themselves and those around them that they would.I have also met many people who only ever focus on what is wrong in their lives and they forever seem to be ill in some way or another. In the time that I have known these people their lives do not improve and their physical well being appears to deteriorate. I can only assume that the messages they give themselves and others attract the outcomes they acheive. Of these people, very few express a belief in ‘God’ or anything spiritual. I am open to anything that enhances my spiritual growth and welcome the idea that I can attract positive outcomes in my life simply by believing them to be true.

  21. Avatar

    Hi, Anna!

    Thank you for your artikle, it was very interesting to read your perspective:-).
    I have heard through another teacher that to be incarnated here on earth, this christ-energy learning planet is pretty diffrent than other places in the universe. If someone channel souls that has not been incarnated here, they would give us wisdom that is laws in the universe. These laws can be easily (more or less..) used in other dimentions and will be preferable there, but here on earth we have something else on our school plan…Charity, compassion, empathy, humanity… Christ consciousness…
    That is why the advice they give doesn´t always work here, because it is not sepose to… Then we would not learn the lessons that we came here for and wanted to come here to learn and experience..

    This is a pretty unike place to be! :-)).
    Here we can deepen our heart and learn real compassion..
    A lot of souls stand in line to be able to incarnate here, even to exerience pain.. It may sound evil to say, but this is what I experience as truth.

    Love
    Marija

  22. Anna

    Ricky, I think that is so true! (attracting what you are.)

  23. Anna

    Ling –

    I never realised Abraham said that about no therapy/healing. So many people I know get a lot out of healing (myself included), not just the sessions I offer like cord cutting but also regular therapy, counselling, modalities like EFT, TAT, emotion code, hypnotherapy, etc. There are so many good options available for those who want it.

    It’s a bit strange to say ‘no one needs therapy, just think good thoughts instead’. That is, as Kate says, “putting icing on a rotten cake”. Pasting the old smile on, when actually, there might a lot of pain/anger/something else not-so-nice underneath.

  24. Anna

    Elaine –

    Yes, I think that none of us are given the ‘full story’ or allowed to feel the ‘whole elephant’! Just pieces.

    I think that is why we can learn a great deal from so many different paths and traditions. And in my opinion, there are good things to take from all paths, (perhaps including the one I’ve criticised in this article.)

    I personally am wary of anyone or any philsophy which claims to have all the answers.

  25. Avatar

    For further enlightenment on this discussion, I just finished reading and/or watching (online, free):

    Caroline Myss – Healing
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZI0OAhcD8o&feature=related

    Checklist of Some Principles of Theosophy
    http://www.blavatsky.net/theosophy/theosophy-checklist.htm

    Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda
    http://www.shardsofconsciousness.com/user/…/RajaYoga_Vivekananda.pdf

    Lots to think about. Each to her own abilities and path.

    “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

  26. Anna

    Hi Kat,

    I suppose Abraham would say that a positive thought is more powerful than a negative one, plus that person who suffers from OCD is unlikely to attract cancer unless they are truly in vibrational alignment with it.

    But I am not up to date with the LOA teachings these days so that’s just a guess.

    I certainly don’t think people with OCD would attract their negative thoughts and fears about illness to them, unless they worried so much about it they came down with a minor ailment, the kind that we all get when we’re extra stressed.

  27. Avatar

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for the response. I completely agree about being wary of anyone that thinks they have all the answers. I’m convinced no one on this earth has all the answers!

    I think there’s an aspect of truth in a lot of the theories floating around in both religions and New Age traditions, but those aspects of truth get distorted when people try to explain how the universe works in complete detail. That’s definitely the problem with a lot of the law of attraction gurus who take it to the extreme.

    I had always figured we could attract some things that are consistent with our individual higher purpose, but not attract other things because someone at a higher pay grade than us (be it soul, higher power, God, angels, guides, whatever) decided that was not in the game plan.

    Again, I definitely agree that no one has all the answers.

  28. Avatar

    I definitely agree that thoughts alone won’t make all your dreams come true however, the thoughts behind your actions make a difference.

    I remember trying to show my grandmother how to use a computer and she immediately said, “It’s too much for me”. Well, big surprise, she hasn’t learned how to use the computer despite trying to figure out the mouse and keyboard. Her attitude, not her capability was holding her back.

    However, just thinking, “Yes I can master the computer” without even touching a computer is crazy and is just lazy thinking. But you WILL make progress if you affirm that you are capable of learning the computer and work on it learning from your mistakes and pushing on.

    I have to say honestly those law of attraction books sell really well because it appeals to the lazy masses.

  29. Avatar

    Anna i loved your article and totally agree with what you write! The law of attraction does work but as you state with some limitations! I have had much success with it especially in maifesting my partner, parking spots, and other wonderful things but i also believe that things will also manifest as God intended them to. Not everyhting is in our control that is for sure! Lets all remember to enjoy life’s journey and continue to live in LOVE.

  30. Anna

    Thank you to everyone who commented! This has been a very interesting discussion.

  31. Avatar

    Interesting discussion & topic. Thanks for putting your thoughts on this subject out there Anna. I too share some of your concerns with the LOA teachings. My biggest frustration with it stems from the lack of “action” or “living” that I often see can take place from some of the more ardent supporters.

    I believe this life is meant to be experienced, and it’s learning to work with the Universe, God, your higher self, Life (or whatever term feels right) in a partnership. I believe it’s learning to listen and tune into what is true for you, but that action is required. I worry that some people lean on the LOA teachings and spend too much time in their thoughts attempting to manifest something, that they become paralyzed and afraid of life itself.

    And I suppose I also have trouble understanding how someone remains positive all the time. Don’t get me wrong, do I prefer to spend more time on the positive side of life – emotions, thoughts, experiences? Absolutely, yet I can better appreciate those moments, because I’ve had the opposite. Plus, I’ve arguably grown the most from events, situations and other experiences that at the time would be considered challenging (you know the ones you say, “let’s make this a once in a lifetime, please.”

    Anyway, thanks again for touching upon a subject that I know can be “touchy” for some.

  32. Avatar

    Dear Anna,

    I happen to be in a state of contentment, in which I’m happy almost all the time and I am starting to realize that I’m building an optimistic reputation. My question is, what does it mean when you dream of empty and nothing while sleeping? I have been experiencing this for the past few months now, and I’m starting to get worried that I am nothing as well….opps! Contradiction right there…I just remembered that I’m special and unique in some way…must be a feeling from my higher self…. Anyways! What does it mean to dream of nothing!?

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    Well actions, thought and emotions are all tools that help to shape our lives. We are all welcome to use these at anyones disposal but what you are missing from all of this is the message of love…. It is who we TRULY ARE before we enter this existence. I have experienced the law of attraction and it works but also your life is guided so truth in both. The key is not religion but spirituality and living spiritually in every present moment and living with purpose. Feeling of purpose, knowing that moment is all that counts and love you give to it. Anyways everyone knows the truth of our life and existence, the answers are within them…..people need to be openminded and allow themselves to be one with higher self and what’s happens expansion and knowing.

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    Anna,

    I learned about the law of attraction when I was 8 years old because my father shared the concept with me from a lesson book. Even at 8 years old, I thought, “This is nuts.” However 6 months later I wanted this little red radio. I didn’t have the money for it, parents wouldn’t get me one, didn’t have the good student points to get it at the school store, out of desperation I decided to try out my dad’s manifesting idea. A few days before the end of my 3rd grade school year, Karen (a little girl who I’d rarely spoken to) walked up to me and handed me the little red radio I wanted so badly as a gift. I was stunned. That opened my mind to what was possible and over the years I manifested money, trips, almost every girlfriend I’ve ever had (my current one looks EXACTLY like the picture I found and posted on my dream board 6 weeks before she found me and has all the qualities I wanted as well) etc.

    When I ran into Abraham’s teaching initially there was a lot that I didn’t agree with based on my personal experience. However, I took the time to REALLY study their perspective and the only area that I feel they skip over (or at least I haven’t heard them talk about enough) is the higher self and how your higher self intentionally limits what you can or cannot manifest at any given moment. My experience has taught me that your “soul” has to be in alignment with the manifestation or you can manifest until you are blue in the face without results. To be fair to Abraham they do speak about alignment endlessly, but just not enough info on the higher self for my tastes.

    To address the points you disagree with….

    Point #1 You Are a Creator; You Create With Your Every Thought. We both agree on this point as I stated above.

    Point #2. Anything That You Can Imagine is Yours to Be or Do or Have. This was one of the points I disagreed with that Abraham said until I heard them address it in a conversation. Their point was basically this, if you are an old, fat guy you would never truly desire to be a gold medal Olympic runner so don’t take what they are saying out of context. Once I heard that, I was satisfied. I never would want to win Mrs. USA beauty pageant.

    Point #3 As You Are Choosing Your Thoughts, Your Emotions Are Guiding You. The challenge with Abraham’s teachings is they are always speaking to individuals and that allows their words to be taken out of context. They are constantly telling people to embrace the contrast, they’ve never said the goal is to live a 100% happy life. As to your fear point, it’s a very good one. I’m not sure it it’s possible to live exactly how Abraham suggests. I too have gotten a lot of value out of facing my fears, but again to be fair to Abraham it has been a pain in the ass. I’ve bulldozed forward because that is how I am, but I’ve seen other people sidestep fears and have it work out just as well for them.

    In closing, probably the most interesting point that Abraham makes is that you attract it all. If you want to attract evidence of the law of attraction not working, you’ll attract plenty of it. If you want evidence that it does, you’ll attract that too. That point of theirs really made me stop and think. So my question to you is this, “Had you been wanting to leave ChristChurch for a while but had been putting it off?” I attracted an insane situation years ago that forced me to move out of a place I was resisting leaving. It seems crazy to think you could attract an earthquake but an interesting thought to ponder =)

    Much love Anna, I truly love your work….

    Namaste

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    “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.”

    I believe you are correct. For as far back as I can remember (early in childhood) I have had the sense that I chose my parents and situation before I was born.

  36. Anna

    Hi Namaste,

    Yes I am sure I attracted the earthquake on a deeper level, although certainly not consciously. Perhaps Chch was populated with a group of souls who could all benefit from the same experience in the long term, as they go on their path of soul evolution.

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    I agree with your disagreements 🙂
    Except the last one. You could, if you want it bad enough be an Olympic runner.
    In my opinion, every single obstacle can be overcome if it is yours to overcome.
    Do you want to be an olympic runner?

    Musician…. I saw a video of a master pianist, she taught herself in about a year, using the only piano in her small town. And she is missing 3 fingers on her right hand….

    Miracles abound 🙂

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    Hi Anna,

    When I first came across the law of attraction (authors, books, philosophies which were espousing it) my “knee-jerk” reaction, so to speak, was to think that it couldn’t possibly work that way. After all, this should be something even common people could do. I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt that perhaps a lot of what we think are limitations to what we can have, be and do are mostly due to social conditioning. And I find this to be true in many areas of my life. I eventually realized though that what I didn’t really agree was mostly the way it was presented to people and I have to agree that certain ways of bringing the message to people can take it out of context.

    I think the flaw occurs when the mechanisms that should accompany the philosophy are not explained. It really cannot be a “something for nothing” kind of thing. From my own introspection, I realized that if most of the things I wished for were to suddenly materialize in a manner outside the bounds of what we consider mostly normal, my psyche probably would not be able to handle it well at all. One has to really factor in the elements of time and the laws of the material world.

    Another thing that is not adequately explained is how to cultivate a way to connect to Source (whatever it may be for different people). I think this ties in with what you said regarding being “creator” and being “co-creator”. My impression was with the way the principles are taught at present, the message seems to be, “You just have to tweak your thoughts and make reality conform to it,” which is just about as useful as trying to do telekinesis and expecting it to work the first time around. I believe that when we plug in to Source, then that’s when the real miracles occur. Only, we have to know how it’s done.

    In my opinion, the gift that the law of attraction offers is mainly the gift of a possibility mindset. Yep, miracles can happen. We can choose to see possible ways to accomplish something, even when it seems to defy what others have said is possible – just like the example that Paul gave. 🙂 It’s really just the resistance sometimes (which can block that connection to Source) and reality check may just mean, at times, that we need to find another way to do something instead of writing it off as impossible.

    One other thing: I don’t necessarily subscribe fully to attracting negative things. In some ways, this can be a cruel “diagnosis” of a situation. I do believe that worry, fear, etc. can become self-fulfilling prophecies but oftentimes, things just happen as a result of the choices of another person that we had no control over and there can sometimes be no sense or reason as to why it happened at all. I don’t really believe that everything happens for a reason – some things just shouldn’t even be happening at all (like the destruction of the environment, famine, genocides, just to name a few). That’s just my opinion though.

    I do believe that we have the power to shape our reality but to harness and direct this power is akin to an art that has to be studied and it has principles which we need to understand first.

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    Mass events occur as a culmination of many peoples’ thoughts and beliefs, which could all be different from each other but for which the mass event serves a purpose. I suggest reading “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events” by Jane Roberts (channeling Seth). In terms of a mass event, some people may use the mass event unconsciously to move from this side to the other. Others may be part of it because they want to create a new life. Some people are part of the creation because they want to exercise a need to feel helpful. There could be all kinds of reasons. Perhaps what one gets out of the mass event is what they consciously/subconsciously needed from the event.

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    I just stumbled upon this website after I heard that Jerry Hicks died of cancer. I love that the people that have posted here are all sharing their opinions in such a respectful manner. I’ve read all the posts and want to share with you my experiences. I know that I don’t have it all figured out. I still read a lot and I try to pay attention to what happens in my life.

    First, I don’t believe in “Ask and It is Given”. I believe in “Ask and You Will Receive An Answer”. A few years ago I decided I wanted to live in the far north. I couldn’t believe how easily events and people lined up to make that an easy path to follow!! It was miraculous.

    Then I decided that I wanted to live in Vancouver. I even sold my house in Ontario and moved out there. I could not find a job. My desire was high. I sent out countless resumes. I met a lot of very nice people. But nothing happened.

    I took this as a sign that it was not the direction I was supposed to head in. I came back to a job that I had taken a leave of absence from. But my dream was not forgotten. I thought I’d just retrain and get some specialized experience and then apply for a job out west again.

    It was the worst career move I could have made. I was so burned out that I had no energy at the end of the day. I came home and slept for 2 hours every afternoon. At the end of that year, I decided to tranfer out of that position not knowing where I’d be placed and it was like a miracle again.

    I was placed in a loving, fun environment into a job I like. Yet I remain living in a place I do not like.

    I still want to move out west but now I’ve stopped actively pursuing it. I’ve put out SO much positive energy. I truly believed that things would happen as easily as they had before. Not so.

    This experience has also lead me to believe that you do not have to be happy all the time to manifest good things. I was at the lowest point ever (both physically and emotionally) and a great job was brought into my life. Yet at my most positive, I couldn’t manifest my dream. How does that work?

    I believe there are many things we don’t understand. I now ask, take action towards my desire and then wait to see what happens. I take my direction from that.

    Some things come easily and fast and others don’t. I’ve tried to keep a positive outlook but I’ve also manifested some pretty nice things when my attitude wasn’t as grand.

    I think it was in a Wayne Dyer book that I read something to the effect of – you don’t get what you want, you get what you need. THAT has been my experience.

    My final comment is that everyone is criticizing the fact that Jerry Hicks died from cancer and if his theory of life worked he wouldn’t have manifested cancer. As with many painful aspects of life: stillbirths, accidents etc… WE HAVE NO DEFINITIVE ANSWER!!! Vegetarians who jog 10 miles a day die of cancer. Some people who smoke 2 packs a day live long lives.

    Be careful about giving away your own power to anyone else whether it’s a speaker like Esther, an abusive family member, or a best friend. Think and act from what is inside you. Act from the place of truth within and pay attention to what happens.

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    Ellie,

    I enjoyed reading your post just now and I felt inspired to comment, because I believe I have the answer to your question. Hope this is OK, Anna.

    Ellie, you said, “I was at the lowest point ever (both physically and emotionally) and a great job was brought into my life. Yet at my most positive, I couldn’t manifest my dream. How does that work?”

    To answer your question, I will share a story of my own, where I was in a similar kind of situation…

    When I turned 30 years old, I decided I had to make some time to date, or I was going to wake up 50 years old and single. I’m a workaholic by choice, I love what I do. Taking time away for a relationship was NOT my idea of a good time, but I didn’t want to wake up old and lonely. I decided to manifest the woman of my dreams. I wrote up a list of all the qualities I wanted, I refined it until it was perfect, and then I let the Universe/God/whatever you call it take over.

    A few months passed and nothing. I checked my list of qualities thinking maybe I wasn’t clear on something, but I found that I was very clear. I went back to doing my thing, and at the six month point, I got annoyed. Where is she? I rarely have to wait more than a few weeks for my desires to manifest, once I’m clear. After a year passed, I was really ticked. I’ve been successfully manifesting since I was 8 years old. I KNOW how to do this. I was doing all the right things but I literally couldn’t get a date. I looked at everything again, everything was perfect, I was totally confused. Then it hit me. If my manifesting technique is dead on, it can’t be the Universe failing to respond, it has to be me. So I asked myself, “Why won’t I allow the woman of my dreams into my life?” I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote down reason after reason after reason. When I was done, it was SO OBVIOUS why she wasn’t showing up, it was because for as many reasons as I wanted her, I had almost as many for why I didn’t. I realized that I had to do something about the reasons why I didn’t, because there was no way the Universe was going to give me something that I was out of alignment with.

    One of my biggest reasons why I didn’t want her in my life was because I was afraid she was going to get in the way of my work. Every relationship I’d had up to that point, the woman started out loving how ambitious I am. Within a short time though they all changed their tune saying, “We don’t spend enough time together.” Stuff like that. Eventually, I got sick of it and got rid of them, or they got sick of it and left. I was stumped. I wanted the woman of my dreams, but I didn’t want some woman in my life getting in the way of my work. How could I have my cake and eat it too? I thought about it for about two weeks, when suddenly I figured out that the answer was to date another workaholic! As soon as I found this solution, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, I KNEW I’d found the answer. I did the same thing with the other issues, I found a solution to all of them. Within a month, I had three women show up in my life. With the resistance gone, and me in alignment, the Universe responded instantly. I went from not being able to get a date, to having three women in my life. None of those women worked out but within six months my future wife came into my life. And she had 17 out of 18 qualities I had on my list. While she wasn’t a workaholic, she was a play-a-holic. When I was busy working she was happy to go play and it worked for the both of us.

    I’ve used this technique now a number of times, and gotten great results each time so I know it’s not a fluke. My question to you is, “Why would you NOT allow yourself to live in Vancouver?” Grab a sheet of paper, write the question at the top of the page, and then write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how strange. Don’t worry if nothing comes to mind initially, your “reasons why not” will show up. Keep the sheet of paper around and you’ll find that you’ll come up with more answers. It took me about two weeks to come up with all my reasons why not, the first time. You will KNOW when you have written down all your reasons because you will feel empty. Then, it’s time to go to work and “bridge” your reasons why not, to reasons why so you are in alignment with your desire. Does that make sense?

    When I originally found Esther/Abraham in 2008, I was incredibly skeptical. Why? They were always saying, “Don’t focus on the negative EVER, just be happy.” I found that by focusing on the negative and neutralizing it (or removing it), that doing that worked wonders. Then one day I realized what was going on. The challenge with Abraham is that they coach individuals from “the hot seat.” Their coaching is highly individualized. For most people “get happy” truly is the best way, however they don’t condone my way of doing things, they actually endorse it and have from the very beginning. They just don’t talk about it much these days, because the individuals they are coaching, don’t ask for it. And that’s the problem with listening to coaching that is meant for someone else. It can be helpful, but it is STILL coaching for someone else. My technique, they call Bridging. They came up with the Bridging Technique a long time ago and wrote about it in their first book called THE LAW OF ATTRACTION: The Basics Of The Teachings Of Abraham. Read pages 49 – 53 and also page 190.

    In closing, as I said Ellie, I’ve used this technique now a number of times. After using it to manifest the woman of my dreams, I used the same technique to manifest a big diamond for her wedding ring. This technique works. If you REALLY want to live in Vancouver, figure out why you won’t let yourself, neutralize/bridge/remove those reasons and you will find yourself happily living there =)

    Namaste

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    Thanks Namaste for your “June 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm” post. It had great insight and I believe it will be a big help when dealing with the issue I’m currently working on.

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    Lee,

    Glad what I wrote was of some help. If you run into any roadblocks with the technique, feel free to e-mail me at (Note from Anna – please don’t post your email addresses here, you will get spammed if you do! If you want to write to Namaste, please contact me directly and I’ll pass on the email address.) When I’ve helped friends do this, the biggest mistake I see is they don’t take the time to write down all the blocks and “bridge” all of them. This doesn’t work just because you did a few, you have to bridge them all. And you know if you did them all because the result shows up. If the desired result doesn’t, you still have more bridging to do. Good luck!

  44. Avatar

    Anna,

    I think what Abe Hicks means when they say to have fun is to basically whistle while you work, because this way things will just flow better and you will feel better while working. Thi does make sense since we have to work while we are here in phyisical, right?

    Also, I know they may go a bit overboard with this one, but generally speaking, the happier and less worried you are, the healthier you will be. The less weird symptoms you will have, less stomach aches and less headaches. I think emotions do play a role in health and the better the emotions, the better the health. You can “give yourself and illness” and “make yourself sick” if you are constantly worried about something (you do not need to worry to make things happen). Ease and flow are best and I think this is the gist of what they are saying, or at least how I take it to mean. Also, emotions are indicators that something is going right or wrong.

    But how about the path in our life? Do you think we can make a mistake and not be able to rectify it by going down the wrong path? Abe says that there aren’t any paths but one path that will lead you to where you need to be. Thus, there is no reason to have regrets abut choices you made, because not only is it pointless and a waste of time to lament the past, but your soul takes you via life to where you need to be at certain times in your life to learn and expand. do you agree with this?

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