If you’re interested in spirituality to any extent, it’s likely that you’ve come across people speaking about the “law of attraction”. In this post, I’ll be offering some thoughts about this phenomenon and explaining why I believe the idea makes mistaken assumptions about the nature of reality.
What is the Law of Attraction?
Back in 2006, a book entitled The Secret was released. The book was an accompaniment to a film of the same name, and brought the idea of the law of attraction to a mainstream audience. To give you some idea of the impact of the book and film, the book has been translated into thirty different languages and sold over 50 million copies.
The idea promulgated by the book and film can be concisely expressed as follows:
As your thought radiates out, it attracts the energy and frequencies of like thoughts, like objects, and even like people, and draws those things back to you.
It’s easy to see why the idea has had such a huge impact. It is a tremendously empowering concept, making the individual feel they have control over what happens in their lives, and by extension providing the liberating feeling that it’s possible to have whatever you want in life, if you can only control your thoughts in the correct manner.
Why is the Law of Attraction such a popular idea?
The idea has cemented itself deeply in the new age spiritual movement, and you only need to do a search on social media to see this for yourself. To offer one example, I recently saw someone on Instagram claiming that they manifested themself a new bicycle within a week, purely via the power of positive thinking.
When people don’t believe in God, there is necessarily a great deal of mystery to existence. This feeling of mystery leaves people vulnerable to embracing any idea that seems to make sense of reality, however strange and outlandish the idea might be. This is the reason why cults are able to prosper — and many do within the new age spiritual movement — because uncertainty about our place in the grand scheme of things leaves people vulnerable to ideological manipulation.
I believe the reason why The Secret has been so successful is that it taps into that deep sense of mystery, providing an explanation for how reality works that can be enticing and reassuring.
So What’s Wrong with the Law of Attraction?
In a word, the problem with the idea is that it is godless. Spiritual seekers get very excited when they experience synchronicity in their lives, as this would seem to be evidence that they have some mastery over the law of attraction. However, despite regularly asking ‘the universe’ for things, ‘the universe’ is not considered by these people to be a personal being in the way God is understood to be in the Abrahamic religions, for instance.
The problem with seeing the universe as an object in this way is that it doesn’t really explain anything. To really understand why synchronicitous events happen in our lives, we need to understand that an omnipresent and personal God exists, and that this God is unfolding all events in creation. When we understand this, it solves the problem which The Secret begins to tap into but doesn’t really solve in a deep and satisfying way.
Why Believe in God?
Of course, if someone has had no revelation of the reality of God, they may feel they have no good grounds to believe such a being exists. God doesn’t reveal Himself to everyone all of the time, but instead employs a kind of veil over the minds of many, which prevents them from being aware of Him. But when He does reveal Himself, He does so in very tangible ways, like speaking directly to the minds of human beings and working miracles or inspiring Scriptures.
To really understand why events in the universe unfold in the way they do, we need to focus on God. Even if someone is convinced that the law of attraction works, the bigger question of why it works remains. The answer to the problem of why any events occur within the created universe is that a living and personal God exists, and He is actively controlling everything that happens in the eternal present moment.
If you’re reading this and the idea of God’s existence seems unlikely to you, why not pray for Him to reveal Himself to you? What have you got to lose? If there is no God, then you’ve wasted only a prayer, but if there is a God (and God chooses to reveal Himself to you), then you will have at last found a solution to life’s biggest mysteries in a way that will be much more satisfying than the vague and partial solution offered by books such as The Secret.
Of course, once you know God exists, there is the further question of what kind of God He is — the Christian God, the Muslim God, a Hindu God, or some other God? Well, I might be able to help you with that predicament. Click here to see how.