Subtitle: A Spiritual Criticism of The Secret
Alternative subtitle: An Egoic Law of Childish Selfishness
Hey, you! Yes, you!
Did you ever hear about the guy who wrote himself a cheque for a million dollars? Five years later, he earned his first million dollars!
I can teach you his secret!
All you have to do is believe in yourself! Think positive, never think negative thoughts. Yes, even when your puppy dies, your wife leaves you for the milkman and you find your pension was invested in a crypto scam.
Continue thinking positive thoughts. Continue believing in yourself. And make sure to subscribe to my $9999 course that will teach you how to become a millionaire in only 6 months!
I’m not even kidding
I was in an online business group some time ago, and 40-50% of the students wanted to start a Law of Attraction(LoA) business, i.e., selling LoA online via courses, YouTube channel etc.
This is a big number as the course was open to everyone—plumbers, doctors, engineers, and marketers. And yet, a large percentage of people wanted to make money on LoA.
It seems the people selling us “manifesting” are the only ones “manifesting” any wealth. It’s like these sleazy online get rich courses, that teach you how to create and sell sleazy online get rich courses.
Where the bullshit starts
I was listening to Dr Ramani who talks about narcissistic abuse. Someone asked her about the LoA, and she said:
“Law of attraction is a shamey and blamey law created to blame victims/ survivors”.
And I had been feeling a bit iffy about LoA for some time, but this really put it into words. And I loved the words Shamey and Blamey—it perfectly expresses the problem with the community,
It is full of horrible people who go around blaming people for their suffering(and dint tell me there are good people, the whole community is toxic, it doesn’t matter your own teacher is ooh-so-nice).
Ooh, you got cancer? You must have manifested it
Oh, you are poor and stuck in a dead-end job? It’s your own fault for attracting it!
There is no acceptance of social issues, the various discriminations people face, government failure, and corrupt and violent governments in 3rd world countries.
And all these “Ooh lala I manifest” teachers teach downright stupid things, like max out your credit card or spend on useless stuff “to give the universe a message you are ready to receive”.
I was in a business group where some business people(around 30) had published a book of essays together. The organiser told them to each buy 20-30 copies of the book to (you know this by now) Give the universe a message they are willing to become bestsellers.
Fuck all happened, except Amazon made a lot of money. The book wasn’t a bestseller and all the people lost not only their investments but all the time they spent writing the book. Maybe the Universe was busy that day, and didn’t get the message?
Social Criticism of Manifesting
It’s like the poor people in Africa are manifesting their poverty because they are so unenlightened. The whole LoA movement is full of privileged 1st world people patting themselves on the back about how awesome they are because they have “manifested” wealth and not because they have running water and can walk to work without being bombed.
Here is Dave Chappelle giving the secret to The Secret:
Scientific Criticism of Manifesting
Mark Manson says the LoA is just confirmation bias, and the forced “positive thinking” can actually be harmful:
The Secret actually requires that you never doubt yourself, never consider negative repercussions, and never indulge in negative thoughts. This is the confirmation bias on steroids, and it can be dangerous: taking on risky business ventures or investments, ignoring red flag behaviors from a romantic partner, denying personal problems or health issues, avoiding necessary confrontations, failing to weigh the possibility of failure in decision making, and so on. While this sort of “delusionally positive” thinking may make one feel better in some (or even many) situations, as a long-term life strategy it is utterly disastrous.https://markmanson.net/the-secret
Mark also points out that this effort to suppress negative thoughts backfires:
But this prescription for “delusionally positive” thinking can have negative consequences for people as well. Psychological research shows that trying to suppress thoughts about something only makes those thoughts more likely to recur.14 In fact, rumination and obsession appear to operate in this manner, especially in people with chronic mental disorders like OCD depression and anxiety—the more you try to get rid of unwanted thoughts, the more these thoughts dominate your mental space. It’s like if I tell you, “Never think about a pink elephant!” the first thing that likely pops into your mind is a pink elephant. Thinking about the things you do not want can lead to more negative thinking and put you in a vicious cycle of negativity.
But this post is about the Spiritual criticism of the LoA.
Let me explain why the LoA doesn’t work, from a spiritual point of view.
The Only Thing We Can control is Our Thinking
One of the main cornerstones of most spiritual paths is that we cannot control the outside world but we can control our reactions to it.
The Spiritual Law says: By changing our reactions to the world, the world we experience starts to change. This might seem woo-woo but it is borne out at least in my experience. As I started practising self-forgiveness and letting go of self-loathing thoughts, I found that people in the outer world became kinder to me.
(Or from a sceptic’s viewpoint: I started noticing the kindness more because I had gone from wearing shit-coloured glasses to rose-coloured glasses. I present this view as it is also a valid view and maybe equally valid.)
I was reading a blog by Marc McYoung some time ago, and he mentioned phenomena all bouncers know—if there are 2 angry assholes in a bar who want to pick a fight, they will be drawn magnetically to each other. One of the jobs of a good bouncer is to identify and deal with such assholes as soon as possible.
I’m sure there are psychological explanations for this, but we can also say the asshole was “attracting” more assholes in the wider world. If we practice compassion, we will start “attracting” more compassionate people into our life.
But it doesn’t mean everyone we meet will be an enlightened Buddha and we will never face any problems. This magical thinking is where the egoic childishness of the “Manifesting” world comes in.
A Spiritual Criticism of the Law of Attraction
The LoA, as practised, can rightly be called the childish and arrogant Ego Attraction Law: Where the Ego tries to control the universe to suit itself.
Here, by ego, I mean in the Eastern sense: Our attachment to our thoughts and our illusionary or fake self.
This fake self is terrified of dying and rightly so. It has no real existence and dies with the body. Which is why it clings so strongly to its thoughts and will fight and die for its mental ideas. This is not hyperbole: Look at all the modern terrorist movements, neo-Nazis, Stalinists, all people who are willing to murder others because of their mental idea of how the world should be.
It is this ego, this terrified child full of self-hate and self-loathing, that loves the LoA. Because it thinks it will let it control its fate.
It is the ego that wants Lamborghinis, a 7 figure salary at age 20, and a supermodel wife. And just look at the level of self-delusion: 20 (or even 30) year old kids with no real skills expect to earn a million dollars and drive sports cars. Average looking men hope to attract supermodel like women through their “manifestation”. People working in minimum wage jobs hope to become 8 figure business owners in 3 years or less.
Just write yourself a cheque for a million dollars and the universe will provide!
There are 2 ways the ego’s attempt to manifest can fail:
- You don’t get what you want and become depressed and lose hope. You stop giving a shit, even in areas you could have succeeded, and fail by default.
- You succeed. And then your life goes to hell
You might think how (2) can be a failure—after all, you got what you wanted, right?
The problem is, the ego doesn’t know what it wants. A Course in Miracles says the Ego’s rule is: Seek but do not find
Because the ego knows if you keep running after things, you can always push happiness into the future. Then I will be happy when X trap, where X can be: When I become a millionaire, marry Gal Godot, win the Nobel Peace Prize and marry Gal Gadot etc.
And the ego is powerful. The mind is powerful. If we focus our attention on something, we might get it.
But the ego is never happy. And it will always create more suffering with everything it creates. Want proof?
- No millionaire is happy. They want to be billionaires. You might have known of millionaires who died of a heart attack at age 40-50 from overworking. And you might have said, dude, why didn’t you relax? I mean you didn’t have to quit your job, just work fewer hours?
- Men married to super famous and sexy women cheat on them All. The Time. I won’t even give examples as there are so many. One actor in the 1990s was married to a woman who was in the Top 10 Sexiest Women list in many magazines. Yet he cheated on her with an average looking prostitute.
And that’s why I said: One of the biggest failures the ego can have with the LoA is: It gets what it wants and is still fucking miserable. And then the ego asks, why? Why am I not happy? Why am I sitting in my private jet sipping $10,000 champagne and still crying?
Thoughts On suffering and The “Secret”
I’ve already mentioned how many LoA are horrible bastards. Anytime they see anyone suffering their first fucking response is: “Why did you manifest this?”
These assholes look down on religious types, but they are the New-Age equivalent of the holier-than-thou religious nuts.
Oh look at me, I’m so pure. I don’t manifest any bad karma.
And this is where the SJW criticism comes in handy: Most of these assholes are also born in first-world countries to well-off parents and never had to struggle in their life. As a Youtuber (whose channel name I forgot!) said:
Why is it that attractive white women are the only ones who are manifesting shit? Most of them have rich daddies or rich husbands.
I will still answer their criticism: If we accept LoA is true, why do horrible things happen?
The answer is: The LoA is not an absolute Law. It is just one spiritual law.
We have Karma from previous lives (but be careful, as Karma is also abused a lot, read my post about it here) that may be affecting us. Then there is Karma for your family, tribe, and country and Karma for the whole world.
Our Higher Self may have chosen suffering for us, because Sad but true: Suffering is how we grow (LINK)
When people suffer, there might be multiple reasons for it. Blaming them for their suffering is something only a horrible person (or a “manifestation” “expert”) would do.
Don’t manifest from ego
Coming back to the ego: It thinks it knows what it wants, but is often wrong. And so the ego’s attempt to manifest often backfires.
While we should have desires and try to lead materially and spiritually fulfilling lives (I am not a life denying ascetic, I follow the Path of the Goddess, and the Goddess encourages us to prosper in the material world LINK), we cannot truly know what will make us happy.
So even if you want to try manifesting, you should try it with the help of your higher self. You need to trust the universe and trust it will provide for you.
Personally, I found that if you practice the inner work (or shadow work) , your life improves as a side effect. Because you get rid of the negative thought patterns that are stopping the Light of the Universe from flowing into you and healing you. The money/health/romance is a side effect of the healing and not the goal.
But most LoA have an idiotic fear of any negative thought. That’s because they are spiritual bypassers. They bury their head in the sad and pretend their negative thoughts don’t exist because OMG WE don’t want to attract negativity.
But the self-loathing thoughts are still there in the subconscious, and the subconscious starts manifesting bad situations, more powerfully than your thinking mind ever could. But this causes them to become more fearful and attract more bad luck etc etc.
Teal Swan said: If you break a bone, you can visualise happy health and love all you want, but all it will do is cause the wound to fester and become even more septic. The best thing you can do is go to a doctor and heal the issue. Then you can practice positivity.
It’s the same with thoughts. Until you do the deep shadow work to get rid of the dark side of yourself, manifesting is a waste of time.
The problem with most manifestation teachings is they assume only the conscious mind will be doing the manifesting. We have a cesspool of negative thoughts in our heads, how do you know they aren’t the ones manifesting in your life?
If we were 100% in control of our thoughts, we would all be driving Lamborghinis and be married to Gal Gadot.
So Fuck the Law of Attraction: It is the law of the spoilt, childlike ego trying to control the universe. This is why the practitioners are so shamey and blamey: Because they are spoilt children who think the universe revolves around them (something most LoA books teach).
Grow the fuck up and stop believing the universe revolves around you.
Happiness comes as a SIDE EFFECT of living your True life, a life of honesty and integrity.
Read more posts on Killing the Sacred Cows of the Spiritual World