The Real Law of Attraction is NOT “The Secret” and NOT “The Power”

by Mayuri on September 28, 2010

The Decent Of  “Spirituality” Into A Materialistic Egocentric and Self-Centered Doctrine

I noticed in the New Yorker this week that the author of the book, The Secret, has just written a new book, The Power. Oh dear. It’s unfortunate that in the name of true spirituality  ego-centric pseudo-spirituality gets on the New York Times best seller list. I was hoping that the Secret would pass by an disappear into oblivion before it could hurt people even more than it has and that the author, Rhonda Byrne, a purported  “spiritual” teacher would deservedly lose any proponents she might have gained. (I’m really sad Oprah didn’t see through this one and rather, by having the Secret contingent on her show, actually supported the growth of Byrne’s fan base).

In case you need a reminder, in the Secret, Byrne was supposedly revealing a big secret that there is a “law of attraction in the universe”. Anyone on the spiritual journey, or even who has been in therapy, knows about this energetic law. It is no secret. She twisted the meaning into the idea that thoughts have power,  and  thinking about something is the way to get it, so therefore thinking positive thoughts will get you what you want. And mostly what people want is money. So it was just really about getting rich. She even went so far as to say the Law of Attraction is “the greatest power in the universe”. Wow. Even more than “God” or Being or whatever you call the intelligence of the deepest reality. I don’t know any true spiritual teachings that have put selfishness and materialism  at their core. Even gratitude and forgiveness were considered as just strategies to make you more successful at getting what you want.

What is the real “law of attraction”? We attract to us the experiences we need to grow spiritually. Planet earth is a school of consciousness, not a catalog store. But most people believe money and freedom go hand in hand. Your right to be free is at the very core of who you are, but that freedom comes from realizing the depth of your Being, not from accumulating more. In fact it is about letting go: of your conditioning, of your thoughts, your beliefs, your attachments, your petty desires that through our misunderstanding we have taken to be reality. And we know what needs to be addressed because the world mirrors whatever it is to us in our life experience. And then we get to meet it with responsibility and consciousness or not. It is is our free will to not meet ourselves, but until we do we will be run by the patterns in our soul. That is the true meaning of the law of attraction. And when we meet ourselves with consciousness and compassion- our pain, our hurt, our self images- all of the things we take ourselves to be other than the depth of who we are, those limitations begin to thin and we experience ourselves with more and more depth. And when happiness shows up, and it will, we will recognize that happiness is a state of being and not a result of getting what you want. When you are happy, you live in sufficiency, that lends itself to sustainability and simplicity, not lusting after more and more to fill the holes of deficiency and emptiness that live at the bottom of our ego structures. Nothing from outside can fill those holes. When you believe that more money is the answer to your life problems, you are robbing yourself of the greatness of your own spiritual journey. And the amazing thing is that when you do live more in Beingness,  will enjoy the things you gather  and the things you do.

Abundance comes only to those who already have it. It is a universal law. Both abundance and scarcity are inner states that manifest as your reality. Jesus puts it like this” For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even that he has will be taken away.”                                         – Eckart Tolle

Why The Secret was such a travesty in my mind, was that it misled people who have been suffering greatly in the current financial paradigm and made them feel they could change their life experience with just controlling their thoughts, but it actually  would lead them to even more suffering when that didn’t work. On top of their money deficiency, there would be even more inner critic attacks and self-loathing for not getting the positive thoughts “right”.There is no shortcut. Each of us need to do our spiritual work. And the freedom that brings will allow us to experience prosperity no matter what the amount of money flowing through our lives.

It is true that money and freedom are intimately tied, but not in the way proposed by Byrne. Rather, since money is at the intersection of everything we do in the world, our relationship to money can be food for our spiritual journey. When we begin to see the issues that arise reveal  what we need to become conscious of.

In the book review in the Sept. 13 New Yorker by Kelefa Sanneh, she quotes an Oscar Wilde quoted in Byrne’s book, The Power: ” I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them”.  She must have understood that positive thoughts weren’t getting her readers rich, and saw that emotions were in the way. So she’s added control to the mix. She seems to be saying “Let’s dominate  reality so we can create our own ( ego-centric, materialistic) reality.” So again, she is suggesting  a strategy on the surface of life that will keep egos busy, but will totally bypass the opportunity for true spiritual growth and freedom. That’s sad during this time when people  need a genuine spiritual support.

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