Law of attraction exposed - Law of Karma
The law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life. Proponent of this "New Thought" philosophy says that in order to achieve desired goals - be it events, things or even people - one must feel that he/she has already achieved it. Propagation of this philosophy gained significant momentum after the release of the film The Secret (2006), which was then developed into a book of the same title in 2007. The movie and book continues to attraction more and more attention from younger generation. This is mainly because of it's affirmation from renowned celebrities.
Even though the propagation of law of attraction is backed by successful celebrities, scientific community has dubbed it as pseudoscience for it has no scientific basis. In fact, a number of researchers have criticized the misuse of scientific concepts by the proponents of law of attraction. Apart from this there are significant number of writings and videos available on internet discussing about why law of attraction fails. Most of these writings and videos end without any concrete answers but asking to try harder on it.
The law of attraction claims that universal power helps you get what you strongly imagine to have. But it is not the scientific reason why law of attraction sometimes works or sometimes you get something, you strongly believed to have. The scientific reason is law of Karma or Newton's third law. Because intense thinking about getting something will lead to actions and continuous actions will qualify you to get it, for every action leads to consequent reaction (law of Karma).
This can be understood by following example: Let us say you have X dollar in your bank account and you don't remember, exactly how much it is. Now you want Y amount but you are not writing a cheque fearing that it might get bounce. So law of attraction makes you imagine that you already have Y amount in your bank account and inspires you to write cheque. In reality, if Y is smaller than X then you will get the money and you will think that law of attraction worked. But in reality, if Y is bigger than X then you will not get the money and law of attraction will inspire you to work hard, increase money in your account and again write cheque. This time you have increased X so chances of your cheque getting encash has increased. In this way every next time you write a cheque, your chance of getting it encashed is increased and finally it reaches to 100%. The underlying principle here is not your imagination (law of attraction) but your actions (law of Karma). Your imagination has just motivated you to do actions - be it writing a cheque or working and increasing balance in your bank account.
Another example is when you want to loose weight. For this law of attraction tells that you imagine yourself with perfect weight and you will see universe giving you lot of opportunities to actually loose the weight by showing you gym on your way, diet show on your favorite TV channel, etc. But in reality gym and diet show were already there, you just started to notice them in conscious mind, earlier they were sent to your subconscious mind. Here the action which produced consequent reaction was your continuous thinking and not the universe as suggested by law of attraction.
Law of attraction is incomplete because it does not explain that one has to deserve and qualify himself to get what he wants. In fact, law of attraction is dangerous idea because:
1) It may lead people trying to achieve impossible and put them in depression. For example, trying to change what's already happened or said in the past. You can't go back in time and fix it even if you strongly imagine yourself doing it or saying it right for rest of your life. Another dangerous thing that law of attraction has encouraged is today's youth trying to fix the impossible relationships. After studying law of attraction most of the youth apply it in first place, is to build relationship with opposite gender. In reality, they end up wasting their valuable time trying to realize their whimsical likes and not putting their energy in anything substantial. In case, boy or girl builds a relationship after lot of imagination and efforts, he or she is most likely to end it in due course because of completely different attitude, thinking and psychology of opposite person. Experts say that 85% relationships end in bitter, depressing and painful breakups . Law of attraction encourages the idea that nothing is impossible and people love this idea. But in reality certain things are impossible. For example, only one person can top an entrance exam, even if 100 participants are applying law of attraction and imagining themselves topper. It's just not possible. Law of attraction binds a person to something, not allowing him to move ahead when he don't deserve it or it's not good for him.
2) It makes people impatient. It may lead one to simply waste time imagining something and not giving sufficient time to work for it. No overnight success happens over a night. Any successful person will ascertain to this. But follower of law of attraction will spend time visualizing his success everyday. And it puts him into depression or frustration at the end of 21 day or six months, when he don't really get it.
3) It makes a person a plaything in the hands of three evils: Desire, Anger and Greed. Law of attraction inspires a person for more and more desires rather than living a simple and satisfied life. When a person is not able to fulfill his desire, he becomes victim of anger and frustration with life. And when his desire is fulfilled, he'll become victim of greed to achieve even more. Also the sense of success of law of attraction will lead a person to make newer and newer desires, never allowing him to be at ease with life. It makes person forget that one day he has to give up everything he has gathered - be it fame, wealth, relationships or anything.
The law of attraction is incomplete understanding of law of Karma. According to law of Karma, person receives the result of his current activity based on his Karma(actions) from the time he started the activity as well as his Karma before that. Every action of a man adds to the account of his Karma in term of his due enjoyment or suffering. And he encashes the enjoyment and suffering from his Karma account in the form of success-failure, gain-loss or happiness-sadness.
According to law of Karma, there are five factors of success: 1) Place of action, 2) The performer (who carries Karma), 3) The senses (through which performer acts), 4) The endeavor and ultimately 5) Supersoul. It is not difficult to understand that place of action plays important role in success of any activity. The success of an activity is also determined by Karma of the performer who acts through his senses. And the most important factor for success of any activity is Supersoul, the controller of everything. Law of attraction emphasizes only on one of this five factors i.e. endeavor. That is why it's believer might be put in difficulties in various ways as explained above. When one develops understanding of five factors of success according to law of Karma, he will act in balanced way without getting affected by the results of his activities. He will act to free himself from law of Karma. Thus he will be peaceful and satisfied irrespective of success-failure, gain-loss or happiness-sadness.
Vrajesh Tanaya Dasa is an enthusiastic Gita teacher at HKM, Ahmedabad. Before dedicating his life as a full time missionary, he has worked with Google and NRNB - California as a researcher. He has published three research papers in Biotechnology and loves reading thought provoking books, especially his favorite, Bhagavad-gita As It Is.