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The Law of Attraction states that our lives are a result of the things we think about. But how much control do we really have over our lives? If we are all in complete control of our lives, then the Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz concentration camp was also in complete control of his life, right? So is the Law of Attraction saying that his suffering was his own fault? How does the Law of Attraction explain tragic events such as The Holocaust? Let’s start by asking two of the leading experts on the Law of Attraction-
The Secret’s Answer- It’s All Their Fault
Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret) explains tragedy and human suffering as “thought frequency being on the same frequency as the event”:
Often [people] recall events in history where masses of lives were lost, and they find it incomprehensible that so many people could have attracted themselves to the event. By the law of attraction, they had to be on the same frequency as the event. It doesn’t necessarily mean they thought of that exact event, but the frequency of their thoughts matched the frequency of the event. If people believe they can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they have no control over outside circumstances, those thoughts of fear, separation, and powerlessness, if persistent, can attract them to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to Byrne’s view of the Law of Attraction, people facing tragedy, on some level, willed their own suffering.
Steve Pavlina’s Answer- It’s All Your Fault
Steve Pavlina explains that subjective reality answers our question about tragedy/suffering and the Law of Attraction. Subjective reality is the belief that 1) there is only one consciousness, 2) you are that consciousness, and 3) everything and everyone in your reality is a projection of your thoughts.
According to Pavlina’s view of the Law of Attraction, people are facing tragedy, on some level, because you willed their suffering. The more you think about tragedy, the more you’ll see it expand in your subjective reality.
Could the Experts be Wrong?
Neither answer seems correct- both are still basically saying “If a tsunami kills thousands of victims, it’s either your fault or the fault of the victims.” Both answers perpetuate a blame-the-victim or blame-yourself mentality, and make people feel responsible for events outside of their control. Let’s take a closer look at the case for and against the idea that we each have complete control over our lives.
The Case Against Complete Control: Shit Happens
In the words of J.H. Holmes, “The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent.” Natural and man-made disasters happen all the time. Fires. Tornadoes. Floods. Diseases. Murders. Wars. These are tragedies of which we often have little control over. While it is important to do as much as we can to prevent these tragedies from occurring, we shouldn’t expect that our efforts to change external conditions will immediately improve our lives.
Footage from the December 26, 2004 Sumatran Tsunami:
The Case For Complete Control: Our Thoughts Do Impact Our Health, Lifespan, and Success
Research has shown us that positive thinking works. Dr. Martin Seligman, the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, and author of Learned Optimism, has studied optimists and pessimists for 25 years. His research has found that positive-thinking optimists:
- Get better results than pessimists in most areas of life
- Live longer
- Are healthier
- Do better at work and in school
- Have fewer depressions
- Have more friends and better social lives
By contrast, negative-thinking pessimists:
- Thinking style leaves vulnerable to depression
- Produces inertia rather than activity in the face of setbacks
- Feels bad subjectively–blue, down worried, anxious
- Self-fulfilling; pessimists don’t persist in the face of challenges and thus fail more frequently (even when success is attainable)
- Is associated with poor physical health
- Even when pessimists turn out to be right, they still feel worse than the deluded optimists
Compromise: We Don’t Have Complete Control Over Outside Events, but We Do Have Control of Our Inner Experience of Those Events
After looking at the evidence for and against complete control of our lives, a compromise is what provides us with the right answer. You don’t have complete control over outside events, but you do have control of how you experience those events. For example, you cannot choose whether or not you get in a car accident. But if you get in a car accident, and are injured, you can choose how to respond to that injury.
Victor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, explains:
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you respond to a situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
So you can’t choose for a negative or positive situation to happen to you- but you can choose how to respond to the situations which you are given in life.
Changing Our Mindset about The Law of Attraction
The current Law of Attraction mindset promotes a blame-the-victim mentality, and makes people mistakenly believe they are responsibility for events that are out of their control. If we are to continue to experiment with and tell others about The Law of Attraction, we first need re-define it:
The Old Law of Attraction: Our lives are a result of the things we think about.
The New Law of Attraction: Our responses to life are a result of the things we think about.
Sure, the idea of having complete control of our lives gives us a sense of security, as we are led to believe that we are able to exert control over the great forces of the universe. But is that sense of security not a false one?
Help Popularize The New Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction helps us visualize our responses to life. It helps enable positive thinking and personal growth. But the current popular thinking about it is wrong. If you are in agreement that it is time to change our mindset about The Law of Attraction, and would like to tell others, please use the Share This button below. If you have a blog, please share this post with your readers.
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