The law of attraction is a powerful force in manifestation and
life-shaping. But what exactly is it? What is the law of attraction? We
could sum it up by saying that “like attracts like,” but we know from
experience that “opposites attract” as well. If I hold a particular
thought or image in my mind, will it actually attract the physical
manifestation of that thought or image to me? Maybe. Certainly we have
experiences in which this is so. But we also have experiences where this
does not work. And if we think about it, this is a good thing, for we may
well not want to attract everything that passes through our thoughts and
A friend of
mine once said that worrying was praying for what you didn’t want. If the law of
attraction is as powerful as it is sometimes made out to be, then indeed I
should worry about my worry thoughts, for they will likely bring to me what I’m
worrying about! But a little reflection shows that this doesn’t happen. In
fact, I know several people who are classic worriers, but they never actually
manifest or experience the things about which they are concerned or which give
them fear. On the other hand, there are those whose worries really do come to
pass, just as the law of attraction would suggest.
This same thing
happens in a more positive vein. Sometimes, we do attract exactly what we have
been imagining, visualizing, or thinking about (and when that happens, we may
discover it wasn’t what we really wanted!). But other times, all the positive
visualizing, imagining, thinking and feeling doesn’t have any effect at all.
cannot be a law if it works sometimes and doesn’t work at other times.
We could say
that the reason for this mixed record of success and failure is that we are not
using the law rightly or adequately. If I fail to attract something, the fault
must like with me, not with the law of attraction. This may be true; it’s
certainly worth examining. But ultimately this becomes a disempowering
approach. We can waste energy blaming ourselves or blaming life for what
happens and never come to a clearer, deeper understanding of why or how to make
I think of the
“law” of attraction as part of a broader principle which might be called the
“law” of coherency. This law may be stated in this way: life tends towards
coherency. It configures to what is.
So, I may wish
to attract something, but it is not coherent with other aspects of my life or
with my life as a whole.
In the case of
my friend who was a worrier, he worried with his mind but he was very loving
with his heart. He lived a generous, compassionate, loving life, always
gracious to others, always supportive and giving. What he manifested in his
life—what he attracted, if you will—was coherent with that larger dimension of
generosity and love rather than with his worrisome thoughts.
the “law” of attraction doesn’t always work—or works in a way we don’t
understand—is that we often have too constricted a view of ourselves. Using the
law of attraction, we picture ourselves as little magnets drawing stuff to us.
But we are more complex beings than that. We are deeply woven through
relationships and interconnections and interdependencies in a fabric of life.
The pattern of my relationships is as much a “body” for me as my physical form
is; it certainly is an energetic field through which I engage with the world.
How I craft my relationships, both with those close to me and casually with
people I meet, through my behavior, my energy, and my thoughts and feelings
affect the “shape” I present to life. My mental energy may seek to attract a
certain result, but usually it is my overall energetic “shape” that will
determine how life configures to me and what will manifest.
“law” of attraction can be seen from too personal a perspective, that is, in
terms of what we attract. But there is a corollary to this principle, which
could be called the “law of the attracted.” This arises because we are not
always the ones doing the attracting. Sometimes we are or are part of what is
For example, I
was in a bookstore once and had a strong impulse to buy a particular book, not
at all an unusual occurrence for me! But in this instance, I already owned the
book. Why would I want to get a second copy? But I obeyed my intuition, bought
the book and put it in my car. I then went off to a group gathering I was
scheduled to attend. There I met a woman who told me she’d been trying to
manifest a book but just couldn’t find it. As it turned out, it was the very
book I had just purchased for the second time. I had been an instrument in her
manifestation, but had I not heeded my intuition, I could have broken the chain
of her attraction. In effect, I was attracted into that chain, becoming a link
in her successful manifestation.
If we think
about it, we are all links in many chains of manifestation and attraction. That
is what life is about. If I focus only on my own needs and wants, I can diminish
my participation in this great community of life. If I am concerned only with
attracting, I end up presenting a very small shape around which life can
The law of
attraction taken by itself can become a very transactional, very linear
relationship with life. It lacks the participatory breadth and depth of a more
holistic view, one that thinks in terms of coherency and wholeness more than
attraction and getting. It is true, we attract what we are, but what we are is
more than just the power of attraction.
David Spangler is
Executive Director of the Lorian Association and author of Blessing,
Everyday Miracles, A Pilgrim in Aquarius, and The Call. (www.lorian.org)