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Most people are familiar with the term “law of attraction,” but what does it actually mean? It is basically a belief that our universe is designed to respond reflectively to people’s thoughts. In other words, when someone thinks positively, good things will happen. The reverse is also true; people who constantly think in negative ways will attract poor outcomes.
This theory is nothing new and can be traced back to ancient history. There are many today who still adhere to the law of attraction and hold strongly to their beliefs.
Going Back In Time
Proof of a belief in the Law of Attraction can be found in early Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist writings. For example, some interpret Jesus’ teachings as describing our “limitless power to create.” Buddha also said, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” These thinkers perhaps believed that human thoughts could shape reality. The Law of Attraction’s true formative period started in the early 19th century, as the concept took shape, and became more widespread. It became to be known as the New Thought Movement.
Founders Of The Movement
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby was one of the New Thought Movement’s founding members. An inventor, his work involved creating cures for medical ailments. He began to understand that excitement sometimes dulled pain, and made the connection that the mind’s thought processes affected the body. He opened an office to pursue mental-aided healing in 1859 and is recognized as being one of the first to study psychosomatic illness.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a 19th-century spiritual leader from Russia, who was thought to be a spirit medium and guru. She felt that all religions developed from an ancient, universal faith. In her book The Secret Doctrine, she wrote about a principle similar to the Law of Attraction, in which self-perceptions shape realities and human identities. Other popular proponents of the New Thought Movement include Wallace Delois Wattles, Prentice Mulford, and William Clement Stone.
Believers And Non-Believers
Countless volumes have been written about the Law of Attraction, but there is no real scientific proof that it exists. That being said, many have benefited from living their lives according to its possibilities, including believers like Oprah Winfrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Will Smith.
These people – and others - decide how they want their lives to be, and make specific choices to realize these goals. The way to do this is to eliminate negative thought patterns, which attract negative events. Similarly, positivity breeds positivity. This does not mean that thinking about meeting Prince Charming the next day will make it happen, but having a good outlook and being pleasant to others can increase the possibility of meeting a partner.
As for the other point of view, Neil Farber M.D, Ph.D., CLC, CPT wrote in Psychology Today that the Law of Attraction simply does not exist. He looked at it from a scientific standpoint and argues that the success stories that people share are anecdotal and random. Farber also stated that positive thoughts and action can indeed lead to bad results, and vice versa. Like all theories though, The Law of Attraction works for some people who choose to follow its path.
About the Author
Ellen Kershner is a South Jersey-based writer who contributes to WorldAtlas.com, 55places.com, Natural Awakenings Magazine, Spryte Communications, Advanta Advertising, and Premier Legal Marketing. Her work has also been published by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ed Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine, and the Burlington County NJ Trend newspaper group.
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