By Suma Varughese
The law of attraction is enabling millions across the world to determine their destiny
The fundamental truth about the life we lead can be summed up in four words: We create our reality. Today, the same truth has been redefined in three words: Law of Attraction.
Whether in its age-old or brand-new avatar, accessing and understanding this truth paves the way to a momentous paradigm shift. From a life of victimhood we move towards victorhood. From being mystified by the shifting and illogical nature of life, we see the pattern of life perfectly and appreciate its sublime design. From chafing at the random injustice of the world, we discover the method behind the madness that bestows some with happiness, health, joy and all the appendages of the good life, and others with paltry crumbs. We begin to understand life, and what is more, we begin to learn to shift the levers that govern our own peace, happiness, success and health. We discover that our life is in our hands and that in the ultimate analysis we are responsible for the way our lives turn out, not our parents, not the school we went to, not the person we married, not the boss we report to and so on. Even though it bestows a weighty responsibility on each of us, it gives us the incomparable privilege of crafting our own destiny.
The power of thought
Simply put, we create our lives by the thoughts we think. Thoughts, invisible, unobtrusive, almost ephemeral as we have long thought them to be, are actually the most powerful determinants of our lives. And we once believed that what we thought did not matter as long as no one knew about it, didn’t we? Well we are wrong. Very wrong. Dominant thought patterns in our head actually manifest in our lives. Which means that if you are a happy, well-adjusted person who takes life as it comes and seldom worries about the future, your life is almost guaranteed to be sunny side up. No matter how implausible it may be, things work out in your favour. A friend shares that when she was redoing her house on a limited budget, she sent out an intention to the universe that she should be able to buy all the furniture she needed for Rs 10,000. Sure enough a friend told her about a relative who was planning to close the house and go abroad and was disposing of furniture cheap. She took a look and she was able to buy some diwans, a dining table and chairs, a bed, and a couple of writing tables for less than Rs 10,000.
If however, your dominant tendency is to fear life and to expect the worst, that destiny too will also show up in your life. I know several people who are firmly convinced that people are not to be trusted. Like all self-realising prophecies, this comes to pass and only untrustworthy people show up in their lives. Indeed, the danger is that even normally trustworthy people may be tempted to deceive if they sense that the other does not trust them. Often the tenor of our day is determined by the thoughts we think. When is the last time you woke up and found that you had run out of toothepaste, then proceeded to have a quarrel with your spouse at the breakfast table? “What a horrible day I am having,” you think to yourself and to be sure the Universe delivers on that thought. The traffic jam to work is endless, you are late for a meeting with your boss, which earns you a putdown, get dumped with a project that will keep you working late for the next six months, and discover that you forgot your lovely lunch of aloo paratha and raitha on your dining table. Or you have a sore throat and worry, “Oh, God, I am going to be ill.” Sure enough, the Universe delivers on that as well.
An eternal truth
The great ones had discerned this truth centuries back and a substantial part of their teachings revolved around enabling us to realise it. Here is what the Brihadranyak Upanishad said as long as 5000 years ago: ‘You are what your deep driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will, so your deed. As your deed is, so your destiny”.
And in clear and concise terminology that could well have come from a modern text, the Buddha says in the very first verse of the Dhammapada.
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.”
Every prophet and thinker has stumbled upon the same truths on their way to enlightenment. Jesus Christ, for instance, said rather cryptically, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Over the centuries thousands of thinkers and sages have offered this truth to the world and anyone who has achieved any measurable success, happiness or productivity has consciously or unconsciously abided by it. Napolean Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich created a minor revolution in the US and Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, which has sold over five million copies, is one of the best-known in the positive thinking literature. Incidentally, Dr Peale is responsible for that classic line: “If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.”
The New Age is virtually founded on the promise of this truth which many writers have popularised of late. We have Joseph Murphy, whose book, The Power of the Subconscious Mind, awakened many to their amazing potential. Other classics include the Silva Method of Mind Control, Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualisation and Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, all of which have enjoyed remarkable success.
However, hitherto, these books and the law itself spoke mainly to those on the path. People whose interest in holistic thinking drew them to these books, though of course many probably found their way into the path through reading these books.
But if there is one person who can be said to have brought this thinking mainstream and exposed it to everyman, it has to be Rhonda Byrne whose book and DVD, The Secret, became phenomenally successful the world over. The popularity of the book brought her an audience with almost every chat show host in the US including Oprah Winfrey and Larry King, further fuelling the popularity of the concept at the mainstream level. Her audio book and the print book have a combined print run of 16 million copies in 40 languages. Their website also has more than 3000 testimonials to share from. One Priyanka S from Mumbai, a high school student, shares that the DVD turned her life around, and enabled her to get better grades, have better relationships and basically be the envy of all her friends. One Anna from Ontario, also talked about how although she unconsciously practised positive thinking, it was The Secret the enabled her to see the method to the madness, and by practising it diligently, she actually manifested a house she loved. Regular people, not seekers by any chance, are using The Secret to take control of their lives.
One of the key observations in the book is that most of us think of what we don’t want and not what we want. We worry about negative outcomes such as losing a job, a loved one, our health and so on. What we need instead is to focus on what we want: health, happiness, peace, success, and healthy relationships. The three keys to getting what you want according to The Secret are:
• Get clear on what you want. Then ask. Clarity is important. Many of us believe that we want things we don’t actually do or whose consequences we cannot live with. So think before you ask to make sure you can live with the consequences.
• Believe that you will get it. Never doubt that you will get what you ask for
• Step three is to receive. This means to start feeling the way you would if your dream came true.
Useful as these tips are, they constitute an externalised approach that may or may not work because it is far from easy to keep one’s thoughts under control. The great teachers would suggest instead that you purify yourself so that your thoughts are naturally joyous, confident and positive. When that happens you will only manifest a vibrant life where success, love, peace and so on increase exponentially. spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, becoming aware and accepting your thoughts and feelings will help you to gradually eliminate all the garbage of unhealed wounds, unaccepted feelings and behaviours that lock us in negativity. Our true nature which we share with God is unalloyed goodness, peace, joy and compassion. The focus, therefore, must be on realising that because all else will be added to it. So while LOA may seem like a short cut method to getting you what you want, it will only fully work when you are spiritually mature. Already, more and more people are doing the arduous work they need to eliminate the negativity in their lives. Join us, will you not, and maybe the day will come when negativity will be weaned away from this planet, and little children will get to keep lifelong the innocence and purity they bring down to the earth.
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