Proponents of the Law of Attraction (LOA for short) have the gall and the naivety to call it a scientific ‘law’.
What is the difference between a ‘law’ and a ‘theory’? A law describes a natural force or phenomenon but does attempt to explain how that force or phenomenon works. A theory, on the other hand, is an explanation of a natural phenomenon. So, the force of gravity is an observable law, whereas Einstein’s principle of relativity – which attempts to explain a law – is a theory.
The LOA is neither a law or a theory and has zero basis in science. It is an example of pseudo or false science: it is mysticism dressed up the clothes of science – an imposter, a charlatan, a fake – which is precisely what the LOA is. Fake.
But for the sake of critical inquiry, let’s humour those people who believe in the genie in the sky (the Universe) that makes all their wishes come true simply by asking, believing, and receiving – the overly simplistic and utterly inane formula for ‘manifesting’ through the LOA.
The validity and veracity of scientific laws, theories, principles etc are tested through empirical enquiry. Simplistically, if something is subjected to consistent testing, and the same outcome is achieved with zero variation, then it can be regarded as natural law. For example, let’s test the law of gravity by dropping an apple from a height of one metre, two metres, three metres and so on. Regardless of the height from which the apple is dropped (the variable), the outcome is always, invariably, the same: the apple falls to the earth by the force of gravity. Ergo, the force of gravity is a natural law.
So, let’s put the ‘LOA’ to the test…
100 people enter a competition (not the lottery, which is purely random). The competition is to write a book proposal for an esteemed publisher. The winner will win a book deal. The topic of the book is manifestation, so we can reasonably assume that all 100 entrants believe in the LOA. We can also reasonably infer that all entrants desire to win by virtue of the fact that they have entered the competition in the first place.
So, all 100 entrants use the LOA to manifest the outcome they desire: to win the competition. Every single entrant follows the formula of asking the Universe to win, believing they deserve to win, visualising winning, and ‘raising their vibration’ to align with the feeling of winning. Lastly, all entrants are open to receiving. But the magic formula for manifesting, as it is espoused by LOA gurus in ‘The Secret’ (2006), ends right there and omits one vital stage in the process: taking massive action. So, let’s say that each entrant also takes action to achieve their goal – that is, by writing a kick ass book proposal.
All entrants have entered the competition, have the same set of beliefs, follow the same manifesting formula, and have taken action to attain their goal. But here’s the rub. Only one person can win the competition. In this example, the LOA has a 1% success rate, and a 99% fail rate. It’s simple maths. It’s simple quantitative empiricism. It’s simple science which, by the nature of its fundamental principles, refutes the LOA as a ‘science’ precisely because of its high failure rate.
Absolutely nothing – NOTHING – with a 1% success rate would be considered a ‘law’, not only by scientists, but by anybody with an ounce of sanity.
But here’s the most laughable part: the ONE winner of the competition would credit the LOA for their success! They would undoubtedly claim that the LOA ‘works’ because they won, and through sheer ignorance, the other 99 people who did not win would be forgotten, or the typical comeback would be that they didn’t win because they didn’t ‘believe’ enough, or their vibration wasn’t ‘high’ enough. Such excuses are widely used by unscrupulous money-grabbing charlatans such as Esther Hicks to sell their wares. It’s a seemingly watertight argument and marketing genius: my product works, and if it doesn’t work, then it’s because you don’t believe it works. Seems flawless, when in fact it’s a clever marketing ruse whereby the onus is placed on the consumer and not on the fake product.
To reinforce my argument, let’s say that someone has a list of ten things they want to manifest. Let’s say that three of those ten things do, for whatever reason, materialise. LOA proponents would argue that the LOA works because three things have manifested, whilst completely dismissing the fact that seven things did not: they focus on what they want to see and believe, which is a common psychological phenomenon known as ‘confirmation bias’.
Have you ever been in the situation where you decide you want a new car, and then you start noticing the model of car you want on the roads? It suddenly seems like everyone has the car you want because, subconsciously, you are more aware of it. It is a commonplace that the human brain can only focus on up to seven stimuli – including thoughts – at any one time (despite the millions and millions of stimuli that enter our brains every minute). Naturally, we filter our perceptions to focus on what we want to. This is known as confirmation bias – we see what we want to see – and explains the so-called success of the LOA and many other New Age phenomenon such as synchronicity and the spurious phenomenon of ‘angel numbers’. When LOA practitioners spout the idea that we ‘create our own reality’ then, well, d’uh, of course we do, simply by filtering our perceptions and focussing on what we want, either consciously or subconsciously. Once again, a perfectly natural, psychological phenomenon is dressed up in the jargon of a cosmic, woo view of the world and sold to the masses as a self-help tool.
Why do people fall for it? Because they want to: their lives are so lacking in direction and purpose, or they are so full of self-loathing, or they feel so disempowered that such self-help crutches as the LOA provide them with the ‘solution’ to all their problems. The LOA becomes the magical elixir, the panacea, the infallible ‘law’ of the Universe when in fact it reeks of bullshit.
Such notions as ‘we create our own reality’ are semi-empowering, but are fundamentally unsubstantiated, platitudinous drivel. Such notions are so commonplace that they are laughable and yet they are marketed as some sort of cosmic or spiritual truth. Such notions lie at the heart of the LOA and other self-help modalities that give consumers a false sense of empowerment simply to sell their wares. And judging by the success of ‘The Secret’, it bloody well works.
It is disconcerting how gullible people really are.
So, by applying the principles of science we can discredit the LOA as a ‘science’. By dressing up the LOA as a scientific ‘law’, proponents of such bullshit are attempting to give their unfounded, platitudinous drivel some form of credibility. Scientists – and pretty much anyone with an ounce of common sense – have dismissed the LOA as pseudo-science at best: superficially it sounds good, and even plausible; but fundamentally it is an unfounded, an unscientific, and an unscrupulous load of shit.