The Secret of the Law of Attraction – A Brief History.
You have probably been hearing a whole lot about the Secret Law of Attraction in the past few years. Depending on your perspective, this conversation is a whole lot of wonderful. Or, conversely, maybe it’s a whole lot more than you actually want to hear.
Whether you are a firm believer, a curious student, or a skeptical inquirer, you may enjoy a brief exploration of how we got to this place where millions of people around the world are talking and asking about the Law of Attraction and how to use it. Or maybe you just want to beat your multi-level marketing sponsor to death with your vision board. In any case, let’s take a quick look at how the “secret” Law of Attraction has snuck into your consciousness
We begin with the premise that if you are reading this, chances are good that “The Secret” of the Law of Attraction is not much of a secret to you anymore. Or at least, it’s not a secret on the surface level. Perhaps you’re one of many who have been exploring the relationship between your thoughts and your world for many years. Or perhaps you’re newly awakened to the idea that your thoughts become the things of your world. And if you are, this realization may be thanks in large part to a little movie and book called The Secret (2006).
As I am writing this in the summer of 2011, Rhonda Byrne’s Secret is still going strong. Despite strong backlash from many critics who bewailed The Secret’s “dangerous and delusional nuttiness,” the book has been translated into 44 languages with 21 million copies in print. The movie has been equally insanely successful. Rhonda Byrne has published a book sequel called The Power, and a sequel to the movie is scheduled to be released this November.
Byrne’s Secret was the first introduction, for many viewers and readers, to “the Law of Attraction.” It was also their first introduction (at least in the original version of the movie) to the most popular Law of Attraction team teaching today—the vibrational stylings of Abraham Hicks. Abraham, a non-physical collective entity of consciousness (or a group of folks who remind us of things we have forgotten) is channeled by a woman named Esther Hicks and supported and managed by her husband Jerry Hicks. To sum up Abraham’s message in brief, we are vibrational beings, and thus we must attend to our vibrations if we desire improvement.
(Sidebar: I used to be the kind of person who kinda wanted to throw up in my mouth when someone talked about “channeling.” I also used to have similar involuntary vomiting feelings around all topics that involved things that can’t be measured—yet—in a lab. But life, also known as Law of Attraction, has a strange way of encouraging some of us to re-examine our beliefs. I’m just letting you know this in case you, too, feel simultaneously drawn to and repelled by such ideas. Don’t worry. I get you. You’re in good hands here.)
So, back to Abraham and Jerry and Esther Hicks. Their work was the original inspiration for Byrne’s film, originally planned as a documentary series in Australia. Their books in the Law of Attraction series have topped the New York Times bestseller lists for the past four years since the movie’s release. And despite their decision to distance themselves from The Secret (contractual marketing disagreements), the Hicks seem to have been mutually beneficial proponents along with Byrne of the cultural phenomena they helped unleash.
To put it in their own words: “It all started here,” claims their website. “The original source material for the current Law of Attraction wave that is sweeping the world, and is the 21st century inspiration for thousands of books, films, essays, and lectures that are responsible for the current paradigm shift in consciousness.”
Let me be the first to say that we love Abraham and we love the Hicks for making them possible—these thoughts and techniques have been so effective for me and those I love that I don’t personally care if Esther Hicks is channeling Howdy Doody. But I think it’s also fair to say—from my limited human sack of chemicals perspective—that the website statement is mostly true.
The Abraham Hicks work is the origin point for much of our current worldwide obsession with Law of Attraction. But “It all started here” only makes sense if Abraham was also the inspiration for the New Thought movement of the early 20th century. And also for much of what Jesus had to say. And also for the mystical teachings of some of the ancient Gnostics, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
On the other hand, for all I know, all these folks are part of a big collective that’s been helping move the human game forward for millennia—one big ocean of consciousness with different tidal waves occasionally crashing on the beach for all to enjoy, or to enjoy hating.
But to take it back to a more traditional limited human time frame, we should note that the last time Thoughts Become Things was breaking news (and the first time the phrase “Law of Attraction” was used) was back in the first half of the last century.
One of my personal favorite New Thought thinkers and writers is Thomas Troward, who put a lot of study into this whole matter of cause and effect. He claims that thought must always precede physical form, and that “the action of Mind plants this nucleus which, if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form.”
Remember Troward’s statement, because on this website we’re going to go pretty thoroughly into “all the conditions necessary”—it’s extremely important for LOA beginners to remember that these conditions don’t usually start out looking real pretty.
As far as I know, the first mention of the phrase “Law of Attraction” comes from a 1906 New Thought book by William Walker Atkinson, aptly titled Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World. We’ve also got to give some credit to The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. This is the book that Rhonda Byrne credits as her first introduction to the idea that maybe she had a lot more to do with creating her current reality than previously mentioned. And Jerry Hicks has often remarked that for years he poured over the “hidden mystery” of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (1937), only to find that in most editions of the book the word “vibration” had been edited out and so readers were missing an essential key.
A complete history of the secret the Law of Attraction requires a book rather than an article or a homepage, but we hope you’re getting some ideas for further reading and study. And that next time someone starts babbling to you about Law of Attraction, you’ll be able to stun him or her with a biting display of your metaphysical erudition. Cause that’s the whole point of spiritual solutions, right?
But seriously folks. On this site we will be focusing on THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT SECRET TO MASTERY OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION. Are you ready for this? Here’s the secret. The secret is (drumroll). . . practice! That’s the secret secret behind the Secret of the Law of Attraction. Secretly!
I know. You got into this whole thing so you could have stuff instantly. You didn’t join up with this crazyass philosophy so you could practice having stuff. And I’m certainly not going to discourage you from your intention to have stuff right away. I’m just saying, as you begin practicing wealth, you might not want to plan on winning Powerball the first week as the only way to pay your rent. Instantaneous Everything Good comes with Mastery. And mastery comes with practice. And, good news, in the case of mastering LOA, the more playful the practice, the better.
For all you Instant Having Fans, however, I want to throw a quick bone your way.
- Make a commitment to have what you want in your wildest dreams today—spend a good ten minutes rolling around in the feeling of your Pure Pleasure Place in your imagination. You may want to write it down, or you may want to run around the house singing Lady Gaga in your underwear. Everyone has a slightly different flavor, so find a way to luxuriate in yours. Don’t tell me you can’t do this. You could do it as a kid, and you still can. You’ve just gotten out of the habit of practicing. Hard to visualize at first? Practice.
- Find something you CAN actually do, here, today, in present reality, that you can feel really really good about enjoying, trying, or accomplishing. It could be something you’ve been putting off because you’re scared, or something you’ve never considered before. It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that you feel the unmitigated pleasure of choosing for the sake of respecting the deep desires of your heart. Don’t settle for just any old thing in your choice. Make sure it’s special, for you.