An attempt to settle the long-standing debate

“This is ridiculous. So you’re saying, if I wish hard enough for a parking spot, I’ll get it?” asked my friend with a perplexed look on his face — the kind of look you make when there’s too much (or too little) salt in your food. And then ensued an argument over a petty subject that I was the least interested in.

Let me rewind a little and explain.

Three of us were standing at a roadside book shop as our eyes cruised all over. Let’s call my two friends Jack and James (for I’m too lazy to think of something else).

Jack fixed his eyes on a book kept separate on a stand as if indicating its superiority over others. The cover had a mysterious vibe to it that was enough for a curious reader to pick it up. Written all over the cover, in red letters was “The Secret.”

He turned towards me and said, “You read quite some philosophy, right? You must’ve read this one?” After all, it was one of those books everyone read. You could see a copy in at least one person’s hands on the subway every day.

“No,” I replied, “but I’ve seen the documentary on Netflix.”

“So what’s it about?”

“Well, in simple words, it says that if you desire a thing strong enough, you will attract it towards you. From small things like a parking spot to big things like money, and success. Your thoughts determine your reality.”

That’s when James called “BS!” and said that it’s the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. We bought a book or two and sat on a bench discussing business ideas, our favorite pastime. James however couldn’t leave the idea of the Law of Attraction (LoA) without deliberation.

We talked at length about what “attracting” things means and how we can apply them in our lives. As I expected, no fruitful conclusion came from the exposition. In the end, we called it a day by saying “Who cares?” and went back to brainstorming business ideas as we took the ride back home.

To be frank, I’ve never subscribed to the LoA mentality. Yes, I believe hard work combined with a deep desire leads to success. (Hey, I’ve read Think and Grow Rich too!)

But the LoA focused much more on having a deep desire over anything else. There wasn’t an emphasis on the work you’d need to do to achieve a goal. It was always:

  • “Stick a dollar bill on your roof and you’ll start earning more money as you look at the bill before you sleep,” or

  • “Put a poster of the kind of car you want to buy and you’ll get it one day.”

At an intellectual level, I understood the principles at play here. The law focused on training the subconscious mind which is often a huge roadblock to our success.

Yet, something didn’t click. And until it clicked, I decided to place it in a bucket called “Woo-Woo” and forget about it.

Finding Solace in Yogic Science

A few years later, when I dove deep into yogic teachings, I found a perfect explanation to understand the LoA. Allow me to digress to explain it to you.

Paramahansa Yogananda, a liberated master, explained how the creation is structured. There are three worlds — causal, astral, and physical.

God, out of His pure Consciousness, first created a very subtle causal universe, made of thoughts and ideas. “The causal world is indescribably subtle,” it says in the Autobiography of a Yogi. From those thoughts, He created the astral universe, which is less subtle, made of energy and light.

Out of that energy emerged the physical universe which we know is made of solid matter. This is not only how Creation came into existence but it’s also how (as we saw above) everything comes into existence.

Thought → Energy → Matter

Everything in life starts with a thought. If the thought is wrong, the energy will be wrong. And if the energy will be wrong, you will not manifest what you desire.

Why? Because your **energy determines your magnetism. **Everyone has a certain amount of magnetism. This is why some people emanate power, dominance, confidence, love, and kindness through their mere presence.

Even animals show the effect of this magnetism. Dogs get violent in the presence of some people and not of others. They too can sense hatred, fear, love, kindness, or evil in a person. To take a more human example, notice how your happy mood changes to gloomy in the presence of a negative person.

When electricity runs through a wire, it makes a magnetic field around it. Similarly, in humans, the energy flows through the spine and creates a magnetic field or aura.

Now if you want to buy a car and are trying your best to get it, the energy flows in your spine in a particular manner and creates a certain magnetism. That magnetism doesn’t literally attract the car, but it starts to act in a subtle manner.

The energy you put out with your thoughts and actions of buying a car may make certain events take place so you can get it. For example, the price may decline, or someone who was in the line before you decides to drop it.

Thus, what many people think of as a mysterious process is actually scientific. To sum up, if you direct your thoughts, energy, and actions towards something, you emit a certain magnetism that “attracts” things towards you.

And that, dear reader, rests the debate of LoA for me.

Why People Will Still Have Trouble Accepting This

There was a time I thought the material world to be the only reality. This is precisely why I had a hard time accepting philosophies like the LoA.

The law, like many other spiritual laws, deals primarily with energy. If your energy is right, you will get what you want (assuming you do the work required). But if your energy is wrong, you’ll get nowhere, no matter how hard you work.

In the past few centuries, mankind has begun to transcend the material world and enter into an age of energy. In yogic science, we call this age the Dwapara Yuga which started around 1700. The discovery of electricity, the law of gravity, the radio, TV, airplanes, and many other inventions were possible only because man learned to tune into energy.

Similarly, the LoA, or the principle of magnetism deals with the energetic aspect of life. Unless you’re aware of energy at some level, the LoA will only remain an intellectual concept, as it did for me for a long time.

Being a student of yoga, “matter is condensed energy” is common knowledge for me. Being trained in techniques of Pranayama (control of life-force or energy), I understand and am aware of my energetic nature. (And it doesn’t take enlightenment to know that).

Are there other ways of being in tune with energy apart from yoga? Sure. Do I know what those are and how they work? No, unfortunately.

What I will say is to test the law for yourself. Learn to control your thoughts and direct your energy in the right direction. Then see for yourself if you achieve what you aimed for. You’ll see there’s a massive acceleration in your progress.

But until you do at least one of the above, it will remain a mystery to you, as it is for a lot of folks.

Final Thought

You can learn and apply these subtle laws to live a happier life and accomplish your goals. LoA makes sense.

The prevalent confusion about it is a marketing problem more than anything. You’re just not given the right explanation. I hope I’ve done that for you in a succinct and scientific manner.

Now then, I’ve laid the facts in front of you, it’s your choice to believe or not. Law of attraction: truth or spiritual baloney? You tell me in the comments.

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Written on August 23, 2022