Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Sunday, March 25, 2007

It's No Secret

The popularity of Rhonda Byrne’s DVD and book “The Secret” is not surprising – when Oprah and Larry King get behind something, it moves. What is surprising is how this introduction to the “Law of Attraction” resonates. Many people seem to “get it.” Many, of course, won’t-don’t-can’t. Among the latter are those who perceive the “law” as wishful thinking, magical concepts, something not far from fairyland. It is not.

The essence of “The Secret” is self-evident. How often have you felt slighted, mistreated, insulted, etc. by someone and lost sleep over it? During that fitful night the insult/offense was replayed over and over in your mind. When you woke (or the alarm said get out of bed) did you feel as angry as you were when you went to bed? Or, I suspect, did you get out of bed even angrier? Hint: During the night the offender did not add additional insult/injury. Thinking about the offense and your hurt/angry feelings increased the feeling of anger/hurt. I can’t find a better illustration of the power of personal thinking on immediate experience.

Being a universal law, the Law of Attraction is neutral. That’s the good news. Good and desired feelings/experiences can be attracted into your experience just as those other ones. That is the essence of “The Secret” – giving more thought to what is desirable. However, if your thinking is emphasizing what you fear and do not want, well, the law sees this as a request for more of the same. And it comes.

Like attracts like. Period. Mega-churches attract congregations who wish to experience what they offer. So do Crips, Bloods, suicide bombers and hateful people. And there are always those aggravating people who always seem to have everything fall into place for them. All are utilizing the Law of Attraction whether they are aware or not. The good news is that with more awareness of this universal action, the more deliberate creating a person can make. The flip side is that what is held in mind is still attracted/produced. I call it the “thought behind the thought.”

Let’s take Fred, who decides to practice this “new” way of thinking. He envisions a new car. With steady work, he finds himself in a position to lease the sexy new vehicle. It works! Thank you, Oprah, Larry, and Rhonda.

Now, Fred can drive around town and show off to his ex, impress his co-workers, and prove to that bully in sixth grade that he can make it.

Question: What powerful thinking lurked behind his conscious desire for a new car?

Answer: Got to show the ex (oh, so she’s still a big factor in his life?) Impress the office (so they’ll know I’m a cool, successful guy.) Finally get back at that S.O.B. who made sixth grade a living hell.

What will Law of Attraction do?

1. You want a new car? Okay, let’s work out how it can come to you.

2. You’re still fighting with the ex? Okay, let’s continue that struggle.

3. You’re wanting to battle your co-workers? Okay, let’s find the battlefield.

4. You want to impress the bully? Okay, he’s wanting more of the same. He’s just bought the house down the street.

Fred gets all of what he was thinking about. Granted, items 2 – 4 were not on his short “I want this” list, but he continued to expect these things. This is the “downside” of what “The Secret” presents that is easily mis-understood. Ask (hold in your mind/thinking) and you shall receive. We’ve heard that lesson before.

At the end of the day (I like that tired cliché) the great Truth taught by Jesus makes more and more sense: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Same Ole Same-old. What you hold in your thinking is what you will experience. Many folks “get it.” More can’t, won’t, and don’t. That doesn’t change the law. It works regardless.

It’s no secret.

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