Law of attraction

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Law of Attraction
This article is about the New Thought principle. For the scientific and historical laws, see Laws of attraction. For the film, see Laws of Attraction.
This article or section contains weasel words, vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. (March 2009)

The phrase Law of Attraction, althoughused widely by New Thought writers, has a variety of definitions. Turn-of-the-century references conceptualized the law of attraction as relating to physical structure and to how matter develops. [1] A more modern consensus among New Thought thinkers is that the Law of Attraction says people's thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) dictate the reality of their lives, whether or not they're awareof it. Essentially "if you really want something and truly believe it's possible, you'll get it", but putting a lot of attention and thought onto something you don't want means you'll probably get that too. [2][3]
Widespread popular interest for the law of attraction reached its peak after the release of the The Secret, a 2006 cinematic release. After the film's release, the book, Law ofAttraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham, by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks [4] made the New York Times Best Sellers list, drawing more attention and interest to this topic. Prior to this, the couple had been in the field since the '80s. In 2007, Oprah Winfrey began a series of interviews during her talk show on the law of attraction. British businessmen like Neil Skelton of AYC Financial claimthey have prospered by using The Law of Attraction.
Since many of the claims of the law of attraction appear impossible without violating established scientific principles and our understanding of the universe, it has received criticism from the scientific community.[5] Physicist Ali Alousi, for instance, criticized it as unmeasurable (and therefore unscientific) as well as questioning thelikelihood that thoughts can affect anything outside the head [2]. The Associated Press is also quoted as saying that "some medical professionals suggest it could even lead to a blame-the-victim mentality and actually be dangerous to those suffering from serious illness or mental disorders".[6]
The Law of Attraction claims to have roots in Quantum Physics.[7] According to proponents ofthis law, thoughts have an energy which attracts whatever it is the person is thinking of.[2] In order to control this energy to one's advantage, proponents state that people must practice four things: [8]
1. Know what you want.
2. Ask the universe for it.
3. Feel, behave and know as if the object of your desire is on its way.
4. Be open to receive it and let go of (the attachment) to theoutcome.
Thinking of what one does not have, they say, manifests itself in not having, while if one abides by these principles, and avoids "negative" thoughts, the universe will manifest a person's desires.[8]
Criticism Sceptical Inquirer magazine criticised the lack of falsifiability and testability of these claims [9]. The evidence provided is usually anecdotal and because of the self-selectingnature of the positive reports, as well as the subjective nature of any results, highly susceptible to confirmation bias and selection bias.[10] References to modern scientific theory are questionable. Brainwaves do have an electrical signal and some[which?] believe that quantum physical principles do not always act in the way that some proponents of the Law of Attraction have described them.[5]Writing in the New York Times, Virgina Heffernan said:
"“The Secret” is not really a book but a series of misquotations from historical figures and fraudulent maxims from no-count hucksters. And yet something in that gooey red waxy seal on the front of “The Secret,” and the book’s believe-in-magic glitter, takes me to a happy place."
The hiterho undiscovered "Secret", is actually a mix of...