Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
So there's this idea in the New Age community, which was epitomised by the book and film The Secret, which claims that people create their own reality out of thin air by the thoughts that they think. This is sometimes referred to as manifestation, or the Law of Attraction. The Secret took it to the extreme of suggesting that a person has the power to manifest anything by taking no other action than positive thinking and mentally visualising their desire as if it were already so. For example, manifesting money by repeatedly picturing cash or repeating a mantra of being abundant. Interesting strategy.

The scientific references that New Agers cite revolve around quantum phenomena such as spooky action at a distance (quantum entanglement) and the conscious observer collapsing the wave function in the double-slit experiment. However, this interpretation of quantum physics is not supported by contemporary mainstream science (indeed, there is no concrete interpretation universally agreed-upon thus far) and unflattering terms like 'magical thinking' dismiss the entire notion as a mere psychological illusion similar to confirmation bias.

There are similar phenomena which are supported by the scientific mainstream, however. From a commonsense standpoint, an optimist with a can-do attitude will generally outperform someone who has given up trying, as per explanatory style. The placebo effect also suggests there can be measurable benefits caused by optimistic expectations. Conversely, the long-term thought patterns of depression can lead to all sorts of secondary health and lifestyle woes - not that this is exactly a choice.

The concept of manifestation was first brought to my attention in the '90s, and during its peak of popularity in the 2000s I had friends with a keen interest in the topic. The fatal flaw of many of them was that they were drawn to the excitement of thinking they had found a shortcut to overcome the drudgery of working long hours and developing substantive skills around matters such as financial management. Over time, most of them ended up quite disillusioned.

However, at one point I worked for a man who had quite a mystical, yet reasonably grounded persona. He was highly regarded as a psychic, and he believed in the New Age manifestation concept, with the caveat that practical action and hard work was essential. He also taught about 'going with the flow', which implies that life will generally sort itself out in positive ways if we take opportunities as they arise spontaneously; whether this is complimentary or contrary to the Law of Attraction is unclear.

He had some interesting stories. As a child, he had had a health ailment and it was predicted that he would grow up weak and underweight, yet he instead grew up tall and muscular. He emigrated to Australia with nothing but a suitcase of basic supplies, yet within a few years, he had found himself in an unexpected niche caused by another business suddenly collapsing. Thus began his own business.

After a handful of years of hard work, he was able to fully retire and live out his days in the forest. His spacious, secluded house had a distinctly old-fashioned charm. He had met his life partner back in the '90s (they are gay) and many years later, they attained the impossible dream of having children utilising a surrogate mother, and happened to have twins. The whole place has a distinct 'fairy tale' vibe, as if their lives are functioning under a different set of natural laws to everyone else. There are far too many little blessings and fortunate events in their lives to list here, but for the most part, it was one serendipity after another.

A cynical observer might minimise the metaphysical aspects of these outcomes and attribute his success to a mixture of hard work, luck and shrewd decision-making. The danger is that such an un-spiritual outsider may attempt to observe the situation with a straightjacket approach devoid of mystical thinking, drawing a biased conclusion as a result.

By contrast, the first spiritual book I ever read - Conversations with God - explained that the life that an individual manifests could end up a hellacious vicious circle of negative thoughts and experiences, or a joyous cycle of abundance. This pivots based on the subconscious 'sponsoring thought' that the individual's life is based on. (Obviously, for most regular people, the manifestation is a mishmash of both, but passable overall.) At this fundamental level, there are said to be only two possible states to act from: love or fear.

Anyway, the reason I've been thinking about this topic is I'm now coming up to a year of intensive effort at the gym. With my fragile energy levels, I've had to base my whole life around the desire for weight gain: I've pushed myself to the limit physically and refused to give up. With my insanely fast metabolism, I've had to force-feed myself day and night, including getting up multiple times per night to eat. So imagine my surprise when, despite gaining weight according to the scale, I look almost the same as the day I started! I still feel frail and weak compared to 99% of guys. Frankly, this dastardly outcome is bordering on defying the laws of physics.

It is pushing my buttons because this has been the theme at every level. I have worked crappy jobs for over 2 decades, and admittedly at least have a humble house to show for it, but the general theme is of having a fraction of the abundance of people who have only pushed themselves a fraction as hard. Attempts at connection with other humans can only be regarded as a total disaster despite endless attempts. And after so many years of stress and denial of human affection, physical and mental health are degraded to the point where change is unlikely and the decision to CTB is basically unavoidable. Even attempts at purely spiritual, non-material evolution have been remarkably anticlimactic despite following a proven pathway.

I'm not too opinionated about the existence of God, but if I had to give a blunt assessment, I would describe him as a big elitist asshole in the sky who loves pampering his favourite people endlessly, yet has no conscience about letting the unloved ones rot, suffer and go insane in subhuman conditions. Despite the consensus of NDE research and lofty religious views, it seems pretty clear that God only loves some people. I have actually had people tell me I am 'jinxed' because of weird misfortunes that only seem to happen to me. My subconscious thought is one of unworthiness, lacking any blessings, having to work twice as hard and get almost nothing to show for it. There's an underlying bitterness, an expectation of rejection and an antipathy for life at a very deep level.

But sometimes that I have wondered with horror if the cruel, smug, negligent qualities that I project onto 'God' are not 100% identical to nfather, the closeted sadist who raised me to be a public whipping boy and set-up-to-fail laughing stock. From the New Age perspective, I have manifested an entire life of inexplicable ruin by basing the whole manifestation on the poisonous legacy of a hateful father. Granted, there's little control over one's subconscious mind, and it's hard to beat myself up when I have genuinely done the right things.

But in the final, dying assessment, I can't help but wonder if the New Agers are onto something after all.
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Dec 15, 2021
I don't believe in the law of attraction per se (I threw the secret book in the trash when i read that poor people are because they have negative thoughts) but i do believe that every soul is in a different energy, in a different vibration, there are people who are in better energetic currents which translates into more pleasant lives and others who are like in a lower astral.
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