I'm posting this to help a friend. The following article explains (in part) why I no longer subscribe to the Law of Attraction (focusing on the positive, denying the negative, etc.).
I read a better (easier-to-understand) article on this subject, but I can't find it at the moment, so in the meantime, here's this one.
For anyone who has tried without success, believing that if you could only think more positively or have more faith in the process that you'll finally manifest your dreams, you can stop beating yourself up. It's not you.
Why You Don't Create Your Own Reality -
an antidote to fatuous New Age paradigms
A paradigm that is currently running amok through the New Age community, and which is depriving them of their last bit of common sense, is better known as "You Create Your Own Reality" (short: YCYOR). This insidious half-truth is usually placed into a very misleading context and is never completely true.
Let us just look at some basic facts that we can derive if YCYOR would be completely true:
1.) Every war victim, or rape victim, etc. must have wanted to draw whatever misfortune upon itself, since that victim "created his own reality".
Common sense tells us here, that this is nonsense, and that not all war victims, etc. ever wanted to happen that war to them. For me, common sense simply wins, and cuts a long discussion short. :-)
2.) We would live in a solipsistic universe wherein we could do whatever we wanted without further consequences.
But pretty much obviously, we do not live in such an utopian universe, and no, even on higher densities, there is no such universe.
(Quote: "Oh, what a spoilsport!" we can just hear the chorus. Why not let those who want to, abide peacefully in the solipsism of their spook-sanctioned presumption that -- despite the alleged interconnectedness of everything -- the common ego-view of personal hermetic insularity is valid after all, and "I" can indeed conjure a positive-think Paradise to "preserve me eternal" in the midst of everyone else's self-created, hallucinatory world-disaster.)
What makes the YCYOR evangelist fatuous (rather than a demonstrable God of the most egregious solipsism) is precisely the fact that all such "personal decreeing", "positive thinking" and confident imagining takes place in an inevitable context. There are implications! There are repercussions! No one decrees in a personal or private, solipsistic vacuum. There is a variegated World of myriad "pulls" and "claims" coexisting along with the private desires and designs of the given ego-subject.
But "so what?" we hear the die-hard "reality-creator" claim�"don't we remain untouched by those 'co-existents' as long as we keep secure in the confidence of our own private deservedness, our own authoritative affirmations and specific commissions of positive thought-re- inforcement?"
Why You Don't "Create Your Own Reality"
Just sit there for a minute. Attune to a mere soupcon of self-reflective consciousness and you can't help but notice you're hardly self-generated; there isn't one thing about yourself, including the environment you perceive or your "personal" will, that issues from any sense of a self-creating "you". Indeed, "you" are spontaneously endowed, before the self-reflective fact, as the coordinate presence of a total and given pattern of Being. It is all immediately established, without personal intercession on your part. The patterns through which you perceive, the modes by which you move and cognize take up your being without a whimper of protest, a hint of objection or even notice. This vastly creative process by which you spontaneously come to yourself, on its terms, is so suavely accepted as inherent expression of your being that you claim it as yourself without even observing you do so (i.e., these are "my" thoughts, "my" words, "my" perceptions, "my" ideas, "my" movements).
Wait, we hear the protests, perhaps I don't actually create the basic patterns of Being or the functions of existence, but I do seem to individualize them. I make them my own. I synthesize all these "given" features as personal contents from my unique angle, so that "my" expression of the common pattern is distinguishable from yours and so very intimately identifiable as me. In that sense I create my own reality out of the given materials, which really aren't anything in particular until I endow them with the unique expressive life that is "me".
This ordinary qualification is acceptable, as long as we notice that the vaunted "personalization" or "individualizing" of the general creative endowment of Being is also a function of that endowment, not something privately assumed. The creative pattern of Being, of which we are expression, individualizes. That is its attribute, not ours. It can only be considered innately "mine" insofar as "I" come after the fact, along with the perspectival endowment of individualization. In that sense I am the process of individualization; but I don't create it.
The Cloud Of One-Knowing
"I" exist in reflective and receptive relation to that process which takes its point of departure from the total, given Pattern of Being. My "knowing" comes structured. It is a function of consciousness, or whole-awareness (i.e. conscious self-awareness); but it furnishes an interpretive syntax of cognition to that consciousness. It possesses an inbuilt grammar of structured variables.
All my instrumental processes, modes of action and so forth are patterned terms of this "knowing". The overall function of my being with its sensory and motor, autonomic and conscious systems is that of knowing. In reality there aren't a lot of different "systems", diverse organs and instrumental complexes, some for physiological processing and life-sustenance, some for acting and responding, some for perceiving and some for knowledge. There is only an overall system or multi-dimensional Pattern of differentiated currents, properties and phases serving the single common function of Knowing; for the whole pattern is an expression of consciousness.
Suppose, again, that a developer bent upon the "personal, positive affirmation of success" takes it upon himself to reshape his reality according to his heart's desire by speculating the astronomical increase of profits through conversion of some obscure "low-rent" properties kept on the back burner, into mega-buck bungalows for the "upwardly mobile" demographically anticipated in migration toward that particular district ; without hesitation, as expression of the faith and supreme confidence he has in the self-justification of his aim, he evicts all the low-rent tenants on the spot (who, ipso facto, must have wished such misery on themselves). A month later, he's mugged in a back alley by one of those he'd peremptorily displaced, and who'd therefore had no recourse to any but the life of the multiplying homeless.
In both "hypothetical" cases, was it the lingering doubt, the persistence of some conditioned hesitancy or especially in the latter case a misguided atavism of "compassion", guilt or empathy which secretly served to undermine the perfect correspondence of desired effect, thereby producing an accurate reflection of the "negative" belief-structure?
No that just doesn't account for it. We can say for the sake of "hypothesis" that the given developer had no such remorse (for we can certainly find exemplifications of the genre in real life!); and we can infer that our breasted New Ager is as fatuous as he sounds...
But there's that word fatuous! What makes him fatuous? Evidently, not taking into account the obvious context! Remember, we said the potential viability of the term "fatuous" had to do with context ! What makes the "you-create-your-own- reality" evangelist fatuous (rather than a demonstrable God of the most egregious solipsism) is precisely the fact that all such "personal decreeing", "positive thinking" and confident imagining takes place in an inevitable context. There are implications! There are repercussions! No one "decrees" in a personal or private, solipsistic vacuum. There is a variegated World of myriad "pulls" and "claims" coexisting along with the private desires and designs of the given ego-subject.
But "so what?" we hear the die-hard "reality-creator" claim "don't we remain untouched by those 'co-existents' as long as we keep secure in the confidence of our own private deservedness, our own authoritative affirmations and specific commissions of positive thought-re-inforcement?"
Report To The Commissioner
No. Man does not live by "commission" alone. This is why you do not create your own reality, but merely generate reality-hypotheses or scenarios which are continuously reflected and tested against the Whole; and the Whole, being inseparable from the Potential of your own innate-global Being, is constituted by the explicit and implicit alike, by that which is produced through active or positive commission and that which results from the gaps, blind-spots and vacuums of interpretive omission. All the lines, potential and actual, exist within one's being and are inevitably calculated into the total account! This is what it means when we say there's a context in which all our desire-formulation and "decreeing" takes place.
This is a Deity-centered reality, not an ego-centered reality. Only the totality of the soul-nature is in touch with the Totality of Spirit-being. Anything else necessarily involves a partial perspective, a conceptual self-estimation producing inevitable blindspots, negatively-recessed lacunae as well as "positive" outlines to be filled in obligingly by experience. What you have selectively omitted from "your reality", is manifested as well! Gaps in thinking and experience which develop one "side" at the expense of the other, or which temporarily prevent a latent potential of certain centers or combinations of centers from being realized, do not simply "pass by" as a domain of non-experience. They aren't just quietly tucked away as surplus "potential" with which you're not obliged to have any relation.
On the contrary, such gaps show up; they manifest in the unstoppable/inexplicable erosion of all those things you've materialized as expression of "personal preference". They appear as unanticipated, unexpected or unwanted circumstances which nonetheless bear a negative-identity to the self-selected "positive profile".
Although the deep zero value characterizing the Total potential of the mind- body pattern definitely allows for what the Ra material calls "random catalyst" (a variable which simply cannot be taken into account by the "you create your own reality" proponents), most products of omission have very identifiable correspondence to the personality-structure in question. They are drawn into the field of that personality as inevitably as the "positive" products of commission (like the mugging received by the "developer", along with his projected profits). We can of course say the "victim" still deserves his fate or has drawn his fate to himself by a quality of callousness embedded in his characteristic thought-formulae; and occasionally this interpretation may touch on some real factor involved in the negative effect. But neither the simple presence of some attitude toward elements of the ultimate negative resultant, nor explanations of residual "karma" (or anything of the kind) may adequately account for all cases in the same category.
It is just simply not true that every rape victim somehow "invited" the experience as a personal form of "commission"; the fact of each Soul being a global microcosm of Total potential, automatically means that a certain amount of experience is going to be the resultant "invitation" of sheer aggravated emptiness on the balance-sheet of the (symmetrically self-compensating) soul- record.
Note: aggravated emptiness. This then is a magnified deficiency with respect to certain outstanding principles involved in the event; it is a smooth break in the soul record with respect to a whole class of potential, the burgeoning neglect of which progressively builds a magnetic charge placing great stress upon the Whole requiring precipitous compensation. (Note again: in a world where you "create your own reality",this potential area of being needn't be taken into account as everything is strictly a reflection of personal commission i.e. what's explicitly thought, actively desired, consciously believed etc.)
Since such general deficiency with respect to a given area of being produces a massive potential for precipitating "experience" involving just those gapped elements (therefore usually a jarring experience), we may indeed be justified in concluding that such doctrines as "you create your own reality" serve unwittingly to irritate the probability of so eruptive an experience taking place. Experiences "foreign" and out-of-left-field in nature do manifestly characterize the things that sometimes befall us; they can't just be "owned" by arbitrarily identifying some active or positive thought-structure which by tortured interpretation can be teased into disgorging some vague parallelism ("Oh yes, I must have gotten that dysentery because of my dislike for Mexican architecture!").
It is, then, the standard of the Whole which weighs the balance of thought and Rules on the quality of experience. As long as one is taking an interpretive perspective on that whole which isn't directly aligned with It, the resultant reflection of one's personal self- estimates in the form of experience will resemble a maze of fractionated mirrors, first one side and then the other of one's total Presence being represented in the medium first the overt and then the hidden phase of the overall figure being shown to view.
The converse implication of this, of course, is that only in alignment and integral consonance with the Whole-value of Being may Reality be accurately manifested through the medium of "personal expression" for then there is no discrepancy between "personal" and Universal, the perspectival "part" and the indeterminate Whole. It is under this condition that the "impossible" can be manifested (i.e. that which is self-evidently beyond the power of anyone to "personally" manipulate or control).
Do you see then how AAA and MT have accomplished this Impossible thing under the noses of everyone? how, despite the disbelief and repeated double-take of the senses, the evidence of their Thaumaturgy is persistently present no matter how many times one blinks, unmistakable to anyone who'll simply look, smiling up right in the public midst of the most avid concentration? (i.e. the "Lotto", where no one ever takes his gaze away from the shuffling shells?).
Do you see how this has been an object demonstration, on an inconceivable scale, of precisely that which Drummond Riddell (and countless others for whom he implicitly speaks) has asked to know? Do you see how indeed it succinctly and fantastically (indeed absurdly!) demon- strates the "correspond and print out" reality about which Mr. Riddell and others continue to be so concerned? (for surely this literally prints out an identifiable correspondence, hmmm?). Do you see how it manifests for your general edification (and education) the truth involved in the "Visualize- Assert-Demonstrate", wishes- can-be-made-to-form principle as Mr. Riddell expresses it, without affirming the inaccurate "you create your own reality" thesis? how instead it demonstrates inconceivable efficacy and head- shaking puissance as expression of precisely that true Initiatic formula of Being taught as precious extract of the hard-won struggle characterizing every authentic Adept, i.e. alignment and integral harmony with the Spiritual Whole?
For, understood in this way (and only in this way) it may be seen that unimaginable effectiveness results when the expression of one's "personal" will is not different than or removed from the Spirit of Divine Will, i.e. the Will to reveal Spirit as the Truth and authentic character of everyone's illimitable Being. This means that, in terms of "personal will", only the Spirit of the Teaching Function remains. There is no will remaining in the repertoire of "personal will" except that which expresses perfect alignment, integration and identity with Divine Will. This is the Destiny of everyone.
Therefore, when we say for example "AAA and MT" determined "they" would make a Demonstration of the spiritual truth of Being that would be visible to and identifiable by eve- ryone in the least receptive to it, such determination cannot be accounted a strictly private decision nor can it be said to be independent of the Will of the One. (In the same way that, where Drummond believes it was strictly an act of "personal decision" to write MT his fateful "letter-of-inquiry" serving as efficient point-of-departure of the Demonstration he cannot really be confident of the "personal" Origin of that impulse.)
It's for this reason such a Demonstration, where it truly shows the "impossible" efficacy of an Awakened unity with Whole-Being Value and Spiritual Intent, doesn't simply manifest as a "magic trick" no matter how extraordinary. It is not just a pulling-of-rabbits out of a velvet Topper, or providential holding of the winning ticket of the Avatar Sweepstakes. Since such a conjuration comes about as authentic Demonstration and Expression of awakened consonance with Whole-be- ing Value, it takes the inevitable form of a thorough Teaching in Itself. It expresses in its very self-revelation the principles and processes by which it appears; it demonstrates through its own contents the Instruction of Spiritual Truth, rather than the stage-illusion of "you create your own reality". As an Expression inseparable from the Will-of-the-Whole (and, indeed, enforcing that Will in its very Intent), it has embedded in all its parts the give-away character and tell-tale identity of just that Spiritual Presence, the tireless Being of the Teacher of Man.
One last word: contrary to unwarranted popular opinion, such initiated alignment with the Will of Absolute Spirit-being does not result in "working one's will unopposed". On the contrary, the very presence of the Awakened Truth in the form of the Spiritual adept has always generated immediate opposition; it has always "awakened" a corresponding reaction from the collective ego's self-protective slumber. This fact does not belie the Whole-being efficacy of that "will" which is so aligned with the Totality. It simply means that such opposition itself, having become part of the manifesting pattern, incorporates as occasion of the Teaching Demonstration as well in whatever form expresses through the "confrontation". Initiated alignment of will with the creative Whole doesn't guarantee "smooth personal circumstances"; on the contrary, look at the story of every adept, examine the events surrounding the Masters known to history. Rather it ensures that such events will possess the character of an authentic teaching-demonstration, to all who have the Soul to see. It ensures the Will of the Whole is always done, regardless the partiality and prejudice by which that Whole may be perceived in any given case.