LOA and Buddhism: Like snake oil and water

   Posted by: Britt   in General

What does Buddhism and the Law of Attraction have in common? After all, many of the LOA gurus reference the following quote:
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
– Buddha, in the Dhammapada (Shambhala Pocket Edition)
(retrieved from BellaOnline, the Voice of Women)

Now, to be clear, I’m not a Buddhist, nor am I an expert in Buddhism. But since being hooked line-and-sinker in the LOA, I’ve done a bit of digging on my own.

What’s funny is that many of these gurus reference Buddhism and spirituality, when in fact Buddhism flies in the face of what they say. Let go of all material possessions (and no, that’s not a guarantee it will bring more), desire is a poison (versus you just have to want it bad enough), and life is at its essence defined by suffering (versus sheer abundance).

Tabling the differences between the Law of Attraction and Buddhism
Law of Attraction Buddhism
Thoughts are things Thoughts are not to be believed
Life is abundant First Noble Truth: Life is suffering
You can have what you want You must let go of everything to be free
Desire is what you need to manifest Desire is a poison
Nurture your emotional cravings Cravings are poison
Rhonda Byrnes “thinks” herself thin You are not your body
Focus on what you want to achieve Be with what is
Critical thinking brings doubt Critically examine all teachings
Don’t talk about your failures Accept what is
You get what you give Give without expectation

Law of Attraction is the last attempt in the quick-fix world. Like any placebo, there is a significant rate of success. But also like any placebo, it can never be definitive.

One woman has MS sees each day as a struggle; another woman has MS and sees each day as a blessing. Same affliction, same day, different outlooks. Each woman will seek out evidence that confirms her worldview. The first will continue to struggle, the second will cherish each day. Same day. No altered external world; no additional wealth manifested; no cure. Just an internal shift.

The Law of Attraction can help you achieve a brighter outlook. When LOA teaches “positive thinking” it advocates a healthy mindset. But anchoring it in “science” and calling it a “proven law” is just sheer and utter nonsense. It sets the user up for expecting an unsustainable reality.

  • Are you looking for a certain book in the used book store? Well gosh darn it why not just manifest it. What? It’s still not there? well, I guess your thinking is wrong.
  • Have you had an incident where you wish you can just go back in time and change even just one split-second action?
  • Have you ever bought a lottery ticket and spent any time (or a LOT of time) thinking about how your new life with fit with your soul?
  • What? It didn’t happen? You couldn’t manifest it? LOA is a quick-fix treatment and as such, you cannot expect a deep cure.

The Buddha surrendered everything. I’d say that that’s a bit deeper.

(Deepak Chopra in his book called “Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment,” has the holy Buddha rewinding time and undoing a man’s death in his book, but really I think that that’s sheer invention. The little I know of Buddhism says that you find calm, peace and inner serenity when you accept the storms, the disasters, the fatalities.)

Watch the inventions, the twists and the mis-representations. The blessing and the curse of the Internet is the plethora of information that available now to most of us. (They said the same thing about the Gutenberg printing press.) Be curious, critical and cautious.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 8th, 2010 at 12:03 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 comments so far

Vera Keil

Good one–and what about the pathetic parking space fallacy? Every narcissistic cult follower I ever met bragged that he/she could manifest a parking space whenever it was needed. Duh.

Yeah, and in Los Angeles I can manifest a Starbucks about every, oh, six blocks. What a miracle! How powerful are my thoughts!
And if it takes a few more blocks to find one, I must be ‘feeling negative.’ LOL, LOA

October 13th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Rob, that’s a very funny question. Your correlations are arbitrary. Positivity is not necessarily linked to prosperity, nor is cynism necessarily linked to lack. My grandmother is bound in cynicism and is very wealthy. My brother is abundant with positivity and is by no means wealthy. Month-to-month and happy.

What if I rephrased it and said, “If I had to choose between positivity and poverty or wealth and paranoia.” We each know people in those categories too. And, in this pairing, there is indeed competition, and it comes down to personal values: wealth, for the accumulation of things, or inner calm.

Your question represents my big problem with many of the LOA gurus, in that it’s based on a false premise that is represented as a universal truth. It’s not. If it were, and if rich folks like the Rothschild family, the Rockefellers, JP Morgan, and even the IMF and the World Bank would have set up a monetary system that created universal wealth instead of pinnacle wealth structured on universal poverty.

Sure, if I could have my cake and eat it too, I’d be in. But that’s almost never the case.

Revisit your logic. Many people in the states are banking in LOA and yet still have to walk away from their foreclosed homes. Tell them their just not “thinking” the right thoughts. Tell them they “deserve” what’s happening to them. We’re all peons, and LOA is just a happiness pill that’s constructed of grounded sugar. Sold to make the seller rich, and to give the buyer enough hope to sustain her through another bout of economic upheaval.

Condemn me to poverty. But I’ll remain positive about my own mission, my incredibly family and circle of friends, my own track in life. And that necessarily excludes the illogical and misguided LOA.

November 6th, 2010 at 8:19 am

That’s a beautiful statement, Britt. Perfect response to a typical pig ignorant non-answer to the criticisms you presented in the post. Rob and his fellow scammers have no answer other than their idiotic gloating about their ill-gotten gains, and thinly veiled insults at anyone who exposes their fraudulent teachings for what they are.

Rob, every get rich quick scheme is successful if you ignore all the failures.

November 9th, 2010 at 4:17 am

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