Law of Attraction is the belief that you will attract into your life whatever you think about and focus on and this has been popularised by the book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne (2006). Whether you are a fan of the book or not, The Secret has been responsible for popularising the law of attraction and bringing this concept to the attention of the world. One of the claims of the book is that Law of Attraction has been around for a long time and that it can be traced back though history to 3000 BC, where ‘The Secret’ which the Law of Attraction was recorded in stone. According to the book, the law, in one form or another, has appeared in Babylonian times to religions such as Hinduism, Hermetic traditions, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. So did us humans have this knowledge as far as that or is this something recent, a new age science?! How far back can you really trace it back to history?
Of course for many believers, there is only one beginning for Law of Attraction and that is when the universe came into existence. Even if we accept that the Law of Attraction existed at the beginning of universe, we must also accept the fact that Human awareness of the law is perhaps a crucial point in its existence. According to theoretical physicist John Wheeler, colleague of Albert Einstein, we live in a participatory universe and that our observations might actually contribute to the creation of physical reality. In other words we are not simply bystanders in the physical universe but we are shapers and creators living in a participatory universe.
The term Law of Attraction seems to have made an appearance in the late 19th century books including Isis Unveiled by Helen Blatvatsky (1887) and Prentice Mulford’s essays in 1891. One of the strong influencers of the New Thought Movement, Thomas Troward claimed in 1904 :
‘the action of Mind plants that nucleus which, if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form’.
Of course one of the other famous books on the subject is the ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ by Wallace D Wattles (1910), the inspiration for the book ‘The Secret’, which also has similar principles, of objects you desire and focus on will lead to that object or goal being realized in the material plane.
So is late 19th century is the real beginning of awareness of Law of Attraction? Well it depends on your view point and your interpretation.
The stone tablet that is referred in The secret is based on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes which is said to have existed in 3000 BC although it is first mentioned in Arabic texts in 6th and 8th centuries and there has been many translations of it including one by Issac Newton which states:
‘That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one’
Again depending on your view point, you can interpret this as saying that universe (above) and us (below) are connected and us and universe can work as one to achieve miracles.
Law of attraction can also be loosely supported by Hindu philosophy, based on the belief that there is a supreme universal force (Brahman) and that each soul (athma) is connected to this one ultimate reality.
Personally having come from a Hindu background, it has been ingrained in me from childhood that there is such things as a soul, our consciousness, and this is connected to the universe. So the concept of Law of Attraction, where we live in a universe that is affected by our thoughts, feelings and actions doesn’t seem so strange of a concept. In actual fact, it makes me believe more in the power of prayer! After all, isn’t praying to god or Supreme Being just like stating your intensions to the universe?! Or perhaps it really does depend on your view point.