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    Okay, Oprah, let’s settle this once and for all…

    Have questions or having trouble manipulating the atoms in the universe with your thoughts? Well, Oprah feels your pain and is going to do a show just for people like you.

    But rather than merely attracting guests by seeing, believing and receiving, she’s actively soliciting people who, for some reason, can’t make the UNIVERSAL LAW of Attraction work for them. Oprah’s producers say, “The Oprah Show is looking for people who have questions about the “Laws of Attraction.”

    For a moment, let’s ignore that if it were a UNIVERSAL LAW, people would have no trouble with it or questions about it. I mean, when’s the last time you had trouble with gravity? I don’t know about you, but if I had a dollar for every time I spilled water on the ceiling because I tried putting my cup on a table, but it floated up into the air instead… well, I wouldn’t have a dollar. But, hey, maybe it’s just me.

    But, I’ll play along. Here’s are my questions:

    Why assume that if you’re “having trouble” with the LOA it’s because of some problem you have? That you don’t understand something, or that something is preventing you from implementing The Secret and getting what you (think) you want? That some new bit of knowledge will allow you to bend the will of the cosmos to your puny desires (seriously, why isn’t anyone using The Secret to “manifest” food and water for everyone on the planet instead of for a new car, house, relationship, job, body, or Oscar?)

    What if, and again, I’m just askin’ here, the fact that so many people can’t make it work reliably (and by “so many” I mean EVERYONE) is proof that the very premise is flawed?

    What if, and please just humor me, the times it SEEMS TO WORK are not proof that it does, but a demonstration about human beings bad understanding of probability and complex cause-and-effect relationships, and our tendency to latch onto times we BELIEVE we have control over a chaotic universe, even when we don’t?

    What if trying to “have strong intention” in order to create a specific outcome is no less superstitious than believing that ripping the heart out of a young girl every night causes the sun to rise the next morning? (It wasn’t too long ago that a lot of us believed that.)

    Why do we “believe our own experience” when we THINK that the LOA worked for us in the past, when our own experience lies to us on such fundamental levels?

    For example, ever had a VIVID memory that turned out to be wrong? Or, even simpler:

    We KNOW there are no gray dots in the spaces between the squares, below, but it’s impossible NOT to *see* them. This should send us SCREAMING from the room with the knowledge that we cannot trust our most basic perceptions, rather than writing it off as a “trick.”

    Anyway, in the spirit of fairness and scientific inquiry (as well as good television), let me propose this experiment for Oprah’s show:

    At the beginning of the show, announce that one member of the studio audience will get a new car. And the job of everyone on the show, with the help of how ever many “experts” about The Secret they bring on, is to “attract” the new car.

    Now, right before giving out the car, ask the audience who feels/thinks/believes that they’ll get it. Ask who has asked and believed and is ready to receive.

    If more than one hand goes up in the air, then The Secret is nonsense.

    Since everyone can’t be correct, and if more than one person believes they’ll be the winner, than the internal experience of “believing” or of “having the right vibration” or of “having the cleanest colon”, or whatever, has absolutely no relationship to whether you’ll get what you want.

    There’s no Vibrate-o-meter or Gauge-o-Attraction (let alone a thought, or feeling, or belief) that can measure or predict, IN ADVANCE, who will get the car.

    Now there are two ways to finish this experiment:

    1) Give the car away in a RANDOM DRAWING… and then ask the winner why he/she won and listen to the story he/she makes up. It’ll be total fiction about how he/she is responsible for getting the car (probably by not really wanting it in the first place). Of course, it would be my hope that the car would go to someone who DID NOT have their hand up for “who thinks they’ll get it!”

    Then ask ALL the losers why they didn’t get the car and listen to their stories — equally fictional — about how they weren’t visualizing hard enough, were vibrating 3 MHz too slow or fast, how their chakras were spinning backwards, or how a psychic predicted they wouldn’t win… or whatever.

    Stories made up after the fact to justify history are JUST STORIES. (Now is the time to kill one of your pets so that we have a good corn harvest next season.)

    But here’s an even better resolution for the show…

    2) DON’T GIVE AWAY THE CAR!

    That’ll put a twist in the audience’s collective knickers (Or turn the show into an homage to Let’s Make a Deal and if anyone in the audience IS wearing knickers, give them the car).

    Make everyone the “loser” and show, definitively that no amount of wishing, hoping, releasing, allowing, attracting, vibrating, manifesting, willing or anything else had ANYTHING to do with the results.

    And then watch the crowd tear down the studio in some sort of soccer-style rampage that would make fights on Jerry Springer look like an afternoon with Mr. Rogers… and then do the follow-up show about how Oprah and all The Secret experts attracted this negativity.


    OH! I just realized how I really want the show to end.I want to see someone do the ONE THING that reliably and dramatically improves (but doesn’t guarantee) their chance of getting what they want. Namely, taking EFFECTIVE ACTION.

    When Oprah asks who thinks they’ll get the car, I want to see someone bound out of the audience, stride right up to Oprah, yank the keys fromΒ  her hand, and drive the car through the studio wall!

    And then roll the credits over the stunned faces of everyone in the studio, Oprah included.

    18 Responses to “Okay, Oprah, let’s settle this once and for all…”

    1. Lana Says:

      So… are you going to sign up for a show?

      I’d love for her to have a show dedicated to debunking the LOA. She could invite Fred Alan Wolf and Bill Harris. Both appeared in The Secret but don’t support the LOA!

    2. sashen Says:

      I sent in an email suggesting there are better questions to ask than “Need help making it work for you?” with the hope that, rather than dedicate the show to superstition, they might get me or some other smart critical thinker on the show.

      Now, speaking as someone who spent DECADES as a true believer and someone who — I hate to admit it — *taught* this stuff, I think I’d be the best smart critical thinker they could pick πŸ˜‰

      While Bill and Fred don’t support LOA, they each have their own versions of magical thinking that fit right in.

    3. Lana Says:

      How can we help get you on the show?!

      Fred — yeah, he’s pretty out there. But I think he makes it clear that he’s conjecturing.

      Bill — what kind of magical thinking are you referring to? He seems to understand how the mind works pretty well.

    4. sashen Says:

      Bill and I agree that the most important factor that *might* tip the scales of probability in your favor is EFFECTIVE ACTION.

      What I’ve seen is that everything else — how you feel, what you think, etc. — is secondary to taking action. (Think about your own life and I’m sure you’ll find times where you thought/felt that something wouldn’t work out in your favor and it did… and vice versa).

      One thing Bill has said is (and I’m paraphrasing), if you provide value to people, that stocks your karmic bank account and when you want to create something, you’re drawing on the reserves you’ve collected and it’ll be easy or effortless.

      What’s simpler, and something that every successful marketer in the world (and Bill is a very successful marketer) has discovered, experienced and taught is: If someone believes you can add or have added value to their life, they’ll compensate you for it.

      (notice the key phrase is “believes you’ve added value”… the equation doesn’t require providing ACTUAL value, just the perception of value)

    5. Sid Leavitt Says:

      Sorry, Steve, but there’s a flaw in your experiment. Of course, there will be lots of people who felt/thought/believed they’d get the car and were wrong. But they were the ones who were ‘struggling with how to implement The Secret’ in their lives. It is they, not The Secret, who were errant, and thus, the Law of Attraction remains immutable. Bwaahaahaa.

      Well, gotta go. Time to sacrifice another young girl — or is that a pet? — for the corn harvest.

    6. sashen Says:

      Actually, Sid, your point PROVES my point.

      The only proof they were struggling with The Secret is determined AFTER the fact, so it’s no proof at all.

      Since TS is “ask, believe, receive”, if people report that they DO believe, BEFORE the fact, then them not getting the car means one of two things:

      1) You cannot trust your own experience
      2) There is no a priori measure for “believing” that leads to “receiving” (i.e. The Secret does not “work”

      In fact, both of these are true, which is a double whammy for TS.

      (You can’t trust your experience because: a) It’s modulated by thoughts, beliefs, and the inherent errors in sensory and cognitive perception, and; b) Because when we remember our past experiences we are not remembering accurately, like playing a video tape, but creating composites that omit/add elements without realizing it… hence the problems with eye witness accounts.)

    7. Lana Says:

      I didn’t know Bill goes that route. Or maybe I just don’t remember. I’ve read a few of his newsletters and some of his blog posts, and he doesn’t strike me as a magical thinker (no more so than anyone who believes in a God or Source). I like that he is openly explaining why The Secret teachings is magical thinking.

      I think that almost all humans engage in magical thinking at some level as a matter of survival.

    8. sashen Says:

      Magical thinking carried us a long way, and until it regularly kills us, it’ll keep on keepin’ on πŸ˜‰

      I also applaud Bill’s taking on TS, especially since so many of his customers are true believers.

    9. Lana Says:

      Good way of putting it! Eventually we have to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and adjust accordingly. Learning about the work of Clare Graves and Spiral Dynamics has given me a new perspective on human development. Really interesting stuff! (I’m not into Ken Wilber, just the core Spiral Dynamics model.)

    10. Rational Thinking Says:

      Hi Steve – I’m a little late to this party, but for what it’s worth, here’s a couple of thoughts.

      First, like yourself, I was a true believer in LOA – I actually thought I’d got the secrets of the universe. And taught it, and wrote about it ….. Well, since my wake-up call (oddly enough through Byron Katie and The Work – one day I sat down and asked myself: There is a law of attraction. Is that true?” I started laughing that day and I’ve been laughing ever since. I have, in other moments, been trying to work out a way of disproving it. And we come straight up against the impossibility of proving a negative. However, just recently in a different context, something occurred. Back when everybody thought the earth was flat, no one is suggesting that it actually ever was – I mean, it didn’t pancake down flat and then spring back into it’s present curved shape, or no one is suggesting that, that I am aware of :-) So, if LOA really existed, and everybody thought the earth was flat, it would have been so. And there would be a fossil record. You could suggest to Oprah that she find it.

      It’s the current best I can come up with. Good luck.

    11. sashen Says:

      Never too late to come to this part, RT. πŸ˜‰

      I like your earth-is-flat-believers idea. Similarly, despite the millions of little girls who want to see a unicorn, there isn’t one. And despite the number of high school boys who used to fantasize about sleeping with Farrah Fawcett, I’ve never heard one LOA story that begins with, “One day, while visualizing in my bathroom…”

      Of course, the LOA believers will counter your earth-is-flat idea by saying, that the LOA doesn’t affect things that ARE, only things that you want to appear in the future! Remember, the universe is a giant catalog, just waiting for you to ask for what you want. So if you WANTED the earth to BECOME flat (or round), well then it would HAVE to!

      See how easy it is to skate around any argument for a belief you want to hold? πŸ˜‰

    12. Rational Thinking Says:

      Chuckles – yes, I know. But oh boy, let ’em try! Funnily enough, I understand Abraham fairly recently exempted gravity from LOA: if memory serves, I think the words were “if you jump out of a window, all you can do is wait for the impact” :-) Or words to that effect.

      So I shall carry on allowing the cogitations to circle, and we’ll see. Nice to meet you.

    13. sashen Says:

      Well, “Abraham” (I can’t write that name and not think of how Edgar Bergen became famous doing ventriloquism over the RADIO… somehow that seems connected to me), would HAVE to exempt GRAVITY…because it’s a REAL law, with reproducible tests that verify predictions made PRIOR TO the testing.

      Unlike the LOA which is a LAW in the same sense that Jude Law is (i.e. in name only), and is only provable AFTER the fact.

      You certainly don’t want to get your laws confused, especially when your livelihood depends on it!

    14. Rational Thinking Says:

      Okay, because I just can’t resist – something I read recently about this whole channelling nonsense, was someone who said something to the effect of this:

      You may well be hearing voices, but who the heck but your psychiatrist would ever want to listen:-)

      I fell for Abraham hook, line and sinker. As light began to dawn, I found the Amway connection, and all sorts of things began to become, well, rather clearer shall we say.

    15. sashen Says:

      A line that I like is: “Just because that person doesn’t have a body, that doesn’t make them smart!”

      For all we know all the “channeled” entities are the high school pranksters of the extra-terrestrial world πŸ˜‰ “Hey, dude, check this out. I’m gonna talk through this housewife from Iowa and have her read my 5th period fiction paper, ‘We’re all vibration.'”

      I had no idea there was an Amway connection… the thot plickens!

    16. Rational Thinking Says:

      It astonished me when I came across it, but it’s there – check out Rick Ross. And of course, about 30 – yeeks yes it’s close to that – years ago, I had an interesting experience with Amway.

      Anyhoo – another thought (then I’ll shut up for a bit :-) – the thing that occurs is this: all that Oprah is doing (for whatever reason, and I have no idea) by the idea for this programme is going to perpetuate the one big lie. Remember Goebbels? It’s another way of reinforcing the insane idea that there is a law of attraction. Circular logic is always suspect. That’s, I suppose, when I first started to smell a rodent. I’m holding forth here in a big way, but I’m going on gut that it’s important. Doesn’t matter why or why not something is working for you. What matters is, are you trying to build your house on sand. Sorry if that’s offensive to anyone. But that’s what it amounts to. Is it real? Really? Are you sure.

      You know all this, and I hope you don’t object to my publishing it on your blog. Mine was started and put aside, when my father died suddenly last week. And the floodgates are now opening.

    17. Conrad Linde Says:

      This illustrates the ridiculousness of LOA in a humourous way

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Et_jG58qg1k

    18. sashen Says:

      Love it, Conrad.

      This one, though, is my fav:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbL3db2z_Ic

      (from The Chasers)




     

     

     

     

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