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Is there any way to disprove the law of attraction?

Scientists discover a technique making it possible to recreate the genes from an extinct culture
Scientists discover a technique making it possible to recreate the genes from an extinct cultureAP PHOTO/POLFOTO, Jens Dresling

KarateMonkey posted an interesting question under the New research shows why using the law of attraction often fails column:

So when you get something you want it's because the law of attraction is working, and when you don't get something you want it's because the law of attraction is working, but you don't want in the right way.

Is there any way to disprove the law of attraction?

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I don’t think the average person could disprove it, because most of us are fairly out of touch with our ongoing feelings, and our thoughts move too fast to keep track of many of them. Of course the average person couldn’t disprove there are quarks either or that the law of gravity applies on Jupiter. There are many things we accept because we trust experts in the field.

Science relies on objective, material proof, and this is relatively difficult to obtain when dealing with thoughts. Thus, scientists can give us some evidence around the edges, such as neurocinematics, or the research on happiness (an example of which I’ll be covering in my next column). However—so far at least—science is not in a position to give us objective evidence regarding our thoughts being the foundation of our physical experience.

I believe there is a broader question underlying the one being asked, though. If we can objectively prove or disprove something, then we can rely on our understanding of it. I believe the more important question is, what, if anything, can we use to assure ourselves the Law of Attraction is a valid construct?

In other words, if we can’t rely on science, is there anything else we can rely on? I think the simplest answer in this instance is ourselves. However, there is an intermediate step that we need (and that science often provides), and that is a trusted source.

For me, it was a book, The Nature of Personal Reality, by Jane Roberts, that I read when I was in graduate school. It struck me as the most profound book on understanding human nature I had ever come across, and that included my graduate psychology texts. So, when the book delved into areas where I had no way of getting scientific or personal proof, I trusted the source.

That gave me the impetus to do my own exploration. I’m far from perfect at it, but I can clearly see the evidence in my own life in those areas where I succeeded in shifting into a positive attitude (also in those areas where I haven’t).

I certainly respect the desire to use science as a trusted source. I use it in many areas too. It’s a fantastic tool. It just isn’t very good at measuring non-material events.

To get back to the first part of the question, “and when you don't get something you want it's because the law of attraction is working, but you don't want in the right way.”

We can learn what successful others have found to be the “right way” for them, and like any researcher, we can refine our technique. How much time and effort we put into this depends on if sources we trust convince us it’s worth our while, and if the process is enjoyable.

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Comments

  • KarateMonkey 4 years ago

    So the answer to my question then is no there is no way to disprove the existence of the "law" of attraction. It's proof is left as a collection of anecdotes and subjective interpretation and memory.

    "Of course the average person couldn’t disprove there are quarks either or that the law of gravity applies on Jupiter. There are many things we accept because we trust experts in the field."

    I think you misunderstand the way science works. I don't accept scientific consensus because it's handed down from on high by experts I like or who say things I want to believe. What I trust is the scientific process. I know that I could review the data and reasoning scientists in the relevant fields use to understand the world. I know that even for those subjects which I am not well versed, people who are are reviewing results and either replicating them or challenging their conclusions.

  • KarateMonkey 4 years ago

    contd.

    We know that in many ways people aren't very good at measuring reality. We tend to remember positive results and forget negative ones. We misremember. We're vulnerable to thing like the placebo effect. The scientific method is designed to counteract these tendencies by using things like proper control groups and blinding. This is why I trust science. It's all about the process.

    "I certainly respect your desire to use science as a trusted source. I use it in many areas too. It’s a fantastic tool. It just isn’t very good at measuring non-material events."

    Except, unless I'm wildly misreading you, you claim the law of attraction has an actual impact on the material world. What about just gathering a group of people who have reported positive results with law of attraction, and have them flip coins while focusing on heads. If it actually works there should be some statistically significant outcome.

  • John Waddell 4 years ago

    KM - I am traveling. I will respond to your thoughtful comments in about a week.

  • John Waddell 4 years ago

    KM, thanks for your thoughtful comments. “I don't accept scientific consensus because it's handed down from on high by experts .... I know that even for those subjects which I am not well versed, people who are are reviewing results and either replicating them or challenging their conclusions.”

    You trust their conclusions because they use the scientific method. I trust other experts' conclusions for the reasons discussed above.

    I agree that people misremember and misinterpret. Your idea of the coin flips is a start, but many experiments have been done along these lines (e.g., with psychokinesis) with very high standards of validity. The problem is when an experiment is in line with accepted beliefs, an alpha of .05 is sufficient. When it contradicts beliefs, the standard is much higher.

    I would be delighted if scientists would do research in this area (the work with happiness has some promise). I've found sufficient proof for myself. Those who want to rely on science must wait

  • AN 4 years ago

    Dear KM
    Do not cast your pearls before swine.

  • John Waddell 4 years ago

    AN, It is interesting that you would use a biblical quote (Matthew 7:6) to support your friend in his scientific stance. Many of our thoughts and actions are influenced by a variety of sources, even if we like to think of ourselves as having a scientific perspective. Because science is deliberate and requires objective, material proof, we are often faced with decisions where we must rely on other types of guidance.

    The fact that you landed on this site, even though it does not align with your worldview, shows that you embrace the scientific spirit of exploration, and I applaud you for that.

  • AN 4 years ago

    I used that quote because it is beautiful from a literary perspective and epitomizes the situation perfectly.I try to take what is best from all things I encounter but "help in my explorations" is not something I require of the Bible and most certainly not of the "law" of attraction. As Shakespeare said,"The devil can quote scripture to his purpose". I shall go now lest I not follow my own advice to KM. Someday,should you try to understand science you should look up the definition of a scientific law.

  • John Waddell 4 years ago

    Thank you for coming to my site.

  • AN 4 years ago

    You are welcome. I notice not many people do.
    I also watch cartoons sometimes.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    Or after adjusting one's attitude then even if one does not get what they want they feel better about it and are more willing to like what they get.

    The uninitiated will never understand things like the law of attraction and will debase and lead astray all those who try and use it to effect the external material world. Science will crush you.

    Here is a hint: Both the Microcosm and the Macrocosm are inside you. The only things that will work (effects you can get/goals you can attain) with any of the hermetic laws is to alter oneself. Never the material world outside of the self.