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Table of Contents
Many in the self help field are familiar with Thomas Troward, and his famous exhortation to ‘contemplate yourself as being surrounded by the conditions you wish to produce’. I believe that this final step of absolutely putting yourself in the shoes of your future self is something that most of us fall short of, and this chapter is more or less an essay in bridging the gap therein.
There are many teachers of this famous and very ancient concept that is currently being termed the ‘law of attraction’. One very clear teacher is Esther Hicks, or in her enlightened form ‘Abraham’. She claims that she is a channel for a host of other worldly entities called Abraham. I am personally skeptical about the channeling bit, but that doesn’t mean that her message doesn’t make sense. A small amount of reasoning will show us that this message does indeed make sense. Add to this the fact that she has consistently stayed on this same message, and explained it in different contexts, and you start getting much more confident about the law of attraction.
Let me explain. Hicks consistently urges people to first feel the way they would if their desires had already manifested. In the feeling of exuberance and utter contentment that their desire is already fulfilled, the universe will somehow reveal to them the path to it. Now to many people this appears to be an approach where the universe is the equivalent of a wishing well or a genie. Perhaps.
I have two real questions that I am generally tossing out there, both for those that are critics of the law of attraction, and for its champions. First, why is it so unreasonable to assume that the universe is a wishing well? Children seem to assume this from the get go, and we ‘disabuse’ them of this ‘mistaken notion’ as soon as we can. I think this is actually a failure in proper mentoring. Planting fences that stifle the imagination of a young and innocent mind doesn’t have the ring of a growth based action. I believe that this is due to an absolute lack of imagination on our collective parts as adults.
Never mind what we do to children though, just for a moment. What does this say about us? That we feel that reality is what we see about us? What we see about us is a consensus opinion, isn’t it? For instance, what plays on popular TV channels is what is greatly in demand by a majority of the active viewers, or viewers who are content to put their money behind their opinion. So also, what has been built as a city around us, is what is and was in demand by a majority of the active people in the city, again where active refers to those that are change agents. The same principle extends to the general world as we see it. So many people envision a certain kind of world, for better or for worse. They may want it to be a lot better, but their concept of reality makes it something far short of that, and they carry around their concept of reality, and trade and relate as though their concept of reality were true, and in these little steps of daily living, create the entirety of their life experience, and some portion of our own.
So, if someone says, change your concept of reality itself, and the reality will soon change to accommodate your new concept, why is it so far fetched? Think about that. If one really understands how that which is called reality came into place, then the universe will indeed be viewed as a wishing well. In fact, we have spiritual masters from so many different corners saying precisely this. Jesus said ‘ask and it shall be given unto you’. Buddha said ‘what we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.’ Lao Tzu said ‘To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.’
Now, none of what any of what another person, no matter how exalted, said, should be the reason to accept it at face value. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. I urge you to actually do due diligence on this idea that your conceptual universe circumscribes your perceptual universe. In simpler words, your thoughts mediate and limit your experience. As you think, so shall you be. Try to discover this in your own experience and let me know what you come up with.
Now some people hear the idea that one’s conceptual world determines the limits of one’s real world, and they are arguably skeptical. I can understand why this would be so. Let me give you a quick example of how this very idea has been misused in the past. I remember hearing that Native Americans had no concept of ships, so they could not see ships, and I remember seeing this argument crop in a couple of new-age and self-help circles. I think this is actually not a good way to show that one’s conceptual universe circumscribes one’s perceptual universe. Why? Because this sort of example has no legs to stand on. It isn’t as if Native Americans had no cones and rods in their eyes to see ships. It is so easy to misunderstand this example, and I believe that those that use it are actually undermining their own position. It may be possible that having not seen a ship in the past, and not having been privy to the shipbuilding process, they couldn’t interpret what they saw properly, so they thought the ship was some huge wooden monster. That’s possible. I am fairly sure their optic nerves transmitted the visual shape of the ship to their brain however.
The second question is about your own internal wiring when it comes to the things that you desire. What do you emote, when you imagine something that you really, really, really want? You see, in some sense this is a trick question. When you really, really, really want something, the sense of being totally out of sync with it that makes it appear to be a distant dream is what is ruling the entire visualization. It is easy enough to see this in someone else’s case. When you find that you are interested in this fabulously obscene lottery, for instance, of a hundred million dollars, it is clear enough that you don’t feel geared up for the lottery. The not happening has already happened in your imagination, in seeing the lottery as being so far out of reach. This is usually experienced as a wistful feeling of alienation from that desire. That is, ‘I want it, but it is out there on the moon’. Perhaps the number of ‘reallys’ in ‘I really, really, really want’ is in proportion to the feeling of ‘this is so unlikely to happen right now’.
All too often, when we say we are thinking about our goals, and imagining and visualizing the things that we want, we are instead contemplating their absence. Never mind the fancy law of attraction stuff. Simply sitting down and thinking ‘darn it – I don’t have that, and I really want that’ is a sure fire way to not only become depressed, but also to lose all energy. If you keep looking at something that you want, and telling yourself that you still don’t have it, no wonder you’re going around with that long face. The issue here, then, is with how we’re using our imaginations.
Now how do we remedy such a state of affairs in our imaginations? We take the final step. The final step in absolutely contemplating yourself as if surrounded by the conditions that you wish to produce is a complete shift to the perspective of someone who is already living those conditions. That is, you vicariously live as if your dream has already come true.
Now a lot of people call this approach snake oil, they call this utter nonsense, they call this fairy juice and so on. That’s understandable, but still it’s myopic at best. You see you can’t but help move and take action on those things that you take to be true. Once something has entered your conceptual universe as knowledge, taking action on it is natural. The sense of it being an alien thing is absolutely not there in such cases. Let me give you an example.
Imagine that you’re utterly exhausted and simply can’t get up from your chair. Now, imagine that I lied to you and said, using every last bit of my acting talent, that a snake was under your chair. Imagine that I said it very earnestly, and only for a moment you believed me. What do you do?
You leap out of that chair. Now obviously self preservation causes us to do the darnedest things, and even the most amazing things. It doesn’t matter that you were utterly exhausted a moment earlier. Your body finds a way to leap out of that chair.
Now obviously running away from an imaginary snake is very, very, very different from running towards a hundred million dollars. Taking action to make a hundred million dollars show up in your bank account requires a very different scale and quality of action. We all get that. The hidden secret in this example though, is that it doesn’t matter that there is no snake under your chair. You believed it and took action automatically. The action wasn’t deliberated or logically determined to be the best course available. None of that.
What you did was without the slightest involvement of mind, you almost irrationally followed impulse.
That’s right. You almost irrationally followed impulse.
Now why would it be so far fetched to believe that if you absolutely took it for a fact that you already possessed a hundred million dollars, that you would receive every impulse to create that condition. You see, there is a hidden idea here.
When you ‘know’ that there is a snake under your chair, your action is not to bring that snake under your chair. It is assuming that the snake is indeed under your chair and acting as though that were true.
Now, before we proceed, I’d like to point out some obvious points on which we can shoot down the above argument.
Point 1: “Look, I really believed that I won the lottery and that 100 million dollars found their way into my bank account, and I swallowed that 100 percent; but it never happened.”
We’re talking about an enormous amount of money here. We’re talking about one followed by eight zeros. If you counted one number per second, without eating, sleeping, or doing anything else, it would take a little more than three years to count. Our brains are incapable of interpreting the vastness of that number. That said, what does it mean to really own that sort of money? A counter question to point 1 is, do you habitually believe in such abundance and what it entails? How large a leap is it to really picture such abundance, and to believe that it is already reality? If it is a giant leap in your mind, it means that you’re really still on the outskirts of what constitutes a conviction in such a possibility.
Point 2: “Look; I spent a year believing that, and repeating the same thing to myself, and making vision boards, and diligently working on picturing all that money in my possession, and picturing how I’d live with it. I spent three hours a day with this sort of stuff, and it was a waste of time.”
Well. Let’s look at your target here. 100 million dollars off the bat. Again, what was your experience of abundance before you spent that year? Did you take significant action with such a conviction in mind? Did you ever set smaller goals for abundance, with the conviction that things would happen? Were you expecting that the money would happen to an unchanged you? If you did put in three hours of one-pointed effort, it will have changed your idea of how you relate to desires. If it didn’t, and the things you want still feel like an amazing stretch of your imagination, there’s no question that what you were doing in all the remaining twenty one hours of your day was contrary to those three hours a day.
There’s a lot more points that run along this same vein, but the key here is, the law of attraction is all about changing our habitual thought vibes. Here’s one key that most people miss out here. Habitual thoughts, and the even more subtle vibrations of thought in the mind that produced these habitual thoughts, are very, very, very difficult to detect for someone who hasn’t worked with introspective methodologies such as meditation or mindfulness. So, it is entirely possible that many of these subtle thought currents that you’re not even aware of, are sabotaging your entire effort.
So, what is the way forward. We must learn to combine the fine tuning of our mind, so that we are capable of better seeing (speaking metaphorically about seeing our own internal structures), and so that we are capable of sustaining a riot of visualizations that help us picture our heart’s desire, to such an extent that it becomes the backdrop of our mind, in the face of contrary evidence. Then we must engage with the contrary evidence, and see where it makes us doubt our dream. Again, a lot of people think that the goal here is to blanket yourself with a positive visualization, and entirely ignore contrary evidence. That is really not the case. It is instead a matter of degree. Every time you see contrary evidence, you must also learn to look directly at it, and tell yourself ‘this is temporary; what I want is coming’. So, it is a matter of consistent and constant repetition of a specific vibe.
So let’s try to play with some of this. Take that condition that you wish to produce, and act as thought it were already true. Imagine that your bank account already contains a hundred million dollars. Imagine that. Imagine what you can already afford because of that. Imagine the sheer sense of financial security and abundance that flows through you because of this. Imagine this. This is a frighteningly powerful thought, speaking from a more panoramic perspective. Imagine that you can afford whatever you want. You are unafraid to go out and play in the world.
You are unafraid to go and write out a check to your favorite charity. You are absolutely delighted to take your entire family shopping, and to foot the bill. You are absolutely happy to meet up with old friends, or to go to your high school reunion. Someone sees you at the high school reunion, and asks how you’re doing, and you simply say ‘I’m doing well’. There is absolutely no urge within you to explain to them your financial abundance, or to get their approval of how you’re doing. You see, the sense of abundance has spilled over into every last facet of your experience, so wherever you go, the idea that everything is within reach, and the idea that you’re the king of the world, is all pervasive.
You mix with celebrities and film stars, and don’t feel even slightly out of your depth. You don’t feel the need to compare fortunes, because that phase is behind you. Instead, you feel the utterly earth shattering feeling of being so abundant that abundance is all that you do. You are the abundance. You have plenty of time and plenty of attention and plenty of money and plenty of rich, loving relationships.
You go into work, or school, or whatever it is that you do in your work time, and you realize that the study or the work no longer pays the bills. It is solely for its own sake. Then you ask yourself, what is it in my work that I truly enjoy, and you spend every last minute of your time working solely on that. Imagine that.
Imagine the feeling of that. You’re like a child in a room full of Lego blocks again, or like a kid in a candy store. Your entire experience is now about finding things that interest you, and not about doing things that will make your life stable. Imagine that.
Imagine having at your beck and call a reservoir of money that you already have. Imagine the feel of the hundred million dollars. Imagine the things that you do with it on a daily basis. How do you float this money? Who benefits from this money, other than you and your bankers.
What sort of emotions flow through you when you are indeed in that state? How do you feel just now, given that your bank account contains a hundred million dollars? What sort of vacation are you planning this minute? What amazing tourist attractions are you going to see, now that this sort of money is available to you? What sort of utter and absolute celebration will you stage now that you have so much money?
You decide that you want to visit a certain country, for the sheer pleasure of seeing all the tourist spots in the country. For instance, you decide that you’ll go to New York City, and simply enjoy all the coffee shops in the city, and see the Met and the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Natural History. That is not all though. Now, you possess fabulous wealth, so you will mix it up with people, since you don’t have to worry about spending, or appearing to be less than anyone else financially.
You go to fifth avenue, along with your family, and you buy yourself one of those Savile Row suits. It is what you would have called hideously expensive in the past, but fifty thousand dollars for a suit isn’t even a drop in the ocean now. That is more than your previous yearly salary, but now you know you can afford it, and for once, there is no guilt in living the good life.
One plate at the fancy restaurant that you’ve always wondered about costs a thousand dollars. Whether such spending seems profligate or not, you decide that this once you will dine there, and tip well too. Twenty percent tip – that’s two hundred dollars. You get yourself the lobster or the vegetarian four course meal. Whatever it is that really floats your boat, and is according to your personal understanding of how to morally have fun.
You’re full now. You know that you’ve enjoyed yourself. You smile at the restaurant staff, and realize that you don’t grudge them their smiles. You don’t have this inner thought of ‘you better smile for the money I am paying’. There is none of that. You simply realize that you got the experience that you came for, you utterly enjoyed the food, and so did all your family, and now you’re ready to play some other game.
Shopping, done. Eating, done. What next? You want entertainment. You want to visit the giant bookshop at the center of the town, and as you walk into it, you realize that you can buy this store. Sure it is the largest bookshop in New York City, but you can buy it. You browse the shelves of books, and the deep feeling of abundance, and having it all, simply wafts right into your awareness. It is a moment of utter bliss, seeing your family browsing the shelves with full bellies and amazing clothes, and smiles on their faces, and then you realize what this is all about.
You realize that you’d kill to get more smiles on more faces, and you decide that you will spend more money on getting more smiles on more faces. You will never stop enjoying yourself as thoroughly as today, but you will be darned if you forgo this intense high that you have on the inside. Imagine the feeling – it is so utterly amazing.
So you go around the next day looking for opportunities to make people smile, and if you can use your money to get them to smile, so be it. You don’t want it to be about the money for them though. Giving a child who is hungry a meal and getting that smile, that is lovely. Giving someone a free one hundred dollars, and seeing the look on their face, that is good too, but it doesn’t have the same high.
So you look for ways to share your wealth, because you’ve discovered what it feels like to make someone else happy, now that you’re utterly and completely sated in your search for wealth. That albatross around your neck is no longer there. You no longer ‘have to earn a livelihood’. You have more than enough to go around. You think about your massive net worth, in dollars, and you realize that you can live comfortably or even lavishly for the rest of your years, so now it is time to really play the game of life, since worry is no longer part of your psychological portfolio.
Let us step out of this visualization for a moment. Think about what was experienced in it. This is the true contemplation of being surrounded by the conditions that you wish to produce. To look at a hundred million dollars from afar, and to say ‘I really, really, really want it’ isn’t even getting in the ballpark. That is simply wanting it while utterly and clearly focusing on the lack of it. Unfortunately, this is precisely what most of us do when it comes to the things that we really want. Isn’t it astonishing that more people don’t know that to contemplate the thing that you want is very, very, very different from contemplating the absence of the thing that you want.
Now, let us not waste our energy trying to conjecture how such a state of affairs came to be. What is enough is that we learn to simply enlarge our imaginations, and start paying more and more attention to properly contemplating our desires as though they are living, waking, walking, breathing realities. Trust the wisdom of the universe, because it is always giving up its treasures to those that approach it with the viewpoint of one who is simply curious and full of wonder. This very wisdom points us in the direction of the law of attraction.
I believe most of us are very curious, overall, about employing the final step in the use of the law of attraction. A lot of what is shared here is simply attempting to play and engage with this final step. You see, as described above, the final step is a complete contemplation of conditions as you would like them to be.
Very often though, simply taking the first step is difficult for those new to LoA. This brings us to the idea of perspective. When you change your perspective, everything changes. If you decide that smiling is worth it, and that simply being someone who looks at what is positive in every situation is the one thing that you do – that makes a huge difference.
What is curious about the nature of effort is that simply being soft, like water, works wonders overall. Simply visualize the sort of day you want, and you’ll be okay. Learn what it means to be a fisher of men, in one sense. Perhaps Christ meant it in the sense of pulling people to the gospel, but I mean it in pulling people into your emotional world and being steadfastly rooted there, so that your entire day is chock full of the highest expressions of love and peace.
There is a part of us that likes to worry and indeed likes assigning blame and all those wonderfully hellish things. The thing though is that this is indeed our choice, and it pays to realize that it is a choice that we are making and none other. That is the first thing to realize.
‘The cave that you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.’
Worry is never a good thing. To worry about how you measure up against others, that is something that you really don’t have to worry about. To compare yourself to one other human being – that is complete nonsense. Imagine that. Imagine comparing yourself to one other person and feeling miserable, when the sum of all your dreams is you finding yourself. That is all you have to focus on. Find some way to center yourself. Find some way to completely and thoroughly center yourself, especially when you find that something drags you away from it, or you find that something threatens to overwhelm you. Never measure yourself against what is going on around you. Instead visualize precisely what you want out of life, and that will come to pass.
I suspect that an actual change in the very cellular mechanism occurs when you make a self image different from what it is. As a scientist I don’t have a statistically significant study to back this up yet, but I do know that current neurobiology supports the idea that emotions have immediate biological consequences. Moreover, long term emotions translate into genetic and epigenetic changes. So, my conjecture here is that the self image makes you act and emote and think in a certain manner, and that is what leads to long term changes at the cellular level.
Back yourself, bet on yourself, know that the best thing you can do is to bet on yourself. Honestly speaking – it is the best thing you can ever do in this life and in the next, if such a possibility is true. Learn to give your inner reality a lot more credence than the outer reality. This is a lesson that requires enormous learning. There is a part of us that is connected to the anchor of the universe. It is the most powerful part of us, and yet we learn to suppress and ignore this one part of ourselves. It is a topsy turvy view of the universe that is propagated, and somehow we have become acclimated to living as though this were true.
Learn to make this the one thing that you really, really back. All else is naught. It honestly is. This level of commitment is required to get yourself moving in the correct direction.
The point that should not be missed though is this – doing nothing is also a decision. LOA does not mean that you intend something and simply decide something outside of it. Using LOA means holding firm to your intention, and becoming your intention, and vibrating that intention as though you have it, and then trusting the impulses that resonate with the feeling of having it. That is, you will receive the impulses to act in a specific direction, and that is when you take the action. That is precisely when you take the action. Then the action will be the most creative and the most fruitful in the universe.
Imagine the power in such action. Imagine the sheer power, and the sheer force of personality that it would take when such action happens. See yourself doing it now. And now. And again. See it. See the power in all of this. It is an enormous fount of power.
I can see myself weeping with joy. I can see that happening shortly. I can see the utter and absolute sense of gratitude pouring through my being as I spend the entire day simply meditating and kneeling down and being in a state of surrender. I can see that happening both before and after the giant manifestation.
I see it happening. I can see in first person the enormous mass of gratitude and almost overwhelming joy that I feel when I see that this method works wonderfully. I saw this law in operation back in 2011. I knew that I would be employed, and it just happened. There was such a transcendent sense of peace within me back then, through months of leaving commercial television and through months of meditation, contemplation, and inner solitude.
Similarly, I remember making an inner determination to myself that I was going to get three As in one semester as a graduate student, and it just happened, and there I discovered the hard way of doing it, in one sense. I walked, talked and breathed my subjects, and became that annoying guy who simply spoke about study. This was another application of LOA, but implemented in the old school fashion of knowing what you want, and then simply working towards it with the full faith that your efforts would count for something.
This brings me back to making things happen here now. The best way to make things happen is to simply become the things you want in your life. They must become must haves, but in the way where you no longer question their manifestation.
A very interesting thing about self image is that even incessant training will not change it immediately. This is something to think about. Training that has happened to your subconscious over the course of several years does not change overnight. As I’ve indicated above, it took me several months of contemplation, solitude, and dropping commercial entertainment, to change my habitual patterns of thinking. Really applying the law of attraction is not necessarily hard, and doesn’t require that level of change in life, but if you want quick results, then you must work hard at feeling great.
This sounds at odds with LoA advice that says that part of the issue is having a Puritan work ethic, and thinking in terms of no-pain, no-gain. However that is not what I am advocating here. Most of us have bought into the worrying and problem-solving way of thinking, through simply being mouthpieces of our own cultural context, that it takes work to not worry. It feels alien to think that things will go right instead of wrong. This is where immediate results necessitate a radical change in how one lives one’s life. You may go on a personal retreat, as I did back when I wanted massive change, or, if you don’t have that luxury, you can immerse yourself in LoA teachings from as many reliable teachers as you can find, while constantly keeping your vibrational retraining at the center of your attention.
One rule can be applied as some sort of a barometer to guide you in all of this. Find some way to completely grok this feeling on the inside where you feel complete, where you feel so utterly in sync with your source that nothing bothers you. This is a point that must become a center in your experience. In as much as you’re closer to this feeling, you will feel more calm and stable. In as much as you’re farther from this feeling, you’ll less calm, more insecure, more panicky.
Absolutely bet on yourself, and don’t ever listen to the voice that speaks about lack and worries of perhaps things will not work out. The thing is not that this or that plan will get you there. Instead a steady holding of a target in your mind, to the degree that you simply refuse to move it even one inch on the inside – that is something that must become part and parcel of your being.
Allow this to be the one thing that you do. The thing to keep in mind is this – remember that you can indeed inspire yourself, constantly. You have the power within you to move your mind back into a mode where you are constantly achieving results all of the time.
Understand power, and know that it will and can happen right here and right now. Keep your mind so focused on learning at all times that the power in this attitude radiates from you.
Imagine energy burning off your body in such a massive efflux that it almost becomes like a halo around you. Imagine the power in that. Imagine the intense power in that sort of living.
One idea that resonates here, from Bob Proctor, is this: The goal that you’re striving for is not that important. What is more important is the growth that you derive in yourself when you strive to attain that goal. That is far more important. Imagine the power in this sort of living and know that you can actually do this, if you wanted to.
Because, guess what, you can.
Powerful Quotes on the Law of Attraction
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.”
“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviours. Keep your behaviours positive, because your behaviours become your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.”
“The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness”
“You are joy, looking for a way to express.
It’s not just that your purpose is joy, it is that you are joy. You are love and joy and freedom and clarity expressing. Energy-frolicking and eager.
That’s who you are.”
“If you want it and expect it, it will be yours very soon.”
Wallace D. Wattles
“The grateful mind is constantly fixated upon the best. Therefore it tends to become the best. It takes the form or character from the best, and will receive the best.”
“By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it”
William Walker Atkinson
“The best way to overcome undesirable or negative thoughts and feelings is to cultivate the positive ones.”
“A mental image gives you a framework upon which to work. It is like the drawing of the architect, or the map of the explorer. Think over this for a few moments until you get the idea firmly fixed in your mind.”
“The presence of an active, energetic, successful man, or set of men, in a place, will permeate the place with positive vibrations that will stimulate all who abide there.”
“Any idea, plan or purpose may be placed in the mind though repetition of thought.”
“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
About Jolly Sage
Jolly Sage is a pseudonym of the author. He is a lifelong student of philosophy, science, and a passionate believer in the idea that we can indeed change our minds to change our external circumstances.
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