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The Law of Attraction for Hardheads

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posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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So You Believe in Magic?


Originally posted by americandingbat
I understand the Law of Attraction... as a reformulation or specialized application of the so-called Law of Similars, which underlies the magical theory and practices of pretty much every culture on Earth.

Thank you, Ma'am. That is exactly what I wanted from you.

Let's repeat it, shall we, so as to be left in no doubt:

Belief in the Law of Attraction is nothing but belief in magic


This may have always been plain to you, but I bet it comes as a heck of a surprise to some of the other LoA promoters on this thread: imagine, this impressive New Age principle they have taken to their hearts is nothing but the stinking old offal in a new pot.


If it comes as a surprise to you, then maybe we've gotten to the bottom of your confusion on the matter.

Of course it doesn't come as a surprise; I just needed an LoA believer to say it on the thread (so that the rest of you, dear readers, might have it from the horse's mouth). Much obliged, americandingbat.


Just to be clear, I'm using the term "magic" in its anthropological sense rather than as a judgement. The two can be separated.

You admit, then, that magic doesn't work. Again, much obliged.


To be honest, I'll be a little disappointed if the physicists discover the "attractron", find the mathematical formula for the "force due to attraction", discern all the variables involved, and calculate the constant coefficient.

Rest assured they never will. Science concerns itself only with reality.

[edit on 1-2-2009 by Astyanax]




posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:12 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax


Originally posted by americandingbat
I understand the Law of Attraction... as a reformulation or specialized application of the so-called Law of Similars, which underlies the magical theory and practices of pretty much every culture on Earth.

Thank you, Ma'am. That is exactly what I wanted from you.


Then you should have just asked "is the Law of Attraction, in your estimation, simply a version of sympathetic magic?"

The difference between the current formulations of the LoA and the magic practiced by the tribes studied by Evans-Pritchard for example, is twofold.

1) they attribute the efficacy of magic not to an impersonal law, but to what looks to us a lot like deities. That is, there is an additional layer between the sorcerer and the effect: the sorcerer performs his ritual, which has power over some supernatural entity, which performs the desired effect.

2) their magic requires a performance in the material world – it is outer-directed rather than inner-directed. I would say that the tribal form of sympathetic magic tends to be an extremely ritualized protocol for tapping into the force of attraction – probably this is related to the additional conceptual layer between sorcerer and effect.



This may have always been plain to you, but I bet it comes as a heck of a surprise to some of the other LoA promoters on this thread: imagine, this impressive New Age principle they have taken to their hearts is nothing but the stinking old offal in a new pot.


I have said that that's how I understand the LoA. I don't speak for everyone.

And it's really more like the old stuff was the new stuff, applied with less finesse.

I don't think anyone would say that the Law of Attraction is a new phenomenon. That's the whole idea of it – it is a force that we can use to our advantage. The new protocols, or formulae, are designed to work in the world as we understand it; Nuer magic was designed to work in a world the Nuer understood.



If it comes as a surprise to you, then maybe we've gotten to the bottom of your confusion on the matter.

Of course it doesn't come as a surprise; I just needed an LoA believer to say it on the thread (so that the rest of you, dear readers, might have it from the horse's mouth). Much obliged, americandingbat.




So when I made that gaffe about the speed of light and gravity, did that change the formula for the force due to gravity? You're giving me way too much power, Astyanax.

I am not the horse. I just might be a flea or a tick along for the ride. I gave you the view from here, not the official word of the Galactic Law of Attraction Definers.



Just to be clear, I'm using the term "magic" in its anthropological sense rather than as a judgement. The two can be separated.

You admit, then, that magic doesn't work. Again, much obliged.


huh? The word "magic" can be used in a pejorative sense – I stated that I was not using it that way. How you got from there to me admitting magic doesn't work is a true mystery.

You gave me an Aristotle link a couple posts back. May I suggest that you brush up on your Aristotle? He's a bit out of date, so far as the history of philosophy goes, but he's pretty good on basic logic.

I think I'm going to have some more comments tomorrow, but I've got to go back through the conversation and retrieve the questions you left unanswered first. I'm going to bed now, and I have an actual debate that I have to work on before I address this again, so it may not be 'til Tuesday but I'll get there, never fear


[edit on 2/1/09 by americandingbat]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


[Off topic but it's my thread]

Hey Astyanax, I like your skepticism, but magick (note the k) is just ancient psychology... that's all. It only exists in minds. Anyone who believes with great certainty that the mind can affect any inanimate object outside of it's skull would have to have a lot of blind faith indeed. There is not one scrap of undeniable evidence that telekinesis ever existed or does now.

But within mindspace, magick can apply. The other important aspect about what magick is is, it's purpose is for practical application; that is, for personal gain. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of The Law." So, by it's very selfish nature, it gets a bad rap and is pushed underground. Just like our modern day advertising ploys, they're using psychology to discover weaknesses in the human psyche and take advantage. Of course, it can also be used for self transformation. Surely, you can't deny the motivating force religion has on people. Civilizations are built and destroyed using this energy. It's all just mental programming, but you can use those tools on yourself... I like to think.

What say you? Have you ever considered this viewpoint?



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 03:55 AM
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reply to post by TheSingularity
 

Yes, I have considered it. You're speaking of the Law of Attraction (or magic, spell it how you will) as a form of self-programming by which the brain (and possibly the body) are empowered and enabled to achieve things they otherwise could not.

Well, this is a pretty straightforward psychological effect, for which there is a materialist model that has no recourse to anything mysterious (our brains are mysterious enough, anyway; witness this SciAm article about research which indicates that belief is unncessary for the placebo effect to work).

What you're saying is already well understood by generals, team coaches, jihadists and sales managers. And, of course, by psychologists.

If magick is just positive thinking for pagans, then the Law of Attraction has to be Norman Vincent Peale for New Agers.

* * *

Americandingbat, I eagerly look forward to the debate. It doesn't matter that you speak only for yourself; you are speaking the truth, and many believers in LoA are going to be astonished to learn that it is simply one of the ancient (and, I must stress again, impotent) principles of magic. A lot of them think LoA is scientific, that it is supported by chaos theory or quantum mechanics. Lots of them here on ATS.

[edit on 2-2-2009 by Astyanax]



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I seriously doubt that I will convince anyone that it's unimportant whether or not the Law of Attraction (among other forms of manipulation of the outside world which are currently inexplicable to science, like making sure a beam falls on the guy who stole your cow) is based on quantum something-or-other.

And I have no reason to believe that it's not all quantum mechanics at heart. I just don't understand quantum mechanics, but do understand enough science to know that most of the "quantum mechanics" I've seen associated with the Law of Attraction would not be recognized as such by the guys with the Ph.D.s.

But this has been instructive for me, and has helped me clarify my understanding of a force that I've always only half-understood and half-believed. So I will come back to it.

But first, I have to figure out why we shouldn't go to Titan.

@TheSingularity: I apologize for our usurpation of your thread. I originally only intended to Astyanax the simple question about double-blind studies, but I guess that opened up this whole can of worms. You make good points about magick – the ritual manipulation of the world performed by modern-day pagans, witches, etcetera; and magic – which in this discussion has mostly referred to the type of ritual manipulation of the world performed by African tribes in the early 20th century. And an excellent point about how the "selfishness" of magickal theory is stigmatized in our society.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 08:23 AM
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Aww give 'em a break. Since religion has been done away with many people are desperate for something to believe in. Random chance and cosmic indifference are a bit much for most people to take, and especially on a Sunday. So those who are too sophisticated for church have to get it (sense that life is significance, or at least that dreams can come true) from Oprah, or the Esalen institute, or some where.

Just as long as they don't try to foist their kooky beliefs on everyone else. That would defeat the whole purpose of discrediting religion!

Now everyone join me in the following powerful manifesting mantra Om Kumbaya Namaha, or is it Om Jambalaya Namaha.

[edit on 8-2-2009 by GrandCourtJester]



posted on May, 29 2009 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by TheSingularity
 


For how long did you try the Law of Attraction?





[edit on 29-5-2009 by jfobert]

[edit on 29-5-2009 by jfobert]



posted on May, 29 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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What is the opposite of the law of attraction, as i would really like to know, so i can live my life in peace. Is there such a thing as an opposite to law of attraction?



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