Geeky Mystic: The Hallways are Hell

Posted on November 1, 2014 by

If the Law of Attraction works, why are people still homeless?

That’s the gist of a question posed to me recently.  I think it’s an important question.  Why?  The basic idea of the law of attraction is that your energy and beliefs and behaviors create and/or attract what happens in your life.  Believe in prosperity and it comes.  Believe in poverty and it comes.  Believe in your health and you’ll be healthy. You can see how this becomes problematic, because, misinterpreted, the LOA could be construed to mean that everyone who has something bad happen to them must have attracted it, must have somehow wanted it, must have caused it.  It makes the individual into their own omnipotent-model god.  (Not all gods are omnipotent in all theologies, void where prohibited, not available in all states.)
I have a few problems with this.
One, hello victim blaming.  This is the spiritual equivalent of, “If you didn’t dress so provocatively you wouldn’t have been raped.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
So wrong.
Two, this is incompatible with my version of the power that moves in the world, which I experience as benevolent by association.  I don’t think the power itself knows (or cares) but the humans who interact with it give it moral leaning and force.  That world doesn’t make people sick or make people suffer on purpose.  That’s just not my theology (yours may vary).  Mine is a theology of beneficence and pleasure, wrought primarily through human nature.
Three, we are part of a giant interactive system; you are not the only being in the universe.  This is the biggest, most key part of my answer.  There are other forces at work, things other than the law of attraction, and also competing needs and forces, not all of which are nice, and not all of which are good for you even if they are objectively morally neutral or morally good.  In with Law of Attraction we have politics and capitalism and fear and uncertainty and the industrial revolution’s cultural backwash.  We have seasons and bad decision making and while none of that negates what the law of attraction may be doing, it also doesn’t make it smooth sailing.  NO proposition of attraction proceeds in a vacuum.  It’s all about context.  And in that context the things that lead to bad stuff (including homelessness in a country where we have enough vacant houses to give each homeless person six) are sometimes overwhelming.  Love wins in the end, but the path between here and the end isn’t always easy.  Or, said another way (stolen from a Facebook meme), “When one door closes another one opens, but these hallways are hell.”
We’ll get there.  LOA is part of my toolkit but definitely not all of it.  Everything else exists too, and we need to play in a complete context. It’s a big world out here.