The Law of Attraction: A History of Belief, Part 1.

 

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There has been much talk about the Law of Attraction during the past few years ever since the now-famous marketing tsunami called The Secret – embedded itself into the pop culture consciousness of people everywhere. But what exactly IS the Law of Attraction, and why are people so enamored by its message? Simply, the Law of Attraction is a belief that says that prosperity and health can be yours if you follow a few simple rules. People pay a lot of money to attend seminars, enroll in online courses, and buy all kinds of books and movies learning how to use the Law of Attraction to attract wealth and abundance.

The main principle about how the Law of Attraction operates is simply this: what a person thinks about manifests in their daily life, whether the person is aware of this or not. Thus, the proponents of the Law of Attraction claim that the keys of abundance and prosperity are fostering a positive attitude, intense emotional desire, creative visualization and most important, avoiding negative people. Extracting yourself from negative people is strongly encouraged because they will only infect your positive attitude by bringing you down, or worse, make fun of you so much – that you will want to give up.

The operating idea of the Law of Attraction is that like attracts like. The proponents of the Law of Attraction tell us to only focus on the positive because what your mind is focused on, you create in your reality. Attracting positive experiences by only focusing on the Good is what you want. Attracting negative things to your life because of a bad attitude is what you DON’T want. By dwelling on the negative, you’ll just create more negativity, thus creating more misery in your life for yourself and everyone else. Within this document we will present the fascinating history of the Law of Attraction – how it changed and developed throughout the centuries, how this knowledge moved with the times to fit the perceptions of those who practiced it; and we will be looking at the main players who supplied the knowledge necessary to formulate and articulate the Law of Attraction.

Magical (Magnetic?) Attraction

The knowledge and practice of the Law of Attraction has existed in many forms throughout history, probably even before recorded history. It might surprise you to look at this way – but the oldest and still most widely used expressions of the Law of Attraction have been… Magic and Prayer. Prayer has been practiced in all civilizations all over the world. The earliest form of Prayer seems to descend from prehistoric times in the form of rituals, hymns, heroic stories and magical incantations. The main focus of the magical incantation is empowerment.

Archeological artifacts that have come down to us from ancient times indicate that a Human being needed a lot of help in dealing with hostile forces that existed in the world. The use of words in certain combinations was thought to influence natural forces, ghosts and demons. In the ancient Mesopotamian cultures of Sumer, Babylonia , Akkad and Assyria, magical rites were a part of everyday life, as one had to be on the constant watch for Demons, evil spirits, bad omens, bad magic, illness and even demonic possession.

Demons, for example, were believed to live in the mountains, deserts, lakes, the wilderness, etc. and were liable to attack at any time. Forgetting to pray to a certain god at a certain time could make for a very bad day. Thus magical rites and incantation were a summons of supernatural or demonic assistance to help in healing, divination, exorcisms and protection. Along with magical incantations and ritual acts, one could make use of various accessories to assist the pious supplicant or the friendly neighborhood shaman. Curse tablets, ritual meals, magical bowls, binding spells, protection from binding spells, chants, phylacteries and even sacrifice – plant, animal or human, were used to stave off misfortunes caused by demons – or to ask for Divine Intervention.

The Sumerians also employed symbolic acts such as pouring water over a pile of dates, for instance, to bring rain. In ancient Mesopotamia, the Hittite army was famed for being one of the best of that era, holding their own against the military might of the Egyptians, Assyrians and the Babylonians. How did they manage to keep their armies and their civilization together? Through the use of Magical rites and incantations which were a structural part of the Hittite’s army. The Hittites developed incantations, rituals and rites for something they called, “Attraction Magic’ – where the idea was to draw and harness the Divine Power of the Gods to the people. So The Hittite army thought it best to conduct endless sacrifices and rituals every step of the way during their travels.

Inscribed in cuneiform tablets that have come down to us, are curses towards a Hittite warrior, should he break the oath he made to the gods – for instance, that he shall become a woman, that his belly will swell up with water and the deities of the oath consume his children. Now that’s an offer a Hittite warrior couldn’t afford to refuse.

We’ve talked about incantation – but what is the difference between incantation and prayer? An incantation assumes to influence and control supernal or demonic powers while prayer respectfully requests the Gods or Saints for something we desire to come our way. God may say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and that’s the end of it, but there is no harm for trying. Some scholars and most of the clergy see the shift of primitive cultic magic’s evolution into religion as – the “evolution of correct worship and respect of the spiritual.”

We do not know how this transition from incantation to prayer came about, but incantation and the magic arts still exist today alongside established organized religious movements thru ritualistic practices such as Voodoo, Neopaganism, modern witchcraft, Shamanism, Satanism, Obeah and Santeria, to name a few. Despite the rise of technology, globalization and science, the focus of ritual magic remains the same as in the days of the ancient Hittite – to become a more powerful being through the attraction of the divine. The Law of Attraction works in a similar fashion, using ‘affirmations’ and visualizations to align to the vibrational forces within your mind that creates your reality.

Next – Part 2: Early Accounts of the Law of Attraction

 

 

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