Law of Attraction, Part 19: Conclusion – Attraction or Stimulation?

stimulation or attraction

We come to the conclusion of our survey of the history of the spirituality – based idea called, the Law of Attraction. It has taken us many centuries to observe and follow its stages of development and form within the various eras, cultures and perspectives from many important figures from ancient times to the present day. We have learned how the Law of Attraction is explained as a magnetic force where ‘like attracts like’ is theorized  as a metaphysical law. The idea behind the Law of Attraction is to mentally draw to yourself prosperity and wealth, since that is what God apparently wants you to do. Prosperity and good health is considered a sign of one’s self-realization and spiritual growth (an idea promoted within the New Thought movement beginning in the late 1880s) . Manifesting a positive outcome for yourself through using the power of your mind, feelings and emotions is the secret to make all your dreams come true.

Prosperity Consciousness, is particularly as it has been marketed in America, has long been an interest of people looking for tangible ways to succeed in their lives. Books by Napoleon Hill, especially, “Think and Grow Rich” and Wallace Wattle’sThe Science of Getting Rich” has sold millions of copies. These books promote the power of Positive Thinking, faith and affirmations as key components for becoming a success in life, and are still amazingly popular. “The Science of Getting Rich” was first published in 1910, and has remained in print to this day. Positive thinking techniques, will power, creative visualization and the mental science approach to health was applied by Wattle to give readers the key into attracting wealth.

William Walker Anderson was a prolific New Thought author and editor and is credited with coining the term the “Law of Attraction.’ He writes in his book, Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World“:

“We speak learnedly of the Law of Gravitation, but ignore that equally wonderful manifestation, THE LAW OF ATTRACTION IN THE THOUGHT WORLD. We are familiar with that wonderful manifestation of Law which draws and holds together the atoms of which matter is composed – we recognize the power of the law that attracts bodies to the earth, that holds the circling worlds in their places, but we close our eyes to the mighty law that draws to us the things we desire or fear, that makes or mars our lives.

The primary equation that the Law of Attraction rests upon is the metaphysical claim that thought equals energy. This is an ancient philosophical and spiritual formula based on the assertion that the manifested universe has been created through an ineffable cosmic consciousness or “divine mind.” In his book, Atkinson lays it out this way:

When we come to see that Thought is a force – a manifestation of energy – having a magnet-like power of attraction, we will begin to understand the why and wherefore of many things that have heretofore seemed dark to us. There is no study that will so well repay the student for his time and trouble as the study of the workings of this mighty law of the world of Thought – the Law of Attraction.

Could this be true? On what verifiable foundation is this claim by Atkinson resting upon? Are there any other possible explanations why the Law of Attraction should be considered more than a pseudoscientific theory?

For Bernard Poolman, there is another explanation that seems far more plausible. Poolman was a noted businessman, author and spiritual practitioner who said he had worked with his own spirit guides and mentors before questioning the entire framework and effectiveness of the spiritual activities he once engaged in. After decades of investigation, he offered this conclusion which I share here:

So, existence exists as One Word. This is the Revelation that will be proven that existence exists. Within common sense you can work it out now – that existence exists as One Word: Stimulation.

Energy is never real, because Energy only exists when there is stimulation and the stimulation is always external and I mean if you or another person Stimulate the point and you Simulate it – that means you’re accepting it – you’re gonna have an experience, an elation in that relationship that elation is your Joy, your Love, everything. Love by itself doesn’t exist! It requires stimulation – that’s why no-one can actually stand for Life, because you want Life to be ‘unconditional’. Why do you want it unconditional? So that you can have Choice. So that you can have the choice? to be stimulated the way you want to. Bugger everyone else! It doesn’t matter what’s happening to them, they have the same power. They have Choice! They have Chosen to be Here – the fact that they’re in a country where there is no food – has got nothing to do with me! I mean, they can, they must plant something, I mean, they must not starve. I’m quite happy this side, I’m Stimulated! I know they’re not stimulated, but that’s not my problem! While I’m stimulated, I am not even aware of their existence – which is so wonderful! Please, stimulate me, then I don’t have to worry about anyone else! Just keep me stimulated!

But what about the all of these religious, philosophical and spiritual masters who claim that the Law of Attraction is a real, objective, magnetizing force operating in existence?

 They will not explain to you how reality practically works or why it doesn’t work. They will stimulate you to have an experience and tell you to not worry about reality. Christianity is doing that, the Muslims are doing that, the Hindus, every Religion are doing one thing: that is stimulating you not to care about what is going on in Reality, and it’s Stimulating you to worry about what happens to you AFTER you are DEAD. 

The Masters did the same. Did they really Master anything? There is not a Master in existence that’s mastered anything. The Masters mastered the way to stimulate their followers effectively to become mentally incapable of realising what is Here. Incapable of making any movement to actually care for Earth. That’s why we’ve created a Consumerism System.

In Spite of all the Great Masters that’s ever been on Earth – what have we done? We have not moved, we have not evolved. What is evolution at this stage? Evolution depends on Stimulation. Stimulated on how to become ‘more’. “I’m evolving! I am more Intelligent!’

Have a look – take your stimulation away, what happens to you? You’ll find you go into a depression, you go into a boredom, and you’re unable to get out unless you stimulate yourself – which is what? You’re experiencing the system dying because it’s not being stimulated. That’s what you’re experiencing when you’re in a depression and when you’re in a form of boredom – you’re experiencing the absence of stimulation!

And then you start searching and suddenly the next moment you “meet someone.” The ONE that can stimulate you. And immediately your whole body is on fire = “I’m stimulated. Please stimulate me – I don’t mind! I’ll exist as long I’m being stimulated.

That is the whole point where everyone is existing. Because what do you want? You want to be stimulated. “Give me enough stimulation and I will exist, I’m satisfied. As long as that stimulation is to my approval, the way I like it,  I’ll be Happy.

Let it not be the way I like it, and I want to discard it – I’m not Stimulated by this.” I mean, this is just not acceptable. “I want to be stimulated like THIS! I have CHOICE! I can CHOOSE how I want to be stimulated. This is the way I want to be stimulated. And that’s all I’ll accept.”

You will not move unless you’re stimulated. Which means stimulation is your God. Whosoever stimulates you, controls you.[1]

Money is what? Stimulation.

Without stimulation you will not move. Motivation is really just a nice word for stimulation.

So what is the Law of Attraction, really? 

It’s the Law of Stimulation. Everybody now gets together and stimulate each other to Focus on the Positive! So now, the positive cannot exist without the negative, you automatically stimulate the negative. Which is perfectly fitting into the End Times – which is the perfection of the whole point of being stimulated according to a particular book and a particular prophecy so that it can become true. Why was it written? To make sure you create it!

Therefore you are Stimulating the End of Existence through what? Stimulating the Law of Attraction. How do you do it? By creating the Absolute Positive Polarity and holding it in place – no matter what! So that the Absolute Negative Polarity can Manifest, because you are Stimulating both! They cannot exist Separate from each other.

Light and Darkness exists together.

Positive and Negative exist together. Because the very moment something moves through stimulation, both Positive and Negative exist. Positive and Negative requires Stimulation to exist. Without Stimulation neither positive or negative exist. Now within the Law of Attraction, we are stimulating the Positive and the Negative, and we say “Law of Attraction.” “Let’s think Positive!” –   which is, “Let’s Stimulate the Positive.”

So now we Stimulate Positive, Stimulate Positive, Stimulate Positive – I mean, you have to do it, and do it, and do it, and that it takes all of your attention, all your stimulation. stimulating it, stimulating it, stimulating – but what are you actually creating? You’re creating the stimulation which you use up  – while in waiting is the negative, waiting to be activated once the stimulation crashes, once the stimulation can no longer stand. And what manifests the negative? BAM! In one singular moment – we call it = ‘an Act of God!’ – because in a single moment, God wiped out existence. But you’ve stimulated it to be a single moment. While positive stimulation took you a long time – it was not instantaneous – it took a long time – you built up the negative to manifest itself in a single moment.

So, existence in a single moment will change through the negative, because that’s how it has been created. Which is why a market crash for instance, is something that happens fast, while a positive market is something that builds very slow. The positive is always very slow, because no one understands the Principle of Stimulation.

If this sounds like a hard teaching, it is. Bernard Poolman liked to say he was not a “guru,” but “here to bring Uhuru!” What should those of us who bought into the whole program of believing in the Law of Attraction do? How do we move beyond past our present understanding that the law of stimulation is in fact the operating princile within human consciousness under the guise of “attraction.”

Forgive all the stimulations, because the stimulations are your addictions. They are based in geometrical patterns. The Sacred Geometry! I mean, isn’t it beautiful? If we can paint a beautiful picture about Sacred Geometry so that we can justify our stimulations which is our addictions to specific stimulations that makes us “special.”

Test the shit out for yourself and stimulate it yourself to see how it works. Then find out whether you’re justified in stimulating something for your pleasure without making sure that this part of Existence that is there as you as another being – who is actually understanding what the fuck they’re doing, and what they get themselves in for and that it is possible to exist without stimulation.

We’ve existed only through stimulation.

We have not existed as Life in fact.

Life is Here. Life does not require stimulation, Life doesn’t have a Beginning or an End. Life has been stimulated into illusions and being abused as these illusion called ‘Man’ and  ‘Nature’. Everything that exists as a system is an illusion! Because the system is not aware of itself and how it functions. It is not aware how it is stimulated to get a result. You are not aware of all the points that stimulate you – have a look. You are living according to those points of Stimulation in your life that you like.

Everything in your Life exists as One Word. Who you are, is who you are right now because of how you’ve been stimulated to be. Everything you believe, every religion and every book you read is a point of stimulation. Every philosophy that exists is a point of simulation. The totality of Science is an observation of stimulation. Science is nothing extraordinary! It is people that are stimulated to watch stimulation – and according to that, they write down within their own observation of stimulation. That we call, Science! Isn’t it wonderful? It’s Profound! We’ve worked out Reality!

I mean, it’s One Word: Stimulation.

Note

[1] One of the books housed at the famous Nag Hammadi Library, “On the Origin of the World,” there is given a curious Gnostic creation myth where Adam, the primordial man, has been created by “seven rulers” (the “Archons”) without a soul. They are not pleased with their creation because the creature is devoid of life and is unable to move itself, so they abandon the man. Yet it is through the divine intervention of the spiritual feminine principle symbolized by Sophia-Zoe (Gk. “Wisdom-Life”) animates Adam by “sending her breath to him,” after which Adam is able to attain consciousness and speak. The Archons are surprised to discover that Adam has been animated and are even more displeased. They decide to place Adam in Eden, content with the fact that the man is still unable to move… until Sophia’s daughter, Eve is dispatched by her mother to rescue Adam, who can only writhe helplessly along the ground. Eve speaks and commands Adam, “Adam come to life. Rise from the ground!” Adam immediately obeys and stands up and exclaims, “You shall be called the mother of the living. For you have given me life!” Here is a clue of a half-understood principle of the Law of Stimulation, where Adam is stimulated into action.

Special thanks to Maya Harel, Bella Bargilly and Anna Brix Thomsen for their assistance.

Law of Attraction, Part 14: East Meets West

 Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda
        Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda

“A man sitting under the shade of the Kalpa-vriksha (wishing-tree) wished to be a king, and in an instant he was a king. The next moment he wished to have a charming damsel, and the damsel was instantly by his side. The man then thought within himself, if a tiger came and devoured him, and alas! in an instant he was in the jaws of a tiger! God is like that wishing-tree: whosoever in His presence thinks that he is destitute and poor, remains as such, but he who thinks and believes that the Lord fulfils all his wants, receives everything from Him.”
-Gadadhar Chatterji (Sri Ramakrishna)

 

This saying encapsulates the main doctrinal point of the Law of Attraction, of “like attracts like.” and comes from ascetic visionary Sri Ramakrisna living in through the mid 19th century, one of the most revered saints of Hinduism.

Gadadhar Chatterji was born to poor Brahmin parents in 1836 in the West Bengal province of India. Although Gadadhar was illiterate and unschooled, he was an extrermely devout young man whose obsessive and mystical fervor in his worship of Kali enabled him to attain sustained states of blissful awareness of God. His mystical states and odd behavior were so extreme, it led some to believe he was mad. But others were impressed by the young man’s devotion, grace and the content of his spiritual wisdom he imparted to others.

Gadadhar left home as a young man to the Kali temple at Dakshinewsar, a small village located on the outskirts of Calcutta, to assist his older brother, Ramkumar, who was the temple’s head priest, but who died in 1855. Gadadhar took over his brother’s role as head priest, but was dismissed over his bizzare behavior brought on by his intense ecstatic visions and trances. Gadadhar was permitted to live in a modest apartment on the temple grounds, and over a period of time began to draw an ever-increasing crowd of spiritual seekers and intellectuals enamored by the ascetic’s profound yet simple wisdom – and maybe catch a glimpse of his erratic behavior – like washing an outcaste’s hovel with his hair, effefctively renouncing his Brahmin heritage and committing other taboos related to common spiritual practice in an attempt to show that caste and creed were meaningless to him.

After a meeting with a wandering monk, Gadadhar, now going by the name, “Ramakrishna” was initiated into Advaita Vedanta and the found himself drifting into and out of mystical, blissful states of God-consciousness – the Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the highest of all spiritual experiences – for the rest of his life. With his interest in Sufism, Islam and Christianity came more Samadhi states, where Ramakrishna experienced visions of Jesus, Mother Mary and Mohammed. The result of these visions were Ramakrishna‘s teaching that all religions are paths to the divine were available. Doctrines, dogmas and sects were irrelevant.

A group of young men attracted themselves to the spiritual teachings of Ramakrishna, came to the Kali Temple to become his disciples. Ramakrishna selected one to be the leader of his disciples, a young man named Narendra Nath Datta who was destined to take his Guru’s spiritual message to the West.

“Take up one idea! Make that idea your life. Think of it. Dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” -Narendra Nath Datta (Swami Vivekananda)

Narendra Nath Datta was born into an upper class Brahmin family in Calcutta, and received a Western – styled education. Narendra possessed a disdain for superstition and idol worship, but also yearned for spiritual enlightenment and to “See God.” He eventually found what he was looking for after meeting Ramakrishna and becoming his chief disciple, immersing himself in his Master’s spiritual teaching and states of Samadhi.

After Ramakrishna’s death, Narendra and the remaining disciples formed the Monastic Order of Ramakrishna, which was set up to support the poor and needy. Narendra was now given the name: “Swami Vivekananda” and he renounced the world, walking up and down India visiting holy sites and preaching that the highest way to serve God was to serve humanity.

Because of his talented oratorical skill, Vivekananda was chosen to represent Hinduism at the World Parliament of Religion, which was to be held in Chicago in 1893. His speech was tremendously well – received, and the Swami stayed in America for several years lecturing about Indian culture, Yoga and his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta while visiting many cities, before returning to India where he devoted his life to the public service and liberating India from capitalism and British imperialism.

Vivekananda saw that India’s decay and degeneration of the former ancient glory of Vedic culture could not be blamed solely on the British. The deliberate negligence of India’s impoverished people would never be corrected through politics, but only through education and compassion.

While Swami Vivekananda has gone down in history as one of India’s finest freedom fighters, it must be added that Swami Vivekananda followed in the spirit of Ramakrishna‘s statement of, “Whatever you will think, that you will be.” Which is again, the formula of “Like attracts like.”

What Ramakrishna and Vivekananda both imparted to the world was a crucial tenet that would wind its way through the eddies and streams of spirituality and re-emerge into the Human Potential Movement, which was the notion that one is always diminished or exalted by the level of positivity within one’s own mind. Thanks to Vivekananda, these ideas now took firm root within the varieties of spirituality in America and England. The Hindu concept of “Karma,” where “good conduct” brings a favorable future life was now drifting to West, as a mental revolution of how Positive Thinking could give one that “favorable future life” right now. The mind within the human being was now becoming more and more identified as God Itself.

Coming up next: The Supermind of Sri Aurobindo.

Sources:
Ramakrishna, His Life and Sayings, by Max Müller *Encyclopedia of the Occultism and Parapsychology,

Swami Vivekananda, edited by L.A. Shepard, Gate Books, 1974

*Meetings with Ramakrishna. Hixon, Lee. Great Swan: Boston: Shambhala, 1992.

The Gospel of Sri RamakrishnaNikhilananda, Swami, trans. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1942.

Swami Vivekananda in India: a corrective biography, by Rajagopal Chattopadhyaya, MotilalBamarsidass Publ. 1992

Pathways to Joy: The Master Vivekananda on the Four Yoga Paths to God, By Swami Vivekananda, Dave DeLuca

Vivekananda – Biography, Principles and philosophy, Interaction with notable contemporaries, Miscellaneous,

Law of Attraction, Part 11: Vishnu the Preserver

7vishnu

Shaktism, which we had looked at in our previous chapter, is one of the four main branches of modern Hinduism. And so we shall take a look at the other three denominations of Hinduism to see how the secret history of the Law of Attraction has played out within them.

One of the interesting features about Hinduism is that there is little animosity between the differing denominations, as you have between Catholic and Protestant or Sunni and Shia. The Hindus believe that there are many paths that lead to God, so to each their own. This path also extends to the rural and countryside which is home to a rich and ancient tradition of worshipping local deities, as well. It is generally accepted in Hinduism that the Trimurti, the trinity of the important gods: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer, are actually one god, with different faces.

The Vaiṣṇavas

We begin with the largest Hindu denomination., or worship of Vishnu, evolved from one of the earliest theistic devotional monotheistic movements within Hinduism with the worship of the Supreme Being, Vāsudeva, or Krishna, which appeared when the Vāsudevians merged with other groups, namely the Bhāgavata, sometime around the fourth century BCE. In one tradition Vasudeva was the father of Krishna. Over time, Vasudeva Krishna became affiliated with the figure of Vishnu.

For the Vaishnava, Vishnu is the Supreme God, “he that pervades” existence, either in the form of Krishna or Rama. Krishna is one of the most popular gods in Hinduism, the subject of the many stories in the Vedas and the Puranas. He is the eighth avatar of Vishnu, and his romantic, erotic, and religious exploits are well known.

Rama is the seventh avatar of Vishnu. He is the ideal man and legendary warrior-prince of the kingdom of Kosala. His heroic feats are the subject of the Ramayana, an epic poem of obscure origin.

The Ramayana begins with Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi looking down from Heaven and seeing the Earth overrun by demons. After deciding to descend to Earth to rid it of demons, they are born as human beings, Rama and Sita. Some Hindus claim that Buddha was the ninth of Vishnu’s avatars, but this idea is rather controversial in some quarters. Vishnu’s next incarnation will be Kalki, who is prophesied to arrive on Earth on a white horse to administrate the destruction and renewal of the universe.

Previously, we briefly mentioned Vishnu’s appearance in the Vedas. The Vedas relate the famous feat of Vishnu crossing the universe in three strides, thus establishing Heaven and Earth. For the Aryans he was a minor solar deity associated with light, standing alongside Indra to destroy demons.

Although Vishnu is often depicted as a four-armed, blue-skinned human – he is the god who “pervades all things,” and can display or present any shape or form. Among his avatar forms, Vishnu appears as a great fish who assists Manu, the first human, from the great flood. He also shape sift to that of a tortoise, a dwarf or a man-lion.

There are many iconic images of Vishnu sleeping on the back of a 1000-headed serpent called Shesha, as indicated in the image in the background. Here Sheesha supports a sleeping Vishnu while floating in the primordial “milk-ocean” of eternity. Shesha is king of the serpents, and represents the primordial state of existence. Vishnu is here accompanied by his consort Lakshimi. The Punanas (Sacred Hindu legends and folklore from the 4th century CE onwards) calls Sheesha “Ananta” which means the “Remainder,” because after Vishnu awakes from the dream of existence at the end of this age of Kaliyuga, the universe of forms is devoured and only the massive coiled form of Antanta remains until Vishnu regenerates the next age by returning to sleep.

Vishnu’s consort is the lovely Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty, fortune, wealth and prosperity. She is depicted with the divine attribute of possessing four arms symbolic of desire, wealth, dharma and liberation from reincarnation. Lakshmi is the domestic goddess of every household, and worshipping her is believed to bring wealth and fortune. Thus, these figurines are washed, dressed and fed food, the aroma of which is believed to nourish the gods.

Her aspect as Maya is the Divine Intelligence and Creative Power of Vishnu, She is also the illusion of form and in some schools, a separate entity. Thus Maya is the power of deception, concealing the true nature of existence. One cannot know the true nature of self without transcending Maya.

As we have said before, Vaishnava centers around the devotion of Vishnu. Vaishnavism is not so much a doctrine to understand intellectually, as it is understood to be one’s moral responsibility to live a life devoted to the religious expression of the divine self as Vishnu within.

There are a number of sects within Vaishnava with differing beliefs and practices, diverging on doctrinal points such as whether the soul is part of God or separate, or whether caste is to be recognized or overturned. However, after death, the believers say they will live in Heaven with Vishnu or Krishna.

The Law of Attraction is insinuated within Vaishnava, through the use of devotion and Mantras, which in Sanskrit literally means, “instrument of thought.” With successful dharma and devotion to Vishnu, Krishna, Lakshmi or Rama, it is believed that the Gods will bring forth one’s desires in this life and within the next one, where the righteous will spend eternity in the Celestial Realms with Vishnu.

Next: Shiva, the Master Yogi

 

Sources

Rāmāyaṇa: Boyhood, By Vālmīki, Robert P. Goldman, NYU Press. 2005

The Myths and Gods of India: the Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism, by Alain Daniélou, Inner Traditions & Bear & Co. 1991

Vāsudeva.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 14 Jan. 2010 .

The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry, W. G. Archer, BiblioBizaar, 1911

*”Vishnu” Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online.
<http://www.pantheon.org/articles/v/vishnu.html&gt; [Accessed January 11, 2010].

The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 1, by Robert Vane Russell, BiblioBizaar. 2009

Law of Attraction, Part 8. Ancient Brahminism

caste-system1-300x213

 

 

At some point during the beginning of the first millennium BCE, the descendants of the Aryans and the non-Vedic tribes abandoned their pastoral life in favor of developing and acquiring wealth and property. But with this new affluence, a new set of questions arose concerning the unfamiliar ways of living. How could the more asocial and selfish elements in a being be controlled? What happened after death? How was the world created? With these existential questions, the old social conventions began to be challenged. Vedic culture had grown and become more complex and advanced, rendering the ancient nature worship practices unsatisfying and hollow, and they were beginning to tire of the bloody sacrifices – and the Brahmin priests, as well. The Brahmin priests realized that something had to be done to keep the society, and their privileged place within it, stable.

 

A clue of what Vedic culture might have experienced within their existential terror can be found in the remarks of Sigmund Freud, who explained that man’s relationship with religion is based on a curious thing, the often – stimulating  fulfillment of desire. One could say the same about the Law of Attraction – which is said to magnetically manifest the fulfillment of one’s desire. What the Vedic people did not have was an object of their desires, something they could mentally focus upon –  that lived within them as the troubling questions that needed answered about the nature of reality, the purpose of life and who they really are.

 

We can only imagine what existential crisis the Vedic people went through. What they needed was a way to express the unspoken desires inside them that insisted there was more to life than just living and dying. What was missing was something to charge up and stimulate their feelings and imagination in order for people to generate energy for the “nourishment of the Gods.”

 

The Brahmins

 

The Brahmin priests gradually saw that they had a big problem on their hands, and we repeat: Vedic culture had progressed, becoming more complex and sophisticated, rendering the primitive nature worship unsatisfying and hollow.

 

The priest resorted to their mastery of vocabulary, symbolism and persuasion. The people had a duty to sacrifice, the priests explained, – for sacrifice nourishes and pleases the gods, and thus the gods will be thankful and return the favor. There was a morality component attached to this ritual: one would be a thief if one did not reciprocate this Divine Arrangement; the Law of Reciprocity. The priests instituted more than a few innovated wrinkles to persuade the people – as they insisted that there existed a cosmic order to things, and it was the Brahmins duty to give the people a code of conduct to stabilize the community.

 

Dharma was the idea that each person has a duty, moral code, and set of behaviors which are specific to one’s varna, or social class,

Karma, where one’s station in life is determined by actions of previous lives, and

Moksha, defined as the salvation from the rounds of rebirth.

 

We will talk about these things later, as these innovated systems of religious determinism gradually seeped into the religious practices over many centuries, but for now, we continue with how the Brahmins gave the people what they wanted: objects for their desires. The Brahmins found the answer by shifting the people’s  consciousness away from focusing on nature-worship to spiritual contemplation of a subjective metaphysical reality. They meditated, pondered and speculated about the workings of the universe. The result was the emergence of a new God: Prajapati, the Supreme Deity and the lord of creatures, who in one version of the story, sat alone in all of existence until he split himself into male and female, repeating the process until the world was filed with people and animals.

 

“O Prajapati, none other than thou encompasses all these creatures; for whatever object of desire we sacrifice to thee, let that be ours; may we be lords of riches.” (Rig Veda 10.121.10)

 

The priests also gave the people the Devas, who represented the forces of nature, virtues, and demons – who were responsible for all kinds of mischief. The priests claimed the ability to communicate with the supernatural world through the use of a hallucinogenic drink made from herbs called, soma. Soma was believed to be the drink of the Gods, and apparently, the use of soma allowed the Gods to communicate to the priests that they must prepare sacrifices for them. With the use of ancient Vedic prayers, mantras, sacrificial rites and the intoxicating soma, a magical technology was developed to manipulate the Gods and reality in favor of the supplicant.

 

Over time, Prajapati’s influence waned, and he became submerged within another innovation by the Priests: the discovery of the Brahman, the “power” held within the rituals, sacrifices and incantations. Within the development of the concept of the Brahman, the internal spiritual development of a being became more important, as Brahman was the single unifying principle that this existence emanated from. Brahman was Absolute joy and knowledge. The old Vedic gods like Agni and Indra were still recognized, but only as various manifestations of Brahman.

 

Around 900 BCE, the old Vedic texts were finally written down in Sanskrit along with new compositions and declared Divine. Armed with the authority of their spells, sacrificial rites, a holy, liturgical language and script of the Vedas at their beck and call, the Brahmins were regarded as powerful beings who could command the gods to bring about whatever they pleased. It wasn’t the Gods who brought rain and sunshine; it was the Priest who commanded the Gods to bring rain and sunshine. And since the priests claimed that they were the exclusive controllers of this “Brahman,” the Brahmins maintained their superior social status as an elite of sacred priests and powerful manipulators of the Gods and existence. Within this, the Brahmins had found a solution that gave the Vedic people a way to fulfill their desires and feel protected.

 

The Brahmins sought to legitimize the social order of varna and class that had existed since ancient Vedic times. Being the representatives of the Ultimate Reality placed the Brahmins, of course, at the top of the social order, and they cleverly manipulated the varna system by placing themselves and their lineage as the elite. The priests appealed to the ancient Vedic cosmology of “the Cosmic Man,” the Purusha[1]” who was sacrificed and dismembered, re-assembled and resurrected – with the Brahmins coming from his mouth, the Ksatriya, the warriors, coming from his shoulder, the Vaisya, the landowners from his belly and the landless peasants, the Sudras, the feet. Those who rejected or ignored these rulings were placed as the Untouchables, the outcasts.

 

It must be noted here that the priests of emergent Brahminism carried a particular contempt towards women. The Brahmanic religious literature declared that women were to be dependent, chaste, loyal and secluded within their homes while declaring their husbands to be the wives’ divine saviors. Women were there to support men in all phases of their ritualized life. Widows or abused wives could never marry again. They were to wear veils covering their faces. Women were so despised by the Brahmins that the priests declared that the male children of the top three varnas must go through a birth ritual where they were to be ‘twice born.‘ Women were excluded from the rebirth ritual because they were considered to be too impure to be redeemed. The “dowry burning” phenomenon has long plagued Indian society well into the present day, harks back to ancient times, where family of a greedy groom seeks to extort the family of the bride, and having failed in the attempt, escalates the conflict to bring about the murder or suicide of the bride.[2] The Brahmins did see some value in women as the necessary contrivance for producing children, without which the funeral rites could not be performed at all.

 

The Brahmins’ used their sacred knowledge of the Vedas as an unassailable power by wrapping themselves within an aura of holy authority. It was unallowable to even touch a Bramin priest. Only a Brahmin may read the holy scriptures or educate the other social classes. The the priestly elite, the Brahmin priesthood enjoyed a social privilege that gave them advantages over the warrior, farmer, the darker-skinned servant varnas and untouchables, all who were subordinated beneath them held power over. Even kings dared not to openly oppose the Brahmins, for in the Vedic tradition, it was the priests who legitimized kingly power.

 

Of course, the other varnas supported the Brahmin Priesthood as well, building temples, showering them with financial gifts and land in exchange for the priest’s blessings. The Brahmins became in fact, the landed elite, protected by royal power, while living off of the labor and money of the lower varnas. The Brahmins in effect, were a dominating social power presiding over a feudal agrarian political economy. The Law of Attraction is seen here operating at the level of energetic polarity: the priests standing as representatives of God, attracted wealth and abundance – at the expense of the lower varnas. And it was this corruption and oppression under the supervision of the Brahmin priests that paved the way for the emergence of Buddhism.

 

Next: The Shramanas and the Revolt against Brahmin Authority.

 

Notes

[1] The Purusha is a religious concept with a varied and distinct defining points. Not only did it stand as the name of the cosmic man sacrificed by the Gods to bring about all the forms of life in the Universe, in different eras and systems, it also refers to human consciousness, the Self or the unifying principle of existence. Compare to the creation myth of the ancient Sumerians, who held that their gods also sacrificed a god, whose body and blood were mixed with clay to produce the human race.

[2] “Bride burning” is still a common practice in Southeast Asia. As late as 2010, it was estimated that  8391 dowry death cases were reported across India, according to statistics recently released by the National Crime Records Bureau. “On one hand people regard women as devi (goddess), on the other hand they burn them alive. This is against the norms of civilised society. It’s barbaric,” former Justice Markandey Katju remarked in response to an appeal filed by a husband handed a life sentence by a Sessions court for burning his wife. Story, Indian Dowry Deaths on the Rise.

 

Sources

 

Freud, Religion, and Anxiety by Christopher Chapman
Brahman and Chhetri of Nepal.” Encyclopedia of World Cultures. James Fischer. “The Gale Group, Inc. 1996. Encyclopedia.com. (December 29, 2009). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3458000468.html

Encyclopaedia of Dalits in India: Movements by Sanjay Paswan
Caste is the Cruellest Exclusion, by Gail Omvedt, InfoChange News & Features, October 2008

The Mysore Tribes and Castes by L. Krishna Anantha Krishna Iyer (Diwan Bahadur), 1988

Handbook of Hindu Mythology by George Mason Williams, 2003

Law of Attraction, Part 7: Eastern Origins

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In the previous blogs about the history of the Law of Attraction, we briefly looked at the Law of Attraction’s ancient connection with the major religions in the world. In this series we will expand and deepen our investigation into the secret history of the Law of Attraction as it applies to the great religious systems in the world. It isn’t common knowledge, but many of the most important aspects of the Law of Attraction derive from Hinduism, thus a brief survey of Hinduism seems to be in order. In this blog series we will shift venues and look at the Law of Attraction’s role within the development of the oldest living religion in the world today: Hinduism.

 

Hindu Origins: Vedic Civilization And Religion

 

Undertaking the daunting task of breaking down a religion as enormous as Hinduism gives one pause, because Hinduism goes so far beyond your typical Westerner’s basic understanding of religion. It is difficult to grasp all at once. A shallow treatment of this system will not yield anything more than shallow realizations, and delving in too deeply creates the danger of getting lost within an ocean of details and losing the narratives. We will deal with this by handling the material historically and thematically, and those who wish to study further will have the appropriate vocabulary to begin.

Hinduism is the world’s oldest existing organized religion, with an estimated billion followers, making it the world’s third largest religion, and within it containing a rich variety of religious beliefs, rites, customs, and practices. Hinduism is unique among the major religions because it claims no historical founder like Buddha, Mohammed, Moses or Jesus were for their respective religions. Hinduism is a belief system based entirely on the tales of mythic Gods, heroes, demons, magic, morality, karma and sacrifice.

The word ‘Hindu‘ is English, and named after the advanced urban centers located along the Indus River Valley. Harappa and Mohenjodero (located in modern-day Pakistan) were two ancient cities built around 3500 BCE that evolved and flourished as dynamic urban centers from around 2600 to 1700 BCE.

Hundreds of sites have been excavated in Punjab and Rajasthan along the dried-up Sarasvati River, mentioned in the Rig Veda, which places its beginning of the Indus River Valley Culture between the Sarasvarti and the Drishadvati rivers. From here, we will use Dr. David Frawley’s suggestion on referring to this as the “Indus-Sarasvati civilization” which appears to be the birthplace of Indian culture.

The Indus-Sarasvati civilization is an enigma. These urban centers were the largest and the most sophisticated in the world at that time (approximately 26 centuries before the Common Era), including Egypt and Sumer, and yet, at some unknown time, they were mysteriously abandoned. The Harappan cities were community-minded, featuring planned streets, public baths, sewage draining and granaries. They used bronze and stone tools. And it seems these people believed in an afterlife. Graves have been discovered and fire altars have been excavated. This culture worshipped the forces of nature, animals, the phallus and an all-powerful Goddess. Seals have been discovered featuring designs of figures seated in the yoga position. Human sacrifice was ritualized; the flesh and blood placed in the fields to refresh them. Numerous seals have also been found indicating that commercial activities took place. Scholars do not know why the Harappan cities were abandoned. Perhaps climate change or some sort of economic or agricultural calamity made living in the cities impossible.

 

The Aryan Controversy

It has long been assumed that Hinduism descended from the legendary Aryans, the alleged creators of the Vedic civilization and religion. The Vedic civilization is named after the Vedas; the 4 sacred books of hymns, mantras and spiritual teachings of Hinduism that was handed down by the Aryans – or, the “Aryas” according to the Rig Veda. The Vedas, which were orally transmitted for centuries by the priests and later written down in early Sanskrit, contain hymns, philosophy, and instructions on ritual for the priests.

And here hangs the tale of the controversy in discussing the murky history of India – the subject of much academic speculation and political disputation. The biggest bone of contention within this scholarly debate centers on the so-called “Aryan Invasion Theory” that postulates a large group of roving ‘Aryans‘ descending from the east, invading the Indian continent, displacing and conquering the indigenous Dravidians and other tribes on their way towards establishing the Vedic Civilization.

Critics have attacked the Aryan Invasion Theory on grounds that the Vedic records themselves do not contain any reference of an “Aryan Invasion.” They say that the Aryan Invasion Theory was only put forward by Eurocentric scholars, built upon literary, linguistic and religious assumptions that were used by the West in service of British Colonialism in India. Critics also point out that is no evidence that the Aryans lived at any time outside of India.

According to “Frawley’s Paradox,” on one hand, the Indus-Sarasvati culture left behind the greatest, sophisticated urban civilization in the world at that time, and strangely yet, left no written records. And on the other hand, we have the theoretical Aryans, thought to be illiterate, militant, domineering chariot-jockeys and destroyers of cities, leaving no archeological trace except one of the world’s greatest literature in the Vedas.

Frawley’s solution to the paradox suggests that the Vedic and the Indus-Sarasvati cultures are, in all likelihood, one and the same.

 

The Vedic Religion

The Vedas are the sacred collection of hymns and mantras of the Hindu religion, and are considered to have been revealed by the gods themselves and given to human beings. The dating of the Vedas is hard to determine, as they were assembled over a long period of time, orally transmitted for centuries before being written in Sanskrit some 3,500 years ago, making the Vedas the oldest religious text still used in the world today. The Vedic religious forms have had an enormous influence over Hinduism.

The original Vedic gods seemed to be all males; Indra, the Warrior-King of Heaven, drew the most attention in the Vedas. Varuna, the sky god held the universe together as the cosmic law of existence, punishing those who transgressed the moral order he laid down and rewarding those who kept his law. Agni was the fire god and acceptor of sacrifices. Vishnu was the sun god who strode the universe in three steps.

The Vedic culture’s religious needs were serviced by a hereditary priesthood called the Brahmin. For centuries the Vedic Brahmin priests committed the Vedas to memory and chanted mantras and officiated over the sacrifices and fire rituals. The Brahmins’ sacrificial rites were very important to the Vedic culture. The rising smoke from the flames was carried up to Heaven by the fire god Agni, who transmuted the flames into nourishment for the gods.

 

Next: More on the Vedic Religion

 

Sources:

The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, by Elena Efimovna Kuzʹmina, J. P. Mallory, Brill, 2008

Handbook for the Study of Eastern Literatures, Ancient India, by Dr. Robert Churchill, Creighton University

An Introduction to Hinduism by Gavin D. Flood, Cambridge University Press, 1996

Looking for the Aryans by Ram Sharan Sharma, Orient Blackswan, 1995

A Social history of India by S. N. Sadasivan, 2000

The Myth of Aryan Invasion of India, by Dr. David Frawley, American Institute of Vedic Studies

 

 

 

 

Law of Attraction, Part 6: The New Age

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When the New Age Movement came into prominence during the late 1970s, nobody knew that by the end of the 20th Century, the New Age Movement would become the third largest religion in America. The New Age’s allure and appeal stem from the perceived breakdowns of the economic, political, cultural and religious systems in the world, underscoring the great disappointment in the promise of the various systems that were born in the Age of Enlightenment. Pollution, wars, economic downturns, military repression, the failure of Democracy, has forced people to re-evaluate their lives by taking a look at alternative spiritualities.

 

Even in its earliest stages of development, New Age Movement has been linked to the New Thought Movement of the 19th century as well as the mind cure and Human Potential Movements which saw increasing popularity in American culture with the advent of various self – improvement courses related to prosperity building (such as the Dale Carnegie courses) or releasing one’s inner power and ability (such as L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Scientology crusades or Werner Erhard’s EST).

 

Central to the New Age belief system is the notion that human beings no longer have to search “out there” for the divine, because human beings are divine already. Praying to God is no longer necessary since humans are all “gods” that share the same divine essence. Reincarnation, creating one’s own reality, meditation and attaining higher consciousness are the main preoccupations of those participating in the New Age Movement.

 
The New Age message descends from a variety of sources: Neopaganism, Spiritism, Theosophy, New Thought, Ascended Masters Teachings and so forth – therefore it cannot be defined into a single doctrine. There exists no single defined set of New Age belief, Articles of Faith or a centralized administration. Truth and authority are located within the charismatic leadership of authors, channelers, healers and motivational speakers.

 

As far as channelers are concerned, New Agers attach great emotional and spiritual significance to the messages these entities speak and write through human beings, evidenced through the popularity of books by Jane Roberts, J.Z. Knight, Neale Donald Walsch and Jerry and Ester Hicks. Which brings us back to the Law of Attraction. A chief feature of the New Age version of the Law of Attraction is the same as ritual magic of old; empowerment. The leaders of the New Age have marketed this desire for empowerment by treating the Law of Attraction as a marketable commodity. There is much to choose from in the wide variety of books, courses and seminars that present the law of attraction as an empowering tool for self-realization.

 

Channeled Sources of the Law of Attraction

 

During in the 1960’s, Jane Roberts allegedly channeled a being named, ‘Seth,’ who claimed that reality and the mind did not exist independently of each other, thus consciousness has a real effect on one’s own reality. Seth presented the famous New Age maxim of, “You Create Your Own Reality” through your thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

 

A Course in Miracles, is a classic New Age tome allegedly channeled from ‘Jesus Christ,’ teaches that spirit, mind, and body are interrelated, and “proper” mental attitudes will help one become more effective with their life. This type of “reality manipulation” has been spoken about before in the 19th and 20th centuries in the writings of Quimby, Atkinson, Hill and Bailey. Thus the trajectory of the human search for empowerment has come a long way from the old days where ritual magic and incantations were used to manipulate natural and supernatural forces – which finds its fullest expression as the New Age principle of reality manipulation within the Law of Attraction. As divine humans, we are to use our divine mind, which is the only creative force in existence.

 

The Secret 

 

In 2006, Rhonda Byrne created a colossal marketing tsunami with her hit DVD, The Secret. Appearing on Oprah drove in book sales as well, as you could not visit your local neighborhood bookstore without seeing a gaudy display of The Secret near the cash registers. Promoting The Secret in a documentary style that mixed conspiracy theory, self-improvement and motivational speaking, made The Secret irresistible to many people.

 

The ‘Secret’ that changed Rhonda Byrne’s life was, of course, the Law of Attraction. She came across Wallace Wattle’s book, The Science of Getting Rich during a difficult time in her life and to her credit, turned her inspiration into a worldwide marketing sensation after an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Byrne’s “secret” was that she just recycled earlier New Thought and Theosophical teachings, placing it in a shiny wrapper and made a fortune. In the DVD version of The Secret, Byrne presents a roll call of “philosophers,” entrepreneurs, “visionaries” and self-help gurus who tell the viewer that The Secret can be revealed to anybody. Bob Proctor, one of the “philosophers” on the DVD, appears and announces that you can ‘get anything you want’ health or wealth – with The Secret.

 
So, what is The Secret? It’s the Law of Attraction, of course – “the Greatest Law in the Universe.” “It always works,” claims one of the Law of Attraction gurus featured in Byrne’s production. They adamantly assert that thoughts emit a magnetic field that draws events to you. Add intense emotional charge, and what you attract happens faster, and it doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative events. Feeling Good, is your duty. Feeling bad, well, that’s verboten.

 

 

Abraham and Esther Hicks

 

 
One of the featured narrators on The Secret DVD is Esther Hicks, who channels the non-physical entity “Abraham,” who Hicks describes as an “infinite intelligence.” Hicks appeared in the original release of The Secret, but later had a falling out with Rhonda Byrne, and she was edited out of a new version the next year. Hicks was the only self-help presenter on The Secret who was paid for her appearance, receiving $500,000, according a New York Times interview.

 

 

According to the Abraham-Hicks official website, husband and wife team Jerry and Esther Hicks describe themselves as “living a fairy-tale life.” Jerry suffered from poor health as a child and lived in extreme poverty. His life turned around after reading Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.

 
The former acrobat and stunt man became a very successful Amway distributor when he met Esther during one of his Amway presentations and later married. Esther spent a period of meditation for nine months, after which ‘Abraham’ appeared in Esther’s consciousness and began communicating with them. Abraham has been described as a “nebulous mist,” “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension,” “the great masters of the universe,” and so on. The Abraham-Hicks site claims that the modern teaching of the Law of Attraction “all started here!” But various points of the Teachings of Abraham can be traced back to other sources besides those found in New Thought and Theosophy and in New Age. It’s clear that the main features of the Law of Attraction hasn’t changed much since the earlier proponents Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey said much of the same things.

 
But as the most well-known advocates of the Law of Attraction, The Hicks have taken their Abundance message to the world while traveling in true rock star fashion in their one and a half million-dollar tour bus. Even the death of Esther Hicks’ husband, Jerry (in November, 2011) has failed to erode or tarnish the Abraham – Hicks’ popularity.

 

 

The Dark Side of The Secret

 

However, there have been a few beings who may have followed the Law of Attraction too closely, and have taken great risks in doing so. Consider the case of one of the Self-Help Gurus that appeared in The Secret, James Arthur Ray, a frequent guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Ray held a Spiritual Warrior seminar in Sedona, Arizona, charging nearly 10 thousand dollars a head to attend a “Break Your Boundaries” workshop. At the end of a physically and mentally taxing five-day regimen that included intense fasting and a “game” where Ray reportedly donned white robes and played God, Ray conducted a sweat lodge ceremony where approximately 55 people were crammed into the steaming hot for hours. Law enforcement officials say that when people became ill and began to pass out, Ray coaxed them to stay inside, apparently to move beyond their discomfort and to “break their boundaries.” As a result 3 people died and 18 were hospitalized in the sweat lodge catastrophe. Controversy ensued when it was reported that Ray fled the scene before talking to authorities.

 

Ray was later brought to trial for manslaughter, but was only convicted of felony negligent homicide. Ray served nearly two years before being released in 2013 and is presently conducting seminars on dealing with personal crisis.

 

The Law of Attraction holds out the promise of wealth, health and happiness. The message of “Creating Your Reality” and “Everything Is Yours To Have,” has given people who same sense of empowerment Attraction Magic gave the ancient Mesopotamians thousands of years ago. It’s been a very long road through the centuries and eras that we’ve traveled, but the trajectory of empowerment that is the principle of the Law of Attraction – which appeared in various forms such as the ritual magic prayed and performed to curry favor from the Gods of the ancient Sumerians  – to the postmodern proponents of the Secret, who beseech the Gods who reside within the human mind – has been completed. According to the Law of Attraction, we have finally met the Gods that we used to worship. And they were us!

 

 

Next: The Eastern Roots of the Law of Attraction