A Course in Miracles and the Law of Attraction
Did you know that A Course in Miracles and The Law of Attraction are timelessly related?
The Power of Our Thoughts, Feelings and Imagination, the Power of Forgiveness and Gratitude, and the Role of Karmic Lessons
Many sacred texts, most major religious traditions, and varied works over the centuries have implored us to guard our thoughts more carefully, reminding us that we are very reckless with the thoughts that we allow ourselves to focus upon, and which have the mammoth power to create our worlds, and even to enslave us, if we allow them to do so.
If we are willing, faithful and disciplined, our thoughts, feeling-states, affirmations, and imagination are wonder-fully powerful agents of change. The “mustard seed” metaphor is fitting. The age-old Law of Attraction – which states that we get more and more of what we focus on, as described in “The Secret” (and communicated through sources including “The Teachings of Abraham” channeled by Esther Hicks) which is now being discussed widely in mainstream circles for the first time, thanks to Oprah, is an unmistakable metaphysical truth.
All things, from the chair you’re sitting on, to your physical body, to your thoughts and feelings, are all forms of energy. And all energy vibrates at particular frequencies. Even the things that appear solid – take that chair you’re sitting on, for example – are actually in motion on a microscopic level that our physical eyes can’t see. We know that because we know that matter is composed of atoms which have, within their orbit, electrons which rotate around the nucleus. We also know that because we can, through high-intensity microscopes, actually see the movement. One important and obvious lesson from this is that the world is a lot more than what it appears to the naked eye. We learned that when we learned that the earth is not flat; we also learned it when we’ve seen that planes that vanish into the distance are not “gone” or dissolved into thin air. However, many still struggle with, and are challenged by these concepts of thoughts and feelings as vibrational patterns that are equally invisible to the naked eye.
Our thoughts and feelings forms of energy. The physical world, including our physical bodies are the most dense, having the lowest frequencies, while our thoughts and feelings have higher frequencies (as do “radio waves”, cell phone transmissions, and other physically invisible forms of data transmission). Happy, joyful and peaceful feelings and thoughts vibrate at a higher frequency than do feelings of sadness, grief, fear, anger, and guilt, etc. It follows that happy, joyful or peaceful-types of thoughts create better feeling-states which are of a higher vibrational frequency. How we feel emotionally is nothing less than a barometer of what vibrational state we’re in, which is itself, largely a result of what we’ve been mentally focused on, i.e. what we’ve been thinking about. And these vibrational states or energetic frequencies, like radio frequencies, transmit and receive signals that are of the same frequency. This is The Law of Attraction at work.
Our thoughts and feelings and their corresponding vibrational frequencies get “projected” or transmitted out into the world, just like a radio transmitter, and reflect back like or similar energetic frequencies to us resulting in our perceptions of the world. Thus, we actually create our world through our thoughts, their resulting feelings and their vibrational transmissions. In radical contrast to traditional Newtonian physics, which is rooted in concepts of time and space as well as cause and effect — concepts that Einstein rejected, Quantum physics has demonstrated repeatedly that an object itself actually changes as our perception of it changes.
This is why when you conclude to yourself that you’ve woken up on the “wrong side of the bed” because you’re not feeling up to par, had a bad dream, or are in a “bad mood”, you’re more likely to miss your train to work, have coffee spilled on you on that later train, and then get into an argument with a coworker. That is, of course, unless you deliberately change your minds et or attitude (i.e. your vibrational frequency). The better you feel, the higher the frequency of the vibration of your thoughts and feelings. And the higher that frequency is, the more likely – everything else being equal – that positive things will surface in your day, in your thoughts, and in how you’re feeling. That is because positive energy attracts positive energy, and negative energy attracts negative energy.
Repetitive thought patterns also create our unconscious — or invisible — belief systems. Much, if not all, of our belief systems stem from childhood and are, themselves, based on the vibrations of others’ belief systems, most frequently from our parents or early caretakers. These belief systems, in turn, are continuously projected out into the world and then seemingly validated by our perceptions of how are lives are going. Like an unscrupulous scientist eager to prove his hypotheses who fails to record data contrary to his desired conclusions, we only “notice” or see those features of the world which confirm or validate our belief systems about ourselves and the world. We really do “screen out” data which is not consistent with our beliefs. And, our beliefs themselves actually result in the very physical shape and neuronal circuitry of our physical brains contained within our skulls.
Unless we deliberately do something different to change our beliefs, they become more and more entrenched, as does our experience of ourselves and the world. However, we have the power to change our beliefs, if we choose to do so and exercise our willingness to do so, by deliberately guiding our thoughts, just as a shepherd herds sheep, gently and persistently, towards a desired location and direction. Beliefs take time to develop because they’re based upon repetition over time. So does changing ones beliefs take time, patience, and determination. However, with such ingredients, our beliefs will change as will the actual physical neuronal connections in our brain. They have to. It is law. This is the basis for what is known as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has shown, over time, to produce physical changes in the subject brain’s shape and neuronal connections similar to the physical effects on the brain seen following the use of psychotropic medications.
The Laws of Attraction and Abundance have been unduly simplified and many of our ego-driven souls are busily “running with the ball” seeking materially “bigger and better” by doing things like practicing affirmations, saying or writing over and over and over again things like, “I am the proud owner of a 2011 $100,000 red Mercedes Sports Coupe”. This type of practice constitutes a misuse of the Law of Attraction and a misunderstanding of other metaphysical and spiritual principles. The truth is that other laws, as described below, are also at play but are not popularly understood.
Firstly, what I’ll refer to as our “karmic lessons” which are nothing other than archetypal energy patterns stemming from both our own souls’ lessons together with inter-generational contracts of sorts (i.e. the “sins of the father”) resulting from the unresolved conflicts (or unlearned lessons) of our ancestors –usually our parents and grandparents– must be acknowledged. (Carolyn Myss illustrates this beautifully in her book, “Sacred Contracts”.) What I mean here is that we can’t forget that we are but co-creators. It’s like we’re traveling down a river in a boat. We get to choose how to navigate the river, avoiding the rocks, the turbulence, and the shallow spots, but the specific river that we’re navigating down itself is not of our choosing.
Also, the process of forgiveness (which is a “letting go” or a “surrender”) is a process not of doing but of releasing resistance to the Good that is already there. This is indispensable to healing negative, fear-based vibrational states. As A Course In Miracles teaches, abundance surrounds us; our only goal is not to create abundance but merely to remove the obstacles to our awareness of its presence. It’s not about creating better circumstances in our lives; it’s about appreciating the infinite and abundant good that is already present. It’s as simple as that. Simple but not always easy. The only way to do this is to surrender all fear-based energies – such as judgment, anger, sadness, fear, guilt, shame, and to let the universe’s plan unfold for the Highest Good. And it always is for the highest good. The Law of Attraction can never be used to create harm to another or to take something good away from someone, because that is not of a higher frequency desire.
Most importantly, this is not about painting a happy face on you when you’re feeling miserable, i.e. sad, angry or afraid, etc. inside. Utilizing a Buddhist metaphor, one must empty ones rice bowl of old, stale rice in order that new, fresh rice can be added to it. Similarly, negative energetic states corresponding to fear, sadness, anger, grief or guilt, and the like need to be released to make room for the positive vibrational states of peace, joy, and light. Remember: the difference is subtle but extremely profound. To put it simply, one needs to truly shift ones vibration to a higher frequency, not merely pretend to be doing so.
It’s a most delicate process, evidenced by so many trying to utilize The Law of Attraction try to convince themselves that they’re happy when they’re not. But, again, ones emotions are ones best vibrational barometers. So if you’re feeling low or sad or angry, etc, simply sit and be with the feelings and try to let them flow through you. Try not to resist them and try not to judge them. Most profoundly, allow them to flow in you and through you and out of you. Many techniques including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), breath work, and meditation may be helpful. This is about compassion for yourself in whatever emotional state you’re experiencing. This is the work of surrender. It is the work of forgiveness.
Lastly, the Course teaches us that we have absolutely no idea what is best for us, using the ego-based thinking of this world. Thus, the only correct use of the Law of Attraction is to seek inner peace. And that’s obtained by releasing all ego-based thinking, shifting instead to a thought system based upon Love, not Fear, by shifting to your Higher Mind which is connected to my Higher Mind, etc. Think of disconnecting your computer from your Ego-based server, rebooting, and connecting to your Spiritual server or Higher Mind. This is not metaphor. Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell and many others, including psychologists, academicians and metaphysicians, have recognized the existence of what’s been referred to, variously, with names such as Universal Intelligence and Universal Consciousness. Its existence has been validated in scientific settings and recorded over and over again. For just a few examples, refer to Deepak Chopra’s work, “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” and of his description of scientific and validated proof of what he refers to as the “non-local domain”.
This is how “miracles” as referred to in the Course In Miracles manifest in our lives. Not by our efforts, but by our release of effort. All else that is to manifest in our lives will do so energetically when there’s no resistance. Again, our only job is to remove the obstacles to the awareness of the presence of Love, Peace, Joy, and Abundance. From that frequency, The Law of Attraction will do its work.
Know that the frequency of gratitude and appreciation for the abundance that is already present is in your life is of the highest vibrational power that you can manifest. Some find that they can attract very specific things into our lives by repeating affirmations about the presence of those items in their lives, be it a new car or house or partner that they’re looking to manifest, but ultimately, by seeking Inner Peace, we’re maximizing the greatest manifestations to occur by getting out of the way and letting Spirit flow through us in its natural stream for the Highest Good of all. When we add the vibrational frequencies of genuine and sincere gratitude and appreciation for such abundance, we are manifesting the best and highest use of the Law of Attraction.
There is an Infinite Power which will bring good to us, if we will allow ourselves access to it and refrain from resisting it. We can be grateful for the fact that our emotions are awesome indicators of whether our thoughts are consistent with the flow of such power and our highest good, or resistant to it.
If you want to utilize The Law of Attraction, focus only on Inner Peace, in whatever way you can. Imagine it. Breathe it. Feel it. Create that vibrational state. Feel free to listen in to my audio on shifting vibrational states out of judgment (4.3.13) by clicking here. When you’re in it, stay in it as long as it feels right to you. You’ll know you’re there (“in the zone”) if you feel a sense of deep Peace and Joy. Make that your only goal. All else that is good will manifest and flow out of that. Be still. And be faithful. And in those quiet and deepest moments in your quest, you will find that this path is the path of Forgiveness, of a letting go. A surrender of the ego’s habitual focus on guilt and judgment. This is the way of the Spiritual Warrior, the path of Faith and of Forgiveness. And this is the greatest use of the power of The so-called “Secret Law of Attraction.”
Learn to Meditate
Do you want to know how you can become more “spiritual”? Meditation is a wonderful path. It will quiet your mind, improve all of your abilities, enhance your creativity, bolster your resistance to the stressors in this world, and improve your relationships. Not to mention that it will also bring you more inner peace, which is really what it’s all about. Meditation is quite simple but it takes practice and discipline. Here are the steps:
1. Sit still in a comfortable position with your spine straight, your head balanced on your spine, and your arms and legs uncrossed (turn off your cell phone first). 2. Breathe naturally but start to become aware of the sensation of your breathing in and exhaling. Also begin to notice the sounds that you hear, the temperature and feeling of the air, the texture of your clothes against your skin, etc. 3. Begin to “surrender your thoughts.” The way to do this is to use an “object” or what I call a “vehicle”. The vehicle could be your breath or a mantra(a mantra is a sanskrit word; if you wish, feel free to repeat the word “ohm” to yourself out loud first and then silently) – both of which are very popular and frequently used in Buddhist practice – or any visual cue such as the flame of a candle, or even the sensations in your body, and continue to focus upon the object, returning your attention to it over and over and over again when your mind slips back to the thoughts that your “monkey mind” (that constant chatter that seems incessant) generates. This is the short answer.
Many people consider themselves “spiritual” these days and that’s great. There’s a lot more interest than ever before in non-organized religious paths to our higher purpose and being. Most would define spirituality as a connection with a “higher power” or “source” other than themselves. So you can spend your free time in the “New Age” section of the local Barnes and Noble or Borders reading about spiritual topics, which is a fine thing. However, in my opinion, it’s not a substitute for your “spiritual practice”.
A spiritual practice requires that you acknowledge and take steps to deliberately address your mind’s inclination towards its addiction to thought and the resulting emotion. In fact, the greatest addiction in the world is the addiction to thinking. That’s not a typo and it needs to be underscored — our greatest addiction is our addiction to our identification with and focus upon our thoughts and even our feelings or emotions. Read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” or “The New Earth” for more on this. The things that we think and the disturbing emotions that we feel are part of the ego’s system. They are not real on a cosmic or spiritual level. You could say they are illusory. But they feel incredibly real because experientially and energetically they are. Just as dreams are real as experiences, so are our thoughts and feelings. But they are part of the world of illusion because, just as clouds block the light of the sun, our thoughts and feelings block a deeper level of “knowing”.
I’ve noticed that my deep interest in things spiritual and metaphysical has little, if any, bearing on the level of consciousness in which I spend my days. What does have bearing is my “work” on deliberately disassociating my identity from my thoughts and feelings. To continually remember that they are not “who” I am, rather, they are “what” I am experiencing. To be a witness to those thoughts and feelings is to rise up above or below (however you perceive it) the level of ego and take it all in from a different plane. A more spacious place, a very still and yet profoundly transformative place.
The answer to so many questions is always the same: be still, breathe, and surrender your thoughts. This is meditation. It’s also mindfulness. These are just words, though. Don’t get caught up in the words. It’s about an activity in which you repeatedly notice and dissociate from your thoughts. You become the observer behind the viewer, the observer behind the hearer and the thinker and the one who feels and analyzes and interprets. You simply witness what’s going on.
This takes practice because it’s 100% antithetical to the way we are trained from the time we’re small children in grade school to use our minds. That’s why it’s called a “practice”. It’s about being present, being aware of your energy or vibrational frequency, not being controlled by your thoughts and thus, reminding yourself viscerally (not mentally) that those thoughts are not, in fact, Who you are. The transmutation or transformation that can happen does not occur at the level of thought. There’s an alchemy that happens. But it’s at a different level than we spent virtually all of our time in this world.
So the practice is about dissociating from one’s “monkey mind’s” mental and emotional machinations, from ones ego.
Again, there are different ways to do this. Using an “object” to focus on is the most popular way out of a sea of thoughts and feelings. And again, probably the most popular object is ones breath. Listening, feeling it viscerally, being mindful of it. Another is the inner sensations of the body, essentially the internal energy which may be experienced as a pulse, a wave, a vibration, possibly a sense of warmth or some type of a sensation. We can’t think our way out of our “problems” or out of our mind. As Einstein said, we can’t solve problems using the same consciousness from which they arose. Feeling them is a step in the right direction. Even better still is “vibrating” with them or experiencing them as a type of energy. That is, feeling the energy of your present state and sitting with it.
This may not make any sense to you because most of us do it so rarely, if at all. When mental activity returns in the form of a thought, simply notice it, identify that you’re in thought or thinking and deliberately, gently and without reprimand of any kind, return your attention to the “vehicle” or “object” that you have chosen, and travel once again out of the realm of thought.
Don’t worry if this is difficult to do. Also, don’t think of a thought as “bad”. It’s part of our human condition to have a stream of what feels like incessant thoughts. When you let go of a thought, enjoy the sensation as though you are letting go of focusing on a cloud passing above, or seeing a soap bubble popping, revealing the space behind it that it blocked from view. Most importantly, don’t stop doing this practice if you feel you’re not doing it “right” or that it’s “not working”. Those are clever and often successful attempts by your ego to trick you out of being present. Don’t fall for it. The ego would like you to stay in discomfort, to have a sense of separation from others and from your notion of God or Source or Spirit. (If that sounds weird or strange, stay tuned because I’ll talk about that in another article.)
A mere 15 minutes a day is often recommended (this may feel like an eternity some days). I can’t stress enough how important it is to simply sit still and be with the energy underlying the feelings and thoughts. You may feel that nothing is happening, that it feels worse even. Remind yourself how much of your life you’ve sedated, controlled, or created drama in order to escape these sometimes uncomfortable vibrations of just simply being present. Finally, try offering yourself some rest from the illusory escape from all the above typical distractions such as television, internet, alcohol, addictions of all kinds, and even the addiction to resentment or pain (also known as the “pain body” coined by Eckhart Tolle in his work). Give it some time, because your patience with yourself is deeply connected with your compassion for yourself, which is the ultimate healing agent and the path to forgiveness. You may not think that you need to forgive yourself or others but we all do. Because we all have anger, judgment and guilt. And these are what separate us from the Light of God, of Spirit. These emotionally addictive states (anger, judgment, fear, guilt, even sadness) are part of our ego’s habitual process and focus (unless you happen to be an enlightened master).
Remember that most often, thoughts precede and precipitate emotions. The word emotion is from the word “emovere” or disturbance. (From this paradigm, joy is not an emotion; it is the absence of emotion, a sense of the underlying calm.) So emotions are nothing but disturbances in the calm, ripples on the surface of the lake. When you exit the realm of thought, you begin to exit the effects of thought, i.e. the world of emotions and more thought. Thought leads to feelings, which lead to more thought, and so on. But the above practice is a good start to extricating yourself from an illusory world that causes much pain and distress, as well as physical ailments and disease.
Keep at it. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. And you don’t need to buy anything or take workshops or collect self-help books to do it. Begin right where you are. This is the path.
What does A Course In Miracles say about How I Can Stay Sane in this Insane and Terrifying World?
It is easy to understand the angst, despair, fear, and anger that circumstances in this world can trigger. The challenge, in these times, as in all times, is to cultivate and strive to maintain an internal (i.e. spiritual and emotional) zone of safety and comfort throughout notwithstanding the external happenings. A Course In Miracles reminds us that there is but one problem in the world and that it has already been solved.
That problem is the notion that we are separate physical beings. The truth is that we are not our bodies and indeed that we are connected most durably and irreversibly to the fiber of God/Spirit/All That Is. Indeed we are that fiber itself. Thus, at the level of energy or spirit, we are all one. One with each other and one with our Creator, our Source. I am not speaking symbolically or metaphorically. And we couldn’t separate ourselves if we tried.
That is the Truth. Death of the physical body is in reality not an end of energy but simply a manner of transformation of it. The most horrible and horrifying events in the world today do not change that. Of course, on a body or ego level, our fears are certainly real, justified, and palpable. But on a spiritual level, we remain the same as we always were. What we so often do, however, is to live at the level of ego — which is experienced as the illusory world of bodies that are separate resulting in reasonable and understandable fear and anger. And that is a perceptual or cognitive choice that we don’t have to make.
A Course in Miracles has been described by Marianne Williamson as a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy. It is a channelled set of writings which offer us a new spiritual curriculum, a course of study designed to remind us Who we are and what we are to do while we are here in our physical bodies. The Course is not a religion or a set of dogmas. It explicitly states that there are thousands of paths to God or Spirit and that is just one of them. But it is a most profound, practical, and powerful guide to overcoming every apparent obstacle in our lives, designed to bring our joy, inner light, and life shine; it is our guide to returning Home. It is about choosing “love” (meaning peace), not “fear” (meaning anything other than peace) over and over and over again, moment by moment, day by day.
Our challenge is not to become consumed with fear and anger but to remain peaceful inside. This, by the way, has absolutely no bearing on our political perspectives about what’s going on in the world. Nor does it have any bearing on the passion or inclination that we may feel to take action in one form or another to advance our principals or values, or to contribute to world peace.
How does this play out in the practical and physical world? Moderate the amount of television watching that you do if it is making you feel frightened, angry or sad. If reading the newspaper creates a state of duress or discomfort, adjust accordingly to a practice that allows you to remain at peace internally. Develop a spiritual practice such as meditation or yoga. Feel free to see my article on this website on How to Meditate for a how-to-guide to meditation.
Remember, the Course teaches us that if we are not completely in a state of peace, then we are in a state of fear. Do your best to choose love (defined here synonymously with “peace”), not fear notwithstanding what you read about or become aware of in terms of world events. Just as light casts out darkness, love casts out fear. In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept of “zen mind” or “beginner’s mind”. The mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s full, the universe can’t fill it up. Only if it is empty is there room to receive. Surrender is the process of emptying it. This is not always easy, but its value is inestimable. When your mind is filled with the angst, fear or anger over world events or even the troubling events in your backyard, it can’t be filled with the Truth. It’s hard, if not impossible, to see in the dark. It’s also scary. But in the light, you realize that it’s okay, that all is well.
The choice of love over fear is the perceptual shift or “miracle” that the Course teaches that returns us to our inner peace. Doing so brings immediate surrender and with it, bountiful and overflowing love and joy. And that is available to us all in the blink of an eye when we remember that we are not our physical bodies but rather that we are light beings who put on “body suits” and then forgot.
By maintaining our own internal peacefulness, we contribute mountains of peace to the world. Because we are not isolated but rather all connected and part of the same “mind”, everything we do, every thought we have, affects the rest of the world. This has been referred to as the “Butterfly Effect”.
Thus, our most significant contribution to the world – and the challenge to us all — is creating and maintaining our own peaceful internal canvass, for that pours fourth and disseminates love and peace and joy into the rest of the world in ways that are both abundant and immeasurable, even if they are invisible to our body’s eyes. Try not to become agitated and angry at world events. Such agitation and fear yields more of the same energetically. Do your best to maintain your groundedness in peace and love.
Try to love even those that you may want to hate; for hating only contributes more fear and anger-based energies and manifestations to the world. This includes the often very palpable emotional challenge of not being angry with leaders, for example, with whom we may be in disagreement. Remember that on an energetic or vibrational level, our anger at anyone only enhances rather than diminishes the problem. This is the challenge.