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Mental "laws"

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  • #106779
    XenopusTex
    Participant

    I have been reading a lot about the various “mental laws,” i.e. the law of attraction, etc. Starting to wonder if it’s time to call B.S. on the “laws” when it comes to certain levels.

    Let’s take a look at the law of belief, the law of expectations, etc. The plain and simple truth is that you can believe in what you are doing, and expect that you will get good results, and still get your rear handed to you by stuff that is not in your ability to control. In the practice of law for example, things can change quite quickly, and your anticipated excellent result can evaporate thanks to a decision that you had no chance to participate in. There’s a saying: bad facts make bad law. The same can be true for any occupation which is subject to changes that you cannot control.

    If, based on experience, you know that the presence of facts/situations A, B, and C mean certain failure for a project or the presence of D, E, and F mean certain success for the project… does the ultimate failure/success of the project rest on your expectations as to the outcome? Is it better to put time in on a project that will ultimately fail due to the presence of A, B, and C on blind hope that maybe this time it won’t fail, or is it better to put those resources in on something else?

    Simply having belief in a better outcome won’t make the outcome better. No matter how strong the belief or the expectations, playing “catch” with a shell fired from a “Long Tom” won’t end well. Does the person die because he/she didn’t believe strongly enough or have great enough expectations? Of course not. He/she died because the “kill sphere/radius” of the shell is several yards across.

    There is also the concept that one’s outer world is a reflection of one’s inner world. While this can be true to a certain point, there are events that occur which simply have no relationship to one’s inner beliefs. For example, I remember sitting at a tire store getting a set of winter tires put on the car when a guy who had been there a while picked up his newly shod Caddy STS. Less than ~30 minutes later he was back in the shop because one of the brand new high-end tires he had purchased came apart on the highway. Does anyone really think that the blowout was caused by thoughts/beliefs on the part of the guy who bought it?

    I’m wondering just how much power these “laws” actually have. You can passionately believe in something, yet fail miserably in the endeavor because it is something that you know nothing about, or it is something you got into because you were blinded by your passion/enthusiasm for it. You can be dispassionate and even uncaring about something, yet greatly succeed due to superior knowledge of the subject.

    #106782
    Nina Sakura
    Participant

    My two cents – I dont believe in these laws. I think they are more of psychological tools – a lot of people in my family believe in the power of gemstones for example in attracting positive energy, warding off bad luck etc. I dont quite agree with this.

    I think that the belief that good things can happen will help us in sustaining our efforts to make them happen. They give us this strength to go on despite the troubles they we encounter.

    To be honest, I try not to have too many expectations now – good or bad – I like something, feel fine about it, go ahead with it. If something happens that isnt in my control, one has to let it go after a point. If i screw up, I still gotta move on eventually. Its a matter of choosing which bridges to cross and burn.

    The whole glamorization of these ideas is something i dont buy at all.

    #106784
    Joe
    Participant

    @xenopustex

    I used to believe in this kind of stuff but I’ve became more sceptical about it over the past year or so. Although there were times in my life when I thought this kind of thing was happening – things would go according to plan a bit too conveniently, I came across many bizarre coincidences. I don’t want to live my life based on wishful thinking anymore. We can’t always have things our own way, and if we did what would we learn? I always found that when things did go as I’d hoped, there was always a downside to it as well.

    I’m not saying I became a hardened sceptic – I like to think I’m still pretty open-minded about it but like I said, I don’t live my life according to this.

    Just my two pence on the subject – I wrote another forum post on this a few months back.

    Joe

    #106785
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi xenopustex,

    My old friend Alan used to say, “It’s better than a kick in the azz!”

    Meaning, bad stuff happens, and people might question him about why he could be happy and keep trying in the midst of failure/chaos… But his attitude was even though Good Thoughts weren’t “deserved”, it’s better than a kick in the azz.

    I’d rather be in my own happy Universe. The blown tire means that something worse may have occurred literally down the road. The failed project means that I will use my hard won new skills, contacts and knowledge into something bigger and better. Why do you think there’s religion? Belief in a higher Being calms us the frack down. This isn’t denial. It’s just these thoughts are better than a kick in the azz.

    Blessings,

    Inky

    • This reply was modified 8 years ago by Inky.
    #106787
    Rock Banana
    Participant

    Great post and you’re absolutely hitting the nail on the head. But I’m a bit surprised you’re making this post. Does anybody really believe that simply by believing something will happen, it will happen? If so how strong must their confirmation bias and denial of reality actually be? 😀

    Life is chaotic and there are so many variables, you’ll never control it. What you can do is influence, choose, create, have power, etc. You can influence what happens and where you stand in relation to it. You can choose how your live your life and even ‘who you are’. You can create different stuff, thoughts, behaviours, lifestyles. You can have power to shape the unfolding of your life and the lives of others. In fact, forget “can”, you already do all of that, and so do I, and so does everybody else. We have enormous influence and the more we recognize that and embrace it, the more influential we become still.

    But it’s influence, it’s not control, and shit will always happen. Strange things will happen. Coincidences will occur. The world is actually very chaotic and random. Personally I found it such a huge relief to stop asking “Why is this happening?”. A better question is “What have I done to contribute to this, so that I can learn for the future?”. But the thing is, sometimes you haven’t contributed anything. Sometimes shit has just happened. Somebody has gotten ill … for no reason other than their body developed an autoimmune disorder – maybe it was in the genes or something. Somebody has won the lottery … simply because they happened to buy a ticket that had the same numbers on it as the draw did.

    However, one thing I always like to think you choose is what happens next. You’ve gotten ill … and what happens next? Because mindset WILL make a huge, huge difference to where you go from there. (And the mind does actually have an influence over the development of wellbeing and illness … an ENORMOUS influence. Just not a control – so stuff can still happen!) You’ve won the lottery … and what happens next? Do you spend it all in one go ‘believing’ you’ll win it again next year, or are you going to spend it wisely and focus on creating a life you’ll love living? Another way of asking this is, where do you CHOOSE to go from here? How do you choose to respond to this situation and how are you going to use the possibly random occurings to create awesome stuff in your life and be the person you want to be?

    Forget about the law of attraction, it’s passive and it’s about sitting around hoping that your life works out. MAKE your life work out by applying consistent action.

    #106794
    Maria_L
    Participant

    … and do you know how many people’s lives goes downhill after winning the lottery..or after becoming rich and famous? 🙂

    The one thing that i dislike from this ‘phenomenon’ of books based on the ‘law of attraction’ (that sell really fast and the only people they make rich and happy are their authors and publishing houses)… is the pressure and responsibility they put over our heads
    1) We have to be ‘positive’ and happy, that is the ultimate goal of life, and everything else is a malfunction/disease
    2) We are able and responsible to govern with our emotions and feeling, like we do in the material world, and God forbid we have a bad one (we should replace it with a good one like it’s an old sofa bed)…

    Well, guess what? We CAN’T control emotions all the time and.. it’s ok. It really is. And there are very few people on the planet that are happy most of their lives. Bad things happen, and it’s not our fault. Feeling down is part of being alive and we shouldn’t treat it as a ‘bad luck omen’, disease… try to deflect from it, substitute it with good thoughts, kill it with pills all the time. It might work for some situations, but when it comes to big things, ignoring it will just backfire. I am not saying I don’t believe in law of attraction, but I am starting to think that it defies some rules of psychology and human nature, and given the fact that I have many friends that try to live by it, I don’t see how it helped their emotional state. Even when they got some things they craved for :).

    It’s funny cause I know for sure that some of our good thoughts manifest, I know there is nothing more fulfilling than a dream come true after long hours putting positive energy into it, working for it. Or finally reaching that calm blissful state of mind, being in peace with ourselves and find a purpose. I know I’ve had these things and states many times and i will have them many more times again.

    But, to be honest, I have also always had periods of depression and anxiety as most of the people on this planet, and I don’t think there is a self-help book out there that can prevent these states or the situations that provoke them… And I refuse to fear these states anymore and treat them like they are going to harm me energetically. They are unpleasant, I don’t like them, but they are part of life. The might come again sometimes, but they will go, too. You can still function and do great stuff when you don’t have your best day. I will always remember the answer of a really good and incredibly smart friend the first time I told him I have depression. He said ‘well… some of the best people in history had it…’.

    I don’t know… just a thought.. Let’s visualize and do positive affirmations, meditate, practice feng shui, meditate, do vision boards, do crystal healing.. 🙂 It can’t harm us 🙂 I still have my vision boards, mandalas, etc, and i love them. I actually went places I had on those boards 🙂

    But let’s also accept that among these wonderful situations in our lives, there will be also bad ones, and instead of trying to stay away from them, let’s learn mechanisms to cope with them when they come… I might be under impressions under Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, but I still believe that it helped more people in distress than any
    Law of attraction book 🙂

    • This reply was modified 8 years ago by Maria_L.
    • This reply was modified 8 years ago by Maria_L.
    #106806
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear xenopustex:

    Reality, thoughts and feelings by themselves are micro chemical reactions in the brain, quick connections between neuropathways, taking place in the short distance between one’s ears. If thoughts, feelings and expectations by themselves had power, well, the world would be much messier than it already is wit monsters and demons and angels and unicorns running around as well as Santa Claus somwehre there riding reindeers and fantasies taking place more magnificent than what the best 3D movies can produce.

    Reality is all that matters is what people say and do. Thoughts and feelings are involved of course but not according to the “mental laws” you mentioned. Real life laws are for each one of us to discover by removing delusions from reality and seeing the bare minimum of what is.

    anita

    #106809
    Eris
    Participant

    I don’t disagree with anything anyone is saying but what about the placebo effect? That is a recognized effect where someone’s belief in something can effects the outcome. So much so that all drugs trials have to be double blind to make sure it doesn’t affect the data….

    #106811
    Anonymous
    Guest

    * regarding the placebo effect: my own body will react to what I believe, correct. Someone else’s body will not react to what I believe. The thing with placebos, they work temporarily, like any other kind of magical belief. Over time reality wins as it will not be denied. So placebos stop working and people get their meds adjusted, again and again. Coming to think about it, let’s say person X believes a placebo is helping and the relationship with person Y improves as a result and they have a baby- what a difference a belief has made. Beliefs are very powerful in prompting people to act, or not to act. True.

    Problem is you can’t choose beliefs by will. When a person takes a placebo and believes it is working, it is because the person doesn’t know it is a placebo, so the person was tricked into such belief or without awareness believed it. But you can’t choose beliefs with awareness and by the power of the will, choose to believe something. Can’t trick yourself on purpose.

    And those “mental laws” are about tricking yourself to believe what could help you if you authentically believed in, only you can’t authentically believe in something by choice.

    anita

    #106814
    Rock Banana
    Participant

    I don’t disagree with anything anyone is saying but what about the placebo effect? That is a recognized effect where someone’s belief in something can effects the outcome. So much so that all drugs trials have to be double blind to make sure it doesn’t affect the data….

    Right. I’m not dismissing the power of the human mind, at all. We virtually create our entire experience of reality. The sense we make of reality totally changes where we stand in relation to it. But we don’t have complete control. Noel Edmonds recently said to a cancer sufferer that she should have just done more positive thinking or something like that, and it hit the news. Now, I’m not arguing that having relaxing, positive and powerful ways of looking at the world and making sense of reality don’t have an influence. They have a very, very large influence. They’re just not the be all and end all, we can’t choose everything that happens, because we are surfing the waves of life and those waves are complex and go far beyond each individual. There’s way too many variables involved to think we can just control everything and choose every outcome. We seriously can’t. As for illness, maybe it’s just in the genes, or environmental or what we ate, or whatever. Complex biological factors. And that’s why Noel Edmonds comes across to me as being so insensitive … and he may have a shock if he comes across a serious illness himself, one that does not appear to have its origin in, or even a relationship to, any “negative thinking”.

    #106861
    Eris
    Participant

    Noel said

    “Scientific fact-disease is caused by negative energy. Is it possible your ill health is caused by your negative attitude? #explore”

    Don’t think that actually it is scientific fact. Second part I think actually it is worth exploring how your mental energy might be effecting your physical BUT I wouldn’t say it 🙂

    I think some aspect of mental laws work. In the sense that if you feel good about something, then you give off good body language, react in a more positive way and that will help you get what you wanted (works especially for unspecified relationships!)

    Looking for the positives in things does help more than wallowing in the negative but anything you boil down to over simplistic is well … over simplistic.

    Good topic. Gets you thinking 🙂

    #107198
    XenopusTex
    Participant

    Disease is caused by a variety of things. The physiological response to depression, stress, etc. doesn’t do good things to one’s immune system (unless you have some auto-immune diseases, in which stress increases activity). Depression also tends to reduce activities, interest in better eating, etc. In short, you are putting up less of a defense against pathogens, and providing less of what is needed to the defenses that are there. I wonder if you could disconnect the pathways between depression and the physiological aspect, would you see that correlation?

    #107394
    Brie
    Participant

    I’m on the same page as @ninasakura in that these are all tools. To be specific, they sound like guidelines to direct your focus.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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