In this posting I will again discuss resonance, attraction and attention phenomena. After a short anecdote I will connect them with the thinking of Freud and Thich Nhat Hanh. Finally, I will offer thoughts on the limits of resonance.
An Admittedly Snarky Anecdote
The phrase “Law of Attraction” was first used in modern times in 1857 by a Russian psychic named Helena Blavatsky. Then it entered into cultural conversation with the publication of Rhonda Byrnes’ wildly popular book “The Secret” in 2006. Now, if you go to Amazon Books and request titles related to The Law of Attraction you get one hundred pages of titles with approximately seventeen titles per page. Titles include “Money and The Law of Attraction,” “How to Win the Lottery With the Law of Attraction,” and even “How to Pick Up a Girl at a Bar Using The Law of Attraction and Basic Psychology.” Yep, that one really exists. It seems that the laws of capitalism resonate with the Law of Attraction!!!
First, The Law of Attraction is a very important reframing of Freud’s understanding of unconscious motivation. For all of his weaknesses, errors and prejudices, he vastly expanded the Victorian sense of how life functions. In his time the approach to human motivation was limited mostly to will power, moralism, rationalism and respectability. He expanded this dramatically to include unconscious urges, needs and qualities common to every person. He stated this all in a way that was useful to the early twentieth century. However, Freud limited himself to the individual psyche within the family constellation of his era. Resonance, attraction and attention reframe and broaden his work in a way that is useful for the early twenty-first century. They make it possible to see from a much wider platform than Freud. It is a platform that goes beyond the individual and includes the Cosmos.
Second, Thich Nhat Hanh has developed the wonderful concept of “interbeing.” This word arises from a compound Vietnamese word which means “mutual” and “to be.” He says all things “inter are.” Thus, we can see the sun shining on the tree from which paper is made if we broaden our view. In addition, we see the cloud that rained on the tree to help it grow. And we see the factory which produced the actual paper from the tree and the workers who toiled in the factory. The sun, tree, logger, factory and worker all ‘inter are.’ He creates a beautiful vision of a connected universe. Resonance takes this one step further to a deeper more alive interactive, energetic level. We not only ‘inter are’ but we are interwoven, and we interweave. We are agents in the constantly interconnecting Cosmos. Through our energy we co-create, we co-weave. The web, the grid, Gia is not something we passively sit on while it surrounds us with support. Resonance brings the connected universe alive.
Those two connections contribute to the understanding of the context of Resonance.
Problems With Resonance
Ninety-five percent of the time resonance is working powerfully in our lives. But it is important to be discerning about when it isn’t. Just as the laws of classical Newtonian physics hold true for most of our ordinary lives but fail to describe matter at the very smallest levels or at velocities close to the speed of light, it seems that resonance may not fit all situations.
Three quick illustrations of this follow. First, a person is hiking through the forest taking in its beauty and splendor. On a hill side a mile away, a hunter aims at a deer and misses. Tragically, the bullet travels the mile striking the hiker killing him. Second, an elderly couple is driving home at night from a family gathering. They start up the on ramp to the interstate highway at the same time an intoxicated driver in an alcohol impaired haze is traveling down the same ramp. All three are killed in the crash. Third, a friend of mine was walking in the corridor of the medical facility in which she works. A co-worker was literally running down the same corridor and crashed into my friend at the corner. My friend’s hip was seriously broken taking many months to heal. I don’t see resonance or attraction working in any of these three situations.
Resonance is predominant. That does not mean it is ever-present in every aspect of live. There are many forms of energy in the cosmos of which ours is but one type. It is possible to encounter random or rogue energy that erupts around us. Total allegiance to resonance assumes a closed system with no room for energies that are not ours. In a closed system human freedom and choice are severely limited.
This leads to another rather paradoxical problem with the phenomena or, more accurately, our use of them. There is an odd sort of ego gratification in thinking it is always about us and that essentially all things revolve around us as though we are the center of the universe. It is very gratifying to the ego to believe that if we just get our vibrational level up to the right height we are in control. The reality however is we are not in control all the time and that is not the result of a failure of ours. The ego hates admitting it can not control things and will use whatever means at its disposal to fortify the allusion that we have found the secret at long last.
In this post I am not rejecting the presence of resonance but wanting to think critically and to discern from all angles. In the next post I will take up Chris’s questions she shared in a comment to the last post and discuss living in the light of a resonant Cosmos.
Thank you Graham- this makes so much more sense to me that believing we somehow attract all negative experiences by a random thought. I do believe that we can direct our thoughts away from the negative and towards the positive, but we can’t control what others do, or control acts of nature. Looking forward to the next blog.
January 20, 2019
I’m not quite ready to really articulate why, but I find myself not agreeing with some of what you wrote. My thoughts go like this: What if the elderly couple’s souls determined that it was time for them to leave their bodies? I recall reading that everyone who perished during 9/11 had agreed to do so! They were not conscious of it, but their souls had agreed to the sacrifice. We never see the “big picture!”
January 20, 2019
I was reflecting on the idea that sometimes things happen in our lives that aren’t a manifestation of attraction. I can see how the Newtonian/ Quantum metaphor does some explaining. But I was also thinking about how sometimes forces are just so utterly washed out by much stronger forces. The examples I was thinking about: The moon exerts a tiny little gravitational attraction on then Earth. This force is so much smaller than the force exerted on the Earth by the sun that you can basically ignore the moon for many calculations. It’s not that the moon gravity doesn’t operate. It’s just that it’s washed out. Similarly, if you work up a certain velocity in the car, If you slam on the breaks too late to stop, it’s not that there is no force exerted by the breaks. It’s just that the velocity the car acquired is too much for the breaks to handle. So the breaks slow things down some, change the net result a little bit, but other/different/larger forces were at play.
January 21, 2019
I am grateful for these comments. They raise important issues in the this discussion. I especially am aware that I have not dealt with issues of karma and Soul Contracts and will address those next time. Jeff ads a natural phenomena to the discussion which I think also helps. And next time I’ll take up questions around blame and guilt. Thank you readers for your comments. They deepen the dialogue.
January 22, 2019