What is the secret behind how the law of attraction works?

In the early years of the 20th century a lawyer, who wrote books under many different names — for reasons known only to himself — penned a book called Thought Vibration or The Law of Attraction in the Thought World. His real name? William Walker Atkinson.

He wrote that there is a “mighty law that draws to us the things we desire or fear; that makes or mars our lives.” Atkinson claimed “Thought is a force — a manifestation of energy — having a magnet-like power of attraction.” He called this thought force “the law of attraction.”

Atkinson explained in his book Thought Vibration, as well as any author I’ve ever read, the secret behind the secret of the law of attraction. “Don’t you see,” he wrote, “the man [or woman] who Fears really expects the feared thing, and in the eyes of the Law [of attraction] it is the same as if he really had wished for or desired it?”

“Did you ever know a successful man [or woman,” he asks, “who did not have the ‘I Can and I will’ thought strong within him?” Desire isn’t merely desire, he explained, “Desire springs into action.” “To succeed at anything you must want it very much,” Atkinson explained. “…and you must be prepared to pay the price for it. The price is the throwing overboard of certain lesser desires that stand in the way of the accomplishment of the greater one.”

The secret of the secret? “When the mind is full of worry thoughts, it cannot find time to work out plans to benefit you,” Atkinson explains. I thought it humorous that he told his more passive readers to “Wake up and display a few signs of life!” The secret of the secret seems to be this then: “Assert the life force within you and manifest it in every thought, act and deed.”

“Your prevailing thought or mood determines that which is to be drawn towards you,” Atkinson wrote, echoing the words of the poet Thackery who claimed “The world is a looking glass, and gives back to every man [and woman] the reflection of his own thought.”

That, it seems to me, is the secret of the secret and the power behind the law of attraction. To quote the great advertising man Robert Collier: “Your desire must be deeply rooted and intense in feeling. Merely wishing for a thing or wanting to have it is not enough. You must resolve in your mind that you must have what you desire and constantly imagine that you are already in possession of it.”

“For how long?” you may ask. “For as long as it takes.” This inner imagining is what the motivation speaker Dennis Whatley calls “doing within while you’re doing without.” The delays we experience are, Neville Goddard wrote in his book The Power of Awareness, not denials but "the incubation of the manifestation."

As to the intelligence behind the law of intention and the question as to exactly what that intelligence is, I like to use the quote of St. Augustine here who said “Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.”

So, that to which we give our attention tends to reveal itself. “They are fools,” Collier wrote, “whose heart is set on riches but whose souls admit defeat.”

The secret of the secret of the law of attraction is that the only lack or limitation is in our own minds, hard as that is to grasp sometimes. James Allen said to “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. Your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”

That’s the law of attraction at work. It may take awhile. It may take years in some instances, you just don’t know, but stay true to what you know is the secret behind the secret and (perseverance is energy made habitual) and, as Max Gunther points out in his book The Luck Factor, “You cannot know what thunderbolt of good fortune is being prepared for you by some distant engine of fate.”

“Like a slot machine, some minds are set to pay off abundantly, others designed to pay off abundantly, others to break even, and still others are set to lose,” R. Eugene Nichols writes in The Science of Mental Cybernetics. “If an individual has been playing the game of life without hitting the jackpot, it is due to the set of his mind.” Does the blueprint of your subconscious call for abundance, well-being, and health? “In cybernetics language the proposition is simply this,” Nichols explains. “The machine that is designed to mow grass mows grass. Likewise the mind that is programmed to dig ditches, dig ditches.”

“Our self-appraisal [‘Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.’ ‘I haven’t had the breaks.’] is much like a musical composition,” Nichols explains. “It is the tune man plays night and day. This never-ending tune, like background music piped into a modern reception room, is piped into the receptive subconscious mind.”

Nichols says, quite plainly, that “To create anew, you must initiate new causes from which new effects will flow.” He points out that “once the wavelength of consciousness is changed and tuned to the positive, the static of undesirable experiences can seldom break into the broadcast.”

“The conscious mind is like a camera with which you snap impressions of life. The subconscious mind is the darkroom where pictures are developed,” Nichols points out. “Are you building your life on the same emotional property year after year, despite flooding in the lowlands?” he asks. By mentally reshooting the event and identifying only with the retake now filling your mind, we are moving to higher ground awareness (marriage, job, healing imagery).

“If the conscious mind abdicates its right to rule, the subjective body-of-feelings takes on the role of directing,” Nichols writes. This we do not want to allow to happen. He points out that we live in “a mental universe where all things are drawn to their rightful place and held there by invisible lines of belonging.”

What follows are some of my favorite Nichols insights from a book you ought to read.and that, in my view, expands on themes in this book:

“Thoughts beamed from the pulse system of consciousness strike their objective and become reflected back to the sender.”

“As like attracts like, fear thoughts will travel until they find an object to fear. Racing back they will intensify the apprehension first broadcast.” Success thoughts, by contrast, “will radiate until they find an object that will confirm success.”

“The right target is the one that matches the nature of the thought. This explains why man so often meets his own thoughts in the mind of others.”

“Love beamed forth from your mind operates not only on the frequency of those who embody a loving heart today but also on the frequency of those who through the ages worked for the love of mankind.”

“When the conscious mind says ‘I am,’ the subconscious says ‘I do’ and does it.” Tell it you’re headed somewhere in life’ and, Nichols proclaims, your subconscious does its best to make the statement true.

“To man it may appear the script calls for failure when in the grand sweep of things it calls for success.”

When our thoughts are negative, Nichols says our radar beam of thought is focused too low. “The person who is ‘conscious of money’ is likely to have his thought beam focused so low that it bounces off the unpaid bills and echoes back to him as a feeling of financial desperation. The person who has a consciousness of money has raised his thought beam until it bounces off creative ideas for money-making.”

“Success is the directed beaming of thought, while failure is the nondirected diffusion of ideas.”

“If man could see the jangled web of thought impulses emanating from his mind, he would understand why he fails to receive the good he desires from life.”

Nichols claims it is possible to “break through to the pure fresh air of mountaintop thinking,” rather than becoming victim to the mass consciousness hovering around us.

How can we build a new self-image? Nichols answers: “You must affirm data about yourself that may, at the moment, appear to be untrue.”

How does the feeling that “I can’t have” become stronger than “I want?” As children we start out with high expectations. Our desires are demanding and insistant, but as we grow older our demands are rebuffed, the child’s insistence thwarted, and the next thing you know we find ourselves in a spiral of negativity from which it’s difficult to extricate ourselves from. Still, twice each day, Nichols says to go over your “daily diary of desires.” Nichols points out that, no matter how many goals we set or how much writing we do, “From the desire must spring the decision to act.” He also says that if your dynamic desire is big enough it will always include the small particulars. We do not need to strain over the ways and means a thing will be achieved, “for once a desire becomes predominant, the subconscious begins to work out the practical details.”

“To hope for the best and expect the worst is like trying to illuminate a room by turning off the light.”

“Man’s normal level of expectation acts like a leash that keeps him tethered to ordinary demonstrations. Normal desires must give way to supernormal expectations.”

“That to which man gives his attention through the years tends to cast a spell on him.” Nichols asks a little later in his book, “What hypnotic eyes have usurped your attention?” Again: “To what hypnotic eyes have you submitted?” An example of this: The salary level to which we are conditioned holds us in its spell unless we take positive action to raise it. When Nichols asks, “Who’s using your mind?” he’s talking about those post-hypnotic suggestions passed down through generations of time and that still persist in mass mind. “Each child awakens to life at birth, only to fall asleep again with those around him as the hypnotic spell of mass consciousness weaves its pattern into his thought.” In other words, maybe we’ve been conned by taking the evidence of our senses — what we see in front of us — as a kind of unchanging truth that cannot be altered (for example: in old age comes illness, being warehoused in nursing homes, wheelchairs, dementia, etc.). Maybe what we’re really seeing is false evidence appearing real.

“The world is desperate for lamplighters who can knock holes in the darkness of man’s discontent.”

“Only with greater ideas can you build a greater identity.”

“Behave as if your desire is already accomplished.”

“What you affirm for another, you affirm for yourself.”

“Have you willed poverty in the midst of plenty? Have you willed loneliness in a universe of love? Have you willed failure in the very presence of success?” In other words, have you prepared your will for life?

“You must not become arrested at the level of the dream. ‘If with the desire there goes a sense that attainment is not possible, we simply wish.’” (The latter is a quote from the philosopher William James)

Nichols says that individuals become chronically tired when their mind isn’t going anyplace! He says to “Seek new interests that will raise your mental voltage level,” and quotes J.C. Streets, Hidden Ways Across the Threshold: “Live thought is like lightening. It dazzles the eye and strikes the heart.”

“Your happiness is the most important thing in the world to this person. What would be your request?”

“Life has given you an infinite potential, presenting you with a blank check you are free to fill in according to your consciousness.”

“Life is still potentially a blank check. Some figures may have been filled in at birth, but we can alter the figures somewhat.”

“Why doesn’t man experience the original play that life intends for him?” Nichols asks. “The universal potentials with you are screened and limited by your levels of awareness of them. If you could discard all false data, the original, perfect self-image would express itself.”

Then the law of attraction would be free to work as it was intended to in our lives. Know the secret behind the secret of the law of attraction, that it is your powerful ally behind the scenes. To quote St. Paul, “Faith is…THE EVIDENCE of things [not yet] seen.” And may I add, in closing, the words of Charles Fillmore who pointed out that if we would begin receive what I call more and more absurd good news,

“You could do no more for yourself than have a thankful spirit.” That, also, is another of the secrets behind the secret of the law of attraction because whatever we love, praise, and give thanks for increases!

Author's Bio: 

James Clayton Napier spent thirteen years as a television broadcaster in Texas. He also taught TV news writing and reporting plus speech communication at three universities. He is available for private consultations. For information, go to jamesclaytonnapier.com or send a note to ithreads@aol.com