Many frustrated would-be millionaires will sympathise with the title of this article. And I mean it. The Law of Attraction – when viewed in the way that modern popular spiritual teaching portrays it – simply does not work for the vast majority of people. The flaw of the premise is inherent in the very phrase ‘Law of attraction’. It implies that you’re trying to bring something in which you do not already possess. Taking this attitude creates an energetic gulf between your current ‘not-havingness’ and the thing you’re attempting to bring into your life, and creates resistant energy as your frustrated desires intensify.
The spiritual world is a complex, intricate piece of machinery, and its correct operation requires a profound change in our entire method of living. We must become something new spiritually, before we can expect the material side of life to catch up with our new identity. Expecting to remain precisely who we are while exploiting one of the laws of the spiritual realm for material gain is like attempting to grab hold of one of the cogs of the machine and use force of strength to manually grind it into motion. It inverts the natural operation of the machine and causes exertion and exhaustion. Exhaustion creates resistant energy which limits our results, and also means that our attempts are limited by our willpower.
Instead of trying to sneakily manipulate the universe into doing our bidding, what we need to do is gradually wake up to our true nature, and the true purpose of that nature. We are an instrument of the Universal Spirit – in a reciprocal relationship with it – created to give particular, individual expression to the beauty and glory of the Uncreated Formless. Our reciprocal relationship means that, on one hand, we are “man the measurer” – a phrase coined by Thomas Troward – the purpose of which is to direct the will of the Universal Spirit through the agency of our own individual will. And on the other hand, we are the vulnerable half of the shepherd-and-sheep relationship so frequently alluded to in the bible. As the measurer, we lead the Universal Spirit by differentiating and distributing its infinite, formless energy. As the sheep, we receive inspiration and guidance from the shepherd as to how best use that energy to bring the glory of the Infinite Formless into solid form.
As man the measurer, we choose what we wish to do and create in life, and this becomes a unique expression of the absolute in particular form. The Universal Spirit guides us towards the correct application of this will, and arranges guidance and circumstances to enable to fulfilment of such expression in the highest and best possible way for its own expression of itself. By allowing the fullest and highest expression of the Universal to unfold in us, our own personal evolution is furthered in the highest and best way.
This is the true purpose of life – to reproduce the glory of the Unmanifested in manifested form. Any spiritual teaching that loses sight of this is not an accurate representation of spiritual truth. Any spiritual teaching that reduces the entire spiritual plan to a mechanical formula for material gain has utterly perverted spiritual truth. It's sad to say, but how often is this even mentioned in popular spiritual teaching? Sure, go to a traditional yoga or meditation class and you‘ll have a chance of hearing it, as long as it’s not one of those despiritualised and sanitised gym classes. But how often do you hear it on YouTube, or Oprah, or any popular outlet for new age spirituality? Such outlets are dominated by people who think you‘re a spiritual failure if you don‘t have a Lamborghini parked in the driveway. On YouTube especially, the phrase ‘Law of Attraction’ generates 10 times the clicks of anything else. Material gain is far and away the most saleable aspect of spiritual growth, even though the neverending plea of true spirituality throughout the ages has been that the material world is worthless next to the spiritual.
Still, these laws do work purely for self-advancement and in complete independence of any deeper spiritual understanding, if you’re one of the very few people who can maintain the exact mental sweet spot required to gain results. But it’s highly unwise to do so. In the parable of the wedding feast from the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, Troward sees a specific warning against those who would try to use spiritual truths as though they were nothing but physical laws to be manipulated. From chapter 10 of Troward's Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning:
“The same idea is repeated in the parable of the man who contrived to get into the wedding feast without the wedding garment. The Divine Marriage is the attainment by the individual mind of conscious union with the Universal Mind or ‘the Spirit’; and the feast, as in the parable of the Prodigal Son, signifies the joy which results from the attainment of Perfect Liberty, which means power over all the resources of the universe, whether within us or around us.
Now, as I have already pointed out, the only way in which this power can be used safely and profitably is through that recognition of its Source, which makes it in all points subservient to the Law of Love, and this was precisely what the intruder did not realise. He is the type of the man who fails in exactly the opposite way to the servant who buries his Lord’s talent in the earth. This man has cultivated his powers to the uttermost, and so is able to enter along with the other guests. He has attained that Knowledge of the Laws of the spiritual side of Nature which gives him a place at that Table of the Lord, which is the storehouse of the Infinite; but he has missed the essential point of all his Knowledge, the recognition that the Law of Power is one with the Law of Love, and so, desiring to separate the Divine Power from the Divine Love, and to grasp the one while rejecting the other, he finds that the very Laws of which he has made himself master, by his knowledge, overwhelm him with their own tremendousness, and by their reflex action become the servants who bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness. The Divine Power can never be separated with impunity from the Divine Love and Guidance.”