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Why Prayers And The ‘Law of Attraction’ Don’t Work
An old lady, a complete Luddite, had a telephone line newly installed for her. This was an effort to stay abreast with advances in modern technology. One morning she was tripped by the telephone cable. She fell, and lost her dentures. She also unwittingly, disconnected the telephone in the process.
What is remarkable about old age is that when the head goes bald and the cheeks droop, the eyes begin to lose sight of them, as well as anything else the oldster is fond of looking at. Because of her failing eyesight, it took this old lady about thirty minutes to find her dentures in her cluttered room. Eventually, she managed to put them back where they rightly belonged. But she wasn’t happy with her lot that morning. She felt annoyed and frustrated.
The next moment, she was on the phone, intent on speaking to her telephone service provider. She dialled the number, and without waiting to hear any voice at the other end, she said in the most commanding voice: “Hello operator. My telephone cable is too long, pull it from your end! Thank you.”
She then ensconced herself in her couch, and breathed a sigh of relief, thinking: “All sorted; I have spoken my mind”.
Low and behold, evening came and the length of the telephone cable had not changed. She was surprised, but wouldn’t touch a thing on that ‘distance communication appliance’, in case something went badly wrong. She opted to exercise patience. A second day went by and the cable was not any shorter than it was before her momentous phone call. She was getting angsty and disgruntled. At the end of the third day, with the same cable length stirring her straight in the face, she was fuming with rage and on the verge of tearing her hair off!
The nature of this phone call is akin to how a lot of people pray or apply the ‘law of attraction’. Development in Information Technology has given rise to a barrage of books on ‘law of attraction’, prayer and religion. On the contrary, increasingly, churches are been turned into ‘fish and chip’ shops and discos, and a lot of people doubt the potency and validity of the ‘law of attraction’ and prayer. It is commonplace to come across people who carry mindsets that seem to hold that their lives are in the lap of the gods – predetermined and not pliable.
This is, however, far from the truth. Man has the responsibility to control his destiny to the hilt. The ‘law of attraction’ is immutable; prayer works and God is. The onus is on you, so to speak, to gain ample understanding and insight, to make the ‘law of attraction’, prayer and God work to your advantage. I would borrow the words of Shakespeare at this point to say: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings”.
Today we are bombarded with offers of “secrets” that are guaranteed to beat the stock market, hit a golf ball farther than the golf course, or to restore sexual vigour to a 98 year old great grandfather. A lot of spiritual books, following such trends tend to shed little or no light on how to gain access to the main instrument of prayer or ‘law of attraction’ – the subconscious mind.
I would like to share with you a facet of the missing part of the ‘secret,’ as regards how to reach the subconscious mind, to promote effective delivery of prayer or desire to the Universal Mind or God – immediate delivery, no charge for shipping or handling.
It has been scientifically detected that the brain emits electromagnetic waves, in rhythmic form, across the scalp. These waves are distinguished according to the ranges of their frequencies. The frequencies are measured by an electroencephalograph. (Wikipedia). The main categories identified are
- Delta waves (less than 4 cycles per second)
- Theta waves (4 to 7 cycles per second)
- Alpha waves (8 to 15 cycles per second)
- Beta waves (16 to 31 cycles per second)
The brain can thus be said to exist in four different states: delta, theta, alpha and beta. The beta state refers to the waking state when the conscious mind is predominantly in charge of affairs. The brain is in the alpha state just before sleep or just before waking. This is when the individual feels a bit drowsy and appears to be going through a somewhat ‘semi-trance’. Theta state occurs after the brain has entered the alpha state, and this is when the ‘Aha’ moments can occur – when the subconscious mind may obtain inspirational impressions from the Universal Intelligence.
Sleep proper occurs during the delta state of the brain, when there is lack of conscious awareness. Dreaming occurs during the alpha state, and hence the individual will usually be switching between the alpha and delta states during a period of ‘sleep’.
The critical point to take note of is that the subconscious mind can be accessed by the conscious mind only during the alpha and theta states. Since prayer or the application of the ‘law of attraction’ for manifestation essentially involves the conscious mind transferring information to the subconscious mind, to be pass on to God or the Universal Mind, the alpha state of the brain becomes the main focus of prayer or Metaphysics.
Traditionally, the eyes are closed during prayers as an aid to detaching the physical senses from the environment. The next effort is supposed to be aimed at dulling the conscious mind by dint of shifting the brain from the beta state to alpha. It is when this altered state has taken place that the subconscious mind can be reached by the conscious mind. This shift, albeit, doesn’t quite happen for many of those who offer prayers or indeed those intent on applying the ‘law of attraction’.
Bluntly put, your prayer or desires will amount to nothing if delivery is not made during the alpha state (as a bare minimum). Your situation will be analogous to flogging a dead horse to transport your load! This is partly the reason why answered prayer and metaphysical manifestations have become a ‘hit and miss’ experience for a lot of people.
The alpha state, and at times the theta state can be reached through deep meditation, imagery, and some forms of hypnosis. The market is not short of methods to reach the alpha state. Nonetheless, I can only attest to a method that has worked for me personally and other trustworthy people I know. This is all I will share here.
This method comprises ‘deep’ meditation, reinforced by imagery. It is very effective and powerful, and will speak for itself! With a bit of practice, it is sure to land you in the alpha state and very likely in theta.
PRACTICE A: RELAXING THE BODY PARTS
The purpose of this exercise is to use you ‘Will Power’ to relax the parts of your body, to facilitate access to the subconscious mind. There should be no strain; be calm all through.
1. Find a quiet place where you can be alone.
2. Sit on a mat or a chair, depending on what would provide comfort.
3. Shut your eyes mildly.
4. Starting from your head, focus your attention on both eyes and mentally say: “my eyes are relaxed”. Believe and feel they are relaxed and they will be. Do the same to your right ear, then your left ear, nose and mouth. In the end apply it to the entire head: “my head is relaxed,” and feel it relaxed.
5. Apply the procedure next to your neck, right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg. Then complete the exercise with: “my whole body is relaxed”. You should feel very calm and relaxed at this stage. Take your time, and enjoy it – don’t rush!
The skills you gained in the ‘Practice of Divine Presence’ under the topic ‘YOU AND THE UNIVERSE’ will be useful in the first part of the following exercise.
PRACTICE B: BREATH WATCHING IN DIVINE PRESENCE
1. Your eyes should remain closed.
2. Start by mentally inviting the Great Spirit or Universal Force. Imagine it as an intense and brilliant white ball of light with a diameter of 3 feet, hanging about 2 feet above the crown of your head. The rays of the Universal Force enters your being by penetrating the crown of your head. It fills every cell in your body with Life Energy. Concentrate on this for about a minute or two.
3. Now feel the Divine ball of light above your head lowering itself down and increasing in diameter at the same time. It first covers you head, your shoulders and the rest of your body. By the time you are fully engulfed, it has spread to the extremities of the universe – up to the sky and beyond; down to the earth and beyond; and to farthest extremities all around you.
4. You are conscious that this bright light is the Energy of your Creator, who is just as alive as your Spirit within your body is. This Divine Light pervades every cell in your body, and every space in the universe, outside your body.
5. You are very conscious of your Spirit within you and the fact that it has become one with the Father. When you cast your consciousness within yourself, all you see is bright light which comprises your own soul and that of the Divine Spirit or Energy. When you cast your consciousness outside your body, you see the Divine Light spread everywhere in the universe, all around you – in front, behind, above you (to the sky and beyond), beneath you (to the ground and beyond), towards your right( spreading to the extremities); and towards your left (spreading to the extremities).
6. Alternate looking within yourself (use your Will to feel your soul at the same time) and outside yourself. Each time you do this, adhere to the instructions in step. Practise this for about two minutes.
The above instructions if well practised would achieve two things: (I) It is very likely to get you into the alpha state (ii) You would feel a sense of peace in your entire being, resulting from an active attempt to establish union with the Most High.
We are going to go deeper nonetheless.
By way of increasing your success in this part of the exercise, lets break the breathing process into its four constituent parts: in-breath, ‘transition between in and out-breath’, out-breath, ‘transition between out-breath and in-breath’.
I am next going to explain to you what should be happening at each of the four stages of the breathing process, so that you can monitor your progress at each stage.
During in-breath calmly focus your awareness on every point in the movement of the incoming breath. Be aware of the breath when it hits the rims of your nostrils, just prior to entry. You should also be aware of every cell in your body assisting in taking in the breath. No other thought should be going through your mind. If you catch yourself thinking about anything else, without much fuss, gently take your attention back to your breath. Be patient; don’t be angry. Unwanted thoughts will come, but will be short-lived, if you would calmly take your attention off them. Like anything else, you would get better with practice.
‘Transition Between In-Breath and Out-Breath’
Withdraw your awareness within. Take a quick scan inside your being – it will be ‘void’ (in a state of nothingness). Note: Your mind should be entirely blank at this stage (as you take the scan).
Feel every cell in your body contributing to sending the breath out of your lungs. Be aware of the breath as it comes out of the rims of your nostrils. Your attention should be on every point in the movement of the breath when it leaves the rims of your nostrils.
‘Transition Between Out-Breath and In-Breath’
Take a quick scan around you – it will be ‘void’, as within. Your mind should be entirely blank at this stage. “Yes, blank.” If you take the scan it is void, but you are not mentally saying, “it is void.” It is as if you are just looking at what exists around you with your mind. I hope this point is clear. Be imaginative. This idea applies to the scan within as well.
Note: I have broken the exercise into stages to make it easier for the inexperienced practitioner. What you should be aiming at is smoothness in progressing from one stage to the other. Breathing should be natural, and not forced. There shouldn’t be any artificial barriers between the stages – nice and smooth like a skid on ice. If you followed the instructions above to the letter, your rate of breathing will be slowing down progressively. You will harmoniously be in a ‘deep’ alpha state or theta in the end.
Practise this exercise for about 5 minutes the first day, and increase time at your comfort to about 10 minutes the next fortnight or so. Add this exercise to your spiritual tools, and you will be thankful to me the rest of your life. You will be aware of its benefits very soon. Practise it at least once a day – first thing in the morning and preferably last thing at night (just before retiring).
‘Watching the breath’ seems to be a common meditation exercise, but it is the fine details in this version that will make the difference. Practise it with dedication and due diligence, and you will reap the benefits.
PRACTICE B: REINFORCING THE ALPHA STATE
This exercise will reinforce the alpha state, and might possibly get you into theta state – if you are not yet there. Note: There is no break between this exercise and the one you just completed. Your eyes are still shut.
1. Imagine you are walking alongside a shallow river with very clear water. You are facing north. On either sides of the river there are stretches of tall and ancient trees that command awe. You alternate your view of the river with the admiration of the tall and magnificent trees on your side of the river (to your right). You hear the river murmuring as it flows over huge rocks in its bed. You can also smell freshly cut grass along the path, and can see birds flying from one tree to the other, whistling.
Note: You are an active part of the scene. Thus you are not seeing yourself on a screen from your sitting position, but you feel yourself ‘physically’ interacting with the other characters. So you are not seeing the river, trees and birds from where you are sitting but you see it from your eyes within your body that is walking along the river. You also smell the grass from that body and hear the sound of the water and birds from that same body. It is as if your physical body does not exist anymore, and all that exists is the body that is acting (the one walking along the river). Your aim should be to make the images as clear, sharp and ‘rea’l as possible. It may be a bit daunting in the beginning, but with a bit of imagination, it will get increasingly easier and ‘real’.
2. As you walk along the river you feel very calm and peaceful. The ground you are treading on is made up of white sand. You turn to look back and you can see your footprints. As you approach a path that seems to branch off the one you’re on (to the right), you can hear a lot of singing from the birds, as if they want to draw your attention to the path. You arrive at the T -junction, and you are greeted by a blast of music from a ‘choir’ of birds – there is cooing, chirping, tweeting and singing. It was as though the birds had a very expensive air time on radio to vent their tunes. It has to be done in hurry and there is no conductor.
You lift your eyes up to the top of the trees to examine what these birds are up to. And what do you see? What appears to be a multi-racial ‘choir’ of birds – some are dark, then there are bright ones, and mixed-race. These birds appeared very supple and agile. There is a lot swapping of positions going on, helter-skelter. A stellar display of aerobatics, that is!
You are thinking: “These birds must be defying a tenet in the animal kingdom: ‘birds of assorted feathers are flocking together?’ Are they swapping positions confusedly out of discomfort from being with other breeds or what? Ah well,who knows?” Your reasoning leaves you with no choice other than to go and find out why the birds have gone out of their way to get your attention. Before you change course, however, you look ahead of you and realize the river also splits into two, a stone’s throw away. One part continues in the usual course and the other part follows a route parallel to the one you are about to take.
3. You get on the new path and you realize the ground is similar to the previous. And what happens? It seems the ‘Bird Concert’ is over.You see a wide variety of lovely colourful birds flying joyfully from tree to tree, solo – ‘choir’ team is disbanded. Some of the birds are petite and others are fat. There are a lot of short flights and perching taking place, all directed inwards, along the new path. You still wonder what could be behind the strange behaviour of the birds. After walking about 10 metres down the lonely path, in addition to the singing of the birds, you can as well hear the rustling of leaves. You look ahead of you and spot what looks like a very ancient door partially covered by plants.
4. You are musing: “That would be a most unusual place for a door”, but you are anxious to go and find out what’s behind that door! Within about a metre’s reach of the door, you see: “As Within So Without”, etched boldly in the top post. You then intuit: “This is the House of the Most High. This is where it all happens”. You have been practising union with the Most High. You will go and knock on that door and find your good – manifest your heart’s desire.
5. You manage to make your way round the plants that obscured the view of the door, and give the door a knock: “Knock, knock, knock”. At this point you can feel the tension on the knuckle of your right middle finger that does the knocking and you can also hear the sound of the knock – all from the body standing in front of the door. It is as if you have your soul in that body, and that is the body that feels, hears and smells. Each time you knock make an effort to feel the sensation on the knuckle of the right middle finger and also hear the sound of the knock.
6. The door doesn’t open after the first knock, so you knock again: “knock, knock, knock”. It wouldn’t open the second time either. You try the third time and to your delight, the door swings noisily open. You can hear the creaking sound of the door as it opens, and you are thinking: “The hinges of this antiquated door can do with some oiling.”
7. You step in, look back and the door shuts behind you. (Again you hear the creaking sound of the ancient hinges). Your attention is back to your surroundings, and what do you see? You can’t believe your eyes!What ineffable beauty! You have seen many gardens but there is none you can compare to the one right in front of you. You are overjoyed you mustered courage to embark on this adventure. It appears to be totally out of this world. Entrancing flowers and aged trees surround you.
You entered the door in the eastward direction. You turn yourself northward and could hear what appeared to be the gurgling sound of a river. You walk across the garden to see where the sound was coming from, and you find your guess was right. It is a river with clear water similar to the one you were walking along before your attention was caught by the birds. This glistening river (also with trees on either sides) flows through the garden, burbling and splitting past the rocks studding its bed.
You looked but could not quite figure out where the garden and this river parted ways. You reflect: “Could this be the river that branched out ahead of me before I changed course? And could this awesome garden be the Garden of Eden? I can feel Divine Presence. It feels peaceful and heavenly!”
8. You take a look around, and spot a red rose flower, on your side of the river. You walk to it, admire it and bend down to smell it. If you are not sure what a rose smells like please physically smell one and memorise the smell for this exercise. You want to make it as ‘real’ as possible. That body of yours that bent down should smell that flower! There should be no strain at all in this exercise – just let yourself go and enjoy the experience.
9. The floor of this Sanctuary (the garden) is covered with flourishing green grass, that appears very well kempt (tempting to think God keeps a lawn mower?). You look for a spot somewhere in centre of the garden and sit down – on the grass.
10. Rays of sunlight steal their way through the overhanging branches and leaves, and fill your body with warm. Aside of the warmth from the sun, you feel the entire garden replete with Life Force. You find your Life energy increasing by leaps and bounds. You feel contented and full of Universal Living Energy. You say: “Thank you Great Spirit for the supply of abundance”.
11. Now you open your eyes. The session is over.
This practice should on average take about 5 minutes. You are welcome to extend the time as you please. You will always leave it feeling renewed in spirit, energetic, peaceful and blessed.
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