(F*ck the) Law of Attraction

  You create your own reality. Change your mind and change your life. You attract what you put out. Half-truths, dangerous half-truths. Yes, we can change our thoughts, train our minds, tune our bodies, or emotions. Sure, we can change our attitudes. And yes, of course all of this affects our life. Because everything affects our lives. The thing that pisses me off though, is what all of these theories leave out, no matter what they call themselves. They leave out war. They leave out crushing poverty. They leave out systemic misogyny, and racism, and trans antagonism, and bigoted hatred. They leave out red-lining of neighborhoods, and the prison industrial complex, and loan fraud for the poor, and the school to prison pipeline, and the fact that some neighborhoods end up with toxic waste dumps built in their backyards and others don’t. “Change your mindset” doesn’t speak of the truth that some schools are better, and some kids go to school hungry every morning. “You attract what you put out” doesn’t speak the truth that some people work two and three jobs, some which required skilled labor, and never get ahead. You create your own reality, but your reality also creates you. Whether you call it the law of attraction, or the prosperity gospel, or new thought, or mindset shift, it doesn’t matter. All of these systems forget another truth: in actuality, we could create our reality. We could create our lives with the society we live in, with our families, friends, communities. Reality is, we could create with the entire cosmos. But in order to do that, we need to recognize that everything in the cosmos is interdependent. All things co-create and are co-created. No life is lived in a vacuum, and to act as if it is is hubris. Not one person, no matter how isolated, lives their life alone. We are interdependent: on trees, on watersheds, on insects, and mammals, on human communities, and even on the stars twinkling in the night. The dying of those stars gives us the iron we so desperately need to live. The stars flow in our blood, and the lives we create owe them a debt. The other reason I say fuck the law of attraction, is that all too often this sort of thinking veers on victim blaming. Got cancer? Change your thought form. Live in crushing poverty? Make a vision board and attract something different. Raised by parents who beat you every day? You chose to be born into this life time didn’t you? What are the lessons you need to learn? And all of this makes me feel angry. Don’t get me wrong, I work magic. I’ve taught magic. Yes, I’ve made vision boards. Yes, I make prayers, light candles, and design spells, and some of them have been very effective in shifting my life. But I also know that I am not the center of the universe. Relying on myself alone is not enough. And in the United States, this sort of thinking–– change your mind, change your life –– is coupled with a sick Calvinism that says that those who are worthy have what is good, and those who are unworthy do not. Almost every Western society has this sort of social Calvinism embedded in its thinking. It has become the root of capitalism itself and is very difficult to escape. It’s a hard thought form to change. And so, the systems of oppression and exploitation are given our full permission to continue in their gruesome operation, grinding lives into dust. It is time for us––particularly those of us with greater privilege–– to change our minds and change our thoughts around that . It is time for us to change our minds and our thoughts around why poverty must be punished, and why punishment rather than compassion is the best way to order our society. It is time to change our thoughts around wealth hoarding and resource accumulation… It is time, I feel, to change our minds and thoughts, and focus our prayers and spells––and actions–– on greater equity. And justice. And love. We can create a new reality, but we can only do it together. Our singular efforts are not, and never will be enough, to change the world to something less toxic, less oppressive, and filled with greater beauty, joy, and concerned with the well-being of as many as possible. It takes each of us, but it also takes a large proportion of us, to truly shift the world toward the one that we so dearly desire. Make your magic. Change your thought forms. Vision new dreams. Tell new stories. Shift your life. And organize with your families, communities, and friends. Let’s talk with one another about what we want to build. Note: I added two words to the original document: “and actions” in this sentence:  It is time, I feel, to change our minds and thoughts, and focus our prayers and spells––and actions–– on greater equity.  This is reader funded writing.  I thank all of my Patreon supporters for making it possible for me to provide one free essay and short story every month. Most of this writing would not exist without these people. They all rock. 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