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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Seek and ye shall find: The law of attraction, the Reiki Precepts, and Google

These days the law of attraction isn't just a concept: it's an industry. Thanks to the 2006 film and book The Secret, the books of Esther and Jerry Hicks, and word-of-mouth among spiritual seekers -- not to mention the powerful endorsement of Oprah -- everybody's talking about the effect of our thoughts and intentions on the world around us.

We aren't offering any definitive answers here on whether our thoughts and intentions create our reality. You'll have to answer that one for yourself. But we've been reminded of the "seek and ye shall find" concept this week by the somewhat frustrating behavior of our star reporter: Google.

As most regular readers know, The Reiki Digest has a staff of robotic reporters: Google and Yahoo. They work nonstop with no pay, no benefits, no desks or offices, constantly scouring cyberspace for news about Reiki, turning in their reports to our editing staff (yours truly).

This past week, Google has been a bit overeager, reporting finds about Reiki that really aren't. That's because it has started including its own ads in the search results. There may not be a word about Reiki in the article it turns up, but if Reiki shows up in the Google ads on that site, our robotic reporter thinks it's found a scoop. That overenthusiasm on the part of our reporter then requires much more work on the part of our editing staff to find which articles, if any, actually have anything to do with Reiki.

Now the reason so many of those Google ads have something to do with Reiki is that our reporter has another boss: the lucrative advertising division of Google. Our reporter tells the Google ad computers that I've asked it to be on the lookout for news about Reiki, and they respond with more and more ads about Reiki. The more I search for the word "Reiki" online, the more likely I am to find it in the ads based on my searches. Seek and ye shall find, indeed. So whether or not the law of attraction applies to the real world, it definitely applies in cyberspace.

The other day I was watching a rerun of Oprah's follow-up show on The Secret, featuring one of my heroes: Louise Hay, and guest Martha Beck pointed out that if she suggested that we think of the color blue, we couldn't help but notice all the blue things in our environment. (That reminds me of the cliche, "Don't think of an elephant." Hmmm. Wonder if I'll start getting Google ads for blue elephants now. . . .) I'd heard that before, but my robo-reporter has put it in a whole new context and made me a believer all over again.

I was sorting through some of Google's false Reiki finds early today when an email showed up from frequent contributor Scott K. with a very interesting question:

The other week I watched the secret and learned about the law of attraction for the first time. I was wondering what the opinion of the Reiki community is on the law of attraction. My understanding from the movie is that as long as you focus your attention on something, and it does not matter if it is in a positive way or negative way, that something will come your way. If this is true then focusing on the precepts will bring one more anger and worry.

I hope you'll get lots of answers on this, Scott, and I'll contribute mine as well. If your attention is focused on anger, i.e., if you are angry, then that will build. If your attention is focused on letting go of anger -- because being human, we're never going to be able to avoid it entirely -- then you will develop a habit of letting go of anger. If you are in the habit of being afraid, you are probably going to build on that and become more and more fearful. Whereas if you practice letting go of fear -- like anger, something that will happen to us from time to time no matter how much we meditate -- you get better and better at releasing your fears. And so on with the other precepts. Law of attraction or not, our habits perpetuate and build upon themselves.

Readers, what's your experience? Has following the Reiki Precepts led to more anger, fear, etc., or less for you? Add your comments by clicking on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post on our web site, email them to, or click here to use GrandCentral to speak your comments into our 24/7 voicemail.


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