How Are Things Attracted?

Bill Abbate
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Who hasn’t heard of the law of attraction? While you may think it is a relatively recent concept, it dates back thousands of years. The first modern reference using the exact phrase was in The Great Harmonia, published in 1855 by Andrew Jackson Davis.

No discussion of attraction is complete without understanding opposites and resistance. Read on to learn more about these fascinating subjects.


Many of us never tire of discussing the law of attraction. What’s not to like about “like attracting like”?

The concept is intriguing and mysterious; some would say it is magical. While to many of us, magic only exists in our imagination, the law of attraction rouses our curiosity because it happens in reality. No magic required.

However, like anything in life, it is possible to take it too far, which many people do.

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” J. K. Rowling (1965-present)

Most of us prefer to be around like-minded people, those who share our values, spirituality, and morals. It is only common sense that “like attracts like” in much of life.

Everything in life, in my life and your life, begins in our minds. Our thoughts create our world, and when you look at the world around us, the thoughts of God created it all.

Where did the law of attraction originate? It has likely been around longer than written communication, which means thousands of years. The Bible has many references, each within its context.

The law also appears in Plato’s first law of affinity from around 390 B.C., where he states, “likes tend toward like.” Other such inferences date even further back in history. Suffice it to say, The law of attraction has been around for a long time!

Opposites and resistance

While “like attracts like” is enjoyable to think about and apply in life, what about opposites?

Imagine how boring life would be if everyone had the same thoughts. Where would we find meaning without the differences in each of us?

We need opposites and opposing forces. How would we grow and become stronger without life’s push and pull? Resistance is required not only to grow muscles but also to grow minds.

Gravity keeps us firmly planted on earth, while our resistance to it strengthens our muscles and bones. Imagine the atrophy that would occur if we stayed weightless for too long, a serious issue for space travel.

For a car to move, it must overcome resistance by pushing or pulling with its wheels. Otherwise, it becomes useless. Without force and resistance, movement could not happen.

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” Roger Crawford (1960-present)

Many forces in life remain unseen. Gravity, magnetism, and electricity moving through wires create amazing things. Did you know visible light is only .0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum? On a linear scale, 99.9965% of that spectrum is invisible to the naked eye! The many things we cannot see are vital to the universe’s existence and are as real as we are.

Far more exists around us than any human sense can detect. Your very thoughts are unseen, yet they attract or resist what you think in your mind.

Have you ever noticed when you think about getting a new car in a particular color, they suddenly start showing up all over the place? It’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, also known as frequency bias. It happens because of your thoughts. The car and color have been there all along, but you see it now where you didn’t before. Do you see how this phenomenon connects to the law of attraction?

There are so many things to explore in life! Think about the saying “opposites attract” when it comes to people. While I don’t take the words too literally, they contain an element of truth. My first wife and I were as opposite as two people can be, and we had a great marriage for 32 years before she passed from cancer. Jane, my current wife, and I share so many common interests you could say “like attracted like.” Yet, we are also different in many ways, which keeps our marriage alive and vibrant!

Because of the contrasts of these opposites in life, we can know who we are. How would you know good from bad, rich from poor, happy or sad, healthy or sick? How would you know success without understanding failure? Removing the differences between people in life would halt the advancement of civilization.

By whatever name, opposites, resistance, or differences, they enrich our lives in a way nothing else can. Be thankful for these as well as the likenesses in life!

Back to the law of attraction

“The Law of Attraction states that whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life.” Jack Canfield(1944-present)

Does the law of attraction work? Countless people claim it does, and from personal experience, I can only agree! While not scientific, these first-hand experiences don’t lie to us. My only issue with it is it has its limits. It is not a panacea, despite what some may claim.

How can you use the law of attraction in your life? Since everything created and invented originated as a thought in someone’s mind, the more focused and concentrated the thought, the more likely you will attract what you desire. Could it be that simple?

Experience teaches us it takes more than just thinking about and attracting what we want. At some point, you must take action.

Another way to see the law of attraction is that it will attract opportunities. It is up to you to take action to manifest your desire. This process of getting the opportunity and acting isn’t always smooth. You may find you will try and fail. If or when you fail, continue applying the law of attraction to work through each failure. Use what you learn to draw closer to what you want. All you need is a strong enough commitment to do it!

“If you’re interested, you will do what is convenient; if you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.” John Assaraf (1961-present)

One of the keys to using the law of attraction in your life is your use of resistance. This resistance can be a failure, doubt, unbelief, or something else. Resistance challenges us to learn, grow, gain strength, and overcome.

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to this law. The law makes no distinction between negative and positive or good and bad thinking. According to the law, what you think about is attracted to your life. Keep your thoughts positive and think you can. Better yet, have faith in yourself and know you can.

“Whether You Think You Can, or Think You Can’t … You’re Right.” Henry Ford (1863–1947)

Final thoughts

Everything in life has a cost, which is required to make the law of attraction work for you. Know what you want to attract, pay attention, and be committed to taking action to make it happen.

If you thought the law of attraction happens like magic, come back to the land of reality! Some want the law of attraction to do its work so they can gain something with little or no effort. Yes, the law does work but it requires you to work too. Otherwise, what you want may be only a wish. Wishes seldom come true, yet desires based on reality planted deep in the heart often come into existence.

I leave you with a final thought from one of history’s greatest leaders.

“You create your own universe as you go along.” Winston Churchill (1874–1965)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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