Sputnik: Could you tell me a bit more about the idea of manifestation?
Dr. Melissa Carr: So manifestation has been around for a long time and it appears in lots of different guises. So traditionally, it's part of this idea about universal interrelatedness, which is the concept that everything in the universe is connected. There's no deity at the centre but it works on a principle of karma.
So that what you give out is what you get back in return. So for example, if you have positive thoughts and you attract back positive actions. So as I said, it's been around for a long time in lots of different forms.
Sputnik: Could you tell me a bit more about the Law of Attraction?
Dr. Melissa Carr: Yeah, so as I said, manifestation has been around for a long time, but the Law of Attraction is sort of more kind of an up to date version. And it was popularised in a book called The Secret, which was then made into a film. And in the book, they coined this phrase, the Law of Attraction, which basically sort of, in a way it packages up these ideas about manifestation. So it's the same sort of basic principles that what you attract is what you get back in return.
Sputnik: Can this movement have a negative effect on those who don’t realise their manifestations?
Dr. Melissa Carr: So in our research, we looked at an organisation that practiced law of attraction as part of its culture. So although it wasn't something that was necessarily officially endorsed by the organisation, and the organisation that we looked at, it was part of the training. And when we went to training events, people talked about the law of attraction, they talked about this idea of manifesting.
So it works on two different levels and I think this is one of the things that we explored in our research. On a very surface level, it's very positive, because, you know, this idea that if you're really positive, you attract, you know, positive things back. And, you know, in essence, there's nothing wrong with that. And actually, you know, it's much more favourable to walk around being positive about your life.
However, one of the things that we found is there was almost a more darker element to it, because in the organisation that we looked at, individuals were held then responsible for their success or failure. So the argument was, if you weren't successful enough in this organisation, which was, you know, predominantly based on sales.
The majority of people weren't going to earn, you know, the kind of the riches that were promised, but what happened is, instead of any responsibility being placed on the organisation for its business structure for the fact that this was very kind of tough, precarious work, all responsibility was put back onto the individuals. So it wasn't just that you were failing in terms of you are failing to have the sales and build the teams that you're expected to do but you were also failing spiritually, because you basically weren't able to manifest hard enough so that it works on different levels.
And I think, you know, one of the concerns that we had is that the law of attraction really does push all responsibility onto employees and they are really held responsible for how successful they are.
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