The Law of Attraction – Misunderstood & Misinterpreted

I am republishing these excerpts from my eBook The Law of Attraction – Misunderstood & Misinterpreted ~ A Larger Spiritual Paradigm on April 13th, 2015 as I announce the publication of an unabridged Audiobook of this eBook.

“I am publishing this book because I believe that the way the Law of Attraction is being taught by most people who are teaching it today is not ultimately Loving.  I believe it is being taught in a way that makes many of the people hearing it feel ashamed;  in a way that causes people to focus on reaching a destination at the expense of being present in the now;  in a way that reinforces the delusion that there is something inherently wrong with being human, with human beings.  It is also being taught by most spiritual teachers in a way that discounts and devalues emotions and emotional healing.”

The following are excerpts from the ebook The Law of Attraction – Misunderstood & Misinterpreted A Larger Spiritual Paradigm by Robert Burney

Discernment within and between emotional and mental

There is a huge difference between allowing fear to define our life and feeling fear at times.  A major component of the approach to healing that I teach is to set a boundary between emotional and mental so that we can stop allowing the fear and shame we learned in childhood to dictate and define our lives by learning to have compassion for our own emotional wounds at the same time we are learning to align ourselves mentally with the Higher Truth that is Love.

“So, basically what I am saying, is that codependency (which includes an addictive, toxic, abusive concept of love) is the problem and Love is the solution. Any belief system that empowers separation, fear and shame is codependent in my definition – not spiritual. There is a saying I like: “Religion is for people who are scared of hell, Spirituality is for people who have been there.” It is possible to be spiritual without being religious, and possible to connect spiritually within a religion – but some religion as it is practiced is not at all spiritual.

Recovery is a process of learning to stop living in the hell that the illusion of separation – which empowers fear and shame – created, and start living life based upon remembering that we are connected to everyone and everything in Love.” – Obsession / Obsessive Thinking Part 1

The thing that sparked me into “ranting and raving” in my article on New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth was a statement from Marianne Williamson that “What is not love is fear.”  That is not only black and white but simplistic and linear as if Love and fear were the same type of emotional energy.  I will address the emotional energy part of this in my ebook on emotions, but I want to emphasize that anyone who is empowering black and white thinking is set up to be shaming and abusive – no matter how much they tell themselves they are teaching Love.

“Counselors and therapist who are taking their ego strength from helping their poor patients learn how to do things “right” are going to be judgmental and shaming.  They will usually do it in masterfully subtle ways, but it is still abuse.

“It is important to recognize that no one has the right to judge or shame you – especially a counselor.  Counselors and therapist are wounded human beings who sometimes let their own agendas influence what they say to you.  There may be things about you that trigger their wounds.  Pay attention.  Recognize if you have outgrown what they have to offer.  Do not buy into thinking that because they were helpful for awhile, that means they are always right.” – Choosing a therapist or counselor with discernment

Any person who has their self worth invested in right and wrong intellectual paradigm is set up to be a perpetrator.  They will manipulate and shame you to try to get you to do things “right” – “for you own good” in their delusional / normal thinking.  Relating to authority figures / “experts” who believe they are right and you are wrong can be very intimidating for us because as children we were subjected to shaming and abuse by parents, teachers, ministers, etc.  When we see someone as an authority figure, when we put another person on a pedestal as an expert, it can be very damaging to us when they shame us for being “wrong.”

“It is also a vital part of the process to learn discernment.  To learn to ask for help and guidance from people who are trustworthy, that means people who will not betray, abandon, shame, and abuse you.  That means friends who will not abuse and betray you.  That means counselors and therapists who will not judge and shame you and project their issues onto you.”quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Anyone – counselor, therapist, sponsor, parent, friend, whatever – whose perspective is based upon a black and white / right and wrong belief system, will project judgment and shame onto the people they interact with / work with / give advice to / counsel.  Because they believe they know what is right and what is wrong, they will see their purpose as getting you to do things “right.”  If they are successful at manipulating / bullying / shaming / “guiding” you to do things their way, they will take ego credit and see it as proof of their worth.  If you do not do it their way, they will blame, shame, and be abusive to you.

This is simply a manifestation of how codependency works.

Of course, they will do their shaming and blaming, they will abuse you, in subtle ways that will have you believing it is your fault.  As I say on my Choosing a therapist or counselor with discernment page:  “There is no one as good as a therapist at turning issues back on you so that it seems to be all your problem.” – Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Chapter 11: Codependent Counselors / Therapists / Healers

Any time that one of these teachers makes black and white statements, and discount emotions – they are doing a disservice to the people they are trying to teach.  And it makes me sad and angry.”

The Law of Karma Trumps the Law of Attraction

or We cannot create anything we want in our lives

I felt compelled to finish this article when I did because of some writing I promised my yahoo mailing list I would do for my next Update.

” In October 2008 as I am working on my November Joy2MeU Update, I realized that I needed to finish an article I started last year about the Law of Attraction.  In early 1991 I wrote an article on New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth and when The Secret came out I felt a need to expand on what I had touched upon in the Misinterpretations article because I have seen so many people hurt because of the ways in which spiritual teachers, new age gurus, and new thought churches were/are teaching the Law of Attraction.” The Metaphysics of Emotions – emotional energy is real

I have also been feeling the tug to finish it because of what I hear when I attend a New Thought Church near here.  I like the energy of the church, and the music, and mostly the message – except for the ways the minister teaches the Law of Attraction.

Anyone who teaches the Law of Attraction, who teaches that we create our life experiences through our way of thinking – without pointing out to the people they are teaching how negatively they were programmed in childhood, is going to cause many of the people they are trying to teach to feel shame.

“In working with codependents trying to overcome the power of the shame, I have often said, “You can’t tell a shame based codependent enough that it was not their fault – that they were powerless to change until it was time to change.”  When people who are healers reinforce the judgment and shame of the disease through making black and white statements, I get angry because I have used such statements in the past to beat myself up.  Until I learned how to have internal boundaries, and trust my own Truth, I took in statements from experts (whether they were authors or people with more recovery than I had or anyone that I saw as knowing more than defective me) and allowed it to fuel and feed my disease in shaming and judging and beating myself up.  I am constantly needing to tell clients that such messages are not necessarily the Truth.” – New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth

“It is when we start understanding the cause and effect relationship between what happened to the child that we were, and the effect it had on the adult we became, that we can Truly start to forgive ourselves.  It is only when we start understanding on an emotional level, on a gut level, that we were powerless to do anything any differently than we did that we can Truly start to Love ourselves.

The hardest thing for any of us to do is to have compassion for ourselves.  As children we felt responsible for the things that happened to us.  We blamed ourselves for the things that were done to us and for the deprivations we suffered.  There is nothing more powerful in this transformational process than being able to go back to that child who still exists within us and say, “It wasn’t your fault.  You didn’t do anything wrong, you were just a little kid.” . . . .

. . . . . . It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are.  And the only way to do that is to own that child’s experiences, honor that child’s feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.”

It is wonderful to tell people that who they really are is Spiritual Beings having a human experience and that their True essence is Love.  It is not okay when those Truths are taught in such a way that the people listening get the message that they are doing something wrong because of the way they think and react without telling them what the cause of that negative, fear and shame based relationship with life is, where it came from.

“As long as we keep reacting out of black and white polarized thinking, we are powerless to change our patterns.  Recognizing we were powerless out of ego self to do anything but react, creates the space to allow us to start changing our relationship with ourselves and stop being our own worst enemy.  Recognizing our powerlessness to control life out of ego, helps us to begin to take power away from the feeling of toxic shame and start forgiving ourselves.  Awakening to the futility, the inherent dysfunction, of allowing our early childhood ego programming to define us and run our lives – and our powerlessness to change that until we became conscious that it needed to, and could, be changed – begins the process of learning to Love ourselves, and creates the space to start being open to relaxing and enjoying life.  By learning to stop empowering polarized reaction to the toxic shame, we can start being honest enough with ourselves to own our responsibility in how our lives have unfolded so that we can make amends to our self and others – and that allows us to start changing our behavior and relationship patterns substantially and significantly.” – Attack on America – A Call for Higher Consciousness  Chapter 5”

Dance of Karma

We are works in progress.  Wherever we are at in this moment is a perfect part of our path – is a transitory moment in our journey through this lifetime.  We are involved in a dynamic transformational process that is unfolding perfectly according to the Divine Plan of a Loving Universal Source.  We are not in control of this process.  What we can have some control of is our perspective of / attitudes towards / relationship with, the journey.  By learning to accept where we are at today with compassion and Love, we gain the capacity to get some enJoyment out of this day of our journey.  By learning to start stopping the shame and judgment internally, we start seeing with more clarity anything in our life that is not working in our best interests, so we can do whatever we are capable of today – in our imperfect human way – to change the things we have the power to change.  We are co-creators here, not The Creator.  And nothing we do as co-creators is powerful enough to cause us to be separated from The Source.

“Free Will – free will is an illusion that exists within certain levels of the illusion.  On the highest level, we are all part of the ONENESS and nothing any of us do can change that – because ONENESS is the highest Truth.  On Lower levels we have free will to a certain extent.  All of our actions on the physical plane however are governed by the Law of Karma – so that free will exists within the context of Karmic settlement.” – New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth

We do not have the power to separate from The Source because separation is an illusion.  The Age of Healing and Joy which has dawned in human consciousness on the planet is an age in which the old souls are doing Karmic settlement for lifetimes of Karma.  We are not being allowed to create new Karma in this lifetime – we are here to settle Karmic debts.

“We have all lived multiple lifetimes. We have all experienced every facet of being human. We are now not just healing our wounds from this lifetime, we are doing Karmic settlement on a massive scale, at a very accelerated rate.

Karma is the Loving, wonderful law of energy interaction which governs human interaction.  Like the other levels of Universal Law, it is about cause and effect.  In this case, “what you sow, you reap.”

Karmic Law dictates that every action of cause on the Physical Plane is paid for with a consequence of effect on the Physical Plane.  In other words, no one can end up in the hole, or in some hell in an afterlife. (Hell is here on earth, and we have all experienced it already.)”

We do not have the power to do anything except the Karmic settlement we are here to accomplish.  Abundance is a good example of this reality.  Just because abundance has not manifested in our life financially does not mean we are doing something wrong – or that it is a situation that we necessarily have the power to change.  Karmically it may be necessary for me, or any one of us, to learn to be fully alive and access Joy and serenity in this lifetime without ever having financial abundance.

“Abundance – as long as we are in the Karmic realm, let me address abundance.  Some of us came into this lifetime with issues to heal around money and financial abundance.  Other people had already done their healing around abundance issues – or will do it in some future life.  People that have a very easy time manifesting financial abundance are not better than, or more evolved than, people who have struggled financially in this lifetime.  It is just about having different types of paths – it is not something that rich people are justified in judging other people for (or vice versa), or that anyone needs to feel ashamed of because it means you are doing something wrong.

Now, all of us have childhood experiences that are reflections of the Karmic debts we need to settle.  That means, that things in childhood wounded us around the issues we are here to work on and heal.  So, like any other issues, abundance is an area that many people need to work on – to remove the dysfunctional, self sabotaging programming that comes from our childhood.  As long as we are working on uncovering our wounds and healing them, we are doing our part in the process.  It is important to learn to accept and Love ourselves no matter where we are in regard to any issue, and not give any issue (such as not having money) the power to affect our sense of self worth – or set us up to think that we are doing something wrong if we have not reached “there” yet.  We may never get “there” in this lifetime – it is important not to buy into being the victim of ourselves in relationship to any issue.” – New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth

There is no destination to be reached.  Doing the work does not mean we are going to be rewarded in some specific way in this lifetime.  Being willing to do the healing work does not necessarily mean we are going to get that special relationship or the financial abundance or whatever – in this lifetime.  Doing the work makes us available for the possibility of having all of our dreams come true – it is not a guarantee the we will reach some specific goal / destination in this lifetime.”

“Destination Thinking

I mention in this excerpt that one of the core dynamics of the disease of codependency is destination thinking.  We don’t feel comfortable in our own skins in the moment and feel like we won’t be okay until we get “there” – wherever that is: the money, the relationship, the house, whatever.  We were programmed to seek a destination by fairy tales that always ended “and they lived happily ever after.”

Because of this destination thinking dynamic, many people hear the Law of Attraction and immediately start trying to create the destination that they think is going to fix them and make them happy.  They buy into trying to get there – and feel like they are doing something wrong if they haven’t gotten there yet.  It is a grave disservice that so many spiritual teachers are teaching the Law of Attraction in a way that causes people to focus on reaching a destination instead of being present for the journey.  As I said in the excerpt I just quoted: “Doing the work makes us available for the possibility of having all of our dreams come true – it is not a guarantee the we will reach some specific goal / destination in this lifetime.”

We want to do the positive affirmations and change our thinking to make it possible to create what we want in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong if we haven’t gotten there yet – or that we won’t be okay until we get there.”


We are co-creators in our lives – not the sole creators.  We cannot create anything we want in life.  I will never be a pro baseball player in this lifetime – no matter how much I use the Law of Attraction to try to create it.  People are mislead by the way this is taught all the time.   A guy I knew from AA who also had his kid at the same Montessori school that Darien goes to, heard The Secret about 9 months ago.  He got all charged up about creating wonderful things in his life.  He start focusing on the positive and taking actions to create what he wanted.  He decided that there was too much negativity in AA and that it was holding him back – so he stopped going to meetings.

There is a lot of negativity in AA because of the black and white thinking I talked about earlier – but the Law of Attraction is not powerful enough to make an alcoholic into a non alcoholic.  I ran into him a couple of weeks ago.  He had gotten a DUI because he had gone back to drinking.

Now my friend is responsible for his actions.  He did not go back to drinking just because of the way he heard the Law of Attraction taught.  It was in fact his codependency that caused him to relapse.  But the way the Law of Attraction is being taught does a disservice to many people who buy into the illusion that they can create anything they want in their lives;  who get caught up in the destination thinking to the extent they aren’t being present for the journey today;  who feel ashamed because of how their life has unfolded because of the negative thinking they were programmed with;  who get the message that they are doing something wrong if they feel fear or have a disease or don’t have financial abundance in their lives.”


On the day when the minister I have been speaking of was hammering away saying, “there is only Love and the Law” – he actually mentioned how someone aligned with the Law of Attraction can cure themselves of cancer.  After a few more minutes of hammering away at “The Law and Love” are all that exist he said, “One person cures themselves of cancer – another person dies of cancer.”  And then he kind of shrugged.  He didn’t actually say that anyone who died of cancer was not aligned with Love and the Law of Attraction – but he implied it very strongly.

That is ridiculous!  Absurd!!!  He is not conscious of what he is saying.  We all die – it does not mean that someone who dies of a disease is doing something wrong.”

ultimate Truths

I believe that minister is teaching Truth – but is teaching it in a way that is not ultimately Loving.  I believe that is true of most of the teachers and authors who are teaching and writing about the Law of Attraction these days.  That brings up sadness for me.  It sometimes makes me angry.  It is all a perfect part of The Divine Plan of course.

What I am sharing in this book, is my relative Truth about what I believe are the ultimate Truths.

“In this dance of life that we are doing there are different levels – even of Truth with a capital T.  There are ultimate Truths, and there are relative Truths.  The ultimate Truths have to do with the eternal, everlasting reality of the God-Force, the Great Spirit.  The relative Truths have to do with each individual’s own intuitive guidance.  These are the messages we receive individually to get us from point A to point B on our individual paths.  The guidance we get from our Souls that tells us what the next thing in front of us is.

Our individual, relative Truths expand and grow as we expand and grow.  We each have our own unique path to follow – our own individual inner guidance system.  No one can tell you what your path is!  Your Truth is a personal thing.  Only you can know your Truth.

It is through following and being True to our individual Truths, as they relate to our path through this physical experience, that we reach balance and harmony with the ultimate Truths.”

As I said at the very beginning of this book, and in the quote I used from the forward to Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, I am sharing an alternative perspective for you to consider.  It is based upon my Truth – on what works for me.

I believe – because it resonates deep within me – that the ultimate Truth is that God is Love, and that we are all ONE within the Goddess / Great Spirit.  On my path, in my recovery, I have been led to increasingly larger perspectives of this life business we are all experiencing.  Each leap of faith I was guided to make to raise my consciousness – to enlarge the intellectual paradigm which I was allowing to define my life – was made in alignment with, and in service to, what I feel are the ultimate Truths.”

“We are Spiritual beings having a human experience – not weak, shameful creatures who are here being punished or tested for worthiness. We are part of/an extension of an ALL-Powerful, Unconditionally Loving God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit, and we are here on Earth going to boarding school – not condemned to prison. The sooner that we can start awakening to that Truth, the sooner we can start treating ourselves in more nurturing, Loving ways.

Aligning our mental attitudes, beliefs, and definitions with Love / Metaphysical Law / Law of Attraction is a vital part of the process but we need to let go of the destination thinking and the shame to start learning to be more alive today.  We need to learn to be discerning – to have the wisdom to know the difference – so that we can recognize when the polarized thinking is causing us to judge our self or others.  We need to have compassion for our self and to honor our own spiritual path so we can stop comparing how we feel on the inside to how other people’s lives look on the outside – judging our self because it looks like they got there and there must be something wrong with us because we haven’t.  We are perfectly where we are supposed to be on our spiritual path and we are being guided home.

We need to stop giving the old programming and the emotional wounding of childhood the power to dictate how we are relating to life today.  Doing that – through doing the inner child healing /  being involved in codependency recovery – is an act of love for ourselves.  We can learn to have inner peace and the capacity to access Joy in the moment by learning to be more Loving to our self.

As we learn to have the capacity to be Loving to our self, we gain the capacity to be more Loving to others.

“Unfortunately, in sharing this information I am forced to use language that is polarized – that is black and white.

When I say that you cannot Truly Love others unless you Love yourself – that does not mean that you have to completely Love yourself first before you can start to Love others.  The way the process works is that every time we learn to Love and accept ourselves a little tiny bit more, we also gain the capacity to Love and accept others a little tiny bit more.”

As I said earlier in this book, “The guiding principle in my quest was to find a spiritual belief system that was Loving.  That was the bottom line – “is this teaching, this belief, ultimately, and at the bottom line, Loving?””

Too many people out there are teaching the Law of Attraction in ways that aren’t ultimately Loving in my opinion.  That is why I am publishing this book.  If it helps you to be a little tiny bit more Loving to your self then we have shifted the planetary consciousness a tiny bit.”

cover of ebook

The Law of Attraction

These are excerpts from The Law of Attraction – Misunderstood & Misinterpreted. This eBook is available now in Amazon Kindle format – and Barnes & Noble Nook format.

The Metaphysics of Emotions – emotional energy is real is the follow up to The Law of Attraction – Misunderstood & Misinterpreted

The Metaphysics of Emotions – emotional energy is real is also available in Amazon Kindle format as well as Barnes & Noble Nook format.

The first 12 people who send me a request can get a free complimentary copy of this Audiobook.  Go to this page for the info.


One thought on “The Law of Attraction – Misunderstood & Misinterpreted

  1. Amen Robert!The Law of Attraction and the Secret and all that stuff is Magical Thinking! Magical thinking has been a problem not an asset. So many people are drinking the coolaid of this metaphysics stuff. It is some what natural to Look for the easier softer way. A magical solution. But, it is not realistic.

    On Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM, Codependency Recovery Expert Robert Burney

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s