Remember yesterday how I said life was a video game? Well, every video game has to have a battle system, does it not? A set system of rules that makes it fun and distinctive. Or, as we fantasy nerds call it, a magic system.
Even if you’re playing a nonviolent video game, there are rules in place that allow you to play the game, right?
Short for the “Law of Attraction,” I like to think of it as, *points to title* the real world’s magic system. Though before I explain why, how about we talk about magic systems for a bit – just in case you’re not a total fantasy nerd like yours truly.
What’s a Magic System?
“A magic system, which might also be referred to as a magical system, is a set of rules that regulate the magical effects that can be produced in a fictional setting.”-good ole Wikipedia
Simple enough, right? Just as fantasy settings are governed by rules pertaining to magic, however, so too is our world governed by the laws of physics.
But science is really just hard magic – i.e., magic with clear-cut rules. We know how it works so the results don’t seem so magical. They’re just… well, physics.
In this dualistic world we live in, however, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
So what’s the “reaction” to hard magic?
Brandon Sanderson, a big name in the fantasy and sci-fi world, talks about the distinctions between these two types of magic systems at length in various essays, and even created his very own laws of magic, just as Newton has his laws of physics!
According to him, the rules in soft magic are unclear. This makes the effects of soft magic similarly unclear.
Soft magic is unpredictable—anything can happen—which contributes to a sense of wonder in the story it appears in. Token examples of which can be seen in both the Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings series.
Both these series pull off soft magic quite well because, according to Brandon, the writers “very, very rarely use their magic to solve problems.” In The Lord of the Rings, for example, Gandalf is a crazy powerful wizard… and yet, can he destroy the Ring? Can he deliver it to Mt. Doom?
We get that Gandalf is one powerful mo’fo—and that his powers have limits—but it’s never explicitly defined: that’s soft magic in a nutshell.
As stated earlier, the rules of hard magic—conversely—are clearly defined. As such, the effects of hard magic are often predictable. They’re consistent. Even if one doesn’t achieve their desired result, if they look back on it, they can probably figure out why.
In worlds that feature hard magic systems, magic can be used to solve problems—in fact, it’s encouraged. It becomes a tool the characters can use to amplify their own competency (or help them get some competency in the first place!).
Good examples of hard magic (other than, you know, physics) can be seen in Avatar: The Last Airbender and basically any superhero series ever.
We know that say, The Flash, is really really fast. And that doesn’t change. He’s the Flash. Being fast is what he does.
And so goes hard magic: it’s consistent, reliable, and easy enough to duplicate once you know its rules.
But how does LOA fit into all this?
Well, if you consider that science is the real world’s hard magic system, you might be pretty quick to assume that the Law of Attraction is a soft magic system.
And that, adventurer, is where you’d be wrong.
Given that so much of the LOA info out there is highly watered down, it comes as no surprise that we see it as this crazy, magical, woo-woo thing (if we’re even aware of its existence in the first place).
I mean, arguably the most mainstream resource for LOA out there is the documentary, “The Secret.” In it, the Law of Attraction is made out to be this really abstract and mystical thing—almost as if it’s a thing some people are gifted with access to while others are not.
People would follow the watered-down advice given in the movie and then feel like failures when their dreams didn’t manifest, writing off LOA all together. LOA was classified as “woo-woo.” As “pseudoscience.” As soft magic.
But you see, when it boils down to it, there really isn’t such a thing such as soft magic in the real world. Because lack of clarity is the only thing separating soft magic from hard. If we understand the rules, it’s not soft magic anymore, now is it?
Like Attracts Like
When it boils down to it, LOA only has one rule and it’s simple—right there in its very name—“like attracts like.” The Law of Attraction.
I know, I know. What about “opposites attract”? All the physicists are rolling in their graves right now, I’m pretty sure. But these days the whole “opposites attract” bit is So. Passé.
Remember how everything is energy? Well, because everything is energy, it’s also—by extension—connected. When it boils down to it, we’re just a bunch of tiny particles of energy, vibrating at different frequencies.
And energy draws toward it that which vibrates at the same frequency: like attracts like.
It’s All in the Pixels
Let’s think back to the video game analogy. If we’re all just avatars in one giant-ass game, then—like the avatars on our TV and computer screens—we’re really just composed of pixels. Except IRL, the pixels are energy.
If pixels on a screen weren’t put together with similar pixels, they ultimately wouldn’t form a coherent picture, now would they? Everything would just be a mess of random colors. Of chaos. So, in our real-world magic system, you can only attract that which you’re a vibrational match to.
But how do you change your vibration, you may be wondering?
With your thoughts and feelings. The intangible—that which we can’t see but know exists anyway—that’s the stuff that’s just pure vibration. And we can control it—or rather, we can direct it.
Channeling Your Inner Wizard
Once we understand the rules behind LOA, we can start the journey of becoming a real, bonafide, boss-status wizard.
You can manifest it! Anything’s possible with LOA. However, as with any good magic system, there are limitations, and LOA’s happens to be that in order to manifest what you want, you have to feel as if you already have it.
Yeeesh. Talk about irony. Easier said than done, am I right?
But there’s a strategy you can put into play: want “THE THING”, but don’t need it. When you NEED something, you aren’t exactly feeling as if you already have it, right? You’re projecting feelings of lack, so naturally, you’re going to attract more lack into your life.
The key is to trick your brain into thinking good thoughts, no matter your external circumstances—to feel good, no matter what’s happening in your world. It’s easy enough to understand, but putting it into practice can be HARD. (Pun intended. ‘Cause… you know… it’s a hard magic system?)
Like all hard magic systems, LOA can be quite the extensive subject. There’s so much to say on manifesting what you want that I dare say we could have an entire wizarding school based on it someday! (My inner eleven-year-old SO wants that to be a thing.)
As such, I plan to write a lot more on LOA in the future. But if you’re feeling super keen in the meantime, I recommend Melody Fletcher’s blog, Deliberate Receiving. She’s my go-to source for all things LOA and she writes about it in a totally fun, no-BS kind of way.
Though in any case, what did you think, adventurer? Were you already familiar with LOA? How about soft vs. hard magic systems? And… *points to featured image* am I the only Jasnah fangirl here?
What I’m Playing: Hoping to play some Skyrim… after I post this. (who needs sleep?)
What I’m Watching: Voltron: Legendary Defender – loved the first episode of the most recent season! So cute. It was nice to see a bit more of Shiro and Keith’s backstory.
What I’m Listening to: Feminine Power Time, Christine Arylo – one of my favorite podcasts. It helps to get me centered at the start of my day!
What I’m Reading: More Writer’s of the Future stories. Not sure which one will be my personal fave yet.
What I’m Writing: More posts… I can think them faster than I can write them.
What I’m Contemplating: TBH, writing this post has really got me thinking hard about the science behind LOA and reminded of my biggest existential question since I was like, five: how was the universe/God always just…there? Like, how did the Big Bang even happen if there was nothing there….? Hmm…