There is spiritual current today that often goes under the name “The Law of Attraction”, although by other names in the past. This was brought to prominence in a documentary made a few years ago called the “Secret”. Its main spokesmen include Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, the author of “Conversations with God”, and so on. While employing, without understanding, some legitimate Hermetic practices, the overall thrust of this movement is false.
Rather than the rejection of materiality as seen, for example, in Theosophy, this movement seeks to improve the material conditions of life through some spiritual practices which include affirmations and visualizations. My son was invited to a Wayne Dyer talk several years ago; he told me the audience included almost entirely post-menopausal women. These are woman who have achieved a measure of success in the world and regard it as a sign of superior spirituality.
Julius Evola described several “races of the spirit” in his book Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race. Although these descriptions are terse, they often display considerable insight into the human condition. In his description of the aphroditic race, he pinpoints the relevant features that describe this type. There is no sense of transcendence, so the focus is on improving material existence: money, relationships, property, etc. The end result is the confusion of intense sensual experiences with spiritual realization. This is Evola’s description:
Another race of the spirit is the truly aphroditic race; in it, tellurism, i.e., the adherence to terrestriality, assumes the forms of an extreme refinement of material existence, and not seldom goes on to promote an opulent development of everything that is pomp and luxury in the outer life, therefore also of the world of arts and aesthetic sentiment. But, in the inner life, a passivity and a lunar inconsistency subsist, balanced by a particular prominence given to sensuality but also to all that which is related to woman, which, through such a way, goes on to exercise control and to silently secure for itself a superior position.
I recently had the pleasure of an hour long interview with an exemplar of the aphroditic race described by Evola. In a narrow sense, she can be said to have won the lottery of life. In her 50s, she was still attractive, healthy, financially independent, extroverted, with the spare time to pursue her numerous hobbies. Knowing my interests, she was eager to share our spiritual perspectives.
Opening up the topic, she surprised me when she said that the spiritual turning point in her life came from reading the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This motivated her to open up some spas in the Midwest where she was able to combine her interest in and knowledge of the chakras with massage. She eventually sold them at a tidy profit and retired to Florida.
Now such a book is not a spiritual book at all, despite its distortions of certain Hermetic exercises. Rather, it acts at the psychological level by motivating someone to single-pointedly focus on making money. Furthermore, for anyone who is convinced by it and harbors no doubts, it can bring a lot of confidence to that project. She was such a person, and the results are there to see. Nevertheless, Hill’s book is not a passive teaching, of the sort that the “universe will attract it to you”, but a call to action.
That led to a discussion of the so-called Law of Attraction, which is a generalization of Hill’s book. Not just money, but health, love relationships, and all other aspects of life can be materialized in the same way. Eventually, however, those in that mindset tire of the effort required, and decide that one just needs to recite affirmations and results will follow effortlessly. Of course, work and toil are part of our lot and cannot be dispensed with. Now I am not discouraging anyone from making affirmations, which have their use provided they lead to manifestation through the will and the application of energy.
Keep in mind, however, that the Law of Attraction cannot attract sanctity to you, which is really what should concern you. At one point, she suggested that I attend a nearby Buddhist center. I didn’t tell here that I have been initiated into a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, but I did bring up the point of a common meditation theme. In that, one focuses on a mandala and envisions oneself in the company of Buddhas, Boddhisattvas, gods, and other higher beings. I explained that we unconsciously throughout the day create a lower self-image; the meditation breaks that chain by identifying the self with higher beings. She gave me a slight frown and changed the topic, as though she was thinking, “why would I want to give up my self?”
My point is to illustrate Evola’s astute description of the aphroditic race. This woman’s spirituality was focused on “the extreme refinement of material existence” and “an opulent development of everything that is pomp and luxury in the outer life”.
Somehow, out of nowhere, there is a new word, “bossy”, that politically correct people should not use today. That is fine, because what they are trying to define, or ignore, out of existence is what Jung described as the “animus”. This is the unconscious masculine element in a woman’s psyche that can emerge in a way that can be described as “bossy”. I had to navigate around this woman’s animus in order to keep the conversation light and pleasant.
She was always the “first” to do something, the innovator, etc. While she should be proud of her accomplishments in bringing hot stones to massage, she did not discover chakras. Moreover, a man of Tradition would be horrified to discover he was an “innovator”, since his aim is to extend Tradition. As she posed questions to me, no matter how I answered, she would assert that she “already knew that”.
Obviously, I could tell what she understood and what she did not. I also know how difficult it is to achieve any worthwhile insights on the spiritual path, and pop psychology is a bane, not a boon. When I tried to describe Guenon’s ideas on tradition, she immediately assumed I was referring to syncretism. She pointed out that not only did she have chakra charts and other Oriental symbols decorating her home, she also had a crucifix.
Not surprisingly, the conversation turned to relationships. Having in mind the Mouravieff’s teaching on polar beings or Serrano’s on El-Ella, I asked her if she believed that a man and a woman who are spiritually united could achieve more together than apart. Her immediate, but irrelevant response, abruptly ended the conversation.
She told me yes. She related how she once achieved such an intense orgasm that it raised up her kundalini all the way to the top. And the irony, she explained, is that the guy involved knew nothing at all about metaphysics, chakras, or kundalini!
That is what it comes down to. Despite her exalted self-image and spiritual path, what she was really looking for was a good f@#$. She could only conceive of kundalini in material terms. Truth be told, I have run into this attitude in several such women. Evola describes the telluric race in these terms:
Sexuality has a considerable part in it, in its most elementary aspect: naturally, not just phallic, virile sexuality; in this regard, it can actually be said that it can rather more easily appear in a woman than in a man, in accordance with an entirely telluric nature.