James Ray and the Law of Attraction

In previous post comments the question has been raised about what went wrong with James Ray and the three deaths at his Sedona sweat lodge retreat.

The gist of the question is “If James Ray is such an LOA expert, and if LOA really works, how could the Sedona tragedy happen?”

I’ve purposely avoided writing on this subject for a couple reasons, but we all know that what we resist persists. So here we are on the topic of James Ray. (This one’s for you, Jim Catano.)

Leadership Coach Zoe Routh responded brilliantly in the Money Class Divide comments:

I love the James Ray story because it’s a good reminder for all of us that we may ‘teach’ LOA to others but the most essential part is walking the talk. None of us can tell what happened there – perhaps errors in judgment as a biggie, negligence perhaps as another with the plastic tarp on the top of a sweat lodge.

And the only one who knows what they were vibeing were the people  themselves – including James Ray. And who are we to judge whether that experience was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for anyone – including the people who passed.

The incident serves as an opportunity for contrast from our own perspective – I certainly had a few moments of, ‘whoa – I never want that for MY retreats – I always want to be aware enough of what I am teaching and how people are responding in order to keep their safety in front of mind’.

I am pretty sure James Ray never intended for his students to die in what he obviously believed was a powerful personal growth experience. He is experiencing the most contrast out of all of us.

The James ray is not a failure of LOA. In fact it’s not a failure at all. It’s only a failure if we fail to learn from it. And for the people who died, we are not privvy to all the good and bad  things that have come from their passing in the lives of the people who loved them, and for the people themselves. And really, it’s none of our business.I try to keep my judgments where they are most useful – on me, my life, and the choices I make.

Abraham had this to say on the topic of James Ray and the sweat lodge deaths:

“Here is a teacher who was part of The Secret movie who understands law of attraction not even in the slightest, who held seminars for the purpose of seeing how much discomfort you can endure without dying. Deprivation in the desert, deprivation without food, deprivation without air, high temperatures in the sweat lodge, in other words, see how much you can endure.

Now law of attraction brings the leader of this group right now to jail where he is being deprived of all of the things that are important to feeling good. In other words, law of attraction is this powerful, powerful, powerful law that says you get what you think about and what you think about is evidenced by the way you are feeling in the moment. And when you’ve decided that you’re going to struggle your way to joy, the joy never comes. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot suffer your way to joy. And you cannot joy your way to suffering.

When you selfishly choose the thoughts that feel good to you, thought by thought by thought, not just after you’re sick but in day to day thoughts … that make up the basis of your vibration.”

You can hear the whole conversation here:

Here’s where I’m at with it: I’m still figuring all this deliberate creation stuff out myself, too.  And Zoe’s right; it’s one thing to preach it and it is another to live it. Sometimes I do a pretty good job, and sometimes I see lots of room for improvement.

Especially with the support and inspiration from this vibrant conscious community, I have to admit I am highly enjoying the journey toward a stronger embracing of the principles of deliberate creation and life enjoyment. (And isn’t that the whole point?)

If anyone cares to share their thoughts about James Ray and what happened in Sedona, I’d love to hear from you.

  • January 15, 2011
  • 11 Forgotten Laws says:

    I have been using the law of attraction to bring into my life the things I most want. It works for everything as there are no limits to what the universe can give – the only limit is your own imagination. It just takes understanding and knwoing it will work that makes it so powerful. It s quite extraordinary – do have a look!

  • Brandie says:

    I believe the problem that exists for James Ray and others who believe that they can manifest whatever they wish is that the true One who manifests everything is left out of the equation. We can ask the Universe (G-d) for anything and many times we will receive what we ask for but not every time. In His infinite wisdom He directs His creation and manifests for us what we need, like a parent to a child, regardless of what we think is best. I greatly enjoy giving my children their heart’s desire if I have evaluated it to either assist in their development or at least not detract from it but even if they believe it is the greatest thing ever I would not allow it if I felt it was detrimental or not productive. Just as I would ask them to perform activities or experience situations that they may not enjoy but which I know will propagate their well being or development. Or exact punishment when the rules are broken. It is the same for me. I do not know what my soul needs, what I am here to accomplish, learn or absorb. All I know is that someone greater than me is in control and I must find the joy in His love even if it is not readily apparent to me because everything is a result of His caring for me. And yes, I am made in His image so I do manifest and create but only by His grace. I understand that it all goes back to Him. The One who creates me every moment of every day forever.

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    You said it better than I could. You are always a wise one, and I agree with you.
    Much love,

  • Brigitte says:

    I feel SO grateful for this post, Jeannette. About a year ago I purchased Harmonic Wealth by James Ray, but soon after reading the very first page I felt absolute repulsion. My inner guidance clearly was saying “Wrong, wrong, I don’t like it, it is wrong”.
    Then I googled his name and read about the tragedy. I was waiting for something like this to finally understand. Thank you!

  • Mandy says:

    I have no judgements or opinions about what others bring about in their lives, “good” or “bad”. What I CAN do is offer a hand to others if they need some help to bring about more happiness. It doesn’t need to be anything huge. It could just be listening to them, being there when they cry so they are not alone, giving them a lift, lending them something, physically helping them…anything. I know this is the right approach for me when I relate to other people because it feels good. What others are manifesting for themselves is not my realm.

  • livingbytheloa says:

    Holly – I believe you may have misunderstood the intent of the phrase you quoted. The point is not that anyone doesn’t care about what happened or have compassion for those who were (and maybe still are) grieving over the loss of lives in Sedona. You are so right that love is powerful and that it’s okay to grieve and that statement wasn’t meant to be a contradiction of that sentiment. There is HUGE love and compassion among all of the people here! The part I (and I believe others) feel is none of my business is the ‘why’ of it. More specifically, who or what is to blame for it?
    We can all speculate for days about whether there was negligence, about where Mr. Ray’s vibe was off or how he does or doesn’t understand the LOA (per Abraham – and not one of their finer moments IMHO), and we can spend hours agonizing over how horrible it must have been for those who are gone and for those who remained, but what (good) purpose does any of that serve? Especially when I KNOW the people who are gone are in a better place and not suffering from it a bit!
    Yes, it happened. But it is not my business to judge anyone involved – good or bad – as a result of it. My own thoughts and life and vibration and co-creations ARE my primary business, the only thing I really have ANY control over and the only thing that ultimately matters to me. And I personally believe I serve a greater good by focusing on what’s positive in life than I do by judging others (for causing these deaths or for not showing enough compassion!), dwelling on their pain, agonizing over the “why’s” around things like this…and making myself depressed, angry, upset and/or confused in the process. That doesn’t help me, my children, my friends, anyone who was involved or anyone on the planet.
    You know, I almost didn’t even read this thread and the comments because I didn’t want to get sucked into thinking about why this happened “to” James Ray – even for a minute. Look ahead. Look up. Look in the mirror. The time and energy will be better spent.
    At least that’s my take on it.

  • Enoch says:

    Well, I have never been a big fan of The Secret and some of the other LOA material that came out after that. So, I was not surprised when this incident happened. I figured it was inevitable. I do not ‘oppose’ all of the LOA material out there, but I think some of it is very misleading and dangerous for the mind and the soul. There is nuance to life. Not everything is “good thoughts = good life”, or “bad thoughts = bad life.” Some people are given a “freebie” by God (or “the Universe” for those who don’t like to use the G-word) even though they feel desperate and depressed in this life.
    If everything was about “attracting what you feel”, then how do some people magically get out of depression as if it were a miracle? By the common logic of some of the LOA movement, they would stay depressed, or even get worse. But some people experience sudden transformations that cannot be deduced logically or through reason.
    Likewise, some people are happy and joyous their whole lives, and then something ‘terrible’ happens to them that throws them into a state of extreme depression. Take the story of Job from the Bible. The man was constantly grateful for what he had, and then it was all taken away from him in an instant.
    All of his friends had different ideas about his suffering. One said that suffering was a direct consequence of ‘sin’, another said that God could NOT allow a righteous servant to suffer. All of their ideas were lacking something until another friend came along and broke it all down for them. God doesn’t reward or ‘punish’ people based on merit or gratefulness alone, therefore the implication that Job was somehow a ‘sinner’ due to his fate was thrown out the window. Sometimes God (or “the Universe”) has a different plan for us than what we think that plan is.
    That said, I still think conscious thinking and feeling is tremendously important and I certainly don’t think everything should be just given to “fate.” But I think there needs to be some flexibility here, and to avoid “fundamentalisms” of all kind, whether it be “you attract exactly the way you feel all the time, without exception” or “everything is decided by fate, and you can do nothing to thwart or advance it.”
    P E A C E

  • Holly says:

    Love is a powerful and complex emotion. To love deeply means we feel pain when there is loss. Empathy is feeling another’s joy as well as another’s pain. Compassion means understanding the feelings of others, especially the difficult ones. Where is this in your discussion of LOA?
    Statements like this about the sweat lodge are black & white, narcissistic & unfeeling:
    “And really, it’s none of our business.I try to keep my judgments where they are most useful – on me, my life, and the choices I make.”
    You’re all certainly interested in the sweat lodge so you’re not looking away. The truth is that it was a horrendous event, here on the human plane where we do indeed live in bodies that can suffer.
    If someone were harming someone you love, would you look the other way because it’s “none of your business”? Yes, I do believe that we attract experiences, people, opportunities into our lives, but it’s far from black & white. Is it possible to have a full range of human emotions – love , care, compassion, empathy – and also see our lives as spiritual? If a tragic experience has spiritual meaning (they all must, all experiences do), it is still a tragedy
    here in our human-ness.
    Have simple compassion for the families of those who died in the sweat lodge. They are as real as your own family. They are suffering still the losses. No matter the spiritual reason, their human hearts feel the absence of their loved ones.
    Will you push my comments away because you percieve them as negative? If you can’t at least hear them and consider them, then the truth is that you live in fear of anything that will tip your boat. That’s not a positive place, it’s a fragile one.
    Life is absolutely stunningly beautiful, and also difficult at times. It’s okay to grieve for those lost in the sweat lodge. It’s a beautiful display of love even. Don’t let fear stand in the way of your compassion.
    Question Abraham. If you can’t do that, I am concerned for your safety as well… and it is my business and I really do care.

  • Dr. Nili Marcia says:

    This is a fascinating string of comments. I appreciated the audio from Abraham with its reminders that we must be true to ourselves and that quite often if we are true to ourselves we will not be understood. I have found that as I distance myself more and more from the news, conflicts and debate, I can be more aware of the wonderful things around me that the hyper energy of news often blocked for me-and some people around me think I’m being an ostrich or Pollyanna.
    One thing puzzles me: why LOA students would call this event a tragedy. A number of comments have already discussed, and I agree, each of the people involved made their choices and attracted what was just right for them. I guess this gets back to Abraham’s teachings about the appropriateness of selfishness: those who died certainly made the could-be-seen-as-selfish decision to leave loved ones behind. And yet we know that this must have been correct for those left behind as well… when something so unusual happens it can be hard to withhold judgment yet all we have learned tells us nothing is wrong with what happened.

  • Julio Blanco says:

    I like where you started Jeannette… still figuring this deliberate creation stuff out.
    This topic is making me ponder the idea of “you cannot suffer your way to joy.” I agree that suffering in resistance to the nature of Spirit is futile. Like suffering in the vibe of fear, powerlessness, despair.
    Yet the experience of James Ray and his students reminds me more of the physical “suffering” that endurance athletes choose to experience. It definitely creates an interesting contrast – physical pain in exchange for, well, what is it? The paradox of physical pain accompanied by the joy of the game, of play and adventure? Our Broader Self enjoying the experience, or the contrast, despite the limits of a physical body. Our own 40 days in the desert?
    One way to think of all this could be to ask “would Spirit choose to play with any of these experiences if He/She/It were in a physical body?” (Huh, and we are all part of Spirit as we travel in our physical bodies, aren’t we?). Can any of us answer definitely?
    Which leaves me in the same place… still figuring this deliberate creation stuff out. And not passing judgment on how much James Ray and his students may have or not have known or figured out.

  • Curious One says:

    Hello to all…I haven’t been here in SO long and yet just had to chime in! I was NOT a bit surprised about how James Ray self destructed – only the “how”. Did anyone ever see him tell the stories of how he “couldn’t believe how much wealth he had accumulated” or how he had almost bankrupted himself twice? He made many references to his feelings of inferiority growing up as a geek and how he got into body building so he could feel better about himself. This is only my perception and yet to me, he didn’t feel worthy on the inside so the situation he manifested was simply a sure way to rid himself of it!

  • ChipEFT says:

    What each of us gets from this story will be a vibrational match to our own beliefs, fears, and doubts about Law of Attraction. What other people do or create using LOA (or anything else) is a concern to us only in the fact that what we perceive is activating a vibration within us.
    Stick to your guns. Simple as that.

  • Jessica Earl says:

    Zoe- You share so well! 🙂 I love what you say, about choosing easy while allowing others to choose whatever it is they would like!
    It reminds me, as a child having chores of stacking wood… it felt “hard” and even though I didn’t like doing it, sometimes, once I got into it, it became a game/puzzle. I’d get in the vortex. I made the experience what I wanted it to be I guess (without realizing it). And I’ve had many other examples of similar things of how working “hard” gave me a lot of skills that I might not otherwise have. However, my daughter who hasn’t had that “work hard” life, at the first sign of challenge, seems to just give up, walk away, and misses out on really great experiences! It seems if she had a little more patience, determination, she’d KNOW she could do it, but instead just gives up. Sometimes pushing ourselves a little bit can let us know that we are capable of so much more. The part that was “hard” becomes easy after that, but we would have never had the chance to realize it.
    And, you are right, it is nicer to make things easier, not so hard, more fun!!! And that’s where I’m headed, although I am sure that talking about all this is impacting my vibe… lol SO… I’m going to dial in on EASY EASY EASY now! 🙂
    But when I’m in the vortex, even the challenges feel fun and easy! So that’s the goal, when it comes right down to it. To live, breathe, play in the vortex!!
    I love everyone’s input! I love the curiosity! I love how we are learning more about ourselves! I love this blog! I just love LOA! I love letting others choose what to put in their own pies! I love variety! I love how easy it is to share on here! I love feeling amazing about everything in my experience!

  • Marsha Hall says:

    Cheers…no blame. No shame. It’s one goofy thing after the other..have fun. Live, die..whatever you want to do. No problem. People tend to identify with their bodies and it gets a bit personal. Own..own..own. Attachment works so well…what do I know??? F’..k.

  • Zoe Routh says:

    Wow – some fabulous comments in here!
    Something Jessica said sparked something for me – the idea that ‘struggle’ is a good thing.
    She’s right – struggle can be addictive – I have certainly been there – I worked in the outdoor personal development field for 20+ years where the main premise of personal development was overcoming adversity to build inner resilience. In fact Outward Bound’s motto is, “To serve, to strive, and not to yield.”
    And for me that was the awesome – for awhile. Until I got totally exhausted from always having to overcome – in my relationships, in my finances, in my physical body. I even got cancer – an excellent struggling to overcome.
    That’s what Abe says – we get what we vibrate and focus on – whether it’s struggle, or ease, or hardship, or flow.
    There is no judgment in LOA – it delivers 100% what you focus, feel, and vibrate consistently. (which is a good reminder to me to stop worrying about how much weight I’m putting on during this holiday! LOL)
    What I’ve found though is most of my clients come to me for it to be easier, to be more fun, to be more effortless (none of them come to me for help in making it harder). I think there is a common desire in all of humanity, somewhere, sometime, for it to get easier, to be not so hard.
    However, if someone wants to do the struggle thing, or the hardship thing, (even entire organisations like Outward Bound) then I’m ok with that – it’s the constant variety that makes this earth place so fabulous.
    So if people want to be purged through extreme diets, or cleansing shamanistic rituals, or running 100km marathons, then good on them! They will find what they are looking for.
    If people want to experience magic, and flow, and abundance, and prosperity, and wealth, and resilient health, and a tiny butt, then hey! That’s the party I’m playing in (these days) – and I invite all those who think that’s where they’re at to funk it up with me. I suspect there are a few of the blog readers in that category.
    Much love and ease,

  • Leslie Richter says:

    There always seemed to me a huge vulnerability and insecurity with James Ray. Seemed to always have a lot to prove. LOA and something to prove – not a match in my opinion. That’s when you get into the needy frightened vibe and probably as Sara E suggested the manipulating groove,I am right you are wrong walk/talk.
    Heart-breaking that others died from not respecting their own boundaries and rights.I guess we all have done that in some lifetime or another.
    May we learn to value our own opinions, cherish our needs and seek out our own council.

  • Sara E says:

    Dian’s comment about bewaring of charismatic leaders is really catching my attention. Mostly because, I kind of agree!! Most (if not all) of my favorite authors and teachers aren’t very charismatic – they’re very clear about who they are, and they enjoy what they have to offer perhaps, but their ways of expressing it don’t usually involve a whole lot of charisma, per se.
    In other words, charisma really has no place where value speaks for itself. It feels very cluttering (to me.)
    It seems like underneath charisma is cleverness and underneath that is slyness – which is all manipulative in nature.
    I can’t speak for everyone and everything obviously, I just know that when I notice that charismatic “vibe” in a speaker, author, or whomever – something usually feels off to me, and I find myself wondering, “What’s really going on here??”
    Anyway, it’s interesting contrast for me because it’s helping me define and re-define my own preferences. Cool! 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    I have a friend who is a shaman – he has been running sweat lodges since the 1970’s. I remember him telling me a little about how when you’re working with such an ancient art, you have to be very very careful to follow the procedures for setting up the sweat lodge to the finest of details. He said that many of the details can seem trite or unnecessary to those who are not fully steeped in the historical traditions that they are following. He explained that it is very easy for leaders to become complacent, and *not* follow each of the rules for setup, maybe just cutting a tiny corner here and there. He told me about a personal experience of his at one sweat lodge where one leader cut corners on the technique they were supposed to use for collecting the rocks – to save time – and some of the rocks ended up exploding(!) and injuring a few of the attendees.
    When I heard about the Sedona story, my immediate thought was that something like this could have happened – only on a much larger scale.

  • Dian says:

    On the morning of the sweat-lodge, James entered comments on facebook (which he later removed the same day) that stated it was a good day to die. As Loa practitioners we KNOW the universe responds to our vibration and words…… what did he expect other than that people would die(and it doesnt matter to the universe if what he really meant was metaphorical in nature) if his vibration was aligned with death of some kind…..as Abe-Hicks points out the universe gives us what we ask for and James apparently was aligned with death and dying….
    Beware of charismatic teachers and gurus………..(remember Jim Jones and the kool-aid and Hitler and Waco and Heavens Gate!!!!!)
    who insist we must be tested and shave our heads( several in James retreat shaved their heads to relinquish their individuality and thus succumbed to blatant brain-washing techniques….and then were easily persuaded to deny their authentic feelings)….easily done when one is not in their comfortable, familiar surroundings and not listening to their intuition)

  • Oh man, woah. I hadn’t heard about this – though I don’t often know what is up in the news. I don’t know that I have anything to add to this that can be better said than what Zoe and Abraham said.
    I can’t even understand how Law of Attraction was incorporated into this sweat lodge experience. It sounds completely disjointed from what I know about it.
    It is such a shame something like this can happen to fuel mainstream folk’s ideas about LOA or anyone in the self-help community. Much like many fields, I do believe there are plenty of people who take advantage of those in need – whether knowingly and in a “slippery sort of way” or not. Whether James intentions were good and perhaps his awareness a little askew – only he may know. I just wish it were easier to connect some of these ideas to what most people accept as “reality” and that things like this didn’t make that harder.
    What Abraham said sounds SPOT ON though, as far as what James has attracted for himself. It’s one thing to allow attendants to experience an exercise in lack – it’s another thing to focus ONLY ONLY ONLY on that – EVER. Again, where is real LOA in all of that? Unfortunately the media and public only want to lump it all under one title and roll their eyes at it.
    Do participants to these types of retreats have to sign wavers like I do when I get a root canal or other medical procedure that says “I understand I may die during this…blah blah blah…”? Not that this waves the entire responsibility of hospitals and doctors, but they probably figured out LONG ago that – at the end of the day – no matter what you do, there are other things at play in the universe and sometimes yes, people die. Though it sounds like there could have been a bit more attention paid to safety there. Perhaps a LOA-Savy/Shamanic Friendly doctor, who can recognize when things may be a little too intense, should be there to supervise and make that call. After all, it is James’ job to keep everybody there in it to win it, right? If his only concern was making money…why wouldn’t he just let them all free at their first whimper? He’d already collected the cash.

  • Linda DeCarlo says:

    Hi Jeannette and Zoe,
    One thing that has occurred to me was….. I did see a report a while back that James was taking steroids and I wonder if that impacted his mental health?
    I had never heard of him till The Secret, but did see him twice on TV and thought what he had to say was really good…so it makes me wonder if he just went off the deep end from these drugs? Of course that is all LOA too…but just food for thought…

  • Sara E says:

    Holy smokes!!! Brilliant responses from both Zoe and Abe.

  • Mariëlle says:

    To me the name of the retreat said enough: Spiritual Warrior. If you want to be a warrior, you’ll attract war, one way or another.
    And people that were attracted to being a warrior, got attracted to the retreat and maybe died as warriors, to a good cause.
    One thing I know for sure: that name would not have attracted me.

  • Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Jeannette,
    The James Ray incident proves that he is human. He erred in judgment and subsequently attracted such a situation.
    Only the spiritual masters are immune to ego-driven decisions. Outside of these select few we are prone to attract unpleasant circumstances when the ego calls the shots on some level.
    Thanks for sharing an interesting question.

  • Flavia says:

    Wow! I love reading Abe’s words about what a vibrational match James was to this experience, what he put out is really what he himself experienced. That is why I always trust “justice” is done naturally and automatically. Even if he hadn’t been incarcerated he’s still depriving himself of the well-being that is available.
    From having gone to his free introduction seminar here in Austin I thought it was entertaining (positive aspects) but also that he doesn’t really get LOA. He put a lot of pressure on peope to sign up for his workshop by stopping in the middle of it and if he saw someone not writing he’d call them on it as if they didn’t know what was good for them-my kind of teachers always trusts I know what’s good for me.
    Then he had some DVD’s of his and held them out so that people would jump up to get it, like you’d do when thaining a dog to jump. The tallest guy got them!
    My kind of teachers walks the talk, knows the outcome is secure and holds an open space for those who are drawn to the offerings.
    So without blaming anyone, those who did not listen to their guidance every step of the way ( and I’m sure some were indeed listening for their own very unique reasons) would have experienced another vibrational match to what they were in alignment with. People always want to blame the form in which it came, but that in itself will not ensure well-being, only alignmnet with well-being will.

  • Jessica Earl says:

    What I don’t understand about this topic, the comments made, etc, is that it seems in such a negative light. People were paying for and choosing the experience of pushing their limits… finding personal growth and strength within (or some other “positive” intention). Abraham calls it deprivation? Maybe it doesn’t FEEL like deprivation to the attendees. Maybe it is exhilarating! And I doubt that the purpose of the sweat lodge had anything to do with learning LOA. So why criticize him about how well he knows LOA or if he should be teaching it? For all we know he had a vibe (or intent) that he wanted opportunity to stay in the vortex while under “any” circumstance. Do we get that? I mean, I do it… I practice LOA, or intent on being in the vortex, and then my kid gets cranky with me, or the dog craps on the floor… do I allow it to push me out of the vortex, or do I use it for an opportunity to stay IN (even though…) Take that to another level… and you could have the James Ray situation. I’m not saying this is what is happening, but I am making a point that there could have been bigger, positive intents here and this is the way it worked out. Not to mention the attendees also were co-creators in all of it, right? Why does he carry the sole “burden” of creating something “bad”?
    Don’t we always say let the Universe figure out the HOW? What if we utilize LOA for money, and then a family member passes away that brings us this money? It may not be in the “form” that we thought, but who are we to tell the Universe how it is supposed to happen? I know that sounds harsh, and we don’t want to lose someone… but I’m just trying to make a point that there is so much MORE going on that we can’t necessarily say or criticize that it was all bad, or that James Ray doesn’t understand LOA.
    How many times do experiences come into our life that we don’t actually “think” about? For instance, I was rear-ended a couple years ago… I hadn’t been thinking about car accidents, but I HAD been thinking about getting massages, money, time off … and a bunch of other stuff that all took place because of that experience of the car accident. Do I want to focus on the good stuff that came out of it, or the uncomfortableness of the accident? It isn’t all that different from this situation, in my opinion anyhow. So, I’m not sure if I manifested the accident, or if that was just the “how” of my other manifestations. (IE: Quickest route possible! LOL)
    Just some food for thought! 🙂

  • Barbara says:

    Ooops–Didn’t mean to not put my name on that, so it appeared as “anonymous”. So here it is again lol
    “And when you’ve decided that you’re going to struggle your way to joy, the joy never comes.”- My inner guidance really resonates with that!
    While I liked some of what James had written in one of his books, when I saw him speak in person, it was an entirely different feeling for me. I did feel he was a really “trying” aggressively to sell and “push” his products–to the point of making statements to people that if they didn’t buy into what he was selling, they were doomed. (Those were not his exact words, but the FEELING of his message when he “sold” his stuff felt like that to me.) So my inner guidance told me to move on.

  • Hi, Jeannette,
    I wasn’t there, so I can’t speak directly to this question. However, I absolutely agree with Zoe that only those involved can truly judge what happened, and even then, they can only really speak for themselves. We can spout our opinions all day long, but only they can say for sure.
    Leave it Abraham to make the astute vibrational connection between the deprivation of the retreat and James’s Ray’s current retreat of deprivation. 😉
    What I have not heard discussed in this mix is that while James Ray is known for talking about LOA in The Secret and has written about it (in part) in his books, a great amount of his training is Shamanic-based. Shamanic teachings often include living in nature with just your wits, so you can get connected to the land, sky, animals, etc. This often ALSO includes deprivation of water, food, comfort, struggle, confronting and conquering fear, etc. From that knowledge, Ray’s actions fall in line with his own training.
    So, while many people (myself included) prefer the 5-star Ritz-Carlton version of retreating, who is to say that everyone responds to that or enjoys it?!? Who am I to tell those who enjoy roughing it that they could be risking their lives?!? It’s none of my business!
    From my understanding, many of those who attended were long-time Ray followers who had attended other events. From my observations, it isn’t common for people fork out $10 Grand for their first retreat *.* …although, there may have been some first timers who didn’t know what to expect, didn’t honor their own feelings (get fresh air) or speak up for themselves, and so forth. There may have been others who, for egoic reasons, didn’t want to admit they were in trouble.
    Once, I was on a commercial boat ride from Maui to one of the outer islands. They told us all that if anyone was seasick to get to the front of the boat. Problem was, I was incapacitated by seasickness too fast to do anything about it. Others finally noticed me blacking out and carried me to the front of the boat. Had I realized I was in trouble AND been able to act on my own behalf, I would have.
    Enough rambling… Thanks for spurring the conversation, Jeannette.
    Many blessings.

  • Anonymous says:

    “And when you’ve decided that you’re going to struggle your way to joy, the joy never comes.”- My inner guidance really resonates with that!
    While I liked some of what James had written in one of his books, when I saw him speak in person, it was an entirely different feeling for me. I did feel he was a really “trying” aggressively to sell and “push” his products–to the point of making statements to people that if they didn’t buy into what he was selling, they were doomed. (Those were not his exact words, but the FEELING of his message when he “sold” his stuff felt like that to me.) So my inner guidance told me to move on.

  • It’s through this post I came to know the tragedy that happened in Sedona. It shows how quick one’s label can go from ‘guru’ to ‘criminal’.
    I listened to the whole conversation of Abraham-Hicks. And I have to agree with what Abraham says, and I have to emphasize “You cannot suffer your way to joy. And you cannot joy your way to suffering.”
    I have no judgement over what happened. Law of Attraction brought them together. There is no exception to that, and if you feel there is, you do not fully understand LOA.
    Healing does include looking at your ‘Shadows’, things you put away to please others. But even that can be done in a joyful way. There is no need to deprive yourself from joy in any healing process.
    Although the subject of this post might not be perceived as ‘positive’ it teaches the most important thing: You cannot suffer your way to joy. And you cannot joy your way to suffering.

  • Eric says:

    I have read his books and watched some of his video’s and for me I always had to remind myself to take what resonates with you, and leave the rest behind. There are a lot of people teaching the Law of Attraction that take things to the extreme. It is a shame that his charisma and energy were misdirected. I am so thankful for your blog as it helped me realize that I needed to find the feelings I want and feel them now…and let the universe take care of the details.

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