Everyone wants luck, but not everyone believes in it. Luck enables us to accomplish in a very short time what we thought would take ages. We plan to travel overseas to meet an important person, only to learn that by what we call ‘luck’ this person is coming to where we live and can meet us here. For years we have dreamt about doing something special but our financial or other circumstances never permitted, until by ‘luck’ we are offered the opportunity without effort and expense. We need some essential information, but do not know where to look or how to find it, then by ‘luck’ that information reaches us without our even taking initiative. We are eager to speak with a person to share an important news, and by ‘luck’ the person calls us or arrives physically just at that moment. A chance encounter opens up a new career opportunity, creates a monetary windfall, or brings us into contact with a very special person. Life is full of such inexplicable coincidences. All of us welcome them when they happen and secretly pray for more of them to occur, but still many of us doubt whether luck really exists.
What does The Secret have to tell us about luck? It tells us that there is no such thing as luck. Or rather it tells us that we can create luck in our own lives by applying the method of The Secret.
Science of Chance
What we call luck, the scientist calls chance. One of the reasons people may doubt the power of The Secret is because of their belief in a world governed by chance. Science teaches us that the world is governed by mechanical laws and unpredictable chance occurrences. Science studies the factors or causes for each type of event. Wherever it cannot find a cause or predict an outcome from the causes it has identified, it attributes the outcome to chance. Scientific philosopher Karl Popper argues that it is impossible to prove the existence of chance scientifically. When scientists refer to the action of chance, what they really mean is that they do not know the laws that are operative or the precise conditions under which those laws are working, and therefore they observe what appears to be random behavior. The roll of the dice appears to be chance because we do not have sufficient knowledge to predict the outcome. So our perception of chance really reflects a lack of knowledge.
Malcolm Hollick explains that science reduces all phenomena to the interaction of laws and chance because it starts with the assumption that we live in an inanimate mechanistic world without consciousness. Science focuses only on what Aristotle termed material and efficient causes to explain how things actually occur, but excludes the examination of formal and final causes which explain the ‘why?’
Like the scientist, most other people believe that chance plays a big role in the outcome of their personal lives. Each of us tries to understand and explain the reasons for our accomplishments in terms of our talents, capacities, knowledge, skill, resourcefulness, contacts and hard work. Where these fail to achieve the result, we often attribute it to bad luck. When something happens without our expecting it or consciously doing anything to make it happen, we sometimes attribute it to good luck. A chance meeting with an old acquaintance or total stranger, an interesting article in the newspaper, a precious information overheard, a cancelled flight, misplaced article, bad weather that alters our plans, and countless other events appear to happen by themselves for no apparent reason. If they result in a favorable outcome, we say we were lucky. If they lead to failure, we speak of bad luck. Either way the goddess of chance rules over our lives.
The Secret of Luck
The Secret provides an explanation for luck or at least a method to create it. It tells us that the universe responds to what we think and feel according to the Law of Attraction. If we want to attract luck in our lives, we should think positively and confidently, aspire intensely, feel enthusiastically and harmoniously about ourselves, our lives, the people we interact with and everything that happens to us. It also tells us that if our lives seem to be plagued by ill luck or misfortune, it is because our own mental preoccupations, fears, doubts, anxieties, self-pity, resentments and frustrations are attracting the very opposite of what we consciously aspire for. Luck and misfortune are mirrors which life holds up reflecting what we are inside or what is happening inside.
According to The Secret, there is no such thing as chance. Everything depends on us, on what we think and feel inside. Everything can come under our control, if only we become conscious. The Secret is based on a profound spiritual knowledge: The inner determines the outer.
We speak of luck when something good suddenly materializes, often forgetting that we have aspired intensely for this very result and perhaps then forgotten it. In The Secret entrepreneur John Assaraf relates how one day he realized that the dream house he was now living in was an exact reproduction of the house he had dreamed of owning many years before.
These conclusions are reinforced by the work of British psychologist Richard Wiseman, who has studied the phenomenon of luck for the past eight years. He found that people can actually increase their luck by a conscious effort. Unsurprisingly, the most important factor he identified is a positive outlook toward life.
The true nature of chance
This knowledge is fully confirmed by traditional wisdom and spiritual experience. In The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo traces the cosmic origins of what we call chance and necessity. He explains that the manifestation of Infinite Consciousness in the universe expresses as two complementary powers – a power to assume fixed forms or patterns of movement which we perceive as universal laws and a power of freedom from those laws. The laws create a stable basis for manifestation. The freedom enables the infinite potentials of the Infinite to express and evolve out of the fixed forms. What we perceive as law is only conscious intention of a higher Consciousness to create a stable basis. What we perceive as chance is also only intention of a higher Consciousness to permit evolution of that consciousness. In human life chance has to compete with human choice. For a fuller discussion of chance and necessity in nature, see Creative Principle in Science.
Human beings are centers of that universal Consciousness and have the same power over external events. When the human mind accepts a condition or circumstance as fixed and unchanging, that condition acquires a fixed and unchanging character in the life of the individual. When the human mind ardently embraces the idea of change, it acquires the capacity to bring about the change it aspires for. Our aspiration has the power to evoke a response from the universal plane of consciousness. When the universe modifies conditions and events in response to our aspiration, we speak of luck. What we call chance or luck is only the action of forces that are not visible and apparent to our surface consciousness, forces that originate or resonate with what we are inside.
Mind creates by the same process as the universal consciousness, by the power of self-conception. What we once longed for still lives in the subconscious. When it suddenly materializes, it appears as luck. What our minds have imagined as possible and desirable later takes shape when the conditions are mature. By our becoming more conscious, mind has the power to make conscious what is there in the subconscious. Mind can also create what is not there in the subconscious by its power of imagination and then make it real. It is by self-conception mind creates the inconceivable and makes it real.
Luck in Pride & Prejudice
In Pride & Prejudice it appears that Darcy and Elizabeth just happen to meet by chance in the town where she lives, that Darcy’s old nemesis Wickham just happens to come to the same town at the same time, Darcy’s friend Bingley just happens to fall in love with Elizabeth’s sister Jane, Darcy and Elizabeth just happen to visit his aunt’s estate Rosings at the same time, Darcy’s cousin Fitzwilliam just happens to mention to Elizabeth Darcy’s role in stopping Jane’s romance with Bingley, Elizabeth's trip to the Lake Country just happens to get cancelled and redirected to Derbyshire where Darcy lives, again Darcy and Elizabeth just happen to meet unexpectedly at Pemberley and so forth.
When we view this story or any story with the dispassionate – or perhaps disconnected -- objectivity of the scientist, life appears like an absurd and highly improbable chain of coincidences. Surely our greatest writers could have imagined more realistic and likely sequences of events. But then when we examine our own lives with the same objective impartiality, we find exactly the same pattern holds true.
The most important events in our lives – education, career, romance, marriage, finance, health – frequently turn on tiny and apparently insignificant coincidences whose importance becomes clear to us only after further events have unfolded. Is the scientist right in saying that randomness is a fundamental aspect of reality? Or is it true that our consciousness really affects the world around us the way the physicists measurements of subatomic particles affect the things they measure? Are we missing a clue?
All those who have accomplished great things in their lives have observed the role played by unexpected, inexplicable events. But many of them have also felt that those apparently inexplicable events are somehow a response to what they are and what they do. They may not know the theory that explains the relationship between our inner lives and the world around us, but the sense or know the relationship is very real.
Values create luck
The Secret accomplishes by the power of consciousness. Any external work is first prepared inside, in the subtle plane before it can materialize as action outside in the gross material plane. Thought, intention and decision precede conscious action. But not all our thoughts, intentions or decisions become facts in the outer world. The power to complete any work does not originate either in the gross or the subtle plane, but at a deeper level, the causal plane, the plane of consciousness. It is the power of our consciousness that energizes the thought, the intention and the decision and makes them effective.
Moving from the subtle to the causal plane is crucial for accomplishment. It often takes a long time for that to happen. Sometimes we do it subconsciously, but cannot explain how. Is there a method to abridge the time and make it happen immediately?
We can move consciously to the causal plane and release its power for accomplishment by consciously embracing higher values of consciousness – values such as goodwill, self-giving, and truthfulness. Genuinely embracing any of these values helps us move from the surface ego to the inner depths of our personality which are in touch with universal power. Values help us move from the subtle plane to the causal plane. Luck occurs when we suddenly tap the power of the causal plane. When we live and express higher values, we enter the causal plane and luck rushes in.
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