The "Law of Attraction" - like things attract like things - has a long history going back to the 4th Century when Plato called it a "law of affinity." The modern form of the "Law of Attraction" has moved from a natural explanation of how things exist in the world to a proactive mindset that its proponents believe can actually have a significant effect on the quality of one's life.
This idea appeared in the 19th Century by The New Thought Movement, which taught that, "if you really want something and truly believe it's possible, you'll get it," but "putting a lot of attention and thought onto something you don't want means you'll probably get that too."
In 1937, author Napoleon Hill published Think and Grow Rich, which became one of the best-selling books of all time. He "discussed the importance of controlling one's own thoughts in order to achieve success, as well as the energy that thoughts have and their ability to attract other thoughts.
Then in 2006, a new book burst on the scene - The Secret by Rhonda Byrne - which catapulted the Law of Attraction into the forefront of public thought once again where it has grown exponentially even though the Law of Attraction has been criticized and even chastised for what has been called an irresponsible suggestion that people can actually cause themselves to develop such diseases as cancer, thus increasing the danger level of their condition.
Proponents of the Law of Attraction claim that people must practice four things:
1. Know exactly what you want.
2. Ask the universe for it.
3. Feel, know, and behave as if the object of your desire is already yours.
4. Be open to receive it and let go of (the attachment to) the outcome.
Thinking of what one does not have, they say, manifests itself in not having, while if one abides by these principles, and avoids "negative" thoughts, the universe will manifest a person's desires.
In this age of increasing humanism, the Law of Attraction thrives as a way of life for those who truly believe that they can influence the content and order of their lives through the power of their own minds. While largely immeasurable and even irresponsible if taken to its extreme, it has brought many people to a more positive lifestyle, which can have tremendous effect on the body's stress level that can wreak daily havoc on the body's immune system. Whether it actually "works" is not as important a consideration as the possible result of a more healthy body and a longer life.