Thoughts on Louise Hay (Assumption Tech)

There is ONE (and only one) aspect of Louis Hay’s positive-thinking model that is valid and really therapeutic. The rest of Louise Hay Tech is worse than non-effective—it is counter-effective. See here for a list of counterintuitive research results on goal setting and motivation. In particular, see the articles below:

Her model? Assume that your goal is already manifest. Just … act like it’s already happened. Yeah. Tell people and behave like it’s mission accomplished. The universe will be so struck by your faith that it will accommodate you and make it so. We can call this Assumption Tech.

False. But—there is something valuable here. You do have to be comfortable with the future you want to have. You have to be comfortable when imagining yourself, in the first person as an experiencer and in the midst of that desired future.

This is ofter overlooked. When people fantasize about their realized goal, the fantasy is myopic. It is uprooted from that person you’d actually have to be to have gotten there. People prefer pining for floating fantasies—fantasies that are encapsulated and untethered from any larger context that some part of us might be aware of. For example, the amount of painful work, effort, and tedium required before achieving the goal. Or the burden of having a child in the house and the accompanying lack of solitude.

You do need to be comfortable with that haggard person, that effort maker, that struggler. Don’t just jack off at the climactic fruit of the process. Be in that fruit—be the long and arduous world-line that led up to it.

Now, as for Positive Thinking as such (by which I mean to cover Law of Attraction, ritual magick, chaos magick, creative visualization, and prayer)—it is clearly a last resort. Positive Thinking is applicable only when the causes and conditions of the result are not only out of your control, but also vast and complicated. Example 1: If I want the jury to acquit me, then I pray. Example 2: If I want to cause a rain storm or cure a disease, I pray. These are all incredibly complicated, so we apply Assumption Tech.

But what about something simple, like sending an email? Doing this is almost effortless. Why no prayer here? Imagine … you have your cursor just hovering over the Send  button. You want to send, you lower your finger towards the trackpad/mouse button, and then you … do nothing. You put your hand down and begin visualizing the quantum fluctuations that are entangled with the computer sending the email by means of an infinite number of mediations. A brick could fall on the trackpad. A robber could break into your house right now and kill you so that your forehead hits the trackpad. A glitch could generate a send event in the computer. All of these “ways” are in principle determinable by the right set of wave functions collapsing, and such collapses, being indeterminate, might be influenceable (or even identical) with consciousness. To send that email, just visualize—really see—that button being pressed. Affirm that the billion uncertainties underlying physical nature will collapse in the right way to cause the right kind of macroscopic event cascade to befall your computer’s sending the email.

This kind of compensatory non-action sounds crazy when the action is simple, but reasonable when the action rests on a mountain of causal variables. There must be some kind of informal fallacy covering this superstition. “When simple, do. When hard, pray.” Better: “When simple, do. When hard, do, do, do, …”