Some readers here may like to understand better what the LOA could possibly have to do with traditional religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism or Skihism. For these readers, the following Wikipedia article about karma
could be a good starting point. Karma is a central idea in all these religions. Some excerpts below.
The first key idea is that karma TOTALLY dictates what happens to you in your life.
Karma .... is the concept of "action" or "deed" in Indian religions understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect (i.e., the cycle called saṃsāra) originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist philosophies.. |
In these systems, the effects of all deeds are viewed as actively shaping past, present, and future experiences.
Does God have anything to do with this? Mixed views.
Throughout this process, some traditions (i.e., the Vedanta), believe that God plays some kind of role, for example, as the dispenser of the fruits of karma or as exercising the option to change one's karma in rare instances. In general, followers of Buddhism and many Hindus consider the natural laws of causation sufficient to explain the effects of karma. Another view holds that a Sadguru, acting on God's behalf, can mitigate or work out some of the karma of the disciple. However, according to Jainism, neither the God nor the Guru have any role in a person's Karma. A person himself is the sole doer and enjoyer of his karmas and their fruits.
In the framework above, Jesus would be a prominent example of sadguru
, sacrificing Himself to take away the sins of many believers. In the Jainist view, however, "A person himself is the sole doer and enjoyer of his karmas and their fruits", in other words, all things that befall you, whether good or bad or neutral, are entirely the result of your own karma.
And what exactly is karma, how does it come about?
According to Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, we produce Karma in four ways: |
through actions that we perform ourselves
through actions others do under our instructions
There are four ways to produce karma. One of them is thought - so the link to the LOA is clear. But note that all the other three ways are really also the first way. For all your words, spring from your thought. All your deeds, also spring from your thoughts. And all instructions that you ever give, also arise from your thought.
Therefore karma essentially arises from your thoughts. Since we have seen earlier that karma totally dictates everything that ever happens to you in your life, therefore we see that in effect, your thoughts totally dictate everything that ever happens to you in your life.
Or if you prefer to put it simply - "your thoughts create your reality".
Next excerpt (still based on Swami Maheshwarananda):
Everything that we have ever thought, spoken, done or caused is Karma; as is also that which we think, speak or do this very moment. After death we loose Kriya Shakti (ability to act) and do karma. Actions performed consciously are weighted more heavily than those done unconsciously. But just as poison affects us if taken unknowingly, suffering caused unintentionally will also give appropriate karmic effect. We are in position to do something about our destinity by doing the right thing at the right time. Through positive actions, pure thoughts, prayer, mantra and meditation, we can resolve the influence of the karma in present life and turn the destiny for the better. |
I placed some words above in italics. Let's translate it into LOA terminology. It could go "Through positive thinking, especially in alpha state, we can change our reality for the better." Sound familiar now?
Hindu scriptures divide karma into three kinds  : |
Sanchita is the accumulated karma. It would be impossible to experience and endure all Karmas in one life. From this stock of sanchita karma, a handful is taken out to serve one lifetime and this handful of actions, which has begun to bear fruit and which will be exhausted only on their fruit being enjoyed. Hence, It is the sum of one's past karmas – all actions (good and bad) that follow through from one's past life to the next.
Prarabdha Fruit-bearing karma is the portion of accumulated karma that has "ripened" and appears as a particular problem in the present life.
Kriyamana is everything that we produce in current life. All kriyamana karmas flow in to sanchita karma and consequently shape our future.
In the modern versions of the LOA (eg Abraham Hicks, Shakti Gawain, the Secret, Joe Vitale, Deepak Chopra) we are usually concerned with Kriyamana.
Here's more discussion on the God question:
Followers of Vedanta consider Ishvara, a personal supreme God, as playing a role in the delivery of karma. Theistic schools of Hinduism such as Vedanta thus disagree with the Buddhist and Jain views and other Hindu views that karma is merely a law of cause and effect but rather is also dependent on the will of a personal supreme God. |
Examples of a personal supreme God include Shiva in Shaivism or Vishnu in Vaishnavism. A good summary of this theistic view of karma is expressed by the following: "God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve."
In modern LOA teachings, we often read that you get exactly what you think about; the universe is a perfect reflection of your thoughts; therefore take responsibility for everything that happens in your reality; no one is punishing/rewarding you for bad/good thoughts. The Wikipedia article on karma states it like this:
Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts .... We harvest exactly what we sow. No less, no more. This infallible law of Karma holds everyone responsible for what the person is or going to be. .....
If you understand (and accept) the above, you begin to see why Tony Tone Tone can get his BMW convertible through his thoughts, even though you may be able to articulate some reasoning why this seems wrong, greedy or "un-spiritual".
You will also begin to see why so many forummers can manifest blue feathers through their thoughts, even though blue feathers may strike you as ultimately rather insignificant, trivial or meaningless.
You simply get whatever you think about.
You can think about big things; small things; spiritual things; un-spiritual things; material things; immaterial things; happy things; sad things; important things; unimportant things; things that please Kanzeon, and things that do not please Kanzeon.
Think with enough focus, energy, and clarity ... Sufficiently remove conflicting or contradictory beliefs and thoughts .... And the thing must appear in your reality. It is karma.
So you see, the ultimate choice is just this ---
what will you choose to think about?