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History[edit]

Thomas Troward, who was a strong influence in the New Thought Movement, claimed that thought precedes physical form and "the action of Mind plants that nucleus which, if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form." From 1901 to 1912 the English New Thought writer James Allen wrote a series of books and articles, after which his wife Lilly continued his work. Allen is best known for writing "As a Man Thinketh" in 1902. In 1906, William Walker Atkinson (18621932) used the phrase in his New Thought Movement [8] book Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World, stating that "like attracts like." The following year, Elizabeth Towne, the editor of The Nautilus Magazine, a Journal of New Thought,published Bruce MacLelland's prosperity theology book Prosperity Through Thought Force, in which he summarized the principle as "You are what you think, not what you think you are."
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The book The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles espouses similar principles that simply believing in the object of your desire and focusing on it will lead to that object or goal being realized on the material plane (Wattles claims in the Preface and later chapters of this book that his premise stems from the monistic Hindu view that God pervades everything and can deliver what we focus on). The book also claims that negative thinking will manifest negative results.
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Richard Weiss states in his book, The American Myth of Success, that the "principle of "non-resistance" is a popular concept of the New Thought movement and is taught in conjunction with the law of attraction. The phrase "law of attraction" appeared in the writings of the Theosophical authors William Quan Judge in 1915,
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and Annie Besant in 1919.

Besant compared her version of the 'law of attraction'


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to gravitation, and said that the law represented a form of karma.

Israel Regardie published many books with the Law of Attraction theme as one of his prevailing Universal Laws. His book, The Art of True Healing: A Treatise on the Mechanism of Prayer and the Operation of the Law of Attraction in Nature (1937), taught a focused meditation technique to help the mind to learn to heal itself on both a physical and spiritual level. Regardie claimed further that The Law of Attraction was not only a valid method for attracting good physical health but for improvement in any other aspect of one's [citation needed] life.