The law of attraction tends to attract inquisitive minds, and whether you’re brand new to the practice or have been doing it for a while, the very act of using the law in your day to day life will undoubtedly lead to questions arising.
It doesn’t take long for people to stop and wonder where this idea for bettering your life came from. Most things are invented by one individual, and it’s fair to wonder who decided that this particular law was a thing. As with most concepts associated with this one, it can be difficult to provide a straight answer to the question “who discovered the law of attraction?”
Helena Blavatsky – An Ideal Candidate
There are so many concepts associated with the law of attraction, such as positive thought, scripting and manifestation, that you could go back thousands of years and find something similar. Rather than indulging in the world’s longest history project, I prefer to focus on the law specifically.
The first known mention of the term was by Helena Blavatsky who, in 1877, coined the term as part of a book on profound mysteries. Having never read the book, I can’t say for sure, but I’m confident in saying that what she described as the law of attraction may not have been identical to how we understand it today. However, in terms of who discovered the law of attraction, and basing it on usage of the terminology alone, she’s a prime candidate.
Who Discovered the Law of Attraction as We Know it Today?
This question is somewhat easier. If you’ve had more than a passing interest in the law for a while, then there are some familiar names from history that helped popularise the current concept.
The first of these names is Wallace Wattles, who contributed to what is now known as the New Thought movement with the book The Science of Getting Rich. Whoever owns the publishing rights was keen to capitalise on the renewed popularity of the concept through the launch of The Secret as my copy explicitly states that it is “the secret behind The Secret” on the front cover.
This is one book I have read, as is another contender, that being Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It’s about four times the size of The Science of Getting Rich and every bit as popular. Unsurprisingly, you won’t have any trouble finding either book on Amazon, even when they were written hundreds of years ago.
What do both of those books have in common? They’re all about the money. I’d hazard a guess that since the concept of money was invented, people have gone out of their way to acquire more. If they can utilise the power of the universe to do so, then all the better.
Naturally, while financial success remains a core component of the law of attraction and what it can do for people, and is often a key driving factor in people exploring what it can do for them, we now know not only that there is more to life than money, but that the law of attraction can help people to achieve success beyond their fiscal interests.
Prentice Mulford – A Leader of the New Thought Movement
Helena Blavatsky coined a term. Wallace Wattles and Napoleon Hill emphasised the importance of thinking positively to improve your financial situation, but it’s generally accepted that Prentice Mulford took the law of attraction from being a concept to being a principle. Today, I consider the law as a principle as that strikes me as the best definition for it. Prentice Mulford took the term and the ideas around it, and formulated into something that closely resembles what we practice today.
Incidentally, I believe that he deserves more credit than he gets. Coming into this article, there’s every chance that you’ve heard of Wattles and Hill already. Depending on how widely read you are on the subject, I’d say that there’s far less chance that you’d have heard of Mulford.
There’s no time like the present to get acquainted, and you don’t even have to spend anything on doing just that. He’s featured at the New Thought Library and you can see for yourself how his musings shaped the principle to which we seek to adhere today.
I’ll warn that his work centres more on interpretation than fact, but there’s no shortage of individuals that value his contributions to the movement, myself included. If you’ve read the various books from the usual suspects as mentioned already in this article, including The Secret, then you’ll inevitably see that he was on the right track, whether or not he knew so at the time!
Who Discovered the Law of Attraction – In Summary
I believe there is still a lot to learn about the law of attraction. That’s partially why I find it so fascinating. I doubt we’ll find the proof and scientific basis we all crave during my lifetime, but the important words on the topic haven’t all been uttered already.
In the context of this article, I would consider Prentice Mulford as the individual that ‘discovered’ the law of attraction, but that statement comes with caveats. What you discover about the law may differ from what I discovered. What Napoleon Hill wrote about may work for some, but not for others.
The law dictates that you create the world around you, and your dreams and goals differ to those of others. Indeed, there may not be anyone else in the world that shares your desires and ambitions. That means that while there are guides and opinions out there, the best path is always your own. You never know, you might become the originator of a new definition of the law of attraction.
My advice would be to remain well-read around the subject, and never to ignore when something works particularly well for you.