Ask And It Is Given
Esther & Jerry Hicks
Most people have heard of the ‘law of attraction’ through the film and book The Secret, but by the time of its release in 2006 Esther and Jerry Hicks had already spent 20 years travelling America teaching the concept. It is easy to see the influence of the Hicks’ writings on The Secret and other books of this ilk.
Why, then, are they not the best selling writers in the field? Part of the reason must lies in their claim to be simply ‘channelling’ information that comes from the spiritual realm. This puts off many potential readers. Unsurprisingly, at the beginning of Ask and It Is Given they try to explain how they arrived at their unusual vocations.
The story begins in 1985, when bookkeeper Esther and Jerry visited a healer in Phoenix, Arizona. The healer was supposedly receiving spiritual communications from a spirit guide named Theo. To Esther’s surprise (she had only wanted to come along at Jerry’s urging), Theo told Esther that she too had a spiritual guide that wanted to make itself known. The couple were told to meditate. After some months Esther began ‘receiving’ information from this guide, who identified itself as Abraham, representing a collective of spiritual beings. Esther found herself at her typewriter, punching out messages.
Then in her 30s, Esther had never meditated and was happy with her life. But this ‘absence of opinions or angst’ apparently made her a good receiver of otherworldly information. The guides had made contact in order to remind people of “the Laws of the Universe that govern all things”, including the transmission of desires into reality through the law of attraction. Distracted by living in ‘time-space-reality’, we humans had forgotten where we came from and how to use the laws.
The question must be asked, are the Hicks’ perpetrating a great hoax, or is Esther really the voice of eternal truths from the spirit world? In his foreword to Ask And It Is Given, spiritual self-development author Wayne Dyer (see 50 Self-Help Classics) lends credibility by describing the book as a “publishing milestone” that contains powerful universal truths. You can decide for yourself by reading it, but the book is certainly their most comprehensive work, containing all the basic ‘Abraham’ teachings and, in the second half, 22 ‘processes’ or exercises to put them into practice.
Understanding the law
Simply stated, the law of attraction (a universal law that is never contradicted) is that whatever you put your attention on through thought or desire becomes reality. Whenever you are focused on what you don’t have, that situation of not-having will also be your reality. You attract to yourself things or people that are the equivalent of your current state of being, or ‘vibration’.
In the first chapter on ‘The power of feeling good now’, Abraham notes that deciding to elevate your mood or feeling in each moment is vital for increasing your vibration, which in turn attracts things, people and feelings of a like vibration. He says: “It is our powerful desire that you be pleased with where you are right now, in this moment – no matter where you are. We understand how strange these words must sound to you if you are standing in a place that seems far from where you want to be. But it is our absolute promise to you that when you understand the power of feeling good now, no matter what, you will hold the key to the achievement of any state of being, any state of health, any state of wealth, or any state of anything that you desire.”
Trying to pretend you are feeling wonderful when you are not will not work. It will not change your vibration. The idea is to choose an emotion that is slightly higher than the one you are experiencing now. The more positive you think and feel in each moment, the more open is your connection to the Source, or provider of all things and all love. The worse you feel, the more closed this connection will be.
Trusting your emotions
If you are feeling depressed, having a thought of anger about someone or something is actually a ‘higher’ feeling, since it will take you out of your depressed state. It is a relief. Once you have chosen anger as a relief from depression, you are then empowered to choose another thought or emotion higher up the scale. If you deliberately choose to be disappointed rather than feeling despair, again you have raised your vibrations through choice. Once you know how to deliberately raise your emotional state, even in a small way, you are no longer powerless before your emotions.
Because your emotions indicate your vibrational frequency, they are an infallible indicator as to whether you are aligned with the Source. If you are aligned with your Source, you are on track to receive whatever you want. Your emotions are the perfect guidance system, telling you exactly how the Law of Attraction is working in your life.
Behind every desire is the desire to feel good, to feel joy. The objects of desire, Abraham says, are less important than the fact that you are allowing life Energy to flow. When you have appreciation for things and for people, and you love your self, you are operating at a higher vibration. This changes when you begin to criticize or to find fault. The better you feel about yourself, the more you have to give others. This is not selfishness. It is only people unconnected with their true selves who are jealous, who commit violence, who are insecure.
Born to desire and fulfil
The most common question people ask of Hicks/Abraham is ‘Why is it taking me so long to get what I want?’
The answer is that it is not because you don’t want something enough, or because you are not worthy, or because ‘fate is against you’. Rather, you are not in a vibrational state that matches that of your desire. “That is the only reason – ever!”, Abraham states. What has prevented you from getting what you want is you – your thoughts that do not align with what you want to be and where you want to go. Whenever you ask for something, it is always given, but you must mentally allow it to come, being of like mind to that which you want to receive.
People feel guilty about having desires, but Abraham states that desires are the very essence of being human because they make us feel who we really are and what we intended to be when we came into this world. If you are deliberate about your thoughts and desires, then you can be more specific about the world you want to create for yourself. Life is a process of asking and receiving, and we are creators of our own reality, whether conscious of it or not. You have to ‘feel’ your thoughts and desires as you have them, being grateful that they are being fulfilled in wonderful ways – and then letting go. That is, to be eager and optimistic about what is coming, while having no impatience or doubt about its coming. If you are feeling good about something you want and allowing it to come, it will.
Often, what a person thinks is a desire is not; it is a ‘resisted desire’. If you have a worn out car, for instance, and want a new one, maybe you are resentful of the one you are currently driving. But this is no longer a desire, it is a focus on lack. Instead, they should be feeling strong emotions of gratitude that the universe will bring the new car soon. The key to manifesting your desires is to assume that your desire is already being experienced, that you already have it and are enjoying it. In this way, you set up a level of vibration that can only attract its material equivalent.
Abraham observes that when people discover the law of attraction and vibration, at first they become uncomfortable with their own thoughts and what they may be attracting. But the spirits note that thoughts are not like a ‘loaded gun’ waiting to wreak havoc – there is always plenty of time to understand how the laws work and to begin to change your thinking, one small step at a time. There is always a time lag or buffer between having a thought and its expression in reality. Don’t be afraid of uncontrolled thoughts; instead, realize that every attempt to change your thinking towards more positive, less resistant forms brings real benefits.
Ask And It Is Given is really a work of philosophy, because it attempts to explain the link between thought and reality, and the extent to which we create or control our worlds. It says that there is no such thing as ‘fate’ or ‘the gods’ directing your life according to some predetermined pattern. You are a co-creator with ‘Source’ (God or universal law) and can shape your life exactly as you wish. It may seem like we are at the whims of fate, but this is only because we don’t understand how the law of attraction works.
Some readers will find the idea of channelled messages beyond the pale, but if you can get beyond this, it could be argued that the law of attraction is really common sense. Everyone knows, for instance, that if you think about something for a long time the likelihood of it having a real effect in your life is many times greater that if you think about it briefly. It is also common sense is that desires morph into beliefs, and beliefs make us who we are. When you deliberately choose your desires and beliefs, it is logical that you can begin to master your reality.
The material on the emotions is fascinating, and in a practical sense is worth the weight of stacks of psychology books. There are intriguing chapter titles such as ‘Trying to hinder another’s freedom always costs you your freedom’ and ‘You are only 17 seconds away from 68 seconds to fulfilment’. If you enjoyed the Conversation With God books by Neale Donald Walsch or A Course In Miracles (see 50 Spiritual Classics), which are also ‘channelled’ works, you will like this too. Some people prefer the audio version of the book because they find the voice of ‘Abraham’ (Esther speaking in a strange, robotic, accented voice) powerful. However, there is arguably more dignity and clarity in the written version.
Read The Secret after having read Ask And It Is Given, and it becomes clear how much Rhonda Byrne’s drew from the Abraham teachings. Esther Hicks was a central figure in the original film of The Secret, providing a massive boost to awareness of the Abraham teachings. However, Esther later asked to be edited out because she felt Byrne’s organization was operating at a ‘different vibration’. She and Jerry subsequently released their own film, The Secret Behind The Secret, strongly promoted by Oprah Winfrey.
Source: 50 Prosperity Classics: Attract It, Create It, Manage It, Share It by Tom Butler-Bowdon (London & Boston: Nicholas Brealey).
Esther and Jerry Hicks
Esther grew up in Park City, a town outside Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1950s. Her father worked in the lumber trade. Jerry was raised in San Diego and Arkansas, mainly by his mother, before attending high school in New Orleans.
They met in Fresno, California in 1976 and married in 1981. Jerry was 20 years older and had been married four times. He had been a circus acrobat and a touring musician, Master of Ceremonies and comedian. Later he made money through Amway, the marketing and distrubution network, and attributes his success to reading Napoleon Hill’sThink and Grow Rich. Each have two children from previous marriages.
Other books include The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent: Living the Art of Allowing (2005) and The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham (2006).
The Abraham-Hicks organization is based in San Antonio.
© COPYRIGHT TOM BUTLER-BOWDON, 2023
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