Every spiritual or personal growth book I’ve read contains one or more concepts that I don’t fully agree with. Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks is no different. This book is advertised as the “Teachings of Abraham,” which is the name used by a “family of Non-Physical Beings” who are communicating with us through Esther Hicks. I have difficulty wholeheartedly embracing the idea of channeling, but I don’t completely reject the possibility either. So my reservations about that particular aspect can be temporarily set aside, allowing me to consider the other information in the book with an open mind.
Another troublesome assertion, which I think other people will also have a problem accepting, is that each person has absolute creative control of their lives. Doubts about this claim are harder to ignore because there seems to be so much “proof” that we can’t control everything that happens to us. And wishing it was true is not the same as believing it. Perhaps the best one can achieve is to agree that we have creative control over part of our lives, and it’s probably more than we realize. If you can accept that, then I think you will find information of value in this book.
As implied by the title, Ask and It Is Given is about the “Law of Attraction.” If you’re interested in the topic, there are many good books about it, so it’s probably just a matter of finding the one that you can best relate to. What I like about this particular book is the clarity of the writing and depth of the explanation about how the Law of Attraction (or LOA) works. It’s one those concepts that’s incredibly simple on the surface, yet has many challenging subtleties when you try to apply it. So generally, the better you understand the process, the more effectively you can use it.
Most books about the LOA will essentially tell you the same thing about how it works. It has three simple steps to it. 1) You ask. 2) The answer is given. 3) This answer must be received. Variations book-to-book are a result of what parts they focus on most and how they suggest you implement it. This book focuses on the first and third steps—that is, the process of asking and the process of receiving, because the second step is the action taken by the Non-Physical Universe.
There were many important points covered in the book, but for me, the most valuable information was the comprehensive explanations about the role emotions play in relation to the LOA and exactly how to use them as a guidance system. Emotions help you clarify what you want, and then, if you can hold your focus on the positive feeling of having what you want (rather than the negative feeling of lacking what you want), you create the “vibrational match” to what you want, which allows you to receive it. Emotions also help you identify any resistant thoughts or beliefs you have to receiving what you want.
A particularly valuable insight was that our thoughts create most of our emotions. I sort of knew this, but I didn’t really know it. Not deep down where it counts. And if we become more aware of the specific thoughts that are creating negative emotions, we have new options. We may not be able to control our emotions directly, but we can choose better feeling thoughts—thoughts that provide a small measure of relief from any unhappiness we’re feeling, thoughts that move us in the direction of feeling happier. And by continuing this process of choosing thoughts that make us feel just a little bit better than before, we can slowly work our way out of even the darkest of places.
The first 40% of the book explained the LOA and how it works, and the last 60% presented 22 processes you can use to help you apply it. There’s no particular order that they have to be done in, nor do you need to do them all. You pick ones that appeal to you or that relate to something you would like to work on. And there’s enough variety for everyone, whether you’re into list-making or meditation, whether you want to work on money issues or simply feeling happier.
There were several of these processes that I was immediately attracted to. I especially liked “Wouldn’t It Be Nice If…?” because I’ve always enjoyed daydreaming. The “Place Mat Process” also appealed to me. With this one you make a couple of “to-do” lists—one for yourself and one for the Universe. Naturally, I gave all the hard jobs to the Universe. And how could I resist “Scripting” where you pretend you’re a writer and everything happens exactly as you write it. I’m already pretending to be a writer, so all I have to do is jot down some of my daydreams to master that one. Of course, the one that I really should do before any of the others is “The Process of Clearing Clutter for Clarity.”
Overall, Ask and It Is Given did an excellent job of explaining the Law of Attraction and how it works in a way that made sense to me. I’m the sort of person who has to understand something in order to effectively apply it. A book that says, “It’ll work even if you don’t understand it, so just do it.” does not work for me. I need one that explains things in depth, clearly and logically. Then maybe, just maybe, I can use the information. Although it’s too soon to evaluate the true impact or usefulness of the material (partly because I still have some questions and reservations about the LOA), this book was well worth reading.
Esther and Jerry Hicks have also written The Law of Attraction, which might be a good alternate choice for some people. It focuses exclusively on explaining the LOA without including the 22 implementation processes that are in Ask and It Is Given. I haven’t read that one yet, but I do plan on doing so to see if it adds anything to my understanding of the concept.