In at least one conversation a day it seems that I encounter someone who says something like, “we create our own reality (with our thoughts).”
This is a compelling idea because when we observe ourselves we can indeed see that our moods and beliefs DO create energetic patterns and affect outcomes.
For example, it was amazing how much nicer the grocery clerks were to me when I didn’t get angry when something was mismarked but accepted it as an honest mistake, and said hello and good morning. Fair enough.
But in terms of life goals and “personal” dreams I think we need to look a bit deeper.
For one thing, if the secret was a Natural Law, I would be Stephen Spielberg. For years I thought of nothing else but becoming a famous filmmaker and wrote many screenplays, moved to Hollywood, had agents and got options, and took many classes. It did not happen.
Does that invalidate the Law of Attraction? Not at all. It just requires a more layered look.
After all such “self help” concepts as the Secret, linguistic programming and similar programs assume two things: one is that there is something lacking or wrong, and two that there is an actual “self” that is capable of doing. Both of these deserve a deeper look.
Much of the “proof” around the Secret is based on a simplistic view of Quantum Physics, exemplied by the film What the Bleep.
Again, I am not saying that What the Bleep is “wrong” – there are many very reputable scientists and thinkers in the movie.
But what Quantum Physics and What the Bleep actually say is that there is no objective phenomenon that we can know without taking into account an observer. This was first put forth by physicist Werner Heisenberg as his “Uncertainty Principle.”
But as many non-dual teachers continually ask, “who” is observing or in the case of the Secret, “who” is it that is actually thinking about the Mercedes that will presumably manifest in your driveway with sufficient mental activity?
A deeper inquiry into this process, and the latest findings in neuroscience, strongly suggest that the “self” that is taken to be focused on becoming Stephen Spielberg or getting the Mercedes is really a “loop” of conditioned mental programs. (I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter)
What Quantum Physics, neuroscience and by extension the Law of Attraction are pointing to is the absence of a finite “you” that wants anything, but rather an unfathomably vast field of potentiality from which all form emanates.
It also seems true that dreams emanate from this vast “unconscious” realm that appears as thought, but is not controlled or generated by your brain or “personal” mind.
Rather there exists what philosopher Ken Wilber calls “Big Mind” –which he juxtaposes to “your” personal, egoic little mind (as Eckhart Tolle refers to it- the ego) toward which a completely different attitude is appropriate.
Akin to prayer – asking the cosmic Santa Claus for what “you” want is what is typically seen as prayer in many organized religions.
But again looking deeper, and taking Judaism as an example, Jewish mystics and philosophers like Martin Buber have differentiated between “I” and “Thou” — again the small personal self absorbed little mind and what some call God, Source or Infinite Intelligence.
The proper attitude toward such an Entity or Field would be gratitude, reverence and awe.
And indeed, out of such a humble energetic posture sometimes great things are called forth. In my view this is the “secret” behind nonviolent resistance as practiced by Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
In terms of vibration, my friend Freeman Michaels refers to this as creating an intention based on a desired “quality of experience” – such as deep fulfillment or a loving community.
Again this is not based upon a personal set of beliefs or desires about what “should” happen; rather it is acceptance and surrender to a far higher and vaster intelligence that operates at its own level but from which, occasionally, a glimpse of its magnificence is possible.
Interestingly, many “nonreligious” secular churches seem to be based upon this sort of attitude which goes back to ancient Christianity and the so-called Mystery Schools.
Experiments in precognition have also revealed that your brain or your body “knows” what you are about to do or how you will move before your “self” does.
So how does this affect the notion of control – or creating a reality for your “self”?
You are certainly welcome to try and believe in any “technique” and thought discipline that you want, but in my personal experience I have found that paradoxically the more I allow life to unfold independently of my belief in how it should happen, the more things go “my” way.
And when people tell me that they believe that they create their own reality, I suggest they do what philosopher Wayne Liquorman says about free will – “If you believe in free will, use it.”
But to me the more respectful attitude of “seeing what will happen” – though seemingly passive – actually provides more lasting peace and even tangible “results.”
I suggest that when framing an intention the question is raised – is this a “personal” need or desire? And if so, just “who” is the person seeking? This inquiry alone will lead to some startling realizations.
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