I WANT TO BELIEVE
We’ve all seen the posts. We’ve all stumbled across the books in the self-help section of bookstores. They’ve tagged the concept in every way imaginable to make it as marketable and trendy as humanly possible over the years. The most recent form is manifestation. From Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich to Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret several generations have been familiarized with the law of attraction. This easy to grasp concept seems to have echoed throughout history and taken on many forms along the way. But. Is there any validity to these claims? Can we really control the material world around us with our minds?
There are a ton of different schools of thought that seem to be working towards a legitimate model of understanding manifestation. Norman Cousins wrote several books chronicling his research in attempts to connect how our emotional states affect our physical health. Hermeticists offer a simple “as within, so without” mantra agreeing with Cousins research. The Buddhist vedics teach of vyādhi- which is usually translated as illness, or disease. However, as the Lama Thubten Yeshe pointed out, it’s not disease as we in the west think of it. They mean dis-ease. Discomforting states of mental health being the primary cause of our suffering. Even Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan insists that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. He’s even given detailed data showing how positive affirmations written on polluted water can actually cleanse it. Psychologists clearly advocate the use of daily affirmations.
With everyone from philosophers to scientists trying to sort this business out I have no doubt we will crack the code. The concept will either be validated or left amongst the dreamers. I, being one of those dreamers, longs for validation to what I feel to be right. Oh, I want to believe. I want to believe we can literally change the globe by changing our thoughts towards it. I would love for it to be a simple matter of everyone seeing us as one ginormous family, sweeping away all the prejudices and nationalism that consumes us. I want that to be reality. I mean, who wouldn’t?
POWER OF BELIEF
At the end of the day what this all boils down to is the power of belief. One only has to consider the placebo effect to grasp how powerful human belief actually is. Biochemistry has definitely helped to lock down some of the science behind why the body responds the way it does. They’ve isolated the NMDA receptors involved in the formation of beliefs. When those beliefs are challenged, they are stimulated; dopamine is released and said belief is strengthened. This is also how dopamine affects habit forming and addiction so I wouldn’t get too excited. However, the research has concluded that this action changes the biochemistry in our prefrontal cortex. So our habit forming does alter our physiology. That would make Norman Cousins 100% correct, at least in regards to psychiatric disorders.
Now then, manifestation has long since been an integral part of quite a few spiritual traditions. It interests me greatly to see science starting to take it seriously. Scientific thought is praised for having a methodology to find answers whereas religion seemingly lacks ANY equivalent form of discovery. Any spiritualist EVER could point out how nonsensical a statement that actually is. Self discovery being the pinnacle of most spiritual systems. What we actually see scientists discovering is oftentimes the result of their personal beliefs. Not all scientists are atheists just like not all mystics are creationists.
Take Dr. Amit Goswami, for example. In the Self-Aware Universe he explains his perception of reality by stating- “Consciousness is the ground of all being and our self-consciousness IS that consciousness.” It was his intuition and personal belief that set him down his path of being, as he calls it, a quantum renegade. He’s not alone either. A huge number of theoretical physicists have started applying the scientific method to unlocking the power of human belief. If anyone can find proof of manifestation, of the power of prayer, it’s the scientific community. I’m extremely excited to see the results.
BELIEF CONTROLS BEHAVIOR
One thing is for certain, we do make most of our decisions based on what we think is right. In that way our minds definitely shape our reality. Whatever the dominating thoughts in our minds are is exactly what we will see in the world around us. A lot of times we kind of brush over the cliche of glass half empty versus glass half full without really internalizing what that means. Let’s stop for a moment and ask ourselves… Do I focus on problems? Do I lack peace-of-mind? Do I lack Joy? Do I blame others for my pain? Do I feel that life is unfair?
This is a perspective issue. It’s also a sure fire example that something inside of our mind needs to change. Whatever controls our mind ultimately controls us. Remember:
“It is impossible to live a positive life with a negative mind.”
Yes. There are a ton of crackpots out there claiming to be spiritual gurus who offer these elaborate systems to “unlock the ‘manifesting power’ lying dormant within all of our minds.” Yes. There is a selective demographic of people out there who are naturally prey for this sort. Yes. We are a long way off from science or religion proving the power of manifestation is real. However, as it is personal belief that drives us, intuition matters.
I feel we are free to choose how we respond to the world around us. I choose to believe in the greater good. I choose to love anyways. Is my life catered as a result? Of course not. But I am happy more often than sad. Those bitter moments in my past have made my present moments all the more sweet. I have everything I need so I’m hardly ever left wanting. Isn’t that what manifestation promises? A fulfilling life.
That’s all I got.