Sunday, March 3, 2013
All Our Thoughts Have Incredible Power
I remember – longer ago than I’m going to confess – delivering the Salutatorian Address at my high school’s commencement. The theme was about either being a part of the problem or a part of the solution. I presented major issues we all faced at the time. I posited varying positions a lot of townspeople held. Depending on how we thought, we were already a part of the problem or part of the solution. It all had to do with how and what we were thinking.
I didn’t know, as an 18 year-old, about Science of Mind, ACIM or other New Thought movements that all have similar central tenets. I didn’t know about the hidden power of the scriptural verse: “As a man thinketh, so is he.” I didn’t know about Napolean Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” I didn’t know about the idea of Shared Illusions or Race Consciousness – race, as in human race – and our power to instill common thought.
From A Course in Miracles (ACIM): “… all thoughts have power. They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one.” [W-54; 1. 2-3] “What I see witnesses to what I think.” [W-54; 2.1] Although generally unseen by most of us, what we think has enormous power all over the world. If we think the world is a fearful place to live, we are increasing the fear-based way of approaching life. If we believe it is critical to be “right” in order to be “safe,” then we are perpetuating the myth that people can be divided into enemy or friendly “camps.” All the alliances and commitments we make are based on this concept of duality – that people have to be either enemies or friends. Some use abortion as the chief litmus test – enemy or friend. Some use war/violence as the litmus test – enemy or friend. Some use the literal interpretation of the Bible as the litmus teat – enemy or friend. Some use our economic system of government-assisted capitalism as the litmus test – enemy or friend. This fear-based concept of duality is a primary cornerstone of our Shared Illusions. It defines how we see the world, which defines the world we perceive or create.
That is truly powerful stuff! If I don’t like the world I see, I simply have to change the way I think. If I cannot see it any other way, then I must acknowledge I have created a prison for myself. A prison from which I don’t know how to escape.
“… all thoughts have power. They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one.” If my thoughts have created this false world, what is the “real” one? According to ACIM, the real world is a world of Love, Peace, and Acceptance. “To me, the purpose of everything [in the world] is to prove that my illusions about myself are real. It is for this purpose that I attempt to use everyone and everything. It is for this that I believe the world is for.… The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it. Let me open my mind to the world’s real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it and learning the truth about it.” [W-55: 5. 2-4; 6-7]
How do I open my mind and get out of this prison I have made? I don’t. I only have to be willing to see the world differently. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.
I remember, as well, when I first began to get sober. I had been going to AA meetings for a couple of weeks. “This is great!” I thought. “But, how in hell am I to go through a 3-day holiday weekend without drinking? A vacation?” I simply couldn’t imagine doing that. By following directions, one day at a time, it just happened. Holidays came and went. Vacations came and went. I didn’t drink and my life continued to improve in all sorts of ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I have developed a neat little image for myself, since I am a rather visual person. I imagine my breathing: Inhale. Exhale. I can see the color of my breath. All egoic fear-based thoughts I exhale are brownish in color. I don’t care how much I’ve lied to myself: “I’m not really judging. My intention is that I’m just offering my opinion, hoping it helps.” “I’m not really being spiteful, but s/he has to learn to live with the consequences of this rather short-sighted, ill-conceived, and very goofy decision.” “I just cannot understand how that very obese woman can really buy all that junk food for her kids. Look how overweight they already are! What might I do to help her? Poor thing.”
These thoughts, regardless of how well-intentioned I’ve convinced myself they are, all come out as brownish exhalations. I see myself in a room where the air is this foggy brownish hue. I can’t help but breathe it in. Then I notice how much my brownish breath is contributing to the room’s air. If rooms can be polluted, then why can’t whole blocks, or towns, or states, or countries? They can. In fact, all the air is brownish. I breathe it in. I exhale it out. Brown. Dirty. Unhealthy.
That is my image of the power of my thoughts. Part of the air I exhale is part of the air you inhale. My thoughts affect your thoughts. Damn!
ACIM tells me I can convert this brownish air to clean, crisp, healthy air. I literally can convert the dirty unhealthy air I breathe in to healthy clean air as I exhale. But “I” don’t really do that. The Holy Spirit does that. As He cleans up my thoughts, He is cleaning the air around me. He also is using my breaths of fresh air to aid in the cleansing of the air everyone around me is breathing.
With each breath I exhale I am contributing to the brownish air of ego or to the crisp air the Holy Spirit can use. With each thought I think I am contributing to the fear-based problems of the world or I am contributing to the loving solution. “… all thoughts have power. They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one.”
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#1 March, 2013