Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thoughts Are Things

I love this beautiful quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your – destiny.”
Working the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I began reclaiming my life by simply reversing this beautiful thought from Gandhi. I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t even think about it. The life I had created for myself had taken me to the absolute rock-bottom. It had almost financially ruined my future. It had almost ruined my career. It had definitely destroyed my children’s trust in me. It had destroyed my faith and confidence. It had bolstered my toxic shame.  I was virtually dead inside.
As my life began to improve in sobriety, my thoughts had already changed. My habits began to change automatically – by not drinking alcohol and working the program. Different things were important to me now and my actions and priorities reflected that. I thought differently. I spoke differently. I was focused on different things. I was no longer the “old me.” I didn’t quite understand who the “new me” was, but I knew it wasn’t the “old me.” My life had absolutely turned completely around – which is the literal meaning of experiencing a conversion.
The first few lessons from the Workbook in a Course in Miracles (ACIM) have focused on the thoughts I think and the effect they cause. The Lessons are trying to reinforce that my thoughts cause my perception – not the other way around, which is how Felix (my ego) wants be to believe. Felix sees something “out there” happen and it causes me to react or behave in such-and-such a manner. It is just the opposite according to ACIM. I “think” my thoughts and then “see” the “out there” event. The two things – thought and sight – are virtually simultaneous. What I “see” with my eyes is what I have already “thought.” Throughout ACIM physical sight is sharply contrasted with spiritual vision.
Unity Churches and Science of Mind congregations are places where I first heard the phrase “Thoughts Are Things.” In short, how you think – the thoughts you harbor, fear or hold dear – determine what it is you will see in the ego’s world.  This echoes the message of ACIM. It also echoes advances that are being made in the arena of noetics (consciousness and spirituality). Noetic Science, according to the Institute of Noetic Sciences, is the study of “…how beliefs, thoughts and intentions affect the physical world.” (
Dan Brown’s newest novel, The Lost Symbol (Doubleday, 2009) is a story that swirls around and through the field of noetics. It’s as fascinating a read as was his previous novel, “The Da Vinci Code.” The protagonist understands the theory of noetics, and, perhaps, the reality of spirituality, but cannot bring himself to really believe in what it is saying.  “…Professor,” the old man said, “I realize that you, like many educated people, live trapped between worlds – one foot in the spiritual, one foot in the physical. Your heart yearns to believe…but your intellect refuses to permit it.  As an academic, you would be wise to learn from the great minds of history…. If I’m remembering correctly, one of the greatest minds ever to live proclaimed: ‘That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.’”
“Who said that? …  Gandhi?”
“No, … Albert Einstein.” (p, 308)
Deepak Chopra has talked about the existence of holographic phenomena, which allows for small particles to contain the whole of which they are only a part. Gregg Braden has talked about the instant communication that seems to exist between objects at the sub-atomic level. He doesn’t know how it happens – but it does! Masaru Emoto (a Japanese scientist) has conducted tests that proved human thought and intentions could (and did!) change the crystals of water as it froze – whether in test tubes, in lakes, or in rivers.
Our thoughts influence what it is we “think” we see. ACIM says that our thoughts determine what we see. If I change my thoughts I change my world. Felix looks at the world “out there” trying to find support for his belief that he is “special.” He doesn’t find it and gets angry. This anger colors all his perception, and he concludes (on a subconscious level): “I’m angry at the world I see because it doesn’t reflect my desire for specialness.” What he sees he interprets as attacks / disappointments / resentments coming at him from the world. He retaliates, justifies his fear/anger and defends himself. This is Felix’s world. It is not filled with peace, acceptance and serenity.
I no longer want to see my world in this way. Friends from Saint Augustine who moved to Charlotte NC about this time we moved to East Tennessee shared this idea with me: We have moved from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens. Now we are moving from Homo Sapiens to Homo Noeticus.
I believe humankind is moving in that direction. The highly motivated hate-fear reactions to that movement – from those whose power, money and prestige are rooted in maintaining a sense of fearfulness – underscore the reality of it.
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.
#4 January 2015
Copyright, 2015

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