Do your thoughts create reality?

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Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby lucy » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:08 am

I was wondering if someone could please clarify. It seems that in a lot of nonduality literature there is an emphasis on how we should not personalize or identify with our thoughts; doing so leads to suffering. It is also pointed out that if we just watch our thoughts and don't "energize" them in any way, they just float by, like passing clouds. It is also pointed out that thoughts, concepts etc are dead and do not possess the "aliveness" of the present moment. Byron Katie goes as far to say that all thoughts are untrue. My question is: if all thoughts are untrue and powerless why is it believed in certain circles that thoughts create your world? Do they only have the power if believed in? It is said that there is no separate self, if there is no separate self, than how can the separte self cause suffering for itself when it believes the thoughts that are passing by?
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby innerhike » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:31 am

There are two different schools you seem to be referring to.

One we can name the nonduality school to which Gangaji, ET, Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Adya, etc. belong. "The path of no path", etc. Course in Miracles, Zen, Dzogchen Buddhism could also fall into this category.

The other school has people like Wayne Dyer, the people behind the movies "The Secret" and "What the Bleep...", and Abraham-Hicks.

First school appears to say that nothing matters, all is nothing, you have to come to place of emptiness.

Second school says you cannot stop thinking, there is no such as no-mind, therefore you need to channel your "intentions" towards creating a more pleasant reality.

I believe there is a middle path in this.

Both schools are correct. Actually if you notice closely, Eckhart Tolle's life is living proof of the idea that a fully or deeply surrendered person has all the luck in the world. In his latest book he uses the word "abundance" at least once, and so far I used to think that that word belonged in the vocabulary of people who wanted to manipulate spirit in order to produce matter (the second school above).

Both schools speak of surrender in different ways. You can come to peace through things of the world, or things of the spirit, in reality they are both ideas leading you to who you are.

The more you can live with paradoxes in teachings, the deeper you have made it into true understanding.

None of these teachers in either school promote resisting the flow of life.

All of them seem to agree that life is good, that there is indeed a source in all of this and that we are not separate from this source, though we might imagine otherwise.

My thought is it is always best to do one's best to surrender and then allow whatever shows up, whether in one's thoughts or "material reality". The more surrendered I am, the less that I want certain outcomes, the more perfectly things happen. This is the secret I have stumbled onto experientially. No visualization, no wanting, no efforting. Simply letting go deeply, more deeply, ever more deeply and then what is, let it be.

As apparently the Christian scriptures say "Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven, all else will be added unto you..."

The Kingdom of Heaven to me can only be encountered if one gives up all burdens, all thoughts keeping one from one's Center. Once you come to this place, who is to say what will happen? In my experience, very beautiful things happen.
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby Larryfroot » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:05 pm

Hi Lucy,

Thoughts create a meaningless world as our thoughts are meaningless to begin with. They are based on past and future, in short, they are well and truly entrenched in psychological time, which is without reality, and therefore, without intrinsic meaning.

So thoughts do have the power to create the image of a world, but lack the power to reveal the truth of conscious awareness, and by extension our experience of reality as it is. Thought cannot accept the reality of our own nature, based as it is on elements of psychological time as well as resistance itself.

In quantum mechanics there is a phenomenon called 'entanglement'. It is simple enough to understand yet profound in its obvious implications. Basically, two electrons - tiny bits of matter - that are created from the same process are said to 'entangled' or 'twinned'. The reason for this is that changes to the one are instantly reflected in the state of the other, regardless of space or time. So, for example, we could leave one of the electrons on Earth, and fly the other to...lets say two million light years from Earth. A fair old distance in both time and space. Even travelling at light speed, any communication from one electron to another would take two million years to cover that much space. So we then - for arguments sake - make the electron we have on earth, pink. Instantly, with no time lag at all, its twin will turn pink.

This science is now having serious money thrown at it by venture capitalists who see it as a basis for future technologies. entanglement is not some new age fluffy idea!

So what are the implications from this fact, and how does it relate to your question?

Firstly, at the moment of the big bang which produced all the matter in the universe, all the components of our 'reality' were - and continue to be - entangled. That is, they exist as a singularity beyond space and time. Think about it a little. The twinning of these two electrons crush our notion of space and time. It really does. So where do space and time come from, if ultimately, there are neither. If ultimately all is one in a dimension we might like to call the fourth dimension, how is this singularity hidden from us? What is the nature of the mind-created universe we presently percieve (and has been established by quantum mechanics as arising from perception only - please check out the double slit experiement)?

The key word here is percieve. There is only one place where the notion of time and space arise from, and that is from our perception of ourselves and the universe around us. Thought creates a world that has nothing to do with reality, as it actually hides from reality using time, space and millions of other details.
Many a mickle muches a markle.
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby Ives » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:10 pm

We are asleep, because we are caught up in the stream of thoughts.

Have you ever examined the connecting flow of one thought after another? My eye falls on a book in my room, which reminds me that it was given to me by Patrick, which reminds me that I must write to him, which triggers a thought about emails and how I need to buy a new computer, which leads to a series of worrying thoughts about money and income and… they go on and on.

Being lost in that stream is unfortunately the state that most people live in most of the time.
So in that sense thoughts do create our reality.

But when you see through thoughts you start realising how ephemeral they are.
Lucy, you said: “They only have power if believed in”. That is exactly right, in my opinion.

…But this ‘belief’ is not happening on a conscious level. It is unconscious identification. Which inevitably leads to suffering.
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby coriolis » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:12 pm

lucy wrote:I was wondering if someone could please clarify. It seems that in a lot of nonduality literature there is an emphasis on how we should not personalize or identify with our thoughts; doing so leads to suffering. It is also pointed out that if we just watch our thoughts and don't "energize" them in any way, they just float by, like passing clouds. It is also pointed out that thoughts, concepts etc are dead and do not possess the "aliveness" of the present moment. Byron Katie goes as far to say that all thoughts are untrue. My question is: if all thoughts are untrue and powerless why is it believed in certain circles that thoughts create your world? Do they only have the power if believed in? It is said that there is no separate self, if there is no separate self, than how can the separte self cause suffering for itself when it believes the thoughts that are passing by?


It helps to first become aware of how the human mind-made "consciousness" works.
It is one step removed from "reality" and arbitrated by a conceptual screen of symbols called thoughts or mind.
When a cold wind blows most susceptible creatures just find a place to get out of it.
Humans label it as bad, compare it to last winters cold, and "create" by moving around the symbols in their "mind" a whole new "pseudo-reality" that looks to them like "reality". Yet it is not "reality" but their experience of reality -- true reality post-processed by a mind and then renamed "reality" by that same mind.

This is an important distinction to make.

The only reality a human mind can create exists between two ears and cannot exist beyond the dissolution of the body that supports the gray mass between the ears. The experience of a "me" is also mind made and completely conceptual. The attempt to project this "me thought" onto the real world is the cause of all suffering and (in the sense that most humans experience it) death.

To put it another way: As long as there is "someone" to "experience reality" there is no reality.

Words, being no more than the codification of thought, tend not to clarify anything, however.

If you can unlearn enough to be simply "be" once again without being "somebody" then you can feel what you were before you were born and what you will be when you remove this body like a suit of dirty clothes. And, paradoxically from a mind's eye view, you are fully this now and were never otherwise.
Look deeply inside yourself and try to find yourself.
The ensuing failure is the true finding
---- Wu Hsin
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby lucy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:39 pm

I get that humans filter reality through their mind. My question pertains to the how that reality is influenced. In some schools of thought reality cannot be affected, only our perception of it (through mind ) is the variable. It seems to me there are other schools of thought that propose that reality can actually be manipulated by our thoughts hence we create our own reality. It seems to me ET believes that our relationship to reality changes as we surrender and allow the "little me" to dissolve. We then experience reality as is without the superimposition of a "little me". This reality is in fact our true nature. How does the "undconditioned consciousness" impact reality? Or is the unconditioned consciousness reality itself?
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby innerhike » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:26 am

Hi Lucy. I can only share with you my current level of understanding on this subject. Over time it is likely that my understanding will be revised. The short answer to use your words, even with the risk that we are in the realm of words and ideas, is that "unconditioned consciousness is reality".

My experience is this:

On days that I am deeply surrendered on account of meditation or whatever intense inner work I have managed to do, I find that my reality is a string of coincidences, almost like a movie where the script is already written and known to me at some deeper level. I need something or someone or some idea, and it shows up just at the right time. My timing is just right and I happen to be in the right place at the right time to pick up the gifts strewn along my path. I avoid accidents even if I am not aware.

I don't know that I am affecting reality with my thoughts as much as I may be coming to a place of "perfection" or "flow", or harmony with reality.

On the other hand in the few rare instances when I am in a place of anger or deep resistance, things begin to literally blow up in my face. Relationships, objects, etc. begin to "explode" as it were, and it all feels quite burdensome, much like it used to feel years ago before I learnt to stabilize my inner state.

I also find that the more I am in a stable inner state, in the few times that I do leave this stability, the damage that my inner state brings about is quite significant. It is as if by staying centered longer and longer I am sharpening a sword which during moments of uncenteredness can hurt more than ever before. Or perhaps my sensitivity to the damage has increased and I perceive small explosions as much larger.

Leaving aside my experience and back to the realm of what teachers say, or what I understand them to say:

Byron Katie for instance says Reality or God are the same thing and you don't argue with them.

Ramana Maharshi and all of the non-duality teachers such as Eckhart, Adya, etc. say you are "That", you are Reality.

However they are speaking from a standpoint of ABSOLUTE REALITY. That is the chief weapon of the school of non-duality, there is no separate seer and seen, it is all one. No concepts are sacred, all that is left after all concepts vanish is the One Reality in which all apparently arises and falls.

On the other hand you have people such as Wayne Dyer who publish books such as "Power of Intention" and then there are movies such as "The Secret" and of course the Abraham-Hicks teachings, all of them focused on reminding people about the power of their thoughts. These people are speaking from a standpoint of RELATIVE REALITY. They see Reality and the Person as separate, there is duality. In this duality they see an interaction happening between the two, the Little Self and the Big Self.

Until one achieves ABSOLUTE REALITY, perhaps it is not a bad thing to allow RELATIVE REALITY to exist at least as a concept. I believe that neither school is incorrect and that they are not mutually exclusive, that they co-exist based on one's level of understanding.

The best test of all this is to live it and see for yourself.

Anyway, sorry about all the words, it is hard to speak to some or most of these things.

:-)
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby Ives » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:24 am

We become what we think about all day.
The question is: "What are you thinking about?"

-- Wayne Dyer
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby lucy » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:02 pm

Thank you everyone for your posts.

Innerhike thank you for sharing your experience, I especially liked how you "felt like you were in the flow". Perhaps what I'm getting at is that once we realize that what "is", is actually what we want, then there is no attempt to manipulate reality because you (as the source) have created it, the ego is no longer there to intrpret it as something you don't want. So in a sense we do create our reality, but it's not the "little me" that's doing it, the book the secret and wayne dyer etc are referring to manipulating your thoughts to creating reality on the level of form. (I think you referred to this as relative reality). What gets confusing is that you can create your relative reality but still not know who you truly are, hence sooner or later you going to suffer even with the reality that you created.
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby innerhike » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:43 am

Lucy, that is excellent! You have concluded correctly, even though this discussion is at the level of concepts and words. There are people who want to play with toys when the whole universe is being offered to them. For such people manipulating reality, getting some specific results from their life experience, etc. are the things that motivate them on the spiritual path. Then there are the people who want to go for broke, as in "God or Bust". Such people should not get entangled in the scenery on the way. In the ancient language of India, Sanskrit, there is a word called "siddhi" which means a capacity to do super-natural things such as manifesting your thoughts in reality. A related word is "siddha" which means "a perfected being", very similar to the word "buddha". Siddhas do not seek siddhis, they just happen to be part of their beingness. They cannot be distracted by such powers that happen to be part of their make-up because they are completely and fully in the Self, the Source, the place where personality or ego or individual wants do not exist.

Wayne Dyer refers to the concept of The Sorcerer, as does Deepak Chopra. They say that before you visualize or intend something in your life, go to that place of no-thought or no-mind, and then your intention will be very powerful. These people are not offering full and final enlightenment (if there exists such a thing!) but a higher quality of life that is rooted in the Source.

I know of many people personally who have various siddhis but this is not the final stage. Even visions and psychic phenomena are not the final stage but only indicators of one's passage through various states of stabilization in the Self. People on the spiritual path, no matter what type of meditation they do, can get caught up in the "light and sound show" that accompanies such journeys. The key is to keep letting go all of the good and bad that comes up in these journeys and simply abide as the Self, the unconditioned consciousness as you called it.

Paradoxically, the person who does not need the money is given a bank loan but the person who really wants the loan is rejected. You have to show to the loan officer that you have enough funds to cover the principal and interest on the loan. If you don't have such funds, you are not given the loan.

Similarly, the person who is operating at the level of the Self and has no needs is given everything by the Universe, without asking. The person who is operating at the level of personality can ask and pray all they want, and they won't get any thing because they don't have it in them to begin with. You cannot trick the loan officer or the Universe. This to me is the secret behind sayings in the Chrisitian scriptures such as "even before the prayer is uttered, it is answered". The hidden key there is the level of surrender or unity with the Self that the person has matured to.
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby OnlyNow » Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:55 pm

I quoted an old saying sometime back on here, it goes like this

You are not what you think you are but what you think, you are

Looking at this now I take this understanding.

When you think as a 'little me' or thinking where a 'self' is included or perhaps as ET says identifying with the thought then you are 'not what you think you are'

When the little me' or self or any personal identification is absent from your thought then this is then an aspect of what 'you are'

So what I am saying is thought that is free of self or self identification is an aspect of 'consciousness' and therefore a reality of creation
When the Pupil is ready the Master appears
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby OnlyNow » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:03 am

Innerhike, I definitely agree about allowing or surrendering to what is.

I think this is the most powerful tool that we possess to reveal realisation.

This alone will unmask the TRUTH
When the Pupil is ready the Master appears
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby IanB » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:22 pm

Interesting question.

I believe we do create our own reality, but thoughts are by no means the whole story. What we believe about ourselves, what we believe is possible or impossible for us, what we believe we do or do not deserve, will determine what we will allow into our reality.

Thoughts ('negative' thoughts) can pass by harmlessly, or can be damaging to that that we wish to experience - it depends whether we follow them, indulge in them, give them attention/energy, or just let them go. But in that letting go there needs to be an awareness; if we are constantly thinking 'bad' things then that suggests some underlying beliefs about ourselves and/or the world we perceive that could usefully be changed. Changing the beliefs is more powerful than trying to change or stop the thoughts alone, because they form the framework upon which our reality is built and from which our thoughts spring.

Another layer is Essences; what essence or quality do we wish to experience in our reality? It might be beauty, peace, happiness, purpose, adventure etc. If we wish to experience peace, for example, it is far more powerful to focus on creating the essence of peace Now than to think about the material form the we hope will bring us peace in the future. When we come into alignment with the quality of peace, the form will naturally follow, though it may be quite different, and better, than what we might have desired had we been focused on form in the first place.

So the fleeting thoughts are important but mostly, I think, as an indication of what is driving you; what are your beliefs, what sort of experience are you wanting and intending to create?

IanB ~
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby karmarider » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:58 pm

I think it's the other way around.

There is no volition or free will around thoughts. I don't think thoughts. Thoughts arise and disappear.

For most human beings, there is an inner atmosphere of fear, a sense of dissatisfaction, and so the thoughts (ego, beliefs, experience) which appear will be generally negative and uncertain.

When the inner context of fear goes, the inner experience is much more satisfactory.

Whether this in turn leads to a more satisfactory outer reality--well, it seems that way, but that's only my hypothesis and I can't say that for certain.
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Re: Do your thoughts create reality?

Postby IanB » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:02 pm

I certainly agree with Karmarider about the fear and dissatisfaction which will, necessarily, produce thoughts of negativity and uncertainty, but I differ on the matter of volition. Because we can change our beliefs, the basis for this inner atmosphere, we can change the quality of thoughts that arise. So yes, in everyday living, outside of a state of 'no-mind', thoughts arise and, if not followed, disappear; but we have free will to change the nature of those thoughts by changing that which gives rise to them. By awareness of the nature of our thoughts we can know if our beliefs are serving us, taking us in the direction we wish to go. Change the beliefs and different thoughts naturally arise and yes, in my experience, changing that inner world definitely creates a better (more of my choosing) outer reality. Part of the trick is knowing that you've actually done this; most of us tend to assume that when things go well, that's just the way it turned out, the way the world is, not that we had any part in it. But the way the world is is the way we create and perceive it!

People will question whether beliefs can be changed - the answer is resoundingly Yes. We actually produced a whole book, complete with how-to videos called Change Beliefs ~ Transform Your Life (free to download at that link (plug, plug!)) based on what has produced the best results for us. So yes, you can and, if you don't like the reality that you're creating, you should ;)

When you look at statements like "I am safe in the world" or "I deserve to be happy and loved" and realise that you believe quite the opposite, is it any wonder that you have fearful, negative, dissatisfied thoughts? Hardly! When you input beliefs that, like those, serve you well, the results can be spectacular.

Right, time for me to get off my soapbox now I think!

IanB ~
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