“Prove to me my thoughts create my reality!”

Note: There were some technical problems with the WordPress server this weekend and some subscribers reported having not received post updates in their email. So if you missed yesterday’s post, “Good girls, bad guys, and the law of attraction“, be sure to check it out. I’ve also made significant revisions to Law of Attraction or “Opposites Attract?” if you’re interested.
 
I’ve been on a “law of attraction” kick for the last couple of days so I thought I’d share my two cents on a question that gets raised quite frequently by those who are considering the possibility that by changing their thoughts they can change their lives. I hope you enjoy. Cheers :) -T.K.
 

The million dollar question:

 
“How can I know my thoughts create my own reality?”

Questioning the questions

A freshman philosophy student decided to stump his Professor one day;

 “Hey Teacher, prove to me that I exist!”

The teacher didn’t miss a beat. He shot right back;

“I would love to, but whom shall I say is asking the question?”

Sometimes we can arrive at the best answers simply by questioning the questions.

In a similar way, it might be helpful to challenge yourself to provide an example of how a person’s thoughts DO NOT create their reality. 

BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT….

Reality versus Experience

I would start by making the distinction between “Reality” and “Experience.”

“Reality” refers to the world. It refers to what is actually happening independently of anyone’s perceptions, beliefs, feelings, etc.

“Experience” refers to the way in which a particular individual perceives, processes, and reacts to “Reality.”

When proponents of the Law of Attraction say “you create your own reality”, they are not saying you can uproot a tree from the ground just by visualizing it for a few minutes using Harry Potter styled magic mind power. They are referring to the control you have over your own personal experience of Reality. 

Although there may seem to be a single Reality we all occupy, we each experience this Reality differently because every person has a unique way of perceiving, processing, and reacting to the world.
 

A lesson from dogs about perception and reality

Here’s a simple example:

Scientists tell us the spectrum of sound extends indefinitely in both directions. This means there are sounds we can’t detect because they lie outside the range of human hearing.

Dog whistles prove this. A room can be very noisy to a dog while seeming silent to a man. This clearly illustrates how we do not experience reality as it “actually” is. We experience reality only in accordance with how our perceptual filters have processed it.

Is the room REALLY quiet or is it REALLY noisy? Well, which one IS it? It all depends on who you ask. Are you asking the dog? Or the man? When a man says “it’s quiet in here”, he’s not describing the room. He’s describing the way in which he’s experiencing the room. This is true of all things.

We often speak of how things are, but we’re really just telling a story about how we are experiencing things. This is what the philosophers were getting at when they asked “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Well, it depends. As Bill Cosby quipped “Are you drinking or pouring?”

Life is exactly as you think it is

Our beliefs, expectations, moods, assumptions, etc., act as perceptual filters that literally color and shape our world into a unique personal experience.

When you’re in a good mood and everything has been going your way, you may not mind when someone steps on your toe. They apologize and you say “it’s all good!” But when everything seems to be going wrong, someone stepping on your toe might honestly seem as if the universe is conspiring against you. You might stub your toe and say “I can’t BUY a break!” Now if you’re in a REALLY good mood, you might be happy with the opportunity to say “hello” to the guy who stepped on your toe which might lead to making a new friend. One event, three experiences.

The difference between an opportunity, an incident, and a conspiracy can all come down to how you process reality with your thoughts. The same guy can be a “loser”, a “saint”, a “lunatic”, or “the funniest cat ever” to 4 different people.

So…back to the challenge. Try to observe  some facet of reality from a purely neutral perspective. Describe anything in a way that is not influenced by your own personal vantage point. This simple little exercise may help illuminate a very basic idea;

You can’t observe the world without observing it from your perspective.

Even when you ask others what their take is, you are filtering their descriptions through your perspective. So it always comes back to you.

Your thoughts create your experience because you can’t have an experience, by definition, until you take Reality and mix it up with your thoughts.

At least that’s how I see it over here in my reality :)

What do you think?

T.K. Coleman

Update: A friend of mine just informed me that I should not limit the capacity of our human potential by implying that we can NOT uproot trees. I stand corrected. Folks, if you put your mind to it, you can even uproot the tree :)
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11 thoughts on ““Prove to me my thoughts create my reality!”

  1. What do I think? Well… this is a complex subject with lots of potential tangents and disecting of point that could go on to an infinite degree.

    I continue to experience the Law of Attraction more by practice than by theory. I can’t explain much of it and I don’t attempt to.

    To me, I simply observe that there is a connection between when I have positive thoughts, feel positive emotions, and take positive actions, more positive results happen and more positive opportunities come my way.

    That is as scientific as I can be thus far. So far, I see it more as general correlation than clearly defined or precisely linear causality.

    I am not convinced that one could not uproot a tree with their mere thoughts. I simply know that today, it is not likely to be me nor anyone else I know. But we are all works in process and one day this may be clearer.

    Just for today, I know all I care to know. I am satisfied with the dispensation of understanding I have to date.

    This is one of the key components to how I beat the odds and overcame addiction. I took what was in front of me today, used it to the best of my ability with out striving or being anxious, gave thanks, remained open-minded, and eventually, more was revealed… and continues to be revealed.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

    • My brother Chaz,

      Thanks again for the outstanding quality of feedback and blog support you’ve been providing me with. As I’ve said before, it is much much appreciated.

      I love the following excerpt from your comments;

      “To me, I simply observe that there is a connection between when I have positive thoughts, feel positive emotions, and take positive actions, more positive results happen and more positive opportunities come my way.”

      At the end of the day, I really think that is what it’s all about. Finding tools that work for you and effectively intergrating them into your daily experience, is of far greater value, in my estimation, than being able to theoretically explain one’s experiences.

      I have great respect for how you’ve managed to do this in your success with overcoming addiction.

      As far as the possible disagreements with how we may see things goes, I have two observations;

      1) I think there is plenty of room in the universe for multiple approaches and vantage points. Approaches and vantage poins which contradict or diverge from mine are no exception. The capacity for dissent and disagreement offers great protection from dogmatism and denial. So, i sincerely encourage and embrace the thought-provoking challenges that you respectfully engage me with. i also appreciate the class and camaraderie with which you do this. It says volumes about your intelligence and integrity.

      2) I do the best i can to not take myself or my opinions too seriously nowadays. I love the process of analyzing concepts and philosophizing about various subjects. Writing explanatory posts like this one is accompanied by a sense of sport similiar to what some people experience when they play golf or watch basketball. Where i may differ from the typical sports fan, however, is that this process never feels stressful or heavy for me. For me, attempting to resolve paradoxes with my mind is not important or necessary. It’s just plain ole fun (for ME).

      But as much as I love theorizing, i understand that the results of my thought experiments and brainstorm sessions are only explorative “guesses” at a reality which ultimately transcends the realm of the logical and the linear. So, I endeavor to mantain a sense of playfullness in my practice of philosophy, while holding on lightly to whatever may work for me at the time.
      If some of the fruits of my musings are beneficial to your journey, i invite you to liberally partake of them. Where my ruminations and reflections are not so helpful, I totally understand and I encourage you to keep doing what you already so brilliantly know to do; do what works for you.

      Thanks again for sharing, bro. On another note, how did day #2 go for you? You holding up well? I’m still projecting good thoughts and positive vibrations your way.

      Cheers :)

      T.K.

      • Hey TK! …. thanks for your kind and thoughtful reply. Rest assured, I feel no sense of contentiousness in our dialogue. I respect your perspectives, and like you, I gain from differing and challenging perspectives to my own.

        I distrust my own complacency of thought which if left to its own wiles, would seek the path of least resistance and migrate only to places of agreement rather than places of challenge or diverse perspectives.

        I do not take your taste for detail and analysis of underlying theory… and the sport it provides… as any form of argumentativeness to my viewpoints. In fact I can relate to it, although from a different point in my journey. And I am enjoying the dialogue and your kind and gracious tones.

        I had a stronger flavour for detail and exploration of theory many years ago. In fact, I carried to my own dangerous and destructive extreme. I thought and analyzed my way into anxiety and depression, especially when I sought to analyze circumstances that were causing me pain. I was analyzing them with very flawed thinking which always led me to places of despair and pain.

        So now, given my history of unhealthy analysis, the pendumlum has swung for me, perhaps excessively, to a place of hyper-acceptance so as not to step again into my old habit of unhealthy analyzing. Perhaps this is somewhat reactionary, yet I am finding great value in it at this time. I suppose I am slowly learning to swing back to centre and use my propensity to analyze in a healthier way…. to learn and grow, rather than implode.

        To quote Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve problems using the same thinking we used when we created them”. In this light, I am seeking to live by a different frame of thinking that perhaps has an emphasis in hyper-acceptance for a time.

        I appreciate and share your pespective that we are often making our best exporative “guesses” at these less visible factors of life. “Faith” and “belief” are quite different than “knowing”. I was for too long trying to practice “knowing” in a life made up far more of “faith” and “belief”.

        Thanks also for your concern about my Day 2. Which by the way was fabulous, as was day 3 which has just come to a close. Not without challenge, but I am focusing on the victories and blessings as well as remaining nourished and rejuvaneted so I don’t run on empty.

        These dialogues have been most helpful as they keep me in a positive environment, and frankly are an investment of time that is paying a return of energy. So thank you very much for dialoguing with me and for your positive believing for me during this period. I am believing the best for you too.

        Well off to check out the next post! Thanks again for this great interacion!

        Ciao.

        Chaz

      • Thanks for being so gracious, Chaz.

        I feel the same way about our discussions. Having brothers in the journey to walk the path with you is a definitely a good thing. As excited as I may get about a particular way of thinking, my greatest asset is the relationships I have with people who challenge me to keep exploring and evolving.

        I can appreciate your story and the history you’ve had with analyzing yourself into an unhealthy place. This is also something I have struggled with in the past. I have only recently began exploring how fun it can be to use that side of my mind as a handmaiden to intuition. It’s a lot more fun when the stakes aren’t so high. When the pressure to “be right” or solve it all is gone, discursive thinking can be quite exhilarating for me. I wholeheartedly relate to your process of letting go of anything unhealthy and patiently integrating it back into your life at the right time, the right pace, and in the right way.

        Glad to hear days 2-3 went well. Happy to hear that you’re choosing to process the days in the most empowering ways. Thanks a million for sending back the thoughts of well-being, bro. I really do appreciate the support, encouragement, and positive reinforcement.

        Cheers,

        T.K.

  2. T.K.- I’ve read your post on metaphors and I just now read this one on reality vs. experience. I think you’ve hit it on the head brotha-man. I’ll be checking out some more when I have time to get around to it!

    I’m in a metaphor and communication class as at my University and people just don’t seem to want to admit the fact that all language is inherently metaphorical. I think Nietzsche has gotten us closest to that point so far in his Philosophy and Truth essay. Check it out if you haven’t (I’m guessing you have…).

    On a separate note, I would like to point something out that I am personally struggling with. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you said that because we speak and think entirely in metaphors, we don’t have to take language or thoughts seriously. Rather, we can simply pick up a new metaphor. How does this idea work with the notion that “my thoughts create my reality”? How powerful are the metaphorical thoughts we have? Should I take them seriously? If they create my reality, I feel more apt to take my thoughts seriously because they could go as far as affecting my health and shaping my life.

    I’m a pretty serious soul in general, looking to let go, be content, and find peace.

  3. I just stumbled onto this site for the first time. I love this post!

    Now regarding someone being able to uproot a tree with their thoughts, I believe it’s already been done; and has been done for centuries. This is obviously my own perception and experience of course but I thought I’d share my perspective and see what others think. I believe that a person’s perception of even just the statement “that you can uproot a tree from the ground just by visualizing it for a few minutes” makes all the difference in terms of whether or not it can be done. If you tell someone to use their visualization to uproot a tree from the ground, depending on that persons perspective , it IS absolutely possible… if in their vision they see themselves operating a crane machine (or whatever it’s called) uprooting it. If we really think about it, there was a time before these monster machines existed in our reality and before they existed the idea of someone uprooting a tree out of the ground probably seemed far fetched and impossible. Maybe even magical if we go far enough back in time. But not to the person who actually visualized this machine. That person’s belief was that it could be done, and after he/she believed that, they saw it being done in their mind and went to work visualizing to create the type of machine that can do just that; by starting first with thought and visualization.

    And from my perspective the Harry Potter type, or just magic in general, presents to us truths; but not the explanation or method of how they arrived at these truths. The explanations and methods are hidden and therefore it makes it very wondrous and seem like this thing called magic. But what is magic? Is it not just the missing explanation of how one arrived at an end result?

    A person actually can uproot a tree from the ground just by visualizing it…and a person has.

    What are your perspectives?

    • I would like to share my thoughts here, because this is the most perfect place I have found to so so.
      I think “what are your perspectives?” is the best question ever asked!!!!!!!!
      Can you imagine how our world would change if the question, “how are you doing today?, was replaced by “what is your perspective today?”
      How empowered would we feel, become, if we were asked that and asked that of ourselves daily?

      I find myself sliding into negative thought processes all the time, but I know I am inherently positive, meaning I know I have the ability to change my perspective, and also know my perspective is all I have. This was shown to me VERY clearly a few yrs ago byu a classroom full of open minded women. These women were on path to self empowermentr and enlightenment, we were in a class together, here’s how it played out:

      We were given a Tarot card to look at for 3 seconds and pass to the next person. It was the Tower card, for those who are not familiar with it, it has a tower with people falling from it and much chaos in the picture. You can see it online in the Ryder Waite cards.

      After it had been passed around to all of us, we were to each tell what we saw in those 3 seconds, on the card. EVERYONE had a different take on the picture.

      Some saw the people being lifted on either side of the tower, rather then falling from the tower. Others saw clouds at the base of the tower, while others saw jagged rocks or ice formations. Others saw fire in the tower as others did not.

      14 different perspectives, one for each individual. This seems like such a simple excercise but had profound affect on me.

      I have experienced the “Law of attraction” with such obvious and amazing results, if I had not been a believer, I would have had no choice but to atleast look into things further because of my experiences. Here is two wrapped into one, I hope you like.

      After my seperation, I was living back at my parents home, with 2 kids, and no job because I had been waiting on a surgery, kidney donation for my brother that would have put me out of commission for months. I had just graduated from college and had not really looked for a job.

      One of my most favorite sayings, after the surgery, was that I would “shovel S**t for $12.00 an hour” because $12 had been more than I had made at other jobs, I was wanting more hourly!

      The full time job I got was working for animal control, for $12 hourly to start and guess what most of the job consisted of? Yep, you got it, I shovelled it all day!!!!!

      So now I had the job, but I needed someplace to live that was not my parents basement. Everyday on the way to work, I would think about my living arrangement dilemna. The rental availability was less than 1% and 2 bedroom apts were about $1200.00 monthly, way more than my shovelling job would allow. My mental budget said I could afford around $400.00 monthly and really wanted a house, not an apartment.

      There was this little store I used to stop at daily to pick up a pop and water at, on the way to work. One day I asked the if he knew of any available rentals in the area. He said no, but would let me know if he heard of anything.
      The next day I stopped in as ususal and he gave me a number because a lady had stopped hours after I had the day before to post that she had a farm house coming up for rent.

      Guess how much the farm HOUSE was being rented at? Yep, you guessed it, $400.00 monthly. The real kicker was that the rent was so low because they needed someone to tend to the farm animals. Yep, I shovelled even after I got home from work!!!

      Even more impressive was that the farm house was one I passed every day, to and from work. I was putting out my needs to this house everyday!

      I don’t believe in coincidence, especially when it comes to me litterally shovelling all sorts of s**t for 2 yrs straight!

      Be careful what you TRULY ask for, but be have fun and and dream big!

      Here is my favorite quote:

      The proof of desire is pursuit!

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