Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Does It Work?

The idea that our thoughts actually create our physical reality, including and especially our own bodies, is pretty outrageous. Don’t hold your breath for any scientific proof for such an idea. But there is a lot of evidence that such an amazing interaction does take place.

How might that work? The quotes in my first Blog (“Fundamental Spirituality”) suggest that there is an interaction between the mind and physical reality. Swami Vivekananda says, “Thoughts live; they travel far.”

How do thoughts travel? Let’s start with some short thought trips. Indigenous healers, shamans, witch doctors, medicine men and women have always believed in and experienced a sense of the oneness between humans, oneness with nature, and oneness with the divine. Through their teachings, or perhaps simply intuitively, they knew that the mind and body were one.

It wasn’t until relatively recently that science accidentally discovered that this mind-body interaction or oneness was real. The new discipline is called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Dr. Candice Pert is an expert in this new field. She was featured in the movie, “What the Bleep Do We Know?”

Essentially, PNI is the study of the interaction/communication between our nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system. So our thoughts (nervous system) communicate with our endocrine system (all of our glands), and our immune system.

The immune system of course protects us from viruses, germs, cancer cells, and other nasty stuff. Our endocrine system, through the glands, regulates just about every part of our body including moods, metabolism, sexual function, cell growth, etc.

So it’s a short trip for our thoughts to contact the endocrine and immune system. We know that certain things depress the immune system. Depression, anxiety, fear, anger, grief, and other negative kinds of emotions suppress the immune system. The nasty critters that are in our body all the time are able to make us sick when this happens.

Negative feelings, attitudes, assumptions, expectations, and beliefs can wreak havoc with our endocrine system and have numerous negative consequences.

So every thought and feeling has an impact on our body through the endocrine and immune system. Our health and wellness are impacted throughout the day by what we are thinking and experiencing. This is why positive thinking and positive affirmations can have a beneficial impact on our health and sense of well-being.

Next time I will talk about how our thoughts go beyond the body and have an impact on our entire physical experience.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fundamental Spirituality

There are many different religions, many different philosophies, and spiritual systems. For the spiritual voyager it can be quite confusing. Ultimately each individual must find what speaks to her personally and follow that. I don’t think there is any system of belief that can be called the “Truth” with a capital “T.”

There are, however, some fundamental beliefs that have been around for thousands of years and can be found in most major religions and many spiritual systems.

The quotes below speak to these fundamental beliefs.

“One’s own thought is one’s world. What a person thinks is what he becomes.” (The Maitri Upanishad, a Hindu text nearly 3,000 years old)

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

 “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” (The Dhammapada about 500 B.C., from the Buddha)

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” (Buddha)

“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matthew 15:11)

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” (Swami Vivekananda)

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” (Marcus Aurelius)

“Thoughts are things.” (Edgar Cayce and Ernest Holmes)

“You get what you concentrate upon.” (Seth)

Throughout recorded history, in religion, philosophy, and spiritual teachings, the idea of the power of our thoughts in creating our life experiences has been emphasized. Some individuals will accept this idea without hesitation. Others will think that it doesn’t make any sense.

While it may be easy for some to accept this fundamental teaching, I believe that it is a very difficult path to take. It requires that we take full responsibility for our lives. In practice, that can be very difficult.

In future blogs I will go into more depth concerning the implications of the power of thought. For now, I would like you to think about two different ways of experiencing this concept. One is to look at life as if it were a dream. The other is to see life as a magical experience. If our thoughts truly become our reality, that is nothing more than magic.

Until next time, Blessings!
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