illustration by David Fierstein
I like to work with the idea that we create our reality with our thoughts. This is what makes the most sense to me, and is the way of looking at things that I find most useful.
This post extends my previous one, On Overcoming Obstacles. Perhaps I could call these posts “The Iceberg Series”! A part of this theory is that the mind is analogous to an iceberg… a small part is on the surface and accessible, and most of it is submerged.
Thought is creative
I see thoughts as things. When we think them, they go out and do stuff. According to this theory, every single little thing in our lives is a product of our thoughts. All the beauty and love in our lives? We created it. Those great friendships? We attracted them to ourselves. The nice house, car, clothes, food, computer, holiday, blog, anything… we did that—the thoughts we thunk did it.
And according to this theory, our thoughts have also brought about the unpleasant or difficult things in our lives (I don’t think I really need to list them).
It’s also the case, if we choose to think this way, that we are best off keeping an eye on the things we believe to be truths, because they become self-actualising. Our minds always create the evidence for what we believe to be true (otherwise we would think we are insane).
For example, if we believe there are nutters out there on the internet who will detrimentally affect every blogger at some point, it’s likely we will discover evidence of that. It might be more helpful to choose to believe that all bloggers are marvelous (and trust our commonsense, the same as we do walking down the street).
The submerged mind
If all of this is true, then all we would have to do is think we want something (a good haircut, world peace) and it will be so. As we know, things don’t always exactly work out this way.
The reason, according to the thinking I am outlining, is that ALL our thoughts go out and create results… thoughts both in our conscious mind and in our subconscious/unconscious/submerged mind. By definition, the conscious mind has thoughts we are aware of, and the subconscious mind has thoughts we are not aware of.
Let’s say we need or want something in our lives, and it just won’t come. It could be anything… a feeling, an object, a state. We are thinking about how we want it (if we are extra clever, seeing ourselves as already having it), because we know that our thoughts are powerful. We are also taking whatever actions we can to bring it to us.
But if the thoughts we are aware of are not bringing the results we want, there must be other thoughts, in our subconscious mind, that are contradicting, outnumbering and overpowering them.
I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing… how often have we wanted something and seen down the track that it wasn’t actually the best thing for us? I have, plenty of times. But in this post I’m just covering the scenario that the thing we want to create IS in our best interests, and it isn’t happening. Other scenarios belong in a discussion about intuition, or ego, perhaps.
If we go along with this kind of thinking, it’s quite easy, on one level, to get a feel for what is going on in our subconscious mind. Because we can see the effects of thoughts in our conscious and subconscious minds splattered around us in three dimensions in a thing called “our life”. Our physical life is constantly giving us feedback about the state of our thoughts—I’d even suggest this might be one of the reasons we have a physical life.
An example of this “splattering” is the kinds of difficulties we often encounter when we are doing something that is a leap for us. In this case, thoughts deep in our subconscious that we would never have been aware of otherwise suddenly start jumping up and down and go creating all sorts of problems. I see this as part of the healing process—if we didn’t take risks, these thoughts would stay buried, and eventually create illness and aging (had to squeeze it in). Making a leap brings them to the top so they can be cleared out, though it may feel a little uncomfortable for a while!
On another level, I think it’s fair to say that most people find getting to a point where their lives are not run by inhibiting thoughts is not usually super quick or straightforward. There are lots of approaches that can help with this… there are thousands of books, therapies, techniques and workshops out there. A basic approach would be to learn to live in the present and learn to follow intuition, I think. Then the best path to follow will open up.
The impression I got from somewhere is that fully enlightened masters no longer have a subconscious mind—they are aware of all their thoughts and are happily creating what they want. I don’t remember where I picked this up… if anyone knows an enlightened master, could you ask them for me if it’s true, please?
Are we there yet?
Another way of looking at all this is that we are protected from experiencing full creativity until we are no longer thinking less-than-productive thoughts. Would we really want ALL our conscious thoughts to come true?! Anything from thoughts of violence towards someone who has “done us wrong”, to thoughts of how we are not good enough for some thing or other… maybe it’s just as well all our conscious thoughts haven’t been coming true (speaking for myself, anyway!)
I like to think that when more people reach for the light, in any of a myriad of ways, and this becomes commonplace, a shift will occur in our mass consciousness. Then, all of a sudden, healing will become quick and easy. Actually, I think this might be happening now.