Thought is the most powerful force in the universe. Indeed, it may one day be discovered to be the ONLY real force in the universe; underlying all that we can see or measure.
It is through thought that everything in the realm of human endeavor has come into being. People will die for abstract concepts of thought; such as freedom, nationalism, democracy, communism, and the like. Every material creation of Man has arisen through thought. Moreover, whatever a man or woman makes of life is a direct result of that person’s habitual thoughts.
This is a terrible truth that few of us are aware enough of. Thoughts are things. They do not simply vanish as soon as we have thought them. We send them out into the universe, and they attract back to us material of exactly like kindred to their own character.
The Golden Rule of Jesus is that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It sounds good, and most of us would love to get around to it, if we ever have the spare time. However, the fact that we do not do so demonstrates just how far we have misunderstood this law. The reason it is so important to do unto others, is because we attract to ourselves the very energies that we are putting out to others. In a very literal sense, we are doing unto ourselves what we do unto others. What we put out into the universe, by way of thought energy, bounces back on us in the end, for good or ill.
This conclusion is startling. The whole idea of this law was just as much for our own benefit as it ever was for those others it seems to refer to. Whatever energy you put out to others, you will also attract to yourself; both in this life and in lives to come. You need not look to a final judgment for this to take place. You are your own judge!
Indeed, it is from our thoughts that the good or ill in our lives arises. Two people can be subject to the exact same circumstances, and interpret them totally differently. It depends upon whether your mind is primarily oriented towards the positive or the negative.
The multi-millionaire business man, W. Clement Stone, is famous for saying “That’s good!” no matter what befell him, even if it was a calamity. It frequently puzzled his colleagues, who could see nothing good about the matter at all. However W. Clement Stone would first make the statement, and then go about looking for the good thing that he knew to be there. He always found it, and attributes this attitude as one of the key factors to his massive success.
Earl Nightingale said that “we become what we think about”, and it is certainly true. For instance, our own bodies reflect our habitual thoughts. If you want to know what your thought life has been like up to this point, examine your body today. If you want to know what your body will be like in the future, examine your thoughts today!
It is hard to control external events in your life, but the one place where you can exert tremendous control is in your thought life. It is also one of the most challenging areas, as you will doubtless know if you have ever tried. Yet this one area can create the tremendous leverage you need to affect the whole of your life for the better.
Negative thoughts and actions, directed at other people, is where we are all most challenged in this respect. We become habituated to thinking in this manner. Yet, what a difference it would make if we really knew, as clearly as we know the sun will rise tomorrow, that our negative thoughts attract to us situations in exact proportion to the quality of the thoughts themselves.
Thought precedes action, which is also why Jesus taught that the adulterer, and the person who thinks adulterous thoughts, are
equivalent. Indeed, we can go so far as to say that karma, which is determined by our thoughts and actions, is primarily a result of our thought life, and what grows out of it. Sow good seed in the mind, and good fruit will ripen, giving rise to good actions. Sow bad seed, and bad fruit will be the only result, and this will have its corresponding karmic consequences.
It benefits you to begin to watch your thoughts, and to see from where they arise, the motivations for them, and the chain of thinking that leads from one to the next. It is truly said that one of the great tragedies of human life is that we are capable of so many thoughts, and yet 98% of what we think on a given day is exactly the same as we were thinking the day before!
Becoming a shepherd of your thoughts is the first step to making great inner progress. In fact, the majority of spiritual traditions teach us that the challenge is to radically change our consciousness; the way we view life, and the way we interpret events. By doing so, we alter our level of attachment to life outcomes, and change the inner balance of our consciousness.
Meditation can help greatly in this process. In meditation, the rapid passage of our thoughts is greatly slowed, and we can begin to observe their arising and passing away. Moreover, through repeated meditation, a calmness of mind, and an altogether healthier emotional basis, can arise. This can positively impact our thoughts, and hence our life as a whole. Therefore, meditation is thoroughly recommended as an antidote to uncontrolled negative thinking, and as a way to come into contact with the depths of our psyche, from which all thoughts arise.
Thoughts of a feather flock together. Impure thoughts attract others of like kind. Good and pure thoughts do the same. By persisting in a certain mode of thought, you make it easier to continue thinking in that way, and begin to build an ever deeper channel – the channel of repeated habit – through which further such thoughts may travel. Therefore, seek to make the channel a wholesome one. Guard your mind consciously against the ever encroaching negative thinking that can easily defeat all your best efforts.
In addition to meditation, you can also fill your mind with positive things. Read inspiring books, and watch programs, of a spiritual or encouraging nature. Avoid filling your mind with whatever is unhelpful. Keep a gratitude journal, and fill it with the things you are grateful for. Train your mind into pure thinking and away from the negative.
Each of us is a spark of the Divine. When we tune our minds to that inner truth within, then our thoughts emerge from that holy source. However, when we allow our minds to be filled with the thoughts and concerns of the personality consciousness, then we detract from that inner divinity. Yet, that pure spiritual essence is the only real truth about ourselves that there is.
Thought is the greatest power known. If you harness thought responsibly, and guard the door of your mind, turning your thoughts single-pointedly to the goal you seek, nothing can stop you from achieving it. This is a spiritual life work, not easily accomplished in a day or a week. However, though hard indeed, the task is one well worth undertaking today and everyday henceforth.
Copyright Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.