It Takes More Than Thoughts

Mischief in the Making

People frequently seek my guidance for one specific thing: manifestation through the power of thought. In this case, Chas kicked off our conversation by telling me he intended to find prosperity and wanted me to assist him with some mantras or affirmations. “You know,” he confided, “Change your thoughts, change your life.”

I heard my inner voice say to me, “Let the mischief begin.”

Whether the starting point is Napoleon Hill with his groundbreaking work, Think and Grow Rich, or the new age movie and book, The Secret, or the prosperity gospel spreading through affluent mega churches, or even the life-affirming orientation in New Thought churches such as Unity and Religious Science, the idea that we can think our way into a new reality is deeply enticing. Imagine, if you just say over and over again that you will be prosperous, or find love, or manifest success, so it shall be. Or perhaps even more ego-gratifying and virtuous, if we wish such things for others, so it shall be for them, and we will be blessed for having been thoughtful of them.

As much as I wanted to support Chas, I could not do so without trying to deepen his understanding. Magical thinking or spiritual bypassing can be very significant developmental detours. 

“Okay. So what is the starting point for affirming prosperity?” I asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Why are you seeking prosperity?” I prodded gently.

He smiled and I could see he was very pleased with himself. “Well, why not? I mean, what’s wrong with being prosperous?”

I matched his smile. “I'm not questioning prosperity. I want to know what you believe about your current state that would cause you to wish for prosperity.”

“Oh! I get it. I’d like to stop having a poverty mindset.”

“Great. So how long have you believed in your state of poverty?”

“Damn! My whole life.”

“Chas, here’s the hard question. If you have spent your life believing in a lack of abundance, and the Spiritual Universe has matched that belief with experience, do you think that saying something over and over again will change your belief?”

He looked at me blankly.

“So here’s the deal. Your life is a reflection of your inner most self, your being. And that being is constructed based on what you believe. Every thought you have emanates from those beliefs and that being. Your life will not rearrange itself by changing your conscious thoughts, which are simply on the surface. You must examine yourself much more deeply. So a mantra is really worthless except to the degree that it is matched with rigorous inner examination. It will make you feel better, but it won’t change the underlying problem.”

I waited for a long moment. Chas could not make eye contact. I could tell he was annoyed.

“Are you interested in doing that inner work? If so, I’d love to do it with you. But to not tell you the truth would be spiritual malpractice.”

He nodded a few times in what appeared to be feigned thoughtfulness. Then he drained his cup of coffee and stood. “I’ll get back to you.”

I’m still waiting to hear from him.

Seeing True

Our being attracts our life.

We interpret and experience our life through the beliefs and perceptions that are a reflection of our being.

Change the foundation, and everything that appears in our life must necessarily change.

Seeing True in Action

If it’s true that life, events, and experience manifest consistent with our inner most self, then everything that arises must be a direct reflection of that which resides most deeply within us.

What then do the facts of my current life say about my being and beliefs?

We cannot be changed without first seeing and understanding that which needs to be changed. We simply cannot let it go without first knowing it.

Updated April, 2018