The mind is an infinitely powerful tool, but we have only skimmed the surface of what we know about our mind’s ability to heal and empower us
We live in a world where our thoughts are largely viewed as passive, almost inconsequential passages of ideas. These associations are kept in stasis until physically acted upon — mere electro-chemical reactions that tickle our 100 billion nerve cells via the trillion synapses joining them. As biophysicist Francis Crick succinctly put it, we really are nothing more than a pack of neurons.
But what if our thoughts are more than that?
Imagine if every thought you had today shaped the foundation of your reality tomorrow. Imagine what it would mean if, instead of worrying about how much we did or didn’t do or what was done to us by others, we began shifting the role of chief architect and engineer of our lives to our brains?
This is not a wild pseudoscientific conjecture. Nor does this idea imply that by optimising the true power of our brains you will never again have to lift a finger to make things happen in your life.
In the psychosomatic realm of science, we now know that how we think and feel has colossal consequences on our physical wellbeing. By paying close attention to your thought processes and identifying your limited beliefs, past programmed dogma, and latent trauma, you are able to better detect and observe the mechanisms and manifestations of behind-the-scenes processing and thoughts.
This link between thought and outcome — ‘passive’ cause and ‘active’ effect — is subtle but powerful once you shift your complete awareness inwardly.
Many doctors have heard about the intriguing story of ‘Mr. Wright’ who, while hospitalized with life threatening tumors, became convinced that a newly discovered drug would cure his terminal cancer. A few days after administering the miracle cure, Mr Wright’s physician wrote that the tumors had miraculously disappeared. Interestingly, this is not where that story ends. A few months later, after Mr. Wright read that the drug in question had no actual lasting effects, he immediately relapsed. His doctor, curious to study the potential undercurrent of a placebo effect, offered him a stronger and improved version of the drug (while actually only injecting him with saline water). The tumors shrank as Mr. Wright’s faith in the drug grew. Yet, despite going on to live for months in blissful health, Mr. Wright finally read a concluding report confirming the drug’s inefficacy once and for all; he died a few days later.
One could argue that coincidences and randomness were at play with this story, but such placebo-type effects have been heavily recorded in numerous and varied drug studies. A few years ago, a review of randomized controlled trials on the efficacy of a drug for Parkinson’s Disease versus placebos, showed that both had been equally beneficial in increasing the release of a vital endogenous dopamine as well as the subjects’ overall motor abilities.
This study highlighted that when patients were administered with placebos, their minds (and thus belief systems) were systematically aided in the improvement of the functionality of their nervous systems.
The expectancy of wellbeing and healing were found to profoundly affect the brain’s neurochemistry and functioning.
The power of belief has been widely documented and researched (albeit as of yet, without a fully accepted scientific explanation). In recent decades, we have gravitated increasingly towards a more holistic framework of ontological (the study of the nature of being) perception. However, that very framework needs to evolve and develop towards the possibility of a post-materialist ideology to explain how something as intangible as a belief system can affect the health of your body.
Since science is nothing but the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment, the real discovery occurs when we pay attention to the power of our meditative and subconscious mind. Specifically, is our conscious mind derived from our brain or from a primordial awareness of the Self that transcends the limitations of the mind?
In our current climate of physicalism, the physical world imposes the idea that the brain’s more mechanistic functions are what is real. What this view seems to have dismissed, however, is how we have come to discover what we know today. From the invention of microscopes to view particles invisible to the naked eye to the observations made by our scientists, we are perennially evolving our understanding of nature and ourselves to match our conscious experience. But holding onto an absolute presupposition of materialist science halts the development of our next evolutionary shift.
The world we journey in is intelligent and logical, with an insurmountable amount of processes through which everything we know to be true unfolds. Such intelligence cares not for any of our subjective beliefs that we may hold about life — be they religious, social or cultural. Nor does it help us deem things, people, or situations as either good or bad, as one thing or the other. They simply exist.
Until we are able to recreate the power and effects of our thoughts in a lab, the exploration of the true powers of consciousness will remain a singular and subjective venture. But the more we learn about the true nature of our mind, the more we will be able to tap into our innate power to heal, guide, and empower ourselves.
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