Thoughts are Things; Things are Thoughts; This Changes Everything

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Do human beings really think? We are convinced we create thoughts but the fact we cannot very easily stop our thoughts suggests that something else is thinking and we are merely observing, considering, and choosing among thoughts. Otherwise how could we be the creators of thoughts if we do not know how to manage or stop them? They go on and on whether we invite them or not. We believe we create our thoughts but perhaps we do not. No one really knows where a thought comes from or how it was made despite our progress and increased understanding of neurology and studies of the brain. What if the brain actually was not a creator of thoughts? What if in fact it was more of a receiver, a sorter, and a chooser? What if thoughts came from another source, perhaps somewhere within us, but did not originate in the brain itself. What if thoughts were originated in what the Buddhists call big mind, the logos, or the quantum field that contains everything, all thought, all possibilities, all potentials? This is for your consideration.

We know that various creative people from all over the world come up with the same idea at the same time. Does this mean they are all creating the same thoughts or does it mean they are all downloading the same thought at the same time, or perhaps we could say they are all receiving the same thoughts at the same time because it is an idea whose time has come. You can point to the fact that there are many creative human beings that seem to think up new things but there is no proof that they are actually creating these new thoughts. You could just as easily say that they are able to download these thoughts because they are receptive to certain notions.

It is interesting that indigenous peoples have many explanations about where thoughts come from. The Shipibo of the upper Amazon believe that all thoughts are in the air at any given time. They say we catch thoughts, often in the form of songs or designs that we can then use to help ourselves. They say these ideas came from the great Anaconda they call Roni, whose body designs came off its skin to create the world. Many indigenous tribes hold variations of this notion about the origin of thoughts. Some indigenous people believe that thoughts or ideas come from the sun and that the sun is getting these thoughts from the great dark sun in the center of the universe. It seems they are alluding to the giant black hole in the center of our galaxy, so powerful that it sucks in all the light around it and is therefore dark. It seems that all galaxies have such black holes in their centers. Perhaps the Buddhist notion of Big Mind is somehow related to these black holes.

Whatever their source, if we do sort through a constant stream of thoughts made available to us through big mind, then we still need to consider how we choose what thoughts to have and which ones to reject. How do you decide the content of your personal mind?

There is no way to reveal the millions of thoughts that you reject but these often determine your character, the fact that you are not an axe murderer means you have rejected those thoughts. But why? Why did you reject those thoughts while someone else let them in and believed in them? One answer is that how you sort is determined by soul age, by your basic values, by your experience and gained wisdom and maturity. You sort thoughts for love or for hate, for peace or for war, for acceptance or rejection, and so on. These thoughts then manifest into your life story, what you are, how you behave.

Now you may not feel you are responsible for your thoughts and if you are not responsible for how you think, then you do not feel responsible for what happens to you. You think of yourself as a victim of circumstance, a victim of your own thoughts. Are you really a victim? Yes, if you think you are, but this of course is a grand illusion and is a powerless stance. If you identify with your small self then you are a cork in the ocean, subject to the random vagaries of the world around you. If this is your position then you won’t ever feel secure or safe and you are subject to anxiety, fear of what could or might happen. This is not a very attractive way to live yet many have chosen this path.

Now let us turn to what people can do with the thoughts they download. Certain individuals make it their life path to choose thoughts that powerfully influence and reshape their world and the world of others.

The intensive training of shamans around the world underscores that thoughts are things. Novice shamans are taught to select a thought they want to strongly intend, sharply focus on, and then manifest into physical form within seconds. For example they are taught to focus on mental darts that they can project into an animal they are hunting or another person they want to harm. They practice by projecting mental darts at twigs up in a tree until they break the twig with an intention, a thought.

By the same token through visualization they can reduce and disappear tumors or growths in a person’s body, travel great distances in the blink of an eye, or literally grab a lost part and return it to the persons psyche making them whole again. Shamans are known for their ability to disappear, relocate, talk to plants and animals, reshape the weather patterns, all through thought. I have seen shamans dance on red coals and not be burnt, lift impossibly big weights, drive steel knives into themselves and remain unhurt, pull a bloody tumor out of someone’s body with their fingers, suck out virus and bacterial infections with their mouths without being harmed themselves. I have heard from others about shamans doing much more outrageous things as a result of their thoughts of intention, traveling to the stars, welding broken bones together, creating whirlwinds to suck out the life-force, and so on.

For shamans the world over, thoughts are things, thoughts travel, thoughts manifest things, thoughts influence physical reality in immediate ways. Thoughts allow them to do seemingly impossible things. So, it is quite clear that thoughts are things and we should treat them not as simple brain activity but as truly powerful forces that may have far reaching consequences. Not taking thoughts seriously has led humans to allow themselves to be overly vulnerable to hate and destructive intentions. The old adage, Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is not necessarily true. Words backed by harmful thoughts can hurt a great deal if delivered with intention and focus. They can actually make people sick. On the other hand focused thoughts expressed through words can heal as well.

Things are thoughts

Now let us look at the converse of the idea that “thoughts are things,” “things are thoughts.” This puts a whole different spin on the notion. If thoughts are things then of course the things originated with a thought and therefore are solidified thoughts. That means that as we look around ourselves we are confronted with a world of thought. We are just not used to seeing the world in this light. Everything we see, touch, and experience is pure thought at its source and even though things are solidified thoughts, they are moldable, able to be influenced, and able to be overridden by even stronger thoughts. This harkens back to the old saying, “Mind over Matter” which should really say “Mind over Mind” because as the Buddha told us, it all really is just mind, Big Mind and Little Mind. Big Mind includes all thoughts and Little Mind downloads thoughts that it chooses from Big Mind.

If things are thoughts then we can shift the weather with our thoughts, call in the rain or send a storm away from us, ask the wind to abate or the cold to lift. We can mend bones, reduce a fever, remove a tumor, open eyesight, lift a depression, calm an anxiety, stabilize psychosis, and accomplish many other seemingly impossible feats of healing.

If my body is a thought or rather a collection of thoughts, then it is amenable to influence and change by stronger thoughts. If my body is just a thing, then I am stuck with whatever goes wrong unless I find the right medication that may or may not cure the symptoms, and will probably give me a load of side effects, some that might kill me. I prefer seeing my body and other people’s bodies as a thought because it gives me huge alternative options for healing.

What about prayer?

We now know through many definitive studies that prayer actually works to help people heal and recover from a variety of maladies and illnesses. We also know from studies done that the better someone knows another person the stronger the healing influence, and the longer the prayer the more efficacious the result. What does this suggest? Do prayers work because we petition a higher being to help someone we love and care about? Perhaps, but maybe there is another reason that prayers work so well. Maybe it is intense, intended, focused downloaded thought that helps to heal them, because it influences the thought that is their body to return to its most ideal form. The person prayed for accepts the idea and voila, they are healed. This happens every day. Perhaps this higher being that is petitioned says, “Hey, you are capable of doing this yourself! You don’t need me to do this for you. Don’t be so powerless and expect me to do everything for you. I will watch and encourage you as you use the powerful thoughts I have provided you to heal them. You were created with these powers and now it is time to use them.”

Here is another story that exemplifies what I am saying here. After WWII surveys were taken to find out why certain individuals survived and others did not. The researchers examined everything they could think of to discover the secret and they even examined the fact that some soldiers had mothers praying for them, and others who had no mothers, or whose mother’s did not pray for them. To their surprise they found that the tens of thousands of soldiers whose mother’s were praying for them returned in much higher numbers than the soldiers who had no one praying for them. How does one explain a finding like that? Of course the mothers represented every major religion and in many cases no religion at all so we cannot conclude that it was someone’s particular idea of God that made the difference. Jew’s whose mother’s prayed for them came home in greater numbers just like Protestants or Catholics whose mother’s prayed for them. The success appears to be that they all had at least one important person who cared about them who was praying for them and thinking strong thoughts over time that their sons would come home safely. These thoughts were obviously doing something to protect them.

Many other studies have been done regarding long distance viewing through lead lined walls and many other obstacles. In all cases a person’s intention to see and view something at a distance has been validated. These are studies involving nothing more than thought, nothing else was involved, no physical movement, no use of other technologies, nothing. Thoughts can do things, thoughts can travel, thoughts can influence, thoughts can change what happens in the physical world because after all, the world is made of thought.

So the studies about prayer merely support the ideas expressed throughout this article. Thoughts are things and things are thoughts and anything can be influenced by focused, clear, and persistent thoughts, because there is nothing that is not a thought. Even if you don’t believe this you can’t very well refute all the evidence from scientific studies that validate it. You will have to come up with some other explanation. Meanwhile, enjoy your thoughts, or should I say the thoughts that you are currently downloading. Since you have the freedom to download any thoughts you want, you might as well download beautiful ones that uplift you and make you and others happy. After all the thoughts you download are thoughts that, passing through you, alter reality in myriad ways. In the end you are not just a downloader. You are an alchemist as well, acting as a catalyst, shaping the world by focusing on the thoughts you choose to download.


José Stevens

José Luis Stevens, PhD is the president and co-founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru. In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power, Awaken The Inner Shaman, The Power Path, Secrets of Shamanism, Transforming Your Dragons and How To Pray The Shaman’s Way.

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You may make copies of this writing and distribute it in any media you wish, so long as you do not charge for it or alter it in any way. You must credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. While the text may be shared, no audio files, including lectures, music and/or sound meditations, may be posted on any site for any reason without written permission from the Power Path.

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