At the Center of the Circle


© Lois Greenfield

THE uplifting adage “attitude is altitude” aptly pinpoints how the power of positive thought and intention affects every aspect of our lives.

“For decades, scientists have tried to test the power of prayer and positive thinking, with mixed results,” writes NPR National Desk religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty about a study on the science of spirituality.

“Now some scientists,” she writes, “are fording new, and controversial territory.” In an area of esoteric inquiry which is sometimes called Mental Alchemy and/or Metaphysics, a lot of thinkers over the ages have stated the idea in various ways.

The conviction that the thoughts one thinks are the great determiners of the content of one’s life, inspires  many to forge on despite difficult life circumstances.

Ancient wisdom traditions maintain that thoughts are actual things, and that one’s thoughts are the result of an unalterable universal law called “Cause and Effect,” and will manifest themselves at some point in one’s life.

The law of Cause and Effect can also be described as a law that says, “For every action, there is a reaction.”  Since thoughts are actual things, and since thoughts are also actions, it means that the thoughts will invariably cause a reaction that will result in a manifestation of those thoughts.

Zen Samurai

“Sow a Thought, Reap an Act;
Sow an Act, Reap a Habit;
Sow a Habit, Reap a Character;
Sow a Character, Reap a Destiny.”

– Upanishads

Placebo vs. Nocebo

In medicine there is a little understood power call the “placebo effect” that refers to health benefits produced by a treatment that should have no effect, (i.e. a sugar pill instead of a medication.)

“Patients experiencing the nocebo effect experience the opposite,” Brian Reid explains in a revealing Washington Post article, (click here to read and download a .pdf copy of this informative article):

“…they presume the worst, health-wise,” Reid says, “and that’s just what they get.”

The “nocebo effect” [Latin for “I will harm”], placebo’s evil twin, is hard at work undoing our health and well-being, without our conscious knowledge.

It is our Herculean karma, wisdom teachers say, to “master all the mental changes” in ourselves inherited from past lifetimes. This task is described by The Voice of the Silence [Fragment III], that we must “slay the army of the thought sensations that, subtle and insidious, creep unasked within the Soul’s bright shrine.”

Get Control

Our subconscious thoughts and images are the main drivers holding the steering wheel of the car, explains frontier biologist Bruce Lipton. This is the piece left out and it explains why visualizations and the power of “positive thinking”often end up disappointing us.

Thought Meds

“But convincing doctors that their patients’ problems may be more than biochemical is no simple trick,” writes Brian Reid. “The nocebo effect is difficult to study, and medical training leads doctors to seek a bodily cause for physical ills.”

This effect of thought on well-being, is the classical karmic formula found in the teachings of all wise teachers down the ages.

Buddha was clear on the effects of thought with these words in The Dhammapada: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts.

If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought happiness pursue him like his own shadow that never leaves him.”

No Worries

Take the power of thought and attitude to the extreme, and imagine being born without arms or legs, as Nick Vujicic was. Nick has no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life?

A unique young man Nick Vujicic has an urgent message.  “His humorous antics, honest approach, and heart-warming affirmations are helping to bring hope to millions of youth, children and adults in Australia and around the globe.  You will be moved and motivated to live life to the full, and never give up!”

The Chinese sage Lao-tzu’s simple but powerful “Tao Te Ching” had a profound influence on Eckhardt Tolle, who then shepherded the ancient healing philosophy into mainstream awareness in his book “The Power of Now,” and subsequent writings and lectures.

“The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.”

Tao Te Ching (29)

(by Lao-tzu, from a translation by S. Mitchell)

Future of Medicine

“If you think you have an incurable disease,” explains The Living Matrix movie, “you are right. If you think your problem is curable, then you are also right.” The placebo effect “is really another way of talking about the body’s self-healing capacity,” says Rupert Sheldrake, “and anything that unleashes more of that is going to be a better system.”

Your Brain On God?

NPR

March 26, 2012

“New research suggests that spiritual thoughts and prayers have an enormous effect on a person’s ability to heal or stave off disease,” says the NPR Article. “Called “psychoneuroimmunology,” the idea is that thoughts affect your body.”

“But now scientists,  including those at the National Institutes of Health,” the report says, “are engaging in research to uncover whether a person’s thoughts can affect another person’s body. Centers around the world are tackling prayer and healing in a revolutionary way.”

The Love Study

In the documentary “The Living Matrix”, the president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, Calif., Marilyn Schlitz, explains “The Love Study.” In this experiment, two people who share close personal ties are placed in separate rooms, and one is asked to think intensely about the other person.

Scientists then watch for physical evidence that one subject’s thoughts might be affecting the other. [A Scene From ‘The Living Matrix,’ Copyright 2009, Emaginate. Credit: Maria Godoy, Brian Cordyack, Erin Killian and Barbara Bradley Hagerty / NPR]

Final Conflict

The practical application of Theosophy’s core teaching about the ‘dual mind’  is easily understood in the Persian [Iran] characters of Ormuzd and Ahriman.

“The deadly strife between spirit and matter, between light and goodness and darkness and evil,” began on earth, Blavatsky says in her article Thoughts on Ormuzd and Ahriman, “with the first appearance of contrasts and opposites in vegetable and animal nature.“

The warfare “continued more fiercely than ever after man had become the selfish and personal being he now is. Nor is there any chance of its coming to an end before falsehood is replaced by truth, selfishness by altruism, and supreme justice reigns in the heart of man. Till then, the noisy battle will rage unabated.”

Blavatsky then approvingly quotes J. Darmesteter, a translator of the Vendidad: “The world, such as it is now, is twofold, being the work of two hostile beings, Ahura Mazda, the good principle, and Angra Mainyu, the evil principle; all that is good in the world comes from the former, all that is bad in it comes from the latter.”

“The history of the world is the history of their conflict, how Angra Mainyu invaded the world of Ahura Mazda and marred it, and how he shall be expelled from it at last. Man is active in the conflict, his duty in it being laid before him in the law revealed by Ahura Mazda to Zarathustra.

“When the appointed time is come, a son of the lawgiver still unborn, named Saoshyant (Sosiosh) will appear. Angra Mainyu and hell will be destroyed, men will rise from the dead, and everlasting happiness will reign over all the world. “

Healing Quest

Shiva as Nataraja, the lord of the dance

Shiva as Nataraja, the lord of the dance


10 responses to “At the Center of the Circle

  1. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    wonderful post…it reminded me of the”What the Bleep”?
    good video’s…I enjoyed the wandering and listening to your thoughts here…
    Thank you for sharing so much
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

  2. What a wonderful reminder — “We are the results of our thoughts.” Yes.

  3. This is a wonderful posting, TW, thank you very much. The quote from the Upanishads is such a great reminder, so easy for the mind to imbibe the idea of how our thoughts evolve and manifest in the physical.I have found that even people who don’t really have much of a spiritual or metaphysical life like it, gravitate to it, get it, it’s such a gift. Also, I think it is easy to get entangled in our own particular karma, but our beloved HPB also makes crystal clear, what we are and always have been working with, the two great opposites, and that, ultimately, we are presented with the simple choice of choosing good over evil, no matter how complex our karmic situation may be. But the quote from Lao-tzu is really wonderful, shows how a really evolved soul, a Master, makes the choice beyond the pairs of opposites, what a hard thing to do! Easy to get caught up in one or the other, but I think maybe this is what is meant by or at least points to the Biblical phrase, “the Peace that passeth understanding…” It seems to give us a break and yet demand more of us, all at the same time. Love and Peace to all, NAMASTE.

    • I’ve always liked this from The Living Matrix movie: “If you think you have an incurable disease, you are right. If you think your problem is curable, then you are also right.”

      I would also reinvent the popular saying to read: “We ARE human beings having a spiritual experience, and we also ARE spiritual beings having a human experience.”

  4. Please change my email to teresa@teresa4yoga.co.uk

    thanks

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