By Frank Conerton
Many teachers such as Ernest Holmes (Science of Mind) and the many contributors to “The Secret” all teach that we create the world with our thoughts and beliefs. Even quantum physicists say that our observation affects the creation of matter. This thought is very powerful and supports a quintessential quality of humanity – free choice.
Confusion arises when we apply this thinking to large world events like hurricanes, tornados, natural disasters. I heard someone say that the people of New Orleans brought hurricane Katrina to their city. This kind of application of manifestation gets difficult to understand and believe. It fits more into biblical thinking that wicked people brought on God’s wrath through their evil actions. If you use a superior being as the active force, then this is not a human power at all. This becomes about an ability to barter with a superior being. As Ernest Holmes says, manifestation is about scientific principles. Either I create the world with my mind all the time, or not. If this is a scientific principle, then it works all the time, not randomly, or only on Tuesdays, or only if we eat vegan. How do we clarify the issue of what we manifest and what is beyond our control?
There is a notable difference between the changes I try to bring about by changing my thinking, such as health and abundance, love and joy, and the big occurrences like hurricanes and natural disasters; I can see my influences and contributions to my current situation, but I do not see my contributions to Hurricane Katrina. To look at it a different way, I try to change my personal, subjective environment by changing my thinking. Those things which are beyond my influence are part of a larger objective world. So I started using the idea of a personal world that I do affect with my thoughts and beliefs.
I know from my experiences that we all have our own unique perceptions. When my ex-wife and I went to a party and later talked about it, it seemed like we must have attended two different parties, our memories were so different. I also know that after talking to my sisters about our childhoods, it sometimes seems like they grew up in a different family than the one that I remember. We each have our own unique perceptions.
We also have different connotations for the words we hear. We can listen to someone speak and take away very different meanings from the speech than another person. Or I can walk down a busy city street and have a very different experience than another person walking a few feet away from me. Since I prefer quiet country with few people, a busy city street is oppressive, very crowded and noisy. A real urbanite experiencing the same street scene, which was oppressive to me, would be energized and comfortable. He would feel the country quiet to be oppressive.
So my personal world is the set of all my unique experiences. We may sit side by side with another person, but still have very different experiences, memories and stories about the events that happen around us. Our personal world overlaps everyone else’s personal worlds and they all exist within the larger objective world which existed before human beings existed and operates through its’ own rules.
The twelve step program uses a serenity prayer that says “…grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change, the courage to change those things which I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” My personal world contains all the things that I can change. The larger objective world contains all those things which I cannot change. The 12 step prayer says acceptance is the best response to the larger, objective world.
I cannot manifest summertime. I can accept that in another six months summer will start again, or I can decide to move south where it is warmer or I can simply accept that winter is here and dress and act appropriately. If I simply accept a steady decline in health and function because I am a senior citizen, then I will steadily decline in health and lose abilities and functions. I will have given my power to control my life over to others, the infamous “they” who know all. In fact, I am healthier at 66 years old than I was at 55 years old because I decided that I am responsible for my health.
My personal world contains all of my choices. No matter what happens in the objective world, how I respond is my choice. My personal world also contains all of my thoughts and emotions. What I pay attention to and which emotion I feel is my responsibility. Thoughts may pop up in my mind, but I choose whether or not to pay attention to them. My personal world contains all of my subjective history. The actual event may be part of the larger world but my experience of that event is part of my personal world.
Adopting this idea of a personal world helps clarify all of the manifestation principles. I do not manifest the objective world, but rather I manifest my experience of that world. As I release some thoughts, ideas or “understanding”, some contents of my personal world can change as a result. Where, before I changed my thinking, my future only held gross morbid obesity, it now holds good health. I released the thought that “money was the root of all evil” and was able to become content and respectful of all that I do have.
We manifest our personal world out of the larger objective world through our understandings, beliefs, thoughts, words and actions. Our mind is like a microscope (or telescope) through which we see the larger world. When we change our focus by changing our thoughts, we see different things.