Excerpted from The Quest
When we are talking about thoughts and ideas in the mind, we're talking specifically of the subconscious mind, the level of the mind which automatically carries out the orders given to it. Who or what gives these orders to the subconscious mind? We do, with our conscious, directed thinking.
We program our subconscious minds with what we accept unchallenged from television, for instance, and the world in general. "Now that you're 35, you have tired blood." "If you don't use this deodorant, you won't be as popular." "We're in a recession; times are bad." It is the responsibility of the conscious, rational mind to decide what it accepts, retains, and dwells upon. It's an immense responsibility.
We hit a snag here, however, because too often we abrogate the responsibility of our conscious minds. We let all kinds of negative, destructive, erroneous ideas come flooding in unchallenged. It's as if the conscious mind were a gatekeeper, or a filter, but we indiscriminately open it up to whatever flotsam and jetsam come floating by! All of the stale beliefs of the human race about age, the false idea that wars bring peace, the negativity spouted all around us by people who don't know its destructive power ... things like these can come pouring into us if we don't keep our filters in place.
Whatever the conscious mind allows in goes directly to the subconscious. If we are constantly and persistently letting in and entertaining destructive ideas, how can our actions be constructive? The subconscious is where the power lies. Whatever is consistently and persistently held there goes on to become expressed in our lives.
Jesus understood how the subconscious mind works when He taught that whatsoever you desire, when you pray, believe you have received it. It is in the subconscious that our real beliefs and emotions reside. Although He taught the law of mind action two thousand years ago, Jesus' teaching is timeless (as are all of His teachings). What He said was that it is the belief that creates the pattern by which the subconscious mind brings forth visible form and structure. In other words, what has been consistently and persistently held in mind so that it has taken root and has an emotion attached to it, that is what's created.
The power of the subconscious mind is a phenomenon which cannot be overemphasized. Every deep-seated conviction, expectation, and emotion is going to eventually translate itself into the tangible world. At this point in our human understanding, we may not yet be fully cognizant of how this process works, but we do know that it does work. For example, through the study of psychoneuroimmunology, it has been documented that strong thoughts and emotions metamorphose directly into hormones and chemicals in the body. These chemicals directly influence our health. Thoughts and emotions determine not only our physical health, they establish our total life experience. We can use our thoughts to make changes in our lives.
This is transformative knowledge, because it means if you take on new beliefs and new ideas and new feelings about things, they cannot help but be reflected in your life. You have been given a free will. You have been bestowed with the God-given ability to affect your own life experience. Your thoughts are the generators of such changes. And that has to be absolutely sensational news!
Before we move on to the Adventure in the Activity Book, there are a couple of points that have to be covered. The first could very well be in answer to a question you're asking: "If my thoughts and feelings make my world, does that mean I had been thinking 'car crash' before I had that accident?" Or, "Does this mean I've been dwelling on cancer?" Or, "Could my thoughts and feelings have caused my son's death?"
The answer to each of those questions is "yes" and "no." No, we don't necessarily draw specific events into our lives although, yes, it can happen with enough focus and concentration. However, through the power of our thinking, we are continuously drawing kinds of events into our lives. In a sense, our thinking creates the framework. The types of ideas and feelings attract similar types of experiences. In fact, not only do we attract them, we create them.