Image by Colin Behrens

Because time moves only forward and all life processes are nonlinear and include choice, the future is not fixed, and therefore not knowable. But it can be influenced or even created to a certain extent.

Do Thoughts Have Power?

In New Age culture and weekend self-help training, it’s been popular to employ aphorisms such as “think only positive thoughts,” “be careful what you pray for,” “you create your own reality,” “matter is just a dense thought,” and the like. But do any of these notions have any valid­ity? In my opinion, they’re somewhere near the target. But they need to be more carefully examined.

Too much of our human thought is tantamount to snow on the television screen. Our brain creates energy pulses, which we experience as information. Thought is simply information coming to the screen of con­scious awareness, and being aware of information doesn’t, by itself, do anything but allow one to know what one is resonating with. It doesn’t kill Schrödinger’s cat.

It does little good to attempt to suppress the neg­ative and overlay it with sweetness and positive thinking, if troublesome thoughts keep surfacing. In this case we merely sublimate a problem that will likely surface under stress. We must accept responsibility for our thoughts, whatever they are; they are ours alone to manage. If we don’t like them, or they aren’t productive, we can and should change them. Meditation helps. But if we really can’t, then professional help is in order.

Are “What If” Scenario Negative Thinking?

Thorough and careful thinking pays off. The concept was ingrained in me from childhood through my career with NASA. It is really quite an amazing phenomenon that practicing patterns of con­scious activity causes the subconscious to then habituate those patterns of thought.

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A major portion of my training in the space program had to do with “what if” scenarios. What if this goes wrong, or what if that component fails? These mental exercises were, in a sense, negative think­ing. By contemplating in this manner, we could reveal what components of a system were likely to fail. This was a necessary intellectual process we had to engage in. But did they promote failure? Of course not.

This is no more negative than checking the weather to see if an umbrella is needed, and then checking the umbrella to see if it has a hole. We were simply becoming aware of dangerous situations and potential problems, then preparing to handle them should they occur. The inten­tion was to create success and avoid failure. By intending to be pre­pared, and then following through, virtually impossible situations were salvaged by concerted planning and action.

It is the intention behind action that’s important; the rest is just mechanics. The systems we were most concerned about seldom failed—it was those we were complacent with that caused problems.

Does Contemplating Potential Failure Beget Failure?

A popular misconception holds that merely contemplating potential failure begets failure. Of course, this too is false. Though failure-mode analysis has been successfully applied to organizational problems as well as mechanical problems, commercial applications are difficult to mar­ket due to this bias. Only in Idealist models could such casual mental activity have this effect.

It is true, however, that if one is stuck in nega­tivity, viewing every situation in light of why it cannot possibly succeed, then one likely cannot succeed under these circumstances. By reinforcing ideas and giving them additional energy, one is impelled in the direc­tion of the idea.

Your worldview is precisely defined by the ideas and memories contained in the subconscious, which directs the course of conscious thinking. Phobias are excellent examples. When dwelling in the ego level and below, fear is magnified and one is propelled toward situations where the things we fear most are present at every turn. One best learns to overcome irrational fear by facing it directly, discovering that it is but a shadow that vanishes in the light of understanding.

Practicing Emotional Detachment

It’s quite possible to take the positive-thinking idea to extremes and to float through life in a bucolic haze. Life has its trauma and heartache, its pains and sorrows, and nothing is gained by glossing over unpleasantness.

The most successful formula for dealing with the negative aspects of living comes from the skilled mystic who practices emotional detachment from the vicissitudes of life, maintaining amused vigilance over both success and failure in equal measure.

By gaining such control, they gain control of their lives. They understand we are all engaged in the seemingly eternal cosmic game of creating a universe through trial and error, and learning from mistakes or unwanted outcomes.

Copyright ©2023. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission.

Article Source: From Outer Space to Inner Space

BOOK: From Outer Space to Inner Space: An Apollo Astronaut's Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds
by Edgar Mitchell.

book cover of From Outer Space to Inner Space by Edgar Mitchell.The sixth man who walked on the moon shares his journey to the stars, into the mind, and beyond.

In February 1971, as Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell hurtled Earthward through space, he was engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness. He intuitively sensed that his presence and that of the planet in the window were all part of a deliberate, universal process, and that the glittering cosmos itself was, in some way, conscious. The experience was so overwhelming, Edgar Mitchell knew his life would never be the same.

From Outer Space to Inner Space traces two remarkable journeys -- one through space and one through the mind. Together they fundamentally alter the way we understand the miracle and mystery of being, and ultimately reveal humankind’s role in its own destiny.

Previously published as The Way of the Explorer, this edition includes a new foreword by Avi Loeb, an afterword by Dean Radin, and a postscript chapter by the author.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.

About the Author

photo of Dr. Edgar MitchellDr. Edgar Mitchell (1930 – 2016), a graduate of MIT with a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics and captain in the Navy, founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences. As an astronaut, he flew as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 14, where he landed on the moon and became the sixth person to walk on its surface.

He spent thirty-five years studying human consciousness and psychic phenomena in the search for common ground between science and spirit.