Chapter Four: The Power of Belief

Chapter Four:

The Power of Belief

“Objective reality” continually forces us to think in terms of cause and effect because in most cases everything we experience has a physical cause. For example, I recently planted several dozen flowers in my back yard. The flowers didn’t plant themselves. So when we think about “creating reality” we understand that cause and effect are rules of the game here. Unfortunately, we all too often fall into the belief that cause and effect are the ONLY way things can be done and we end up struggling to make progress in limiting ways. Theoretically, if I could change my belief I could sit in my patio sipping iced tea while enjoying the beautiful spring weather and the flowers would be there without me having to do all that labor.

At first we may believe such a thing seems impossible, but there are practical ways to achieve seemingly impossible outcomes when we begin by changing our beliefs. In this case the goal is to have flowers growing in my yard without me having to the labor involved in planting them. The flowers didn’t plant themselves, but I could have hired someone to plant them and they would have“magically appeared” from my perspective. A simple change of belief creates a new reality with practically no effort on my part.

Money is metaphysical power in this dimension. It enables the almost effortless creation of many pleasurable conditions and experiences. If you have enough money, in many situations all you have to do is tell someone what you want and it becomes a reality. The cause and effect process still operates but with the work being done by others. Knowing money is power, we seek to acquire money, but we tend to forget the power of belief and end up struggling to make money thru our physical labor and life becomes more difficult. Cause and effect will always be involved, but our beliefs determine how easy or difficult it is to make money, or to achieve any other goal we might have.

For example. How long do you believe it would it take before you could be living the life style of a millionaire?

I think most people would say it would take many years, perhaps decades, or conclude that it seems impossible to ever achieve. You are looking at your beliefs in action when you attempt to answer this question. You believe you are being honest with yourself, being practical and objective, using your best judgement while imagining all the cause and effect conditions you believe would be involved. You think about the skills you have, or need to acquire, and how long it would take to apply them in order to live like a millionaire. Many people might conclude that the reward would not be worth the effort so they would decide they don’t need a million dollars, that a simple, comfortable life would be more rewarding. These conclusions, which will affect the conditions you experience for the rest of your life, are based solely upon your beliefs, which are completely intangible ideas, and for most of us those ideas have been limiting.

I want you to be as honest as possible and ask yourself that question: What is the least amount of time that would be required for me to be living the life of a millionaire? Please do this before reading further.

Your answer directly reflects your beliefs. You may think it reflects the facts of reality, but I am about to point out that “the facts” are limited by your beliefs, by the ideas you believe are true.

You could fall in love with a multimillionaire tomorrow and have all the benefits of that lifestyle instantly. You could invent the next “must have” little trinket and license the rights for a million dollars up front within a few weeks. You could create a song just by singing it, find a musician to help record it, and it could go viral and make millions in just a few months. You could win the lottery, etc.

Events like this are possible in the physical world. Events like this HAVE happened. You may believe such things are not possible for you, but that is just a belief, an idea. If you can grasp what was just demonstrated, how changing a limiting belief becomes possible when you seek happier, easier, more rewarding alternatives, you will understand the awesome power of belief.

Simply changing your mind can change your entire life.

You must be absolutely honest with yourself in order to grasp the truth of how your beliefs determine the conditions you experience in life. One must be rational and objective, and do your best to apply critical thinking. In order to truly know something there must be no doubt, and it is impossible to eliminate doubt if you have not eliminated all other possible explanations. That is why reason and objective thinking are so important. The flowers CAN appear in your garden without you having to pull the weeds and plant them. You CAN live the life of a millionaire tomorrow if the right circumstances appear. Anything that is physically possible can be made to occur as quickly and easily as you can honestly KNOW that it can.

These observations prove, without doubt, that one’s beliefs directly influence future experience by creating limitations or inspiring possibilities. There is nothing “magical” or metaphysical about this. Limiting beliefs create very real limits regarding what is possible in your experience.

“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” you might say. “I understand it is physically possible to win the lottery, but that isn’t going to happen to me.”

You do not know for certain that you are not going to win the lottery, so concluding you will not win the lottery is just a belief, a very convincing belief. We do not believe we can walk through walls or shape shift to become someone else, or perform telepathy — until the evidence convinces us otherwise. Unfortunately, we act upon limiting beliefs as if they are facts of reality and as a result we experience a reality where our limiting beliefs appear to be true, which simply reinforces those beliefs.

You must use your imagination to free yourself from limiting beliefs. As a creative person, I understand that imagination is not something created by conscious awareness. When writing a song I do not use logic to tell me which sequence of notes to play. Instead, I just mess around playing random patterns until I hear something I like, then I ask myself where the song wants to go from there. It is as if the song already exists and my job is to have the focus and patience required to let the song write itself. The role of the conscious mind is not to do the actual creating, but to chose what is to be created.

In the same way, we can be more effective at “creating reality” if we free ourselves from trying to control every detail of our lives with our conscious thinking. It can be helpful to imagine that in the same way a song seems to already exist in some other dimension, many wonderful events are waiting in your future. Anything you desire already exists, and your job is not to make it happen, but to simply discover the ideas and actions which will connect you to the desired experience.

Feelings follow thought.

First you think

and then you feel

what kind of thought you’ve got.

All of us have a built in guidance system to help us understand the quality of our thinking. First we think, then we experience an emotional reaction to that thought. If the thought makes us feel uncomfortable or unhappy it is an indication that there is a better, more life affirming way to think about the subject. Abraham describes this as guidance from our inner self or Source energy. I am more inclined to think in less esoteric terms and consider this “guidance system” as just the way thought and emotion work together, but Abraham is right. We ARE Source energy.

How you feel at any given moment is a direct reflection of your current beliefs. A general guideline is that one should always strive to think thoughts that make you feel good. When you find yourself feeling less than good it is likely that your thinking involves negative beliefs, and negative thinking is almost always avoidable.

A subconscious belief is an idea which is taken as a fact of reality and therefore no doubt is involved. The idea that walls and trees don’t move is a subconscious belief. We acquire these beliefs as children as our brains interact with the laws governing the nature of physical reality, and as we get older we also accept beliefs about reality from our parents and others. The end result is a world view which tells us what is or isn’t physically possible. Changing these subconscious beliefs requires new evidence which completely convinces us that our previous beliefs were incorrect or at least incomplete.

Western medicine operates almost exclusively on the principle of physical cause and effect. Nearly all cures are accomplished through the use of drugs or surgery. One of the problems encountered when testing the effectiveness of a new drug is the placebo effect. On average, 30% of people given a sugar pill but told it is the real drug recover just as well as those given the actual drug being tested.

The placebo effect is an example of the power of belief to affect physical reality. A fascinating study regarding the placebo effect is described in a PBS podcast of the Hidden Brain program. ( 180 people requiring orthoscopic knee surgery were divided into 3 groups of 60. One group received the actual surgery, another simply had their knee joints flushed with a saline solution, and the third group were put to sleep in the operating room but only had the usual tiny incisions made in the skin around their knee. Great care was taken to insure that those receiving the placebo operation experienced the same conditions as the people in the other two groups.

The results of this experiment are astounding. Every group experienced the same level of improvement regardless of the procedure they underwent. The surgeon conducting the study concluded that surgery is unnecessary.

That same program describes another study where people with irritable bowel syndrome were told outright they were receiving a placebo, yet many recovered after years of pain and discomfort. The study lasted 3 weeks, and one woman reported how her symptoms returned when she stopped taking the sugar pills. Two years later she was given the placebo pills again and her symptoms disappeared just as before. On a conscious level she knew the pills were inert, but her subconscious belief, which was created by going through the medical “ritual” of tests and visits to the doctors office, affected the cure in spite of her conscious understanding. Eventually she no longer needed the sugar pills and fully recovered.

A deeply hypnotized person, when told a hot iron is about to touch her arm but is instead touched with an ice cube, can form a blister on the skin in that location.

For ages, shamans and medicine men have cured people using ritual alone, by effectively changing the person’s subconscious beliefs. I have a friend who cures terminal cancer patients by insisting they and everyone they live with eat a diet of exotic natural foods with sometimes rather unpleasant tastes. She believes the foods have healing properties, but admits that the procedure is designed to change the subconscious beliefs of her patients and their families — and it works for nearly everyone willing to stick with it for a few months.

Countless people have been healed through spiritual healing traditions throughout history.

When I was an adolescent my friends teased me for being a “pretty boy” so I told myself I wanted a rough complexion like the tough guys in the movies and a week later my face suddenly broke out in zits. Mission accomplished. My brother who was 4 years older used to beat me up all the time so I told myself I wanted to be just a tiny bit taller than him so I could beat him up, and I ended up being 1/4” taller. By then he had moved out and I had learned how to avoid getting into fights.

In all these situations the physical body was altered through nothing other than belief.

You can tell yourself you believe something till the cows come home but nothing will change until the belief is changed on a subconscious level. To accomplish this there must be no doubt.

At this point the evidence provided should be enough to convince you that the condition of your body is a direct result of your subconscious beliefs. The “theory” is that your subconscious beliefs are responsible for the “outside” conditions you experience in life in the same way. In order to move the law of attraction from being a theory in you mind to a fact there must be no doubt. Most of us can find examples of “coincidences” in past which resulted in our getting something we wanted, so taking the time to search your memory for such events is one way to dissolve your doubts. If you look at your list of things you are grateful for you may find a number of situations where your positive beliefs led to success.

What we truly want to do is decide to make something happen where the correlation between what we choose to believe and the resulting experience is undeniable.

In order to truly know that the law of attraction is a natural part of human existence you will need to decide what you want, then make it happen. It helps if you can learn how to focus your attention using meditation and contemplation.