A week ago, a Yale University neurologist, Steven Novella, published a two-part blog-post titled Can Thinking Change Reality? It is an interesting read. He is a professional. He boasts of a solid scientific background. He brings a new perspective on table, which is good.
Steven’s post is not a research article. His write-up is a response to an article 10 Scientific Studies That Prove Consciousness Can Alter Our Physical Material World which claims belief alone can alter reality.
Steven has a solid academic background. His arguments are impressive. But that does not mean, I agree with him.
Does belief affect the physical world?
I am a firm believer that belief does change the reality. Do not take me wrong. Let me explain.
Just because you are thinking that your bills have been paid, it does not mean the gas and electricity will not show up at your door next month. Those extra pounds are not going to disappear if all you are doing is believing that you are fit. No, I do not think belief alone can magically pay your bills and make that extra fat vanish. So, in a way, Steven is right.
So, you may be thinking, why I think belief and intention are powerful forces that affect the physical world.
The answer – I have seen it work. And I am not alone. We have all witnessed the enormous power of intention and belief. And we have not seen it once, but many times.
Is it confusing? Probably. Let me try to reword.
Belief does change the reality
Steven says belief does not change reality. He says what we think have no impact, whatsoever, on the world around us. I think he is wrong. I think the way we think does have an impact on us and the world around us – the physical world.
In one of his books, public speaker Anthony Robbins talks of experiments where people’s eye color changed and the physical marks disappeared because they strongly believed their eyes were of a different color and the physical marks were not there.
I have not read the book entirely. I cannot independently confirm the studies Anthony talks about. If anyone is interested, they can read Giant Steps: Author Of Awaken The Giant And Unlimited Power.
Back to our argument.
Does belief change physical reality, or not?
Where is the proof?
Open your history books. They are full of people who transformed themselves and changed the physical world around them because they believed, because their intentions were strong as stones and could not be swayed easily.
Martin Luther King, Jr., believed.
How many people do you think told Martin Luther King, Jr that the state of affairs in America could not be changed? There must be many. Yet, he stayed firm in his belief. He did not give up his intentions. The rest is history.
John Kennedy believed.
When John Kennedy announced in the 1960s that America ought to be on the moon before the end of the decade, he had only his belief with him. No one, in the million year long human history, had flown to the moon. And here was this man. He was not a rocket scientist. He was not an astronaut. He was a believer. His intentions were strong. And we all know what happened. America went to the moon.
Will it work for me?
What I am getting at is that your strong belief may not make you fit, or pay your bills. But that does not mean, belief is powerless.
If you really believe you can lose 10 or 20 pounds, you will put in more efforts and consequently get more effective results.
If you really believe you are good at math, you will solve more problems, study harder and excel.
If your intentions are unswayed, you will make progress.
It is in this way that belief is a strong force which can affect the physical reality.
As for the supernatural powers that are attributed to the belief – spoon bending, flying, and others – I have only one thing to say – let’s wait until there is conclusive evidence either way.