Scientists, philosophers, religionists, psychologists and even the ordinary man on the street seem, these days, to be more and more willing to openly acknowledge the power of thought. “You are what you think” is becoming even more popular than “you are what you eat,” and at least some people are taking the time to consider the possibility that life is more subjective than they thought it was.
People who know nothing at all about quantum physics (like me) are familiar with the now proven fact that phenomena changes according to who is viewing it. And yet, with all these hints, most people still don’t bother to try to manage their own thinking, or to consider the effect that the thinking of other people might have on them.
One all-pervasive example that comes to mind are the numerous “breast cancer awareness” campaigns. The name alone should alert us, shouldn’t it? What is “awareness,” after all? One dictionary definition says “having knowledge or consciousness.” So, the obvious result of these campaigns is that they make us think more about breast cancer. Is this helpful? I don’t think so. Also, the color pink is always associated with these campaigns, so when we see pink, we think (consciously or not) “cancer.”
Some might argue that this “awareness” brings in more money for cancer research. But there is no proof that the medical establishment is making any progress in finding a cure for cancer, and is all this “awareness” really worth the price we may have to pay?
It is my settled conviction that these and similar campaigns do more harm than good. If something, anything, is repeated again and again to our thought, we end up embracing it and it becomes part of our mindset. How many jokes do you see on Facebook or get in your e-mail about the so-called unavoidable decrepitude of old age? Do you really think this stuff is funny? I love humor and laughing is one of my favorite pastimes, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to laugh about decrepitude and deterioration and turn it into an inevitable in my thinking and experience.
It is proverbial that people who think the least about negative things have a more positive life experience. Countless old people are in great shape and we could hardly say that every woman gets or will get breast cancer. Why is this so? The medical establishment has all kinds of theories about it, but more often than not people’s mental states are shunted off into the vapory realm of “alternative” approaches to well-being and not taken seriously.
The idea of positive thinking has been around for a long time, but I believe we’re reaching a point in history where not only do we have to be more alert to what we’re thinking and what kinds of thoughts we’re being exposed to, but that it’s time to start thinking of the source of good, healthy, positive thoughts as being universal and spiritual, rather than personal and material.
I propose that we use our awareness to look inward to who we really are and outward to what we really love. Then let’s devote our thought to that instead of wearing pink ribbons that make us think of ourselves and others as perishable and destructible.