We all live our lives in two different realities. Simultaneously.
Inner reality. And Outer reality.
Outer reality consists of events, places, material things, etc., etc. This reality is very familiar to all of us. It’s what we know as the physical world.
Inner reality consists of thoughts, beliefs, ideas, etc., etc. This is a mental reality. For some it’s a familiar place, and for others it’s like the concept of water would be to a fish. It’s all pervasive. To the extent that it’s existence isn’t ever contemplated.
These two realities exist independent of one another. But they are intimately connected. And they affect one another.
Something happens in the physical world. Perhaps you drop your phone and it breaks. This is an event in outer reality.
But what happens next?
Perhaps it was a new phone. You think about buying a new one, but you realise that it will be very expensive. You calculate. Can you afford it? You regret being so clumsy with important things. Or perhaps you worry about how you’re going to call your friends later.
All of that happens in inner reality, and all of it happened as a result of an event, dropping your phone, in outer reality.
So outer reality affects inner reality. We all know and experience this interaction between outer and inner reality every day.
However, what the majority of people are still unaware of is the extent to which inner reality affects outer reality.
Take the placebo effect, for example. A person with an illness is given a sugar pill and told by a trusted doctor that this pill contains powerful medicine that will undoubtedly cure them of their illness. They take the pill and they are miraculously cured of their illness!
But the pill contained nothing but sugar.
How did this happen?
They were cured because they believed they would be cured. Their beliefs (inner reality) changed the state of their physical body (outer reality) and cured them of their illness.
Simple. But profound beyond words.
The placebo effect has been proven hundreds of thousands of times, over and over again, in hospitals all around the world, every day. And yet this paradigm changing truth remains largely unrealized by the majority of people.
And it isn’t just the placebo effect. There are other examples, some more controversial than others. But the point remains.
The placebo effect proves that thoughts are real forces. Like electromagnetism or gravity. Thoughts affect physical reality, just like any other force.
And that leads to a life changing conclusion.
We cannot control outer reality. Many things happen that we would stop from happening, if we could. But they happen, even if we don’t want them to. Like dropping and breaking a new phone. Or losing a job.
But. We. Can. Control. Inner. Reality.
It isn’t easy. There are countless distractions all around us. And the human mind does not like being disciplined. Try thinking of nothing for one minute. You’ll quickly find yourself thinking involuntary thoughts. The mind is not good at being quiet. It’s as if the mind is running on autopilot in its never ending pursuit of thought. And often it’s not in our best interests.
But it is possible to train the mind. To think thoughts that support what we really want.
We cannot control outer reality directly. But inner reality affects outer reality. So, if we can control our thoughts, we’ll have some measure of influence over the physical world.
There are no guarantee that certain repetitive thoughts will bring about certain circumstances. The placebo effect is mysterious. Which is perhaps why it isn’t yet celebrated for what it is. (Considering the implications of the phenomenon, even its name is somewhat derogatory.)
But it makes absolute sense to strive for control of the inner world and leave outer reality to take care of itself.
We cannot control what will happen tomorrow. But we can control what we think about tomorrow.
And that is about as much control as we’ll ever have.