Why Are We Surprised When We Change Things With Thought?

I was having a conversation with a very good friend recently and he raised an interesting question. “I see it in my life fairly often that what I think changes, or seems to change, events, circumstances and objects in my surroundings. I cannot deny this reality, but I wonder what is the mechanism that brings about such seemingly spooky changes? How is it that what I think changes not just what I experience but the actuality of the world around me?”

Here is how I answered him.

The lines of distinction between consciousness and the physical sciences are being blurred all the time, both by experiment and by experience. It seems to me that the cosmological implications of Einstein’s work have been peeking gradually into view for some decades now and are still not yet fully realized by all but a tiny fraction of physical scientists.

Energy flowing between human hands

If, as Einstein asserted and others have demonstrated, there is only one substantive thing in the Universe and if that one thing must be either matter or energy, then it seems to me to be unarguably true that everything is energy. I say this because it is clearly in the nature of things to evolve toward complexity, at least until they reach some level of complexity where the very intertwingled nature of things causes them to begin to experience entropy. All forms of energy of which we are aware are comparatively simple in their non-structure (wavicles) even though their behavior can be quite intricate. So it seems to me we start with energy which then becomes sensible energy (what we humans then choose to label “matter”).

One thing we are certain about is that when energies encounter one another they can combine or undergo a mutual transformation. Of course they can also have no effect on one another. In fact, if we posit that at the beginning there was only energy (and indeed perhaps only photons in the view of many), the only way for new forms of energy to arise is by the combination of existing forms. This is then not proof but a strong indication that energies influence and change other energies.

Given that, it should come as no large surprise that we can use our energies to transform the energies of things around us. In fact, we do so automatically and unconsciously all the time. When we breathe air, we change its composition. When we pass through a space, we disrupt the energies there — temperature, pressure, wind motion and many others — in largely measurable ways.

It follows, for me, that if everything is energy and if energies have the capacity of modifying other energies when they encounter them, it would be most unusual if we were not able to use thought energy to change energetic entities.

And as if that logical flow weren’t convincing enough for me, my own personal experience — and yours, as you say — demonstrates repeatedly the ability to make conscious choices that change the energies around me. I was once surprised by this. Now I am intrigued by it.

All of this of course sidesteps the question of consciousness, which is also a form of energy and may be the vehicle or the medium through which these energetic transformations flow. But that’s a subject for a different article.

So I think, anyway.

Comments are closed.