by Dr. Revathi Bingi
Dr. Revathi Bingi, a psychologist practicing in the U.S., explores the impact on our physical and spiritual health of having positive thoughts -- until the point arrives at which we can master our minds sufficiently to have no thoughts at all!
The power of thought is adamantine. Thoughts outlast the human body. Thought waves radiate very much like heat waves, radio waves and light waves. The thought waves are the cause of man’s joy or sorrow, health or disease, birth and death. The potency of these waves has to be understood by man . . .
~Sathya Sai Baba
Thoughts are things. They are energy, and energy and matter are one, as captured by Einstein’s formula, E = MC2. Any thought that is fed emotional energy gets bigger and more powerful -- meaning what you focus on will grow. You nurture whatever you choose to give your attention to. As Madam Blavatsky, of the Theosophical Society, said over a century ago, every time we have a negative thought, literally there is a dark cloud that is formed over our head drawing away energy from us. Any subsequent negative thought makes this cloud bigger and stronger, sapping away all the energy from our bodies. Many intuitive people have actually seen this phenomenon happen.
One television advertisement uses this archetype. It depicts a little animal who is depressed and who has a dark cloud over it. The animal is running hard trying to escape the cloud but with no success, until it is given the advertized medication.
Similarly, when my son, Harish, was in first grade and occasionally did not want to go to school (as children sometimes feel), the first thing he used to say when he woke up in the morning was, “Mommy, I don’t feel good, my tummy aches, my eyes hurt, I do not want to go to school today.” I always thought how interesting it was that at age five he would first talk about the feelings and then report a physical pain. These are common things that children – and even adults – say. At some level, we may be intuitively or unconsciously aware of the mechanisms of nature.
Carolyn Myss, a medical intuitive and mystic, says that according to energy medicine, we are all living history books. Our bodies contain our histories: every detail of every event and relationship in our lives. As our lives unfold, our biological health becomes a living, breathing, biographical statement that conveys our strengths, weaknesses, hopes and fears. Every thought we have had, traveled through our biological system and activated a physical response.
Some thoughts cause a reaction throughout the body. A fear, for instance, activates every system of our body. The stomach tightens, heart rate increases and we may break into a sweat. A loving thought can relax our entire body. Some thoughts are more subtle and still others are unconscious; but every conscious thought, and many unconscious thoughts, do generate a physiological response.
All our thoughts, regardless of their content, first enter our systems as energy. Those that carry emotional, mental, psychological or spiritual energy produce corresponding biological responses that are then stored in our cellular memory. In this way our biographies are woven into our biological systems, gradually and slowly, everyday.
We become what our thoughts are, Baba teaches us: “As is the feeling, so is the result.” (the Vedas) To use an illustration from psychotherapy, there are well-documented case histories of people with Multiple Personality Disorder where in one personality the patient has insulin-dependent diabetes and in another personality, the same person has no trace of diabetes. Similar cases exist with drug allergies and other conditions. Study of such cases makes us realize that there is some higher principle of “mind” that exists, and when that changes, physical changes follow.
What properties could affect this higher principle, the mind? According to Dr. Susan Kolb, M.D. the two areas that appear to be important are the thoughts and emotions of the individual. Though some people discount the effect of thought and emotions, since thoughts and emotions have no physical substance, psychosomatic medicine has long suspected a link between these more ephemeral entities and disease.
To take another example, the thought that ‘I am better than my brother’ sets up a certain vibration, which then affects the emotional body. Usually the imbalance within the emotional body is that of the alternating feeling of superiority and inferiority. This imbalance in turn sets up an imbalance within the physical body, usually in the region of solar plexus or abdomen, for it is within this center that issues of personal power have their effects. Once the spiritual lesson of oneness has been learned, such thoughts of superiority are no longer generated and the friction of inferiority/superiority within the emotional body ceases; finally the symptoms of the stomach upset or pain dissipate.
In Multiple Personality Disorder, an individual’s mind is split due to severe emotional trauma at a very young age and as a result, during times of crisis, other personalities in the individual come out to cope with the situation. These personalities may or may not be aware of each other in the individual.
The picture above is a classic example of how full our mind is with different thoughts if we are not careful. No wonder we get a headache sometimes when there is an overload of thoughts. To answer this Baba says, Thinking good thoughts is better than thinking bad thoughts. Not thinking, unless there is a necessity for it, is better still. No thought ever gets lost. Even if the other person has done something bad to you, let it go, and send light. Withdraw from it. It is better to withdraw from people who repeatedly fall into the same mistake, without passing judgments. However, they can be neutralized by light. That is why light-meditation is important.
Always there is learning from an experience, either negative or positive. Oftentimes we face Judas-trap-like betrayals which are more for our benefit, because we would not have moved on in our lives to another chapter but for that betrayal. Also, obviously, we are put in a problem situation to learn a lesson.
We all have negative feelings, but not all negativity produces a serious physical illness. To create disease, negativity has to become the dominant emotion. In some ways the spread of thought forms can be compared to the spread of bacteria or viruses. Like viruses, not everyone who is exposed will come down with the dis-ease. Some people have natural immunity in the form of good thoughts and feelings, light and love, or constructive work.
As we build each “thought form” through the energy generated by our thoughts, and the fuel of our emotions, we find ourselves the creators of our own illnesses. By changing the thought and emotional patterns we can avoid becoming victims of disease and faulty genetics. Mindfulness is paying attention to our thoughts and being choosy about which ones we feed. We are not our thoughts. Often when these unhealthy thoughts come, especially the ones that we do not like, we can practice taking a step back and focusing on letting this thought pass by, without getting into the emotional aspect of it. Once we add emotion to the thought, it can become a harder battle.
Triumphing over these thought forms is simple, but not always easy. ‘We’ do own our bodies, and our thoughts do not, aside from the power that we give them. So taking back our power and reclaiming the territory of our real Self, is a choice. As Baba puts this, Master your mind and become a mastermind. Asking Baba to take them away to the light is often all that is required. We need to do this again and again with our thoughts. Such trust in God is like a muscle that gets stronger with exercise.
Other ways to master our thoughts include:
If we pay attention to this process, we can notice that whenever we try to increase our energy or vibration, we get distracted by the fears or worries that may be coming from these thought forms. Higher vibrations are poison for these thought forms. If we become more aware in these ways, then their hold on us is over. As our vibrations increase, either through bhajans, chanting slokas or participating in sathsang we become a less ‘hospitable’ environment for them.
Therefore, my dear friends, let us triumph over these negative thought forms and be clear-hearted, resulting in happiness, good health and long lives. If we do this, we can have enough time to grow spiritually as much as we can in one lifetime.