Our thoughts are such powerful instruments that they can make the difference between life and death. If you lived in a country where medicine men dress up in feathered robes and deck themselves out with all kinds of bones and fangs and sacred pebbles, you would probably have died if one of them said you are going to die. Voodoo-culture has shown that thought kills.
The difference between this and our culture is only the clothing and the means used by the medicine man. Instead of listening to and believing the curse placed upon us by men in imaginative and colorful dress, we listen to and believe prognoses expressed by men and women in white coats and stethoscopes. Most of them still have an authoritarian conception of themselves as healers.
Let me relate to you another example of the awful power that thoughts possess. I have borrowed it from my study material for “Mental strength and development” that I tell you more about in chapters 9 and 13. The story itself is taken from the film “The Miracle Man”:
One evening, a man who worked for a railroad shipping company was locked inside a refrigerator car by mistake. This happened at the last moment before the car, which was otherwise completely empty, began a trip that would last through the night. Despite the man’s desperate screams for help, his hammerings on the locked door and on the well-insulated walls in this windowless freight car, no one noticed his predicament. The man, not dressed for temperatures as low as those needed to transport frozen products, understood when the train began to move that his last moments were at hand. He wrote a farewell letter to his dear one on the back of a bit of paper he happened to have in his pocket, and then lay down to his final rest on the floor in the corner of the refrigerator car.
His corpse was found the next morning on the train’s arrival at its destination. The man’s death and his letter, in which he described how cold it was in the car, created a great sensation and raised many questions. The cooling machinery, it turned out, was disconnected from the car. The equipment that measured the car’s internal temperature, however, was operating and it showed clearly that the temperature during the trip had remained at a steady 14 degrees above the freezing point, and that ventilation had continued the whole night through. Cold, but definitely not so cold that a person would freeze to death from it in a matter of hours. But in the man’s thought-world the temperature in the car was freezing. His thoughts compelled the functions of his body with such power that they gradually shut them down even though external conditions did not make it necessary!
So the power of thought can both heal and kill. It may well be that many people, out of ignorance, become ensnared in negative habits of thought and thereby in the conviction of illness. What I want is for you to become aware that you can actually choose for yourself.
For me, this insight became so powerful that I remember its discovery as a moment of high drama. Consciousness that it is I myself who choose has given me great assistance in my struggle against Parkinson’s. Why don’t you put this insight to use, too?
Consider the following factors if you are hesitant whether a positive point of view is something you can trust in and into which you can invest your strength. A positive outlook:
can increase your resistance, for example against infections
can cure certain illnesses
will make you feel a lot better, in any case
is even tax-exempt
cannot be taken from you. It is only you who can prevent you from using this power
The choice should be easy when you consider the dismal consequences of the opposite alternative, right?
Should you still have arguments left like these: “I can’t rethink everything! I’m used to my way of thinking! I haven’t the strength! I’m too old!” or some other so-called rationalization or evasion, well, I stubbornly urge you to make one more try at thinking it over. Why don’t you sleep on it? Think positively about tomorrow and let a little time go by. Maybe things will happen that inspire you to try again.
Are you, for one reason or another, entirely opposed to this whole line of reasoning? Well, paradoxically enough, you are going to be as good a prophet of your future as those who embrace the opposite, the positive! But the results will be entirely different.