In last month’s article we talked about some of the paradigm shifts that have occurred throughout our history. There have been many: from a flat earth to a round planet, from travel by land and sea to jet planes and rocket ships, the list goes on.
What’s interesting about a paradigm shift is that the potential or principles underlying each advancement were already in existence from the beginning of time but weren’t yet in our awareness. Gravity existed although it wasn’t discovered until the mid-1600s by Sir Isaac Newton. The earth has always been round but was believed to be flat until early Greek scholars in the fifth century BC postulated that it was a sphere. Scientists from Louis Pasteur to Alexander Fleming saw the possibility of fighting bacteria and creating safe sterile conditions.
The same is true in the case of a paradigm shift regarding thought. Thought has always existed, man has always “thought.” We all think from the moment of birth until death. For centuries there’s been reference to the power of our thinking. “As a man thinketh so he is” occurs in scriptures and in many philosophical writings. So what is changing now? What in fact is the “shift”?
This “shift” is in our understanding of thought and how it functions. For this insight we are grateful to Sydney Banks who realized the principles underlying our moment-to-moment experience. His epiphany revealed the relationship between mind, thought and consciousness. Mind, the formless universal energy behind all life takes form as thought, our ability to create images. Consciousness is the capacity to bring those images to life through our senses, that is, through feeling. As we recognize that with every thought we have a feeling, our awareness is heightened. When we have the “aha” insight that our thinking is creating our moment to moment experience we realize that literally we’re “feeling our thinking.” We can see that what we’re feeling is not the result of outside circumstances but rather the result of a thought. Life is, in fact, an inside out experience.
This new perspective on thought allows us to recognize that new thought is always available. It’s not a question of positive thinking or of struggling to replace a negative thought with a positive one. It’s instead simply a matter of knowing that the thought will pass, of having faith in our resiliency and innate wisdom that promises us a different experience if we will simply let the thought flow.
As we become more accepting of our role as the thinker we gain more perspective on our experience and can calmly accept that a mood or a feeling will pass and a new thought will pop up. Through our personal experience our awareness and understanding deepens and we become less gripped by a thought and the feeling that accompanies it. It is simply our experience of thought. Regardless of the feeling or the thought behind it, it’s always “the principles in action.”