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One of Edgar Cayce’s popular sayings is, “Thoughts are things.” I like the expression because it so succinctly encapsulates the Cayce philosophy. It literally and metaphorically makes the process of creation concrete. Thoughts give birth to deeds. Thoughts give birth to the life we experience every day.

The concept is easy to understand but sometimes difficult in the application. Part of the problem is that we are not always aware of the thoughts we are putting out and are therefore surprised by some of the “things” we meet in our daily experiences.

Sometimes we struggle with our spiritual growth and can become discouraged. My discouragement comes from the knowledge of my spiritual potential and my difficulty in attaining that potential. The more I realize what an amazing being resides at my core, the more I perceive the gap between that amazing being and the person I am currently pretending to be.

I know, as you do, that all I have to do to become that amazing being is change my thinking. But if I am unaware of the thoughts that are causing difficulties in my life, what can I do? And if some of those thoughts are coming from my unconscious or, heaven forbid, from my past lives, am I doomed to continually create stumbling blocks?

Pay Attention

One obvious and ancient answer to that question is to pay attention to our thoughts. Buddhism urges us to “Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention.” Christ exhorted us to “Take no thought for the morrow.” Worrying about the future (or the past) is one way that we put out negatively creative thoughts. Simple awareness of our thoughts can go a long way toward helping us understand why we are experiencing certain things in our lives. The other thing we can do is deliberately think and speak positive thoughts. This is the power of affirmations.

Affirmations can be very effective for projecting positively creative thoughts, thoughts that can turn into positive things in our life. But our conscious affirmations can be limited or sabotaged by contrary thoughts of which we are not aware.

For example, one woman I talked to was doing a special chant. This chant was supposed to heal just about anything in one’s life. She was using the chant to try to lose weight but was unsuccessful. I asked her how long she had been doing the chant and she said, “Ten years.” I would have quit after two weeks.

The reason our affirmations aren’t always successful is that we are often, without our awareness, doing disaffirmations all day long. Our daily thoughts are nothing more than a form of self-hypnosis. Our spoken words are also self-hypnosis. If you affirm that you are a child of God for five minutes every morning and then affirm that you’re a “schmuck” throughout the rest of the day, the schmuck affirmation is going to win out. Affirmations can be effective but we need to be aware of the other suggestions and disaffirmations we are projecting all day long.

How can we recognize the creative thoughts and words that are causing us to stumble when we want to be running toward our spiritual goals? As usual, the answer is simple.

Things are Thoughts

If thoughts are things, then everything we encounter in our life is a solidified thought, so things are thoughts. If we do not know what creative thoughts we are putting out, whether they are invisible because they are habitual, or unconscious, or from past lives, all we have to do is look at the things in our life.

What kind of things am I talking about? To understand the things that our thoughts create and how we can understand what they are telling us about our thoughts, it can be helpful to look at our dreams.

I believe that the various parts of a dream, whether animate or inanimate, represent parts of the dreamer. Our dreams give us little dramatizations that reveal important information about how we’re doing in our lives at the moment. They try to tell us who we are while also telling us who we think we are. Dreams draw from our past, our past lives, our present, and our future. They also draw from the divine and our unconscious.

To put it another way, dreams are “things” created by our thoughts, conscious and unconscious. Dreamwork is designed to help us understand what thoughts, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, expectations, etc., are operating in our lives and causing us problems or limitations. By correctly interpreting a thing in my dream, I will understand what current thoughts are creating that thing. Then I have the opportunity to change that thought or belief.

What I am suggesting is that our entire waking life experience is exactly the same as a dream. The things we meet in our waking life; people, places, and experiences, are all solidified thoughts. If we want to know what thoughts we are putting out, all we have to do is work with our waking life, including people and experiences, as if it was a dream.

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