“WHAT STRANGE BEINGS WE ARE!” noted the 13th Century mystic Rumi, “That sitting in Hell at the bottom of the dark, we are afraid of our own immortality!” Perhaps it is actually the power to choose our immortality, as well as everything from our personal healing to the peace of our world, that truly frightens us!
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that it is us —our consciousness— that holds the key to life and even reality itself! In 1967 the pioneering physicist Konrad Zuse married the ideas of consciousness with modern technology and proposed that our universe works like a massive consciousness computer. And just as every computer translates “Input-commands” into “Output-results,” our cosmic consciousness computer appears to do precisely the same thing! When we translate our deepest beliefs into the reality of our world, we are literally re-writing the code that makes the universe appear as it does.
Living in a Participatory Universe
A series of breathtaking discoveries has given us a powerful new way to think of our role in the universe. Rather than the conventional view that suggests we are passive observers, living a brief moment of time in a creation that already exists, the discoveries suggest that it is actually consciousness itself that is responsible for the existence of the universe! Perhaps the most revolutionary discovery supporting this idea, is the scientific fact that when we look at the stuff our world is made of — tiny quantum particles such as an electron, for example — the very act of us watching that electron changes the way it behaves in our presence. What’s more, the longer we look, the more it changes! In 1998, scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science documented this phenomenon showing that “the greater the amount of ‘watching,’ the greater the observer’s influence on what actually takes place.” (Nature, Feb. 26, 1998) Citing such experiments, Princeton University physicist John Wheeler suggests that we not only play a role in the creation of our everyday world, but we play the prime role in what he calls a “participatory universe.” Wheeler states that we can no longer think of ourselves merely as onlookers who have no effect on the world around us, because it is impossible to simply watch. If we are alive and conscious, then we are affecting our world. “The old word ‘observer,’” he says, “simply has to be crossed off the books…and we must put in the new word ‘participator!” The key to Wheeler’s proposition is the word “participatory.” In a participatory universe, you and I are part of the equation. We are both creating the events of our lives, as well as the experiencers of what we create. Both are happening at the same time! In other words, we are like artists expressing our deepest passions, fears, dreams, and desires through the living essence of a mysterious quantum canvas. The difference between us and conventional artists, however, is that we are the canvas, as well as the images upon the canvas. We are the tools as well as the artists using the tools. And just as artists refine an image until it is just right in their minds, we may think of ourselves as perpetual artists, building a creation that is ever changing and never ending. Through our artist’s palette of beliefs, judgments, emotions, and prayers, we find ourselves in relationships, jobs, and situations of support and betrayal that play out with different people in different places. What a beautiful, bizarre, and powerful concept.
Living from the Answer
From the perspective of us participating in an ever-changing universe, the solution to any condition is a change in attitude and belief. And this is the great secret of propelling our heart’s desires from the possibility of imagination, to the reality of our everyday lives. The key is our ability to feel as if our dreams have already come to life, our prayers already answered, and live from that feeling. There is a subtle, and yet powerful difference between working toward a result, and feeling from that result. When we work toward something, we embark upon an open-ended and never-ending journey. While we may identify milestones, and set goals to get us closer to our accomplishment, in our mind we are always “on our way” to the goal, rather than in the experience of accomplishing our goal. This is precisely why Neville’s invitation to “enter the image” of our heart’s desire and “think from it” is so powerful in our lives. In the ancient studies of martial arts, we see a beautiful metaphor in the physical world for precisely the way this principle works in consciousness. When martial artists choose to break a concrete block as a demonstration of focus, for example, the very last thing in their minds is the place where their hand will touch that block. The key is to place our focus upon the completed act: the healing already accomplished, or the brick already broken. As a student of the martial arts, I was taught to do this by focusing on a point in space that is beyond the bottom of the block. The only way that my hand could be at that point was if it had already passed through the brick. In this way, I was thinking from the completion, rather than how hard it would be to get to the completion. I was feeling the joy of what it feels like to accomplish the act, rather than all of the things that must happen before I could be successful. This simple example offers a powerful analogy for precisely the way that consciousness seems to work. And this is the great secret that has been protected and preserved for us in wisdom of our past. From the monasteries of Egypt and Tibet to the forgotten texts of our most cherished traditions we are reminded that we are part of, rather than separate from, the world around us. As part of everything we see, we have the power to participate — not control or manipulate — but to consciously chart the course of our lives and our world. Please don’t be deceived by the simplicity of contemporary philosopher Neville Goddard’s words when he suggests that all we need to do is to “assume the feeling of our wish fulfilled.” In a participatory universe of our own making, why would we expect that peace, healing, and a long and healthy life should be any more difficult.