The Thinker

Summoning the (minor) powers of The Force

One of the crazier theories out there is that reality isn’t all that real. We live in sort of a Matrix-like world, only, I hope, a happier version than the one Neo discovered when he took the red pill. The mind has power over reality, the theory goes, and we can shape reality simply by concentrating on what we want to happen. Then somehow it mysteriously happens.

It’s not necessary to smoke something or take the red pill to experience this world. In fact, it’s arguably quite mainstream. Most people call it praying. Somewhere in the world right now is at least one group of Buddhist monks, but probably dozens of them, meditating on world peace. Maybe that’s why we haven’t gone nuclear since Nagasaki. Lots of people believe in karma, both the good and bad kind, and spend much of their day practicing good karma. This includes smiling at strangers, taking time to smell the flowers and helping old ladies across busy streets. Then there is Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, which I learned about way back in 2004 when I saw the very strange movie What the Bleep Do We Know? (It turns out it was a movie financed by friends of Ramtha’s school.)

I’m the product of an engineer. If you know any engineers, you know what they are like: sensible, realistic, imperturbable types and certainly not prone to superstition or belief in the supernatural. In fact, we love to debunk these experiences. Engineers build bridges that never fail because they adhere to the known factual rules of physics. Consequently, I too am evidenced-based. I am spiritual but not religious, at least in any traditional sense. I take more faith in a large bank account balance than I do Jesus’s monition not to worry about the future, but to act like a bird. While I am intrigued by metaphysics in general, it’s been more a theoretical interest than something I’ve tried to put into practice.

Until recently. Lately I have been dabbling in, for a better word, The Force. No, I am not wielding any light sabers. But I have tried the power of positive thinking lately and I have been amazed by the results. Alas, I haven’t been able to use positive thinking to achieve world peace. But I have been able to use it to get better parking spaces.

No, I’m not kidding. It’s getting freaky. I have made a point for the last few weeks when I drive to some place of business to think, “I just know I am going to get there and a close in parking space will be waiting for me.” And when I get there I pull into the row and my close in space is waiting for me! Yesterday, I hit two stores. First, before I set out I decided there would be a close in parking space at the local BJs when I got there. When I pulled into my usual row, sure enough, the very front space of the row was open. I just drove right into it. When I walked in, the lines at the registers were pretty long. I told myself I would not have to wait in a line. When I pulled my full cart toward the checkout, a guy who wasn’t quite ready gave me his spot, next in line at the cash register. The lady ahead of me was just leaving as I started putting my items on the conveyor belt.

I then decided I didn’t want to walk far to get into my local Wegmans, so I decided there would be a close-in space waiting for me there as well, which seemed improbable as Saturday afternoons is their peak time. There are often cars circling the parking lot waiting for a space, kind of like planes circling Atlanta in a holding pattern. I usually park downstairs on their deck because it is too crowded on the main deck, so I went there without thinking about it. And I pulled into the first aisle and the second space was open.

This was just yesterday. But I have been using the power of positive thinking for about a week now. When I forget to tell myself that I will mysteriously find a close in parking space, I end up somewhere in the back with the masses. When I do remember, I drive down the aisle and my spot is waiting for me.

There appears to be limits to these powers, but it is happening with such freaky regularity that I would be scared if I was not grinning all the time. Could it have been this easy all along? I simply think what I want and somehow the universe will magically order itself to my satisfaction? Alas, I can’t seem to think my way to a fortune, but I haven’t seriously tried it yet, so maybe it would work. And I can’t part traffic like Moses parted the Red Sea. I get stuck with the rests of the crowd.

So my theory is that this phenomenon only works for small stuff, like convenient parking spaces. Why? Maybe it is because we all have this power, but we don’t believe it exists, and it only happens for small stuff no one really wishes for in an earnestness, like a close in parking space. It may be that too many of us expect the traffic to be bad, and that’s why it is, and that’s why I experience bad traffic too. I am just one mind of many projecting fears and concerns, and there are tens of thousands of drivers all around me also expecting traffic to be bad. So I can’t move those sorts of mountains. But the small things, like parking spaces, or front row center seats, or expecting bananas at half price, those sorts of things seem to happen simply by expressly wishing them to happen. Maybe it’s all serendipity or maybe because I am pushing the future with my unfettered and optimistic mind they just seem to happen.

It also doesn’t happen to people I know or care about. I guess this is the equivalent of praying, but there have been times in my life when people close to me have been in great mental or physical stress and have prayed/meditated/put out positive thoughts to relieve them of their pain. (“You will get well!” I will wish.) That never works. I can’t seem to change others through positive thinking.

The problem is that most of the time, I forget. I don’t mind walking from the back of the parking lot. In fact, I prefer it for exercise. So I don’t think to place a psychic reservation ahead of time. When I do, at least recently, I’ve had a better than eighty percent chance of having my wish delivered.

The hard part is turning off my engineer’s brain and simply letting the thought flow freely, with sincerity, conviction and absolute faith. When I can do this, it works. When I think, this is ridiculous, I am a skeptic it stops working. It’s like the left side of my brain seizes control and suppresses the right side.

So I am not sure how long this will last because intuition and faith are scarce commodities within me. But for now I am sailing a little more conveniently through life.

Try it and let me know if it works for you too.


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