Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly interested in the power of positivity to shape reality. I was pretty skeptical of it all at first, thinking it was too woo-woo when people would talk about the Universe and manifestation, all starry-eyed.
But I hadn’t tried it, and what if it was worth exploring? What did successful entrepreneurs and women who seemed to have it all possess that I didn’t?
With the help of my life coach, I’ve put my full energy and vision into certain things in my life and have found that they have a tendency to come true. I’ve looked back on my life and realized this is a trend.
When I was in high school, I’d visit Newport Beach in California and dream of living there one day. The same happened when I visited the campus at UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) for the first time. I loved it so much that I put all of my desire into going there, and when acceptance letters went out, I received one from UCSB. Years later, I moved into a modest beach house in Newport Beach that would shake without provocation, and had a kitchen the size of a thimble. It wasn’t fancy, but I loved it, and more importantly, it was in Newport, where I’d dreamt of living.
Back in my cubicle days, I imagined quitting my job and making a new career traveling the world and working for myself. That happened, too.
Things I really didn’t want, but obsessed over, also happened. It’s almost like by focusing my energy on the wrong things, they came true, too. The lens I wore then was how I saw the world, and whether positive or negative, I created the capacity for these things to happen, and the universe responded in kind.
To some, that’s God answering prayers. While I don’t believe in any kind of monotheistic god (but I don’t care if you do, and you shouldn’t care what I believe, either!), I do believe in science, and there’s a clear explanation for this within the realm of neuroscience and quantum physics. We do shape our realities, and the Universe, through our intention, energy, and actions.
This is what we know so far:
The Law of Attraction
Let’s start with the Law of Attraction, which states that both negative and positive thoughts and feelings bring negative or positive experiences into our lives.
How is it that those who radiate happiness seem to have everything going for them, and when things get bad and people wallow, things get worse and worse?
I think we can all agree that everything we experience, and ever have experienced, has taken place within our own consciousness. As Sir John Eccles, a famous British neurologist and Nobel laureate, said, “I want you to realize that there exists no color in the natural world, and no sound – nothing of this kind; no textures, no patterns, no beauty, no scent,” [without being perceived].
We choose how we see things, and studies show that the way we perceive things as positive or negative directly impacts our satisfaction with life. Of course, shitty things happen to good people, but it’s paraplegic athletes, and leaders who emerge from years in a cell to lead a nation to freedom who show us that anything is possible. It’s how we view it that makes it real.
Perception is Reality
When we think about the Law of Attraction, it really goes way beyond just positive thinking. This is what those in spiritual circles often call ‘manifesting’, but it turns out, imagining success helps us create the capacity to achieve it.
Neuroscientists Demis Hassabis and Eleanor A. Maguire at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology at the University College London have found that “the ability to construct a hypothetical situation in one’s imagination prior to it actually occurring may afford greater accuracy in predicting its eventual outcome.”
It makes sense. If I couldn’t have seen myself successfully building a business, then I wouldn’t have been able to do so. Just like millionaires can’t get there without first believing that it’s possible.
Perception, my friends, is reality.
The Universe is Participatory
Maybe you’ve heard people reference the ‘Universe’ as giving them signs, or ‘having your back’, and I know how that sounds. Bill Nye, Amy Schumer, and the girls from Broad City do a good job of parodying it here:
Let’s be honest, just wanting things to happen and not taking action won’t warrant any reaction, but we do create our own reality, and what we do does impact the Universe in more ways than we likely realize. It turns out, the Universe is participatory, and we can impact it with our thoughts, feelings, and actions. At least, this is what quantum physicists have found.
Now physics is not exactly my specialty. Once I started reading about the discoveries being made, I wanted to know more and asked my mom and brother, both physicists (this family gene uncharitably skipped me) if they could explain it all to me. My mother confirmed that everything has an energy field, and my brother lamented that ‘theoretical physics is really hard’ and both urged me to take interest in the study findings without having to understand the equations behind it. This will probably save me much anguish and toil in the long run. You too?
Enter J.A. Wheeler, a scientist-philosopher who established the concept of wormholes and black holes. He made extraordinary contributions to the field of physics including the theory of a participatory universe. His experiment of splitting light particles found that the behavior of the photons changed after observation. Previously, the assumption had been that light particles always behave in the same way, but he found that simply observing them made them behave differently.
Additionally, an experiment by scientists Poponin and Gariaev in Russia in the 1980s found that photons would mimic human DNA when both were inserted into a vacuum. Prior to inserting the human DNA, the photons moved about the vacuum at random. This is referred to as the DNA Phantom Effect. These experiments make a strong case that we impact our environment more than we realize.
Our Powerful Impact
We also deeply impact each other with our moods and energy. Two separate studies found that human DNA expands or contracts according to emotion. The first study separated a sample of DNA from a donor before researchers used various stimuli to elicit different emotions from the donor. The separated DNA sample actually responded to the emotional stimuli at the same time as the donor, contracting with negative emotion and expanding with positive emotion.
A second study isolated a white blood cell from a donor, and once again, emotional stimuli were presented. Scientists measured the electrical charges given off by both the donor and the white blood cell, finding that the white blood cell responded to the stimuli in the same ways and at the exact same times as the donor. The researchers even separated the participant and the white blood cell sample by 50 miles to see if the results would be the same, and they were. These studies show that DNA physically responds to our emotions and even continues to respond when separated from the human body by significant distances. Perhaps we are even connected to our DNA beyond time and space, some argue.
And since photons mimic human DNA, which expands when exposed to positivity, the participatory Universe makes even more sense, at least to me.
Still with me? There’s one more study worth discussing that relates to quantum entanglement — meaning that particles very far from each other, even on opposite ends of the galaxy, can be so related, that one can affect the other. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Glasgow witnessed and photographed quantum entanglement. They split entangled pairs of photons by shooting the pair at a beam splitter. One half then shot to the left and passed through four phase filters, the other half continuing straight without passing through any filters. (Basically, one half was the experimental group and the other half was the control group.) The “experimental group” — the group that shot sideways and passed back and forth through the filters — was found to behave the exact same way as the “control group,” or the half that did not experience any kind of influence.
By normal scientific standards, one should have behaved differently than the other; however, the behavior was identical between both groups, and there is no classical explanation as to why. Therefore, the results point to another system that modern science has not yet been able to understand: quantum entanglement. There is no reason that the control half would have experienced the same phase changes that the experimental half did, as it did not pass through the four phase filters like its partner did. Yet, the imaging set-up recorded the two photons behaving the exact same ways at the exact same time, the images matching up perfectly. The experimental photon somehow had an effect on its entangled pair that no other scientific influence could have had.
Now if the Big Bang theory is true, then everything in the known Universe was, at one point, consolidated to the size of a pea. Doesn’t that mean, then, that everything is connected? And if everything is connected, and our intentions and emotions affect our DNA which in turn can affect particles in our Universe, then is it possible our personal growth and positive thinking is farther reaching than we can even grasp?
It sure seems like it to me.
And look, it’s not like anyone really needs all this explained who has put stock in the power of manifestation, because you’ll know that it’s true, just as I’ve found throughout the years. But since I need phenomena to have an explanation, I’ve found comfort in learning about neuroscientific discoveries, and those made my physicists that are much smarter in the left brain than I.
But it seems to me that where we put our intention matters more than anything else we do. This is why some people manage to travel, even on minimum wage, as single parents, or from countries where it’s uncommon. This is how some people seem to get it all, because they believe they can do it, and then they do.
When we expand, grow, become more self-aware, and loving, we share that positivity with everyone we come into contact with. Given this, it’s our duty to spread positivity, to love ourselves, and to love our planet. We are more powerful that we think, and maybe, just maybe, a lot more impactful.