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How Things Happen


            If I were given the opportunity to share only one secret with a daughter, or a client, or a reader about how the Universe works, it would be the one that I have had the most difficulty learning myself.  It is a secret that eluded me through most of the years of my life, and my not comprehending it has been the source of the greatest amount of struggle over all these years.  Yet when realization of this truth about how the Universe works finally came to me some time back, it came with absolute certainty. 

            As before, my invitation to you is not to believe what is about to be shared with you simply because it is in print.  You are only invited to embrace the possibility of its truth and then observe the unfolding of your life for evidence.  Observe very consciously your thoughts and the emotions that drive them, then watch for the events that manifest in your life. In time, with careful observation, you will discover that you are literally manifesting your own reality.  We are not just talking about your perception of things, but also the manifestation of things themselves! 

Where Tradition Meets Experience

            The deepest teachings about our existence of every spiritual tradition describe us as being spiritual, or energetic, beings first and as physical beings second.  As such, we are taught we have access to the highest powers of the Universe flowing through us, yet our culture continues to put God “out there” as this Somebody who rules over our lives, based upon what we do “down here.” .  In the best case scenarios of such perceptions, this “outside God” offers us lessons in the events of our lives as consequences for our behaviors.  In the worst case scenarios, our God observes and judges our actions, then dispenses punishments or rewards accordingly.  The rest of us either tend to perceive an impersonal, clock-work universe God who lets events go where they may, or a cause-and-effect universe scientifically explained as an endless series of random events. None of  our popular cultural interpretations of how things happen to us is correct.

            This perception really departs from the deepest intentions of our scriptures, leaving us with less inclination to take responsibility for our actions.  Instead of our seeing ourselves as co-creators, we tend to see ourselves either as victors or victims, depending upon how things “out there” go for us. In reality, we are neither.  We are now realizing how important it is for us to take responsibility not just for our outer actions, but for our thoughts and emotions as well.

            What we are all coming to discover, is that this traditional way of interpreting the higher influences behind events in our lives is not only inaccurate, it leads to some of our greatest suffering. If we don’t learn which actions on our part are causing our suffering, we are bound to repeat those actions and then wonder why our lives are still not working.  

The problem is that most of us are lost to discover the actions that originate our suffering. Our Western culture does not encourage us to interpret the intangibility of thought as being action. We like to say, “We think, and then we act.” Yet, thinking is acting because thinking is something we do at a more refined, yet powerful, level of energy than acting at the physical level. Thought only appears intangible to us because our culture restricts the definition of “action” as being something we do, or that happens, outside ourselves. In our culture, we hold ourselves accountable for what we do in the tangible world, not what we dream or think about.  If we are willing to entertain the concept that thoughts are actions that we take, then we would be open to considering that thoughts are things that can impact the “thing” level of reality.   

            So, many of us have thoughts that we think are inside us and a concept of a God that we think is outside us.  Our traditional culture makes it incomprehensible that God would manifest through us in thoughts that can manifest outside us.  So, unaware that our thoughts are actually actions that impact outer reality, we wonder what happened when something painful or wonderful hits us seemingly out of nowhere.  We wonder how we could “deserve” such an event or person in our lives. This brings us to discovering the secret of how things happen in our lives. 

How We Create Our Own Reality 

            The secret of how things happen is that we are literally creating our own reality from the stuff of our thought and emotion.  As individuals, and as a community of beings, we must come to realize that thoughts are things and that we are manifesting our own reality! From the Eastern traditions, we have heard that the outside world is a physical reflection of the inside world of thought - that reality mirrors thought - and reality is therefore the grand illusion. From the West, we get, “As above, so below.”  But what is the actual, experienced truth in these teachings for us? 

            Thoughts are things and the emotions behind thoughts are the force that drives, or attracts, the events that come into our lives.  Our will is best defined as the intensity of the driving or attracting emotional forces.  Our emotional forces are composed of the various emotions that make up our characters and shifting moods.  These are literal, highly refined energies or vibrational frequencies, of which our physiological emotional functions are only correlates to the true emotional energy.

            We manifest events into our lives by virtue of what we think in accordance with the nature and intensity of the emotions behind our thoughts.  The greater the intensity of the particular emotions behind our unique thought patterns, the more powerfully we manifest corresponding events into our lives.  The physically intangible emotional energies behind our thoughts are what drive those thoughts into physical manifestation. 

It’s Not about Punishment – It’s About Learning, Sometimes the Hard Way  

What we most love, or most fear, or most hate, even most desire, we can expect to see eventually manifesting to some degree in our physical lives.  Thus, we literally attract what we most need to learn as well as what will most give us the joys and lessons of having our desires and fears fulfilled. Through this, we overcome our fears, overcome our perceived limitations, transform our hates into love, and realize the deeper meanings behind getting what we want – or not getting what we want when fear exceeds desire. This is the awesome elegance of how things manifest in the Universe at the level of our daily lives. This is what teaches, or grows, us. This is how the process of Grace actually works.

            The nature of the Universe (or God expressed through creation) is to sustain us, unconditionally.  This Grace begins with our every breath, with every beat of our hearts – ever offering to unfold itself according to how we choose to perceive and react in this reality. It gives to us in direct proportion: not only to our needs, our joys, our desires and our dreams, but also in direct proportion to our fears, our hates, our dreads, and our sorrows. This is how we learn, individually and collectively – when we take responsibility for our part in this creation. How else would we have opportunities to work through our perceived limitations to meet our ultimate potential?


Granville Angell   © 04/2007


Granville Angell, EdS, LPC, NCC: local counselor and author of The God-Shaped Hole – A Story of Comfort for The Child in All of Us.  Read his prior articles at www.transitions-counseling.com; contact him at TRANSITIONS: angell(AT)transitions-counseling.com, 704-276-1164.


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