Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reimagining Myself. . . or Life as a Mad Scientist

Okay, I've already confessed in a small way that I've read and appreciated the book The Secret and I promise this won't be one big commercial for the book and method that some scorn as overly simplistic and others label a mind-cult.

But, it's started me thinking. It's an interesting proposition: Consciousness, the mind is the most powerful thing in the Universe. And we humans are only now beginning to understand the power of it. The reason I'm so drawn to it is that quantum physics actually backs some of its basic premises. Strange but true. There is provocative evidence to say that matter conforms to our expectations. That in certain instances, particles arrange to be where we look for them instead of where they statistically should be. Does that sound weird? Yeah, well, it's a weird world, Lambchop. Weirder than we know.

It seems that thought is more than just insubstantial mind-winks. Matter is interactive with thought and intention. Even if this is only at a quantum (super sub-atomic) level, it's a provocative notion. I don't know quantum theory well enough to lay it all out for you here (I can hear those sighs of relief!) but I do know that staid, mathematically-fanatical, particle-parsing physicists really believe this and have experimental evidence to back it up. Human expectation interacts with nature in a way that causes nature to respond. The human mind is powerful in a way we never expected and are only beginning to explore scientifically.

Back to the Secret: their whole premise is that the universe operates on a "law of attraction." That the universe arranges things according to your mental pictures and mental state: ergo whatever you're thinking, it sends you more of the same. So, if you're having positive, energized thoughts you get positive, energized events and substance coming at you. It you're depressed and dark in outlook, you'll get more of the same in your life. Now some of this just makes psychological sense: positive begets positive, negative begets negative. We've all seen this in operation in people's lives.

This is what the whole "affirmations" thing is about. And that's why the statement "Reality forms around a commitment" is cherished by so many writers. But most of us wouldn't bet the farm on it. It remains more of a wish than a solid, actionable philosophy for most of us. The idea that our wishes, our thinking, our intentions can influence the course of events in our lives seems a little too optimistic, unrealistic, even juvenile. But how many of us have really tested the limits of our minds? How many of us have really done experiments with our thinking and stuck with the program long enough to see results or not? In the interest of "being practical" we often let those new habits-- "I will be positive about my career and my life"-- lapse at the first sign that real effort will be required or that we may be just "wishing on a star."

I think what really got me is The Secret's assertion that LOVE is the highest and most powerful state of mental being. That in LOVE all things are possible. Okay, treading on unexpectedly familiar ground here. This is something I used to hear in church all the time. Still occasionally do. Love, a state of true, transcendent, unconditional acceptance and communion can and does have a transforming effect on us. We've known that for a long time. Whole religious faiths are based on it-- like Christianity. But is there more to it? Does the religious talk and theme mask an even deeper and more profound reality?

Is love an altered mental state that reaches out into the universe and makes things change and happen? Is it the ultimate mode of creation/re-creation in the universe? It is a potent feeling, a very dynamic emotion that can move us to reach out to each other and to the world around us to do unexpected and generous things. Is it possible that LOVE can move more than just hearts? Can it move events and change our lives? Isn't that what our books are about?

Another thing The Secret proposes is that GRATITUDE is also a powerful thing. That understanding how fortunate we are and having and "attitude of gratitude" for the many good things in our lives sets us on the plane of love and makes it possible for us to do great things with our hearts and minds. The author suggests that to cultivate gratitude, begin at the start of your day: when your first foot hits the floor in the morning, say "Thank" and when the second foot hits the floor say "you." Then with each step throughout the day let "thank" "you" go out to the universe. It puts you into a different frame of mind and into a great positive-attracting place. Hmmmm. I've tried it. It's kinda neat. But I'm still having to work on the "all day long" part.

So, all of this is the long way around to say: I'm experimenting with my life. I'm being positive and "faith" full and I'm trying to be as loving as possible in all circumstances. I'm being creative and open to new experiences and to new thoughts. So far, I've broken a writing dry spell and have one (and soon, possibly another) new publishing contract to show for it. . . in an area I've never done before. And I'm thrilled.

I'm re-imagining myself. Reinventing myself from the mind out. And I have no clue whether I'll turn out to be a Nobel prize-winner or a freakin' mad scientist.

But it's interesting. Experimenting, playing with my life and the focus of my mind. Deciding what I want to be and do and trying to make it happen. Interesting.

Remember that saying: "BE the change you want to see in the world." And the other saying: "What would you do if you were certain you could not fail?" Maybe there are more hints of our mind/spirit power around us than we realize.

What do you think? How powerful are our thoughts? Do you think there's more to the religious principles we've been taught than just the outward notions? Do you think ESP is tied into this somehow? Is ESP/mind power something we all have? What do you think would happen if we all began to think the same positive thoughts and focus on the same important goals for our country and our world? Are we on the right path in investigating this? Have any opinions or experiences to share?


lois greiman said...

Betina my dearling. You are such a bright star. I read the Secret too and have been kind of mulling ever since. I do think there is all kinds of power we don't understand. And the power of positive thinking is powerful indeed. So that's my new hope...to be positive and forward thinking.

But about you...what's your new contract?

Cindy Gerard said...

You know what I love about this post, Betina? The thoughts it provokes. I would LOVE to believe that power of thought, of love, of gratitude can actually alter events. And because I would LOVE to believe it, I think I'd LOVE to experiment too :o) I've heard so much about that book but have pretty much turned a blind, disbelieving eye to it - all the while wondering ... could it be? Can we really change things with our attitude? I'm feeling very much like a lamb today, ready to be lead in a new direction. Not that I'm a negative thinker. Or maybe I am and just haven't honestly analyzed my inner dialo. In any event, I'm hopping out to Amazon and ordering the book. Thanks for the nudge!

Cindy Gerard said...

whoops. that was supposed to be inner dialogue :o)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, Betina, you are and always have been inspiring. What you're suggesting does hoping one better. It takes a lot of confidence to reinvent yourself because you're not going to become something that isn't you. You're going to be true to who you are, who you've grown through experience and learning and love to be, but you're going to find new ways to bring all those positive attributes into play. You're going to find new reasons to believe in yourself.

There's so much going 'round these days that I don't believe in--profit over people, quantity over quality, concept over content, end justifies means. So how can I defeat these paper tigers?

By taking a positive attitude toward what I really do believe. I don't know much about physics, but I don't thing it's possible to build on the negative. I do know that I'm not a quitter. I have positive energy to expend, and I need to build on that.

Betina Krahn said...

Oh, Lois, your bribe money is in the mail. This gives me a chance to announce that I'm doing 2 books for BLAZE in the next year! And I'm so excited about it! Brenda Chin is wonderful to work with! I'm going to do one historical BLAZE and then one contemporary BLAZE. . . am working on the stories now. . . wishing I could link them somehow.

Now I just have to get myself into a BLAZing hot romantic frame of mind!

I think there may be another bit of publishing news in the pipeline. More on that when it's finalized!

Betina Krahn said...

Cindy and Kathy, I'm so glad to have inspired some thinking! I wasn't sure if this would be anyone's cup of tea but mine.

But I do think this is a hopeful thing. . . and that if there is a way to make the world more loving and more positive via our own lives and attitudes and thinking. . . then we're honor-bound to try it. Besides, what can it hurt?

As writers coming out of the romance genre, we're already dedicated to the proposition that love can change lives for the better. Why not broaden the scope. . . and try to make love change and improve our immediate circle, our community, our country, and finally our world!

Oh, I have to go vote. And to believe that my vote will make a positive difference!

MsHellion said...

I think whatever energy you put out into the world, it will come back to you. Therefore, if you think in a negative, pessimistic way, you won't be surprised when the World gives exactly what you expected: nothing and more crap to deal with. BUT I also think if you believe that everything happens for a reason, if you are a bit more gracious (eventually) about the cards the Universe is dealing you, you help your fellow man with a kind word or a thoughtful heart--AND believe that it will all work out in the end, that it will.

Self-fulfilling prophecy. Or as Ford said, If you believe you can't, you're right.

I haven't read the Secret, but from what I hear about it...it seems legit in the mind-over-matter/psychology thing. As in "putting out to the universe what you want" also readies you mind and soul for the goodness the Universe will give you. You become a better person who deserves good things to happen to you and so they do; and in the meantime, you also learn to be content with what you have. It seems either way you're a lot happier than how you started.

I could be wrong.

MsHellion said...

BLAZE is doing HISTORICAL now? You're doing Blaze? I'm so excited! That's wonderful!

lois greiman said...

Congrats, Betina. Blaze on!!

Michele Hauf said...

I'm with mshellion that what you put out comes right back to you. You've got to love to get love. If you hate, you get hate in return. A friend of mine recently read The Secret and explained the whole 'asking the universe for what you want' concept. I've never been one to speak outloud what I want, or to ask for things. But I'm trying it right now. I've put out a request to the universe, and I'm backing it up with hard work and the expectation that it will simply come to me when the time is right.

Congrats on the Blazes, Betina! ANd historical? This so rocks! Is it something new they are trying? Or have they done historicals before? I can't believe I'd miss that, if they have.

Betina Krahn said...

Their first Blaze historicals will come out this summer. . . and they're really excited about doing those and paranormals and all kinds of things. I love the way this line is experimenting and opening up its idea of what "series" books can be!

MsHellion said...

I love it! I'm glad they're branching out that way; I think that's something that will really pay them back in spades for thinking outside the box. :) I love BLAZE and I adore historicals...best of both...and paranormals too? Awesome!

Christie Ridgway said...

Cool about Blaze historicals, Betina! Awesome.

I know several people who are real Secret believers. I've not yet investigated it much, and it might be a little too woo-woo for me (and heck, I loved physics, but I'm not scientist). However, I did just buy Son 2 Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking and I'm going to read it first. I heard that there are similar principles.

And I truly believe in sending out the positive!

Helen Brenna said...

Congrats on the contracts, Betina! Very exciting stuff.

And, sweetie, sorry to burst your bubble, but you don't make a very scary mad scientist!! LOL

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm so glad to hear that Blaze is expanding into historicals. We need more variety in the historical department. Heck, we need more great historical reads, period. And Blaze is so lucky to get Betina under contract for one of their first historicals and her first contemporary. Can't wait!

Betina Krahn said...

Gosh, Kathy-- I'm blushing!
And I'm working on Blaze material. . . desperately sexy imaginings and hot, hot romantic situations.

And Helen-- I can't believe you don't see the evil genius side of me! I work so hard at it. But then again, so did Pinky and the Brain and look where it got them!

Playground Monitor said...

First, congrats on becoming a Blaze Babe. One of the Playground gals sold to Blaze last summer.

As for "The Secret" -- I have problems with the commercialism of the book and DVD but embrace many of the philosophies in the book. I like to think positively and maintain an attitude of gratitude. And there just can't be too much love in the world.

ESP, clairvoyance, psychic abilities -- who knows? But I think they should be studied and researched to find out. I've been to a psychic twice. First time she was about 30% right with her predictions. Second time she got an upsetting phone call a few minutes into the reading and I think that screwed everything up.


Subconscious Mind said...

Thanks for the great and motivating post! I fully agree with you. Do check out http://www.subconscious-mind.org, they have a whole host of interesting and helpful articles.

TooManyToasters said...

Hi, I randomly found your site through google as I recognized one of my drawings (the mad scientist with pink hair) I'm not bothered that you used it or anything, I was just excited that it was included :)