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Whenever I have a chance to browse through the NASA photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope, I am humbled and amazed at the enormity of creation. How astonishing that we, tiny specks of being on a tiny fragment in a tiny solar system of this roiling infinitude of energy taking form and dissolving back to formlessness, are a part of it all. We are participants in the whole of creation, the whole infinite universe of creation. And what we create actually matters, at least to that little pinprick of the universe we inhabit.
It is too much for most of us to try to wrap our minds around the whole of it, but we can see our part of it, and feel the energy of life flowing through us, and recognize our own power to direct and alter the formation of form. What’s the big deal? The big deal is that the same universal energy, the “life force beyond all things that has no form, yet gives form to all things” (Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p. 68), is our power to create experience and live it.
Whatever we create from the infinitude of possibility, we will experience. If we never see or recognize our role in creation, we will live at the mercy of random thoughts, stuck in the illusion that the “reality” outside of us is pushing us around. If we wake up to the power we have to create and recreate, we will live in the freedom to generate our own dynamic experience of whatever reality we see.
I worked with a young boy, maybe 12 years old, several years ago, who had started having nightmares that kept him from sleeping. His mother was concerned because he was telling her he couldn’t go to sleep because he was “afraid of infinity.” She didn’t want to put him on medication, but she was increasingly concerned about him. She asked me to talk with him.
The way I see it, from the standpoint of an understanding of the Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, there was nothing about “infinity”, an abstract scientific concept, that could frighten him. It’s just part of the “reality” out there that the term exists and describes “no beginning and no end.” The only thing that can create fear from any reality is the thoughts we have about that reality.
So I asked the young man what he “thought” about infinity. He said it was like “falling forever and never knowing when you would hit.” In his mind, infinity was like a really tall mountain. If you fell off, you would fall and fall and fall and be more and more frightened all the way down and never know when you would reach the end of the fall.
What he thought had nothing to do with the actual meaning of infinity, which is a “reality” beyond human comprehension at any rate. What he thought was his made-up version of it, which was frightening. Infinity has no power to impose fear on us. Our thinking about it is the power that creates fear from the inside out.
So I asked him, “Do you know what scientists say to describe infinity?” He didn’t, really. He just remembered hearing about it in school. So we looked it up. Of course, there are a lot of meanings, practical, poetic, and mathematical, but the basic one is “having no boundaries.”
So, I asked, how can you “fall” in something that has no bottom, no top, no sides? How would you know you weren’t flying?”
He was silent for a bit. And then he said. “Well, it’s not really scary then, is it? You’d never get hurt in infinity because you could be moving in any direction and you wouldn’t hit anything. I guess I just was thinking about it funny.”
His mother said his nightmares stopped and he had stopped talking about infinity after our conversation. Again, from the perspective of the Principles, he reflected in a quiet state of mind and had a new thought. The new thought was not scary, so when it came to mind, it created a feeling of comfort, rather than a feeling of fear.
The content of the thought doesn’t really matter. He was only 12 years old; there was a lot more he could learn and understand about infinity as time went on, and the new thought he had wasn’t necessarily “right” or “wrong.” It was just a less scary thought, and, since it had occurred to him and made sense to him when he thought it, it was a relief to him. What we see for ourselves makes sense to us.
That’s important. What I could teach him next is more important. I taught him that we always, always, always have the opportunity, when we find ourselves scared, or upset, or anxious, or disturbed, to quiet down, reflect and “think again.” The quieter our minds are, the more confidence we gain in our ability to think from insight and find wiser perspectives, greater clarity, new ways of seeing reality, better answers. That’s the big deal.
When our thinking is not generating ideas that lift us up and move us forward and give us a feeling we are moving confidently through life, we don’t have to change life or give in to it. Our thinking will change when we allow it to pass, quiet our minds, and await new thought. As our thoughts change, our experiences changes.
The beautiful thing about our participation in universal creation is that we are the creators of our own thoughts, and thus we shape the ever-changing creation that is our own life.