Another way of saying this is "ask and receive."
Of course, to the logical, sequential-processing, fact-based mind, this makes no sense at all. It sounds like airy-fairy nonsense, mere wishful thinking.
How does it happen? Is it divine intervention, the presence of angels, or the subconscious mind suddenly paying attention?
I really don't know. I can tell you the process and you can apply your favorite explanation.
Here are the five steps:
One, ask for a solution to a current problem.
Two, envision a happy outcome.
Three, trust that an answer will show up
Four, let it go.
Five, the answer will appear.
I'll give you an example that happened yesterday. I was wondering how anything could be understood because the nature of all things is infinitely complex. Was it ever possible to have a theory of everything?
This was my question. It baffled me, and I did not even get to the stage where I could envision a happy outcome.
Not being able to resolve it, I gave up.
That same day, in the evening, I stumbled upon how Albert Einstein had spent his life pursing the same question. After his General and Special Theory, his dream was to find a theory of everything, a unified field theory. He believed in an elegant theory, where gravitation and electro-magnetism could be united. Unfortunately, what rudely disrupted his plans was the eruption of Quantum Mechanics, where elegance was not the norm and subatomic elements could either be observed or measured, but not both. Quantum Mechanics posited two more forces, the strong force and the weak force. The strong force is what holds an atomic nucleus together and a weak force is what is responsible for radioactive decay. Well, now, not one, but two theories of everything coexisted. One for the world of the very large, planetary bodies. And one for the world of the very small, subatomic particles. Albert Einstein died a puzzled man. He could not figure out how to unite gravity, the force created on a planet because of a curvature in space-time as it traveled around its sun, with electro-magnetism, the forces of light, electricity, and magnetism, with the strong force, the "glue" that bound protons and neutrons together in a nucleus, and the weak force, the force that was responsible for radioactive decay.
How could a theory of everything work on the scale of the very large yet fail on the scale of the very small? How could the elegant laws that governed the planetary bodies and systems of the universe fail to have any application in the world of electrons spinning around a nucleus? (Initially, when scientists had perceived the atom as a "miniature" solar system, this problem was not observed; but after learning how to split atoms, this model was considered nonsensical, because only probability patterns of energy existed at the subatomic level.)
How could the theory of everything have two completely different theories? It would be like a one way street where the signs pointed in both directions or a traffic light which had all three colors on at the same time.
"God does not play dice," he declared. But according to experiment after experiment in Quantum Mechanics, that is all that He did all day long.
Half a century after he died, however, along came String Theory, which posited that there was even something smaller than a quark and that it was a string, a vibrating string of energy that functioned in multiple dimensions to create the subatomic particles that could be observed. The entire universe, then, was an orchestra, a vibration at the level of the infinitesimally small, that played out different frequencies to create different constituents of things.
This debate, of course, is still raging, with many Physicists believing that since String Theory could never be experimentally verified (because the size of vibrating strings were infinitesimally small) that it was not valid, and more philosophy than science.
The point of this discussion, however, is that Applied Mysticism works.
I asked what I consider to be an impossible question. Can one understand everything? Is such a thing even possible? I thought this question so outlandish that I gave up on ever finding an answer. I even experienced some despair, that I would spend the rest of my life bewildered by everything. Then to my surprise, through a series of coincidences, I found that not only was my question not original but that this entire phenomena of the universe could be broken down into a quest for a handful of unifying principles.
Even though I did the steps in a random way and none of them fully, I still got amazing results. I actually developed the steps afterwards, through recapitulation of these events that I have just narrated to you.
I am still testing it, but I think that they should work better than my original haphazard application of Applied Mysticism, a term I have coined to describe this phenomena.
Here, however, is one possible explanation.
I do not know the agency that creates the answer but I think the process is made possible because one steps outside thought itself for a moment.
My take on this is that the problem of problems is a systematic one. It is not one or two rogue thoughts that are the problem. It is not a result of negative thinking or misperception because of erroneous presuppositions. The entire system of thinking itself is flawed because it is based on a need to find and resolve problems.
This is not an original idea, either. David Bohm had expanded on it fully. David Joseph Bohm was an American-born quantum physicist, who made significant contributions in theoretical physics, philosophy and neuropsychology, and to the Manhattan Project.
David Bohm, in his book Thought as a System, defined the problem with thinking itself.
"So one begins to wonder what is going to happen to the human race. Technology keeps on advancing with greater and greater power, either for good or for destruction."
"What is the source of all this trouble? I am saying that the source is basically in thought. Many people would think that such a statement is crazy, because thought is the one thing we have with which to solve our problems. That's part of our tradition. Yet it looks as if the thing we use to solve our problems with is the source of our problems. It's like going to the doctor and having him make you ill. In fact, in 20% of medical cases we do apparently have that going on. But in the case of thought, it's far over 20%."
"…the general tacit assumption in thought is that it's just telling you the way things are and that it's not doing anything - that 'you' are inside there, deciding what to do with the info. But you don't decide what to do with the info. Thought runs you. Thought, however, gives false info that you are running it, that you are the one who controls thought. Whereas actually thought is the one which controls each one of us."
"Thought is creating divisions out of itself and then saying that they are there naturally. This is another major feature of thought: Thought doesn't know it is doing something and then it struggles against what it is doing. It doesn't want to know that it is doing it. And thought struggles against the results, trying to avoid those unpleasant results while keeping on with that way of thinking. That is what I call 'sustained incoherence.'"
"What I mean by 'thought' is the whole thing - thought, 'felt', the body, the whole society sharing thoughts - it's all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it's all one process; somebody else's thoughts becomes my thoughts, and vice versa. Therefore it would be wrong and misleading to break it up into my thoughts, your thoughts, my feelings, these feelings, those feelings... I would say that thought makes what is often called in modern language a system. A system means a set of connected things or parts. But the way people commonly use the word nowadays it means something all of whose parts are mutually interdependent - not only for their mutual action, but for their meaning and for their existence. A corporation is organized as a system - it has this department, that department, that department. They don't have any meaning separately; they only can function together. And also the body is a system. Society is a system in some sense. And so on.
"Similarly, thought is a system. That system not only includes thoughts, 'felts' and feelings, but it includes the state of the body; it includes the whole of society - as thought is passing back and forth between people in a process by which thought evolved from ancient times. A system is constantly engaged in a process of development, change, evolution and structure changes...although there are certain features of the system which become relatively fixed. We call this the structure....Thought has been constantly evolving and we can't say when that structure began. But with the growth of civilization it has developed a great deal. It was probably very simple thought before civilization, and now it has become very complex and ramified and has much more incoherence than before.
"Now, I say that this system has a fault in it - a 'systematic fault'. It is not a fault here, there or here, but it is a fault that is all throughout the system. Can you picture that? It is everywhere and nowhere. You may say "I see a problem here, so I will bring my thoughts to bear on this problem". But 'my' thought is part of the system. It has the same fault as the fault I am trying to look at, or a similar fault.
"Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it's creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates. (P. 18-19)"
Thus, the reason we have problems in the first place is because we think of things in a problematic way and manifest the situation. We then get stuck in it. The system of thought itself created the problem. Of course, we like to believe that the problem existed in reality and that we just smacked into it.
But reality does not exist without us, it is, after all, only an interpretation of sensory data. I know that this is not clear either, so let me draw a quick thought-experiment here.
Imagine if one early morning, 10 people were put on a bus and taken to a new town that none of them had ever been before. They were then allowed to roam around it for the whole day. Finally, in the evening, they would return back to their city of origin. Now, each one would be surprised by a separate interview. The physical aspects of the town (an objective reality) would be interpreted by the minds of those ten people based on their own interests, views, habits, predilections, patterns of observation, past history, favorite sensory modalities and submodalities, and soon. Each one would notice different things and filter out different things. In fact because of their differences, they probably would have dispersed and visited completely different places in that town. After the interviewers themselves got together, they would wonder if the visitors had been to the same town or ten different towns.
Reality-creation is an interpretive experience.
So the only way to escape the system of interpretive thought you are in is to follow the five steps I have outlined in Applied Mysticism.
Let us run through a theoretical example to make it clear.
Suppose, you need more money than you can currently receive from your job to pay some bills. Here is how you apply the five steps.
1. Ask for a way to pay the bills.
2. Imagine paying the bills.
3. Trust that the bills are paid.
4. Let it go.
5. The answer will appear.
How? How will the answer appear? It literally appears in a way that you had not thought of while trying to figure it out.
Your mind can only run over what you know:
The people you can borrow the money from.
The extra work you can do to find the money.
The things you can sell.
But all this data is mined from the past, because that is where all known variables exist.
However, what you need is an answer from the future. This answer comes in an unexpected way. In my own experience it has come as an insight, someone just showing up with the answer, and my finding the answer in a book that I happen to pick up. However, it can show up in any number of ways.
The only way to prove it, of course, is to try it. Then you will see the evidence for yourself. Follow the five steps. Something will happen. I found a whole steam of answers to my impossible question; imagine how much easier it would be to get the answer to a practical problem.
Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from