There is a belief that is held by some that if we just think about something hard enough, or we think positively enough, we will receive what we are thinking about and hoping for. This sort of simplified thought is pervasive through the law of attraction community, as well as other communities, and discounts the reality of the fact that we must do something to receive what we want in this world (sitting around and being positive/thinking about getting a new car will only get you so far without a job), but also discounts the complexity of the patterns we are given by others, as well as the world, that might make it really hard for us to receive that new car by just positive thinking.

This sort of simplification also tends to victim blame, meaning that if someone did not receive something, or in other cases they did receive something (such as a disease, difficult life circumstance, to all sorts of spiritual issues) that they must not be thinking positively enough. This allows for the person who does not have (insert disease or circumstance here, but let’s just say cancer) to feel safe and in control… because they, of course, are thinking positively so they will never get (insert disease/circumstance here, but let’s just say cancer).

I have talked about this a few times, but I would like to get more in-depth into the nature of thoughts, thoughtforms and illusion.

There is such a focus in the spiritual realms on positive thinking, but much of the focus of “spirituality” especially in regards to shamanism is on journeying, or accessing spiritual realms. We may wish to sense spirits (or sense them already), or access all sorts of beings, or other worlds/realms/dimensions in hopes of learning something. A lot of this allows for the experiencer to feel as if spirituality is off someplace else, instead of right here. Another control/safety thing. If we learn that there are spirits around us every day, that might freak us out, basically.

Spirituality has become escapism, a way to feel a high from a workshop or spiritual practice like a drug addict would in between the monotonous parts of ones actual, everyday, “mundane” life and physical reality..

But apart from the “actual”– the spiritual that is separate from us (such as spirits and such) and even apart from our own psychological conjurings (our invented spirits and power animals and such) we have the sea of thoughts.

We are adrift in a sea of thoughts. It is rarely paid attention to. And it should be.

It is rare that even those who are “sensitive” are skilled enough or know how to focus their attention enough to realizing how many thoughts are truly around us. Sensitives tend to pick up things from other people. There is a focus on emotions for this (and this is important to understand), but most sensitives also pick up thoughts from other people. They may not realize the extent that they do so. But if you think for a moment about how “in our heads” as a culture we are, you can start to imagine just how many thoughts are out there, swirling around. And that we are much more likely to “catch” them, or be open to them, than spirits attaching, medical issues from others, or even absorbing emotions.

We may not realize that the thoughts we are thinking are not our own. 

In fact, a lot of media and the “illusory” world counts on this fact– that we are so displaced from who we are at our core and that we do not understand our beliefs enough that we can have thoughts and ideas basically injected into our minds… or are under so many layers of conditioning that we do not realize that what we think is simply what our father thought (for example).

There are of course ways to learn how to become skilled at sensing and working with thoughts– to learn how to clear yourself (my clearing course is a wonderful start), which will basically clear out stuff that isn’t “yours” on a regular basis… a skill that every sensitive/psychic needs to learn.

There are also skills to be able to see and recognize this sea of thoughts. Although this is a skill that really needs to be taught one-on-one (and I am not just saying that) the simple recognition by the sensitive that they are likely taking on thoughts that are not their own is an excellent place to start. With awareness comes discernment.

But now we come to the other half of this… what our own thoughts create.

It is really true that we create our reality in a lot of ways. But what we do, in general, is create our illusions.

Let me explain. We have our “real” selves, the authentic aspect of ourselves that is a part of divinity. We are whole, realized, healed, and truly in our power. This is within every person.

But then we have layers and layers of illusion and trauma and such on top of this. Either our own trauma or trauma and illusions passed down to us from varying sources (for more about this you can read my first book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide).

So we have these aspects of ourselves that are distinctly “not whole”– they are traumatized and struggling with the patterns and illusions and beliefs that we have been given.

There is also the struggle of everyday life. Life as a human is difficult. It is joyous (or can be), wonderful, blissful, scary, anger-inducing, grief-inducing. It is up and down and cycles through things. And if we have trauma this is magnified.

Most of us are really chaotic– we have so much trauma and very little understanding of who we are as people. We do not know what our beliefs are or who we are separate from what we have been given by others in this world.

But on top of this we create. We create thoughtforms. We create illusions. We create difficulties and more chaos for ourselves.

It really is true that we create our world, in a way. But what most of us do is to create illusion. Out of our trauma, beliefs, and thoughts, we create. Thoughtform is a word (in its simplest definition) that means thoughts taking form. Often into a distinct shape, pattern, or circumstance.

So to be simplistic about this (or try to be) I will say that if we are wounded, traumatized, and out of touch with who we are… we create thoughtforms from those wounds. We create illusions from those wounds. We create chaos in our lives from that trauma.

We create and create some more our lives. If we believe ourselves to be worthless, we will create and shape our world to prove this to us again and again.

To add more complexity to this, there is a saying that “we do not see people as they are, we see them as we are.” I very much find this to be true. We cast people in roles to meet our trauma, we insert thoughts and thoughtforms, basically energetically overlying who they are (their authentic self)… thus casting them in a role to meet us playing out the same traumas and our illusions perpetuated from that trauma again and again.

To add even more complexity to this, a lot of modern spirituality is escapism. I have worked with and met people who have constructed whole worlds, relationships, and so forth that didn’t actually exist (on any level). They did so because they had the natural capacity to do so (they either were naturally talented/able with spiritual work or had meditated for a while) or because on some subconscious (or conscious) level they took a look at their life, realized how difficult it was, and decided to create an illusory world for themselves instead.

This is not an uncommon thing. If we can find a place to “escape” where we feel empowered, brave, sexual, or anything else… that sounds pretty good. However, our thoughts and subsequent thoughtforms have consequences. They shape our reality. And eventually what happens is that instead of becoming more whole, or healed, we go further into illusion and lack of clarity. We further disassociate, we further create chaos and trauma for ourselves. Basically, instead of coming more “home” we further fracture and cause chaos and difficulties for ourselves.

All of us do this in some form– we create out of our thoughts. We give power to our thoughts to further obscure our reality. Our thoughts are “things” and have form, and consolidate into our reality. This is from our unmet needs, from our wounds/trauma, and from the layer of consciousness we operate at.

Oddly, we do this to protect ourselves. Working with trauma is difficult. Working to understand and realize who we fully are and our power is an extraordinary and beautiful path but we often have so many thoughts and beliefs and restrictions from ourselves (as well as our parents, society, culture, gender, ancestry, etc) that the idea of us coming into our own power, into our own clarity, sounds either incredibly impossible or frightening.

We protect ourselves, we protect these traumatized aspects of self… we protect the disassociated aspects of self… the parts of ourselves that want to create difficulty and chaos for us again and again because we believe that we are kept safe if we do so.

If we know that the world is always going to be one way, there is safety in that. If we create illusions and thoughtforms there is safety in that, because we do not have to fully inhabit our relationships and friendships. If we cause further illusions for ourselves, or populate our entire world with thoughtforms we do not have to deal with the messy business of becoming authentic. Of becoming real. Of resolving those inner demons, that inner self that is calling out for attention and focus.

It is far easier to cause illusion, to create thoughtforms… even if they are causing us immense amounts of pain and dissatisfaction in our lives.

So there are limits to this. Even if you think that you are the worst person on earth in your mind you can only impact your universe so much. This is a subject of power (yes, I use that word a lot). If we think a thought a lot, yes, it is more likely to take shape and come true (both negative and positive, by the way). But much like the positivity examples, we have to perpetually think thoughts, or have deeply held beliefs (or immense trauma) for them to take shape and form our world.

Some people are more talented at this than others, by the way. They are naturally talented at working with the mental “layer” of things, and project things more readily, for better or worse.

And there are all sorts of wonderful things you can do if you know how to skillfully work with thoughts and thoughtforms. If you know how to consciously work with them there are few limitations of what you can create (but again, might need to get a job to get that car).

But like anything, understanding and working with thoughtforms is a skill. There is a point that people get to in their path that they are willing to recognize them, or to work with them (beyond surface sort of “I want” level of this sort of stuff), otherwise there is always that cognitive dissonance there, of it not being the right time to recognize the impact of this type of energy. Waking up to the realization of this energy, and its effects on your life and the world is profound, it is a shift… and a sort of initiation experience. But the first step is awareness, and a recognition of your own thoughts taking form.