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What Is The Effect Of An Opinion?

What is the effect of an opinion?

Posted on Nov. 13, 2005

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     Is there such a thing as a benign thought that has no effect in our experience?  We are an opinionated people. Are those opinions that we hold in our minds (both publicly and privately) simply benign thoughts that wisely or innocently report on reality or are they contributing to our experience in some way?  

 

Frank Turner, an avid researcher and cataloguer of leading edge scientific studies, once told me about a study in which it was proven and demonstrated that a person could, by only thinking, cause a measurable physical event to appear in a distant vacuum box.  

 

It seems clear that at least some thought has power.  Most of us believe and have experienced that some form of thought such as visioning, intending or praying has concrete influence in our experience.

 

Frank has an excellent article on his website about the Maharishi Effect.  It’s well worth reading.  In it he says, “According to physics, if the square root of 1% of a system is coherent it will increase the coherence of the whole system, but all incoherence in a system has a 1 to 1 relationship. This is how a laser beam works. A small percent of light is made coherent. This creates a cascading effect towards coherence until the whole beam is coherent. Does meditation create coherence in the unified field from which all our minds come?”  Coherence is defined as "consistent alignment of wave."  Thought is also a wave.

 

I’m not a scientist, like Frank, but it seems logical that if any thought has power, then all thought has power.  Or at least, if any element of thought has power (language, image, feeling), then all thought with that element has power.  So it is also logical to ask the question, “What is the effect of holding opinions since they have all the elements of thought (language, image, and feeling)?”

 

Over the weekend I engaged a group of six people in a face to face discussion where we explored this issue.  Our leading question was, “What is the effect of opinion in our personal experience?”  We looked at opinions we shared and opinions we did not believe we shared.  

 

We explored public opinion by using the current Walmart debate as our sample (the opinion that Walmart is a bad corporation because it exploits people and keeps their wages low).  Our group had union and management representation as well as those holding opinions about greed, control, etc.

 

The exploration took nearly three hours so I can’t report all the details we considered but we were stunned to discover the degree to which our personal experience is adversely affected by our opinions (private or otherwise).  

 

We saw ourselves unconsciously contributing to the "realness" of the limitations and fears we all experience.  As we uncovered a piece of the creator-puzzle we looked into our lives to see if the effect was there.  It appears to be present for each of us, even though it superficially seemed independent of our opinions (We do love our opinions.). 

 

We briefly explored the effect of our opinions on others but the most surprising discovery was the effect of our opinions on our own experience.  

 

Every time we dilute our focus or attention by attending to images and ideas that we don’t want, we do so at the expense of what we do want.  It feels like we are "kept out" of our desires.  

 

While it seems possible to get where we want to go by focusing on what we don’t want, we cannot.  We have to focus on what we want. 

 

An opinion is a silent continuous thought in the background of our mind that constantly deflects many of the waves emitting from us toward effects that are not fulfilling.  Even when we hold an opinion of another that seems unrelated to self, it still takes our attention or focus from what we desire (unless we are willing to say that we desire for another to be unfulfilled in some way).

 

It seems we can’t have it both ways.  Either our thought is powerful and we must learn to be responsible for it, or our thought is powerless and we can remain innocent thinkers of any thoughts or opinions that happen to sprout. 

 

In our exploring group, we re-formulated seven of our particularly diffusive opinions and will observe and report the results to each other over the next several days.  

 

Here's a simplified version of all of this, in a quote from a wonderful teacher, Joe Sabah 

"You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative"

 

Wishing you more of creating the experience you desire.


 
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