Thoughts Change What We See, Not What is Real

“I do not in any way alter a thing by thinking about it. I can well imagine that a being with quite differently constructed sense organs and with a differently functioning intelligence, would have a very different mental picture of a horse from mine, but I cannot imagine that my own thinking becomes something different through the fact that I observe it. … Here we are not talking of how my thinking looks to an intelligence other than mine, but of how it looks to me. In any case the picture of my thinking which another intelligence might have cannot be a truer one than my own. Only if I were not myself the being doing the thinking, but if the thinking were to confront me as the activity of a being quite foreign to me, might I then say that although my own picture of the thinking may arise in a particular way, what the thinking of that being may be like in itself, I am quite unable to know.” ~Rudolf Steiner

We See What We Think

I think that most people today accept that our thoughts affect what we see. When Christopher Columbus landed in the new land, most of the native American could not see his ships anchored offshore. Hey could see the small landing boats, but not the ships they came from. Their mind could not conceive of such large boats, so they didn’t see them. Something similar is happening when members of certain Christian churches see Jesus in every rust spot or water stain that vaguely resembles a human face.

While the thoughts of those people limited or altered what they saw, those thoughts did not actually change the thing itself. At least that is what Steiner is saying. This seems to defy modern Quantum Physics.

It is claimed in Quantum Physics that the observer changes the thing observed. But what happens if the thing is observed simultaneously by two very different beings. Will they both see the same thing, which has been altered by their observations? Probably not. They each see something different controlled by their own physiology, beliefs and thoughts. That doesn’t mean there are two of the thing. It means that the observed view of it is unreliable. In neither case does it truly reflect what the object is.

Collective Thought

Another thing that has to be taken into consideration is collective thought. It may affect what we see just as much as our private thoughts. Visit a mental institution and you will see people who are thirty or forty years old, but appear to be fifteen or twenty years younger. Their limited, child-like minds affects their physical body keeping them looking younger. Yet they do age and eventually get old and die. That is because of the collective thoughts of those around them.

When the native American Medicine Man, who could see the ships of Columbus, described them to the others, they began to see them also. Even though some still didn’t want to believe, the majority overruled and they could all see the ships.

That doesn’t mean that collective thought always overrides the individual, but it does often. Sometimes, a powerful individual can see things few others can see. They may be strong enough to become prophets and teachers and help other learn the truth. Or they may be locked up as insane.

Manifesting Our Thoughts

Manifesting has become a popular idea with many believers. Yet the techniques of manifestation taught don’t seem to work for at least 99% of those who try. The response of the believers, of course, is that they were doing it wrong. Perhaps that is true. But here is what both the successes and failures are missing: they are manipulating illusion, nothing more.

When a child molds a dog or a horse out of clay, we understand that it is not an actual dog or horse. No matter what they mold, it is still just clay. Even when the greatest artists carve a statue of a man, it remains a hunk of marble. It doesn’t turn into an actual man, no matter how realistic the result.

The realm of matter is just nodes of energy of varying frequencies and sizes. Our thoughts change what we see, but that don’t change the reality. And when many of us agree on what a particular node of energy represents, we all start seeing that object. But the reality still hasn’t change. Thoughts change how we see things, but not the reality behind the Great Illusion.


If thoughts change what we see, why do we usually see the same thing as others around us? Part of it is teaching and beliefs that control how we think. I believe an important part of it is subconscious communication. I think that our subconscious minds communicate with others around us so we can , on a subconscious level, agree that the node of energy on the corner is a tree. I’m not able to prove that, but it’s the only thing that makes sense to me. We have to have agreement most of the time or we could never function as a society. So thought change also has to deal with thought agreements that are happening subconsciously.


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