From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 5 - March 1992
A Brief Look at Positive Thinking
By Leonard Dunn, U.K.
I expect that most of you have heard of Positive Thinking and some may
have practiced it with varying degrees of success because success is
not something that works immediately, after one having read or heard
of it, tries it out. There are barriers to be overcome.
Basically there are three kinds of thinking. There is conscious
thought where one is totally aware that one is thinking. There is
automatic thought, or habit, where action is taken without one being
aware of the thought preceding the action. Finally there is
unconscious thought where there is no awareness of such thought being
To get down to fundamentals, we have to come to some measure of
understanding in regard to our minds, and there is more than one of
these as psychologists are well aware, what thought is and, most
importantly, what the thinker is.
Let us start with the basic idea that man is a spiritual being since
you are not likely to be reading this unless you have some such
concept. Many people have this concept without being able to define
what spirit is since this is difficult with definitions being used in
terms of matter, energy, space and time. The spirit is none of these
things except by its own consideration that this should be so. Many
people have the idea of being a spirit, soul or whatever term one
chooses to use. Even those who realise that they do not have a spirit
but this is what they -are- do not really have this as more than a
theoretical concept since they haven't had the experience of being a
spirit in their current lifetime.
Theory can become fact if one has the experience, as many do have
these days, of being outside of the body and perceiving with the
faculties of the spirit as self, possibly with these and the bodies
organs operating at the same time but giving different perceptions. An
actual case I was working with saw the clock on the mantlepiece with
her physical eyes whilst experiencing the sensation of actually being
inside the clock. This was a very brief experience as she rapidly
returned to her body, but after that she -knew- that she was different
from her body.
So the being is not part of matter and energy and is not located in
space and in time until it considers itself to be so. Its sole basic
purpose is to create and its only way of doing this is by thought. At
this stage, a very high one, it has only to think for it to come into
being, and in order for it to persist it has to consider that it is
existing in time and space. How this all works can be found in Axioms
1 to 11 in the Axioms of Scientology, (See for example the book
"Creation of Human Ability", 1954, by L.Ron Hubbard. IVys Ed.), which
are well worth studying and understanding fully and not just reading
without a full awareness of their meaning. (A good amplification of
the Axioms of Scientology is found in the book "Phoenix Lectures",
1968, which is taken from lectures given by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954 in
Phoenix, Arizona. Ed.).
At this point I should like to say that the spirit -thinks-. It does
not think -with- anything, not a brain, not a mind or anything else. -
It- does the thinking although it may use the mind as a sort of
computer for convenience sake.
Thus the one and only source of anything is -thought-. Beyond that
there is only after thought. So it follows that what one thinks one
creates. It also follows that if one is at unwanted effect from
another's creation this can only occur because the recipient has
thought that he can be. This produces the often uncomfortable reality
that one is solely and totally responsible for all that happens in
The stronger the concentration of thought or the degree to which the
thought is repeated the more likely it is that the effect of the
thought will persist and bring about in a physical universe that which
has been thought. Passing fancies have little effect unless constantly
repeated. Fear is a strongly operating thought and readily induces the
creation of that which is feared. If one concentrates upon getting rid
of an undesired condition the effective terminal is the condition.
This is negative thinking. Positive thought works upon the condition
that is desired to replace the unwanted state that exists.
It will now have become obvious that uncertainties, doubts and fears
about the outcome of one's thinking are negative and will have the
reverse effect to that intended and desired. At the best they will
slow down the project and at the worst they will kill it stone dead.
Look at your unspoken thoughts and check if they are detrimental or
helpful. If the former, then immediately replace them by a positive
statement of what is desired. In the early days of practicing Positive
Thinking the doubts and fears are likely to be at their worst. On the
other hand every success is a stepping stone to certainty in regard to
this method. Start on an easy gradient and don't start with the
heaviest problem that you have since here is where doubts are most
likely to occur.
Using mental images
To aid the process it is a very good idea to create mental image
pictures of what is desired. This, in conjunction with the thought, is
now known as Visualisation and is nothing new. The cave men used this
to get good results in hunting, as may be seen by pictographs that
have been left behind. This method is also known as Sympathetic Magic.
Yet another way of making the thought more solid is to make a model of
that desired in plasticine or anything similar - this is more lasting
than a mental picture. Here it is the intention that counts, not ones
There is one very important law that operates in the physical universe
- do not kick against an undesired condition since that ensures its
persistence. Accept the condition until you can do something to change
it. This gives a breathing space for positive thought to work. Kicking
against the condition is, in any case, negative thinking. The ancient
wisdom of India and elsewhere held that whatever is, is best. This may
be hard to accept, but in my experience over the years, and I am now
78, this has proved very workable once I came to accept it.
If one uses Positive Thought for purely selfish ends this does not
mean that the ends will not be attained. They probably will -but-
there is usually a backlash. Another law here - that of karma where
what one sows one reaps. The safeguard is to ask yourself only that
which one is willing to ask for all others.
The wording of the thought can be important. For example, if one
thinks that something -will- occur, that is placing it constantly in
the future. The moment that one thinks the Positive Thought one has
set the train of events into action so that the desired condition is
not coming in the future, but is on its way now. Number 43 of the
axioms of Scientology is very relevant here: "Time is the primary
source of untruth. Time states the untruth of consecutive
considerations". However see also Axioms 7, 8 and 9 which define time
and its effect. Let me say that with experience and many successes all
that is necessary on the thought side is to make the consideration and
leave it at that, without any unnecessary repetition.. One knows that
it is working. At the same time it is seldom the case that the thought
is enough on its own in this universe. There is a saying that God
feeds the birds of the air, but he does not throw the food into their
nests. Action is needed. It is no use fishing in a pond that doesn't
have any fish. One has to operate where the fish are.
This is where one's intuition, or inner knowingness, comes into play.
When a thought comes to go somewhere or do something this can produce
a step in the right direction but it is -a- step only and others may
very well be needed. An essential thing is patience since being in a
physical universe where time is a strong factor things do not happen
immediately no matter how much one desires it. Things work out when
the time is right and that is an unknown factor, but it can sometimes
be that one is unknowingly putting in a restraining factor.
Another important factor in producing change is certainty that the
desired change really is what one wants to have happen. There is the
prayer: "Oh Lord, relieve me of my grievious sins - but not just yet!"
One may want to give up smoking because of its potential damage to
one's health but the real desire may be otherwise. There is an old
saying that when the will and the imagination are at war, then the
imagination always wins since this is one's true desire. It is akin to
the fact that one can never help another who does not really wish to
be helped despite what that one says.
Helping others unasked
The well intentioned may be tempted to help those who are in apparent
trouble by sending positive thoughts out in regard to what they
consider this person should do. Ill-intentioned people may do the same
for their own ends. Let me state very positively that unless such help
is specifically asked for by the person in question then to attempt to
alter him is unethical and can produce a great backlash. It must be
remembered that when one creates anything then one is totally
responsible for that creation. As my father once told me - every man
has the right to go to the devil in his own way.
One point that has occurred to me is that I have found it better not
to be too specific as to details in regard to what one wants to
attain. It is better to put out a generalisation that gives scope for
attracting the condition that one needs rather than that which one
considers desirable but which, in effect, may not be.
If one really -expects- things to go right then they tend to do so
even if, at times, things are not to one's liking. Looking back after
the event often brings the realisation that this was a necessary
experience and that one had learnt more from it than a more desired
and pleasant experience. I do accept that there is a higher self that
has greater wisdom than the self which is associated with a body.
If it 'doesn't work'
I have talked about the way that things go right but what about the
things that do not? Once all the conditions laid down have been
followed to the best of one's ability but the result is not
satisfactory then other reasons must be sought and these will usually
lie in the area of the subconscious and unconscious thought areas.
These are the factors that are not realised but may be a major barrier
At the subconscious level there may be unrealised habits which can
have a very adverse effect upon the outcome of one's thought efforts.
It may be that one enjoys doing something and takes the doing of it
for granted. It is a radical part of one's way of life so one may fail
to recognise that this unrealised factor may be working in opposition
to that which is desired.
Far worse are the unconscious motivations and mentally enforced
actions that are totally irrational but which one is totally ignorant.
If presented with the idea of looking at them the response would be
that one wasn't like that at all. Those readers who have been in, or
have some knowledge of, scientology, will recognise the terms,
engrams, valences, implants, actual GPMs and the like. It is highly
unlikely that these can be discovered and eradicated other than by
systems, and there are more than one today, that understand them and
the manner of dealing with them. These are the largest reason for the
zealous and well-intentioned person who is diligently using Positive
Thinking in the ways that he should and failing to achieve the results
Let me make it clear that almost any person at any level who works in
the ways indicated will achieve some very positive results but they
run up against unknowable barriers, unknowable at that stage. These
place limitations upon the results that they can achieve until the
barriers are removed. When one has had the necessary counselling and
has become a markedly more free individual then the results are quite
amazing. Counselling and Positive Thought are complementary to each
other and both, as far as I am concerned, are essential to a fuller
and happier life.