Expectation Magic

Most people believe that attitude influences outcomes, and usually they reason that it is because a positive attitude improves performance, perception, and the atmosphere of the whole operation.  Attitude influences outcomes, because a bad attitude brings everybody down, and a good attitude lifts spirits.  Also, people who understand the psychology of language know that attitude is transmitted from person to person via the words they share (and altered in the lens of associations).

But these are only the obvious mechanisms that cause attitude to influence reality.  Some of us believe that there is something more.

It has been called the "Law of Attraction," "Universal Will," "The Power of Prayer," "Creative Visualization," and many other names.  This mechanism is the mind itself, the one that Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki has called "Big Mind." You can find clues about it in every spiritual tradition and meditation discipline that has ever been practiced.  I have always thought of it as Expectation Magic.

Dr. Deepak Chopra has reported many miraculous healings that have been the result of attitude and expectation. Zen masters are reputed to have been able to perform various miracles with their meditation. Dr. Paul Cho, a minister in Korea, has written about the power of petitionary prayer when it is followed by a period of feeling intense appreciation, as thought the request has already been granted.  Father Anthony Demello has written about a similar phenomenon in his book Sadhana. Pagan magical traditions use rituals that amount to a powerful affirmation of expectation.  It is not far-fetched to believe that expectation influences reality.

And for all you empiricists who are scoffing at me right now, I'll offer this argument to show that your assumption is not better than mine:
Empiricists assume that physical matter somehow came into existence and that some of it somehow came to life.  That leaves little room for expectation magic. I begin my thinking with the assumption that it is consciousness that somehow started existing -- not physical matter. 
Consider the implications of that.  It is not a new idea. If it seems new, it's just because it is hard to explain. This is an old idea:
If it is consciousness that somehow started existing, it would surely be having a dream about physical matter. And we all know how expectation can influence events when we are dreaming.        

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