Thoughts Are Things

Some people believe that our lives express our interior worlds, or what we think about. You have undoubtedly heard the saying that “thoughts are things.” In fact, in Hinduism, nothing exists apart from the Divine because it permeates all things.

Although it is invisible to the naked eye, energy may be perceived and felt. It's been said that you can't fool kids or dogs because they have a natural ability to sense whether someone's energy and intention toward them are good or bad. Kids and dogs may be able to detect more readily than others the feelings or mood someone is generating by thought. Certain psychics, mediums, and empathic people possess a heightened sensitivity to the electromagnetic energy that is retained in objects, haunted houses, sacred places, crime scenes, and the like. Psychic energy lives on in those objects and places.

Even as doctors work in integrative medicine, using both Western and Eastern medical knowledge, and high-performance sports experts counsel their athletes about an intrinsic mind/body connection, scientific research continues on the subject of thoughts as energy.

In Shri Ramcharitramanas, northern India's popular version of the story of Lord Rama, Goswami Tulsidas wrote that Ramadasa (literally, the servant of Lord Rama) prayed to Lord Rama while he was imprisoned, “When all is your form, how can I be apart from you?”

While some skeptics doubt that consciousness and human thought has any measurable energy, others, including spiritual seekers, scientists, practitioners of Eastern religions, and philosophers, disagree. Indeed, some people believe human consciousness itself may be energy.


In India, modern spiritual seekers make pilgrimages to the sacred places associated with holy people of the past because the shakti (divine energy or holy psychic energy) of those beings remains in the places where those saints prayed, meditated, and became enlightened. Many modern spiritual seekers further believe that the energy stored in the sacred places has a beneficial effect on their spiritual efforts to attain enlightenment. Contact with the shakti of enlightened beings, although those saints no longer live in human form, could awaken the Kundalini Shakti. This is the innate and essential divine energy that leads human consciousness to union with God (or Absolute divine consciousness) as the energy makes its ascent from the base of the spine to the energy center located on top of the head. The modern seekers' thought, magnetized by their spiritual desire for enlightenment, could manifest their desire, making their thought become the thing they most ardently seek and desire.


Pranic energy represents a kind of bridge between thoughts becoming or manifesting as things. In ancient Hindu writings, the body's vital airs or energies were referred to as prana. Pranic energy permeates all things, including the human mind (and, thus, thought), according to the Hindu sacred scriptures known as the Upanishads. Those sacred writings associated prana, which means “breath” in Sanskrit, with vitality and expressed the idea that a person's prana survives throughout eternity or until a being's soul reincarnates. Prana, often mistakenly thought of as breath, is more correctly understood as a life-sustaining force. Prana underlies and sustains the universe, according to Hindu belief. Prana, therefore, is found in thoughts and also material objects. The pranic energy of one human, for example, directed toward another person or object can trigger a response, reaction, or change. Even an energized or magnetized thought can instantly or eventually become the thing that the psychic energy of the creative mind conceives, giving rise to the New Age idea that “thoughts are things.”

The University of Arizona's Center for Consciousness Studies is one of a number of educational centers, associations, and organizations currently studying various aspects of human consciousness. For more information, see the website


The Chinese use the word chi (pronounced chee) to mean the natural, supernatural, and spiritual energy of the physical universe and the human body and mind. An imbalance of chi in a person's body or life brings disharmony and disease upon him. Practitioners of acupuncture, chi gong, and other disciplines embrace the concept of chi as a subtle force underlying and permeating all things (like prana). They say restoring the balance of the flow of the chi is what restores balance, health, and harmony. When balance is restored, the things a person desires become manifest through his thought energy.

Subtle Energies and Healing

Aura healing, chakra healing, reiki (pronounced RAY kee), quantum touch, and no-touch healing are all examples of alternative medicine/ belief systems that suggest that the vital energy of the body, whether it is called prana, chi, ki, or life force, can be manipulated. Skeptics classify such healings as faith-healing and say that if it works at all it is because of the thoughts of the patient, or the placebo effect — that is, the patient believes something is being done to help her feel better, she hopes she will feel better, and subsequently she does. Some might say that the placebo effect causes changes in the patient's neurochemistry that might, in part, explain the healing she received.

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