A Dose of Caffeine for Your Consciousness

November 6th, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

Would your experience of shared objective reality continue to exist if you stopped believing in it? What would happen if you started to suspect, wonder, and maybe even believe that reality is at least partially created by your own thoughts?

What is this non-scientific poppycock I’m spouting? Let’s address the “scientific” objections first then, shall we?

The Pseudoscience of Science

If science aims to study reality, then does the Scientific Method of observation, hypothesis, and validation allow us to study reality accurately?

Unfortunately, no. The scientific method presupposes the existence of an objective reality, so that’s what it studies. Objective reality is a type of reality that exists and perpetuates itself independent of the observer. The observer and the observed must remain separate, or the experimental data would be corrupted. This is why there are such structured processes for conducting scientific experiments, including peer review. The idea is to be as accurate as possible while minimizing observer bias. Of course, politics plays a significant role in practical science, especially where huge profits are concerned, but those problems don’t invalidate the method itself.

I suggest that nothing can take the place of the Scientific Method in the area in which it works. And the area in which it works is objective reality.

So if we want to use the Scientific Method and all its wonderful processes, we have to be working with objective reality. That’s its domain.

But is objective reality an accurate model of real reality?

Many people believe so. I’m not one of them.

I conceive reality as an elegant combination of both objective and subjective elements. This is how it appears from the perspective of my human body and mind. But from the perspective of consciousness itself, I think reality is entirely subjective, where the subjective observer in this case is consciousness/awareness itself, not individual human beings. But that’s getting a bit into nonduality (a belief I happen to have), and we don’t have to stretch quite that far to explore this particular topic….

You may have been been taught to believe that objective reality is the reality in which you exist. How very pragmatic. But this is just a teaching — it isn’t rooted in reality itself. It’s rooted in that increasingly shaky assumption that objective reality is real.

I’m not suggesting that objective reality doesn’t exist per se. However, I am suggesting that there are elements to reality which are created by your own thoughts. Why should you care? Because if you can learn to access the subjective parts of reality, you can gain much greater control over your experience of life and do some really interesting things.

This broader view of reality doesn’t contradict objective reality — it emcompasses it.

Let me ‘splain….

Your Self-Created Reality

What if there are parts of reality which are created by your own thoughts?

Put your skepticism on hold for just a minute — you can return to it when you’re done reading if you like — and follow this line of thought with me.

Just imagine for a moment that you’re actually living in a reality that’s created by your own thoughts. So all the stuff you were taught to believe isn’t actually real, but you’ve been conditioned to believe it’s real, so by your own thoughts, beliefs, and expectations you make it so. Your experiene of reality is merely a reflection of what you think you know. Are you with me?

Imagine you’re like a god whose thoughts manifest in physical form. Imagine for a moment that this is the reality in which you actually exist.

Now what would happen if this was the actual reality you lived in, and then you adopted the belief in objective reality (and nothing beyond objective reality)? You’d create it, right? Beliefs are thoughts. So your experience of reality would be limited to the scope of objective reality? You might actually be living in a far more expansive, thought-created reality, but you’d be using your own thought power to create a reality in which your thoughts didn’t appear to have such power.

You’d be like a god using his/her powers to turn those powers off by willing them out of existence.

You Impotent God, You

So if that’s true, then why can’t you seem to access your god powers right now? Why can’t you move objects with your mind, for example?

Since your belief in objective reality would be fundamental to your experience of reality, you couldn’t simply override it without first dumping that belief. Otherwise, you’d be sending out contradictory thoughts, and they’d simply negate each other. So you couldn’t will yourself to do magic without first letting go of your belief in objective reality. You can’t access your god powers until you first turn them back on by remembering and re-embracing that you’re a god. And that would mean letting go of an awful lot that you’ve become very attached to throughout your human life. Scary to even think about that, right?

But guess what… even as you foist these unnecessary limitations on yourself, your power is still there, lying dormant, waiting for you to begin using it again.

However, it’s impossible for you to find any evidence of this power in your external world as long as you continue using it to reinforce the illusion of objective reality. So please don’t go whining that science cannot prove any of this. You’re absolutely right. I agree with you. You can’t prove the existence of non-objective reality from within objective reality. That’s a big limitation of the Scientific Method.

You can’t manifest what’s outside your thought bubble from within the thought bubble. Wet cannot experience dry.

Think about what happens in science. Scientists agree to adopt a shared belief system. They’re taught the same beliefs about reality. They buy into those beliefs and accept them as real. Scientists learn from other scientists. But are they learning about reality itself, or are they simply learning the belief structure of objective reality? It’s the latter of course. They learn to become masters of objective reality because that’s where they invest their thought energy, but that isn’t the same as understanding real reality. Objective reality is just one of many thought-created subdomains of real reality, one in which the Scientific Method reigns supreme.

So if reality is actually thought-created, then you’d say that scientists are using their thoughts to create their version of objective reality. Scientists create science. And to the degree you believe in this reality as well, you’re using your own thought power to manifest it for you. You’ll then experience all the benefits and limitations that are encapsulated within that belief structure. Some of your experiences will be enhanced (those that align with the logic of science), while other experiences will never come into your reality (those that you believe to be scientifically impossible).

As long as you subscribe to the belief in objective reality, that will be your experience of life. No one will be able to convince you otherwise, including me. The more firmly you believe in objective reality, the more strongly you create it.

Again, there’s no way I can prove to you that you’re living in a thought bubble while you still remain in that bubble. I cannot prove to you that your thought bubble is a self-created illusion from within the context of that illusion. Within your personal experience of reality, your thoughts have greater power than mine. I cannot shove new experiences into your experience of objective reality that aren’t already permitted within your belief structure.

The Unclaimable $1 Million Pavlina Prize

Have you heard of the JREF prize? It’s a prize of $1 million to anyone who can objectively prove something of a paranormal or supernatural nature, as long as you can find a way to do so within the scope of the normal and the natural. The prize is a sham though because it’s unclaimable. It requires you to prove the existence of wet while only being allowed to do so within the scope of dry. You can’t prove a subjective experience within the context of objective reality. Very cute. You could just as easily propose the exact opposite challenge, and that prize would be equally unclaimable. It makes for good publicity though.

So here’s my own unclaimable sham prize, which I’ll call the Pavlina Prize. I’ll pay $1 million cash to anyone who can prove to me within the context of my own consciousness that my collective conscious and subconscious thoughts and beliefs are NOT creating my reality. Just step into my consciousness and provide the proof to my satisfaction. I’m a reasonably intelligent guy with a decent IQ (qualified for Mensa), so that shouldn’t be too tough. ;)

Of course, my challenge might be slightly less impressive than the JREF prize because I don’t happen to have $1 million yet. So until then I’ll just offer to buy you lunch at a nice restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip. And if you want to collect the prize, you’ll need to find a way of proving it to me without killing me; otherwise how am I going to pay you? And if you merely maim me in the process, then I’m not paying for dessert.

While I can’t prove I’m correct within the scope of your reality, you can’t prove I’m wrong within the scope of mine. However, I can prove to my satisfaction that your objective reality is a false one within the scope of my reality. And you can easily convince yourself that I’m just spouting nonsense from within the scope of your belief in objective reality. But what does that do for us? We’d just be proving our own beliefs within the context of those beliefs.

Overlapping Subjective Realities

To the degree our realities overlap, you can interact with me. But if our beliefs stretch too far apart, then we can no longer resonate with each other, and we will essentially disappear from each others’ realities. From the perspective of your objective reality, what you would experience is that I’d somehow fall out of your life. You’d cease to have any further contact with me. You might actively kick me out of your life after dismissing me as a nut or something, but more likely my role in your life would simply fade, and you’d eventually forget I ever existed. You’ll continue on with your existence, attracting people who most strongly resonate with your belief in objective reality, continuing to reinforce your existing belief structure and giving you no reason to doubt it.

But that would be your experience of reality, not mine. In my experience of reality, as our beliefs stretched further and further apart, you’d also drop off my radar because I’d simply stop perceiving you. I would be resonating more and more with people who believe in a thought-created reality, and we’ll do some really interesting things together which are congruent with our beliefs but not with yours.

You won’t allow into your reality anything you believe is impossible. Your belief in what is impossible (or at least highly improbable) is what makes it impossible. So from my perspective you’re simply using your thought power to prevent such “impossible” things from existing for you.

Your experience of reality is largely dictated by your belief structure. Once you begin to challenge those beliefs and expand them, your experience of reality will expand. You will begin to do things which you previously thought impossible because you started willing them to be possible.

But you see, neither of us is actually right or wrong. My self-created reality is no more real or unreal than yours. However, my experience of reality is probably a lot less limiting than yours. Keep in mind that what you perceive to be my experience of reality is not the same as my actual experience of reality. Who you believe I am is not who I am. All you perceive is a projection of the real me onto your current belief structure to the degree to which my beliefs resonate with yours. If our beliefs overlap a lot, I’ll probably be a big part of your life, and the more our beliefs overlap, the bigger a role I’ll play in your life. If our beliefs overlap very little, then I’ll play only a marginal and insignificant role in your life, and nothing I write or do will have much impact on you, including this.

Popping the Thought Bubble

How did I come to believe that reality is thought-created? This line of thinking began for me a few years ago when I focused my thoughts on this primary intention for several months:

I perceive reality accurately.

That intention seemed to be a key that unlocked this weird door into the possibility of subjective reality. Don’t ask me why — I haven’t a clue. But leading up to that intention came several years worth of experiences of intentionally shifting my beliefs and then seeing corresponding shifts in my experience of reality. I still had to wonder if I was just being a self-fulfilling prophecy though. But then I had some sort of awakening where I considered that being a self-fulfilling prophecy might be more reality than delusion. And from that point on, my constant experience of reality has been one of deep fascination and wonder. Every day I can see my own thought reflections coming back to me, and this effect seems to grow stronger with each passing year. Now I actively play with them, attempt to create synchronicities, try to push through limiting beliefs.

The belief in objective reality is very compelling. It’s hard to loosen the mental grip on it, but a loosening must occur in order to experience far less limiting parts of reality. Fear is the main thing that keeps us from exploring different belief systems. In the field of all belief structures, the belief in objective reality is like a magnetic pit that’s hard to escape. Once you succumb to this belief system, you fall into a self-reinforcing delusion because part of this belief system requires that you begin using your power against itself. You fall into the trap of using your power to remain powerless. That’s a tough nut to crack, which is one reason that escaping (to enlightenment or otherwise) tends to happen gradually. On this path to higher awareness, you’ll most likely experience a series of smaller quantum leaps as you learn to regain your power step by step.

You don’t have to dive right in and confront your greatest fear. That would be too much for you. You’ve grown so used to using your power to negate itself that it’s very unlikely you have the will to make big, sweeping changes. So start around the edges of objective reality and try pushing your perceived boundaries back a little, very gently at first. Start by challenging some of your assumptions, beginning with those that seem the weakest. Begin to wonder that your assumptions may in fact be self-created limitations rather than actual properties of reality. Relax yourself away from stubborness, and begin to shift towards curiosity.

The path for me included hundreds of increasingly expansive thoughts and experiences spread over a period of many years. But here’s a represenative sample: Do I really need a job? Let’s try believing that’s not true. Hmmm… that worked. I haven’t had a job in over 13 years and still make a decent living. Do I really need to trade my time for money? Let’s allow the possibility that this is no longer necessary, so we can just make money passively while putting the bulk of our time into more interesting things. That worked. Time wealth is really nice. How about diet? Can we shift to a healthier diet that doesn’t require torturing animals and even enjoy the food more? Yep. Can we earn six figures a year? Yep. Can we do a marathon? Yes. How about fixing these emotions now… can we reach the point of feeling really, really good all the time? Amazing how well that worked. Inner peace is really nice… should have done that one years ago. How about developing better intuition? Yep, works great now. Buy a house? That was fast. What’s next? How about sleep? Can we stop sleeping if we want to and just remain perpetually conscious? Weird… this thing called polyphasic sleep just manifested in our reality. Let’s try it… it worked. Now we sleep only in 20-minute naps 6-7 times per day… more like taking short rest breaks than ever going to bed. Something damn strange is going on… are my beliefs creating this reality? Time to push the boundaries a bit more. Let’s try becoming a millionaire. In fact, let’s turn it into a group project and try to make other people millionaires too. And if that works, what’s next?

This manner of living takes some getting used to, but the upside is that it’s an empowering, fascinating, and immensely pleasurable way to live. Suffering and pain are nearly nonexistent for me now because I’ve learned to stop creating them. Just lots and lots of curiosity and wonder. I still can’t get over just how astonishing this whole notion of subjective reality is. It conflicts with everything I was taught growing up, but then I believed in objective reality as a child, so perhaps I was simply manifesting what I expected back then.

How far can we push it?

That’s what I’m most interested in finding out. How far can I push my beliefs, and to what degree will I continue to see evidence that they are indeed creating my reality?

Manifesting Superpowers

Why not superpowers? Telekinesis. Pyrokinesis. Chocokinesis (the spontaneous manifestation of chocolate). That sort of thing. After all, if reality is thought-created, then why not simply direct one’s thoughts to experience that too? Why stop at anything less?

Sure, that would be a logical extension of these experiments. And if they keep going the way they’ve been going, that’s what they’ll eventually progress to. I’ve already experienced a lot of stuff that would be considered supernatural in nature, and my wife has too. Some of these were shared experiences, strong enough to convince us that something is definitely going on here. But they also appeared random and uncontrollable.

So naturally I tried to manifest things like telekinesis, seeing if I could condition myself to believe I could move an object with my mind and then willing it to happen. After putting quite a number of hours into this with a variety of different objects, so far the object has always stubbornly refused to move. So I took a step back and asked the universe to explain why I can’t simply manifest this kind of thing right now. If you’re a regular reader, you may recall that in a previous post, the answer I got back was a series of references to the 80s TV show The Greatest American Hero. As I mentioned in that post, this was a show about a superhero who derived his powers from a supersuit, but he lost the instruction manual, so he had to figure out how to use the powers by trial and error.

So I’ll certainly continue experimenting along these lines, but apparently I still have a lot to learn before I can manifest something like this. So in the meantime, I’ll just keep pushing back the edges as my belief structure evolves. Even things that seem miraculous may eventually succumb to that approach. But whether I succeed or fail, it’s a lot of fun to make the attempt.

Keep in mind that your thought-created experience of reality isn’t necessarily the same as mine. So if you believe things like manifesting superpowers are impossible, you’ll never experience them. You’ll never see them except to the degree they can be accomplished within your current belief structure. So while people might someday be able to fly within your belief system, it will have to manifest in accordance with your beliefs. If you believe in objective reality as the one true reality, then you might have to endure the unfolding of the “scientific” process of the discovery of anti-gravity technology in order for human beings to fly. You won’t see people manifesting powers out of pure thought unless and until you believe it’s possible to do so. Your belief structure would probably have to change radically to become open to this.

So if someone were to manifest superpowers through pure thought power, you’ll never see them unless you happen to already believe it’s possible. But most people don’t believe it’s possible, so they’ll never see it. Their reality cannot resonate with the reality of people who can do these things because there isn’t enough overlap in belief structure.

If you go looking outside yourself for proof of anything, you’ll simply find proof of your own beliefs. That isn’t a bad thing per se. By exploring your thought bubble (i.e. your experience of reality) more deeply, you’ll at least come to understand your thoughts better. You might even find enough clues to make you wonder if you are indeed creating your reality via your thoughts.

Those who subscribe to a belief in objective reality will see advances in human potential occurring fairly gradually because that’s how objective reality works. Superhuman breakthroughs don’t happen within that context. In order to witness superhuman breakthroughs as a part of your daily existence, you have to shift your beliefs to create a different thought bubble where those types of things are permitted to occur.

Shifting Humanity’s Collective Belief Structure

What I’m really curious about is what would happen if most of the people on earth experienced a shift in their belief systems to allow such things as the manifestation of superpowers. I can already manifest superpowers in my private reality (i.e. lucid dreaming), as can many other people who’ve mastered lucid dreaming, but I think it would be more fun to manifest them in our shared reality too.

However, in order to make this possible, we’ll have to shift the belief structure of millions, if not billions, of people. That’s going to take some doing, although it appears there are a number of people like me who are interested in pursuing this. It has some obvious benefits like ending all suffering on earth. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been working to build more and more traffic to this web site — it becomes a vehicle for us to collectively explore alternative belief structures. This web site is already reaching nearly half a million people per month, so we’re gradually getting there.

The Million Dollar Experiment is our first group experiment along these lines. Those who choose to participate are coming together to congruently focus their thoughts to change external reality for the highest good of all.

What would happen if we could get a billion people together to all focus on manifesting a single positive intention? I have no idea. But I really want to find out. And since I have such an insatiable curiousity about it, I’m comfortable investing a few more decades into it. It sure beats having a regular job and spending my whole life selling widgets.

So technically there is a way to win the JREF prize. And that is to first shift our thought-created shared reality to allow for the possibility of the paranormal to manifest in a socially demonstrable way. The problem right now is that our socially incongruent beliefs only allow such phenomena to manifest for those whose already believe in it. But by the time that happens, people will no longer need objective proof of what they already know. You don’t need objective proof when you’re the one creating what you’re seeking to prove.

I’m seeing more and more indications that this thought-created model of reality is probably pretty close to how reality actually works. But I have a lot more trial and error hoops to go through. It would be nice if I could find that darn instruction manual someday. :)

Who Left the Door Open and Let Me Into Your Reality?

If you happen to believe in objective reality, then how is it possible that you’re perceiving me telling you all this other weird stuff about thought-created reality?

Because you’ve already started to doubt your experience of objective reality. Before you ever encountered me within your external environment, you were already beginning to open yourself up to new thoughts and ideas, weren’t you? I’m simply the manifestation of things you were beginning to suspect. You’re the one who manifested me. Your own thoughts brought me into your environment. Should you choose to continue down this path, my role in your life will expand, and/or other new resources will continue to appear for you. You’ll probably experience me and other people writing more and more about things you’ve been wondering about all along, if you haven’t already found this to be true for you.

Do you tell yourself that it’s just a strange coincidence when I happen to write about something you were just thinking about? Or are you beginning to realize that you’re the one creating all of this with your own thoughts?

You’re always free to close the door on these happenings and return to the illusory safety and security of your belief in objective reality. No hard feelings if that’s what you wish to create for yourself. However, you’ll probably find that this web site no longer resonates with you on that level of existence. On the other hand, if you find yourself becoming more and more open to seeing how your thoughts are creating your reality and you want to explore that potential to see if we can’t collectively manifest bigger and bigger positive changes, you’ve come to the right place.


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