Several years ago I read a book entitled Superstition by David Ambrose. It told the tale of a group of paranormal scientists and researchers who, in an experiment in group telepathy, brought into being the presence of a person who never existed, a person who they had created in their imagination. When they manifested him and he became “real,” everything about his invented past also became real history, and of course, affected the present day people and events. It’s a good suspenseful story and a good read (I read it years ago in one sitting on a rainy August day).
I’ve been thinking about Superstition lately because my imagination has been running amok. Really–I’ve been imagining the craziest things recently; and while I suppose anything is possible, why in the world would I choose to imagine something that unsettles me? I’ve often heard it said that one should expect the worst, so as to be pleasantly surprised when it turns out only half bad. But I’ve learned something different: people, situations, experiences in general, ourselves, all tend to live up–or down–to the expectations that we set for them.
For those of you who simply believe that whatever will be will be and nothing we believe will affect our world: the novel Superstition is based on real events. The experiment took place in Toronto in the 1970s. While the results were less dramatic than the plot of the novel, there were measurable, physical effects–what they created in their collective imagination manifested in reality. If you’re interested in an account of the Toronto experiment, Conjuring up Philip: An Adventure in Psychokinesis is hard to find (I suggest the Amazon or the library), but worth the read.
Lesson learned? Appreciate what’s already here, imagine what you want, expect the ideal, and live your life–not what might be.