An extract from the book The 10 Mental Laws by Barbara Berger
Just as there are physical laws that describe and govern the behavior of physical phenomena, so there are mental laws that describe and govern our thinking and the behavior. The application of these mental laws is what is referred to as mental technology. This a bit like the software that drives how we think and what we do. Here are the 10 laws:
LAW # 1: Cause and Effect
Thought is the cause, events are the effect. This is the most fundamental of all the mental laws. It is our thoughts that create reality, not the other way around. Now if you want to understand why thoughts are the cause, not events, the answer is that there no universal law that explains this; it is simply what observation has taught us. Everything-be it an argument, a song, a war, a house-must be the result of something. And this something is “thought”. Thought is the first cause.
LAW # 2: Free Will
You are the only thinker in your mind. This is the most wonderful discovery that anyone can ever make. It is the key to freedom as your ability to choose what you are going to think about is what makes you a free individual. No one else can get into your mind and think for you. People can perhaps influence you in some way but no one can get into another person’s mind and think for them. Since you are the only thinker in your mind, only you can decide what you are going to focus your attention on.
LAW # 3: Focus
Whatever you focus your attention on grows. Since attention is actually energy, it means that you energize whatever you focus your attention on. Your attention “brings to life” whatever experience you are focusing on. Let’s say you are about to do a presentation. You can focus on the nervousness you feel or perhaps you decide to focus instead on how excited you are about what you are going to share with the audience. Your focus is going to influence how you actually feel during the presentation. Notice how this law of focus is intimately connected with both of the previous laws as well.
LAW # 4: Sponsoring Thoughts
Your sponsoring thoughts determine your reality. You could also say these are your most basic ideas about the nature of life, reality, the world. Each person, every individual human being, has his or her own unique version of the nature of reality. We sometimes also refer to this as “our world view”. When whole groups share similar negative sponsoring thought patterns such as “my tribe is superior to your tribe”, this can sometime lead to conflict, wars and destruction. Examples of this can be found in Nazi Germany and in the 2016 election in the United States.
LAW # 5: Individualization
You have nothing to deal with but your own thoughts. Each individual is living in his or her own unique world, in his or her own reality, based on his or her view of what reality is. This law id connected of course to the law of sponsoring thoughts and of course the first law about how your thoughts shape your reality. One of the messages here is that if you don’t like the world you are living in, you can re-shape that world by changing your thoughts.
LAW # 6: Creation
Since you are thinking most of the time, you are creating most of the time. One of the first things we discover is that we are
thinking most of the time. And not only are we thinking most of the time, most of us are not in control of what we are thinking. Our thinking is often haphazard and random, for example what other people are saying or doing, what’s on TV, what we’re reading in the newspapers, etc. It is very rare to meet someone who is consciously choosing what they are thinking about. Since most people are not in control of their thinking, we can deduce that most people are not in control of their lives either. This lack of mental control explains why so many people feel victimized,
i.e., feel they have no control over their lives. Mental technology teaches us therefore that we must manage our thinking in order to choose what we get in life.
LAW # 7: Emotion
You can’t have an emotion without having a thought first. When you understand this law, you will see that you cannot
be angry without having an angry thought first. You cannot be sad without having a sad thought first. Nor can you feel loving and kind without having loving and kind thoughts first. For most people, this realization is a true revelation. Let’s take an example. Think of a situation in the past where you had felt humiliated and embarrassed. As you start recalling this, you probably start to feel the humiliation and embarrassment again. Perhaps this is accompanied by a physical feeling of tension and anger.
LAW # 8: Substitution
You can only change your thinking by replacing old thought patterns with new ones. First of all we know that you just can’t tell yourself to stop thinking. Your mind doesn’t work like that. And secondly we know that the mind most often moves in familiar patterns and that negative thinking is just a poor mental habit, usually learned during childhood. So what’s the solution? Here’s where the principle of substitution can help. If you tell yourself to use your free will and switch your thoughts to something else, to something completely different, you can replace the negative thought with another thought, for example with a positive thought.
LAW # 9: Mental Equivalents
Like attracts like. This law tells us that all our outer experiences are equivalent to our inner states of mind or consciousness. Money saving consciousness comes before the money in the bank. Health comes from a health consciousness.
LAW # 10: Manifestation
Thoughts are things. This law is the end result of mental technology and teaches us that there is no difference between cause and effect. Cause and effect are in fact one and the same. Thoughts and things are one and the same. But how can this be true? At first this is hard to understand but if you remove the time factor, you will understand why this is true. Without time, which is the process in all things, you will see that cause and effect are identical. This law also tells us that since thoughts are things, the reverse must also be true; in other words, things must also be thoughts. Every thing results from thoughts – the only space between them is time.
Knowing mental technology laws is important. But it is even more important to apply these. One strategy is to use a 7-day mental “diet”. This is an action plan to remove all negative thinking for a period of one week. This is not easy to do as each day brings negative thoughts like depression, anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, jealousy and so on. Try substituting these with positive thoughts that feed the mind not hijack it and the results will speak for themselves.