By:Ashraf Mian


You’ve heard the phrase mind over matter, but what does it really mean?  Is it just another useless platitude used to sell more self-help books or is it true that you can use your mind to influence your world?

The phrase mind over matter has its roots in the study of quantum physics. Quantum physics shows us that everything in the entire universe, the entire galaxy of universes, in fact, is made up of one energy. This energy can appear as either particles or waves, depending on the perceptions of those observing it at the time they are observing it. What this means is that what we call reality is actually fluid and that we can alter it by changing our perception.

While much of quantum physics remains highly theoretical, some of it has actually been scientifically proven at the subatomic level.  The famous two slit experiments of the early to mid-twentieth centuries, for example, proved that light can exist as both wave forms and particle forms, depending on what the observer expected and therefore perceived once he observed it. 

More recently, experiments regarding the ability of the mind to alter matter have been conducted. These studies bear out the theories of quantum physicists and spiritual thinkers alike in the real world.

In 2009, the results of a 2007 scientific study into the ability of the human mind to alter the physical properties of matter was published. The study, conducted by University of Colorado Professor Garret Moddel , showed how the amount of reflected light put out by a beam of light positioned to point at a glass slide could be increased or decreased by human thought. The amount of reflected light had a baseline of eight percent. From this percentage, participants were able to increase and decrease the amount of reflected light emitted by .05 percent.

In fitness, there is something called the perceived exertion scale. It was first developed in 1982 by Gunnar Borg. Most perceived exertion scales are modeled after his. The scale goes from 1 to 16 with 1 being the lightest effort and 16 being the hardest effort. Perceived exertion measures how hard you think you are working and will therefore vary from individual to individual. Perception is the most important factor for this scale, not heart rate or sweat or any other objective measure.  People who perceive that they are working at the higher end of this scale will be unable to work at that level for very long. They will be too fatigued and will need to quit.

Runners know that over ninety percent of running is a mental process. Dr. Tim Noakes theorizes that it is the brain that sets limits on how fast and how long someone can run.  His theory is called the “central governor” theory.  In this theory, the brain regulates the amount of physical activity the body can engage in to keep it safe and to make sure there is always some reserve strength left in the event it is needed.

Scientists at Bangor University in the United Kingdom have conducted some studies to find out how mental fatigue correlates with the perception of physical fatigue.  The scientists studied two groups of athletes. Both groups were asked to perform a high intensity cycling exercise. One group had to also complete a very challenging ninety minute computer test before hand while the other group was asked to watch a series of “emotion neutral” documentaries for ninety minutes. 

The physiologic results for both groups were identical, that is, heart rate and oxygen debt, but the perceived rate of exertion was much greater for the first group, which is the group tasked with the computer test. This group did not last as long during the cycling exercise as did the second group. Clearly, then, mental fatigue correlates highly with the perception of physical fatigue.

As you can see, the ability of the mind to alter reality, mind over matter, if you will, is something that is very real and present in every one of us. It is present in you. In order to make the best use of your own mental control, you need to exercise your mental powers.  The following exercises may be used to increase the power of your mind.

Game of Concentration

Using a standard 52 card playing deck, lay the cards out, face up, in four rows with thirteen cards per row. Observe the cards for a moment or two and try to commit their position to memory. Now, turn the cards face down and turn one over. Now try to find the matching card in the layout. This game can be quite entertaining and may be played alone or with two or more people.

Paperclip Pendulum

You may have tried this one as a child. As simple as this exercise is, it activates those centers of the brain that are responsible for telekinetic movement. All you’ll need is a piece of string and a paperclip. Attach the paperclip to the string and dangle it in front of your eyes. Concentrate on the paperclip and will it to move. It may help to visualize waves of energy radiating from your head toward the paperclip

Pen/Pencil Roll

In this exercise, you will attempt to move a pen or pencil across a flat surface, like a table with only the power of your mind. Lay the pen or pencil on the table and concentrate on making it move. Again, it may be helpful to picture waves of energy coming from your head and focusing on the pen or pencil. It may take several tries, and ultimately, several sessions for this exercise to yield any results.

Bending A Candle Flame

Obviously, for this exercise you will need a candle, a lighter or set of matches, and something in which to hold the candle in front of you. You will also need to make sure that there are no drafts in the room in which you are working and that there are no fans blowing air in that location.

Light the candle and wait for the flame to burn steadily in an upward direction. Now, concentrate on making the flame bend to the side. It is important to concentrate only on bending the flame in a single direction at once.  The bend you achieve should be a steady bend, not a simple flickering of the flame.

Humans use only a small percentage of their brains, this is a known fact. Yet there is much untapped power in the mind that only has to be unlocked. Imagine all of the things that may be possible were human beings able to reach their true potential.  Tapping in to your own inner brain power is the first step in achieving your own full potential.

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