From the preface of The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts
“Experience is the product of the mind, the spirit, conscious thoughts and feelings, and unconscious thoughts and feelings. These together form the reality that you know. You are hardly at the mercy of a reality, therefore, that exists apart from yourself, or is thrust upon you. You are so intimately connected with the physical events composing your life experience that often you cannot distinguish between the seemingly material occurrences and the thoughts, expectations and desires that gave them birth.
If there are strongly negative characteristics present in your most intimate thoughts, if these actually form bars between you and a more full life, still you often look through the bars, not seeing them. Until they are recognized they are impediments. Even obstacles have a reason for being. If they are your own, then it is up to you to recognize them and discover the circumstances behind their existence.
Your conscious thoughts can be great clues in uncovering such obstructions. You are not nearly as familiar with your own thoughts as you may imagine. They can escape from you like water through your fingers, carrying with them vital nutrients that spread across the landscape of your psyche and all too often carrying sludge and mud that clog up the channels of experience and creativity.
An examination of your conscious thoughts will tell you much about the state of your inner mind, your intentions and expectations, and will often lead you to a direct confrontation with challenges and problems. Your thoughts, studied, will let you see where you are going. They point early to the nature of physical events. What exists physically, exists first in thought and feeling. There is no other rule.
You have the conscious mind for a good reason. You are not the mercy of unconscious drives unless you consciously acquiesce to them. Your present feelings and expectations can always be used to check your progress. If you do not like your experience, then you must change the nature of your conscious thoughts and expectations. You must alter the kind of messages that you are sending through your thoughts to your own body, to friends and associates.
Each thought has a result. The same kind of thought, habitually repeated, will seem to have a more or less permanent effect. If you like the effect then you seldom examine the thought. If you find yourself assailed by physical difficulties, however, you begin to wonder what is wrong. Sometimes you blame others, your own background, or a previous life — if you accept reincarnation. You may hold God or the devil responsible, or you may simply say, “That is life,” and accept the negative experience as a necessary portion of your lot.
You may finally come to a half-understanding of the nature of reality and wail, “I believe that I have caused these ill effects, but I find myself unable to reverse them.” If this is the case, then regardless of what you have told yourself thus far, you still do not believe that you are the creator of your own experience. As soon as you recognize this fact you can begin at once to alter those conditions that cause you dismay or dissatisfaction.
No one forces you to think in any particular manner. In the past you may have learned to consider things pessimistically. You may believe that pessimism is more realistic than optimism. You may even suppose, and many do, that sorrow is ennobling, a sign of deep spiritualism, a mark of apartness, a necessary mental garb of saints and poets. Nothing could be further from the truth…
Man has been endowed, and has endowed himself, with a conscious mind to direct the nature, shape and form of his creations. All deep aspirations and unconscious motivations, all unspoken drives, rise up for the approval or disapproval of the conscious mind, and await its direction. Only when it abdicates its functions does it allow itself to become swayed by “negative” experience. Only when it refuses responsibility does it finally find itself at the seeming mercy of events over which it appears to have no control.
Books on positive thinking alone, while sometimes beneficial, usually do not take into consideration the habitual nature of negative feelings, aggressions, or repressions. Often these are merely swept under the rug. The authors instead tell you to be positive, compassionate, strong, optimistic, filled with joy and enthusiasm, without telling you what to do to get out of the predicament you may be in, and without understanding the vicious circle that may seem to entrap you. Such books, again, while sometimes of value, do not explain how thoughts and emotions cause reality. They do not take into consideration the multidimensional aspects of the self or the fact that ultimately each personality; while following definite general laws, must still find and follow his or her own way of adapting these to personal circumstances.
If you are in poor health, you can remedy it. If your personal relationships are unsatisfactory you can change them for the better. If you are in poverty; you can instead find yourself surrounded by abundance. Whether or not you realize it, you have pursued your present course with determination, using many resources, for ends or reasons that at one time made sense to you. You may say, “Poor health makes no sense to me,” or, “A fractured relationship with my mate is hardly what I was after,” or, “I certainly have not been pursuing poverty after all my hard work.”
If you were born poor, or born sick, then it certainly seems to you that these circumstances were thrust upon you. Yet they were not, and to some extent or another they can be changed for the better. This does not mean that effort is not required, and determination. It does mean, that you are not powerless to change events and that each of you, regardless of your position, status, circumstances or physical condition, is in control of your own personal experience.
You see and feel what you expect to see and feel. The world as you know it is a picture of your expectations. The world as the race of man knows it is the materialization en masse of your individual expectations. As children come from your physical tissues, so is the world your joint creation.
You are a creator translating your expectations into physical form. The world is meant to serve as a reference point. The exterior appearance is a replica of inner desire. You can change your personal world. You do change it without knowing it. You have only to use your ability consciously. To examine the nature of your thoughts and feelings and project those with which you basically agree.
They coalesce into the events with which you are so intimately familiar. The point [is] that all healings are the result of the acceptance of one basic fact: That matter is formed by those inner qualities that give it vitality, that structure follows expectation, that matter at any time can be completely changed by the activation of the creative faculties inherent in all consciousness.”
For more about the way you create your reality see the Understanding Reality Course.