I'm glad I went back in. Almost immediately after taking my post, I saw a man who had been shopping in the store for a long time. I'd noticed him long before I took my cheeseburger break. He stood out because he carried himself with confidence. As he walked by, I mentioned that he had been there a long time, and that started a conversation. It didn't surprise me when I learned he was a retired police chief, and had worked many years for the FBI as a criminal profiler. I imagine you would gain a lot of confidence being in that line of work.
He told me that he loved his career, although years of examining the mind of a criminal can jade you a bit. He now teaches criminal justice and victimology at a couple local universities. He looked at the book, and told me he agreed with the concepts. He commented that every evil act he has encountered in his line of work had its root in an evil thought.
He has a great concern for children, and how many are innocent victims of molestation and abuse from adults. He said there is a great need to educate children of all ages so that they won't be a victim. I asked how he suggests this can be done. He told me we all need to learn to listen to our "inner voice" or "gut instinct" as he refers to it in class. He said that here in our community, we tend to expect the best in everyone, and often don't listen to our gut instinct when something feels wrong.
In his victimology class, one assignment is to have the students record feelings of "gut instinct" whether it be a thought to call your mom, to lock the doors, check the windows, or move into another lane of traffic. A part of the student's grade comes from recording these intuitive thoughts. He said that without fail, students who do this exercise increase their sensitivity to their inner voice and find themselves acting on their impressions. I asked him if any great stories have resulted from this exercise. He said, "You bet! One student moved into another lane on the freeway and avoided a collision. Another learned that she had prevented a suicide attempt by acting on an impression to call a friend. Others have told stories about changing plans at the last minute, and later learning that a terrible crime was committed where they originally planned to go. Acting on that impression helped them avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
He said the more we can help our children trust that "gut" feeling and act on it, the safer they will be. I found it interesting that the exercise of writing down impressions (in other words "focusing" on those gut instincts) raises awareness of our "inner voice".
It reminded me of an exercise my sister Leslie once told me about. She attended a seminar where they were learning to trust their intuitive feelings. I can't remember how they were instructed to do this, but she was partnered up with someone who was supposed to think of an emotional event from her childhood. Leslie was to stand in front of her, and trust her "gut" and say the first thing that came to mind. After a moment, Leslie apologized to her partner, and said, "I'm sorry, but all I can think of is Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite." She was apologizing because it made no sense to her. In her mind it was ridiculous. The girl she was facing started to cry and said Pedro was the name of her dog! The event she was focusing on involved her dog. Amazing!
Is there any doubt that thoughts are things?