Is it possible to influence the result of a football match which has already taken place if you have no knowledge of the result? When this question occurred to me years ago my conclusion was: ‘Yes, it is possible.’ After all, if the focus of thousands of people can have an effect on the outcome of an event, then so can the focus of one person. And if time is an illusion and everything already exists simultaneously, then all we have to do is choose – with complete conviction and belief – whichever reality we want. Our very own placebo effect. The difficulty occurs because we have firm ideas of what we believe to be true and real. Let those go and everything becomes possible.
In April 2000 I observed what I considered evidence of mass influence during the second leg of a Champions League tie between Barcelona and Chelsea. Having lost 3-1 in London, Barcelona needed to win 2-0 at home in order to progress. 90,000 people fit inside the Camp Nou, and the whole of one side of the stadium had been given colour-coordinated cards which, when held up together before kick-off, displayed the clubs colours with a gigantic ‘2-0’ in the middle. I remember watching with great curiosity, convinced that such a gesture would make a difference. Indeed, the fans’ influence was so powerful and the atmosphere so charged, their team reached its target quicker than expected. By half time Barcelona were 2-0 up, and eventually won 5-1.
My point with this example, is that it is possible for a group of people to influence reality with only desire and focus. Therefore, it must be feasible for one person to influence things too. But is it feasible for one person to influence things retrospectively? Again: ‘Yes.’ The important point here is that whenever we choose our reality, we are choosing from an infinite number of possibilities. Those possibilities are always there (that’s the beauty of infinity). They don’t disappear just because they weren’t picked. They remain in existence, and so can be chosen at any time. Karaj used to tell me, for example, that my pain was a choice and that I only need to make a different choice. When we make such a choice, we are simply selecting one of the infinite parallel realities which are always running in the background.
So why is it so difficult to make a different choice? The reason lies in what has gone before. We are conditioned by our past experience. Two weeks ago, Barcelona did exactly the same as they had done 17 years previously. This time, against PSG, they needed to win by five goals. It was surely too much to ask, but they were aided in their pursuit of the unattainable by sheer belief. Not only did their players, staff, and supporters somehow believe they could pull it off; significantly, so did the other team. PSG’s recent history of relative failure in this competition, combined with Barcelona’s history of success, influenced their thoughts and behaviour. As the goals went in, PSG’s belief in what might happen to them gained more and more traction until, in the final seconds of an impossible match, they fell apart and lost 6-1. Impossible, except for the fact that it wasn’t. Nothing ever is, unless we believe it to be so.
We allow previous experience to restrict our options to a very narrow band containing what we believe can happen. We limit our imagination, thereby making some outcomes much more likely than others. This happens because we allow events to influence us, rather than the other way around. We give up control and authority, and we explain things away using the reality in front us. What we miss are the infinite possibilities, barely concealed beyond the veil of what we believe is there. The more limited our beliefs, the less there is for us to enjoy. Let go of the limitations, however, and everything is possible again. Everything.