The power of assumptions to completely change your life
I start this article with a disclaimer: I don’t know how much of this is Objective Truth.
I readily acknowledge that people much smarter than me can poke holes in my theory, and find justifiable fault with the journey I took to develop it.
But I do know this: Regardless of how I get there, the insight I stumbled over in the darkness of my limited understanding is profoundly useful and can transform your life.
So do me a favor, will you? Actually two: First, read this through the lens of usefulness, rather than truth. Second, stick with me until the end. We’re going deep, but it will be worth it.
Let’s start with math.
I’m not a mathematician, but as near as I can tell, all math is based on fundamental assumptions.
A simple Google search reveals that there is much debate among mathematicians regarding the truth, validity, and even internal consistency of math.
In 1980 Morris Klein published a book entitled Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, wherein he writes:
“Creations of the early 19th century, strange geometries and strange algebras, forced mathematicians, reluctantly and grudgingly, to realise that mathematics proper and the mathematical laws of science were not truths. They found, for example, that several differing geometries fit spatial experience equally well. All could not be truths. Apparently mathematical design was not inherent in nature, or if it was, man’s mathematics was not necessarily the account of that design. The key to reality had been lost…
“The realisation that mathematics was not a body of truths shook their confidence in what they had created, and they undertook to reexamine their creations. They were dismayed to find that the logic of mathematics was in sad shape.”
“…disaster struck again in the form of a famous paper by Kurt Godel in which he proved, among other significant and disturbing results, that the logical principles accepted by the several schools could not prove the consistency of mathematics.
“The net effect of these newer developments was to add to the variety of possible approaches to mathematics and to divide mathematicians into an even greater number of differing factions.”
“The mathematician,” wrote Aristotle, “investigates abstractions. He eliminates all sensible qualities like weight, density, temperature, etc., leaving only the quantitative and continuous (in one, two or three dimensions) and its essential attributes…Mathematical objects cannot exist apart from sensible (i.e., material) things.”
Put simply, math is an abstract, theoretical system that separates quantity from quality, and deals with quantity only.
From grade school we’re taught that 1 = 1, and that 1 + 1 = 2. But 1 is nothing but a quantity, and tells us nothing of a qualitative nature.
When quality is introduced into the picture, we find that nothing is equal to anything. Qualitatively, 1 apple does not equal 1 horse. 1 apple does not even equal 1 apple, because all apples are qualitatively (size, shape, color, texture, smell, taste, etc.) different from each other.
To create basis arithmetic, we said “Let 1 equal 1,” and built an entire world around that fundamental assumption.
It may not be Truth, it may not be consistent. Nevertheless, it is useful. It allows us to build skyscrapers, create computers, fly to the moon. It enables technology, empowers us to harness nature for our benefit.
From cognitive neuroscience, we learn that the creation of the world may be similarly based on a fundamental assumption:
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
We assume that our world, and the natural laws that govern it, are objective realities. But are they?
Jorge Martins de Oliveira, MD, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and the Director of the Department of Neurosciences of the Institute of Human Being. Ponder carefully what he says about our subjective perceptions of the world:
“Our perception does not identify the outside world as it really is, but the way we are allowed to recognize it, as a consequence of transformations performed by our senses.
“We experience electromagnetic waves, not as waves, but as images and colors. We experience vibrating objects, not as vibrations, but as sounds. We experience chemical compounds dissolved in air or water, not as chemicals, but as specific smells and tastes.
“Colors, sounds, smells and tastes are products of our minds, built from sensory experiences. They do not exist, as such, outside our brain. Actually, the universe is colorless, inodorous, insipid and silent.
“Therefore, we can now answer one of the questions of traditional philosophy: Does a sound exist when a tree falls in a forest, if nobody is present to hear it? No, the fall of the tree only creates vibrations. The sound only occurs if vibrations are perceived by a living being.
“Although two human beings share the same genetic and biological architecture and function, perhaps what I perceive as a distinct color and smell is not exactly equal to the color and smell you perceive. We give the same name to this perception but we cannot know how they relate to the reality of the outside world. Perhaps we never will.”
It seems possible to me, therefore, that Father created our world in the same way mathematicians created theirs.
He spoke an assumption, “Let there be light,” and from that assumption an entire world formed — which is entirely perceived inside the mind of man. Just as math is an artificial construct to serve a purpose, so, it would appear, is the world.
And now we arrive at what it all means for you and me.
We, too, can speak our world into existence through Creator’s Assumptions.
Are you a horrible public speaker? Your lack of skill is your x — and you, as the creator of your life, get to assume what x equals. State your assumption upon which your new world will be created: “Let me be a powerful public speaker.” And you will become so.
Struggling with an addiction? Create your new reality with a firm and unyielding assumption: “Let me be free of addiction.” And your addiction will dissolve under the power of your word, and your resolve that breathes life into your word. The x of your addiction is not an objective, immutable reality — it is a subjective experience, which you have the power to change.
You were created in the image of your Father. You possess within you, endowed by your Creator, the power to create, to speak worlds into existence.
Every vision that has ever been conceived by the mind of man has been a Creator’s Assumption.
- Johannes Gutenberg said, “Let there be a printing press.” And there was a printing press.
- Henry Ford said, “Let there be a Model T.” And there was a Model T.
- Steve Jobs said, “Let there be an iPhone.” And there was an iPhone.
x never equaled 1 until a mathematician assumed it. Likewise, your weaknesses will remain so until you assume they can become strengths. Your vision will remain but a dream until you assume it into existence.
Just as your Father said “Let there be light” to create the world, so too can you say “Let me be x.” “Let my ability be x.” “Let my power be x.” “Let my reality be x.” And you get to choose what x equals.
The power to choose is implicitly the power to create. As Viktor Frankl said,
“Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment…every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”
“But Stephen,” you say, “creation doesn’t happen instantaneously with the snap of your fingers and a few spoken words.”
True — at least not yet. Just as with practice you became better at shooting a basketball, so too will your efforts to create become better and faster.
As you learn and practice the laws of creation, the gap between your spoken assumptions and your tangible reality closes more quickly. Is it not conceivable that creation could become instantaneous as you master the laws of creation?
Your reality is based on the assumptions of your beliefs. Change the assumptions and you change your life.
What will you assume today?