How the power of our imagination and persistence helps us bring things into being
Reflecting on my studies in microbiology and electrochemistry, I have a realization that I want to share with you. Every microbiologist and electrochemist are very familiar with Dmitri Mendeleev. Mendeleev was a Russian chemist who created the Periodic Table of Elements in the 1860’s. This chart organized all the physical building blocks of our universe into a cohesive, logical order. The table included elements like gold, silver, lead, argon, neon, helium and every other known mineral, metal and gas. While the table was incredibly helpful to science, it had a problem.
Wherever Mendeleev couldn’t find a transitional substance that connected two elements already in the table, he left that space blank. While his table worked well for certain kinds of research, his detractors were quick to point out the gaps in the chart. At that time, there were no known elements with the right atomic weights to fit into those spaces that would make whole chart make sense. When questioned about these gaping holes Mendeleev said, “Indeed the holes exist, but that doesn’t mean the elements don’t. We just have to look for them.”
“Mendeleev showed us how the power of imagination can bring things into being.”
Mendeleev created, out of pure imagination and down to the smallest detail, elements that had no tangible sign of existing. Today, every one of those elements has indeed been discovered and the table is complete. Mendeleev gave us a perfect example of how the power of imagination can bring things into being. Just because we can’t prove that what we desire exists doesn’t mean it isn’t there. We just haven’t found it yet or rather, it hasn’t found us!
Mendeleev laid out, in specific detail, his ideal scene of how all the elements should flow together in a visual, hand-drawn chart. When he couldn’t link one element to another, he didn’t get discouraged. He left the space open and kept going. Completing the overall picture in as much detail as possible was his goal. He knew that the Universe dislikes a void; wherever we make space for something, the Universe fills it.
“A good ideal scene of wellness gives the Universe something to work with.”
Mendeleev’s way of being has always inspired me. His powerful leap of faith and use of imagination to manifest what no one else can conceive is something I try to impress upon my patients. I highly recommend that all my patients follow Mendeleev’s example and create an Ideal Scene. Mendeleev had his chart, holes and all. We, too, need a map of where we want to go. It doesn’t matter if there are holes or if we don’t know how this or that can possibly happen. Just get the overall picture of what you want painted in your mind, in as much detail as possible. Don’t simply say, “I want to feel better”. Be specific. What does feeling better or vibrant health look like to you? A good Ideal Scene of wellness might be, “I’m loving the fullness and joy of strength and vitality as I easily walk the white sandy beaches of Tahiti with my beloved husband.” That gives the Universe something to work with!
I believe it’s essential for physicians, as well, to have an Ideal Scene for each patient, creating a mental picture of the absolute best possible case scenario and complete healing. Too often, physicians view their patients as statistics and don’t see their patients getting well. It’s easy to throw out percentages of recovery because we’re trying to be “realistic”.
“Just because we don’t have proof that what we desire exists, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. We just haven’t found it yet or rather, it hasn’t found us.”
In doing so, however, we force an imaginary scene upon the patient that’s far from ideal. They adopt this negative picture, surrender to its inevitability and the Universe gets to work manifesting it. To me, such careless action is tantamount to substandard practice. What could be more harmful to patients than steamrolling over their will to recover and the belief that they can actually do so? Being “realistic” means just accepting what’s already in front of you, what’s there. I’m glad Mendeleev wasn’t being realistic. When a patient has the scene of his ideal future already laid out, he becomes immune to all external influences including the media, family, friends or even doctors who try to make his life anything less than he desires. That’s because we actually think in pictures, not words. Our thoughts and emotions about those images generate the energy that shapes our lives. As a man thinketh, so is he. If he doesn’t worry about “how” certain elements will take shape and trusts that the gaps will eventually be filled in, the picture he’s been painting in his mind will come to pass. Sometimes, the “how” will just reveal itself if he stays open to all possible answers. Either way, the “how” will arrive if he trusts the process.
Do your best to finish your Ideal Scene with a thought such as, “…this or something better, For The Highest Good Of All Concerned.” While it’s important to create your Ideal Scene in as much detail as possible, it’s equally important not to see all of these details as requirements so that the Universe can bring you what it’s been working on even without every facet of your description. Would you really argue if the Universe created your Ideal Scene, but it happened to be on the white sandy beaches of the Bahamas? Me neither.
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Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the co-founder of Be Hive of Healing, an integrative health center based in Los Angeles. He provides revolutionary healing protocols in integrative, osteopathic, anthroposophical, environmental, and family medicine, as well as clinical pharmacology. He served as an attending Physician and Clinical Facilitator at UCLA-SM Medical Center and is currently a Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Sadeghi is a regular contributor to Goop, CNN, BBC News and TEDx. He is the author of Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love & Weight Loss, as well as the foreword to Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, and is the publisher of the health and well-being journal, MegaZEN.