The Illusion of Control

Pam Ho
8 min readSep 20, 2019

Think for yourself people say. But no one can say how. It’s a mystery to science as well. It’s probably the biggest scientific mystery of our time. People believe from a young age that they *are* their thoughts or that they control their thoughts. Or both. But in truth you simply hear your thoughts without doing anything to create them. Most likely nobody ever told you that you are not creating the thoughts you hear, therefore you think you are in control over your thoughts because — where do thoughts come from unless from ourselves?

In reality no one in the science community knows how thoughts come into being. It is such a big mystery that when asked, leaders in the field often reply laughingly that it may take hundreds of years to understand thought. It is commonly seen as the insurmountable scientific mystery because thinking is clearly not being created by our conscious control. Thoughts simply pop into our mind without our doing anything to create them.

It is supremely irrational and mysterious.

If you think you control and create the thoughts you experience, answer this: How do you create thoughts?

The reality of our thoughts is that they simply appear in our mind and we literally do not do a thing to make that happen. We have no ability to consciously create thoughts or know how to stop them. Thoughts occur outside of our control.

Where do thoughts come from? There is a ton of speculation by scientists and philosophers but no way to prove any of it. One thing we can prove is that we are not creating thoughts and are in fact observers of thoughts instead. We can use memory to show that in fact something else other than you is creating your thoughts. Take this simple test: I will ask a question of you in a moment, when I ask make no attempt to do anything except to read the question and focus on listening to your thoughts. What will happen is that whatever controls your memory system will 1st observe the question, then process that question in order to understand it, then seek an answer, then speak the answer as a thought which you will hear. The answer will pop into your mind as a thought. Ready — just listen to your mind and make no effort to do anything, listen to your thoughts for an answer: where were you born?

Since all you did was listen — that answer was spoken in your mind by something other than you. That is how thoughts occur, they just pop into and out of your perception in your mind. Whatever mechanism controls your memory system also controls your thoughts. What controls our memory? Consider that these words you see are being processed moment to moment by an unknown memory mechanism so that you are able to understand what is written here. Whatever it is (a mystery to science) it needs to be able to perceive these words. And understand them. At the least.

If you think brain cells are behind memory, cells would need to be able to read these words and understand them. Are cells able to read and comprehend these written words? What would they need? They would need something like what a computer can do when it scans text. But they would also need a dictionary, they would need to understand grammar as well. They would also need a search function in order to find the memory information you need. Even if brain cells had those functions, and there is no evidence that they do, what they need most is cognition, consciousness, awareness — of you.

A computer can do similar things because it is programmed to respond to various situations like a search query. But a computer cannot “know” your desires and needs unless you tell it. If your brain cells had biological computer software and hardware which enabled information processing, how would your brain do that for you unless it was *cognizant* of your needs or desires? How would your brain cells know that a question is a question, and that you desire an answer to that question?

The brain cells would have to read your state of desire, your state of being, and be able to read these words, understand them, then process that information and deliver the answer in your mind as thought, all in a split second. Brain cells do not have those abilities — which is why memory and thought is the biggest mystery in science. But because scientists have no choice but to explain memory and thought but through a biological process, they often make claims that they know are unsupported by evidence or logic — like claiming the brain is like a computer even though they know the brain has nothing like a computer has to work with.

Your perceptual awareness perceives these words because you are conscious. Are cells conscious? Cells are unconscious automatons, they are mechanical. They cannot consciously perceive anything because conscious perceptual awareness is only a property of self-aware consciousness. Cells display an illusion of perception in the same way that your computer displays an illusion of perception. In both cases there is no actual perceiving going on because they are not conscious. Cells communicate with each other automatically based on chemical or electrical stimulation in ways not really different than how an automatic door “perceives” someone and then opens up for them. Chemical y affects x which then changes it into chemical xy which then causes chemical z to heat up chemical n — that is how cells communicate. There is an illusion of perception between the chemicals because they are reacting to each other. There is no perceptual cognition at any stage in any cell in any circumstance.

The only way for a conscious being to comprehend what it perceives is by education or experience which leads to the development of intellect. Intellect is based on the memory of past education or experiences. Cells do not have self awareness or consciousness. Therefore no awareness of experience is possible, and therefore no education or creation of intelligence based upon memory of experience. If cells cannot comprehend anything intellectually — how did they comprehend the question I asked of where you were born?

No cell has the ability to perceive anything or comprehend anything since they are not conscious, yet your memory system was able to perceive the question on this page, understand it, understand that you wanted an answer, and then respond to you with the correct answer — by speaking to your conscious perception in your mind as a thought.

How is it possible for a collection of unconscious cells, a brain, to be aware of what we need at every moment so that it can supply us with the memory information we want or need? The brain would need to be more conscious than we are. Literally it would need to be a super-conscious being in its own right to be able to observe you and *understand* what you need, or desire, and then deliver every memory you need or want from moment to moment so that you are able to function and understand reality as an intelligent being.

While awake you may have no more artistic ability than average — but in your dreams the reality is so artistically perfect that it seems like real life. And on top of that, in dreams you are being subjected to a reality that imposes itself on you as the subject of various dramas as if it was a movie set you found yourself in all of a sudden. Whatever is controlling our memory, our thoughts, our dreams — HAS to be vastly superior in intellect and ability than us since we have no clue how it is being done. Many physicists have come to the conclusion that our world is an illusion. According to them the nature of our world is very similar to a computer controlled virtual reality world. So much so that for many years there have been debates in the physics community on whether or not we can tell if we exist in a virtual world.

This next video explains how recent discoveries in quantum mechanics have led physicists to see our world as being based on an illusion. (If youtube blocks it in your locale go to its mirror here.)

The more you are able to observe your thoughts in a detached state without identifying with them, and thereby be able to interact with the true source of your thoughts in a moment to moment basis, the more you will be able to interact with that same source through its control in creating the thoughts of everyone else. All thoughts are created from the same source according to the mystic traditions of the world. They teach that the source can be directly interacted with by knowing that everything you experience of the world is not what it seems, that the external physical 3-dimensional reality we experience of the world is not all there is to the world. Just like the physical body is not all there is to a person because there are unknown dimensions of mind and consciousness which control the 3-dimensional body — in the same way there are other dimensions of consciousness and mind which permeate our entire world much like how our own mind and consciousness permeates our entire body.

Being consciously aware of from moment to moment the presence of the all-pervading consciousness and mind which creates thoughts, controls memory, creates dreams, and controls the physical world from inner dimensions — is called in the Yoga traditions samadhi; in the Buddhist traditions nirvana or sunyata (emptiness); in the Kabbalah traditions as bitul hayesh (negation of self or ego); and in Sufi traditions as fana (annihilation of self); in Zen as satori or kensho (self-realization); in the ancient Greek mysteries Henosis (oneness); to Christian Mystics as Theosis (making divine). They all teach that the “self” when disengaged from seeing itself as the active agent in control over the mind, thoughts and the body, by viewing reality as the observer rather than as the active agent, and by observing everyone and everything else as under the same controlling active agent, by that meditation we can have the truth of our mind and existence shown directly to us. Synchronicity is a concept introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, who used the concept in arguing for the ability to experience the existence of the paranormal.

All those mystic traditions teach that we are all part of a larger universal being-ness, which is the true active agent in control over all thoughts, memories, and the power of action within everyone and everything at all times. By knowing that everything is united with that universal source of control and power which exists within everything as the active agent, we can then observe that being and interact with it just like we can trace a fragrance wafting through the air back to its source.

The mystic traditions teach that because it has complete control over everything you experience, both within your thoughts and outside of you in the world, therefore when you focus on being cognizant of that fact, it can show that control directly to you. By being aware that all you experience is controlled by the same thing, that thing can reveal itself through your awareness of its control.