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Thoughts, words, and actions November 8, 2007

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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I previously commented on the Capitals’ message boards that we, the fans, are unceasingly negative in our thoughts, words, and actions, and then act surprised when our team underperforms.  A couple of folks fired back and said, if I read them right, that I was off my trolley.  I said I’d explain on my blog, so here goes.

I’m going to start with a very brief quantum physics lesson, but bear with me–this is important stuff.

A scientist named Schroedinger once presented the following thought experiment.  Suppose that you have, in a sealed room, a cat, a vial of poison, a hammer, and a radioactive substance that may or may not decay.  Here’s the set-up: if the substance decays, the hammer falls on the vial of poison, and the cat dies.  If the substance doesn’t decay, the cat’s just fine.  You close the box for five minutes, then re-open it.  What, exactly, happens to the cat?

Well, in Newtonian physics, you can say with certainty that the cat is EITHER alive OR dead.  Either that substance decayed or it didn’t.  You don’t know which, but you know that it has to be an either/or proposition, without even opening the box.  You don’t need to observe, you just know.

In quantum physics, that’s not the case.  In quantum physics, the observer is paramount.  Without an observer, you don’t know the status of the cat.  You won’t know until you open the box.  You HAVE to observe.  But what happens if you don’t open the box?  This is where it gets tricky.

In the Copenhagen Theorem, the cat is NEITHER alive NOR dead until it’s observed.  Once the box is opened, the past decides itself, and the outcome is reached.  In Many Worlds, the cat is BOTH alive AND dead, depending on the world you’re in.  The act of observation puts the observer into that world.

That is a very gross oversimplification–the Cliffs Notes For Dummies version, I guess you can say.  I know this is dry, and I’m trying to get to the hockey as fast as I can.  Hang in there.

The important thing in quantum mechanics is the observer.  Someone has to observe, or nothing happens.  So that tree falling in the woods with no one there to hear it?  With no observer, quantum physics would say that it doesn’t make a sound.  If two hockey teams play each other and no one’s there to watch the game, then there’s no game.  It sounds goofy at the macro level, but when you get down to the quantum level, that’s how it goes.

One other thing about the observer: THE OBSERVER CAN CHANGE THE OUTCOME OF AN EXPERIMENT MERELY BY THINKING.  This is where it gets tricky.  Down at the quantum level, if you think this particle will take the longest possible route through that crystal, that’s what will happen.  If you think the same particle will take the shortest route through the crystal, that’s what happens.  The observer’s thoughts and expectations change what happens.

To hockey.

We have had a couple of games recently–against the Pens and the Flyers–where but for one unlucky bounce, the outcome would have been different.  Remember how, in the Pens game, that puck was just…about….to…cross…the…line…and didn’t?  Or against the Flyers, where Pothier got a shot past the Flyers’ goalie, but it didn’t go in?

How many observers were in the stands for the Flyers game?  How many of them were Flyers fans?  How many of them were Caps fans who expected to see another loss?  Might all of that observation and expectation have been enough to stop that shot from Pothier from going into the net and tying the game?  That’s not crazy; it’s quantum physics.

As a fan base, we Capitals fans have gotten into the habit of expecting our team to lose.  It’s what we expect; so it’s what we get.  When Verizon Center is half-empty, and the majority of the fans expect a loss, in a very real sense, THAT DOES AFFECT THE GAME ON THE ICE.  When we constantly express our negative beliefs, that does, in a very real way, affect the object of our thoughts (the Capitals).  If we, as a fan base, believe, to a fan, that we’re a losing hockey club, well, that’ll make us a losing hockey club.

THOUGHTS AFFECT REALITY.  It is a fact of life at the quantum level.  Might it also be a factor at the macro level?

On other planes of existence–mental, astral, and so on–your thougts become reality just like that.  You think of something, and it becomes real.  Just like that.  If you were on the astral plane, and you were to visualize, say, Sherlock Holmes, well, Sherlock Holmes would be right there, and he’d be convincingly real in that encounter.  That raises other questions, but I’m getting away from my point: on subtler planes, thoughts ARE reality.  What you think is what you get.

Thoughts affect reality on the subtle planes; they also affect reality at the quantum level on the physical plane.  Thoughts are very powerful things.  You can even break that up: thoughts are very powerful; thoughts are also things.

Give it some thought.  And before you trash the Caps in print yet again, give it some more thought.





1. JW - November 8, 2007

But: REALITY AFFECTS THOUGHTS, too. How many times already this season have we gone to the VC ready to cheer on a Caps win, only to leave hours later with a bitter taste in our mouths from the realization that we, in the stands, worked longer and harder for our win than the team on the ice did?

Some nights, they should pay _us_. Until that happens – until the deer has an equal chance to take home the hunter – we in the stands don’t win or lose the games. Affect the mood in the room, perhaps; alter the “reality” of professionals doing their jobs, NFW, or there would never be any such thing as a “road win”, ever.

Do you really want to believe that we cheer on such a delicate hockey club that the mood of the crowd on the other side of the glass is the difference between winning and losing? -JW

2. CapitalSpirit - November 8, 2007

Point well taken and well argued, and thanks for the discussion.

But read that again, though: I said that thoughts AFFECT the game on the ice. They don’t necessarily DECIDE it by themselves. But they can definitely INFLUENCE it, for better or worse. There’s a difference between being A factor and being the DECIDING factor.

Go back to those two home games I mentioned–Flyers and Pens–and consider those shots that al…most…got…through…but didn’t cross the line. If those had bounced the Caps’ way, they might very well be 7-7-1 right now, and sitting in 9th, not 15th. Those were, in hockey terms, tiny events with very big impacts. Is it POSSIBLE that the thought energy of those divided crowds MIGHT have been a factor in those close calls?

I maintain that the crowd is a factor in games: just ask the Senators how they did in the Duck Pond during the Stanley Cup Finals last year. Now ask the Ducks if THEY think they got help from the emotions of the crowd. If they did, well, a team that has Chris Pronger on it certainly doesn’t fit my definition of a delicate hockey club.

Consider this quote from Jiggy:

“When there’s heat going against you, guys like Prongs will take the heat for the rest of the guys. The energy of the crowd is directed toward Prongs instead of the rest of us. It’s something that doesn’t seem to bother him, and it might give some other guys a chance to feel a little bit more comfortable.”

Are you sure that crowd energy isn’t at least a CONTRIBUTING factor in games?

Perhaps I’m being a bit too specific in this regard. Perhaps what’s going wrong outside the well-known offensive woes is trouble with intangibles generally.

I don’t know if you have a background in alternative medicine, subtle energy, or anything along those lines. I’ve become fairly sensitive to higher energies since being trained as a Reconnective healer. The first Halloween after I was trained, I went into a costume shop. You know the ambience of those places: creepy, macabre, you get the idea. I was so overwhelmed by just the overall negativity of the place that I literally was out the door in under two minutes, I was actually dizzy and lightheaded, just from having been in that kind of environment. I’ve since come to absolutely DREAD the month of October, but that’s a whole other discussion.

Point here is, I’m admittedly more sensitive to group emotions than most. And I don’t feel ANYTHING at Caps games that would work to the team’s advantage. I felt a LOT more energy coming from the Flyers and Penguins fans in their visits here, and I don’t need to remind you again of the outcome of those contests.

Consider this. Donald Brashear said something that got into The Washington Times not too long ago (it was on September 21st, looks like.). He said, quote: “We really need the fans’ support. It’s a big part of our success, and at times when we get down we could use a little pep, a little more from the stands.”

Now, I don’t know the man personally, but Donald Brashear doesn’t exactly seem like the mystical type to me.

Are you POSITIVE that the energy from the crowd has no effect on the game on the ice?

3. Wiley One - November 9, 2007

Of course the crowd affects the game on the ice. And, the message boards, should the players be dumb enough to read them, will affect the players’ attitudes before they take to the ice. Is there anybody out there arguing that this isn’t true?

4. CapitalSpirit - November 10, 2007

Wiley One, I agree–thanks for the comment, by the way–but I seem to be taking flak for going a bit further than that.

Don’t forget the purpose of this blog: I’m out to explore the spiritual dimension of hockey. Now, there are some who would argue that, spiritually, thoughts and words can have greater impact outside themselves. Therefore, if a lot of people think a lot of the same thoughts about a single target (in this case, a sports team), that target will be influenced from higher spiritual levels by those thoughts and words. That’s what I’m driving at here: that it’s more than just yelling our heads off at the Phone Booth, being polite at autograph sessions, and all that. It’s even more than just “momentum” coming off a major win.

My position is that all the thoughts, good and bad, being felt by the fan base are influencing the team on higher, more subtle levels. And it’s that higher influence that may have been giving us so much trouble in our recent skid.

Don’t get me wrong: that wouldn’t have been enough to cause the skid by itself, but it certainly could have been a factor in its continuance. How much of a factor is open for discussion. But from a spiritual standpoint–which is where I’m coming from–thought energy can influence reality. It’s no magic bullet, but it can definitely have an impact. Perhaps even a major impact.

I’m going to go out on an even skinnier limb here.

As long as the fans of the Washington Capitals continue to be dispirited, disharmonious, disgruntled, and disunited, the Capitals CANNOT win a Stanley Cup.

This is not a curse–far be it from me to ever do such a thing to my favorite team. It is simply a reflection of principles of Spirit–that negative energy cannot cause a positive outcome.

My hope is that the fans of the Capitals will galvanize, unite, and rally around this team, even in the face of adversity. My hope is that we all begin to Believe, and that our Belief will grow stronger as we continue to win. My hope is that we will continue to Believe, even in the face of future skids. My hope is that WHEN we make the playoffs, that our Belief becomes a force of Spirit that can help the Caps win games they otherwise might not (lucky bounces, etc.)

My ultimate hope is that Lord Stanley’s Cup comes to Washington…as we, the fans, can honestly say that we always knew it would.

5. An Essay: Reflections On a Summer of Discontent « Capital Spirit - August 27, 2009

[…] will any of it matter if the spiritual dimensions of the team are being ignored? I have said before that thoughts, words, and actions affect the greater reality. If that is indeed true, then a […]

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