The Effect of Thoughts on Physical Appearance
It is interesting to acknowledge how the physical dimension that we live in is so much affected by other dimensions and planes of existence. Even though often time our reality seems very fixed and rigid, it is not truly so. Everything is affected by time, and organic creatures are also affected by their own minds. This is even more so when we speak of humans, the most complex of the creatures (currently known) that live on this planet.
We are affected by our thoughts and emotions to such an extent that they directly determine how our life will be like. For example, if our thoughts and emotions are low and coarse, it is very probable that our life will also be of a lower type, because we will attract such things into our life. Yet, if we nourish more noble thoughts and feeling, if we are careful what type of impressions we allow to enter our mind, then this will create the opposite effect and our life will be on a higher note.
Sivananda, an Indian yogi of the early/mid 20th century, has written a short book called “The Thought Power”, in which he goes into details regarding the influence of thoughts, and also regarding what is possible to achieve with them. The book is written not necessarily only for those interested in spirituality, which is why it seems incomplete and lacking depth, but there are still gems of wisdom inside even for those who studied esotericism for quite some time.
One of such gem is in a short subchapter called Thoughts Chisel Your Countenance. In it he describes how thoughts directly affect our face, not only temporarily, but also permanently. It is an interesting thing to look into, to observe in ourselves and others how our face tends to change after certain psychological events from our life, regardless if they are good or bad.
Here is what Sivananda said about this topic:
“Your face is like a gramophone record or plate. Whatever you think is at once written on your face.
Every vicious thought serves as a chisel or needle to write down the thoughts on your countenance. Your faces are covered with the scars and wounds which are made by the vicious thoughts of hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, revenge, etc.
From the nature of the scar on your face, we can at once read your state of mind. We can at once diagnose the disease of your mind. He who thinks that he can hide his thoughts is a dunce of the first water. His position is like that of the ostrich which, when chased by the hunters, hides its head underneath the sand and imagines that it cannot be seen by anyone.
Face is the index of the mind. Face is the mould of the mind. Every thought cuts a groove in the face. A divine thought brightens the face. An evil thought darkens the face. Continued divine thoughts increase the aura or halo.
Continued evil thoughts increase the depth of dark impressions, just as the continued striking of a vessel against the edge of a well while drawing water makes deeper and deeper hollow on the vessel. The facial expression truly advertises the inner state of the mind or the true contents of the mind.
The face is like an advertisement-board wherein is advertised what is going inside the mind. Your thoughts, sentiments, modes and emotions produce their strong impressions on the face. In your face, you can hardly hide your thoughts. You may wrongly think that you have kept up your thoughts in secret. The thoughts of lust, greed, jealousy, anger, revenge, hatred, etc., at once produce their deep impressions on your face.
The face is a faithful recorder and a sensitive registering apparatus to register and record all the thoughts that are in your mind. The face is a polished mirror to indicate the nature of the mind and its contents at a particular time.”
The point he brings is spot on, though in Gnosis we tend to go beyond thoughts, regardless if they are positive or negative. Nevertheless, having the thoughts of divinity rather than of things that are low and coarse would clearly create a difference in our countenance. The best would be to be clear of all thoughts, and to use the mind consciously, only when needed. By this approach, we spend most of the day with clear mind and fully in the present moment. By being in such a state as much as possible, the pathway between us and our own inner divinity is always open, providing us with wonderful influences that are essential to carry our the inner work.