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The ‘What If Disease’

wolken in water

Eric Dowsett travels the world sharing his experience on clearing spaces and people energetically, restoring balance and harmony. His knowledge is based on his understanding of the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness and non-attachment. He himself was introduced to Space Clearing in Australia over 30 years ago. In this article he shares his thoughts on the deeper impact of the common used phrase ‘what if…’

A common enough disease, highly contagious, reaching pandemic proportions around the world.
I suspect we are all born with a predisposition for this condition which is only reinforced by the majority of people around us who have already succumbed to the ‘What If’ disease.

Do you even notice you too suffer from this disease? It is easier to notice others who are deep into the symptoms, what if this? What if that? What if, what if! People are living their lives before they have happened. The ‘What If’ disease is a projection of various possibilities into the future, which in turn often gives rise to anxieties around those possibilities.

For most, the ‘what ifs’ are of a negative nature, picturing worse case scenarios, rarely are they positive and uplining, there are of course the optimists among us but the nature of the world as it is today more often than not takes care of them before they get too carried away.

Why do we do this?

Project such negative possibilities into our future? How do we catch this insidious disease? Why is it not recognised as a disease?
I suspect, on reflection, that it is so widespread it is no longer recognised as a disease. So common place that those who do not display its symptoms are considered, strange, eccentric, different.
To me, because of the many years I have spent developing my practice of clearing, the ‘What If’ disease is a product of our inability to live in the moment. For whatever reason – likely insecurity – we try to imagine various scenarios in order to be better equipped to deal with them when they arrive.

Creating a future based on a past

There are obvious faults with this way of thinking, one is that we live in a time that has not yet arrived, missing out on what the present is offering and two, maybe more importantly, we create a future based on a past.
Any projections or results of the ‘What If’ disease must arise from our own experiences, they cannot extend beyond our own imagination, our own shadow side. And therein lies the problem. If we continue to so obviously project our past into our future, then we are basically guaranteeing more of the same on our path.
Here we are caught in the old ‘Catch 22’ situation. Our past creates our future, we fail to recognise this because we are – or believe ourselves to be – our past. A past that does not allow us ‘see’ anything outside of that conditioned past. We are lost in a time loop, continually recreating the world we have mistakenly accepted as real. Not an easy one to recognise, let alone escape from. For the more we try to escape, the more energy we are giving the illusory world that we believe to be real. What a conundrum!

This is the classic pessimist. We have mentioned the optimist, perhaps imagining that it is better to be an optimist. But think about it for a moment. Isn’t an optimist also projecting their past – their expectations – into the future. Are they ‘hoping for the best’? Are they living in a future missing out on the moment? Is one truly better than the other, neither are truly in the moment.


So we have many people living in a world that has not yet arisen, a world that is shaped by our thoughts, our projections, our words and our actions. If the world view that we currently hold is a product of who we believe ourselves to be in the here and now and we are caught in damage control, putting out the fires that have lit, it is no wonder that we have caught the ‘What ‘If’ disease. This time loop is very convincing, we remain prisoners to this loop by our own projections.


By imagining either positive or negative futures we put them into our path. We believe we can control what we project into our future yet think on this for a moment. ‘Who’ is in control, to what degree are we in control if we are still subject to the shadow aspects of self. For the shadow, by its very name is something that is hidden from view, something we do not know we even possess.
In many ways then, we are subject to the effects of belief patterns we know nothing about, we have yet to be objective about that which drives us. If we are projecting any future based on this sub conscious part of the self then we are victims to our past and will continue to project that past into the future, creating a future world that is based upon a complex mix of information that ultimately has no basis in reality. And so it goes, the time loop keeps on looping!


I have discovered, that, without actually knowing what I was doing or why, the every day practice of acceptance, via ‘Clearing,’ has opened up many ‘new’ doors that I previously never knew existed. The practice has quieted the mind, allowed it to rest in the moment, slowed down, and in just about all cases, stopped the “What If’s.” That which I believe myself to be is still an energetic form, projecting that which it believes itself to be into the world around me, and thus creating a future world in which I will walk. The biggest difference now though is that there is less shadow making up ‘me’ so less shadow projecting into the future. If I still suffer from the “What If” disease it is much less, almost non existent, compared to several years ago.

Not a bad place from which to experience life.

Eric Dowsett is the author of several books on the ‘true’ nature of our relationship with our environment, with others and with ourselves and personal experiences on how to dis-entangle ourselves from past, limiting conditions: The Moment That Matters, Loving Who Shows Up, First Aid – A Guide to Greater Health and Happiness and Collapsing the Wave.

For retreats with Eric check this page on his website: retreats on Energy Clearing

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