Here’s a text derived from a true story that shows the creative power of thought.
Somewhere in the fifties, an english freight ship is transporting bottles of Madera from Portugal to Scotland. Upon unloading, one of the workers checks the cooling container to make sure none of the merchandise got left behind. Nobody sees him go in and someone accidentally closes the door of the container with the man still inside. The frightened man bangs the door but nobody hears and the ship setts of with him still locked inside the container.
There is food in the container, but the man knows that he won’t be able to survive in the cold room for long. He still finds the strength to get hold of a metal bar and engraves, hour after hour, the full account of his terrible ordeal into the containers walls. He describes his ordeal with scientific precision: the cold slowly gets hold of him, his fingers and toes freeze, his nose transforms into a numb rock. The bite of the cold air quickly becomes a burn as his body slowly transforms into a big block of ice.
When the boat puts down anchor in Lisbon, the workers open the container and find the man who died from the cold, his story engraved on the walls of the container. But this is not the most staggering fact of his death. The captain examines the thermometer of the cold room. It indicates 20°C. The cooling system had been switched off when the ship left Scotland.
The man died because he thought the refrigeration system still worked and he imagined being cold. He imagined himself to death.
The secret life of ants: An encyclopedia of relative and absolute knowledge. Bernard Werber.