The Cripple Effect
Last week we explored The Ripple Effect, which is the dynamic exchange of energy within our relationships. We enter the world as ‘radiators’ of energy in the form of our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Our relationships are also our mirrors in which we can see ourselves and can gauge the quality of the energy we emit. And we are also boulders in the pond of life reflecting back the energy of others as they radiate at us!
An understanding of this external exchange reminds us to be aware of the quality of our radiance. However there is an internal dimension to this dynamic and it is very much a part of what is often referred to as ‘your karma’. Karma essentially means action and ‘your karma’ usually refers to the actions that you have recorded in the past that are now affecting your present. The basic principle is that everything that you think, feel and do is recorded within your consciousness. Your ‘records’ of yesterday will play a large part in shaping your created responses today, which in turn will shape the thoughts/feelings/actions and outcomes of your responses tomorrow.
For example, lets say one day you become really angry at David for something he has said or done. In the moment of creating the emotion of anger you create a record, an impression, a memory track within your consciousness. Recorded in that track is the image of David entwined with the emotion of anger. Three days later you are walking down the street. Coming the other way on the other side of the street you see a familiar figure. The image of that person enters your consciousness and it matches the image of David that you already have in your memory. So up pops the thought, “That’s David”, but it is accompanied by the emotion of anger. So anger re-enters your consciousness. David walks over to talk to you. But you can’t converse clearly, you can’t exchange calmly and peacefully, you can’t give David your full, open and positive attention? Why? Because your consciousness has been hijacked with an emotional disturbance called anger. In effect it is as if your consciousness is ‘crippled’ by your previously created and recorded emotion and a negative image. This is called the ‘cripple effect’.
In other words ‘your karma’ really has little to do with David and more to do with how you created David and reacted towards David in the past, which is affecting your ability to communicate now.
Our actions (which really means our creations) yesterday, affect our ability to respond today. With some people it’s not just one person that ‘triggers’ anger or negative images/emotions. Almost everyone they encounter i.e. people in general, may trigger such an internal, emotional reaction. And a ‘reaction’ is simply the ‘re-activation’ of an already recorded set of thoughts, emotions and behaviours. In other words our ‘karma’ is the action of creating and recording our thoughts/emotions/behaviours and then replaying those thought/emotions/behaviours automatically at a later date in a way that will influence either negatively or positively the outcome of the interaction. And while we may think we are ‘in control’ of ourselves in the interaction it is in fact the past records of our thoughts/feelings actions that are more in control.
While many believe ‘their karma’ is something that exists outside themselves, usually with other people, in fact it is almost entirely an internal issue. What is often not seen or realised is that action (karma) begins at the level of our beliefs, then our perceptions and then our thoughts. Essentially it comes down to the ‘action of creation’. The process goes something like this.
When we are young most of us learn from those ‘big people’ the idea that others are responsible for our feelings of happiness or unhappiness. So we create (action) and keep re-creating the belief that others behaviours are responsible for what we feel. This belief then becomes deeply layered within our consciousness and then shapes the creation or our perception/thought/attitude/action towards others, like David in our example above. It is our belief that David is responsible for how we feel that moves us to create David in a negative light in our consciousness when he does not do what we want or approve of. This negative light is called anger. So we record the emotion of anger around the image of David. And eventually all we need is to see someone who looks like David, or someone who behaves similarly to David, and this triggers the re-emergence of the emotion into our consciousness and the behaviour that follows. And as the emotion re-emerges we create a little more, adding to it, growing it, until perhaps one day just the slightest word or gesture from anyone triggers our ‘records of the anger’.
This emotion then ripples outwards and into other relationships and is likely to be ‘reflected’ back when others ‘catch’ our energy/emotion then create their own version and send it back to us. It will certainly affect our performance at work or in our sport. It could easily spiral into violence. Or some people may just eventually start avoiding us. Or perhaps over time, it will affect our physical health. It’s at his point a common mistake is made in both our understanding of ‘karma’ and the way we use the word karma. We may sometimes say something like, “Well they are like that, or they are suffering like that, or they are being denied that opportunity, or that’s happening to them…. because it’s ‘their karma’”. When used in this way it implies a fate over which we have no control. But the opposite is true. As soon as we understand how our karma (action) is created and how our recorded actions from the past influence our results/outcomes/situations today, we realise we can do something about it. Our destiny is back in our hands. We can simply learn to interrupt the emergence of the our recorded patterns in our life today, be more discerning about the actions we create today, and know that we are now consciously shaping the consequences which will manifest tomorrow.
And so our karma has its roots deep within our consciousness. One particular ‘inner action’ (karma) of creation that seems to affect us most is how we create our self-image. Not in a physical sense but in a more subtle sense. If we learn to create the belief that we are bad or negative or a rejected person, or just a person who is hopelessly unable to affect their life, this subtle self created image will influence all that we think/feel/do and achieve for the rest of our life. Most significantly it will be a major influence on how we see/perceive others in our life. When we perceive ‘the other’ we create the other, and that ‘action’ of creation’ is shaped to a large extent by how we see ourselves.
When we see ourselves ‘darkly’, i.e. negatively in any way, we will tend to create and see others darkly. Each time we do, we create another layer of recorded darkness within our consciousness. Slowly but surely, as we look at others and the world through this darkness, both they and the world will ‘appear’ to be increasingly dark. For dark read negative. This can be a slow and subtle process so there is the tendency not to notice what we are doing at this subtle level. This then shapes the energy we radiate outwards to others which will tend to be reflected back to a similar degree (unless ‘the other’ is aware of this dynamic and have learned to interrupt/change their patterns of ‘dark energy exchange’ – they would be called enlightened)
When we do become aware it reminds us to consciously practice creating others and the world in a positive light, a ‘lighter’ light. But this will only work when we start with our self. This is why almost every spiritual path/philosophy begins with the answer to the question Who Am I? And the answer is usually ‘light’, just light, or the pure light of consciousness.
When shed our habit of creating endarkened layers within our consciousness, when we know and see ourselves in a positive light, when we realise ourselves as the brightest light in our own life, when we know we are the creators of our destiny in life, we automatically create others ‘in that bright light’. In so doing we emit that quality of light which both ‘reflects’ back and ‘attracts’ back light of the same or similar quality in the form or circumstances, opportunities and relationships. And that is why when we see that happening to someone else we sometimes find ourselves saying, “They must have ‘good karma’”. But it’s no accident, they don’t just have it, they created it.
Question: As you look at your life today in which relationships do you sense you have the tendency to ‘cripple’ your self?
Reflection: Why do you think that is?
Action: Consciously practice seeing/creating everyone you encounter this week in a positive light and see what difference it makes?