Today in my tai chi class, a conversation about victims ensued after the mention of a story of someone getting their wallet stolen. The question arose: are victim experiences so by chance or by cause? The comments started flying, “Some people have victim written all over their faces. Some people are born victims”. Another said, “I disagree with that statement.” And another asked, “What about children who are abused? It’s not their fault!” Someone questioned, “What about chance? Can’t something just happen by chance?” The conversation seemed to be getting a little heated when fortunately it was time to begin our tai chi set.
As I was doing my tai chi set, a flash of clarity came to me. To put into words what I saw was this:
Everything is energy vibrating. The quality of this vibration is determined by our thoughts. Our thoughts are determined by our conditioning. Our conditioning begins at birth or perhaps even prior to birth. These thoughts control our experience UNTIL we become consciously aware of them. When we become consciously aware of the thoughts we are cultivating, we recognize the kinds of experiences we have as a result and the choice to continue our current pattern of thinking or change it appears as a possibility. If we decide to choose new thought patterns, it can fundamentally change the way in which we experience the world. Even if our previous thinking produced chaotic, unpleasant, and victim-making vibrations, we can learn to cultivate thoughts that bring us into peace and harmony. This is how we gain mastery over our lives.
We are all created equally in the sense that we all have access to the same unlimited energy. We are energy! Our thoughts are the creative substance that produce how and what this energy manifests. What we may call chance is our unconscious, habitual vibration creating what appears as our reality. The ego is the part of us who lives in the world of duality, polarities such as right and wrong, good and bad. Our feelings are just sensations. Our mind labeling them is what causes our suffering. We are so addicted to feeling good or not feeling bad that our tolerance level for experiencing physically uncomfortable feelings is very low. When we realize that nothing ever stays the same, these feelings, if actually felt rather than masked, repressed or turned into stories, will transform too. By consciously feeling our sensations as a practice, our tolerance level is heightened. This transformation brings us out from under the control polarity has on us and we move into greater authenticity and self-mastery. The seesaw emotional experiences of the ego that we are all so addicted to, pales in comparison to the joyfully balanced experience of the authentic self. Once a glimpse of the world of authenticity has been felt, the world of polarity begins to lose it's appeal.
When we practice seeing things as neutral, we are more likely to have the truth revealed to us. We can see that our energetic vibration has put us in the precise situation in which we find ourselves. If we have the clarity to view our situation in this manner, then whatever is happening can be seen as a gift to give us feedback. This is a very powerful realization.
When we accept the responsibility to diligently watch our thinking, we begin to find the link between our experience and our thought habits. This is very freeing and has nothing to do with blame or fault. After we learned to walk, we didn’t blame ourselves for not learning sooner. In the same vein, we shouldn’t blame ourselves for creating situations we didn’t realize we were creating until we became conscious. If we drop the judgments and look at new awareness as a gift then we can move from the victim mode into the flow that is created by conscious choice.
I recently read a book called "The Presence Process" by Michael Brown who had a tremendously painful neurological condition for almost 10 years. In this time, he searched virtually every conventional and alternative medicinal method of relief he could find. After finding no relief, he embarked on a quest to heal himself. He says,
“As a consequence of experimenting on myself with different physical, mental and emotional procedures, I discovered that if I maintained what I then called “a high personal energy frequency”, I could substantially lessen the levels and occurrences of the pain that I was experiencing. This discovery was the first whispering of what I now know to be my level of “present moment awareness.”
Being able to commune with my own Inner Presence during the course of those experiences was akin to being introduced to the most precious part of my Being that had until then been obscured by the endless distractions of my outer life… During that experience, I was, metaphorically, able to step through a veil. On the other side, I witnessed how all life is connected by the same intimate, intelligent Presence. I saw how the true luminous beauty of the natural world of this planet remains hidden from us because of our preoccupation with time… In that moment, I also became aware that my own painful condition was a result of my body doing everything in its power to call me back from where I had unconsciously scattered and attached my attention to the illusory web of time. In that state of consciousness, the pain did not reveal itself as my enemy but as my friend and facilitator, obediently calling me to return to the Now of my life experience…Consequently, I accepted that the greatest journey that I could undertake was to find a way to navigate my experience towards achieving an ongoing state of 100% present moment awareness in my own life.”
We can accept this as a great journey and sincerely make the effort to become consciously aware of the effect habitual patterns of thought have on our lives. We will then find that there is no place for blame, shame or guilt. What we do find is an enlivening sense of personal power, authenticity, freedom and gratitude.