Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cycles: a wheely important idea

'Good deeds bring about more good deeds; sin brings about more sin'

When Albert Einstein was asked what he considered to be the most fascinating aspect of the universe, he replied, "Compound interest!"

He was referring to phenomena such as an avalanche where a small amount of snow falls and causes more snow to fall with it, which, in turn, brings even more snow to fall, etc. Eventually, a devastating amount of snow falls all at once.

This type of cyclical pattern exists at every level of human function: thought, emotion, and action.

Mind: A person learns an idea which he understands according to his level of maturity and intelligence at the time. This understanding is stored in the subconsciousness. Some time later, the concept re-enters the individual's mind and is grasped according to the individual's new level of maturity and experience. This new comprehension is then stored in the subconscious memory bank only to reemerge at some later period to be modified, refined, and reinterpreted based on the person's further cognitive development.

Heart: If one feels mild fear, the emotion triggers the imagination to depict fearful images. The individual then projects these onto his surroundings and 'sees' justifications for his fear. This, in turn, reinforces his fear level which brings his imagination to generate even more frightening images...and so the cycle continues.

Action:  On performing an act of kindness, one takes pleasure in the act. The pleasure experienced motivates one to perform more kind acts, and so on. Unfortunately, the same principle applies to acting on lust and other self-centred tendencies. The pleasure felt through such acts motivates one to further engage in such activities - often in increasing measure.

The cycles within the human consciousness can either be constructive or destructive. The key is to break the destructive cycles and to reinforce the positive ones. With negative cycles, the more momentum they gain, the harder it becomes to stop them. One should try and identify these in their early stages of development and nip them in the bud. Conversely, positive cycles need assistance in gaining momentum. Once in motion, they become increasingly easier to build upon and develop.

Start a positive cycle today...

1 comment:

  1. Likewise, our sages teach: “Such are the wiles of the evil inclination: Today he says to him, ‘Do this’; tomorrow he tells him, ‘Do that,’ until he tells him, ‘Go and serve idols,’ and he goes and serves [them].”