I remember years ago, back in high school, when our very wise French teacher taught a lesson which had less to do with learning French, and more to do with understanding human nature.
The scenario we had to translate from French to English involved a train breaking down on the London underground, and what happens when unexpected, dramatic, frightening or potentially life-threatening events occur.
The gist of the lesson was that when such things happen, people start talking with each other, barriers are broken down and people help each other. We open up.
Often we can be very insular as we go about our daily lives, very 'closed'.
When you live in a big city like London, this is very obvious as people go to work on public transport: they sit in their seats, heads down buried in their newspaper (as it was when I lived there many years ago) or mobile phone. And then something unexpected or life-threatening happens, and people open up and start talking openly and helping strangers.
Whilst there is no doubt that man-made and natural disasters are devastating and upsetting for those involved, literally turning their lives upside down, it also causes people to open their hearts and move beyond their 'normal' everyday insular thinking and behaviour to help those in need.
Unexpected, earth-shattering events open us up and bring us together, revealing our ‘humanity’. This is healthy, as it opens our hearts and allows us to tap into and share our compassion and positive human qualities.
There’s also another phenomenon which happens when such events occur, which is not necessarily so beneficial:
When events happens which are beyond the personal, ie, a national or global event which affects a multitude of people, ripples and waves of emotional energy are spread through the collective consciousness energy field, with the potential to spread around the world, especially if it is reported by the media and social media.
Without realizing it, people can get drawn into a disturbed mental and emotional state, where they will find themselves repeatedly talking about the event, ongoingly growing and increasing a multitude of upsetting emotions (sadness, grief, frustration, anger and more) which are continuously fed by the ongoing distraught mental and emotional state of others.
As each person in this state talks to another person in a similar state, the emotional turmoil increases, feeding and growing the pain.
Allowing the mind to constantly dwell on negative emotions continuously disturbs one's inner peace and physical state, drawing the mind downwards into a negative emotional spiral, which can leave us feeling even more distraught.
Most people are unaware that even though their thoughts or emotions are not visible, these thoughts and feelings have a non-physical form: every time we have a thought or a feeling it literally manifests (becomes 'real') on a non-physical level, because every thought and feeling, whilst seemingly 'non-physical', has an energetic counterpart with very fine 'form'.*
When many people are experiencing and manifesting similar thoughts and feelings about the same situation, this creates a strong energy field in the collective consciousness, which grows, like a large cloud forming in the sky before a storm. If the focus of the talk and feelings is unhappy, it will create an enormous 'cloud' of sadness and grief, which is felt by everyone, and many people can unconsciously get drawn into.
Whilst it is obviously imperative to deal with the situation at hand, and have compassion for and help those in need, we need to be mindful of the collective unseen energy we are creating, because we create more of what we focus on. This is where the power of choice and awareness comes in.
We can choose to get caught up in the drama and negativity of the situation, (which the media are very good at doing, further fueling any negativity and fear), or we can choose to manage our internal emotional and mental state, remaining as calm and undisturbed as possible.
Why will this help?
Well, it will help us to remain calm and clear, so that we are able to manage and assist the situation in a more productive way, and it will also help create a more positive collective consciousness 'energy field' which in turn will help others to feel better.
So we have a choice.
We can either fuel the dark, negative cloud, or help build a positive peaceful, hopeful one. We all play a part in the creation of this collective energy field.
Whilst until now it may up have been our habit to focus on the negative, and it therefore feels quite familiar to do so, learning to remain inwardly calm and undisturbed in dramatic situations is a new habit which we can cultivate and grow. Ultimately this can help to transform such situations in a new and healthier way.
And here's another thought to finish with (which could be difficult to understand or swallow if this is the first time you may have considered such a perspective):
Apparently, according to ancient wisdom teachings, nothing in the universe happens randomly, because we live in a world of 'cause and effect'. Actions have consequences, and we will always reap the seeds we have sown. We cannot 'bypass' this phenomenon because it's the way the universe keeps cosmic 'law and order'. This law of cause and effect applies to us both individually and collectively.
The law of cause and effect is easier to understand on a personal level, where particularly as we become more self aware, we come to see that whatever happens in our life has a reason and a gift, if we are willing to learn the lesson. This includes all the so-called 'bad' stuff which happens to us, such as partner breakups, losing our job, even accidents and injuries. Initially when such events happen, we can resist them and be upset or angry. However, if we are willing to look deeper, we will find there was a reason and deeper meaning, and if we can move through the lesson, we come out the other side a happier and better, more evolved version of ourselves.
On a global collective consciousness level it's the same: nothing happens randomly or without reason, even though on the surface initially we may not see the 'bigger picture'.
When big, dramatic events happen on a global scale, life is wishing and needing to teach us all collectively a lesson. There is something life is wanting us to learn as a collective group of humans (humanity). This is part of our evolution. It may not be nice at all, it may be excruciatingly difficult and unpleasant, but on some level, it is part of the cause and effect phenomenon at play, which cannot be avoided.
As I said, this may be a hard pill to swallow, but if we can see things from this wider perspective, it will help us (a) deal with the situation and (b) help us from not getting drawn into and get stuck in negativity and unnecessary drama.
As we all collectively gain the lessons from such situations, we all grow ourselves collectively to become better humans with more compassion and wisdom, and thus we grow and evolve ourselves into a better version of humanity.
Hari Om, Peace to all.
Though not a traditional Vedic mantra, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit prayer (or sloka). It has been used for many centuries to invoke greater states of compassion and peace. Often said at the end of yoga practices, its an invocation for personal and collective peace. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” may be the closest western equivalent. Yet, the impact of this ancient mantra is far grander than simple human kindness.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit mantra which means:
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”
In times of great change and global uncertainty we are sometimes at a loss to find stability and peace within. Yet, we are supported endlessly by the wisdom of the ages. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a mantra of power that assists us in our spiritual evolution and acts as a blessing for the world.
By chanting this mantra, we move from our personal self and radiate a prayer of love for the world around us. It takes us from the egoic, little self, and its limited world view, and radiates from us global wellbeing. It is a reminder we are a part of the universe and can positively impact all of creation.
*Leadbeater 'Thought Forms'
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