Understanding Cycles Part 1
One of the facts of life is that through living we create energies that affect us. Our experiences and thoughts have consequences one of them being we can start to repeat them. The repetition leads to a continuation of the experiences and thoughts and the subsequent interactions. If the repetition persists it is very likely we will create cycle where we continue to experience them. This may sound ominous but it shouldn't be. We all go through them and we even have more than one going at any given time. When the consequences are positive we want them to continue, and build upon them. Keeping a positive cycle going is as challenging as stopping one that is not beneficial. We will examine those cycles that we perceive as problems for us, though it is important to note that the concepts and ideas apply to both. This is why we can take the same approach when we look at either case.
While we may not notice cycles, or recognize them as such when we do, they are an essential and natural part of life. Some cycles are obvious, such as those related to the seasons or the cycle of the moon for example. People have also been aware of natural biorhythms for a long time, not that determining or interpreting these natural rhythms is easy. Certainly doing so can have its benefits though I am not convinced that it is necessarily for us to try to do so. One can get bogged down in interpretation, further we are all unique so great precision is required through thorough observation and consideration for them to be of direct value. What is important is learning to notice the rhythms and cycles we set up by our own thoughts, choices and experiences. To do this requires some knowledge or awareness of the consequences of our choices and the actions and reactions that follow.
In terms of our overall well being the word cycle is a far simpler word to say than understand. Ask yourself these questions:
- Where do cycles come from?
- How do we create them?
- How do we stop them?
Where do cycles come from?
We start by looking at some basic aspects of the Cosmos of which we are a part. This next section is a little abstract, in that you will need to think about the concepts I am trying to convey. When you read it for the first time do not try to dissect or over analyze the words. Let the ideas behind them sink in.
It is simple to say that cycles exist within the basic framework of the Cosmos itself. I will not get into the great tides that form this framework, so I will just say there are forces that are beyond our awareness which affect and influence us in ways we do not perceive nor understand. The wheels turn, so to speak, and all at different rates as the Cosmos passes through its phases. This happens at all levels from the micro to the entire Cosmos itself. So cycles are a natural and normal process. It is important that we understand this as it allows us to work more cooperatively with our "reality", rather than holding vague, contradictory or resisting notions such as "things should stay as they are". It is vague and contradictory notions that get us into trouble in the first place.
Let us agree, for the moment or sake of argument, that we are only aware of a small portion of the forces at play in the vastness of the universe or cosmos. Humankind has focused on exploring what it can measure and quantify. We know the physical universe is around 14 billion years old. We also know that the stars created the basic elements as they burn through their various stages. This is the body of the Cosmos, its physical manifestation. Science starts with the big bang, primarily because it is what we can perceive and measure and more or less objectively agreed to. Also, consider that the web of sub-atomic particles, the forces that make up matter also had to be created at some point. Moreover, I believe that if matter is comprises of these particles or forces that are underlying structure of matter, then these forces also needed to be created or had to evolve prior to the big bang and they did not spontaneously come into existence at that moment.
We would all likely agree that there are “laws” to physics of our world. We can change the arrangements of molecules, we cannot change the way the physics works. We cannot create atoms of a different kind than nature; only create different kinds of matter out of the same forces. These interactions, the ones that created the basic forces that enabled matter to manifest were first. This formed the basic framework within which all physical interactions take place. Let us extend this concept further.
The order behind all creation is even more fundamental than the physical reality we perceive. Before there could be a physical universe, the force relationships of the sub-atomic particles had to be created, as well as basis of what we refer to as consciousness. Emotions are energy we can perceive with our awareness, though our instruments cannot measure them. Interactions of energy created the vibrations that make up our emotions, the same holds true for what we call consciousness. Both of these types of energy had to evolve from the dynamics of the Cosmos. It is consciousness that creates or perhaps more aptly manifests "things". Therefore, the basis of consciousness had to develop before the physical reality we observe could exist.
These basic forces are at play every moment of every day. These fundamental forces are not directly visible to us, yet they are there, incorporated into every part of creation. The important concept here is that the Cosmos consists of energy, or movement in relationships, hence so does that which we call reality. Further, that a large part of our reality is beyond our ability to be aware of let alone influence, or even access directly. We can observe matter of the densest plane, but that which is more subtle evades our detection, though the closest plane may very well be the dark matter we are aware of albeit indirectly. They influence us in ways we cannot change, modify or resist. When we consider that which we can objectively verify we see that while we can manipulate biological or physical processes, we cannot change the way they work, we cannot change the underlying "forces of nature". These basic aspects, the fixed relationships between vibrations form the framework within which we are evolving. This is an important concept to appreciate and grasp because it is under the influence of these forces that we evolve.
Our thoughts and our actions occur within the basic framework of the Cosmos. Every single thought, action and interaction we have creates a ripple in the energy around us in a similar manner to the way a boat leaves a wake as it moves over the water. One difference is that, unlike a wave, the vibrations created by our thoughts and actions do not radiate away and dissipate for there is no such thing as a straight line in the Cosmos. As a result any energies we manifest do in a sense come back to us and at the same time they cause a reaction in the energies they encounter, including our own.
All of these energies interact and we can conceive of this in a similar fashion to that of constructive or destructive interference created by the waves on the water (though it is an insufficient metaphor). When the vibrations created by our thoughts and actions are constructive, or in harmony with the fundamental forces in play we grow, we are flowing with the stream and benefit. When they are not in harmony, it creates "friction" which holds is what holds us back, creating little eddies in the flow. This friction is created because the energies we manifest are not in harmony or balance and is what can lead to a negative feedback loop or a cycle. So how does this relate to the cycles we create?
How do we create them?
We are generally unaware of the energies we create whether we are creating beneficial energies or not. Nor is it simple to connect these energies directly to the experiences in our lives. The problem is in connecting the dots; that is connecting the experiences we are having to any one particular thought or collection of thoughts. This is where being very objective, not superficial in our observation and applying sound reasoning helps us. Not doing this is how our rational mind becomes poorly programmed. Over time the result is we build up lower or conflicting energies we generally do not know how to deal with nor understand how they manifest in our lives. Adding to this is our general dismissal of there being any "real consequences" to our casual thoughts even though we have many tens of thousands every day, most at the non-conscious level. Hence, it is easy to understand why it is so difficult for us to, for example, connect problems with money to a fear, judgmental attitude, or to any particular trait we may have in our personality.
Again, what does all this have to do with cycles? Well, the more thoughts we have of certain types, the stronger the vibration becomes and they create energies among themselves by their interactions. In addition, the thoughts that lead to cycles are not simple thoughts, they are beliefs and beliefs are thoughts about other thoughts. A simple example would be holding a belief such as "People are supposed to be fair to one another". This is obviously a false belief. Certainly it would be nice if people were fair to one another, but such is certainly not the case. Now, this belief, while false, doesn't create a cycle, what could create one is if we reacted negatively when people do not treat us in a way that fits their definition of fair. In fact, it is likely to create a cycle if the belief persists and we continue to react this way.
In such a case we may find ourselves encountering situation after situation which is unfair. The type of vibration or energy created by our thoughts and reactions, which lead to a particular cycle, depends on the nature of the interaction or experience and our history. Nor is there just the simplicity of two vibrations interactions. We have many thoughts, of different types, with different intensity, and levels as the result of our experiences. These energies interact with other aspects of ourselves, and with all the energy around us.
Consider the complexity of all the vibratory interactions we experience. The sources of the vibrations I am referring to, and that interact continually are all of the thoughts, feelings, perceptions through our senses as well as the countless non-conscious thoughts we have regarding every aspect of our experiences. Consider a simple example where we have only four different vibrations, the number of possible interactions is four times four or sixteen. Now, we have in the order of tens of thousands of conscious thoughts per day, thousands of feelings and interact with thousands of more objects through our experiences.
Depending on the nature of the thoughts vibrations or energies (their types, inclinations, vibration rates etc.) their interactions create reactions. The secondary and other reactions/motions created can be visualized as waves interacting from all different directions. When the reactions are in balance they are positive when not negative. Do note that not all secondary vibrations are negative so to speak, and not all negative vibrations cause cycles, far from it. In addition, negative vibrations that do not result in cycles still have consequences to us; it is just that they are not repetitive. However, when a series of interactions is set up such that at some point one of the interactions mirrors or is “like” a previous ones, and the energies are strong enough, we have created the potential for a cycle. See these as little eddies in your energy not dissimilar to those you see in a flowing river.
A cycle truly comes into effect in our lives when a series of thought, emotions and reactions interact among themselves almost as if independent of all other energies. Many of the thoughts involved are not ones we are conscious of. The degree of “likeness” I referred to above, and think of this figuratively, affects such aspects of the cycle as how it manifests, what triggers it, how noticeable it will be, how quickly it manifests, the length of the cycle and depending on the nature of the vibrations involved how much it affects our lives.
We can manifest cycles even when there is only partial “likeness” between separate interactions. The explanation is based on the principle that all thoughts are intrinsically connected to each other, and there are many, many thoughts and energies interacting every moment. It is important that one realize that our experiences and reactions to them shape us. Continuing on what was mentioned previously, pause to consider ALL the energies, the conscious and non-conscious thoughts and feelings in play and interacting between them that go on every moment. Now consider a future experience moments later and again think about all the energies interacting. Extend this to a day or week and then think back on the series of experiences. What I want you to do is to figuratively consider all the interactions and secondary vibrations created by each experience and realize that some of these interactions will be out of balance and will, so to speak, take on their own spin.
In addition, the interactions occur both in a sequential or time based fashion and non-sequentially. Sequential interactions are of the type where “a” follows “b” which leads to “c”. Non-sequential interactions require a bit more consideration. Non-sequential interactions occur based on “likeness”, just as a tuning fork if struck will make other tuning forks of the same pitch vibrate as well. It is the same with similar thoughts (thoughts are forms of vibrational energy), they form connections independent of space and time. The rational mind is based on our physicality hence is rooted in the concepts of space and time, on sequences of events; the energies connected to them are not.
Even though the rational mind cares about past and future these are merely constructs. Everything is now, hence The thoughts or energies we manifest in one experience, say at one point in time, can form strong connections to similar interactions at other times. This can lead to imbalanced energies creating and reinforcing loops of recurring vibrations we refer to as cycles. That is connections form over a series of interactions gradually creating a cycle. This happens even though each each experience that led to the cycle and even the experiences that result may seem to us as unconnected, unrelated events or independent events.
There is one other contributor to cycles, and that is the Law of Action and Reaction. Namely, while the energy we manifest does radiate it also "comes back to us" (though how long it can take varies). When it returns if we still retain the thoughts or a good portion of those that gave it rise it too it will reinforce them, which could result in a recurrence. When this happens we have the potential for the beginning of a cycle. This imbalance will be reflected in our lives through the experiences we have.
We need to recognize that we are the creators of our reality. Our activities are not just physical in nature; we have to include our thoughts and feelings as well as our actions. Therefore, the cycles are our own creation. It is important to realize that, as mentioned, not all cycles are negative, quite the contrary. We go through developmental cycles of grown, spiritual cycles, physical and emotional cycles and then there are the energies of Cosmos that flow move continually. In one aspect of a cycle, we are building up responses and capabilities through experience, and in the other aspect, we are integrating them. These cycles can continue allowing us to refine ourselves even further. However, I sure that at one time or another we have found ourselves caught in a rut, or perhaps a cycle of problems that goes on for an extended periods.
The challenge is that it is hard to categorize cyclical problems in any meaningful structure we can all agree on or that will help us to resolve them. This is due to our individual uniqueness, and the experiences that have shaped our perception and awareness of reality. At the same time, a broader awareness of some basic aspects of cycles can help when we are working on our growth. That is to say, there are commonalities between cycles even though they come in as many innumerable varieties and forms as they have reasons for being. They are a natural part of life, and often occur as we shift and change through life. They can tell us a great deal about ourselves and our fear of them is counterproductive.
Our individual awareness is so complex that every cycle is unique as we are. This is part of the reason trying to categorize them will not help us to see or resolve them. Again, I am referring here to harmful cycles or repetitive patterns that hold us back. Fortunately, cycles do share common mechanisms, sets of traits and ways of coming into being. Early rational mind programming establishes a number of them. All of us develop flaws in our programming of the rational mind; many of these become interconnected over time. Normally their affect is not noticeable and we are unaware of them until we have certain experiences that repeat or our circumstances change. This change brings the poorly programmed aspects of our rational minds into play and the issue is exposed. This is similar to how a rock at the bottom of a river only causes an eddy in the surface when the water level drops low enough or the current is travelling fast enough. If we liken an to an exposed issue then so long as the water level remains high the eddy will be weak and not noticeable and perhaps the underlying issue may not manifest in our lives.
Some cycles are short in terms of time span lasting from days to a few months at most. Shorter-term cycles are often more easily visible by the relative frequency of situations where the issue is exposed. An example would be the belief that “bad things always come in threes”, this particular cycle usually is over within a few days though people have attributed events that transpire over many months even years to this myth. This attribution does not make it so for "bad things" can be a one off, or come in two or fours and so on. There is no doubt that strong thoughts or beliefs about something can influence us. Holding on to the thought form can create the belief. This alone can sufficiently empower thought form to manifest consequences.
Fortunately, the above example of a created cycle has a limited number of occurrences. Typically, shorter cycles are tuning points, rather than life lessons. They are telling us that some aspect of ourselves that needs to be modified or balanced. The situation may cycle a few times then fade away or disappear. The window of opportunity is not long, and if we do not get the lesson on the first pass, it will repeat itself a few more times. Either we get the lesson, or we put it aside. It can reappear later in life, if it does it can hit harder than the first time.
Longer-term cycles can be devastating to people, notably ones that seem to have no discernible cause. Examples would be a series of abusive relationships or difficulty in maintaining relationships, or keeping a job. What is the cause of the cycle? Why are we attracting a particular influence or situation? These are not easy questions to answer and can only be answered by delving into and working through the web of our own thoughts, emotions and experiences. In order to clear any cycle we must get to know ourselves at a deeper level.
How do we stop cycles?
The challenge with cycles is first in noticing them, second in figuring out why they are happening as resolving them without knowing the underlying reason is a challenge. And they can be hard to discern, as each cycle in the loop can appear different from the last one. This is merely due to the fact that nothing is static. Experiences change us so the cycle can take a different form. Further, events may not seem well connected to one another or even completely random. Take someone who keeps finding themselves in abusive relationships. In many cases, the reason for the abuse may be different, they may have different triggers and the type of abuse can vary dramatically. It is even possible the abuser had never been abusive in any previous relationships. We may choose to view them as random, I do not believe they are.
Our problem cycles hide from our perception by affecting different parts of our lives. We may have relationship issues at one time, financial at another, along with family problems or issues with friends, and on it goes. The events may not appear connected or related except they are may be harmful to us. We also have a number of such cycles going so it is unlikely they are all connected to the same "eddy". If the events occur far enough apart, one may never think to connect them at all and they could seem like bad luck, random or merely coincidences. The problem with unresolved cyclical issues is that their consequences can escalate over time. This leaves us in a situation of having to deal with the causes being hard to identify, and yet if we do not identify and resolve them the problems can escalate.
Fortunately, there are ways out of any negative cycle. All cycles are rooted in the imbalance within us. These imbalances manifest in our lives, we just are not noticing them. If we care to look, we can start to find them and work through them. When we start to look within, start to examine our thoughts in honesty, and take responsibility for our own lives we begin to unravel the issues that are bound within our consciousness. The result of doing so is that the dynamics of the cycle are interrupted. Also they share similarities with natural cyclical processes such as those that lead to tropical storms. Warm water fuels them cooler air and land masses can weaken them. This is one of the benefits of having a more active awareness as this can help us notice what makes events in a cycle "stronger" or weaker. We can then apply awareness to the thoughts and and emotions that keep us stuck in them.
Ones degree of self-awareness can be very challenging as many have allowed their experiences to block their awareness of what they feel in the moment. I have touched on this before. We should know exactly what we are feeling at any given moment in time. If we are asked how we feel we rarely if ever give anything more than vague generalities. We do not dig into our feelings and identify them. We have a mass of feelings and tend to label it with a generic term such as "I feel fine" or "I'm doing well" or... but we do not look into it, examine our feelings. Most people have very little awareness of their emotional state at any given time. We often override and ignore our feelings and state they are not of concern or are unimportant or we will deal with them later. These avoidance techniques do not help us, they keep us locked in. If one is to develop their active awareness they must be willing to go deeper through self-examination or else their efforts will be for naught. (1)
At this point, the next step is to identify some key aspects of cycles. The intent in doing so is to give you additional ideas on the nature of the cycle to consider during times of contemplation or mediation. This will help you to start getting at the underlying causes a given cycle or even to look for them. Remember, our mind is incredibly powerful; if it is fed the right kind of information and directed in a balanced way it will work at the non-conscious level to help us. Further, our conscious mind can modify our non-conscious mind if the thoughts, our intent and desire to change thing, are strong and focused. The non-conscious mind takes its directions from our conscious mind.
In part one of this series I listed a number of areas that we should focus on if we want to start to consciously use more of our natural awareness. For this part of the series we are focused on the first three in the list, namely:
- Weak or underdeveloped reasoning processes
- Rational mind programming that blocks perceptions
- Difficulty in focusing attention
These three areas play an enormous role in the development of our mental house. First, our non-conscious mind (commonly referred to as the sub-conscious) takes its lead from the direction of our conscious mind. It integrates thoughts in a manner consistent with our thinking. If we don’t apply proper reasoning processes to what we perceive, we interpret information “incorrectly”. This leads to the second point, in that our mind reflects this in the poor programming that leads not only to challenges in our life, it also blocks our perception. (2)
In the second part of this discussion we will look at the key aspects of cycles and how knowing this can be used to help us identify and work on our negative cycles. By the latter point I mean that we will look at some ways one can approach their self-exploration such that it will help to clear them. Again, remember that we can also use the same technique to identify and reinforce positive cycles. In this case instead of working on changing the thoughts that gave rise to cycle we would contemplate them and commit ourselves to them more fully.
End of Part 1
==> Continue to Part 2: Attributes of Cycles
© 2013 Allan Beveridge
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