Friday, September 13, 2013

Unseen influences: are we sometimes our own worst enemies?

A very recent, very positive experience has inspired me to write an article about transforming our lives by transforming ourselves. In other words, we can change our lives for the better on the outside by changing ourselves for the better on the inside.

Circumstances over which I had no control brought me into contact with a random selection of ordinary members of the public, complete strangers with whom I needed to work closely for several days.

Everyone in the group I was assigned to was healthy, stable, civilised, intelligent, articulate and very pleasant to work with.

Everyone took the project seriously and made a useful contribution. They all made good points, sensible suggestions and insightful remarks. They all had open minds and balanced viewpoints.

There were no energy vampires and no negative people. There was no one who was out of touch with reality; there was no one who was irrational, obsessed with something, uncooperative, obnoxious or inflexible;  no one  lowered the tone of the discussions; no one dragged everyone down.

These people had not been assessed or pre-selected in any way: it was just ‘chance’ that brought us all together, and made an experience that I had been dreading into one that I actually enjoyed and benefitted from.

I have heard very different reports from people who have been involved in similar exercises. Is it really just chance and the luck of the draw that determine whether we have good or bad experiences, or are other factors involved? Are unseen influences at work?

When reporting their experiences of life and the colleagues, neighbours, tradespeople, shop staff etc. they interact with, people often seem to be describing two different worlds: it is roses all the way for some and one long nightmare for others.

Some people are always being cheated while others find that helpful people everywhere look after their interests. For example, I have on a few occasions picked up one item in a shop without realising that the price covers two or even three. The person on the till has always told me that I am entitled to some more.

Some people say that there are no more bargains to be found in charity shops, while many others, including me, find a string of low-priced treasures there.

Some people report continually experiencing bad service and ill-mannered staff in shops, while others find the exact opposite.

Some people experience incompetence, indifference, exploitation and negligence everywhere - from dentists and tradesmen for example - while others get first class treatment and are very satisfied with the work done. I suspect a delightful dentist, who cost me nothing, of giving me special treatment that is normally given only to private patients; the work done for me by handymen and tradesmen has always been excellent.

I remember reading a post on a consumer forum by someone who said that people who buy reduced items of food in supermarkets are treated with contempt by the staff: they are considered to be second class customers. The poster had obviously felt unhappy enough to tell the world about their experiences.  I usually avoid supermarkets, but when I was unemployed used to go and see what end-of-day reductions the local one had. I have no bad experiences to report: I was congratulated a few times by the person on the till for finding some amazing bargains.

On one occasion, I watched a man putting reduced price labels on some items of interest. He asked me if I wanted one, and I said “Yes, if the price is right”. He replied “The price will be right”, and clicked out a new label from his gun-like device. He reduced the item for the second time just for me!

Life now mostly consists of good experiences with people, with the occasional unpleasant incident. I remember a time when things were very different. I feel as though I have moved from one world to the other, from the wrong side of the tracks to the good side. This does not just happen: it is the result of a lot of inner work, including the study of unseen influences. It involves accepting many painful home truths.

I remember reading that a quality cannot manifest in our lives unless and until it has manifested in our energy fields. In other words, people who want helpful colleagues in their lives must first put out helpful energy themselves. Someone once told me that the attitude and behaviour towards him of the people he worked with had improved enormously; I told him that this was because he had first improved his attitude towards them.

A well-known axiom is that we create the reality around us. We are the cause of any bad experiences that we may have; we are the conductors of our own orchestra; we get back what we put out, as karmic retribution. Like attracts like; we attract what we are; we meet ourselves in other people; our vibe attracts our tribe; everyone who comes into our lives is a mirror or a messenger.

I don’t think that such popular New Age style sayings are necessarily always true: distress signals coming from good people do attract predators, and negative people often try to destroy positivity. Sometimes our only crime is to be in someone’s way or have something they want. It is best to ask ourselves whether or not these ideas apply in our case.

However, if we constantly attract and are surrounded by or involved with the wrong people, we may need to ask why and look inside. Is this just chance, or is it something about us? Are we surrounded by bad energy? Are we as far from being a healthy, decent individual in our way as they are in theirs?

We need to think about the effect we have on people, and remember that our inner state and the level of development we have reached determine the sort of people we get involved with and the quality of our relationships. For example, someone who is in a psychotic state is likely to attract people in a similar state.

We may need to give out rather than try to pull in. We need to remember that it is best to use normal methods to deal with people, not try to use mind power.

It seems to me that such ideas apply primarily to people who can understand them and are capable of applying them to improve the quality of their lives.