Finding research that proves violence begets violence is fairly easy. It pretty much is common sense and simple logic. Garbage in; garbage out is the computer lingo. If we were to think of the human mind as a computer, it applies with equal verity. "If you sleep with dogs, you awake with fleas" is a saying that gives a physical picture to the same logic. Today it is known as the Law of Attraction, as if we never heard this truth before. But what seems true is that we have difficulty applying a simple logic from one context to the other.
The Law of Attraction by any other name simply describes "what would you expect?"
If I physically hang out with a certain type of people, then I will evidence – sooner or later – some of their predominant characteristics. So, if I spent considerable time with people who are millionaires, it logically follows that I will "absorb" some of their characteristics. I will be influenced. [Note to self: hang with millionaires]
What is this thing called "influence"? It is a pattern of thinking that sways me this way or that. Influence, like all things here on planet earth, can be good or bad. But influence, itself, is an energetic form. All thought is an energetic form: books, speech, movies, plays, music. All are produced with the intention to influence, much as this article.
I intend that we begin to understand and respect the power of our thoughts, and therefore our thought forms and the resulting influence we have on each other. The idea that we are creating every single bit of our reality is of paramount importance; because what we think matters (becomes matter or action) and what we say and do influences others. The idea that "God" has a hand in any of this is only true to the extent that any single individual has "tapped in" to the Infinite and received guidance and inspiration to impart with his message.
We can create individually, which is how we can and do experience our own unique lives. And we can and do co-create with others, which is how we have our collective experiences as a family, as a club, as a corporation as a nation. We create via our thought forms that we hold. However, the ultimate ace in the hole for each and every one of us is free will. We can choose to think a thought of our own sovereign decision. In the privacy of our minds with the absolute choice all our own, we can think anything, take any stance, harbor and believe anything we want: with the collective or uniquely our own. No one, absolutely no one, can choose a thought for you.
Herein is the basis, indeed, our fundamental freedom. I can listen to all manner of thought all day long in the press, from my friends, in movies and books, but at the end of the day I am the only one who gets to sort through the trash and dispense with anything I choose to be "not good" for me and keep those things that I feel are "good" for me. I choose to be unafraid. I can choose to be creative. I can choose to be free.
Thought forms have momentum; some more than others. For instance, the thought form and resulting behaviors with regard to war have deeply ingrained roots in the history of man. It's what's always been done. If we think of a thought form such as war as having deep grooves in the road as we ride in the wagon, you can imagine then the difficulty of getting that wagon out of the ruts let alone onto another path. The deeper the grooves, the more ingrained the pattern, the more habitual the behavior. Intellectual thinking (human mind) responds with phrases "it's the way it's done"; or "it's the way it is"; or "it's our tradition" or "our history".
Free will give us the choice to do anything any way we want. Often times, however, we are riding in this groove and decide we don't like the ride any longer. We want to do something differently. (This is certainly no different than changing a habit on an individual basis.) But then there's this thing called momentum coupled with the other thing: that being we don't know any other way. The new path is – at the moment – unknown.
The human mind likes to compartmentalize experiences, which is why we have trouble learning something as simple as the "sleeping with dog thing" as a general principle for living. So dealing with the human mind is the whole pivot point in making a change.
For as long as I have been alive, I have known about peace and the peace movement and the desire for that change. It has been a thought form with little momentum, that is to say, a new thought. Over the last 40 years it has been gaining more energy, therefore increased momentum. That is to say, more people at this moment in time are entertaining, thinking, musing, considering the idea of "peace" – the energy of peace – than ever before.
And the common sense logic asks, "what can you expect? ' More of us now know and consciously realize that if we participate in war, we can expect more of it. And by similar thinking we "expect" that if we exhibit more love, we can expect more love.
In doing some research for this article, I came across a wonderful academic paper written by Laura E. Weed when she was at the College of St Rose in Albany, NY. It is entitled, Why Violence Begets Violence and Love Enables Love .
What is really wonderful about Ms. Weed's paper is that she talks about the biology (the science) of the brain when it is focusing on "good" or "evil". Using research by Andrew Newberg, Eugene d'Aqili, and Vince Rause in their book, Why God Won't Go Away , Ballantine Books, 2001, she illustrates the science of the changes in the brain when it is focused on a violent event as opposed to the biology of the brain when it is focused on a spiritual event.
Now remember who gets to choose where we focus the brain . We do. We each one have the sovereignty over the focus of our thoughts.
Since we get to choose where we will or will not focus our thought energy (our spirit), our Life Force, and by the very act of that choice we change the chemistry of our anatomy, we then can rightfully conclude that we are creating the whole of our own reality 100% of the time. We are creating 100% of our biology, 100% of our individual experience, and 100% of our collective experience.
Thus in one small paper it is conclusively shown that the Law of Attraction is true: indeed violence begets violence and love enables love. It's what we can conclude with simple common sense. The mind blower is that we control the focus completely .
The reason we take up a spiritual practice (not necessarily religion) is for self-mastery.
Self mastery can be summed up as the conscious and deliberate control over the focus of one's Life Force energy .
Science and spirituality are blurring, are they not?
by Kathy Kirk