beyond the natural mind – a 21 day manifestó
“Today I begin to accept that I am not a victim of circumstance.
I begin to accept that I create circumstance.”
There’s a guy I know who spends his life complaining that everything happens to him. He’s been mugged, drugged, had his wallet stolen, been accused of troublemaking, harassment, barred from lots of bars, got involved with women who have ripped him off, been punched randomly in pubs, lost his licence for drink driving, been thrown out of his apartment, etc… But it’s never his fault. He sees himself as the victim in all these scenarios. He’s not a bad person, but it gets to the point where you begin to lose patience with all these endless tales of woe.
A victim of circumstance could be said to be someone who suffers ill consequences because of factors outside of their control, but that assumes that there are events which are outside of one’s control.
“Absolute nonsense,” says you, there are many things which are outside of people’s control like floods, fires, wars, rape, theft, violence.”
Are all these events outside of our control? Let us stop and think about this for a moment.
Remember, we are not talking to the perceived “victim” here, we are talking to everyone, not just the person who has been raped but the perpetrator of the rape, the person who has created the “circumstance.”
“An event or fact that causes or helps to cause something to happen, typically something undesirable.”
If I acknowledge that I am a creator of all which I perceive and experience, there can be no circumstance. There is always a creator of the circumstance.
Let us put aside so-called “acts of god” for a moment, and concentrate on the human experience such as victims of war, people who could be said to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn’t their fault that they happened to be walking down the road when the bomb went off, all they were doing was minding their own business, they didn’t deserve to die. Whilst it is sad when anyone dies, this was no accident, this was deliberate.
Another definition of circumstance is “a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action” so let us concentrate on the word “connected”.
In Newton’s third law, it states that all forces exist in pairs, and thus there is no such thing as a unidirectional force or a force that acts on only one body. It is also known as the action-reaction law.
Let us think about how this applies to our victim of circumstance. In order for him to be robbed, he had to be present, the balancing force of the robber. In order for him to be ejected from the public bar he had to be present. He was the balancing force of the ejector.
This may all seem a little strange for you to read, because on the surface, it seems as if he did nothing wrong.
He was walking along the road minding his own business. A hooded man jumped out of the bushes, threatened him with a knife, and forced him to hand over his wallet.
The police and everyone else reading the case would see him as the victim, and would press for the perpetrator to be arrested, and sent to jail. But remember, we are dealing with our human eyes and brain, which we already know cannot be trusted!
We need to understand that everything we think and do is in relationship with something else.
Everything is connected.
So how is our victim of robbery related to the knife wielding hooded robber. He does not know him, and before that day had never been robbed before. He had walked that same path many times without incident.
“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time” said the policeman called to assist him.
But is there such a thing as “wrong” place, and “wrong” time? As far as I know there is only place and time, although we may perceive that it is the “wrong” place and time if something happens which we do not like, and the “right” place and time if something happens which we like.
At a deeper level, what we call a robbery is just the coming together of two forces in the same place and time. The robbery may seem like a terrible thing to happen but if we could see the energy forces at work, what would we see? We need to start looking beyond the visible, hard as it may be.
A robber’s story
We have talked at length about our victim of robbery, the man who was walking along the road minding his own business, and hand over to the man who did the robbing!
Remember everything in relationship, nothing in isolation.
“Growing up, we didn’t have very much, my mum worked as a nurse, and my dad wasn’t around much, and when he was, he was always drunk, didn’t work, and used to beat me regularly. I’m not using that as an excuse for what happened to the guy I robbed, it’s just a fact.
I never did well at school, the group I hung around with were always messing around in class, and shouting at the teacher, it was pretty funny.
I failed all my exams, which wasn’t a surprise, and never had any desire to work. I couldn’t see the point of it.
We lived in a council flat, and I never had to pay any bills, so life was pretty easy. The guys I hung around with seemed to make a few quid breaking into cars and houses, and they always had enough money for cool clothes, and alcohol so I got involved with them. It was pretty exciting, wondering if we were going to get caught.
Anyway, one day, one of the gang said we could make more cash if we started robbing people in the street; all we had to do was grab a handbag and run off. I did a few of these, but one day a lady I tried to rob hung on to her handbag and was shouting help! What could I do? I didn’t want to get caught! I punched her, grabbed her bag and ran off. I was pretty lucky I was a fast runner.
We all laughed about that stupid woman holding on to her bag; if she had just let go, I wouldn’t have had to punch her would I?
I only came close to getting caught once, before, but the buzz of grabbing bags kept me going. Well until I got caught for robbing that stupid bloke.
I don’t feel sorry for the bloke I robbed, he could afford it. I’ve got nothing, I haven’t got a job, my dad beat me, and I got involved with a bad crowd. In a way, you could say I’m a victim of circumstance.”
Nothing in Isolation
A father’s story
“I was the son of poor immigrants. My father worked hard but didn’t bring in much money. He was also a hard drinker. You could say I had a pretty harsh upbringing. There wasn’t any love in my house, that’s for sure. My poor old mum tried hard to keep the family together, but my father was a cruel bastard and used to beat her regularly. I used to see my mum crying regularly, but any time I asked her if she was all right, she always wiped the tears away, and said ‘don’t worry it’s nothing’, but I knew.
I left school as soon as I could and ended up in a factory doing a menial job, and the only pleasure I got was going to the pub every night. It made my shit life tolerable.
That’s where I met my wife. She was a nurse and used to come in with her friends after work sometimes. One night I plucked up the courage to buy her a drink, and one thing lead to another. Two years later we were shacked up in a council flat, with a baby. I don’t know, I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t stand the bloody crying all the time, then the wife was always moaning that I was spending all my money at the pub. She’d had to give her work up so it was just me bringing in the money. She didn’t know how hard I had to work, I don’t think she appreciated anything I was doing. I needed a drink when I finished work. I needed to let off steam.
Anyway, one night I stayed out all night, and when I got home the next morning, she was screaming at me that I was sleeping with another woman, well, I just snapped, and smacked her. I think I cut her lip but nothing too bad, but she told me to get out! I told her it was my house and I could do what I liked.
When the kid started growing up he was always talking back to me. He had no bloody respect for his elders, so I taught him a lesson or two. He deserved it.
By this time the wife had gone back to her job as a nurse but I was on the sick. Sometimes I stayed round the flat, but my wife didn’t like me when I’d been drinking so I stayed round a friend’s.
My son was always a lazy bastard never wanted to work, always hanging round with those no good friends of his, getting into trouble, I don’t know what happened to him.
Would I say I enjoyed my life? No I would not. I had a drunk father, a demanding wife, a lazy good for nothing son. You could say I’m a victim of circumstance.”
So do you want to hear the mother’s story, the wife’s story, the grandfather’s story, the lazy good for nothing son’s friends stories, or are you starting to see? Everyone sees themselves as a victim of circumstance. No one realises that they have the power to create their own life, no one is a victim, although it may appear so.
Although it is easy to apportion blame for what happens to you to someone else, it is you creating the circumstance which enable an event to take place.
“What absolute rubbish,” says you, “the man who was robbed was the victim, your ideas are stupid”. Are they? Let’s ask the man who was robbed again shall we?
“A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action”
Me: “Sorry to hear you were robbed. I have just one thing to ask you.
Do you see yourself as the victim in this?
Him: Of course I’m the victim in this, what a stupid question! He jumped out at me with a knife.
Me: Do you think he could have robbed you if you weren’t there? Him: What sort of question is that? No he couldn’t but I was.
Me: Would you have been happier if he had robbed the person who was walking in front of you less than a minute before you or the person who walked one minute after you?
Him: What? No I wouldn’t!
Me: So what you’re saying is, you are happy that this event happened to you and not someone else.
Him: No. That’s not what I’m saying. It shouldn’t have happened at all.
Me: But the man who robbed you was intent on robbing, he had no idea you would walk through there did he?
Him: Well, why did he pick on me?
Me: You have said that you are glad that he did not rob the person in front, or behind you. Do you accept that you may have had a hand consciously or unconsciously in creating the event which ended with you and he being entangled in a particular space and time?
Him: Now you’re just trying to twist my words. No I have no idea if I helped create the circumstance of that night. I can’t be responsible for another’s actions. That is just stupid.
Me: Is it?
Things don’t just “happen” they are created, and just because we see ourself as a victim, that isn’t necessarily either true, or how others see us. The word victim may be used in legal terminology but it doesn’t mean that the word exists in the world we cannot directly see or perceive. We have applied it to events to remove our responsibility in helping shape the event. When we all see that we are not victims (robber/robbed) and take responsibility for the creation of our lives from moment to moment our world will change.
As for “acts of god” we are assuming there is a supernatural being in control who creates random catastrophic events for their pleasure. Even if we believe that to be so, notice the word “create”.
Robber/robbed, terrorist/terrorised, rapist/raped. They are all elements of the same word, entangled in a relationship that leaves nothing to chance.
Set free the victim, and empower him as a creator. That means you. And me. And in case you are wondering what we are going to do about the robber? If they read this, and recognise that they are a creator of circumstance, and decide to change, they won’t be there when the man walks past…
by alan macmillan orr