So, coincidentally — or perhaps via some kind of metaphysical wordpress connection — one of the blogs that I follow happened to post pretty much the exact same post as me on the exact same day. And the post was about how thoughts are energy and therefore have power to influence reality and create synchronicities. Interesting.
The blogger also touches on a related topic that I’d like to explore. “There is a reason why we never feel good after watching the 6 o’clock news,” he writes, explaining that the negative information creates a negative vibration in and around us. Just as our mentality can affect our reality, so too can others’ energy affect us.
However, if we are in a negative situation and cannot help it — say you fall ill or get injured or thrown, as Victor Frankl was, in a concentration camp, your mind can overpower your surroundings. Frankl wrote: “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”; “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves”: “A human being is a deciding being”; and, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
When we cannot choose our circumstances or the company we are surrounded by, we can still choose what to think and how to feel and behave. But if we can choose our circumstances and company, then we should do so with consideration, because I believe that energy is contagious.
I was raised in the Mormon religion and Mormons are not supposed to watch R-rated movies. Now, this may seem strict and silly to some, and yes, it does to me. However I have found, now that I am “allowed” to watch them, that I often don’t enjoy them. I am referring more to horror films that portray people being abused or killed, or films that otherwise show and celebrate depravity and amorality. It just isn’t pleasant to watch. I don’t really consider myself a prude and I like a good psychological scare, but I feel there is a line. I can’t tell you where it is drawn, but I know when it is crossed.
My husband doesn’t share my qualms and has no problem watching people being slaughtered. Maybe I just have a more sensitive spirit. But I have a theory that our souls are fed just as our bodies are, and in time we can become affected on a deep level by the things we read, watch and listen to. I like some good dirty rap every now and then, but on a consistent basis, I feel a lot better not being exposed to radio, TV, commercials (oh, the horror) and what otherwise passes for entertainment and popular culture in contemporary America.
Nor do I have Enya on repeat, but if I need to “detox” from the work week or am feeling under the weather, a good dose of classical music does magical wonders.
I love the ancient Greek concept of arete, the striving for excellence in mind, body and soul. Says Paul to the Philippians in the New Testament: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence (arete), if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
By exposing yourself to the writings of great men and women (Ben Franklin! Aristotle!), to enlightening arts and music, to nature, to people of good character, ethics and ambitions, you can develop your spiritual side, nourish your soul and become a better version of yourself with higher quality thoughts and goals.
Listen to your inner essence and it will tell you if the vibrations are harmful or helpful. Whether through meditation, prayer or otherwise deliberate questing, you can tap into a higher, benevolent wisdom. In this world we can choose to wallow, wander, or climb to higher planes.
It’s a daily choice. What will we seek out? How will we spend our time? What will we take in? Over time, you will see the results. You can become spiritually deprived, and therefore morally confused and dimmed, or you can get that special glow that comes from cultivating honor, virtue and integrity. Says Aristotle: “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts … Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”